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Scholasticism

(2,856 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. Terminology and Assessment Ever since the emergence of medieval studies in the 19th century, the noun Scholasticism has been used as a collective term for a particular kind of scholarly method, especially in medieval philosophy (II) and theology. The adjective scholastic, on which it is based, has a history going back to Aristotle ( Politica, Ethica Nicomachea). The focus of Greek σχολαστικός and Latin scholasticus on the realm of academic instruction (“related to schools,” “educated,” etc.), central to the modern use of scholasticism, had already taken place…

Canterbury

(535 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Seat of a bishopric in the county of Kent, England. Situated at an important road junction during the Roman period, Canterbury became the main settlement of the Cantiani in the first century ce and shows evidence of Christianization from the beginning of the 4th century. The conquest of Britain by the Anglo-Saxons dealt a severe blow to the development of the city. King Ethelbert made it the capital of the kingdom of Kent, while the Roman monk Augustine of Canterbury, a missionary dispatched by Pop…

Bonus, John

(101 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1168, Mantua? – 1249, Budriolo, Romagna). A layperson who led a life of penitence as a hermit beginning in 1209 in the small village of Budriolo on the northern margins of the Apennines. He founded a hermit community named after him in 1217, at the earliest; it lived according to the Augustinian Rule (Augustine, rule of) and became an order active in pastoral care in northern Italy which was incorporated in 1256 into the order of the Augustinian Hermits. Ulrich Köpf Bibliography K. Elm, “Italienische Eremitengemeinschaften des 12. und 13. Jh.,” in idem, Vitasfratrum, 199…

Genoa

(297 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Genoa is the capital of the Liguria region and a major Italian port on the Gulf of Genoa, on the southern escarpment of the Ligurian Apennines (1998: 642,000 inhabitants). Settled since the 5th century bce by the Ligurians, then a Roman municipium, whose first Christian bishop is attested in 381 ce (it belonged to Milan until 1133, since then an archdiocese). Already a center of trade in the 6th century, the now wealthy Genoa came in the 11th century into competition with Pisa, emerging victorious, after a long struggle, in 1284.…

Alfonso X, the Wise

(158 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Nov 26, 1221, Toledo – Apr 4, 1284, Seville), king of Castile and Leon from 1252 to 1284. As the grandson of Philip of Swabia, he claimed the Hohenstaufen throne and embarked on an imperialistic policy embracing the entire Mediterranean region. His political ambitions came to nothing; he was more important as a lawgiver who sought to create a uniform code of law for Castile, historian (he wrote or directed the writing of a history of Spain, Estoria de España, and a universal history, Grande e general estoria), and promoter of astronomy, music, and poetry (427 Cantigas de S.…

Ludolf of Saxony

(180 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (c. 1300, northern Germany – Apr 10, 1378, Straßburg). Initially a Dominican, he was a Carthusian after c. 1340 (Straßburg, Coblenz [Prior], Mainz, Straßburg). His major work is the Vita Jesu Christi, a work based on the gospel harmony of Zacharias of Besançon (Chrysopolitanus, first half of the 12th cent.), early church authors and medieval, meditative and historicizing Jesus literature. It does not simply recount Jesus' life, but seeks, in individual sections (structured according to the scheme of lectio, meditatio and oratio and enriched by introductions an…

Angela of Foligno

(166 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1248/1249, Foligno – Jan 4, 1309, Foligno). Influenced by the Franciscans at an early age, as a wife and mother Angela experienced a conversion to a life of asceticism and charity during a pilgrimage to Assisi in 1285. In 1291, after her immediate family had died, she joined the Franciscan Third Order. She lived with a female companion; a Franciscan who was related to her served as her confessor. At times a loose circle of disciples (including Ubertino of Casale) gathered about the magistra theologorum. Her confessor translated her ve…

Peter Comestor

(237 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Petrus; Manducator; early 12th cent., Troyes – 1178/1179, Paris). After studies in Troyes (where he became dean of the cathedral in 1147 and a canon of the abbey of St. Loup), Tours, and Paris, in 1159 he succeeded his teacher Peter Lombard at the cathedral school in Paris. In 1168 he became chancellor of Notre-Dame. During his last years, he lived in the Augustinian abbey of St. Victor. From his time as a teacher, many works have survived, mostly never published in print: glosses (Glossa ordinaria) on the Gospels, a commentary on the Psalms and (the first) on the Sentences of…

William of Hirsau

(260 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1026, Bavaria – Jul 5, 1091, Hirsau), who was of noble birth, was entrusted by his parents as an oblate (I) to the Benedictine abbey of St. Emmeram in Regensburg, where he was taught by Otloh of St. Emmeram. While still in Regensburg, he wrote two works on the quadrivium in dialogue form: De astronomia and De musica. In 1069 he was called to Hirsau as abbot (consecrated in 1071). He initially reformed the abbey after the model of St. Emmeram, which had adopted the reforms of Gorze Abbey; after 1076, however, Hirsau came under the influ…

