Order of Preachers, Part 1
Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)
Pierre Mandonnet, O.P., S.T.D.,
Rector, University of Fribourg.
The Article from "The Catholic Encyclopedia", (1913), V. XII, pp. 354-370, is written by one of the great Dominican historians. It presents a remarkable summary of the order as seen from the scholarship available at the turn of the century. The historical source notes are still useful in identifying primary sources. Although in the encyclopedia the notes are woven into the text, we have taken the liberty to separate the notes to facilitate reading the summary itself. Links from the footnote numbers will open a distinct file containing all the footnotes. The initial outline too, is drawn from the text of the encyclopedia article. Owing to its length, the article has been divided into two files.
I. LEGISLATION AND NATURE.
A. Formation of the Legislative Texts.
B. Nature of the Order of Preachers.
(1) Its Object.
(2) Its Organization.
(3) Forms of its Activity.
(4) Nature of the Order of the Dominican Sisters.
(5) The Third Order.
II. THE HISTORY OF THE ORDER
A. The Friars Preachers.
(1) The Middle Ages.
(a) Development and Statistics.
(c) Modification of the Statute.
(d) Preaching and Teaching.
(e) Academic Organization.
(f) Literary and Scientific Productions.
(i) Works on the Bible.
(ii) Philosophical works.
(iii) Theological works.
PART TWO: Contained in the file ce2.htm
(iv) Apologetic works.
(v) Educational literature.
(vi) Canon law.
(vii) Historical writings.
(viii) Miscellaneous works.
(x) Humanistic works.
(g) The Preachers and Art.
(h) The Preachers and the Roman Church.
(i) The Friars Preachers and the Secular Clergy.
(j) The Preachers and Civil Society.
(k) The Preachers and the Faithful.
(l) The Preachers and the Foreign Mission.
(m) The Preachers and Sanctity.
(2) Modern Period.
(a) Geographical Distribution and Statistics.
(b) Administration of the Order.
(c) Scholastic Organization.
(d) Doctrinal Activity.
(e) Scientific productions.
(f) The Preachers and Christian Society.
(g) The Preachers and the Missions.
(h) Dominican Saints and Blessed.
(3) Contemporaneous Period.
B. The Second Order. Dominican Sisters.
C. The Third Order.
As the Order of the Friars Preachers is the principal part of the entire Order of St. Dominic, we shall include under this title the two other parts of the order: the Dominican Sisters (Second Order) and the Brothers of Penitence of St. Dominie (Third Order). First, we shall study the legislation of the three divisions of the order, and the nature of each. Secondly, we shall give an historical survey of the three branches of the order.
I. LEGISLATION AND NATURE.--
In its formation and development, the Dominican legislation as a whole is closely bound up with historical facts relative to the origin and progress of the order. Hence some reference to these is necessary, the more so as this matter has not been sufficiently studied. For each of the three groups, constituting the ensemble of the Order of St. Dominic, we shall examine: A. Formation of the Legislative Texts; B. Nature of the Order, resulting from legislation.
A. Formation of the Legislative Texts. --
In regard to their legislation the first two orders are closely connected, and must be treated together. The preaching of St. Dominic and his first companions in Languedoc led up to the pontifical letters of Innocent III, 17 Nov., 1205. #1 They created for the first time in the Church of the Middle Ages the type of apostolic preachers, patterned upon the teaching of the Gospel. In the same year, Dominie founded the Monastery of Prouille, in the Diocese of Toulouse, for the women whom he had converted from heresy, and he, made this establishment the centre of union of his missions and of his apostolic works.#2 St. Dominic gave to the new monastery the Rule of St. Augustine and also the special Institutions which regulated the life of the Sisters, and of the Brothers who lived near them, for the spiritual and temporal administration of the community.#3 On 17 Dec., 1219, Honorius III, with a view to a general reform among the religious of the Eternal City, granted the monastery of the Sisters of St. Sixtus of Rome to St. Dominic, and the Institutions of Prouille were given to that monastery under the title of Institutions of the Sisters of St. Sixtus of Rome. With this designation they were granted subsequently to other monasteries and congregations of religious. It is also under this form that we possess the primitive Institutions of Prouille, in the editions already mentioned. St. Dominic and his companions, having received from Innocent III authorization to choose a rule, with a view to the approbation of their order, adopted in 1216, that of St. Augustine, and added thereto the "Consuetudines" which regulated the ascetic and canonical life of the religious. These were borrowed in great part from the Constitutions of Prémontré, but with some essential features, adapted to the purposes of the new Preachers who also renounced private possession of property, but retained the revenues. The "Consuetudines" formed the first part (prima distinctio) of the primitive Constitutions of the order.#4 The order was solemnly approved, 22 Dec., 1216. A first letter, in the style of those granted for the foundation of regular canons, gave the order canonical existence; a second determined the special vocation of the Order of Preachers as vowed to teaching and defending the truths of faith. "Nos attendentes fratres Ordinis tui futuros pugiles fidei et vera mundi lumina confirmamus Ordinem tuum". #5. (Expecting the brethren of your order to be the champions of the Faith and true lights of the world, we confirm your order.)
