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AXIOMATIC WISDOM: BOETHIUS DE HEBDOMADIBUS

AND THE LIBER DE CAUSIS IN LATE-MEDIEVAL ALBERTISM

In a famous passage of The Theology of Plato, Proclus states that there is an


essential correspondence between the discourse of metaphysics and its object.1
According to this conception, the order of principles and philosophical demon-
strations should constitute an image (eikon) of the hierarchy of causes that
generates and governs the cosmos. In this view, theological science takes its
starting point from first propositions, also defined as common notions (koinai
ennoiai), which have a superior degree of evidence and simplicity and from
which the complex totality of conclusions derives through a tight causal con-
catenation. According to Proclus, an adequate example of this axiomatic-
deductive method is provided by the mathematical and geometric disciplines. It
is not by accident that in his commentary on the first book of the Elements of
Euclid, Proclus reflects in detail on the articulation and rules of a knowledge
that is built on theorems.2 Proclus Elements of Theology, the title of which is

*The research presented in this article was conducted at the Medieval Institute of the Uni-
versity of Notre Dame as a SIEPM-Notre Dame Fellow during the spring term of 2013. I
would like to thank Prof. Kent Emery, Jr., for having generously encouraged and supported
my project on the history of late-medieval Albertism.
1
PROCLUS, The Theology of Plato I c.10, trans. T. TAYLOR, London 1816, reprt. Frome
(Somerset) 1995, 75: Besides, we may evince the truth of what we assert from the very
method of the demonstrations. For the first of the conclusions become immediately manifest
from the least, most simple, most known, and as it were common conceptions. But those
which are next in order to these, become apparent through a greater multitude of concep-
tions, and such as are more various. And the last conclusions are entirely the most compo-
site. For he always uses the first conclusions, as subservient to the demonstration of those
that follow, and presents us with an intellectual paradigm of the order observed in geometry,
or other disciplines, in the connexion of these conclusions with each other. If, therefore,
discourses bring with them an image of the things of which they are interpreters, and if, as
are the evolutions from demonstrations, such must the order necessarily be of the things
exhibited, it appears to me to be necessary, that such things as derive their beginning from
the most simple principles, must be in every respect of a more primary nature, and must be
arranged as conjoined with The One; but that such as are always multiplied, and suspended
from various demonstrations, must have proceeded farther from the subsistence of The
One. For the standard edition of the Greek text with a French translation, see PROCLUS,
Thologie platonicienne I c.10, ed. H.D. SAFFREY et L.G. WESTERINK (Collection des uni-
versits de France), Paris 1968, 45-46.
2
PROCLUS, A Commentary on the First Book of Euclids Elements, trans. with Introduc-
tion and Notes by G.R. MORROW, Princeton 1970, 59: We call elements those theorems
whose understanding leads to the knowledge of the rest and by which the difficulties in them
are resolved. As in written language there are certain primal elements, simple and indivisi-
Bulletin de philosophie mdivale 55 (2013), 71-131. DOI: 10.1484/J.BPM.1.103899
2014, Brepols Publishers, n.v. All rights reserved.
72 Mario Meliad

inspired by Euclid, represents the most elaborate attempt to apply an axiomatic


model to first philosophy.3 Even though Proclus work lacks the rigor and ge-
ometric technicality there is, for instance, no distinction and preliminary
discussion of definitions, common notions and postulates the argumentative
procedure of the Elementatio, which is structured by an alternation of theorem
and commentary, evinces a profoundly systematic architecture designed to
imitate on a formal level the reality that it is meant to describe. Indeed, Proclus
theorematic method consists in a progressive unfolding of demonstrations
which are related in a descending order of dependence and causality and which
reflect the dynamics of the gradual emanation of the multiple from the One, as
well as the ordered structure of the cosmos.4
In the Posterior Analytics Aristotle had already established an episte-
mological paradigm apparently based on the method of mathematics but
valid for all scientific disciplines,5 according to which every demonstrative
science grounds its proper syllogisms on a constellation of fundamental
axioms.6 The idea that an epistemological assumption can determine the

ble, to which we give the name stoichea and out of which every word is constructed, and
every sentence, so also in geometry as a whole there are certain primary theorems that have
the rank of starting-points for the theorems that follows, being implicated in them all and
providing demonstrations form many conjunctions of qualities; and these we call elements.
The standard edition of the Greek text is PROCLI DIADOCHI in primum EUCLIDIS elemento-
rum librum commentarii, ed. G. FRIEDLEIN, (Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romano-
rum Teubneriana), Leipzig 1873 (reprt. Hildesheim 1967), 72-73. For Proclus conception
of mathematics and his methodological reflections, see I. MUELLER, Mathematics and
Philosophy in Proclus Commentary on Book I of Euclids Elements, in Proclus lecteur et
interprte des Anciens, d. J. PPIN et H-D. SAFFREY, Paris 1988, 305-18.
3
PROCLUS, The Elements of Theology, trans. with Introduction and Commentary by E.R.
DODDS, Oxford 1963. As is known, Proclus composed another text in a similar style, the
Elements of Physics; see , PROCLI DIADOCHI
LYCII Institutio physica, edita et intrepretatione germanica instructa, ed. A. RITZENFELD,
Leipzig 1912.
4
For Proclus the epistemological status of the theological principles is superior to that of
the axioms of mathematics. In his commentary on the first Book of Euclid, Proclus insists
several times on the subordination of the mathematical sciences to dialectic and on the
derivative relation of the mathematical premises from the principles of theology; see PROCLI
DIADOCHI in primum EUCLIDIS elementorum librum commentarii, ed. FRIEDLEIN 42-43. It
should be noted that the Elementatio theologica does not feature the three series of presup-
positions distinguished by Euclid; instead, Proclus deduces his entire treatment from a single
fundamental proposition, which, analogous to the One, precontains the whole system of the
theological science.
5
H.D.P. LEE, Geometrical Method and Aristotles Account of First Principles, in Clas-
sical Quarterly 29 (1935), 113-24.
6
Cf. ARISTOTLE, An. Post. I cc.2 and 10 (76a32-76b26).
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 73

literary form of philosophy, as well as the Platonic principle that posits an


essential and mimetic relation between the scientific discourse and its ob-
ject, however, seems alien to Aristotles thought. As Jean-Luc Solre has
shown, the use of the axiomatic method in ancient and medieval philosophy
can be traced to a decidedly neo-Platonic inspiration, and is closely linked
to the metaphysical problem regarding the derivation of reality from a First
Cause.7
The present study is dedicated to a segment of the history of the axio-
matic tradition in the late Middle Ages that has been neglected until now. It
focuses precisely on the didactic and doctrinal program of the Albertist
school of the early fifteenth century and investigates the reception of theo-
rematic sources in the teaching and disputing of the Faculty of Arts.

I. The Axiomatic Method in Medieval Philosophy


Before the translation of the Elementatio theologica, Latin philosophical
culture knew especially two works written according to a theorematic mod-
el: the De hebdomadibus by Boethius and the pseudo-Aristotelian Liber de
causis. As is well known, the third treatise of Boethius Opuscula sacra
organizes the exposition following the explicit model of mathematics (ut
in mathematica fieri solet) by listing a series of regulae before the solution
of a specific philosophical-theological problem (the goodness of substanc-
es).8 The whole argument is thus deduced from a group of nine axioms
(quibus cuncta quae sequuntur efficiam) which are assumed preliminarily
and, in accordance with the doctrine of the Posterior Analytics, are not
subject to demonstration. These axioms are said to be endowed with a spe-
cial epistemological status: they correspond to communes animi concep-
tiones, an expression that translates the koinai ennoiai referred to by Aristo-
tle as well as by Euclid and Proclus, and their truth is said to be founded on
the immediate and universal assent that they generate in the intellect

7
J.-L. SOLRE, Lordre axiomatique comme modle dcriture philosophique dans
lAntiquit et au Moyen ge, in Revue dhistoire et de sciences 56 (2003), 323-46. On the
axiomatic genre in the Middle Ages and its connection with the neo-Platonic tradition, see also
IDEM, Du commencement: axiomatique et rhtorique dans lAntiquit et au Moyen ge, in
Entrer en matire. Les prologues, d. J.-D. DUBOIS et B. ROUSSEL, Paris 1998, 307-36.
8
BOETHIUS, Quomodo substantiae in eo quod sint bonae sint cum non sint substantialia
bona, in IDEM, De consolatione philosophiae, Opuscula theologica, ed. C. MORESCHINI
(Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana), Mnchen-Leipzig 2000,
187.14-16: Ut igitur in mathematica fieri solet ceterisque etiam disciplinis, praeposui ter-
minos regulasque quibus cuncta quae sequuntur efficiam.
74 Mario Meliad

(quam quisque probat auditam).9 The Liber de causis in turn contributed


in a decisive manner to the diffusion of the expository form of the Elemen-
tatio, of which it constitutes an epitome composed in the Arabic language
and translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona in the course of the twelfth
century.10 Although it presents an apparently less systematic arrangement
with respect to its Greek source, the treatise develops its argument along an
ordered series of 31 (or 32) theorems correlated by a demonstration in which
every theorem exhibits a more or less explicit relationship of derivation from
those preceding it. The De hebdomadibus and Liber de causis draw on two
distinct variants of the axiomatic model,11 but methodologically both works
modify the Euclidean-Proclean model,12 and doctrinally both offer a specific
9
As is well known, Boethius distinguishes two types of conceptio communis: the first
type is shared by all men (omnium hominum), the second is evident only to the learned
(doctorum tantum); IDEM, Ibid., 187.16-25.
10
For the Latin text of the Liber de causis, I refer to A. PATTIN, Le Liber de causis. dition
tablie laide de 90 manuscrits avec introduction et notes, in Tijdschrift voor Filosofie 28
(1966), 90-203, hereafter cited with the number of the proposition and the lemma. Some cor-
rections of Pattins edition have been proposed by R. TAYLOR, Remarks on the Latin Text and
the Translation of the Kalam fi Mahd Al-Khair/Liber de causis, in Bulletin de philosophie
mdivale 31 (1989), 75-102. On the Liber, see the fundamental studies in C. DANCONA,
Recherches sur le Liber de Causis, Paris 1995. As regards the structure of the work and the
relationship with the Proclean source, see esp. EADEM, Le fonti e la struttura del Liber de
causis, in Medioevo. Rivista di storia della filosofia medievale 15 (1989), 1-38.
11
For a comparison between the two models of theorematic literature which highlights the
differences as well as their common origin, see in particular M. DREYER, Die literarische
Gattung der Theoremata als Residuum einer Wissenschaft more geometrico, in Philosophy
and Learning: Universities in the Middle Ages, ed. M.J.F.M. HOENEN, J.H.J. SCHNEIDER and
G. WIELAND (Education and Society in the Middle Ages and Renaissance 6), Leiden-New
York-Kln 1995, 122-35. For an interpretation which emphasizes the contrast between the
deductive variant of the Elementatio and the Liber, on the one hand, and the mathematical-
Euclidean variant of the De hebdomadibus on the other, see H. SCHLING, Die Geschichte
der axiomatischen Methode im 16. und beginnenden 17. Jahrhundert (Studien und Materia-
lien zur Geschichte der Philosophie 13), Hildesheim 1969. Although he focuses on the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Schling attempts to reconstruct a history of the axio-
matic method in Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
12
A passage of Albert the Greats paraphrase of the Liber de causis indicates how the
treatise was perceived in the Middle Ages as a theorematic work in continuity with the
Euclidean tradition; ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De causis et processu universitatis a causa prima
II.1.1, ed. W. FAUSER, in ALBERTI MAGNI Opera omnia [= Ed. Col.] 17, Mnster i.W. 1993,
59.11-18: David Iudaeus... per modum theorematum ordinans ea quorum commentum
ipsemet adhibuit, sicut et Euclides in Geometricis fecisse videtur. Sicut enim in Euclidis
commento probatur theorema quodcumque ponitur, ita et David commentum adhibuit, quod
nihil aliud est nisi theorematis propositi probatio. Concerning the Euclidean-Proclean inspi-
ration of the methodological structure of the De hebdomadibus, see A. GALONNIER, Axioma-
tique et thologie dans le De hebdomadibus de Boce, in Langages et Philosophie. Hom-
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 75

interpretation of the neo-Platonic theory of flux.


In general, the axiomatic method is somewhat rare in medieval philos-
ophy, and the most relevant examples seem to be connected with the recep-
tion, either independent or conjoined, of the two models described above.13
The methodological program of Boethius had a particular fortune in the
twelfth century.14 On the one hand, the flourishing commentary tradition on
De hebdomadibus testifies to an attentive reflection on the disciplinary
ideal presented concisely by Boethius in the prologue of his treatise;15 on
the other hand, one may see the application of the axiomatic method to
theology, albeit in different ways, in the Regulae caelestis iuris by Alain de
Lille and in the Ars fidei catholicae by Nicholas of Amiens.16 If one con-
siders the university culture of the following centuries, however, the axio-

mage Jean Jolivet, d. A. DE LIBERA, A. ELAMRANI-JAMAL et A. GALONNIER (tudes de


Philosophie Mdivale 74), Paris 1997, 311-30, and J.-L. SOLRE, Bien, cercles et hebdo-
mades: formes et raisonnement chez Boce et Proclus, in Boce ou la chane des savoirs.
Actes du colloque international de la fondation Sincer-Polignac, d. A. GALONNIER (Philo-
sophes Mdivaux 44), Louvain-Paris 2003, 55-110.
13
On the axiomatic method in the Middle Ages, with particular emphasis on the twelfth
century, and its origins in ancient thought, see M. DREYER, More mathematicorum. Rezepti-
on und Transformation der antiken Gestalten wissenschaftlichen Wissens im 12. Jahrhun-
dert (Beitrge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 47), Mnster
i.W. 1996. On the reception of the scientific model of the Liber de causis, see C.H. LOHR,
The Pseudo-Aristotelian Liber de causis and Latin Theories of Sciences in the Twelfth and
Thirteenth Centuries, in Pseudo-Aristotle in the Middle Ages: the Theology and Other
Texts, ed. J. KRAYE et al. (Warburg Institute Surveys and Texts 11), London 1986, 53-62.
14
In addition to the other studies by the same author that have been cited already, see M.
DREYER, Regularmethode und Axiomatik. Wissenschaftliche Methodik im Horizont der
artes-Tradition des 12. Jahrhunderts, in Scientia und ars im Hoch- und Sptmittelalter,
hrsg. v. I. CRAEMER-RUEGENBERG und A. SPEER (Miscellanea Mediaevalia 22.1), Berlin-
New York 1994, 145-57.
15
G.R. EVANS, More geometrico: The Place of the Axiomatic Method in the Twelfth-
Century Commentaries on Boethius opuscula sacra, in Archives internationales dhistoire
des sciences 27 (1977), 207-21. For a survey of the commentary tradition on De hebdo-
madibus, see G. SCHRIMPF, Die Axiomenschrift des Boethius (De hebdomadibus) als philo-
sophisches Lehrbuch des Mittelalters (Studien zur Problemgeschichte der antiken und mit-
telalterlichen Philosophie 2), Leiden 1966.
16
In addition to the studies cited above, see G.R. EVANS, Boethian and Euclidian Axio-
matic Method in the Theology of the Later Twelfth Century, in Archives internationales
dhistoire des sciences 30 (1980), 36-52. On the twofold model that inspired the Regulae by
Alain de Lille, see A. NIEDERBERGER, Zwischen De Hebdomadibus und Liber de causis:
Einige Bemerkungen zu Form und Argumentation der Regulae theologiae des Alanus ab
Insulis, in Convenit Selecta 5 (2000), 47-52. For Nicholas of Amiens, see M. DREYER,
Nikolaus von Amiens: Ars fidei catholicae Ein Beispielwerk axiomatischer Methode (Bei-
trge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 37), Mnster i.W. 1993.
76 Mario Meliad

