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Although the tone of the university, especially that of the students, was pronouncedly, even enthusiastically, humanistic, and although Erfurt led the movement in Germany, and in its theological tendencies was supposedly "modern", nevertheless "it nowise showed a depreciation of the currently prevailing [ Scholastic ] system" (ibid.).
The "house at Mansfeld rather repelled than attracted him" (Beard, "Martin Luther and the Germ.
Ref.", London, 1889, 146), and to "the question 'Why did Luther go into the monastery ?
In his fourteenth year (1497) he entered a school at Magdeburg, where, in the words of his first biographer, like many children "of honourable and well-to-do parents, he sang and begged for bread -- panem propter Deum " (Mathesius, op. In 1502 he received the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy, being the thirteenth among fifty-seven candidates.
On Epiphany (6 January, 1505), he was advanced to the master's degree, being second among seventeen applicants.
cit.), or Luther's assertion that he had "never seen a Bible until he was twenty years of age", or his still more emphatic declaration that when Carlstadt was promoted to the doctorate "he had as yet never seen a Bible and I alone in the Erfurt monastery read the Bible ", which, taken in their literal sense, are not only contrary to demonstrable facts, but have perpetuated misconception, bear the stamp of improbability written in such obtrusive characters on their face, that it is hard, on an honest assumption, to account for their longevity. Parenthetical mention must be made of the fact that the denunciation heaped on Luther's novice-master by Mathesius, Ratzeberger, and Jurgens, and copied with uncritical docility by their transcribers -- for subjecting him to the most abject menial duties and treating him with outrageous indignity -- rests on no evidence.
The Augustinian rule lays especial stress on the monition that the novice "read the Scripture assiduously, hear it devoutly, and learn it fervently" (Constitutiones Ordinis Fratr. These writers are "evidently led by hearsay, and follow the legendary stories that have been spun about the person of the reformer" (Oerger, , 80). A strange oversight, running through three centuries, placed the date of his ordination and first Mass on the same day, 2 May, an impossible coincidence.
His schooling at Mansfeld, whither his parents had returned, was uneventful.
He attended a Latin school, in which the Ten Commandments, "Child's Belief", the Lord's Prayer, the Latin grammar of Donatus were taught, and which he learned quickly. At eighteen (1501) he entered the University of Erfurt, with a view to studying jurisprudence at the request of his father.
In the opinion of many of his biographers, it was an expression of uncontrolled rage, an evident congenital inheritance transmitted to his oldest son, that compelled him to flee from Mohra, the family seat, to escape the penalty or odium of homicide.