On 15 Aug., 1217 St. Dominic sent out his companions from Prouille. They went through France, Spain, and Italy, and established as principal centres, Toulouse, Paris, Madrid, Rome, and Bologna. Dominic, by constant journeyings, kept watch over these new establishments, and went to Rome to confer with the Sovereign Pontiff. #6 In May, 1220, St. Dominic held at Bologna the first general chapter of the order. This assembly drew up the Constitutions, which are complementary to the "Consuetudines" of 1216 and form the second part (secunda distinctio). They regulated the organization and life of the order, and are the essential and original basis of the Dominican legislation. In this chapter, the Preachers also gave up certain elements of the canonical life; they relinquished all possessions and revenues, and adopted the practice of strict poverty; they rejected the title of abbey for the convents, and substituted the rochet of canons for the monastic scapular. The regime of annual general chapters was established as the regulative power of the order, and the source of legislative authority. #7 Now that the legislation of the Friars Preachers was fully established, the Rule of the Sisters of St. Sixtus was found to be very incomplete. The order, however, supplied what was wanting by compiling a few years after, the Statuta, which borrowed from the Constitutions of the Friars, whatever might be useful in a monastery of Sisters. We owe the preservation of these Statuta, as well as the Rule of St. Sixtus, to the fact that this legislation was applied in 1232 to the Penitent Sisters of St. Mary Magdalen in Germany, who observed it without further modification. The Statuta are edited im Duellius, "Misc.", bk. I, 182. After the legislative work of the general chapters had been added to the Constitution of 1216-20, without changing the general ordinance of the primitive text, the necessity was felt, a quarter of a century later, of giving a more logical distribution to the legislation in its entirety. The great canonist Raymond of Penaforte, on becoming master general of the order, devoted himself to this work. The general chapters, from 1239 to 1241, accepted the new text, and gave it the force of law. In this form it has remained to the present time as the official text, with some modification, however, in the way of suppressions and especially of additions due to later enactments of the general chapters. #8
The reorganization of the Constitutions of the Preachers called for a corresponding reform in the legislation of the Sisters. In his letter of 27 Aug., 1257, Alexander IV ordered Humbert of Romans, the fifth master general, to unify the Constitutions of the Sisters. Humbert remodelled them on the Constitutions of the Brothers, and put them into effect at the General Chapter of Valenciennes, 1259. The Sisters were henceforth characterized as Sorores Ordinis Prdicatorum. #9 To this legislation, the provincials of Germany, who had a large number of religious convents under their care, added certain admonitiones by way of completing and definitely settling the Constitutions of the Sisters. They seem to be the work of Herman of Minden, Provincial of Teutonia (1286-90). He drew up at first a concise admonition #10; then other series of admonitions, more important, which have not been edited #11. The legislation of the Friars Preachers is the firmest and most complete among the systems of law by which institutions of this sort were ruled in the thirteenth century. Hauck is correct in saying: "We do not deceive ourselves in considering the organization of the Dominican Order as the most perfect of all the monastic organizations produced by the Middle Ages". #12 It is not then surprising that the majority of the religious orders of the thirteenth century should have followed quite closely the Dominican legislation, which exerted an influence even upon institutions very dissimilar in aim and nature. The Church considered it the typical rule for new foundations. Alexander IV thought of making the legislation of the Order of Preachers into a special rule known as that of St. Dominic, and for that purpose commissioned the Dominican cardinal, Hugh of St. Cher (3 Feb., 1255), but the project encountered many obstacles, and nothing came of it. #13
B. Nature of the Order of Preachers.
(1) Its Object. --
The canonical title of "Order of Preachers", given to the work of St. Dominic by the Church, is in itself significant, but it indicates only the dominant feature. The Constitutions are more explicit: "Our order was instituted principally for preaching and for the salvation of souls." The end or aim of the order then is the salvation of souls, especially by means of preaching. For the attainment of this purpose, the order must labour with the utmost zeal -- "Our main efforts should be put forth, earnestly and ardently, in doing good to the souls of our fellow-men."
(2) Its Organization. --
The aim of the order and the conditions of its environment determined the form of its organization. The first organic group is the convent, which may not be founded with less than twelve religious. At first only large convents were allowed and these were located in important cities #14, hence the saying:
Bernardus valles, montes Benedictus amabat,
Oppida Franciscus, celebres Dominicus urbes.
(Bernard loved the valleys, Benediet the mountains, Francis the towns, Dominic the populous cities).
The foundation and the existence of the convent required a prior as governor, and a doctor as teacher. The Constitution prescribes the dimensions of the church and the convent buildings, and these should be quite plain. But in the course of the thirteenth century the order erected large edifices, real works of art. The convent possesses nothing and lives on alms. Outside of the choral office (the Preachers at first had the title of canonici) their time is wholly employed in study. The doctor gives lectures in theology, at which all the religious, even the prior, must be present, and which are open to secular clerics. The religious vow themselves to preaching, both within and without the convent walls. The "general preachers" have the most extended powers. At the beginning of the order, the convent was called praedicatio, or sancta praedicatio. The convents divided up the territory in which they were established, and sent out on preaching tours religious who remained for a longer or shorter time in the principal places of their respective districts. The Preachers did not take the vow of stability, but could be sent from one locality to another. Each convent received novices, these, according to the Constitutions, must be at least eighteen years of age, but this rule was not strictly observed. The Preachers were the first among religious orders to suppress manual labour, the necessary work of the interior of the house being relegated to lay brothers called conversi whose number was limited according to the needs of each convent. The prior was elected by the religious and the doctor was appointed by the provincial chapter. The chapter, when it saw fit, relieved them from office.
The grouping of a certain number of convents forms the province, which is administered by a provincial prior, elected by the prior and two delegates from each convent. He is confirmed by the general chapter, or by the master general, who can also remove him when it is found expedient. He enjoys in his province the same authority as the master general in the order; he confirms the election of conventual priors, visits the province, sees to it that the Constitutions and the ordinances are observed and presides at the provincial chapters. The provincial chapter, which is held annually, discusses the interests of the province. It is composed of a provincial prior, priors from the convents, a delegate from each convent, and the general preachers. The capitulants (members of the chapter), choose from among themselves, four counsellors or assistants, who, with the provincial, regulate the affairs brought before the chapter. The chapter appoints those who are to visit annually each part of the province. The provinces taken together constitute the order, which has at its head a master general, elected by the provincial priors and by two delegates from each province. For a long time his position was for life; Pius VII (1804), reduced it to six years, and Pius IX (1862) fixed it at twelve years. At first the master general had no permanent residence; since the end of the fourteenth century, he has lived usually at Rome. He visits the order, holds it to the observance of the laws, and corrects abuses. In 1509, he was granted two associates (socii); in 1752, four; in 1910, five. The general chapter is the supreme authority within the order. From 1370, it was held every two years; from 1553, every three years, from 1625, every six years. In the eighteenth and at the beginning of the nineteenth century, chapters were rarely held. At present they take place every three years. From 1228, for two years in succession, the general chapter was composed of definitors or delegates from the provinces, each province sending one delegate; the following year it was held by the provincial priors. The chapter promulgates new constitutions, but to become law they must be accepted by three constitutive chapters. The chapter deals with all the general concerns of the order, whether administrative or disciplinary. It corrects the master general, and in certain eases can depose him. From 1220 to 1244, the chapters were held alternately at Bologna and Paris; subsequently, they passed round to all the principal cities of Europe. The generalissimo chapter acknowledged by the Constitution and composed of two definitors from each province, also of provincials, i. e. equivalent to three consecutive general chapters, was held only in 1228 and 1236. The characteristic feature of government is the elective system which prevails throughout the order. "Such was the simple mechanism which imparted to the Order of Friars Preachers a powerful and regular movement, and secured them for a long time a real preponderance in Church and in State". #15
