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The Antifraternal Tradition in Middle English Literature Author(s): Penn R. Szittya Source: Speculum, Vol. 52, No. 2 (Apr., 1977), pp. 287-313 Published by: Medieval Academy of America

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Medieval Academy of America The Antifraternal Tradition in Middle English Literature Author(s): Penn R. Szittya Source:, Vol. 52 , No. 2 (A p r. , 1977), pp. 287-313 Published b y : Medieval Academ y of America Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2850514 . Accessed: 24/03/2011 18:20 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates y our acce p tance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp . JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the p ublisher re g ardin g an y further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=medacad . . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. Medieval Academy of America is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Speculum. http://www.jstor.org " id="pdf-obj-0-62" src="pdf-obj-0-62.jpg">

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THE

ANTIFRATERNAL

TRADITION

MIDDLE ENGLISH

LITERATURE*

IN

BY PENN

R. SZITTYA

IN the last fifty years, among Middle English scholars as well as historians,

there has been a rekindling of interest in the thirteenth-century controver- sies between the secular clergy and the fraternal orders at the University of

Paris. These ecclesiastical squabbles have long been recognized for their impact on the subsequent history of the friars, the universities, and even the

church, since Gallicanism and several related ecclesiological disputes grew out of them.' But only since 1950, thanks to the work of a number of literary

scholars - especially Arnold Williams - have these controversies begun to

be recognized for their importance to literature.2 They are the

wellspring

of

a long tradition of attacks on the friars which finds its culmination in the

burst of antifraternal literature written in England by some of the most prominent poets and ecclesiastics of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries:

Chaucer, Langland, Gower, Dunbar, Henryson, Richard Fitzralph, Wyclif, and the somewhat less immortal author of Jack Upland.3

* A shorter version of this paper was read at the Conference on Patristic, Medieval, and

Renaissance Studies sponsored

by the Augustinian

Historical Institute at Villanova University,

18

September

1

1976.

For historical

accounts of the Parisian controversy see especially M. M. Dufeil, Guillaume de

Saint-Amour et la

polemique universitaire parisienne, 1250-1259 (Paris, 1972); P. Glorieux, "Le

conflit de 1252-1257 a la lumiere du Memoire de Guillaume de Saint-Amour," Recherchesde

theologie ancienne et medievale 24

(1957), 364-72; Yves M.-J. Congar, "Aspects ecclesiologiques de

la querelle entre mendiants et seculiers dans la seconde moitie du XIIIe siecle et le debut du

XIVe," Archives d'histoiredoctrinale et litteraire du moyen age, Annee 36 (1961), Tome 28, 35-151;

Decima L. Douie, The Conflict Between the Seculars and the Mendicants at the University of Paris in the

Thirteenth Century, Aquinas Paper No. 23 (London, 1954); Maurice Perrod, Maitre Guillaume de

Saint-Amour, l'Universite de Paris et les ordresmendiants au XIIIe siecle (Paris, 1895); Kurt Schleyer,

Anfdnge des Gallikanismus im 13. Jahrhundert, Historische Studien, Heft 314 (Berlin,

1937; rpt.

Vaduz: Kraus Reprint,

1965); Christine Thouzellier,

"La place du 'De Periculis' de Guillaume

de Saint-Amour dans les polemiques universitaires du XIIIe siecle," Revue Historique 156 (1927),

69-83; Gordon Leff,

Paris and Oxford Universities in the Thirteenthand Fourteenth Centuries (New

York, 1968).

2

Williams,

"Chaucer and

the

Friars," SPECULUM28

(1953),

499-513,

"The 'Limitour' of

Chaucer's Time and His 'Limitacioun,'" Studies in Philology 57 (1960), 463-78, "Relations

Between the Mendicant Friars and the Seculiar Clergy in England in the Later Fourteenth

Century," Annuale Medievale 1 (1960), 22-95; John Fleming, "The Antifraternalism of the

Summoner's Tale,"JEGP 65 (1966), 688-700; and "The Summoner's Prologue: An Iconographic

Adjustment," Chaucer Review 2 (1967/1968), Plowman and Scriptural Tradition (Princeton,

95-107;

D. W. Robertson

and

1951); P. L. Heyworth, ed.,Jack

B. F. Huppe,

Piers

Upland, Friar Daw's

Reply, and Upland's Rejoinder (Oxford, 1968); A. G. Rigg, "Two

Latin Poems Against the Friars,"

Mediaeval Studies 30 (1968), 106-18 and

"William Dunbar: The

'Fenyeit Freir'," Review of English

Studies, n.s. 14 (1963),

269-73;

Charles Dahlberg,

"Chaucer's Cock and Fox,"JEGP

53 (1954),

277-90;

John B. Friedman, "Henryson,

the Friars, and the ConfessioReynardi," JEGP 66 (1967),

550-61;

3

Jill Mann, Chaucer and Medieval Estates Satire (Cambridge,

of major antifraternal

authors

are indicated

Eng.,

1973), Chap. 2.

notes.

