EDUCATION IN THE 600's
Intellectual activity during this time slackened. Only the
monastic schools retained hhigh intellectual levels. All other
schools specially those for the children of the upper classes and
those destined for the priesthood were mediocre.
Catholic Africa was lost to Islam; Italy suffered from the Lombard
wars. In Gaul, writers were ignorant, could not connect ideas
intelligently; their writings revealed intellectual decadence.
Spain maintained excellent Cathedral schools, like Toledo and
Seville under St. Isidore.
The Irish monks excelled in education and sent missionaries to
establish excellent schools abroad. Foreign students went to
Ireland to study in Lismore, Armach, Bobbio, Luxeuil, and in the
monastery of St. Gall. The brightest minds were educated by
the Irish monks in Irish monasteries.
these monastic schools came the scholars, writers and leaders of the
in earlier times in Christianity, the saints that brightened the
Catholic Church were all monks: Sts. Isidore and Ildephonsus
from Spain, John of Biclaro and Benedict Biscop (who introduced to
England the art of making glass windows), St. Aldhelm (the
first who cultivated classical learning with success), St. Adamnam
(who wrote the most complete biography of the Middle Ages), St.
Jonas of Bobbio, St. John Climacus (whose Scala Paradisi is a
classical work on Christian Spirituality), and St. Maximus (whose
Centuries of Charity was likewise a classic of spirituality in the