(3) Forms of its Activity. --
The forms of life or activity of the Order of Preachers are many, but they are all duly subordinated. The order assimilated the ancient forms of the religious life, the monastic and the canonical, but it made them subservient to the clerical and the apostolic life which are its peculiar and essential aims. The Preachers adopted from the monastic life the three traditional vows of obedience, chastity, and poverty; to them they added the ascetic element known as monastic observances; perpetual abstinence, fasting from 14 Sept. until Easter and on all the Fridays throughout the year the exclusive use of wool for clothing and for the bed a hard bed, and a common dormitory, silence almost perpetual in their houses, public acknowledgment of faults in the chapter, a graded list of penitential practices, etc. The Preachers, however, did not take these observances directly from the monastic orders but from the regular canons, especially the reformed canons, who had already adopted monastic rules The Preachers received from the regular canons the choral Office for morning and evening, but chanted quickly. They added, on certain days, the Office of the Holy Virgin, and once a week the Office of the Dead. The habit of the Preachers, as of the regular canons, is a white tunic and a black cloak. The rochet, distinctive of the regular canons, was abandoned by the Preachers at the General Chapter of 1220, and replaced by the scapular. At the same time they gave up various canonical customs, which they had retained up to that period. They suppressed in their order the title of abbot for the head of the convent, and rejected all property, revenues, the carrying of money on their travels, and the use of horses. The title even of canon which they had borne from the beginning tended to disappear about the middle of the thirteenth century, and the General Chapters of 1240-1251 substituted the word clericus for canonicus in the article of the Constitutions relating to the admission of novices; nevertheless the designation, "canon" still occurs in some parts of the Constitutions. The Preachers, in fact, are primarily and essentially clerics. The pontifical letter of foundation said: "These are to be the champions of the Faith and the true lights of the world." This could apply only to clerics. The Preachers consequently made study their chief occupation, which was the essential means, with preaching and teaching as the end. The apostolic character of the order was the complement of its clerical character. The Friars had to vow themselves to the salvation of souls through the ministry of preaching and confession, under the conditions set down by the Gospel and by the example of the Apostles: ardent zeal, absolute poverty, and sanctity of life. #15
The ideal Dominican life was rich in the multiplicity and choice of its elements, and was thoroughly unified by its well-considered principles and enactments; but it was none the less complex, and it, full realization was difficult. The monastic-canonical element tended to dull and paralyze the intense activity demanded by a clerical-apostolic life. The legislators warded off the difficulty by a system of dispensations, quite peculiar to the order. At the head of the Constitutions the principle of dispensation appears jointly with the very definition of the order's purpose, and is placed before the text of the laws to show that it controls and tempers their application. "The superior in each convent shall have authority to grant dispensations whenever he may deem it expedient, especially in regard to what may hinder study, or preaching, or the profit of souls since our order was originally established for the work of preaching and the salvation of souls", etc. The system of dispensation thus broadly understood while it favoured the most active element of the order, displaced, but did not wholly eliminate, the difficulty. It created a sort of dualism in the interior life, and permitted an arbitrariness that might easily disquiet the conscience of the religious and of the superiors. The order warded off this new difficulty by declaring in the generalissimo chapter of 1236, that the Constitutions did not oblige under pain of sin, but under pain of doing penance. #16 This measure, however, was not heartily welcomed by everyone in the order #17, nevertheless it stood.
This dualism produced on one side, remarkable apostles and doctors, on the other, stern ascetics and great mystics. At all events the interior troubles of the order grew out of the difficulty of maintaining the nice equilibrium which the first legislators established, and which was preserved to a remarkable degree during the first century of the order's existence. The logic of things and historical circumstances frequently disturbed this equilibrium. The learned and active members tended to exempt themselves from monastic observance, or to moderate its strictness; the ascetic members insisted on the monastic life, and in pursuance of their aim, suppressed at different times the practice of dispensation, sanctioned as it was by the letter and the spirit of the Constitutions. #18
(4) Nature of the Order of the Dominican Sisters. --
We have indicated above the various steps by which the legislation of the Dominican Sisters was brought into conformity with the Constitutions of Humbert of Romans (1259). The primitive type of religious established at Prouille in 1205 by St. Dominic was not affected by successive legislation. The Dominican Sisters are strictly cloistered in their monasteries; they take the three religious vows, recite the canonical Hours im choir and engage in manual labor. The eruditio litterarum inscribed in the Institutions of St. Sixtus disappeared from the Constitutions drawn up by Humbert of Romans. The ascetic life of the Sisters is the same as that of the Friars. Each house is governed by a prioress, elected canonically, and assisted by a sub-prioress, a mistress of novices, and various other officers. The monasteries have the right to hold property in common; they must be provided with an income sufficient for the existence of the community; they are independent and are under the jurisdiction of the provincial prior, the master general, and of the general chapter. A subsequent paragraph will deal with the various phases of the question as to the relation existing between the Sisters and the Order of Preachers. Whilst the Institutions of St. Sixtus provided a group of brothers, priests, and lay servants for the spiritual and temporal administration of the monastery, the Constitutions of Humbert of Romans were silent on these points. (See the legislative texts relating to the Sisters mentioned above.)
(5) The Third Order. --
St. Dominic did not write a rule for the Tertiaries, for reasons which are given further on in the historical sketch of the Third Order. However, a large body of the laity, vowed to piety, grouped themselves about the rising Order of Preachers, and constituted, to all intents and purposes, a Third Order. In view of this fact and of some circumstances to be noted later on, the seventh master general of the order, Munio de Zamora, wrote (1285) a rule for the Brothers and Sisters of Penitence of St. Dominic. The privilege granted the new fraternity 28 Jan., 1286, by Honorius IV, gave it a canonical existence. #19 The rule of Munio was not entirely original; some points being borrowed from the Rule of the Brothers of Penitence, whose origin dates back to St. Francis of Assisi; but it was distinctive on all essential points. It is in a sense more thoroughly ecclesiastical; the Brothers and Sisters are grouped in different fraternities; their government is immediately subject to ecclesiastical authority; and the various fraternities do not form a collective whole, with legislative chapters, as was the case among the Brothers of Penitence of St. Francis. The Dominican fraternities are local and without any bond of union other than that of the Preaching Brothers who govern them. Some characteristics of these fraternities may be gathered from the Rule of Munio de Zamora. The Brothers and Sisters, as true children of St. Dominic, should be, above all things, truly zealous for the Catholic Faith. Their habit is a white tunic, with black cloak and hood, and a leathern girdle. After making profession, they cannot return to the world, but may enter other authorized religious orders. They recited a certain number of Paters and Aves, for the canonical Hours; receive communion at least four times a year, and must show great respect to the ecclesiastical hierarchy. They fast during Advent, Lent, and on all the Fridays during the year, and eat meat only three days in the week, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. They are allowed to carry arms only in defense of the Christian Faith. They visit sick members of the community, give them assistance if necessary, attend the burial of Brothers or Sisters and aid them with their prayers. The head or spiritual director is a priest of the Order of Preachers, whom the Tertiaries select and propose to the master general or to the provincial; he may act on their petition or appoint some other religious. The director and the older members of the fraternity choose the prior or prioress, from among the Brothers and Sisters, and their office continues until they are relieved. The Brothers and the Sisters have, on different days, a monthly reunion in the church of the Preachers, when they attend Mass, listen to an instruction, and to an explanation of the rule. The prior and the director can grant dispensations; the rule, like the Constitutions of the Preachers, does not oblige under pain of sin. #20
II. HISTORY OF THE ORDER. --
A. The Friars Preachers. --
Their history may be divided into three periods: (1) The Middle Ages (from their foundation to the beginning of the sixteenth century); (2) The Modern Period up to the French Revolution; (3) The Contemporaneous Period. In each of these periods we shall examine the work of the order in its various departments.
