Title. Double click me.

I kept a copy of Dan Brown's book DA Vinci Code and did some reading recently. I thought since historians concerned about the Missing Links, and I would share with you some of the research that I had done before, which, for the particualr purpsoe here, concerned about the tradition of the great Unviersity of Paris and its tradition.

Hope you enjoy it.

"What had motivated Gregory IX's interest in the University of Paris?

The Statutes of Gregory IX[1] for the University of Paris 1231 [2] define the new rights and privileges of the teachers and students and help stopping the exodus of the teachers and students from the University, particularly for Oxford. It serves to ratify with immediacy as per a perceived denial[3] of justice, which had been sanctioned by Queen Blanche in 1229 and resulted in the teachers’ 2-yearsuspension of their teaching for the courses in retaliation.[4]

Well-versed in the political situation of Europe[5], Pope Gregory IX’s [6] worries seem well-founded an exodus of teachers and students from The University of Paris does happen before the enactment of The Statutes. The teacher-student exodus in Europe has always been a widespread phenomenon.[7]

Gregory XI’s bestow on students’ right and privileges may well be his being a past student of The University of Paris, but his strong stance in anti-hereticism might point to his intended control over the teachers and students[8] carries much water. While no ulterior motive could justly be implied to Gregory IX, as a nephew of the most powerful Pope Innocent III[9] in defending papal power, he may not have gotten the altitude his uncle has reached, but the premise that he has sincerely tried is verydefendable.

He consolidates the efforts in guarding against the growing tendency of subjecting theology to philosophy by making the truth of the mysteries of faith dependent on philosophical proofs.[10] As a man of learning however, he does make Aristotelianism the basis of scholastic philosophy, albeit only after prohibiting the Physics of Aristotle 1210 and Metaphysics in 1215. Not to be overshadowed byAristotelianism, Gregory IX also commissioned William of Auvergne and other learned men to purge the works of Aristotle of their ‘errors’ before making them accessible to students.

The Statutes may also be enacted in line with Gregory IX’s anti-heretics policy.[11] Being very severe towards heretics, Gregory looks upon the heretics as traitors, who are to be punished. Therefore, we also see in the same year in 1231 a law stipulating that heretics condemned by an ecclesiastical court should be delivered to the secular power to receive their "due punishment" has also been enacted.

Gregory IX definitely does not want to see the decline of The University of Paris since thousands of young men have flocked to meet and learned from the great teachers[12] in Paris which is soon filled with a clamouring multitude of people. The premise that he would like to see the flourishing of The University of Paris to become a factory for the production of God’s servants is highly defendable.

Gregory IX’s concept of a University

It has been well told that ‘University’ starts with a loose conglomerate of students who come together for the teaching one scholar, amateur or professional, who has something wise enough to tell. The chance is that other scholars having different stance and whose teaching are as wise will come also to that student crowd to offer alternative views on the subjects. [13]

The University of Paris of Gregory IX’s time has been becoming very institutionalised in the sense that some three schools, namely of Notre-Dame, Ste-Geneviève, and St-Victor, regarded as the triple cradle of the Universitas scholarium, have already existed. Small wonder that Gregory IX, in eulogizing the University of in The Statue in the beginning sentences, exclaims, "the University ofParis, mother of the sciences, is another Cariath-Sepher, city of letters". He compares it to a laboratory in which wisdom tested the metals which she found there, gold and silver to adorn the Spouse of Jesus Christ, iron to fashion the spiritual sword which should smite the inimical powers.

#themissinglink1decodingpopegregoryix #sstatuteof1231

The Missing Links: An Analysis on The Statutes of Gregory IX for the University of Paris 1231

The Statutes are well written and structured. They have been kept repetitive on important issues, re-iterating the importance of the contents in discussion.

They start with complementing the achievements of teachers and masters, flattering their ego and greeting them as brethrens in ‘apostolic benediction’. The purpose is to create a tone of brotherhood and maintain the superiority of piety over scholastic learning. With due diligence exercised for the benefit of the teachers and students, the Statutes acknowledges honestly Gregory IX’s apparent inability to prevent this random occurrence of 1229, Gregory IX goes on attributing that event to ‘the instigation of the devil’. However, Gregory IX maintains his fatherly-image with his exercise of authority in an enlightened spirit by pointing to his choice for ‘precautionary measures’ rather than ‘judicial sentence’ in handling the aftermath.

