This has been misunderstood in many ways - the mistake going so far as in some cases to suppose that Voltaire meant Christ by this opprobrious expression.
They spent their energy in attacking Plato and Aristotle, and hence earned the opprobrious epithet of Eristic. They used their dialectic subtlety to disprove the possibility of motion and decay; unity is the negation of change, increase and decrease, birth and death.
They repaid him with the opprobrious nickname of " Sheemas-a-Cacagh," or dirty James.
They struck upon the unfortunate and opprobrious term "middle ages" for that which stood between them and their classic ideals.