(1) The Middle Ages. --
The thirteenth century is the classic age of the order, the witness to its brilliant development and intense activity. This last is manifested especially in the work of teaching. By preaching it reached all classes of Christian society, fought heresy, schism, paganism, by word and book, and by its missions to the north of Europe, to Africa, and Asia, passed beyond the frontiers of Christendom. Its schools spread throughout the entire Church its doctors wrote monumental works in all branches of knowledge and two among them, Albertus Magnus, and especially Thomas Aquinas, founded a school of philosophy and theology which was to rule the ages to come in the life of the Church. An enormous
number of its members held offices in Church and State -- as popes, cardinals, bishops, legates, inquisitors, confessors of princes, ambassadors, and paciarii (enforcers of the peace decreed by popes or councils). The Order of Preachers, which should have remained a select body, developed beyond bounds and absorbed some elements unfitted to its form of life. A period of relaxation ensued during the fourteenth century owing to the general decline of Christian society. The weakening of doctrinal activity favoured the development here and there of the ascetic and contemplative life and there sprang up, especially in Germany and Italy, an intense and exuberant mysticism with which the names of Master Eckhart, Suso, Tauler, St. Catherine of Siena are associated. This movement was the prelude to the reforms undertaken, at the end of the century, by Raymond of Capua, and continued in the following century. It assumed remarkable proportions in the congregations of Lombardy and of Holland, and in the reforms of Savonarola at Florence. At the same time the order found itself face to face with the Renaissance. It struggled against pagan tendencies in Humanism, in Italy through Dominici and Savonarola, in Germany through the theologians of Cologne but it also furnished Humanism with such advanced writers as Francis Colonna (Poliphile) and Matthew Brandello. Its members, in great numbers, took part im the artistic activity of the age, the most prominent being Fra Angelico and Fra Bartolomeo.
(a) Development and Statistics. --
When St. Dominic, in 1216, asked for the official recognition of his order, the first Preachers numbered only sixteen. At the general Chapter of Bologna, 1221, the year of St. Dominic's death, the order already counted some sixty establishments, and was divided into eight provinces: Spain, Provence, France, Lombardy, Rome, Teutonia, England, and Hungary. The Chapter of 1228 added four new provinces: the Holy Land, Greece, Poland, and Dacia (Denmark and Scandinavia). Sicily was separated from Rome (1294), Aragon from Spain (1301). In 1303 Lombardy was divided into Upper and Lower Lombardy; Provence into Toulouse and Provence; Saxony was separated from Teutonia, and Bohemia from Poland, thus forming eighteen provinces. The order, which in 1277 counted 404 convents of Brothers, in 1303 numbered nearly 600. The development of the order reached its height during the Middle Ages; new houses were established during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but in relatively small numbers As to the number of religious only approximate statements can be given. In 1256, according to the concession of suffrages granted by Humbert of Romans to St. Louis, the order numbered about 5000 priests; the clerks and lay brothers could not have been less than 2000. Thus towards the middle of the thirteenth century it must have had about 7000 members. #21 According to Sebastien de Olmeda, the Preachers, as shown by the census taken under Benedict XII, were close on to 12,000 in 1337. #22 This number was not surpassed at the close of the Middle Ages; the Great Plague of 1348, and the general state of Europe preventing a notable increase, The reform movement begun in 1390 by Raymond of Capua established the principle of a twofold arrangement in the order. For a long time it is true, the reformed convents were not separate from their respective provinces; but with the foundation of the congregation of Lombardy, in 1459, a new order of things began. The congregations were more or less self-governing, and, according as they developed, overlapped several provinces and even several nations. There were established successively the congregations of Portugal (1460), Holland (1464), Aragon, and Spain (1468), St. Mark in Florence (1493), France (1497), the Gallican (1514). About the same time some new provinces were also established: Scotland (1481), Ireland (1484), Bétique or Andalusia (1514), Lower Germany (1515). #23
(b) Administration. --
The Preachers possessed a number of able administrators among their masters general during the Middle Ages, especially in the thirteenth century. St. Dominic, the creator of the institution (1206-1221), showed a keen intelligence of the needs of the age. He executed his plans with sureness of insight, firmness of resolution, and tenacity of purpose. Jordan of Saxony (1222-1237) sensitive, eloquent, and endowed with rare powers of persuasion, attracted numerous and valuable recruits. St. Raymond of Penaforte (1238-1240), the greatest canonist of the age, ruled the order only long enough to reorganize its legislation. John the Teuton (1241-1252), bishop and linguist, who was associated with the greatest personalities of his time pushed the order forward along the line of development outlined by its founder. Humbert of Romans (1254-1263), a genius of the practical sort, a broad-minded and moderate man, raised the order to the height of its glory, and wrote manifold works, setting forth what, in his eyes, the Preachers and Christian society ought to be. John of Vercelli (1264-1283), an energetic and prudent man, during his long government maintained the order in all its vigor. The successors of these illustrious masters did their utmost in the discharge of their duty, and in meeting the situations which the state of the Church and of society from the close of the thirteenth century rendered more and more difficult. Some of them did no more than hold their high office, while others had not the genius of the masters general of the golden age. #24 The general chapters which wielded supreme power were the great regulators of the Dominican life during the Middle Ages. They are usually remarkable for their spirit of decision, and the firmness with which they ruled. They appeared even imbued with a severe character which, taking no account of persons, bore witness to the importance they attached to the maintenance of discipline. #25
(c) Modification of the Statute. --
We have already spoken of the chief exception to be taken to the Constitution of the order, the difficulty of maintaining an even balance between the monastic and canonical observances and the clerical and apostolical life. The primitive régime of poverty, which left the convents without an assured income, created also a permanent difficulty. Time and the modifications of the state of Christian society exposed these weak points. Already the General Chapters of 1240-1242 forbade the changing of the general statutes of the order, a measure which would indicate at least a hidden tendency towards modification. #27 Nothing came of the project, and the question was broached again about 1270. #28 It was during the pontificate of Benedict XII, (1334-1342), who undertook a general reform of the religious orders, that the Preachers were on the point of undergoing serious modifications in the secondary elements of their primitive statute. Benedict, desiring to give the order greater efficiency, sought to impose a régime of property-holding as necessary to its security and to reduce the number of its members (12,000) by eliminating the unfit etc.; in a word, to lead the order back to its primitive concept of a select apostolic and teaching body. The order, ruled at that time by Hugh de Vansseman (1333-41), resisted with all its strength (1337-40). This was a mistake. #29 As the situation grew worse, the order was obliged to petition Sixtus IV for the right to hold property, and this was granted 1 June, 1475. Thence forward the convents could acquire property, and perpetual rentals. #30 This was one of the causes which quickened the vitality of the order in the sixteenth century.