With a view to uphold the orthodox teaching of Church and to include the decision of both the bishop and teachers to select the colleagues, as well as to maintain its appointment of the services within the vicinity of these trusted men, the power of the secular Chancellor is much curtailed. The Statutes also define the right to teach. Two things namely, knowledge and appointment, are defined rigidly for the purpose. The ‘Knowledge’ is to be proved by examination, the appointment which previously came from the secular examiner, the "chancellor”, has to be appointed by the bishop at Paris, which will be ratified by two teachers, i.e., the Masters. [14]

Gregory points also to the requirement for the teacher, in the appointment of fellow teachers of the Nation too.[15] Gregory IX in so doing is handling international politics as well as some them are the offspring of the royalties or people of influence from other states who come together for common culture.[16]

The licence to teach had to be granted gratuitously. Without it no one could teach; on the other hand, it could not be refused when the applicant deserved it. The teachers’ recommendation will, under no circumstances, not to be reviewed to the other people by the Chancellor, thereby keeping the authority of appointment within the handpicked circle.[17]

The guarantees of the liberties of the students are self –explanatory,[18] which obviously are good enough for the teachers and students. Gregory IX can thus allow himself the chance of remedying the situation so that similar events such as that of the 1229 event will not happen again. And Gregory IX isstrengthening ecclesiastical jurisdiction[19] by limiting the jurisdiction of teachers and the students of The University of Paris within the Church. Through The Statutes, Gregory IX, then, is also handles the practicalities of the teachers and students in areas of accommodation and in extending he control beyond Theology and Canon Laws and to go to areas like Medicine and Arts,[20] and he extending his control over the delivery and substance of the secular knowledge’s.

Gregory IX dictates the students shall read Priscian ‘grammar’ and ‘one book after the other in regular course’. He, once again, minimizes the chance of the growing tendency of subjecting theology to philosophy by making the truth of the mysteries of faith dependent on philosophical proofs. He encourages professionalism in the knowledge the teachers are good and to ‘exercise themselves laudable in the branch which they profess’. The teaching of Theology and Canon Law is still in the hands of the Church and his servants, as the Masters ‘shall not show themselves philosophers’[21]but strive to become ‘God’s learned’. These teachers are to dispute the questions that they can teach what the theological books say, and no more.

All those explain why he takes great pains to revive the teaching of the University of Paris, and takes the matter in hand addressing through The Statutes to the masters and scholars of Paris after the failure of his commissioning of Bishops of Le Mans and Senlis and the Archdeacon of Châlons to negotiate with the French Court for the restoration of the university. [22]


It all started when I was studying in the university with professor MS Lam, and later on with in private with Performer/Guitarist Mr. Alex Chu, and was eventually playing for Hong Kong in the Yamaha Guitar Festival. This dream, nonetheless, was quite shattered during my 3-month crusader life in Europe upon my graduation. Why? Do this little imagination: I worked very hard on it only to find out that, despite my toils on the instrument, the ragged street performers in Madrid, Barcelona and Toledo, all played with such fire and fiery, which could well excceeded some of the best in me...........

That was in London, the last stop of the crusade, where I very much affirmed not to pursue the studies on the instrument further, but would consider taking up the guitar a good past-time: the Royal School guitar majors playing in the tube were as good as, if not even better than, the ragged players in Southern Europe!

I thought, and I still believe, that music and musicians really need the environment to thrive. I hoped I was loud enough to say this place at my time was not too conducive for intending musicians. But will that be applicable to professional tasters of wines at all? Will we ever become the top tasters of the world?

My dream as a professional classical guitars re-ignited though when I was employed as classical guitarist, playing partime evening, at a restaurant known as 'Beethoven' at Vieux Montreal, Quebec, during my brief stay for 3 years. I really am interested to pick it up again!


This is a consolidation of the tasting and papers

written from 2006 to 2013. These write-ups had been with the orginal site Wine and Beyond, Yahoo, until the service stopped by Yahoo in September 2013.


For years I have been working with wines, either buying it, selling it to wine companies, lecturing and writing about it, and, not unimportantly, enjoying it with friends. If any of the articles on this site are worth reading it is due to my teachers, my mentors, my peers and friends, my students, and in particularly my editors who ignite in me a desire to communicate in wines.


Clinging to the trellis of wine, I started to get more and more involved with estates and winemakers, by supporting them with consultancy in communication and marketing. The more I spend my time outside Hong Kong, the more I sense a desire to be part of the international wine family.


Writing about wine represents a moment of reflection, curiosity, atitudes and a desire to analyse often hidden structures and history, in an effort to make the wealth of wine accessible to a targetted, and hopefully larger audience.


I am not sure if I can wine proivde more accessible to all through this blog. But I am sure to write in wine means being involved in wine and  to remain as impartial and objective as possible.


Kevin Tang.

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