Works and editions

in subsequent

In

287

  • 288 Antifrateral

Tradition in Middle English Literature

The

influence

of

the

Parisian polemicists,

has been

 

particularly

duly

noted

for

Chaucer

of their leader, and Langland

perhaps

its anonymity;

but more

to establish,

the

nature

of the tradition

 

has not

been

fully understood.

William of St. Amour,

individually, but the tradition as a whole has not yet received much atten-

tion. Partly this neglect derives from the abysmal quality of much antifrater-

nal verse, whose greatest literary virtue is

importantly,

as this paper

hopes

itself, particularly its symbolic dimension,

Antifraternalism is not,a straightforward tradition of political criticism as is usually thought, but a tradition of political theology, a tradition whose

conventions are governed as much by eschatology, Salvation History, and the

Bible as by political

Because

of

conditions

in

the

real world

of the friars.

misconceptions about the tradition, several puzzling things

about English antifraternalism have never been satisfactorily explained: how and why it came to be conventional; why its conventions show such con-

tinuity

country,

with the Parisian controversies, which, after all, flared up in another

in

another

century, around issues that were largely local; and

finally, why some of its most prominent conventions (charges against the

friars) are demonstrably false. How does such a tradition come into exis-

tence, a tradition which

implicitly claims to consist of realistic political or

anach-

social criticism, but in fact consists in good measure of conventions,

ronisms,

and lies?

These curious aspects of antifraternalism can partly be explained by still a

greater curiosity. One of the most famous documents from the Parisian controversies is the violently antifraternal De periculis novissimorum temporum

(1256) by William of St. Amour, a Master in the acknowledged leader of the secular party. This

Faculty

of

Theology

only

and the

notorious

work is not

(thanks to its condemnation by Pope Alexander IV) for the virulence of its attacks upon the friars, but it is rightly hailed by modern scholars as the single most important source of the antifraternal tradition.4 But here is the

addition, see "On the Minorites," "The Layman's Complaint" (together with the "Friar's An-

swer"), "Friars, Ministri Malorum," and "The Orders of Cain," all in Rossell Hope Robbins, ed.,

Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth

Centuries (New York, 1959); "On the Council of London" in

Thomas Wright, ed., Political Poems and Songs, Rolls Series, No.

14 (London,

1859-61),

1:253-

63; "Ffrere gastkyn, wo ye be," Anglia 12 (1889), 268-9;

"The

Order of

Fair-Ease" in The

Political Songs of England, ed.

Thomas

Wright,

Camden

Society,

No.

6 (London,

1839), pp.

137-48;

Sir Israel Gollancz, ed., Select Early English Poems, Vol. 3: A Good Short Debate Between

Winner and Waster (London,

1920);

"Lyarde" in

Thomas

Wright

and J.

0.

Halliwell, eds.,

Reliquiae Antiquae, 2 (London,

1845), 280-2;

R. H. Bowers, "A Middle

English

Anti-Mendicant

Squib," ELN

1 (1963/1964),

163-4;

Robert R. Raymo, "Quod the Devill to the

Frier," ELN 4

(1966/1967),

180; "Mum and the Sothsegger,"

ed. Mabel Day and R. Steele, EETS O.S. 199

(London,

1936); "De supersticione

phariseorum" and "De astantibus crucifixo," ed. A. G. Rigg

in Mediaeval Studies 30 (1968),

106-18.

4 The De periculis was condemned by Alexander IV in October of 1256. See Heinrich Denifle

and Emile Chatelain, Chartularium universitatis parisiensis (Paris, 1889-97), 1, No. 288. The

treatise is printed

in Opera omnia (Constance

[for Paris], 1632); also in Ortwin Gratius, Fas-

ciculum rerum expetendarum, ed. Edward Brown (London, 1690), 2:18-41, which is the text I cite

throughout.