The reform projects of Benedict XII having failed, the master general, Raymond of Capua (1390) sought to restore the monastic observances which had fallen into decline. He ordered the establishment in each province of a convent of strict observance, hoping that as such houses became more numerous, the reform would eventually permeate the entire province. This was not usually the case. These houses of the observance formed a confederation among themselves under the jurisdiction of a special vicar. However, they did not cease to belong to their original province in certain respects, and this, naturally gave rise to numerous conflicts of government. During the fifteenth century, several groups made up congregations, more or less autonomous; these we have named above in giving the statistics of the order. The scheme of reform proposed by Raymond and adopted by nearly all who subsequently took up with his ideas, insisted on the observance of the Constitutions ad unguem, as Raymond, without further explanation, expressed it. By this, his followers, and, perhaps Raymond himself, understood the suppression of the rule of dispensation which governed the entire Dominican legislation. "In suppressing the power to grant and the right to accept dispensation, the reformers inverted the economy of the order, setting the part above the whole, and the means above the end". #31 The different reforms which originated within the order up to the nineteenth century, began usually with principles of asceticism, which exceeded the letter and the spirit of the original constitutions. This initial exaggeration was, under pressure of circumstances, toned down, and the reforms which endured, like that of the congregation of Lombardy, turned out to be the most effectual. Generally speaking, the reformed communities slackened the intense devotion to study prescribed by the Constitutions; they did not produce the great doctors of the order, and their literary activity was directed preferably to moral theology, history, subjects of piety, and asceticism. They gave to the fifteenth century many holy men. #32
(d) Preaching and Teaching. --
Independently of their official title of Order of Preachers, the Roman Church especially delegated the Preachers to the office of preaching. It is in fact the only order of the Middle Ages which the popes declared to be specially charged with this office. #33 Conformably to its mission, the order displayed an enormous activity. The "Vitæ Fratrum" (1260) (Lives of the Brothers) informs us that many of the brothers refused food until they had first announced the Word of God. #34 In his circular letter (1260), the Master General Humbert of Romans, in view of what had been accomplished by his religious, could well make the statement: "We teach the people, we teach the prelates, we teach the wise and the unwise, religious and seculars, clerics and laymen, nobles and peasants, lowly and great." #35 Rightly, too, it has been said: "Science on one hand, numbers on the other, placed them [the Preachers] ahead of their competitors in the thirteenth century." #36 The order maintained this supremacy during the entire Middle Ages. #37 During the thirteenth century, the Preachers in addition to their regular apostolate, worked especially to lead back to the Church heretics and renegade Catholics. An eyewitness of their labours (1233) reckons the number of their converts in Lombardy at more than 100,000. #38 This movement grew rapidly, and the witnesses could scarcely believe their eyes, as Humbert of Romans (1255) informs us. #39 At the beginning of the fourteenth century, a celebrated pulpit orator, Giordano da Rivalto, declared that, owing to the activity of the order, heresy had almost entirely disappeared from the Church. #40
The Friars Preachers were especially authorized by the Roman Church to preach crusades, against the Saracens in favour of the Holy Land, against Livonia and Prussia, and against Frederick II, and his successors. #41 This preaching assumed such importance that Humbert of Romans composed for the purpose a treatise entitled, "Tractatus de prædicatione contra Saracenos infideles et paganos" (Tract on the preaching of the Cross against the Saracens, infidels and pagans). #42 In certain provinces, particularly in Germany and Italy, the Dominican preaching took on a peculiar quality, due to the influence of the spiritual direction which the religious of these provinces gave to the numerous convents of women confided to their care. It was a mystical preaching; the specimens which have survived are in the vernacular, and are marked by simplicity and strength. #43 Among these preachers may be mentioned: St. Dominic, the founder and model of preachers (d. 1221); Jordan of Saxony (d. 1237); #44 Giovanni di Vincenza, whose popular eloquence stirred Northern Italy during the year 1233 -- called the Age of the Alleluia; #45 Giordano da Rivalto, the foremost pulpit orator in Tuscany at the beginning of the fourteenth century; #46 Johann Eckhart of Hochheim (d. 1327), the celebrated theorist of the mystical life; #47 Henri Suso (d. 1366), the poetical lover of Divine wisdom; #48 Johann Tauler (d. 1361), the eloquent moralist; #49 Venturino la Bergamo (d. 1345), the fiery popular agitator; #50 Jacopo Passavanti (d. 1357), the noted author of the "Mirror of Penitence"; #51 Giovanni Dominici (d. 1419), the beloved orator of the Florentines; #52 Alain de la Rochei (d. 1475), the Apostle of the Rosary; #53 Savonarola (d. 1498), one of the most powerful orators of all times. #54
(e) Academic Organization. --
The first order instituted by the Church with an academic mission was the Preachers. The decree of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) requiring the appointment of a master of theology for each cathedral school had not been effectual. The Roman Church and St. Dominic met the needs of the situation by creating a religious order vowed to the teaching of the sacred sciences. To attain their purpose, the Preachers from 1220 laid down as a fundamental principle, that no convent of their order could be founded without a doctor. #55 From their first foundation, the bishops, likewise, welcomed them with expressions like those of the Bishop of Metz (22 April, 1221): "Cohabitatio ipsorum non tantum laicis in praedicationibus, sed et clericis in sacris lectionibus esset plurimum profutura, exemplo Domini Papæ, qui eis Romæ domum contulit, et multorum archiepiscoporum ac episcoporum" etc. #56 (Association with them would be of great value not only to laymen by their preaching, but also to the clergy by their lectures on sacred science, as it was to the Lord Pope who gave them their house at Rome, and to many archbishops and bishops.) This is the reason why the second master general, Jordan of Saxony, defined the vocation of the order: "honeste vivere, discere et docere", i. e. upright living, learning and teaching; #57 and one of his successors, John the Teuton, declared that he was "ex ordine Praedicatorum, quorum proprium esset docendi munus". #58 (Of the Order of Preachers whose proper function was to teach.) In pursuit of this aim the Preachers established a very complete and thoroughly organized scholastic system, which has caused a writer of our own times to say that "Dominic was the first minister of public instruction in modern Europe". #59