matic-deductive genre occupies a marginal position, in a context in which


the disputed quaestio and the lectio constituted the dominant scientific par-
adigm. The university masters made use of the propositional form only
occasionally. Among the few significant works conceived according to this
expository model are the Theoremata de esse et essentia by Giles of Rome
and (the plan of) the Opus propositionum by Meister Eckhart.17
Medieval Latin authors seem to ascribe a certain unity to the axiomatic
tradition. This is notably the case in the wake of William of Moerbekes
translation of Proclus Elementatio. In the prologue of his commentary on
Proclus, Berthold of Moosburg explains the nature of the Proclean theo-
rems by using the definition of communis animi conceptio provided by
Boethius, and locates this discussion within the epistemological framework
laid down by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics; he cites Alain de Lille as
well in order to determine the theological specificity of the axioms in the
Elementatio.18 Moreover, he gives particular attention to the title of the

17
There are other examples of texts that are more or less reducible to a theorematic form.
Among those one may mention the Liber de intelligentiis or Memoriale rerum difficilium, the
Liber XXIV philosophorum and the Theoremata attributed to Duns Scotus. On a stylistic level
Giles of Romes Theoremata reveals the influence of the Liber de causis, which also proves to
be the first explicitly quoted source (followed by the Elementatio); AEGIDIUS ROMANUS, Theo-
remata de esse et essentia, ed. E. HOCEDEZ, Louvain 1930. On Giles and the axiomatic genre,
see J.-L. SOLRE, Noplatonisme et rhtorique: Gilles de Rome et la premire proposition du
De causis, in Noplatonisme et philosophie mdivale. Actes du Colloque international de
Corfou, 6-8 octobre 1995, d. L.G. BENAKIS (Rencontres de philosophie mdivale 6),
Turnhout 1997, 163-96. Finally, it is noteworthy that Giles uses the same literary form in the
Theoremata de corpore Christi. On Eckharts axiomatic project, see J.-L. SOLRE, Matre
Eckhart, Proclus et Boce: du statut des prologues dans laxiomatique noplatonicienne, in
Les prologues mdivaux. Actes du colloque international organis par lAcademia Belgica et
lEcole franaise de Rome avec le concours de la FIDEM, Rome, 26-28 mars 1998, d. J.
HAMESSE (FIDEM : Textes et tudes du moyen ge 15), Turnhout 2000, 535-71. On the influ-
ence of the Liber de causis on Eckharts thought, see M. MELIAD, Theologie und Noetik der
Erstursache: der Liber de causis als Quelle Meister Eckharts, in Documenti e studi sulla
tradizione filosofica medievale 24 (2013), 501-53.
18
According to Bertholds conception, Boethius axiomatic method is perfectly integrated
in the Proclean tradition; see BERTHOLDUS DE MOOSBURG, Expositio super Elementationem
theologicam PROCLI. Prologus. Propositiones 1-13, ed. M.R. PAGNONI-STURLESE et L.
STURLESE (Corpus Philosophorum Teutonicorum Medii Aevi 6.1), Hamburg 1984, 55.64-
67, 97-100: Aristoteles vero I Posteriorum dicit principium demonstrationis immediatam
propositionem.... Dignitas est maxima propositio, quam quilibet probat auditam.... Am-
plius et hoc sciendum est, quod omnes maximae cuiuscumque facultatis uno generali nomi-
ne comprehenditur, quod est communis animi conceptio et secundum Boethius De hebdo-
madibus est duplex, vel omnium vel doctorum tantum. Referring to Alain de Lille, Ber-
thold clarifies the excellence of the theological theorems with respect to those theorems that
provide the foundation for every other science; IDEM, Ibid., 47.349-50, 354-57: Sicut enim
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 77

work. Whereas the Liber de causis, Berthold clarifies, draws its name from
its subject-matter, Proclus work refers explicitly to the modus proceden-
di.19 The elements constitute the material (hylementa) and propositional
principle of the demonstrations, and the work derives its structure from the
co-ordination of theorems.20
As I said earlier, in the history of Scholasticism, the axiomatic method
represents a minor genre. This perception, however, requires some qualifica-
tion. In this study I shall show that the philosophical project of one major
late-medieval school, namely the Albertists, exhibited a significant recourse
to the theorematic tradition, precisely within the doctrinal and expository
model of metaphysical science. At the beginning of the fifteenth century the
Faculty of Arts at Paris was the scene of a rebirth of realism after a long
hegemony of the Nominalists. In this context, a group of Parisian masters,
first and foremost Johannes de Nova Domo (Jan van Nieuwenhuyze, 1418),
developed an interpretation of Aristotle and of the Peripatetic tradition in the
light of the teaching of Albert the Great and advocated an alternative pro-
gram to both Nominalism and Thomism. This school spread quickly to many
academic centers in Northern Europe, in particular to Cologne, and exercised
also its influence on thinkers who worked outside the university, such as
Nicholas of Cusa and Dionysius the Carthusian.
Our knowledge regarding the genesis and the characteristics of this mo-
vement is still incomplete, as will I shall show shortly. In what follows I pre-
sent the results of ongoing research on Albertist literature of the early fif-
teenth century, which aims at partially filling this lacuna. First, I shall recon-
struct the inventory of the Albertist writings on the basis of new manuscript
evidence that enables us to expand the known philosophical corpus beyond

omnis scientia suis utitur regulis, quibus innititur velut propriis fundamentis, ut dicit Alanus
in prologus De regulis theologiae... sic etiam ista philosophia omnium scientiarum excellen-
tissima seu divinissima et difficillima habet regulas obscuritate et subtilitate ceteris regulis
aliarum scientiarum praeeminentes, ut ibidem dicitur.
19
IDEM, Ibid., 48.401-7.
20
The significance of the elements and the formal structure of the Elementatio are ex-
plained on the basis of two etymological proposals. IDEM, Ibid., 45.285-86, 290-95: Ele-
menta quasi hylementa sive propositiones, ex quibus constat et integratur iste liber.... Et ideo
sicut grammatica pro materia sua habet litteras seu elementa, ex quibus tota integratur, et
Arithmetica Iordanis, et Geometria Euclidis et Perspectiva Peckam et quaedam aliae scien-
tiae habent hylementa propositiones, ita etiam iste liber habet elementa 211, quae sunt prin-
cipia demonstrationum istius philosophiae; IDEM, Ibid., 47.344-47: Forma enim proceden-
di in hoc libro est secundum coordinationem et disgregationem theorematum sive elemento-
rum, quasi elevamentorum vel elimentorum, quia elevant et elimant mentem, quae sunt
istius philosophiae divinissimae regulae, ex quibus vocatur elementatio.
78 Mario Meliad

the treatises of Johannes de Nova Domo. For this purpose, I will re-examine
the historical witnesses concerning the Parisian inception of Albertism (II);
then I shall focus on two anonymous commentaries, one on Boethius De
hebdomadibus and the other on the Liber de causis, and discuss the problems
associated with their authorship and transmission (III). From the analysis of
these commentaries and their close relation with the works of Johannes de
Nova Domo, I intend to show how the reception of Boethius De hebdoma-
dibus and of the Liber de causis decisively influenced the Albertist concep-
tion of metaphysics. To this end I will illustrate three fundamental aspects of
the use of these two axiomatic works: didactically, as sources that determined
the reorganization of the textual canon for purposes of teaching and commen-
tary (IV); doctrinally, as authoritative points of reference for elaborating the
schools characteristic theories (V); methodologically, as formal and literary
models for composing original treatises and commentaries (VI). In the final
section of the article (VII) I will provide an account of the manuscript dis-
semination of the two commentaries.

II. The Parisian Inception of Late-Medieval Albertism


and the Repertoire of Albertist Literature
Medieval documents report a significant presence of the Albertist school in
Paris in the first years of the fifteenth century.21 Among these, the famous
defensive work of the Parisian nominalists dating from 1474 relates how the
nominalists were expelled from Paris after the death of Louis I, Duke of Or-
lans, in 1407, and how quidam albertistae supplanted them in the universi-
ty.22 The written record offers a concrete characterization of the group that

21
For an overall reconstruction of the origins of late-medieval Albertism, see the indis-
pensable study by Z. KAUZA, Les dbuts de lAlbertisme tardif (Paris et Cologne), in
Albertus Magnus und der Albertismus. Deutsche philosophische Kultur des Mittelalters,
hrsg. v. M.J.F.M. HOENEN und A. DE LIBERA (Studien und Texte zur Geistesgeschichte des
Mittelalters 48), Leiden-New York-Kln 1995, 207-95; for the documents regarding the
inception of the Parisian school, see esp. 243-46. The same documents were collected and
discussed for the first time in the pioneering and still fundamental work by G. MEERSSEMAN,
Geschichte des Albertismus I: Die Pariser Anfnge des Klner Albertismus (Dissertationes
historicae 5), Paris 1932, 10-22.
22
F. EHRLE, Der Sentenzenkommentar Peters von Candia, des Pisaner Papstes Alexand-
ers V. Ein Beitrag zur Scheidung der Schulen in der Scholastik des vierzehnten Jahrhunderts
und zur Geschichte des Wegestreites (Franziskanische Studien 9), Mnster i.W. 1925, 324-
25: Item tertia persecutio Nominalium fuit post occisionem Ducis Aurelianensis. Nam
propter guerras, quae inde supervenerunt, dispersi sunt per varias regiones, et provincias
doctissimi viri Universitatis, in via Nominalium eruditissimi, quorum doctrinis sic floruerat
dicta Universitas, ut jure optimo lumen orbis ipsa diceretur. Qua dispersione facta, superve-
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 79

came to prevail in the absence of the nominalist opposition and was probably
responsible for the return of realism to Paris. In a work composed ca. 1456,
Heymericus de Campo, the major advocate of Albertism in Cologne and
afterwards in Leuven, identifies his Parisian master, Johannes de Nova Do-
mo, as the first supporter of Alberts doctrine in Paris, and informs us about
how Johannes opposed the followers of Scotus and Buridan in academic
controversies for sixteen years.23 According to Heymericus reconstruction,
Johannes de Nova Domo, who died in 1418, began teaching at Paris around
1402. It is precisely in those years (1403) that a letter by Guillaume Euvrie
addressed to the Chancellor Jean Gerson describes the doctrinal currents
opposing each other within the Faculty of Arts at Paris at the time: the Pla-
tonists (probably a reference to the Scotists), the Epicureans (i.e., the nomi-
nalists) and the Peripatetics, among whom were counted the followers of
Albert.24
Although many medieval documents allude to a significant presence of
Albertists at Paris from the beginning of the fifteenth century, the origins of
this school remain unclear, primarily because for a long time information
about Albertists has been confined exclusively to the efforts of Johannes de
Nova Domo. For this reason, according to the common historiography,
Albertism disappeared from Paris after the death if its initiator and failed to
produce any other relevant intellectual figures.25 Consequently, it has been
assumed that Johannes project was developed in Cologne only later, from
1423 onwards, by his pupil Heymericus de Campo (1460), who obtained

nerunt quidam Albertistae, qui nullo resistente, doctrina Nominalium ejecerunt.