Antifraternal

Tradition

in

Middle

English

Literature

289

curiosity: the De periculis contains no mention of the friars whatsoever. When

summoned before a synod of bishops in 1256 to answer

charges of willful

calumny against the friars, William defended

himself

on

grounds: the De periculis is not about the friars at all.5 It is, he

precisely

said,

those

a treatise

about the "perils of the last times" predicted in Scripture, about pseudoapos-

toli, pseudopraedicatores,penetrantes domos, and other

figures

"ex

Scripturis

sumptis," as the long

form

of the title specifies.

It is no accident

of course,

that some fairly precise correspondence with the friars can be found in these

biblical figures, but - so William would have us believe - the De

periculis

is

not a political treatise but first and foremost an exegetical treatise on the last

times.

Indeed,

the most salient feature

of all William's antifraternal

writings is

their exegetical character: almost without

exception

their

argument consists

of the collection and comparison of scriptural texts and their

His

glosses.

Collectiones are, as the

title puts it, "collectiones catholice et canonice Scrip-

simplicium

fidelium

Christi contra

et

ture ad instructionem et

pericula imminencia

preparationem ecclesie generali

per ypocritas pseudopraedicatores

et ociosos

et curiosos et

gerovagos."6

In the preface

to

penetrantes domos

the De periculis William protests

that the warnings

he

is

giving

about the

dangers

veritate

to

the

church

are those

Sacrae Scripturae

"quae non

ex inventione

nostra

sed ex

again

warns of

dangers

in a

collegimus."7 He

sermon preached

on

May 1, 1256, and again stresses that "nihil addam

de

meo, sed per Scripturas ostendam."8 By

Scripturas, it should be said,

William

seems to mean not only Sacred Scripture, but its interpretation

as set forth in

the Glossa (Ordinaria, as it later came to be called), which had itself reached

almost canonical

status among

the schoolmen

at Paris.9

The exegetical

nature of

William's polemics has been largely ignored

good

by

modern scholars, and for

historiographical reasons. The real interest what they reveal about the political causes,

of William's writings has been in

issues, and consequences of the secular-mendicant controversy. And for that

purpose

his biblical exegesis

offenses

was

simply

an

impediment;

of

more important

were the fraternal

to which his explanations

speaking

Scripture clearly of William's writings

alluded. Consequently,

most scholars when

have tended to translate his exegetical language about antichristi and thefinis

5See

Denifle,

Chartularium, 1, No.

287; also Caesar Egassius Bulaeus,

Parisiensis

.

6

.

.

a

Carolo M.

ad nostra

tempora (Paris, 1665-73),

from Bodl.

3:309.

The title is of medieval origin, here quoted

MS 151 (S.C.

edited in Opera omnia, pp.

111-490.

Historia Universitatis

1929). The

treatise is

7Fasciculum rerum, 2:19; Opera omnia, p. 20.

8

9

In

die

Philippi

et

Jacobi

in Fasciculum

rerum, 2:48;

Opera

omnia,

p.

492.

William seems to use primarily the interlinear and not the marginal section of the Glossa, at

least in his citations. For the status of the Glossa at Paris during William's time, see Beryl

Smalley. The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 1952), p. 56 ff. The printed

text I have consulted

is the Folger Library's Biblia Sacra cum glossa ordinaria & Nicolai Lyrani

expositionibus literali ac morali, 6 vols. (Lugdunus, 1545).

290

Antifrateral

Tradition

in

Middle

English

Literature

mundi into the -

for

us -

more

meaningful

language

of ecclesiastical

poli-

tics. But such translation obscures the aspect of antifraternalism that can best

account for its power and persistence: its theological dimension. The friars

were not just perceived politically in the Middle Ages; they were perceived theologically. They were not viewed simply as competitors for university

posts and ecclesiastical privileges but as fulfillments of scriptural

prophecies

and analogues of biblical types predicted for the last days. Modern notions

of history, which underlie most previous studies of William of St. Amour,

assume that history is a linear, continuous

process,

which is best understood

in terms of the causes and consequences of proximate events. In William's historiography, however, history is discontinuous; the significance of a his-

torical event lies not in its causes or effects

but in

the

extent

to which it

them in

subsequent

literature -

not just

by

refer-

papal bulls,

episcopal

license,

Gallicanism, lim-

of

analogy with the Apostles

Christ and the

of time.