The general basis of teaching was the conventual school. It was attended by the religious of the convent, and by clerics from the outside; the teaching was public. The school was directed by a doctor, called later, though not in all cases, rector. His principal subject was the text of Holy Scripture, which he interpreted, and in connection with which he treated theological questions. The "Sentences" of Peter Lombard, the "History" of Peter Comestor, the "Sum" of cases of conscience, were also, but secondarily, used as texts. In the large convents, which were not called studia generalia, but were in the language of the times studia solemnia, the teaching staff was more complete. There was a second master or sub-rector, or a bachelor, whose duty it was to lecture on the Bible and the "Sentences". This organization somewhat resembled that of the studia generalia. The head master held public disputations every fortnight. Each convent possessed a magister studentium, charged with the superintendence of the students, and usually an assistant teacher. These masters were appointed by the provincial chapters, and the visitors were obliged to report each year to the chapter on the condition of academic work. Above the conventual schools were the studia generalia. The first studium generale which the order possessed was that of the Convent of St. Jacques at Paris. In 1229 they obtained a chair incorporated with the university and another in 1231. Thus the Preachers were the first religious order that took part in teaching at the University of Paris, and the only one possessing two schools. In the thirteenth century the order did not recognize any mastership of theology other than that received at Paris. Usually the masters did not teach for any length of time. After receiving their degrees, they were assigned to different schools of the order throughout the world. The schools of St. Jacques at Paris were the principal scholastic centres of the Preachers during the Middle Ages.
In 1248 the development of the order led to the erection of four new studia generalia -- at Oxford, Cologne, Montpellier, and Bologna. When at the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth century several provinces of the order were divided, other studia were established at Naples, Florence, Genoa, Toulouse, Barcelona, and Salamanca. The studium generale was conducted by a master or regent, and two bachelors who taught under his direction. The master taught the text of the Holy Scriptures with commentaries. The works of Albert the Great and St. Thomas Aquinas show us the nature of these lessons. Every fifteen days the master held a debate upon a theme chosen by himself. To this class of exercises belong the "Quæstiones Disputatæ" of St. Thomas, while his "Quaestiones Quodlibeticae" represent extraordinary disputations which took place twice a year during Advent and Lent and whose subject was proposed by the auditors. One of the bachelors read and commentated the Book of Sentences. The commentaries of Albert and Thomas Aquinas on the Lombard are the fruit of their two-year baccalaureate course as sententiarii. The biblicus lectured on the Scriptures for one year before becoming a sententiarius. He did not commentate, but read and interpreted the glosses which preceding ages had added to the Scriptures for better understanding of the text. The professors of the studia generalia were appointed by the general chapters, or by the master general, delegated for the purpose. Those who were to teach at Paris were taken indiscriminately from the different provinces of the order.
The conventual schools taught only the sacred sciences, i. e. Holy Scripture and theology. At the beginning of the thirteenth century neither priest nor religious studied or taught the profane sciences As it could not set itself against this general status the order provided in its constitutions, that the master general, or the general chapter, might allow certain religious to take up the study of the liberal arts Thus, at first, the study of the arts, i. e. of philosophy was entirely individual. As numerous masters of arts entered the order during the early years, especially at Paris and Bologna, it was easy to make a stand against this private teaching. However, the development of the order and the rapid intellectual progress of the thirteenth century soon caused the organization -- for the use of religious only -- of regular schools for the study of the liberal arts. Towards the middle of the century the provinces established in one or more of their convents the study of logic; and about 1260 the studia naturalium, i.e. courses in natural science. The General Chapter of 1315 commended the masters of the students to lecture on the moral sciences to all the religious of their convents; i. e. on the ethics, politics, and economics of Aristotle. From the beginning of the fourteenth century we find also some religious who gave special courses in philosophy to secular students. In the fifteenth century the Preachers occupied in several universities chairs of philosophy, especially of metaphysics. Coming in contact as it did with barbaric peoples -- principally with the Greeks and Arabs -- the order was compelled from the outset to take up the study of foreign languages. The Chapter Generalissimo of 1236 ordered that in all convents and in all the provinces the religious should learn the languages of the neighbouring countries. The following year Brother Phillippe, Provincial of the Holy Land, wrote to Gregory IX that his religious had preached to the people in the different languages of the Orient, especially in Arabic, the most popular tongue, and that the study of languages had been added to their conventual course. The province of Greece furnished several Hellenists whose works we shall mention later. The province of Spain, whose population was a mixture of Jews and Arabs, opened special schools for the study of languages. About the middle of the thirteenth century it also established a studium arabicum at Tunis; in 1259 one at Barcelona; between 1265 and 1270 one at Murcia; in 1281 one at Valencia. The same province also established some schools for the study of Hebrew at Barcelona in 1281, and at Jativa in 1291. Finally, the General Chapters of 1310 commanded the master general to establish, in several provinces, schools for the study of Hebrew, Greek, and Arabic, to which each province of the order should send at least one student. In view of this fact a Protestant historian, Molmier, in writing of the Friars Preachers, remarks: "They were not content with professing in their convents all the divisions of science, as it was then understood; they added an entire order of studies which no other Christian schools of the time seem to have taught, and in which they had no other rivals than the rabbis of Languedoc and Spain". #60
This scholastic activity extended to other fields, particularly to the universities which were established throughout Europe from the beginning of the thirteenth century; the Preachers took a prominent part in university life. Those universities, like Paris, Toulouse etc., which from the beginning had chairs of theology, incorporated the Dominican conventual school which was patterned on the schools of the studia generalia. When a university was established as in a city -- as was usually the case -- after the foundation of a Dominican convent which always possessed a chair of theology, the pontifical letters granting the establishment of the university made no mention whatever of a faculty of theology. The latter was considered as already existing by reason of the Dominican school and others of the mendicant orders, who followed the example of the Preachers. For a time in the Dominican theological schools were simply in juxtaposition to the universities, which had no faculty of theology. When these universities petitioned the Holy See for a faculty of theology, and their petition was granted, they usually incorporated the Dominican school, which thus became a part of the theological faculty. This transformation began towards the close of the fourteenth and lasted until the first years of the sixteenth century. Once established, this state of things lasted until the Reformation in the countries which became Protestant, and until the French Revolution and its spread in the Latin countries.