23
As quoted by KAUZA, Les dbuts de lAlbertisme tardif, 244: Itaque primo idem trac-
tatus has infrascriptas contra praememoratos terministas modernos seu, ut utar solito magistri
mei Joannis de Nova Domo, primi Parisiensis doctrinae Alberti, post iuge suae variae in doc-
trina Scoti et sequacium eiusdem formalistarum doctrinaque Buridani et suorum sequacium
terministarum per annos sedecim, sicut ex ore eiusdem concepi, controversiae exercitium,
resuscitatoris, loquendi modo, epicureos nominales, proponit quaestiones.... For a partial
edition of the text of Heymericus Invectiva, see G. MEERSSEMAN, Geschichte des Albertismus
II: Die ersten Klner Kontroversen (Dissertationes historicae 5), Paris 1935, 4-13*.
24
E. PELLEGRIN, Un humaniste normand du temps de Charles VI : Guillaume Euvrie,
in Bulletin de lInstitut de Recherche et dHistoire des Textes 15 (1967-1968), 9-28, here 17.
For an analysis of the letter, see Z. KAUZA, Le De universali reali de Jean de
Maisonneuve et les epicuri litterales, in Freiburger Zeitschrift fr Philosophie und
Theologie 33 (1986), 469-516.
25
See in particular KAUZA, Les dbuts de lAlbertisme tardif, 212-13. H.-G. SENGER,
Albertismus? berlegungen zur via Alberti im 15. Jahrhundert, in Albert der Groe. Seine
Zeit, sein Werk, seine Wirkung, hrsg. v. A. ZIMMERMANN (Miscellanea Mediaevalia 14), Ber-
lin-New York 1981, 217-36, goes so far as to negate the existence of an Albertist movement in
Paris and considers Johannes doctrinal project as an individual and isolated initiative.
80 Mario Meliad

the title of magister artium in Paris (1415) under the direction of Johannes,
but none of whose writings can be dated to that earlier period.26
Johannes de Nova Domos biography can be reconstructed only in a
fragmentary way.27 In 1410 he is mentioned among the masters of the Pi-
card Nation at Paris before he was moved to the masters of the natio angli-
cana in 1413.28 Until 1418, the year in which he died, he performed the
office of the examiner (temptator) at the Faculty of Arts.29 Johannes proba-
bly never abandoned teaching philosophy and did not study theology. This
hypothesis, however, which is generally accepted by historians, may be
called into question. Scholars have often failed to notice the fact that Jo-
hannes name appears in the list of the socii of the College of Sorbonne
between 1388 and 1409.30 From this, one may infer that he had begun to
frequent the Faculty of Theology, probably without obtaining the masters
degree.31 Moreover, the colophon of a copy of Ioannes Tractatus univer-
salium, which was ignored by Gilles Meersseman but has been brought to
attention recently by Henrik Wels, refers to the author as sacrae theologiae
professor.32 So far as we know, however, there are no documents that prove
Johannes teaching in the Faculty of Theology, and all of his surviving

26
On Heymericus intellectual biography, see M.J.F.M. HOENEN, Academics and Intel-
lectual Life in the Low Countries. The University Career of Heymeric de Campo (1460),
in Recherches de Thologie ancienne et mdivale 61 (1994), 173-209; J.-D. CAVIGIOLI,
Les crits dHeymericus de Campo (1395-1460) sur les uvres dAristote, in Freiburger
Zeitschrift fr Philosophie und Theologie 28 (1981), 293-371.
27
Information concerning Johannes intellectual biography is collected in Z. KAUZA, Les
querelles doctrinales Paris. Nominalistes et ralistes aux confins du XIVe et du XVe sicle
(Quodlibet 2), Bergamo 1988, 87-125.
28
SENGER, Albertismus?, 223; see also A.L. GABRIEL, Via antiqua and via moderna
and the Migration of Paris Students and Masters to the German Universities in the Fifteenth
Century, in Antiqui und Moderni. Traditionsbewutsein und Fortschrittsbewutsein im
spten Mittelalter, hrsg. v. A. ZIMMERMANN (Miscellanea Mediaevalia 9), Berlin-New York
1974, 439-83, here 451 n. 53.
29
Auctarium Chartularii Universitatis Parisiensis II, ed. H. DENIFLE et A. CHATELAIN,
Paris 1937, 140.1-9 and 245.1-4.
30
A. FRANKLIN, La Sorbonne. Ses origines, sa bibliothque. Les dbuts de limprimerie
Paris et la succession de Richelieu, daprs des documents indits, Paris 18752, 227.
31
This fact seems to have been noticed only by G.-R. TEWES, Die Bursen der Klner Ar-
tisten-Fakultt bis zur Mitte des 16. Jahrhunderts (Studien zur Geschichte der Universitt zu
Kln 13), Kln-Weimar-Wien 1993, 341.
32
G. MEERSSEMAN, Eine Schrift des Klner Universittsprofessors Heymericus de Cam-
po oder des Pariser Professors Johannes de Nova Domo? in Jahrbuch des Klnischen
Geschichtsvereins 18 (1936), 144-68; H. WELS, Aristotelisches Wissen und Glauben im 15.
Jahrhundert (Bochumer Studien zur Philosophie 41), Amsterdam 2004, lxxiv.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 81

writings are linked to the internal debates of the Faculty of Arts.


The manuscript transmission of Johannes de Nova Domos works ap-
pears to be relatively limited and has not yet been sufficiently analyzed.
Those works that have already been edited are based on a partial considera-
tion of the tradition and require substantial revision. At the moment, there are
six works that can be ascribed to Johannes, one of which, a commentary on
Peter of Spains Summulae logicales (Tractatus), seems to be lost or at least
has not yet been identified.33 According to the up-dated list of manuscripts
elaborated by Henrik Wels, the Tractatus de esse et essentia seems to be the
work that enjoyed the widest dissemination. The treatise is contained in:
Berlin, Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. lat. qu.
439, ff. 229r-247r; Mnchen, Universittsbibliothek, 2 Cod. ms. 49, ff.
61rb-72vb; Citt del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Cod. Pal. lat.
1053, ff. 108r-118v; Wrocaw, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, Cod. IV.Q.19, ff.
1r-8v; Wrocaw, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, Cod. IV.Q.20, ff. 311r-332v;
Wrocaw, Biblioteka Zakadu Narodowego im. Ossolinskich, Rkps. 734, ff.
81r-95r.34 To the six witnesses listed by Wels can be added a seventh anon-
ymous copy that I have recently identified in New Haven, Yale University:
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 768, ff. 361r-370v. Fur-
thermore, six copies (complete or partial) of the so-called De universali reali,
the attribution of which nevertheless remains a subject of discussion, have
survived in: Mnchen, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 28559, ff. 424ra-
430vb; Mnchen, UB, 4 Cod. ms. 649, ff. 130ra-132rb; Praha, Nrodn
Knihovna esk Republiky. Cod. I.F.25 (cat. 257), ff. 260r-261r; Tbingen,
Universittsbibliothek, Mc 103, ff. 65r-66v; Wien, sterreichische National-
bibliothek, Cod. Ser. n. 267, ff. 12; Wrocaw, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka,
Cod. IV.Q.19, ff. 28r-38v.35 Three manuscripts containing the Tractatus uni-
versalium have been preserved: Angers, Bibliothque municipale, Ms. 1582,
ff. 98r-110r; Tbingen, UB, Mc 103, ff. 67r-73v; Citt del Vaticano, BAV,
Cod. Pal. lat. 1058, ff. 145ra-151vb.36 Finally, Johannes commentary on the
33
KAUZA, Les querelles doctrinales Paris, 88 and 108 n. 6.
34
WELS, Aristotelisches Wissen, lxxvii-lxxx. The edition of the text by G. MEERSSEMAN
in Geschichte des Albertismus I is based on only two manuscripts.
35
See the hypotheses by P. RUTTEN, Contra occanicam discoliam modernorum: The So-
Called De universali reali and the Dissemination of Albertist Polemics against the via
moderna, in Bulletin de philosophie mdivale 45 (2003), 131-61. For a reconstruction of
the debate concerning the attribution of different sections of the text, together with a revised
edition of the text, see WELS, Aristotelisches Wissen, xc-civ; on this text, see also A.G.
WEILER, Un trait de Jean de Nova Domo sur les Universaux, in Vivarium 6 (1968), 108-
52, and KAUZA, Le De universali reali de Jean de Maisonneuve.
36
The Vatican codex is mentioned by H. WELS only later in Einige Spezifika des alber-
82 Mario Meliad

Metaphysics exists in a single manuscript, Darmstadt, Hessische Landes- und


Hochschulbibliothek, Hs. 401, ff. 2r-122v,37 as does his commentary on the
Doctrinale by Alexander de Villa Dei (Erlangen-Nrnberg, Universittsbib-
liothek, Hs. 650).
In an article written together with Silvia Negri, I have drawn attention to
the Sentences-commentary by the Albertist master Lambertus de Monte,
written at the College of Sorbonne in 1423, after Johannes de Nova Domos
death.38 The work has been preserved in Bruxelles, Bibliothque Royale, Ms.
760 and offers for the first time a proof of the Albertist presence at the Facul-
ty of Theology in Paris. In particular, the four principia, which begin the
respective commentaries on each Book of the Sentences, report Lambertus
disputes with the other bachelors and permit a more detailed consideration of
the problems and positions discussed in Paris at the time. In Lambertus
commentary one may detect the significant influence of Johannes de Nova
Domos ideas, as well as the first attempt to apply some assumptions of Al-
bertist metaphysics to theological questions. Besides Johannes de Nova Do-
mo, Lambertus is thus the second Albertist author who is known with cer-
tainty to have written and taught at Paris, and the only one by whom we pos-
sess theological works. Lambertus career can be known only in a fragmen-
tary way: we can assume that he was student of Johannes in the Faculty of
Arts during the same years as Heymericus de Campo; he certainly attended
the College of Sorbonne, and in 1423, according to the testimony of the
Chartularium, he became bachalaureus sentenciarius. As far as we know, no
other works of his have survived, and from the university documents it can-
not be inferred whether he obtained the license in theology.39
According to Znon Kauza, in the same years at Paris the teaching of the
Master William of Lochem, who was Regent of the English Nation in 1405

tistischen Universalienrealismus bei Johannes de Nova Domo und in einem anonymen


Tractatus de universalis natura, in University, Council, City. Intellectual Culture on the
Rhine 1300-1500. Acts of the XIIIth International Colloquium, Freiburg im Breisgau, 27-29
October 2004, ed. L. CESALLI, N. GERMANN and M.J.F.M. HOENEN (Rencontres de philoso-
phie mdivale 13), Turnhout 2007, 97-111, here 100.
37
According to WELS, Aristotelisches Wissen, xxxii, two questions of the commentary on
the first Book of the Metaphysics can also be found in Wrocaw, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka,
Cod. Mil. II.78, ff. 252ra-253rb.
38
M. MELIAD und S. NEGRI, Neues zum Pariser Albertismus des frhen 15. Jahrhun-
derts. Der Magister Lambertus de Monte und die Handschrift Brussel, Koninklijke Biblio-
theek van Belgi, ms. 760, in Bulletin de philosophie mdivale 53 (2011), 349-84.
39
Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis IV, ed. H. DENIFLE et A. CHTELAIN, Paris
1897, 419 n 2218. Concerning the biography of Lambertus, see MELIAD und NEGRI,
Neues zum Pariser Albertismus des frhen 15. Jahrhunderts.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 83

and Bachelor of Theology before 1416, was close to Johannes de Nova Do-
mos realism, as many university acts seem to testify.40 Nevertheless, we do
not yet know any works by William, and so we are not able to determine his
doctrinal orientation. Johannes Wenck, who is known mostly for his polemi-
cal work against Nicholas of Cusa, studied under the direction of William of
Lochem.41 Wenck attended the University of Paris during the same years as
Heymericus de Campo and Lambertus de Monte (certainly coming into con-
tact with the teachings of Johannes de Nova Domo) and remained there until
1426, when he moved to Heidelberg, where he read the Sentences in 1431
and became Professor of Theology in 1432. In an article published in 1951,
Rudolf Haubst ascribed to Wenck a series of philosophical commentaries of
clear Albertist inspiration, which are preserved in the manuscript Mainz,
Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610.42 Although Haubst did not
determine precisely where and when Wenck composed these commetaries,
he surmised that Wenck wrote them at Paris.43 Following Haubst, Kauza
numbered Wenck among the small group of known Albertist masters active
at Paris at the beginning of the fifteenth century, although he showed reserve
for some aspects of Haubsts hypothesis.44

III. Johannes Wenck and Commentaries


on Boethius De hebdomadibus and on the Liber de causis

(1) The Thesis of Rudolf Haubst

Rudolf Haubsts study of Johannes Wenck as an Albertist is based exclu-


sively on Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, which belonged originally to
the Charterhouse in Mainz.45 The codex contains, among other texts, the
40
On Williams activity, who semble tre le cadet de Jean de Maisonneuve, see
KAUZA, Les dbuts de lAlbertisme tardif, 235-36 n. 29.
41
Concerning the relations between William of Lochem and Johannes Wenck, see KAUZA,
Les dbuts de lAlbertisme tardif, 213-14. As regards the polemic with Nicholas of Cusa, see
Nicholas of Cusas Debate with John Wenck, ed. J. HOPKINS, Minneapolis 1981, and Le De
ignota litteratura de Jean Wenck de Herrenberg contre Nicolas de Cuse, d. E. VANSTEENBERGHE
(Beitrge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters 8.6), Mnster i.W. 1910.
42
R. HAUBST, Johannes Wenck aus Herrenberg als Albertist, in Recherches de Tholo-
gie ancienne et mdivale 18 (1951), 308-24.
43
We will return to Haubsts hypotheses in the course of this article. With respect to their
first formulation in 1951, Haubst seemed much less certain and more vague four years later; cf.
R. HAUBST, Studien zu Nikolaus von Kues und Johannes Wenck (Beitrge zur Geschichte der
Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 38.1), Mnster i.W. 1955, 85-86.
44
KAUZA, Les dbuts de lAlbertisme tardif, 213-14.
45
H. SCHREIBER, Die Bibliothek der ehemaligen Mainzer Kartause. Die Handschriften
84 Mario Meliad

Compendium divinorum by Heymericus de Campo, some Conclusiones de


intellectu et intelligibili extracted from Albert the Greats works, and four
philosophical commentaries on the Liber de causis, on De hebdomadibus,
on the third Book of De anima and on Aristotles Physics. Haubsts analy-
sis focused particularly on the first three of these commentaries. He noticed
a direct dependence on Albert the Great and a close doctrinal affinity with
the works of Johannes de Nova Domo and Heymericus de Campo. His
attribution of the works to Wenck is based on the colophon to the commen-
tary on Book III of De anima, which Haubst read as follows: Et sic finitur
tertius de anima in u<n>i<versitate> P<arisiens>e(sic) per m<agistrum>
Jo<hannem> Wenck col<lectus> questionatim etc.46 From this colophon
Haubst concluded that Wenck was the author of the commentary on De
anima, and that the commentary must have been written before 1426, at
which time Wenck left Paris in order to enroll in the Faculty of Theology at
Heidelberg. Haubst further ascribed the other anonymous writings in the
codex to Wenck. His arguments in support of this hypothesis are founded
on some structural similarities in the development of questions and the
adoption of a similar expository scheme. In particular he argued for the
attribution to Wenck of the commentary on De hebdomadibus because the
same enumeration of Boethius rules can be found in the commentary on
De anima; this enumeration, however, goes back to the commentary by
Gilbert of Poitiers and was widespread.47 Moreover, from the fact that the
commentary on De anima and the commentary on De causis propose the
same classification of the sciences, essentially, the Albertist classification,
Haubst infers Wencks authorship of both commentaries.48 Haubst does not
give any specific argument for ascribing the commentary on the Physics to
Wenck, apart from a vague reference to their terminological and stylistic
similarity.49 Finally, that the same scribe copied these commentaries and
the Conclusiones de intellectu is for Haubst a sufficient reason for attrib-

und ihre Geschichte (Zentralblatt fr Bibliothekswesen 60) Leipzig 1927, esp. 83. For more
general information on the Charterhouse, see J. SIMMERT, Die Geschichte der Kartause zu
Mainz (Beitrge zur Geschichte der Stadt Mainz 16), Mainz 1958.
46
HAUBST, Johannes Wenck aus Herrenberg als Albertist, 316. The same reading of the
colophon was proposed by C.H. LOHR, Medieval Latin Aristotle Commentaries, Authors:
Johannes de Kanthi-Myngodus, in Traditio 27 (1971), 302.
47
HAUBST, Johannes Wenck aus Herrenberg als Albertist, 319-20.
48
IDEM, Ibid., 320.
49
IDEM, Ibid., 321: Die gleiche Terminologie des dort allerdings sehr vereinfachten
Qustionenschemas spricht dafr, ebenso wie mehrere Zitate der aristotelischen 8 Bcher,
die sich im sonstigen Schriftum Wencks vorfinden.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 85

uting also the latter work to Wenck.50


Some years later Haubst returned briefly to the works copied in Mainz
Hs. I.610 in light of two observations by Joseph Koch.51 First, a correct
reading of the colophon (Haubst does not specify what that is) does not
allow one to posit with any certainty that Wenck composed the commen-
taries in Paris, as he had claimed previously. On the other hand, the attribu-
tion to Wenck appears to be strengthened by a series of intertextual refer-
ences among the first three commentaries. According to Haubst, in the
questions on the Liber de causis Wenck refers three times to the exposition
on De hebdomadibus, whereas in the commentary on De anima he an-
nounces the treatment of a topic that he develops in the commentary on the
Liber de causis.52 Some decades later, Klaus Kuhnekath accepted Haubsts
arguments and took them as the starting point for an investigation of the
debate between Wenck and Nicholas of Cusa.53