 

are realistic and

political,

deriving

from a

system

of biblical

exegesis

which

 

charges

that

biblical types

for

the

friars,

or,

as

in

the

last

the Pharisees; the pseudoapostoli; the antichristi (who

pseudoapostoli); and those who violate the divine

weight"

of Wisdom 11.21. With each of

participates in, recreates, or foreshadows the spiritually significant events of

Salvation History. William understands the friars of his own day - as we, I

think, should understand

ence

to clerical privileges,

itations,

and

the like,

pseudoprophetae of the end

This

nalism. It has

 

is, biblical and

theological,

group themselves

around

but by

paper is ultimately directed at redefining the nature of antifrater-

since been established that this is a conventional tradition.

long But where it has been thought that its conventions

I hope to establish the existence of conventions that are rather symbolic, that

conceived of the friars as analogues of a range of scriptural types. Specifi-

cally, the paper is concerned with four clusters of antifraternal

instance, a biblical verse:

are often identified with the

ordinance of "measure, number, and

these clusters of charges, my focus is limited to two areas: first, the biblical

exegesis of the founder of this

exegetical system,

William of St. Amour, who

exercises a more profound influence on English antifraternalism than he has

been given credit for; and sis in England 100 or more

second, the manifestations

years

later. This

is not

of antifraternal exege- a source study. I am not St. Amour

of

the

on English friars in terms de-

concerned with the direct influence

of William of

writers,'1 but only with their mutual perception

10 William's direct influence of the official condemnation

can be documented

more often

than might be expected

IV.

See Wyclifs De 1883), 1:91-2.

(London,

in

light

of his works by Pope Alexander

ordinatione

The 14th

fratrum in his Polemical Worksin Latin, ed. Rudolf Buddensieg

chapter of the De periculis appears in toto, though

without attribution in a moral encyclopedia,

BM MS Royal 6 E VI, fols. 119r-122v.

A number of MSS of English provenance contain various

works by William: Oxford, Bodleian MS 52 (S.C. 1969); Bodl. MS 158 (S.C. 1997); Bodl. MS

  • 151 (S.C. 1929) (a MS owned by Adam Easton, a prominent English monk, later cardinal); Bodl.

MS Digby 98; Bodl. MS Digby 113; Oxford, Baliol MS 149; C.C.C.C. MS 103; BM MS Cot. Vit.

Antifraternal Tradition in Middle English Literature

291

rived from biblical exegesis, and with the implications of that theological mode of perception. A study of antifraternal exegesis will help to explain

how many of the charges brought against the friars came to be conventional,

why they continued

even when they were false, and why they persisted long

after the political will in fact show

situation that

brought

them into

being

had

that biblical associations not only crystallized

disappeared. It

and preserved,

but in some instances actually generated charges against the friars.

II

The exegetical method of William of St. Amour is a direct corollary of his

attitude toward history,

cal. His frame of

which is, it should be stressed, symbolic, not empiri-

reference for understanding the friars is not recent history

but Salvation History,

Scripture to explain

ing, because symbolic the Bible, the result

and

it is therefore

natural that he should turn to

events around him which were unsettling, even terrify-

of the End. When he does interpret the friars through

is

a process

of transmutation

of

what we would

call

that occurs throughout his writings. Most vaguely to real historical events for this

history into symbolism - a process of the time, William alludes too

process to be visible: he appears there is one event that William

to be speaking only of the Bible. However, treats that illustrates this process clearly: the

famous affair of the Eternal Evangel, which is useful to show just how much

William departs

from

scriptural

framework.

In

the

script

of

history

to incorporate

events

into

a

1255 in Paris, a zealous but slightly mad Franciscan named Gerard da

Borgo San Donnino

published

of

an outrageous

Aeternum, a hodge-podge

the doctrines

of Joachim

Introductorius ad

 

Evangelium of Fiore which

sug-

gested, among other things,

that the authority

of

the

Old and

New

Testa-

ments

a third

was the

pass Evangelium Aeternum of the Holy

was about

to

to

Testament,

which,

he

said,

Ghost, contained in the works of Joachim;

that two new orders of "spiritual men" (the friars, said Gerard modestly) had

arrived to

conquer

Antichrist;

and

that the secular

clergy

would lose its

purpose

orders. 11

in

the

new era, giving way to the contemplative

life

of

the new

11 See the account of Gerard in Marjorie Reeves, The Influence of Prophecy in the Later Middle

Ages: A Study inJoachism (Oxford,

1969), pp. 59-70.

