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Page 44

CHAPTER II
TWELFTH AND THIRTEENTH CENTURIES - THE NORMAN-ENGLISH PERIOD

the crusades. The first made it possible for a man to obtain an education even if he had no desire to become a priest. The second threw open the treasures of the world. Thousands set out on these expeditions to rescue the tomb of Christ from the power of the unbelievers. Those who returned brought with them a wealth of new ideas. They had seen new countries and new manners. They had learned to think new thoughts.
The opening of the universities made it possible for chronicles to be written, not only by monks in the monasteries, but by men who lived in the midst of the events that they described. Chronicles were no longer mere annals ; they became full of detail, vivid, interesting.
Devotional books. The religious energy of the Normans and the untiring zeal of the preacherj strengthened the English interest in religious matters. The sacred motive of the crusades intensified it, and books of devotion appeared, not in Latin, like the chronicles, but in simple, every-day English. One of the best known of these was the Ormnulum, a book which gives ametrical paraphrase of the Gospels as used in the church service, each portion followed by a metrical sermon, or commentary. Its author kept a sturdy hold upon his future fame in his couplet,

Thiss boc iss nemmnedd Orrmulum
Forrthi thatt Orm itt worhhte.

He was equally determined that his lines should be pronounced properly, and so after every short vowel he doubled the consonant. He even gave advance orders to whoever should copy his work :

travel books:
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