(2) The Colophon of the Commentary on Aristotles De anima III

As stated, Haubsts attribution to Wenck of the three works is founded first


of all on the colophon of the commentary on Book III of De anima. Once
he determined the authorship of the commentary on De anima, Haubst at-
tempted to demonstrate the connection between this text and the other two
anonymous commentaries and then to trace them back to the same author.
Haubsts interpretation of the colophon merits examination. As Koch ob-
served critically, the abbreviation in v pe can be resolved to mean in
universitate Parisiense only with difficulty;54 moreover, this would be
incorrect Latin. The abbreviation v, in which the suspension mark prob-
ably means a and thus would read via, could signify the word vigilia
or the ordinal number VI. The abbreviation pe in all likelihood designates
a feast. A possible reading therefore could be in vigilia Petri or in vigilia
Pentecostes. We would therefore be dealing with a chronological refer-

50
IDEM, Ibid., 321: Die Conclusiones sind geschrieben von der selben Hand wie die beiden
angrenzenden Schriften. Wenck wird also wohl auch deren Verfasser sein. The Conclusiones
have been edited, without a discussion of their attribution, by B. MOJSISCH und F.-B.
STAMMKTTER, Conclusiones de intellectu et intelligibili: Ein Kompendium der Intellektheo-
rie Alberts des Grossen, in Mediaevalia Philosophica Polonorum 31 (1992), 43-60.
51
HAUBST, Studien zu Nikolaus von Kues und Johannes Wenck, 85.
52
IDEM, Ibid., 85 n. 9.
53
K.D. KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johannes Wenck im Vergleich zu den Lehren
des Nikolaus von Kues, Kln 1975, in part. xvi-xxiii.
54
Kochs objections are discussed by KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johannes Wenck,
247 n. 91.
86 Mario Meliad

ence typical among copyists, and not, as Haubst thought, with information
concerning the place of composition.
A second problem concerns the meaning of the term collectus. In fact,
Wenck is mentioned in the colophon as the one who collected the ques-
tions. Christoph Fleler has shown how the terminology adopted in the head-
ings or in the colophons of medieval commentaries on Aristotle often corre-
sponds to a specific literary genre and defines a precise relation of filiation
between the writing and the person mentioned.55 It would require a separate
study to establish to what extent the verb colligere denotes the authorship of
a work or describes the compiling of, reporting on, or extracting from another
work. Some of the examples listed by Fleler display a certain oscillation of
meaning as regards the term collectus.56 On the other hand, it should be noted
that in medieval philosophical literature, and in particular in the fifteenth
century, it is often very difficult to distinguish the author from the compiler;
to say the least, these two roles often overlap. This is particularly true for the
late-medieval tradition of Aristotelian commentaries, which may be identi-
fied by their dependence, often verbatim, on a specific exegetical model. A
relevant example is furnished by Johannes de Nova Domos questions on the
Metaphysics, which in great part consist of excerpta taken from Albert the
Greats commentary. The exposition on De anima surviving in the manu-
script of Mainz, as was noticed by Haubst, exhibits something very similar.
Hence, the attribution of the questions on De anima to Wenck, as pro-
posed by Haubst, seems well-founded, despite the fact that the ascription
cannot be found in the librarys catalogue (which dates to the sixteenth
century) of the Mainz Charterhouse, where the manuscript was conserved.57
Surely, the commentary on De anima testifies to Wencks familiarity with
Albertistic thought. And even though there can be no certainty with regard
to its place of composition one can assume that Wenck already came into
contact with Albertism at Paris before he reached Heidelberg, and that this
commentary displays the influence of the Parisian milieu.58

55
C. FLELER, Die verschiedenen literarischen Gattungen der Aristoteleskommentare:
zur Terminologie der berschriften und Kolophone, in Manuels, programmes de cours et
techniques denseignement dans les universits mdivales. Actes du Colloque international
de Louvain-la-Neuve, 9-11 septembre 1993, d. J. HAMESSE (Publications de lInstitut
dtudes mdivales : Textes, tudes, congrs 16), Louvain-la-Neuve 1994, 75-116.
56
IDEM, Ibid., 112-13.
57
The librarys catalogue survives in Mainz, Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek, Hs.
I.576.
58
HAUBST, Studien zu Nikolaus von Kues und Johannes Wenck, 87, for instance, shows
how the theory that is defended in the question Utrum sine phantasmate contingat nos
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 87

On the other hand, the stylistic and formal similarities among the three
commentaries proposed by Haubst do not constitute a sufficient argument for
attributing them all to the same author, in spite of their shared Albertist inspi-
ration. Many late-medieval commentaries exhibit such similar characteris-
tics;59 in the fifteenth century collections were habitually produced which
redisposed writings by diverse authors who shared the same doctrinal prefer-
ences.60 Finally, Haubsts argument that all three commentaries were written
by the same person, Johannes Wenck, is complicated by the fact, unknown to
Haubst, that the commentaries traveled independently in other manuscripts,
in which codices there are no references to Wenck at all.

(3) The Problem of Authorship and the Intertextual References

There remains to be considered the question of the presumed intertextual refer-


ences among the three commentaries. Haubst claimed that he could ascribe the
commentary on De anima as well as the commentary on De causis to the same
author on the basis of an internal reference in the first text to the second:
Individuacio in immaterialibus est per esse quod a causa efficienti rei in-
ducitur. Ista conclusio fundatur ex proposicionis commento quarte Libri
causarum, in quo dicitur quod multiplicacio individuorum inferiorum est
per materiam, sed multiplicacio individuorum superioris mundi est per es-
se. Et ibi esse corporale appellatur esse inferioris mundi. Et esse intellec-
tuale sive spirituale appellatur esse superioris mundi. Modus autem per
quem fiat multiplicacio individuorum in immaterialibus per ipsum esse

intelligere, which maintains the possibility of intellectual knowledge without phantasms,


perfectly mirrors the position of Heymericus de Campo in the Tractatus problematicus.
Moreover, the same position is refuted by Wenck in his polemic against Nicholas of Cusa,
in De ignota litteratura. See also F.X. BANTLE, Nikolaus Magni de Jawor und Johannes
Wenck im Lichte des Codex Mc. 31 der Universittsbibliothek Tbingen, in Scholastik.
Vierteljahresschrift fr Theologie und Philosophie 38 (1963) H.4, 536-74. Concerning the
relevance of knowledge sine phantasmate for the history of Albertism, see esp. M.J.F.M.
HOENEN, Heymeric van de Velde (1460) und die Geschichte des Albertismus: Auf der
Suche nach den Quellen der albertistischen Intellektlehre des Tractatus problematicus, in
Albertus Magnus und der Albertismus. Deutsche philosophische Kultur des Mittelalters,
hrsg. v. HOENEN und DE LIBERA, 303-31.
59
It is interesting to note that many of the stylistic elements common to the three com-
mentaries, pointed out by HAUBST, Johannes Wenck aus Herrenberg als Albertist, 311-12,
can also be found in some Aristotelian commentaries of the Parisian master Johannes Ver-
sor, e.g., in his questions on De anima and on the Physics by Aristotle. For further infor-
mation on Versor and the editions of his works, see P. RUTTEN, Secundum processum et
mentem Versoris: John Versor and His Relation to the Schools of Thought Reconsidered, in
Vivarium 43 (2007), 292-336.
60
On this subject, see KAUZA, Les dbuts de lAlbertisme tardif, 213 and 235 n. 28.
88 Mario Meliad

ibidem habet determinari.61


In the context of a discussion concerning the object of the human intel-
lect, Wenck refers to the problem of the individuation of immaterial sub-
stances and appeals to the fourth proposition of the Liber de causis (togeth-
er with its demonstration) as the foundation of his solution. Whereas the
multiplication of bodies is achieved through matter, the multiplication of
spiritual substances, Wenck argues, occurs through the being conferred by
the First Cause. The fourth proposition of the Liber de causis treats precise-
ly the influence of esse, and that is why, according to the author, the partic-
ular modalities of individuation applicable to immaterial substances must
be specified in the light of this proposition (ibidem habet determinari). If
one turns to the commentary on De causis in the Mainz manuscript, one
will notice how the quaestio relative to the fourth proposition is dedicated
precisely to the same topic: Utrum ex esse causato primo sit multiplicacio
formarum intelligibilium.62 Moreover, the conclusions drawn are in line
with the doctrine of the commentary on De anima and constitute its theoret-
ical development:
Multiplicacio formarum intellectualium est ex multiplicacione esse stantis in
ordine sapiencie cause prime.... Causa prima processione formali ipsius esse
constituit ordine res in esse. Ergo ipsum esse quod penetratur virtute cause
prime, sub virtute cause prime multiplicabitur in species et individua secun-
dum exigenciam sciencie et sapiencie cause prime penetrantis non solum
species sed eciam individua. Omnes enim actus sequentes ipsum esse in vir-
tute cause prime multiplicantur ex esse, sicut in virtute efficientis cause in
natura particulares actus formarum nature ex ipso esse aptitudinis multipli-
cantur. Ibi fundatur multiplicacio individuorum in separatis.63
Nevertheless, Wencks reference in the commentary on De anima only men-
tions the locus in the Liber de causis upon which the solution of the problem
must be grounded, but says nothing about a commentary on the work that has
been or will be written. The argument concerning the multiplication of the
Intelligences is drawn first of all from the source itself.64 Wenck might be
referring the reader to the fourth proposition should he desire to gain a deeper
understanding of a matter that has no direct relevance for an interpretation of

61
ANONYMUS, Questiones in tercium De anima, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 79r.
62
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 9r.
63
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 10r.
64
Liber de causis prop. IV, ed. PATTIN, 45-46: Et quia diversificatur intelligentia, fit illic
forma intellectibilis diversa. Et sicut ex forma una, propterea quod diversificatur, in mundo
inferiori proveniunt individua infinita in multitudine, similiter ex esse creato primo, propte-
rea quod diversificatur, apparent formae intellectibiles infinite. Verumtamen, quamvis diver-
sificentur non seiunguntur ab invicem, sicut est seiunctio individuorum.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 89

De anima; or Wenck might be referring to another commentary, which is not


that transmitted in the Mainz manuscript. Anyway, this intertextuality does
not serve as a demonstration of the claim that the same author composed the
two commentaries. Even so, the hypothesis remains plausible, since the prob-
lem of the individuation of separated substances is the principal topic of the
Mainz commentary on the fourth proposition.
In contrast, the textual references between the commentary on the Liber
de causis and that on De hebdomadibus yield more solid conclusions. Here,
there are at least three internal references, one of which defines a clear cor-
respondence between the two works and serves also to indicate their chron-
ological order with some plausibility. In his commentary on the fourth
proposition of the Liber de causis, the author writes:
Pro solucione sit prima conclusio: esse est primum causatum. Patet quia
inter causata nihil habet ante se secundum naturam vel intellectum eo
quod influit omnibus sequentibus, ergo est primum. Et quia a causa prima
causatum, ideo causatum. [1] Qualiter autem esse a sola prima causa cau-
satum sit, [2] qualiter constitutum sit ex finito et infinito, [3] qualiter sit
intelligencia totum et [4] qualiter realiter non distinguatur ab essencia et
ceteris dictum est alibi.65
After stating the first conclusion, the commentator says that he has already
elaborated in a different place (dictum est alibi) a series of problems strictly
related to the fourth theorem. This is a surprising, because the stated topics
represent the propositions fundamental theoretical knots. Significantly, in
the commentary on De hebdomadibus, a whole section dedicated to the
Libers fourth theorem is embedded within the interpretation of Boethius
second rule. This section begins with a list of six questions on esse:
primum est origo esse; secundum est an sit simplex vel compositum; ter-
cium an sit creatura; quartum utrum formaliter participetur ab essencia;
quintum utrum essencia formaliter suscipiat esse; sextum utrum quod est
sit ipsa essencia.66
The questions enumerated in the commentary on De hebdomadibus are
then developed in the form of an intepretation of the fourth proposition of
the Liber de causis; the theses maintained are the same as those that are
taken as presuppositions and as already demonstrated in the questions on
De causis. The following text makes patent the connection between the two
commentaries, though the sequence of the topics slightly changes; moreo-
ver, from that one can deduce that the commentary on De causis was com-

65
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 9v.
66
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 53v.
90 Mario Meliad

posed after the commentary on De hebdomadibus:67


Commentary on Liber de causis Commentary on De hebdomadibus
(Hs. I.610, f. 9v) (Hs. I.610, ff. 53v-54v)
[1] Qualiter autem esse a sola Quantum ad primum est prima conclusio: Esse a sola
prima causa causatum sit. causa prima originatur. Patet quia ante se nichil habet
nisi causam primam. Ipsum enim est prima creatura-
rum, ut dicitur in Libro de causis proposicione quar-
ta.... Quantum ad secundum est prima proposicio:
[3] qualiter sit intelligencia totum Esse est totum intelligencia, ut dicit Alphorabius
quarta proposicione. Patet quia est forma a lumine
intellectus universaliter agentis in esse producta....
[2] qualiter constitutum sit ex finito Secunda conclusio: esse constitutum est ex finito et
et infinito; infinito, ut habet idem Alphorabius quia per compa-
racionem ad illud a quo est terminatum <est> lumine
primi intellectus....
[4] et qualiter realiter non distin- Alia conclusio: Esse creature realiter est eius essen-
guatur ab essencia et ceteris dictum cia. Probatio est ista: Cum prima rerum creatarum sit
est alibi. esse (Liber de causis prop. IV), creatio attingit primo
esse in creatura. Igitur ab esse creatura habet quod sit
creatura essentialiter.

