A class of thinkers whose chief object was to introduce a new religion of humanity and art. They were the advocates of the ideal, in opposition to the real, seeking to resolve religion into poetry, and morality into aesthetics. Rousseau was the first author to set forth the romantic view of life with any degree of consistency and decisiveness. He found two disciples in Germany, Lavater (1741-1801) and Pestalozzi (1746-1826), and at about the same time (1724-1804) Kant lent his influence to this school. The principle of the Romanticists was life, and they represented ideas lyrically, as they ring in the raptures or agonies of the human heart. They represented the passions picturesquely, as they may burn in an individual character belonging to a certain age, race, stage of life, etc. The decay of this school was a simple consequence of its artistic principle. Life is not the highest principle of art; the highest principle is truth. When this was seen, the question arose, What is truth? The Romanticists attempted a double answer, but failed in both. In Germany they said, Truth is only a symbol, and the highest symbols mankind possess are a Roman Catholic Church and the absolute monarchy. They despised the Reformation on esthetic grounds as unromantic. Hence followed political reaction, conversion to Romanism, extravagances, insanity, and suicide. In England they said, There is no truth outside of the individual; take away all those abstract generalities which enslave the individuality, and the unbound Prometheus will show himself the truth. The result was disgust at life, despair at all. This branch of the Romantic school soon withered. In Germany the favorite philosopher of the Romanticists was Schelling, and their favorite divine Schleiermacher. The book which most fitly represents their school in England is the Sartor Resartus of Carlyle.
Romanus, the name of a number of saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
1. ROMANUS THAUMATURGUS, said to have lived at Antioch in the 5th century, to have led a very abstemious life in a cave — partaking of only bread, salt, and water, and never kindling a fire — and to have wrought many wonders. His day is Feb. 9.
2. An archbishop of Rheims (530), a reputed relative of pope Vigilius, said to have been at first a monk and to have built a monastery in the neighborhood of Troyes, which was confirmed by Clodowig I. His death took place in 533 or 534. His anniversary is Feb. 28.
3. An abbot of the convent of Jaux, in Burgundy, who is said to have been born near the end of the 4th century and to have been consecrated priest by Hilary, the bishop of Aries. It is related that he retired into solitude at the age of thirty-five; that he introduced the hermit life into France, built cells and convents, and healed the sick through prayer and the kiss. He died in 460, and his day is also Feb. 28.
4. ALBERT and DOMITIAN, said to have been martyred at Rome. Their alleged remains were exhumed in Rome in 1659 and placed in the Jesuit church at Antwerp. They are commemorated March 14.
5. A monk in the diocese of Auxerre and Sens in the 6th century. who was divinely instructed to go from devastated Italy to France, and there built monasteries, converted many people to a monastic life, and wrought miracles. His relics are preserved at Sens. His day is May 22.
6. An archbishop of Rouen (622) said to belong to the royal family of France, of whom the legend relates that when a monster which devoured man and beast ravaged the city of Rouen, he provided a criminal who was awaiting death with the symbol of the cross and commanded him to remove the monster. The result was that the monster followed like a tame animal, and was burned. Romanus is said to have died in 639, and is commemorated on the reported date of his death, Oct. 23, and also on May 30.
7. A martyr, alleged to have been baptized by St. Laurent and to have been beheaded under Decius, A.D. 255. Commemorated Aug. 9.
8. A deacon of Caesarea, martyred under Diocletian, to whom Nov. 18 is assigned.
9. A reputed priest of Bordeaux whose death is fixed in 318, of whom the legend states that many wonders were wrought through his prayers, particularly that of rescuing shipwrecked persons. His day is Nov. 24.
See Ausfuhrl. Heiligen-Lex., with Calendar (Cologne and Frankf. 1719), p. 1928 sq.; Les Vies d. Saints, etc. (Par. 1734), 1, 243; 2, 101.