Gerard's "Gospel," which was long thought

to have been lost, probably consisted of his own Liber Introductorius prefaced to the three major

works of Joachim,

Liber Concordia, Expositio in Apocalypsim, and the Psalterium Decem Chordarum.A

few years ago a manuscript was found which may contain portions of the lost LiberIntroductorius:

see B. T6pfer, "Eine Handschrift des Evangelium Aeternum des Gerardino von Borgo San

Donnino," Zeitschriftfiir Geschichtswissenschaft8(1960), 156-163. For the minutes of the ecclesias- tical commission investigating the affair of the Eternal Evangel, see Heinrich Denifle, "Das

Evangelium aeternum und die Commission zu

Anagni," Archiv fur Litteratur- und Kirchenge-

schichte des Mittelalters

1(1885), 49-142.

Otherwise

the Liber Introductorius is known

to

us

only

from the refutation of its doctrines by the faculty at the University at Paris: see the Chartularium,

1, No.

243, pp. 272-6.

  • 292 Antifraternal Tradition in Middle English Literature

As the spokesman for the secular clergy, who already hated the friars for different reasons and who were incensed at Gerard's temerity, William of St.

Amour was not to be outdone. He

apocalypse,

in

his

replies,

work,

major eschatological

eye

for

eye,

apocalypse

for

the De periculis.l2 For our

purposes, the form his

response

takes is of greater interest than its impor-

tance in the course of the pamphlet war. He does not attack Gerard's thesis

of the exalted place of the mendicant orders; he does not defend the present or future role of the secular clergy; he does not attack Gerard as a friar; in

fact, he shows

no awareness at all of any

ecclesiological

or social or political

implications in Gerard's work. He approaches his historical subject by way of a biblical analogue and within the context of an urgent eschatological vision. Copied from Daniel 5, the vision is of Babylon and Belshazzar's feast, except

that the new Babylon is the church, that the now-terrified revelers are the

princes

of

the church

seated

at

the

table of

Scripture,

and

that William

for

himself now stands in the place of the old prophet Daniel, interpreting

the princes of Babylon the mysterious Phares" - on the wall. That handwriting,

handwriting -

"Mane,

Thecel,

says William, is the cursed book

itself, the Evangelium Aeternum, which has appeared to the church like the

handwriting

in Babylon,

as

a token

or signum of

the wrath to come.

The

book bears a prophetic

meaning

similar to that

given

"Mane, Thecel, Phares"

in Daniel 5.26-28. Mane is interpreted, "Numeravit Deus regnum tuum, et

complevit

illud," and similarly the Evangelium Aeternum asserts that the

reign

of the Church according to the Gospel of Christ is numbered,

to be replaced

1260 years from the Incarnation

by

a

new

gospel

and

a new

law, the

lex

Spiritus Sancti. Thecel signifies "Appensus es in statera et inventus es minus

habens," and correspondingly,

in the odious book, the Gospel of Christ is

compared to the Eternal Gospel, and found to

have less perfection and

"spirituale,"

written

by

litterale et infirmum,"

dignity than the Evangelium Aeternum, which will be spiritual men, in contrast to the "Christi evangelium,

written by men partly "spirituales" but partly "animales."'3

Phares is to

be

interpreted, "Divisum est

regnum

tuum,

et datum

est

Medis et

Persis";

time

similarly in Gerard's work it is found

written that after the predicted

the

regnum ecclesiae will be divided from those who hold to the Evangelium

Christi and given to those who receive the new Testament, the Evangelium Aeternum. The most striking aspect of William's treatment of the affair of the Eternal Evangel is the absence of almost all reference to time, place, and context. He

12

Chap. viii, in Fasciculum rerum, 2: 27-8,

and Opera omnia, pp. 38-9.

See a virtually identical

treatment

of

the

Eternal

Evangel

in the De antichristo thought

to

be by William's

disciple

amplissima collectio, ed.

made by Joachim

Nicholas of Lisieux, in Veterum scriptorum et monumentorumhistoricorum

Edmond Martene and U. Durand (Paris, 1724-33), Vol. 9, col. 1323 ff. On the authorship of

the De antichristo, see M. M. Dufeil, Guillaume de Saint-Amour, pp. 330-1.