Though with less precision, two further intertextual references seem to


strengthen the connection between the two writings. In the first passage, the
commentary on De causis sets forth the theory of the priority of esse over
quod est, and refers the reader to the exposition of De hebdomadibus for
the solution of some difficultates attending the problem.68 The interpreta-
tion of Boethian terminology advocated in the commentary on the Liber de
causis mirrors that in the commentary on De hebdomadibus. Nevertheless,
it is not possible to identify an exact textual reference.69 In the second text,

67
One should note also that the connection between the fourth proposition of the Liber de
causis and the second rule of the De hebdomadibus plays a crucial role in the thirteenth century
in the debate between Giles of Rome and Henry of Ghent; see, e.g., HENRICUS DE GANDAVO,
Quodlibet X q.7, ed. R. MACKEN, in HENRICI DE GANDAVO Opera omnia 14 (Ancient and
Medieval Philosophy Series 2), Leuven 1981, 171-75; AEGIDIUS ROMANUS, Quaestiones de
esse et essentia q.12, Venezia 1503, ff. 28vb-29rb. On this subject, see P. PORRO, Prima
rerum creatarum est esse: Henri de Gand, Gilles de Rome et la quatrime proposition du De
causis, in Henri de Gand et Gilles de Rome : aspects de leur dbat, d. V. CORDONIER et T.
SUAREZ-NANI (Dokimion 38), Fribourg (Suisse), forthcoming.
68
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610,
ff. 9v-10r: Ibi fundatur quod ipsum esse ordine nature precedit quod est. Patet quia quod est
non nisi per informacionem eius in esse quo illud quod est est. Difficultates autem circa
ipsum quod est requiruntur [requiritur ms.] in epdomadibus. It should be pointed out,
however, that the manuscript tradition of this passage is not homogeneous.
69
HAUBST, Studien zu Nikolaus von Kues und Johannes Wenck, 85 n. 9, refers the reader
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 91

the author of the commentary on the Liber de causis, while analyzing prop-
osition XI [XII], defines being as the first actuality that proceeds from the
First Cause, and he specifies that all other essential goods flow from being.
In the context of this argument, he adds: cum autem esse sit primus actu-
um, relinquitur ex ipso processio aliorum actuum, ut fundatum est in ebdo-
madibus.70 The author seems to state his argument in light of what he has
already demonstrated in his commentary on Boethius, which contains sev-
eral arguments for this theory (inter actus autem esse est primus, sub cuius
virtute alii movent).71 Following a hint by Koch, Haubst draws attention to
a long explication of this doctrine in the commentary on the fourth axiom
of Boethius.72

(4) Provisional Result and Working Perspective:


Toward a Reassessment of the Albertist Literature

The cross-references between the two texts offer sufficient evidence to


support the affirmation that the commentary on the Liber de causis and the
commentary on De hebdomadibus preserved in the manuscript Mainz Hs.
I.610 were composed by the same author. The exposition of the fourth
proposition of the Liber de causis, in particular, seems to be anticipated in
the commentary on the second rule of the Boethian treatise. The commen-
tary on the Liber de causis, on the other hand, explicitly presupposes the
argumentation developed in the exposition of De hebdomadibus. As I shall
illustrate in more detail below, the two commentaries set for themselves the
same didactic project, and their connection is not a casual one but derives
from a precise theoretical choice.
In this article, I shall not determine whether the two commentaries were
written by the author of the quaestiones on Book III of De anima, and thus
plausibly by Johannes Wenck. The intertextual reference between the com-
mentary on De anima and the commentary on De causis seems to corrobo-
rate this hypothesis, but it does not suffice for a definite proof. Surely, Mainz
Hs. I.610 seems to be connected to Wenck. The manuscript belongs to a col-

to the discussion of the seventh axiom (Omne simplex esse suum et id quod est unum
habet) in ff. 66r-69r; see also KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johannes Wenck, xxi.
Nevertheless, the reference is very general and goes through the whole commentary. See
also the questions dedicated to the second axiom (Diversum est esse et id quod est).
70
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 20v.
71
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 49v.
For a selection of the arguments, see KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johannes Wenck,
xvii-xix.
72
HAUBST, Studien zu Nikolaus von Kues und Johannes Wenck, 85 n. 9.
92 Mario Meliad

lection of texts that was probably assembled by the monk Marcellus Geist,
who entered the Charterhouse in 1453 after he had studied at Heidelberg
under Wenck, among others. Geist copied many of Wencks works preserved
in the library and glossed several times the writings contained in Hs. I.610.73
The attribution of the commentaries on De anima requires further re-
search that goes beyond the scope of this study. That research should go at
least in two directions: on the one hand, a comparative investigation of the
three texts and their manuscript tradition (which goes beyond the codex of
Mainz known to Haubst), and on the other hand, an analysis of the works in
the larger context of Wencks entire production and his intellectual evolu-
tion.74 In what follows, I suspend any judgment concerning the attribution
to Wenck and concentrate instead on a preliminary analysis of the commen-
taries on De causis and De hebdomadibus, with the aim of specifying their
relevance for a new understanding of the Albertist tradition.
A detailed investigation of library catalogues discloses a surprising
number of copies of these two commentaries. At this point it appears that
the exposition of Boethius De hebdomadibus (incipit: Sapiencia est dea
scienciarum) was copied in 16 late-medieval manuscripts and is testified

73
SCHREIBER, Die Bibliothek der ehemaligen Mainzer Kartause, 63-64, 82-83. Marcellus
Geist obtained the title of magister artium at Heidelberg in 1448 and in the same year he
was a student of Wencks in the Faculty of Theology. In 1452, following a violent dispute
with the nominalist school, he abandoned the University of Heidelberg and entered the
Charterhouse of Mainz one year later; see Die Auslegungen des Vaterunsers in vier Predig-
ten, hrsg. v. J. KOCH und H. TESKE (Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wis-
senschaften 39.4) Heidelberg 1940, 188-96. Regarding Geists glosses in Mainz, Hs. I.610,
see HAUBST, Johannes Wenck aus Herrenberg als Albertist, 309 n. 5.
74
The consequences of such an attribution for the comprehension of the Wencks intellec-
tual evolution should be evaluated with attention. Wencks thought has been interpreted
until now mostly in the light of the dispute with Cusanus and as having been close to Tho-
mism; see, for example, the classic study by G. RITTER, Via antiqua und via moderna auf
den deutschen Universitten des XV. Jahrhunderts (Studien zur Sptscholastik 2), Heidel-
berg 1922. Defending his attribution of the three commentaries of Mainz, Haubst identifies a
doctrinal turn in Wencks thought from Albertism in the Parisian period to Thomism in the
years in Heidelberg; see R. HAUBST, Die Rezeption und Wirkungsgeschichte des Thomas
von Aquin im 15. Jahrhundert, besonders im Umkreis des Nikolaus von Kues (1464), in
Theologie und Philosophie 49 (1974), 252-73, esp. 260-63. In any case, new studies on the
unedited works of Wenck are necessary. There is for instance no investigation of the com-
mentary on the The Celestial Hierarchy (Citt del Vaticano, BAV, Cod. Pal. lat. 149, ff. 1r-
140r) or of such treatises as Paradigmata ingeniorum artis (Mainz, Wissenschaftliche
Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.560, ff. 317r-332v) and Artificium memoriae (Citt del Vaticano,
BAV, Cod. Pal. lat. 600, ff. 246v-248r), which seems to testify to the reception of Lullian
ideas and in a certain sense draw Wenck closer to Heymericus and Cusanus.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 93

in two different versions, one of which seems to be a later abbreviation.


There are five manuscripts that preserve the questions on the Liber de cau-
sis (incipit: Sine lumine nihil est videre). In Erlangen-Nrnberg, UB, Hs.
498, the two commentaries are preserved again together. All copies of the
two texts have been transmitted anonymously. The context of their tradition
confirms that both works belonged to a circulating corpus of texts produced
by the Albertist school. Interestingly enough, a copy of the commentary on
De hebdomadibus preserved in Citt del Vaticano, BAV, Cod. Pal. lat.
1058, was prepared, together with Thomas De ente et essentia, in Paris by
the hand of brother Peter, most probably around 1417.75 This fact sug-
gests that the text itself was composed when Johannes de Nova Domo was
still alive and Heymericus de Campo and Johannes Wenck were in Paris. If a
date before the 1420s can be assumed, the Vatican manuscript provides evi-
dence in favor of the Parisian origin of the commentary, since before that
period we do not have any evidence of an Albertist school outside Paris.
Surely, the author of the commentaries must have been a major propo-
nent of Albertism. His works enjoyed a wide dissemination, apparently
wider than those of Johannes de Nova Domo himself. In light of these two
works, a new evaluation of the surviving repertory of Albertist literature
seems required, together with a reconsideration of the Albertist project at
the Faculty of Arts. The treatises by Johannes de Nova Domo no longer
represent an isolated and unique occurrence in Paris but rather have a con-
text in light of which they should be reinterpreted. Additionally, the signif-
icance of the Liber de causis and Boethius De hebdomadibus within the
Albertist conception of metaphysics should be investigated, especially since
it is commentaries on those two works that seemingly enjoyed the widest
transmission among Albertist writings.

75
The codex is described in D. WALZ, Die historischen und philosophischen Handschrif-
ten der Codices Palatini Latini in der Vatikanischen Bibliothek: Cod. Pal. Lat. 921-1078
(Kataloge der Universittsbibliothek Heidelberg 3), Wiesbaden 1999, 230-36. Frater Petrus
copies various parts of the manuscript, in the following order: the commentary on De heb-
domadibus (ff. 84v-100r), a Quaestio de rationibus seminalibus in materia by James of
Viterbo (ff. 100v-107v), an anonymous Tractatus de differentia formarum et potentiarum
animae (ff. 1095-118v), and finally De ente et essentia by Thomas Aquinas (ff. 121r-132v).
However, only the last copied work, the De ente, is dated by the scribe in the following
colophon: Explicit tractatus de ente et essencia beati Thome de Alquino[!] fratris ordinis
Iacobitarum sub anno domini 1417 feria quarta ante festum pasche per me Petrum fratrem
Parisius pro tunc studio vacantem. Laudetur deus etc. In his description of the codex, Walz
proposes the identification of the copyist with Petrus de Rupella, who was the biblical lector
in 1421 at the Dominican convent in Paris and baccalaureus sententiarum in the Faculty of
Theology in 1427. Walz, however, does not explain the reasons for this identification.
94 Mario Meliad

IV. Metaphysics in the via Alberti and Its Textual Canon

(1) Johannes de Nova Domo, the Liber de causis


and the Model of First Philosophy

The reception of the Liber de causis in the Albertist tradition is character-


ized, first of all, by the attempt to establish the legitimacy of Alberts model
for interpreting the corpus aristotelicum, according to which the Liber de
causis constitutes the necessary theological completion of Aristotles Met-
aphysics.76 Although there are no official documents that certify the curric-
ular adoption of the Liber de causis by Albertists at the Universities of Par-
is and Cologne in the fifteenth century, commentaries produced within the
school testifies to an integration of the Liber into the canon of philosophical
texts.77 Only later, at the University of Krakw, which became a significant
center of Albertist teaching at the end of the century, the use of De causis
in the program of study is amply documented in the Liber diligentiarium of
the Faculty of Arts. Indeed, between 1490 and 1510, nine Masters of Arts
taught courses on the Liber de causis.78
Heymericus de Campo commented on De causis in the context of a lec-
ture series on Aristotelian works, delivered probably between 1416 and
1424.79 The lectures have survived in Bernkastel-Kues, Bibliothek des St.
Nikolaus-Hospitals, Cod. 106, under the title Questiones supra libros phi-
losophie Aristotelis (ff. 25r-54r). Although the place of composition of this
work is unknown, it is indicated in the heading that the corpus of texts to
which Heymericus refers in his teaching corresponds to a canon consolidat-

76
Regarding Alberts reading of the Liber de causis, see A. DE LIBERA, Albert le Grand
et Thomas dAquin interprtes du Liber de causis, in Revue des sciences philosophiques et
thologiques 74 (1990), 347-78. On a more general level, concerning the integration of De
causis into the canon of texts used for teaching metaphysics in the thirteenth century, see A.
DE LIBERA, Structure du corpus scolaire de la mtaphysique dans la premire moiti du
XIIIe sicle, in Lenseignement de la philosophie au XIIIe sicle. Autour du Guide de
ltudiant du ms. Ripoll 109, d. C. LAFLEUR et J. CARRIER (Studia Artistarum 5), Turnhout
1997, 61-88.
77
On this subject see M. MELIAD, Scientia peripateticorum. Heymericus de Campo, the
Book of Causes and the Debate over Universals in the Fifteenth Century, in Recherches
de Thologie et Philosophie mdivales 79 (2012), 195-230, esp. 219-24.
78
For a detailed analysis, see D. CALMA, Du noplatonisme au ralisme et retour, par-
cours latins du Liber de causis aux XIIIe-XVIe sicles, in Bulletin de philosophie mdivale
54 (2012), 217-76, esp. 251-73.
79
For an edition of Heymericus short commentary, see. HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO, Ques-
tiones Libri causarum, in MELIAD, Scientia peripateticorum, 225-30.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 95

ed at the universities of Paris and Cologne (libros... in universitatibus Pa-


risiensi et Coloniensi legi consuetos).80 This statement suggests continuity
in the program of the Albertist masters in both universities. Furthermore, it
is not by accident that the Liber de causis is discussed at the end of the
whole cycle and immediately after Book Lambda of the Metaphysics.81
According to the Albertist interpretation, the definition of the subject
matter of first philosophy is based on the doctrine of flux outlined by the
Liber de causis. The ens in quantum ens, i.e., the common determination
shared by every particular order of being and presupposed by all the other
disciplines, and from which the science of metaphysics derives its superior-
ity and universality, is understood as the first emanation of the divine
cause.82 Reporting Alberts words verbatim in his commentary on the Met-
aphysics (redacted between 1413 and 1418), Johannes de Nova Domo
states that first philosophy inquires into the original effect of the creative
act, that is, into being taken in its simplest nature and before any kind of