The archbishops, who according to the decree of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) were to establish each metropolitan church a master of theology, considered themselves dispensed from this obligation by reason of the creation of Dominican schools open to the secular clergy. However, when they thought it their duty to apply the decree of the council, or when later they were obliged by the Roman Church to do so, they frequently called in a Dominican master to fill the chair of their metropolitan school. Thus the metropolitan school of Lyons was entrusted to the Preachers, from their establishment in that city until the beginning of the sixteenth century. #61 The same arrangement, though not so permanent, was made at Toulouse, Bordeaux, Tortosa, Valencia, Urgel, Milan etc. The popes, who believed themselves morally obligated to set an example regarding the execution of the scholastic decree of the Lateran Council, usually contented themselves during the thirteenth century with the establishment of schools at Rome by the Dominicans and other religious orders. The Dominican masters who taught at Rome or in other cities where the sovereign pontiffs took up their residence, were known as lectores curiae. However, when the popes, once settled at Avignon, began to require from the archbishops the execution of the decree of Lateran, they instituted a theological school in their own papal palace; the initiative was taken by Clement V (1305-1314). At the request of the Dominican, Cardinal Nicolas Alberti de Prato (d. 1321), this work was permanently entrusted to a Preacher, bearing the name of Magister Sacri Palatii. The first to hold the position was Pierre Godin, who later became cardinal (1312). The office of Master of the Sacred Palace, whose functions were successively increased, remains to the present day the special privilege of the Order of Preachers. #62
Finally, when towards the middle of the thirteenth century the old monastic orders began to take up the scholastic and doctrinal movement, the Cistercians, in particular, applied to the Preachers for masters of theology in their abbeys. #63 During the last portion of the Middle Ages, the Dominicans furnished, at intervals, professors to the different orders, not themselves consecrated to study. #64
The teaching activity of the order and its scholastic organization placed the Preachers in the forefront of the intellectual life of the Middle Ages. They were the pioneers in all directions as one may see from a subsequent paragraph relative to their literary productions. We speak only of the school of philosophy and of theology created by them in the thirteenth century which has been the most influential in the history of the Church. At the beginning of the thirteenth century philosophical teaching was confined practically to the logic of Aristotle and theology, and was under the influence of St. Augustine; hence the name Augustinism generally given to the theological doctrines of that age. The first Dominican doctors, who came from the universities into the order, or who taught in the universities, adhered for a long time to the Augustinian doctrine. Among the most celebrated were Roland of Cremona, Hugh of Saint Cher, Richard Fitzacre, Moneta of Cremona, Peter of Tarentaise, and Robert of Kilwardby. It was the introduction into the Latin world of the great works of Aristotle, and their assimilation, through the action of Albertus Magnus, that opened up in the Order of Preachers a new line of philosophical and theological investigation. The work begun by Albertus Magnus (1240-1250) was carried to completion by his disciple, Thomas Aquinas (q. v.), whose teaching activity occupied the last twenty years of his life (1245-1274). The system of theology and philosophy constructed by Aquinas is the most complete, the most original, and the most profound, which Christian thought has elaborated, and the master who designed it surpasses all his contemporaries and his successors in the grandeur of his creative genius. The Thomist School developed rapidly both within the order and without. The fourteenth and fifteenth centuries witnessed the struggles of the Thomist School on various points of doctrine. The Council of Vienne (1311) declared in favour of the Thomistic teaching, according to which there is but one form in the human composition, and condemned as heretical any one who should deny that "the rational or intellective soul is per se and essentially the form of the human body". This is also the teaching of the Fifth Lateran Council (1515). See Zigliara, "De Mente Concilii Viennensis", Rome, 1878, pp. 88-89.
The discussions between the Preachers and the Friars on the poverty of Christ and the Apostles was also settled by John XXII in the Thomistic sense (12 Nov., 1323). #65 The question regarding the Divinity of the Blood of Christ separated from His Body during His Passion, raised for the first time in 1351, at Barcelona, and taken up again in Italy in 1463, was the subject of a formal debate before Pius II. The Dominican opinion prevailed; although the pope refused a sentence properly so called. #66 During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Thomist School had to make a stand against Nominalism, of which a Preacher had been one of the protagonists. The repeated sentences of the universities and of princes slowly combatted this doctrine. #67
The Averroism against which Albert the Great and especially Aquinas had fought so energetically did not disappear entirely with the condemnation of Paris (1277), but survived under a more or less attenuated form. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the debates were renewed, and the Preachers found themselves actively engaged therein in Italy where the Averroist doctrine had reappeared. The General of the Dominicans, Thomas de Vio (Cajetan) had published his commentaries on the "De Anima" of Aristotle (Florence, 1509), in which, abandoning the position of St. Thomas, he contended that Aristotle had not taught the individual immortality of the soul, but affirming at the same time that this doctrine was philosophically erroneous. The Council of Lateran, by its Decree, 19 Dec., 1513, not only condemned the Averroistic teaching, but exacted still further that professors of philosophy should answer the opposing arguments advanced by philosophers -- a measure which Cajetan did not approve. #68 Pietro Pomponazzi, having published at Bologna (1516) his treatise on the immortality of the soul in the Averroistic sense, while making an open profession of faith in the Christian doctrine, raised numerous polemics, and was held as a suspect. Chrysostom Javelli, regent of theology at the Convent of St. Dominic, in agreement with the ecclesiastical authority, and at the request of Pomponazzi, sought to extricate him from this difficulty by drawing up a short theological exposé of the question which was to be added in the future to the work of Pomponazzi. But this discussion did not cease all at once. Several Dominicans entered the lists. Girolamo de Fornariis subjected to examination the polemic of Pomponazzi with Augustin Nifi (Bologna, 1519); Bartolommeo de Spina attacked Cajetan on one article, and Pomponazzi in two others (Venice, 1519); Isidore of Isolanis also wrote on the immortality of the soul (Milan, 1520); Lucas Bettini took up the same theme, and Pico della Mirandola published his treatise (Bologna, 1523); finally Chrysostom Javelli himself, in 1523, composed a treatise on immortality in which he refuted the point of view of Cajetan and of Pomponazzi. #69 Cajetan, becoming cardinal, not only held his position regarding the idea of Aristotle, but further declared that the immortality of the soul was an article of faith, for which philosophy could offer only probable reasons. #70
(f) Literary and Scientific Productions. --
During the Middle Ages the order had an enormous literary output, its activity extending to all spheres. The works of its writers are epoch-making in the various branches of human knowledge.
