28 March 2017

Cardinal Easton and Formal Corrections of Roman Pontiffs (2)

Yes, I thought you would be surprised that Easton, while at Oxford, was both a Hellenist and a Hebraeist. I remember, when I researched my favourite fourteeenth century prelate, Bishop John Grandisson of Exeter, being surprised to learn that among his books was a Hebrew Grammar. Perhaps some of the popular inherited assumptions about the New Learning and Medieval Obscurantism could do with being revisited.

Adam Cardinal Easton is buried at the back of his Titular Church, Sancta Caecilia trans Tiberim (not a million miles away from where a couple of liturgists, in the mid-1960s, botched together in a pub the bizarre formula officially known as Eucharistic Prayer II). On his tomb, a couple of elegiac couplets:-

Artibus ipse Pater famosus in omnibus ADAM
     Theologus summus cardique nalis erat.
Anglia cui patriam, Titulum dedit ista beatae
     Aedes Caeciliae, morsque suprema Polum.

Yes; perhaps the writer was not above an occasionally iffy quantity, particularly in loan words from Greek. But I knew you would be delighted by that rather neat tmesis in the second half of the second line. Not quite as striking (in every sense ... geddit?) as the famous phrase from Ennius saxo cere comminuit brum. Perhaps it would be excessively Alexandrian (or Cyrenaean?) to suggest that the tmesis on Easton's tomb referred to his split possession of the cardinalitial state.

One of my colleages at Lancing, a mathematician with a carefully crafted cockney accent, once said to me "Why are you so contra bl**dy dictory?" Perhaps, as a rather baroque literary device, tmesis is still not dead!

At this time when Formal Fraternal Corrections of Roman Pontiffs are so much in the air, I expect that the tomb of Adam Cardinal Easton is daily surrounded by swarming flocks of thoughtful visitors, including cardinals in mufti. (The best one could do to chase up Easton in Oxford would be to visit the oldest part of Worcester College, containing the medieval staircases occupied by the students from the English Benedictine houses; in Easton's time it was called 'Gloucester Hall'.)

Is the Castle at Nocera, where Easton and his fellow signatories were tortured by Urban VI, still standing? Does it have a Visitor Centre with interactive displays of cardinals busily writing Formal Fraternal Corrections and then being tortured?

When the Holy Father personally tortures a cardinal, is this, according to Cardinal Nichols and the hypersuperueberpapalists, a formal Magisterial action, performed under the direct and intimate guidance of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity? If not, why not?


PiusLad said...


The ruins of the castle at Nocera Inferiore, wherein Urban VI was besieged, are still extant. The precise circumstances of the cardinalatial revolt against Urban are unclear; von Pastor describes the history of the "conspiracy" as "extremely obscure."

I can't speak for crowds of cardinals in mufti, but please be assured that I will make a pilgrimage to Santa Cecilia to pray before the tomb of your esteemed countryman.

Ben Whitworth said...

How arch a bishop was the cardinal?

Anon. said...

ADAM was renowned in every art,
a Cardinal and theologian smart.
His titular this St. Cecilia’s gave,
a homeland England and the stars the grave.

Banshee said...

Tmesis, eh? I thought that was called an infix.

But it seems to be the same thing being called different things in different disciplines.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

I wonder when Aristotle in the Greek was first taught at Oxford??

motuproprio said...

St Edmund of Canterbury is reputed to have brought the teaching of Aristotle to Oxford -but whether that was in the original Greek or in Latin translation is another matter.