80
HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO, Questiones supra libros philosophie Aristotelis, in Bernkastel-
Kues, Bibliothek des St. Nikolaus-Hospitals, Cod. 106, f. 25r: Questiones m<agistri>
H<eymerici> de Campo supra libros philosophie racionalis, realis et moralis Aristotelis in
uniuersitatibus Parisiensi et Coloniensi legi consuetos.
81
As is well known, Albert explicitly proposed the complementarity between the two
texts in his paraphrase of the Liber de causis; ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De causis et processu
universitatis a causa prima II.5.24, ed. W. FAUSER, in Alberti Magni Opera omnia [= Ed.
Col.] 17, Mnster i.W. 1993, 191.17-23: In hoc ergo libro ad finem intentionis pervenimus.
Ostendimus enim causam primam et causarum secundarum ordinem et qualiter primum
universi esse est principium et qualiter omnium esse fluit a primo secundum opiniones
Peripateticorum. Et haec quidem quando adiuncta fuerint XI Primae Philosophiae, tunc
primo opus perfectum est; see also ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De causis et processu universitatis
a causa prima II.1.1, ed. FAUSER, 60.3-5.
82
The theory is clearly formulated in ALBERTUS MAGNUS, Metaphysica I tract.1 c.1, ed.
B. GEYER, in Ed. Col. 16.1, Mnster i.W. 1960, 3.1-4: Esse enim, quod haec scientia con-
siderat, non accipitur contractum ad hoc vel illud, sed potius prout est prima effluxio dei et
creatum primum, ante quod non est creatum aliud. Johannes de Nova Domo dedicates the
first quaestio of his commentary on the Metaphysics to a discussion regarding the definition
of the subject matter of first philosophy; JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, Metaphysica I q.1, in
Darmstadt, Universitts- und Landesbibliothek, Hs. 401, ff. 2v-3r: Cum perypateticis vera
dicentibus tenendum est quod prima phylosophia est de ente inquantum ens tamquam de
subiecto proprio et adequato.... Ens enim ut infra dicetur est primum fundamentum omnium,
cum sit primum causatum primi secundum rationem. The passage is drawn largely from
ALBERTUS MAGNUS, Metaphysica I tract.1 c.1, ed. GEYER, 4.51-68. For Alberts understan-
ding of the subject matter of first philosophy and a survey of the various interpretations
which scholars have formulated, see T.B. NOONE, Albert on the Subject of Metaphysics,
in A Companion to Albert the Great. Theology, Philosophy, and the Sciences, ed. I.M.
RESNICK (Brills Companions to the Christian Tradition 38), Leiden-Boston 2013, 543-53.
96 Mario Meliad

specification, insofar as it is the universal foundation of every created reali-


ty.83 It should be noted how Johannes, once again in line with Albert, iden-
tifies the ens in quantum ens (on which Aristotle grounded the unity of first
philosophy) with the prima rerum creatarum to which the Liber de causis
refers in the fourth proposition, where the flowing of being from the First is
described.84 In this theoretical context, the Liber de causis proves to be, for
the Albertists, the necessary completion and crown of Aristotles Meta-
physics, precisely because it investigates being according to its derivation
from the universal and divine causes.
We do not know whether Johannes wrote a commentary on the Liber de
causis. For certain, in his commentary on the Metaphysics he quotes the trea-
tise frequently, and in some passages intimates plans to treat the Liber sepa-
rately. Zenon Kauza, however, has drawn attention to the fact that Johannes
internal references to other works are hardly reliable.85 Many references or
self-quotations can be found literally in Albert and are the consequence of
Johannes method of composition, which includes paraphrases of long pas-
sages in Alberts works. On the other hand, one should note that there are
various references to the Liber de causis in Johannes commentary on the
Metaphysics that have no counterparts in Alberts writings and explicitly
refer to the project of expounding the Liber de causis. For example, in Book
VII of his commentary, Johannes says:
Ibi quis fundare posset quare natura res creata agere potest per suam pro-
priam essentiam, item quare cuiuslibet rei create actio destruit eius simpli-
citatem. Sed hec dimittantur usque ad Librum causarum.86

83
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, Metaphysica IV q.1, in Darmstadt, Universitts- und Landes-
bibliothek, Hs. 401, f. 38v: Item ens est primum causatum et non est ante ipsum causatum
aliud. Ergo nulli subicibile esse videtur, sed predicabile de omnibus. Et sic scientia non videtur
esse de ente ut de subiecto nec ut de predicato, cum non habeat differentiam ad aliquod en-
tium.... Cum enim ens nihil habet ante se, patet quod non procedit in esse sicud forma addicta
alicui precedenti, sed sicud subiectum in quo informata sunt omnia sequentia.... Et hoc est
quod dicitur in Libro causarum, quod prima rerum creatarum est esse et non est ante ipsum
causatum aliud, omnia alia per informationem esse habentia. This passage is drawn once
again from ALBERTUS MAGNUS, Metaphysica IV tract.1 c.3, ed. GEYER, 163.3-34.
84
Regarding this identification, see G. WIELAND, Untersuchungen zum Seinsbegriff im
Metaphysikkommentar Alberts des Grossen (Beitrge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und
Theologie des Mittelalters 7), Mnster i.W 1972, 47-67, and T. BONIN, Creation as Emana-
tion. The Origin of Diversity in Albert the Greats On the Causes and the Procession of the
Universe (Publications in Medieval Studies 29), Notre Dame, IN 2001, 43-52.
85
KAUZA, Les querelles doctrinales Paris, 89-90.
86
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, Metaphysica VII q.1, in Darmstadt, Universitts- und Lan-
desbibliothek, Hs. 401, f. 79r; interestingly, the same text appears in IDEM, De esse et essentia
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 97

Johannes seems here to postpone a discussion of the operations of sub-


stance by essence until a later discussion of De causis. There is no simi-
lar passage in Albert: when Albert wrote his commentary on the Metaphys-
ics, he had not yet conceived of composing De causis et processu universi-
tatis as the culmination of first philosophy, or at least he had not yet ex-
pressed his intention to do so.87
Whether Johannes de Nova Doma wrote on the Liber de causis or not, his
treatment of metaphysics presupposes the Liber de causis and Alberts para-
phrase of the work as an essential textual locus for a complete explanation of
metaphysical science. Indeed, Johannes asserts what Albert never explicitly
declared, namely that all of the Books of the Metaphysics preceding the elev-
enth Book are nothing else than an introduction to the principal part of first
philosophy contained in the final Books and in the Liber de causis.88
The question of the place of the Liber de causis is also discussed in the
prologue of the Albertist commentary that Haubst attributed to Johannes
Wenck. The commentator specifies the subject of this science (de huius
scientie subiecto) and its position in relation to the other sciences (de
ordine huius scientie ad alias scientias) in complete conformity with the
paradigm proposed by Johannes de Nova Domo:
Si ens in communitate causalitatis acceptum subiectum est totius prime
philosophie, ens acceptum sub causalitate primariarum causarum erit su-
biectum huius sciencie, que perfeccio et complementum est totius prime
philosophie. Ideo completorium philosophie appellatur.89

q.1, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte des Albertismus I, 186.


87
On this subject, see the introduction to ALBERTUS MAGNUS, Buch ber die Ursachen
und den Hervorgang von allem aus der ersten Ursache, hrsg. v. H. ANZULEWICZ, M.
BURGER, S. DONATI et al., Hamburg 2006, xxix-xxv.
88
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, Metaphysica II q.1, in Darmstadt, Universitts- und Landes-
bibliothek, Hs. 401, f. 22v: Est enim prima phylosophia de principiis principaliter entis, hoc
est substantie, scientie triplicis: sensibiles corruptibiles mobiles, sensibiles mobiles incorrupti-
biles, insensibiles immobiles. Prima pars continetur principaliter in XI quo ad primam partem,
secunda in aliis tractatibus XI, tertia in XII, XIII et XIV libris una cum scientia Libri causarum
extracta est ab epistola Aristotelis quam scripsit de universitatis principio. Cetere vero partes
prime philosophie antecedentes XI librum sunt introductorie in philosophiam primam. On the
subject of the ambiguous numbering of the books of the Metaphysics adopted by Johannes, see
KAUZA, Les querelles doctrinales Paris, 88-89. Johannes summarizes and reworks what he
read in Albert; cf. ALBERTUS MAGNUS, Metaphysica XII tract.1 c.1, ed. GEYER, 543.8-36. The
citation of the Liber the causis in this context, however, is an addition by Johannes, who recon-
sidered the architecture of metaphysical science in light of the model that Albert brought to
perfection only in De causis et processu universitatis.
89
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis, in Mainz, Wissenschaftliche Stadtbib-
98 Mario Meliad

The Albertist master presents the science developed in the Liber de causis as
a part of metaphysics (pars metaphysice) and more specifically as the science
that studies common being according to its relation with the primary causes
and their influence (secundum influenciam causarum primarum).90 For this
reason, he continues, the Liber de causis constitutes the perfection and com-
pletion of first philosophy, and thus of philosophy tout court.

(2) Lectures on De hebdomadibus in the Faculty of Arts

As Rudolf Haubst has already shown,91 the prologue of the commentary on


De hebdomadibus is symmetrical with that of the Questiones super Librum
de causis. The author declares the priority of first philosophy over the other
disciplines, reworking some topoi of the first Book of the Metaphysics.92 Just
as in the prologue to the exposition of De causis, the treatment begins with an
Aristotelian quotation (sapiencia est dea scienciarum, Met. I.2, 983a6).
Wisdom, the author explains in his eulogy of the discipline, investigates sim-
ple being, which is intrinsic to the specific object of knowledge in any partic-
ular science and at the same time distinct from, and unmixed with, every
determined knowable thing. In this sense, the being considered in metaphys-

liothek, Hs. I.610, f. 2v. I quote both the commentary on the Liber de causis and the com-
mentary on De hebdomadibus from the Mainz manuscript, correcting it, where necessary,
with the text in Erlangen-Nrnberg, Universittsbibliothek, Hs. 498. The two manuscripts
are the only ones, to my knowledge, which contain the two texts together. For a critical
edition of the prologue and an analysis of the commentarys manuscript tradition, see M.
MELIAD, Le Quaestiones super Librum de causis attribuite a Johannes Wenck. Studio e
edizione parziale, in Unpublished Latin Commentaries on Liber de Causis, ed. D. CALMA,
Turnhout 2015, forthcoming.
90
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f.
2v.
91
HAUBST, Johannes Wenck aus Herrenberg als Albertist, 312.
92
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 46r-v:
Sapienciam autem dea esse scienciarum ad presens duabus racionibus ostenditur. Prima su-
metur ex parte habentis sapienciam; secunda ex parte obiecti circa quod versatur intentio seu
sapiencia. Prima racio est hec. Illa noticia dea est scienciarum, quam maxime habet ipse deus.
Sed sapienciam maxime habet deus. Ergo probacio minoris: quia ipse deus intuitione uniformi
et simplici sine discursu omnia contemplatur. Ideo eciam dicitur primo I Philosophie quod
quamvis alie noticie ipsa sapiencia sint utiliores, nulla tamen dignior ipsa. Secunda racio. Quia
ipsa sapiencia est considerativa esse simpliciter in racione causalitatis, quod intrinsecum est
cuilibet scibili aliarum scienciarum, ipsis tamen particularibus scibilibus incommixtum, in hoc
imitans causam primam, cuius est effectus, que in omnibus est, preterquam alicui commi-
sceatur, sicut dicitur in XXIV proposicione Libri causarum. Ex ipsa enim prima philosophia
sicut ex fonte scaturit omnis particularis sciencia, sicut ex esse omne scibile. On the prologue,
see also KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johannes Wenck, 79-80.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 99

ics has a mimetic relation with the First Cause (of which it is the effect), to
the extent that the Cause is the constitutive foundation of the cosmos even
though it preserves its transcendence. In support of this analogy, the author
not by accident refers to proposition XXIII [XXIV] of the Liber de causis.93
From first philosophy, as from a spring, the commentator says, every particu-
lar discipline is derived, just as every object of knowledge derives from sim-
ple being.
At this point, we should ask some questions that are not addressed in
the prologue. To what extent can De hebdomadibus be considered a work
of metaphysics and an investigation of its subject-matter? Was the Boethian
treatise ever adopted in the curriculum of the university for the study of
metaphysics? What requirement was met by a commentary on De hebdo-
madibus within the Albertist school?
Unlike the Liber de causis, the academic use of which is mentioned in
the Parisian statutes from 1255 and is also documented by a long exegetical
tradition,94 the use of Boethius De hebdomadibus diminished progressively
in the face of the discovery of Aristotles works and those of Arabic philoso-
phers, although it continued to attract interest and discussion.95 De hebdo-
madibus was not on the curriculum of the university, and it is significant that,
as far as we know, only one commentary on De hebdomadibus, by Thomas

93
Liber de causis prop. XXIII [XXIV], ed. PATTIN, 176-77: Causa prima existit in rebus
omnibus secundum dispositionem unam, sed res omnes non existunt in causa prima secundum
dispositionem unam. Quod est quia, quamvis causa prima existat in rebus omnibus, tamen
unaquaequae rerum recipit eam secundum modum suae potentiae. On the other hand, the use
in the prologue of the verb commisceatur (cf. previous footnote) seems to refer to prop. XIX
[XX], 155: Causa prima regit res creatas omnes praeter quod commisceatur cum eis.
94
Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis I, ed. H. DENIFLE et A. CHATELAIN, Paris 1889,
278. On the tradition of the commentaries on the Liber, see the most recent study by D.
CALMA, Du noplatonisme au ralisme et retour, parcours latins du Liber de causis aux
XIIIe-XVIe sicles, 217-76, and Unpublished Latin Commentaries on Liber de Causis.
95
C. ERISMANN, The Medieval Fortunes of the Opuscula sacra, in The Cambridge
Companion to Boethius, ed. J. MARENBON, Cambridge 2009, 155-78, here 161: Although
they remained respected texts, the Opuscula sacra did not retain their central position in
philosophical practice. They were not included in the teaching programmes of the newly
established universities. This explains, at least partially, why the Opuscula sacra played a
relatively secondary role during the final part of the Middle Ages, and why next to no com-
mentaries were written on them during the scholastic period. See also M. GIBSON, The
Opuscula sacra in the Middle Ages, in Boethius: His Life, Thought and Influences, ed. M.
GIBSON, Oxford 1981, 214-36, esp. 227. An example of its continuing interest is the discus-
sion between Henry of Ghent and Giles of Rome over the interpretation of the second axi-
om; see among others P.W. NASH, Giles of Romes on Boethius Diversum est esse et id
quod est, in Mediaeval Studies 12 (1950), 57-91.
100 Mario Meliad