Doctores ecclesiae

(359 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (teachers of the church) is an honorific term first used by Bishop Licinianus of Cartagena toward the end of the 6th century (Gregory the Great, Ep. 1.41a). The canonization of theological authorities in Late Antiquity formed a circle of three liturgically venerated Doctores ecclesiae in the Eastern Church (Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzus, John Chrysostom) and of four in the West (first around 800: Ambrose of Milan, Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, Gregory I the Great). Boniface VIII first officially established ¶ the names of the four Latin egregii Doctores ecclesi…

Passion Piety

(1,597 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] is a form of Christian devotion centered on the passion and crucifixion of Jesus (Passion/Passion traditions). Commemoration of the end of Jesus’ life was always a living presence in the Christian community – despite the criticism of his manner of death by Jews and pagans (1 Cor 1:23), which in turn fostered the Christian interpretation of the cross (Cross/Crucifixion) as a trophy while also discouraging iconographic representation of the crucifixion until the early 5th century. E…

Lay Brothers

(426 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] ( conversi) are, in the narrower sense, members of a religious community who are not ordained. In the course of history, however, the name fratres laici or conversi has designated various groups of persons. In the early medieval period, conversi were monks who, in contrast to ( pueri) oblati (Oblates: I) who were consigned to a monastery already as children, entered the monastery only as adults. In addition to this so-called “older institution of conversi,” a “younger institution of conversi” arose in the 11th century. It included members of the monastic familia who wer…

Reformed Colleges in Germany

(481 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] One of the central demands of the Wittenberg and Swiss Reformation was thorough theological education of all future clergy. In Lutheran territories, Reformed theological faculties in ¶ the existing universities served this function, but initially in Reformed territories such institutions were largely lacking. Only three existing comprehensive universities intermittently offered Reformed instruction: Heidelberg from 1559 to 1578 and from 1583 to 1662, Marburg between 1605 and 1624 and again after 1653, Frank…

Middle Ages

(4,250 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] I. The Term – II. Assessment and Study – III. Definition – IV. Characteristics – V. Early, High, and Late Middle Ages I. The Term French moyen âge has been used for a historical period since 1572, English Middle Age(s) since 1611 and Middle Time(s) since 1612. The German word Mittelalter had already been used by the Swiss historian Aegidius Tschudi ( mittel alters) in 1538, but it did not reappear in this sense (in contrast to “middle age”) until 1786; at the beginning of the 19th century, it finally prevailed over the more common 18th-century expressions mittlere Zeit(e…

Alexander of Hales

(279 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (c. 1185, Hales, England – Aug 21, 1245, Paris). After studying the arts and theology, Alexander taught in the Parisian theological faculty from the early 1220s, but maintained close relations with home. In 1229, he moved with the striking Parisian professors and students to Angers and brought forward their demands to the Roman Curia in 1230/1231. When …

Waldo, Peter

(178 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Valdez; died c. 1205/1218). The scanty tradition concerning Waldo permits only a few safe statements about him. A baptismal name ( Petrus) is first mentioned in the second half of the 14th century. A prosperous citizen of Lyon, around 1176/1177 he appears to have been converted to an apostolic life by the legend of Alexius or biblical texts translated into the vernacular. Whether he was attracted primarily by the ideal of poverty or a desire to preach is disputed. After making provision for his wife …

Degrees, Academic

(1,180 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] Academic degrees came into existence in the context of medieval education. Even before universities were established, teachers were generally given the title Magister; while the usual title in the stronghold of legal studies at Bologna was Doctor, which also was often applied to the teachers of the Early Church ( Doctores ecclesiae ). At the universities, which arose c. 1200, the master's degree was the highest degree granted by all the faculties, with a distinction between someone who was merely qualified to teach and a Magister actu regens (a professor engaged in …

Mendicant Orders

(462 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] The mendicant orders are religious communities in the West in which not only do the individual members live without personal possessions, but the community itself also forgoes ownership of property and regular income (Poverty). They sustain themselves on what they get from simple work, contributions, and begging. The mendicant orders originated in the early 13th century in conjunction with the religious poverty movement: the Dominicans, a clerical order of priests engaged in preac…

Eudo of Stella

(96 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (Éon d'Étoile; died after 1148), possibly of noble birth, was a charismatic hermit and itinerant preacher of little education. After several years of preaching in Brittany and Gascony, where he attracted many followers, he was arraigned before the Council of Reims in 1148 and condemned to seclusion in the monastery of St. Denis in Paris. It is unclear what led him to assert that he was God's son, the future judge of the living and dead. Ulrich Köpf Bibliography J.C. Cassard, “Eon d'Étoile, ermite et hérésiarque breton,” MSHAB 57, 1980, 171–198.

Henry the Lion

(239 words)

Author(s): Köpf, Ulrich
[German Version] (1129/1130 – Aug 6, 1195, Braunschweig), duke of Saxony and Bavaria, son of the Guelph Henry X the Proud, and Gertrud, daughter of Emperor Lothar III, cousin of Frederick Barbarossa. His second marriage was with Mathilde, daughter of King Henry II of England. Henry the Lion was a ruler with great self-confidence and a pronounced drive toward power and possessions. Conquests in the Slavic northeast, territorial expansion, and the founding of dioceses (Oldenburg/Lübeck, Ratzeburg, S…
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