The Cursor Mundi had turned religious history into something not very different from a romance of chivalry, and in the stories of Handlyng Synne the influence of the fabliaux is not far to seek.
Archbishop Trench (Study of Words) supposed that when " religion " became equivalent to the monastic life, and " religious " to a monk, the words lost their original meaning, but the Ancren Riwle, ante 1225, and the Cursor Mundi use the words both in the general and the more particular sense (see quotations in the New English Dictionary), and both meanings can be found in the Imitatio Christi and in Erasmus's Colloquia.
Papirius Cursor in 272, in early times wrongly identified with the altar in the circus.
In English literature the phrase is found as far back as the Cursor Mundi (1300) and the Ayenbite of Inwit (1340).
LUCIUS PAPIRIUS CURSOR, Roman general, five times consul and twice dictator.
The latter had engaged the enemy against the orders of Cursor, by whom he was condemned to death, and only the intercession of his father, the senate and the people, saved his life.
Cursor treated his soldiers with such harshness that they allowed themselves to be defeated; but after he had regained their good-will by more lenient treatment and lavish promises of booty, they fought with enthusiasm and gained a complete victory.
After the disaster of the Caudine Forks, Cursor to some extent wiped out the disgrace by compelling Luceria (which had revolted) to surrender.
In 309, when the Samnites again rose, Cursor was appointed dictator for the second time, and gained a decisive victory at Longula, in honour of which he celebrated a magnificent triumph.
He was surnamed Cursor from his swiftness of foot.
Cursor Mundi >>