Aquinas, was written during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.96


There occurred a renewed interest in De hebdomadibus in the fifteenth
century, however, which has not yet been explored by scholars.97 Growing
attention to De hebdomadibus in the fifteenth century is attested not only by
the Albertist commentary, which was copied in various university centers
across Europe (cf. VII), but also by two further manuscripts: Wien, ster-
reichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 5183, ff. 134r-142v, which preserves a
Reportata de hebdomadibus, attributed to magister Tyzco de Indagine
(Hagen), and Wien, NB, Cod. 4963, ff. 1r-93r, which preserves another and
much longer commentary by an anonymous author.98 The anonymous com-
mentator makes detailed references to late-medieval school debates, criticiz-
ing explicitly the positions of Albertists, Thomists and Scotists. The prologue
of this latter commentary offers at least two indications relevant to our inves-
tigation.99 The first pertains to the institutional context in which Boethius
text was discussed. The author says that he was asked to write an explanation
of the treatise (magnopere sepenumeroque exoratus pridem fui quicquam in
libris de ebdomadibus Boethii opereprecium exarare), which, because of its
obscurity, caused many great errors among the followers of Aristotle. Indeed,
the difficulty of the text gave rise to conflicts among the masters of Arts (in-
ter artistas scissure fuit occasio), who, the author asserts, are wont to draw
contradictory sentences from the Boethian source (plurimi identidem peripa-
tetici ex eodem textuali fonte dispares inter se hausere sententias). A second
revealing fact is that the anonymous commentator includes De hebdomadibus
among works of metaphysics. Surprisingly enough, the commentator of the

96
For a study of the commentary together with a history of modern interpretations of De
hebdomadibus, see R. MCINERNY, Boethius and Aquinas, Washington, D.C. 1990, 161-247.
97
To my knowledge, there is not a single study on the use of De hebdomadibus in fif-
teenth-century universities. The classical monograph by Schrimpf concludes with Aquinas
commentary, even though he notes the presence of manuscripts in European libraries that
contain fifteenth-century commentaries; see SCHRIMPF, Die Axiomenschrift des Boethius als
philosophisches Lehrbuch, 147-48. Based entirely on Schrimpf and without adducing further
arguments, GIBSON, The Opuscula sacra in the Middle Ages, 227-28, notes briefly that in
the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries students at Erlangen, Cracow and Vienna did have the
opportunity of hearing the De Hebdomadibus as a set text. Several commentaries survive, of
greath lenght and still only in manuscript. Curiously, neither Schrimpf nor Gibson seems to
know Haubsts study on the Albertist commentary (1951), although Schrimpf is informed
about some manuscripts of the same text.
98
Tabulae codicum manuscriptorum praeter graecos et orientales in Bibliotheca Palatina
Vindobonensi asservatorum IV, ed. Academia Caesarea Vindobonensis, Wien 1870, 51, and
Tabulae III, Wien 1869, 453.
99
ANONYMUS, Expositio in Hebdomadibus Boethii, in Wien, NB, Cod. 4963, f. 1r.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 101

Expositio in ebdomadibus in Wien, NB, Cod. 4963 begins with the same
Aristotelian citation adduced by the Albertist author of the Questiones super
Ebdomadas in Mainz, SB, Hs. I.610. Likewise, the structure of the arguments
in the two commentaries is the same, although the substance of their argu-
ments is different:
Wien, NB, Cod. 4963, ff. 1r-v Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, 46r-v.

Sapiencia prima est dea scienciarum, quod Sapienciam autem dea esse scienciarum ad
duabus venit persuadendum racionibus. Prima presens duabus racionibus ostenditur. Prima
habet se ex parte habentis sapienciam, secunda sumetur ex parte habentis sapienciam;
ex parte obiecti circa quod ipsa prima sapiencia secunda ex parte obiecti circa quod versatur
cernitur versari. Racio prima: Illa enim sciencia intentio seu sapiencia. Prima racio est hec.
non immerito venit appellanda dea scien- Illa noticia dea est scienciarum, quam
ciarum, quoniam deus maxime habet metaphy- maxime habet ipse deus. Sed sapienciam
sica.... Secunda racio sumitur ex parte obiecti. maxime habet deus.... Secunda racio. Quia
Nam ipsa versatur circa deum et intellectum ipsa sapiencia est considerativa esse simpli-
separatum quo ad unam eius partem et ideo citer in racione causalitatis, quod intrinse-
dicta est gentilium theologia, ut dicitur VI cum est cuilibet scibili aliarum scienciarum,
Metaphysice. Nam ipsa consideratur de rebus ipsis tamen particularibus scibilibus in-
quarum perfecta noticia communem modum commixtum.
intelligendi nostrum excedit.

This textual correspondence supports the hypothesis that the Vienna com-
mentator had direct access to the Albertist Questiones super Ebdomadas,
although one may not exclude a common intermediary source. On the other
hand, the two works exhibit evident doctrinal and stylistic differences. It
will be the task of future studies to define the precise relationship between
the two works. As far as our current investigation is concerned, the main
point is that the Viennese commentary confirms the integration of De heb-
domadibus in the scientific framework of Aristotelian wisdom, and it pro-
vides us with information concerning the context of this integration within
the late-medieval Faculty of Arts.
Finally, if we look once more at the University of Krakw, the pedagogical
organization of which from 1487 is documented in the Liber diligentiarum, we
find evidence that Boethius De hebdomadibus was occasionally the subject of
lectures at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Between 1505 and 1511, at
least three Masters of Arts read the De hebdomadibus at Krakw: Andreas de
Leopoli in 1505, and Martinus de Comprovincia as well as Iacobus de Cleparz
in 1511, in the summer and winter semester respectively.100

100
See the Ordo Lectionum et Exerciciorum comvtacionis estiualis anno dni 1505 in de-
canatu mgri Simonis de Szijeprez, in the Liber diligentiarum facultatis artisticae Universi-
tatis Cracoviensis, pars I (1487-1563), ed. W. WISLOCKI, in Archiwum do dzejw literatury i
102 Mario Meliad

As regards the function of De hebdomadibus within the discipline of


metaphysics, one should observe that the Albertist author of the Questiones
super Ebdomadas does not focus on the problem of the goodness of sub-
stances and their relation with the substantial good, which is the main topic
of Boethius work,101 but rather on the axioms that Boethius treats prelimi-
narily before deriving solutions from them. The subject of the Questiones is
the nine rules together with the proemium, and thus principally the network
of metaphysical distinctions involved in the categories of esse and id quod
est.102 Indeed, the commentary stops at the ninth axiom and ignores the rest
of the treatise.
From the point of view of the Albertist master, the distinction between
esse and id quod est as formulated in Boethius second rule defines the
relationship between common being, which has its origin in the flowing
from the First Cause, and every concrete specification of being.103 The au-
thor identifies the esse referred to in the second axiom with the being of the
fourth proposition of the Liber de causis, which esse is the subject-matter
of metaphysics.104 Hence, the second hebdomad is not only the foundation
of all the other rules but concerns the whole matter of first philosophy. In
this sense, the definition of the ontological status of the subject-matter of
wisdom is tied to a conceptual polarity, namely the polarity between esse
and id quod est, which lies at the root of the controversy over the distinc-
tion between being and essence from the thirteenth century onwards:

oswiaty w Polsce 4 (1886), 68: mgr. Andreas de Leopoli Gilberti <Hilberti ms.> Porritani
De sex principijs, postea Ebdomades Boecij. See further the Ordo Lectionum et Exercicio-
rum commutacionis estiualis anno dni 1511 in decanatu mgri Stanislai de Byalkovice, ed.
WISLOCKI, 99: mgr. Martinus de Comprovincia Paruorum naturalium, finiuit feria sexta
ante Margarethe, et post caniculares legit Ebdomadas Boecy, in protesto Stanislai finiuit,
and the Ordo Lectionum et Excerciciorum commutacionis hiemalis anno dni 1511 in deca-
natu mgri Alberti de Swodzyschevyce secundo, ed. WISLOCKI 102: mgr. Iacobus de Cle-
parz Ex. Parvorum naturalium, pro mgro Thoma de Obydzino, finiendo ante Purificacionis
continuabat Hebdomadas Boecy.
101
On the main argument of De hebdomadibus and the theories concerning the goodness
of the substances, see S.C. MACDONALD, Boethiuss Claim that All Substances are Good,
in Archiv fr Geschichte der Philosophie 70 (1988), 245-79.
102
For an analysis of the axioms, see L.M. DE RIJK, On Boethius Notion of Being. A
Chapter of Boethian Semantics, in Meaning and Inference in Medieval Philosophy, ed. N.
KRETZMANN (Synthese Historical Library 32), Dordrecht 1988, 1-29.
103
BOETHIUS, Quomodo substantiae in eo quod sint bonae, ed. MORESCHINI, 187.26-28:
II. Diversum est esse et id quod est; ipsum vero esse nondum est, at vero quod est, accepta
essendi forma, est atque consistit.
104
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 53v.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 103

... hec [scil. secunda] ebdomas fundamentum est sequencium et ex ea


trahitur materia de esse et essencia, et eciam materia septimi Metaphysice
circa ipsam versatur et sequitur materia tocius prime philosophie.105

For the Albertist commentator, Boethius De hebdomadibus seems to be the


main textual locus for developing the doctrine de esse et essencia within
the metaphysical discipline. Moreover, the exposition of De hebdomadibus
presumably furnished a hermeneutic instrument meant to remedy a lacuna
in the textual legacy that Albert, who did not comment on Boethius work,
bequeathed to his followers, enabling them to dispute directly with the
Thomists, who had Thomas Aquinas commentary at their disposal.

V. De hebdomadibus and the Liber de causis as Doctrinal Authori-


ties: the Debate over the Distinction between esse and essentia

(1) Johannes de Nova Domo and the esse primum creatum

The distinction between esse et essentia, as is well-known, constitutes the are-


na for one of the longest and most vehement controversies in the history of
medieval thought, the origins of which is connected to the reception of the
writings of Avicenna and Averroes and to the latters criticism of the former.106
Towards the end of the thirteenth century, the debate yielded a whole range of
doctrinal solutions, and gave rise to a distinct philosophical genre de ente et
essentia.107 The fundamental question was whether the distinction between
105
IDEM, Ibid., f. 53v. KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johannes Wenck, 352 n. 586, in-
terprets the reference to the materia de esse et essencia as a quotation of the treatise De
esse et essentia by Johannes de Nova Domo.
106
R. IMBACH, Gravis iactura verae doctrinae. Prolegomena zu einer Interpretation der
Schrift De ente et essentia Dietrichs von Freiberg O.P., in Freiburger Zeitschrift fr Philo-
sophie und Theologie 26 (1979), 369-425; IDEM, Averroistische Stellungnahmen zur Dis-
kussion ber das Verhltnis von esse und essentia, in Studi sul XIV secolo in memoria di
Anneliese Maier, a cura di A. MAIER e A. PARAVICINI BAGLIANI, Roma 1981, 299-377. For
a reconstruction of the debate from a doxographical perspective, see M.J.F.M. HOENEN,
Dietrichs von Freiberg De ente et essentia aus doxographischer Perspektive, in Compl-
ments de substance. tudes sur les proprits accidentelles offertes Alain de Libera, d. C.
ERISMANN et A. SCHNIEWIND, Paris 2008, 397-422.
107
For a consideration of some representative positions, see, for example, J.F. WIPPEL,
The Relationship between Essence and Existence in Late-Thirteenth-Century Thought:
Giles of Rome, Henry of Ghent, Godfrey of Fontaines, and James of Viterbo, in Philoso-
phies of Existence. Ancient and Medieval, ed. P. MOREWEDGE, New York 1982, 131-64, and
C. KNIG-PRALONG, Avnement de laristotlisme en terre chrtienne. Lessence et la ma-
tire : entre Thomas dAquin et Guillaum dOckham (tudes de Philosophie Mdivale 87),
Paris 2005; EADEM, tre, essence et contingence. Henri de Gand, Gilles de Rome, Gode-
froid de Fontaines, Paris 2006.
104 Mario Meliad

essence, to which a substance owes its proper formal determination, and be-
ing, which confers upon it actuality and reality, is real or not. The explanation
of these categories had obvious consequences not only for the science of meta-
physics but also for the understanding of divine creation and of the ontological
dependance of created being on the First Cause.
During the fifteenth century, particularly in the universities of Northern
Europe, positions on this question defined doctrinal schools and also served
as a criterion for classifying philosophical traditions, ancient or recent.108
The Arabic philosophers and the masters of the thirteenth century were
classified in the light of this quaestio vetus;109 similarly, contemporary
schools profiled themselves reciprocally by defending or refuting the theory
of real distinction.110 In this context, the treatise De esse et essentia by Jo-
hannes de Nova Domo established in an unequivocal way the position of
Albert in this debate, and elaborated a defining doctrine for the Albertist
school by high-lighting the disagreement with Thomas Aquinas and his
followers.111 Johannes adapted Alberts texts for the contemporary dispute