13 See the De antichristo, col. 1323, where the allusion is to the distinction

between men "animales" in the present and the contemplative

"spirituales" who in the third age

would receive the Eternal Gospel. See also Reeves, Influence of Prophecy, pp. 135-44.

Antifraternal Tradition in Middle English Literature

293

strips the event of all its contemporaneity, and increases its symbolic value by

forcing it into a preconceived eschatological

framework. It seems to take

place not in 1254 but in the novissimis temporibus; not in Paris but within

Ecclesia; at the hands not of Friar Gerard, but of an unnamed minister of

Antichrist; with implications

for the end

not as illegitimate

the precursors of

1260-

ironically,

Such a strategy

time but on

the

biblical exegesis

of the world.

not for the secular-mendicant

controversy but

 

the friars

but as

to

appear in

system of

 

It

competitors

because

of the Joachistic

is clear that his strategy is to identify

with the secular clergy for privileges,

Antichrist, whom much of Europe expected

prophets

like Gerard himself.

takes polemics out of the world of the everyday and into the

realm of apocalypse.

It focuses attention not on the history of William's own

Bible, and helps to create a reasonably coherent

against the

that will be turned

friars for years to come.

III

The exegesis

of William of St. Amour focuses on three biblical analogues

for the friars, which, not coincidentally,

countered in the antifraternal

become

frequently Pharisees, the pseudoapostoli of

those most

en-

tradition: the

St. Paul's time, and the eschatological antichristi predicted

for the Last Days.

These three biblical types occur in three different

are for William virtually identical except that they phases of Salvation History, the times of the Old

Law, New Law, and Apocalypse.14

ing that they are theologically

of the Apostles,

The

genesis

with more

the friars is not

an antitype

and evolution

And William links them further by show-

antithetical to an all-embracing antitype, that

brilliantly suited to the friars since from their

system can be documented

conventions.

As we have seen,

founding they claimed to be imitators of the original Apostles.

of this exegetical

precision than is usual with most

from the point of view of William and his fellow seculars, the threat posed by

simply a political and economic

one.

It is theological

and

can only be shown by a careful

exegesis of

about friar-like figures in Salvation

eschatological and its significance

what Scripture has to say (or prophesy)

History. How are these figures

loose. When a biblical figure

details nevertheless suffice

to be identified? William's criteria are fairly

resembles the friars in only a few details, those

to establish that it is a fraternal type, and hence to

establish the

general

applicability to the friars of all biblical comment about

it. Thus, the evolution of William's types seems to involve two things: crystal-

lization, around a few topically

alization, an expansion of

relevant biblical verses or details; and gener-

the topical details to other biblical

focus beyond

details about the type which may or may not have any precise topical bearing

on the friars. One of the most interesting

alization is that William foists

the

results of this process of gener-

friars characteristics and vices of the

upon biblical type rather than the other way around. What begins by being de-

  • 14 These three types ana times often seem interchangeable

for William; see Fasciculum rerum,

2:37, 45, 52; Opera omnia, pp. -12-13, 62, 400, 504. Cf. De antichristo, cols. 1294, 1352-3,

1364.

  • 294 Antifraternal Tradition in Middle English Literature

fined by the friars comes to be a criterion by which the friars themselves are defined. This phenomenon is characteristic not only of William's own exegesis, but of the antifraternal tradition as a whole. Charges which have

their basis in thirteenth-century politics continue to appear centuries later, in spite of changed political environments, primarily because they have become associated with unchanging (by now conventional) biblical types for the friars. The most prominent of William's antifraternal types are the Pharisees, to

whom he devoted a

delivered

widely

published

sermon,

De pharisaeo et publicano,

but

at the

in August of 1256.15 The sermon is strictly exegetical,

outset, William is anxious to make clear by allusion that he is also speaking of

the friars. He does so in a general way by describing the Pharisees as a religious order "sicut apud nos sunt regulares" and by stating more baldly

the

typological thesis that "per praedictum Pharisaeum

. . .

signantur hypo-

critae

nostri temporis."l6 But more specifically, William provides a narrow but

firm topical foundation

for the rest of his discussion by linking the Pharisees

to one of the most violently controversial of the friars' claims at the Univer-

sity of Paris. The allusion rests

upon

a single biblical text, Matthew 23, where

Vae to descend upon the hypocriti-

Christ warns his disciples of the eig</