(i) Works on the Bible. --
The study and teaching of the Bible were foremost among the occupations of the Preachers, and their studies included everything pertaining to it. They first undertook correctories (correctoria) of the Vulgate text (1230-36), under the direction of Hugh of Saint Cher, professor at the University of Paris. The collation with the Hebrew text was accomplished under the sub-prior of St-Jacques, Theobald of Sexania, a converted Jew. Two other correctories were made prior to 1267, the first called the correctory of Sens. Again under the direction of Hugh of Saint Cher the Preachers made the first concordances of the Bible which were called the Concordances of St. Jacques or Great Concordances because of their development. The English Dominicans of Oxford, apparently under the direction of John of Darlington, made more simplified concordances in the third quarter of the thirteenth century. At the beginning of the fourteenth century a German Dominican, Conrad of Halberstadt simplified the English concordances still more; and John Fojkowich of Ragusa, at the time of the Council of Basle, caused the insertion in the concordances of elements which had not hitherto been incorporated in them. The Dominicans, moreover, composed numerous commentaries on the books of the Bible. That of Hugh of Saint Cher was the first complete commentary on the Scriptures. #71 The commentaries of Bl. Albertus Magnus and especially those of St. Thomas Aquinas are still famous. With St. Thomas the interpretation of the text is more direct, simply literal, and theological. These great Scriptural commentaries represent theological teaching in the studia generalia. The lecturae on the text of Scripture, also composed to a large extent by Dominicans, represent scriptural teaching in the other studia of theology. St. Thomas undertook an "Expositio continua" of the four Gospels now called the "Catena aurea", composed of extracts from the Fathers with a view to its use by clerics. At the beginning of the fourteenth century Nicholas of Trevet did the same for all the books of the Bible. The Preachers were also engaged in translating the Bible into the vernacular. In all probability they were the translators of the French Parisian Bible during the first half of the thirteenth century, and in the fourteenth century they took a very active share in the translation of the celebrated Bible of King John. The name of a Catalonian Dominican, Romeu of Sabruguera, is attached to the first translation of the Scriptures into Catalonian. The names of Preachers are also connected with the Valencian and Castilian translations, and still more with the Italian. #72 The first pre-Lutheran German translation of the Bible, except the Psalms, is due to John Rellach, shortly after the middle of the fifteenth century. Finally the Bible was translated from Latin into Armenian about 1330 by B. Bartolommeo Parvi of Bologna, missionary and bishop in Armenia. These works enabled Vercellone to write: " To the Dominican Order belongs the glory of having first renewed in the Church the illustrious example of Origen and St. Augustine by the ardent cultivation of sacred criticism". #73
(ii) Philosophical works. --
The most celebrated philosophical works of the thirteenth century were those of Albertus Magnus and St. Thomas Aquinas. The former compiled on the model of Aristotle a vast scientific encyclopedia which exercised great influence on the last centuries of the Middle Ages. #74 Thomas Aquinas, apart from special treatises and numerous philosophical sections in his other works, commentated in whole or in part thirteen of Aristotle's treatises, these being the most important of the Stagyrite's works. #75 Robert of Kilwardby (d. 1279) a holder of the old Augustinian direction, produced numerous philosophical writings. His "De ortu et divisione philosophiae" is regarded as "the most important introduction to Philosophy of the Middle Ages". #76 At the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth century, Dietrich of Vriberg left an important philosophical and scientific work. #77 At the end of the thirteenth and the beginning of the fourteenth century the Dominicans composed numerous philosophical treatises, many of them bearing on the special points whereon the Thomistic School was attacked by its adversaries. #78
(iii) Theological works. --
In importance and number theological works occupy the foreground in the literary activity of the order. Most of the theologians composed commentaries on the "Sentences" of Peter Lombard, which was the classical text in theological schools. Besides the "Sentences" the usual work of bachelors in the Universities included Disputationes and Quodlibeta, which were always the writings of masters. The theological summae set forth the theological matter according to a more complete and well-ordered plan than that of Peter Lombard and especially with solid philosophical principles in which the books of the "Sentences" were wanting. Manuals of theology and more especially manuals, or summae, on penance for the use of confessors were composed in great numbers. The oldest Dominican commentaries on the "Sentences" are those of Roland of Cremona, Hugh of Saint Cher, Richard Fitzacre, Robert of Kilwardby and Albertus Magnus. The series begins with the year 1230 if not earlier and the last are prior to the middle of the thirteenth century. #79 The "Summa" of St. Thomas (1265-75) is still the masterpiece of theology. The monumental work of Albertus Magnus is unfinished. The "Summa de bono" of Ulrich of Strasburg (d. 1277), a disciple of Albert is still unedited, but is of paramount interest to the historian of the thought of the thirteenth century. #80 The theological summa of St. Antoninus is highly esteemed by moralists and economists. #81 The "Compendium theologicæ veritatis" of Hugh Ripelin of Strasburg (d. 1268) is the most widespread and famous manual of the Middle Ages. #82 The chief manual of confessors is that of Paul of Hungary composed for the Brothers of St. Nicholas of Bologna (1220-21) and edited without mention of the author in the "Bibliotheca Casinensis" #83 and with false assignment of authorship by R. Duellius, "Miscellan. Lib." #84 The "Summa de Poenitentia" of Raymond of Pennafort, composed in 1235, was a classic during the Middle Ages and was one of the works of which the MSS. were most multiplied. The "Summa Confessorum" of John of Freiburg (d. 1314) is, according to F. von Schulte, the most perfect product of this class of literature. The Pisan Bartolommeo of San Concordio has left us a "Summa Casuum" composed in 1338, in which the matter is arranged m alphabetical order. It was very successful in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The manuals for confessors of John Nieder (d. 1438), St. Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence (d. 1459), and Girolamo Savonarola (d. 1498) were much esteemed in their time. #85
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