108
On the doctrinal and institutional context of late-medieval schools, see M.J.F.M. HOENEN,
Via antiqua and via moderna in the Fifteenth Century: Doctrinal, Institutional, and Church
Political Factors in the Wegestreit, in The Medieval Heritage in Early Modern Metaphysics and
Modal Theory, 1400-1700, ed. R.L. FRIEDMAN and L.O. NIELSEN, Dordrecht 2003, 9-36.
109
For a significant example in this sense, see DIONYSIUS CARTHUSIANUS, Elementatio
philosophiae prop.38 (Opera minora 1), Tournai 1907, 50: Haec etenim quaestio vetus est
[scil. an esse et essentia in rebus creatis realiter distinguantur] et ab antiquo sollennes pro
utraque parte habuit defensores, sicut et modo. Nam et Avicenna et Algazel opinati sunt,
quod realiter distinguantur ab invicem in eodem, loquendo de esse actualis existentiae; quam
opinionem secuti sunt Thomas, Aegidius, Bonaventura, Guillelmus ac alii plures. Porro
Commentator videtur sensisse contrarium; et hanc opinionem sunt assecuti Albertus, Henri-
cus, Udalricus, cum suis. On Denys the Charthusian as doxographer, see K. EMERY, Jr.,
Denys the Carthusian and the Doxography of Scholastic Theology, in IDEM, Monastic,
Scholastic and Mystical Theologies from the Later Middle Ages (Collected Studies Series
561), Aldershot 1996, 327-59. A doxographical reorganization of the philosophical tradition
similar to Denys can be found in HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO, Problemata inter Albertum Ma-
gnum et Sanctum Thomam, ed. Arnoldus DAMMONIS, Kln 1496, kiiir-v.
110
Dionysius offers an autobiographical testimony of how this doctrine determined the
adhesion to one via within the university; DIONYSIUS CARTHUSIANUS, In librum I Senten-
tiarum d.8 q.7, Tournai 1902, 408D: Postremo, quamvis in adolescentia dum eram in stu-
dio, et in via Thomae instruerer, potius sensi quod esse et essentia distinguerentur realiter.
On Dionysiuss position and on the reception of Johannes de Nova Domos claims, see A.
PALAZZO, Ulrich of Strasbourg and Denys the Carthusian (II): Doctrinal Influence and
Implicit Quotations, in Bulletin de philosophie mdivale 48 (2006), 163-208, esp. 176-84.
111
From the thirteenth century onwards, in fact, there was no unanimous interpretation of
Alberts position on the problem of real distinction. On the Wandel des Albertus-Bildes,
see HOENEN, Dietrichs von Freiberg De ente et essentia, 417-19.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 105

and resolved their ambiguities and oscillations on this issue by expounding


Alberts position in terms often drawn from Henry of Ghent.
Johannes defines essence as the source whence the being of a thing
flows (dicitur a quo fluit esse).112 In this sense, the essence does not receive
being from an external agent and does not enter any kind of real composition
with esse.113 According to Johannes, the essence does not formally partici-
pate in being but rather is the intrinsic principle of a things being. Therefore,
he refutes the claim that there is a real distinction between being and essence,
a view which he explicitly ascribes to Aquinas.114 On the contrary, the dis-
tinction between essence and being is only a modal distinction; the definition
of each term implies the other. The two terms correspond to two distinct
perspectives in which the same process is observed: essence is the source-
principle of being (modum principii fontalis); being expresses the flowing-
forth from the source (modum fluxus).115 The difference is merely intention-
al: the essence signifies the subject of the action (nominaliter), while be-
ing signifies the action of the subject (verbaliter).
Johannes theory has been thoroughly analyzed by Gilles Meersseman,
so I need not here expound all of its implications.116 Rather, I shall empha-
size two specific aspects. First, Johannes solution is founded upon the doc-
trine of the flux and on an interpretation of creation in the light of this causal
model.117 According to Johannes, the causality exercised by essence on con-
112
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia q.1, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte
des Albertismus I, 93: Notandum primo quod nomen essentiae aequivocum est apud philo-
sophos: apud quosdam enim essentia dicitur a quo fluit esse, et isto modo loquimur de es-
sentia, quando quaerimus utrum in eodem esse essentiae distinguatur ab esse actualis exi-
stentiae, et ista acceptio est propriissima, et omnes antiqui sic usi sunt nomine essentiae.
113
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia q.1, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte
des Albertismus I, 93: Apud quosdam posteriores essentia est illud quod habet esse vel
quod esse participat formaliter. Sed sine dubio quod est est id quod participat formaliter,
sicut veritas habet.... Sanctus Thomas vocat essentiam illud quod recipit esse a primo.
114
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia q.1, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte des Al-
bertismus I, 106: Quapropter [Thomas] ponit realem distinctionem quam supra refutavimus.
115
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia q.1, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte
des Albertismus I, 102: Sequitur quod inter essentiam et esse, quod est eius actus, differen-
tia non est nisi sicut inter idem differenter significatum, nominaliter videlicet et verbaliter.
Essentia enim habet modum principii fontalis. Esse autem habet modum fluxus vel fluentis a
fonte; some lines later Johannes concludes, Ibid., 104: et sic patet quod ibi non est distinc-
tio realis, sed modalis tantum.
116
MEERSSEMAN, Geschichte des Albertismus I, 36-90.
117
For an exposition of the theory in Albert, see H. ANZULEWICZ, Die Emanationslehre
des Albertus Magnus: Genese, Gestalt und Bedeutung, in Via Alberti. Texte, Quellen,
Interpretationen, hrsg. v. L. HONNEFELDER, H. MHLE und S. BULLIDO DEL BARRIO (Subsi-
106 Mario Meliad

crete substances (to which it communicates a certain determined being) exists


in continuity with the flux of universal being from the First Cause and repre-
sents its subsequent information of particular beings. Indeed, essence con-
fers being to a given thing to the extent that it preserves the virtue of the
source (the First Cause), from which the essence itself flows.118 Second, this
metaphysical scheme is borrowed from the Liber de causis, as interpreted by
Albert, and likewise is based on the fourth theorem.119
As was noted by Meersseman, the first three questions of Johannes De
esse et essentia (the treatise contains ten questions in all) describe the theoret-
ical nucleus of his conception. The subsequent questions constitute dubia or
applications of the theory to related problems. In the first quaestio, Johannes
sets out a series of definitions and presuppositions of his doctrine, without
citing Albert or any other authority.120 In the second and third questions, by
contrast, he displays his sources and presents abundant excerpts from the
works of Albert. Generally, Johannes responds to every question by enunciat-
ing and explaining propositions (see VI, below). A rapid examination of the
propositions listed in the second and third question reveals that every propo-
sition is a re-exposition or a variant reading of the fourth theorem of the Li-
ber de causis. Many of the propositions derive verbatim from Alberts expo-
sition of the fourth theorem, which Johannes must have learned either from
Alberts paraphrase of De causis or from his Summa theologiae:
q.2 prop.1: Quamvis esse, quod est prima forma rerum creatarum, omnis
rebus creatis formaliter sit participatum, nulla tamen res creata esse potest
capere in propria radice.121
q.2 prop.2: Illud quod est, et creatum est, ante non habet esse, et negative,
quia nihil est, et privative, quia potentia est et non actu.122

dia Albertina 2), Mnster i.W. 2009, 219-42.


118
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia q.1, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte
des Albertismus I, 95: Ut ergo essentia rei, fluendo a primo, virtutem retineat fontis, sic
exserit a se esse, quod est eius actus. Est autem essentia quo id quod est habet esse, quo dico
formaliter, cum habitudine causae formalis.
119
Liber de causis prop. IV, ed. PATTIN, 37: Prima rerum creatarum est esse et non est
ante ipsum creatum aliud.
120
MEERSSEMAN, Geschichte des Albertismus I, 70-73.
121
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte des
Albertismus I, 113.
122
IDEM, Ibid., 116. The proposition as well as its long explanation (Ibid., 116-23) are
taken verbatim from Alberts Summa and De causis et processu universitatis a causa prima.
In Meerssemans edition the parallels to Albert are printed in italics. In the course of the
explanation the Liber is repeatedly quoted, either implicitly or explicitly; cf. esp. ALBERTUS
MAGNUS, Summa theologiae I p.1 tr.4 q.19 c.3, ed. D. SIEDLER, W. KBEL et H.G. VOGELS,
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 107

q.3 prop.1: Esse vocatur primum causatum primi secundum rationem, eo


quod inter causata a primo nihil ante se habeat secundum naturam sive
secundum intellectum.123
q.3 prop.2: Prima rerum creatarum seu primum causatum primi secundum
rationem vocatur esse, et non ens vel entitas, quia primus processus
simplex a prima causa procedens, habet se ut actus in esse constituens
omne quod est.124
q.3 prop.3: Licet esse sit primum inter causata, in quod omnium causatorum
stat resolutio, omnium rerum constitutionem ingrediens, propter quod
diversis habitudinis est permixtum, non est tamen primum sicut genus.125
q.3 prop.4: Esse quod est primum creatum primi secundum rationem
vocatur lumen intelligentiae primae, vel vocatur lumen intellectus primi
universaliter agentis.126
q.3 prop.5: Esse est primum causatum primi secundum rationem. Ideo
vocatur lumen primae intelligentiae quia in ordine primae intelligentiae
constituitionem ingreditur, in qua est esse et quod est.127
The application of the fourth theorem of the Liber de causis to the theo-
ry of the modal distinction between esse et essentia becomes particularly
clear in prop.2 q.3 (above) and in its illustration (see note).128 Being, the
author explains, is the simple procession from the First Cause, its first ef-
fect, which does not presuppose anything and constitutes in act all that it is.
Processional being is neither an ens nor an entitas but the incessant flow of
being from the First Cause. This universal being must be understood as the
being common to the totality of essences; it is that being which diffuses and
specifies itself into what Johannes calls the vultum naturae, the totality of
all possibile formal determinations. This being has a double meaning: It

in Ed. Col. 34.1, Mnster i.W. 1978, 94.69-71.


123
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte des
Albertismus I, 124-25.
124
IDEM, Ibid., 126.
125
IDEM, Ibid., 126-27.
126
IDEM, Ibid., 128.
127
IDEM, Ibid., 130.
128
IDEM, Ibid., 126: Quia ergo processum illum nominat ut actum entis, propter hoc cau-
satum primum potius est esse quam entitas. Sunt verba Doctoris Venerabilis, quae sic intel-
ligo quia esse, secundum quod est simplex effluxus processus causae primae, est procedens
ad constitutionem cuiuslibet quod esse habet. Ideo significatur per verbum et non per no-
men, eo quod in quantum primum causatum primi, effluit a primo et diffundit se per omnem
naturae vultum. Voco autem naturae vultum omnium rerum possibilitates. Et hoc esse com-
paratum ad id cuius est, significatur nomine essentiae; comparatum autem ad illud a quo est,
cuius est simplex effluxus, significatur per actum, quam differentiam posuerunt quidam inter
esse et essentiam.
108 Mario Meliad

can be referred to the source from which it emanates or to the concrete


substance that participates in the source. For Johannes, this twofold refer-
ence, which corresponds to an intentional distinction, is what some erro-
neously believe to be a real distinction between being and essence. In fact,
when referred to the concrete substance to which it is communicated, the
first created thing is the being of the essence (esse essentiae), that is,
the essence as such before any ulterior specification as the source-principle
of the being of concrete substances. By contrast, when the primum creatum
is referred to the First Cause from which it flows, it corresponds to the act
of the essence, to that which makes the essence actually existent (esse actu-
alis existentiae). Now, this modal duplicity of being is nothing other than
the polarity within which the causal model of the flux is conceived. A real
distinction exists only between the beginning and end-point of the process,
that is, the First Cause and concrete substances.
Thus, the interpretation of the fourth proposition constitutes the corner-
stone of the Albertist position in the dispute over being and essence. In the
wake of Johannes teaching, Heymericus de Campo expounded the
schools doctrine in the debate with the Thomist Gerardus de Monte during
the subsequent decades at Cologne.129 The Cologne dispute is amply docu-
mented in Heymericus Tractatus problematicus (1423) and in Gerardus
Tractatus ostendes (1456); it continued in the years immediately after the
publication of the Tractatus ostendens with the Invectiva of the former and
the Apologia of the latter (1456-1459). The sections de esse et essentia in
this polemical literature confirm the centrality of the fourth theorem and
feature the opposing interpretations of the Liber de causis.130

129
On this debate, see M.J.F.M. HOENEN, Comment lire les grands matres? Grard de
Monte, Heymeric de Campo et la question de laccord entre Albert le Grand et Thomas
dAquin (1456), in Revue Thomiste 108 (2008), 105-30, and P. RUTTEN, Duae opiniones
probabiles: Der Klner Wegestreit und seine Verbreitung an den Universitten des 15.
Jahrhunderts, in University, Council, City. Intellectual Culture an the Rhine. 1300-1500,
ed. CESALLI, GERMANN and HOENEN, 113-34. For a comprehensive analysis of the contro-
versy, see the still valid G. MEERSSEMAN, Geschichte des Albertismus II. Die ersten Klner
Kontroversen (Dissertationes Historicae 5), Roma 1935.
130
See esp. HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO, Problemata inter Albertum Magnum et Sanctum
Thomam, ed. A. DAMMONIS, Kln 1496, ff. kiiir-lviv; GERARDUS DE MONTE, Tractatus ad
favorabilem dirigens concordiam quaedam problemata inter sanctum Thomam et venerabi-
lem Albertum Magnum, ed. H. QUENTELL, Kln 1497, ff. 35r-36r. The dispute over being and
essence is not the only theoretical space in which the centrality of the notion of flux and the
authority of the Liber de causis is evident. Rather, the divergence between Albertists and
Thomists can in large part be reduced to the adoption or refutation of the causal paradigm
defined by the flux. I have advanced this hypothesis with particular attention to the controversy
over the universals in M. MELIAD, Scientia peripateticorum. For a detailed analysis of the
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 109

(2) Lambertus de Monte and the Questiones super Ebdomadas:


the Parisian Debate over the Boethian Axioms

Although Boethius De hebdomadibus is among the few texts that Johannes


de Nova Domo quotes explicitly in his De esse et essentia, he does not
develop a systematic interpretation of Boethius rules. This is quite surpris-
ing, not least because Boethius distinction between esse and id quod est
was one of the most frequently adduced authoritative arguments in support
of the real distinction in the wake of the dispute between Giles of Rome
and Henry of Ghent. Indeed it is not by accident that the Boethian text was
used in Paris to contest Johannes theory of the modal distinction. One may
find an eloquent witness of this tendency in the Principia in libros Senten-
tiarum by Lambertus de Monte.131 This text documents in a precise way the
dispute among bachelors in the Faculty of Theology at Paris in 1423. Lam-
bertus text shows the extent to which the controversy over being and es-
sence was centered on the interpretation of selected auctoritates.
At the beginning of the quaestio collativa of the second Principium,
Lambertus, referring to the fourth theorem of the Liber de causis, illustrates
the derivation of all things from the First Cause.132 Each and every thing
depends on the First, from which it partakes being. Therefore, every created
substance is composed of esse (that in which it participates) and of id quod
est (that which participates). At this point Lambertus forms his position by
asserting that he will demonstrate that actual being (esse actualis existenti-
ae), which becomes subject to participation through creation, is not realiter
distinct from essence.133 Having declared his intention, Lambertus relates and
responds to the opposite opinion held by another bachelor:

positions and hermeneutic strategies of the Thomists, see S. NEGRI, The Traps of Realism.
The Debate over Universals in the Fifteenth Century and the Thomists of Cologne, in Re-
cherches de Thologie et Philosophie mdivales 79 (2012), 231-65.
131
On the structure and context of Lambertuss Principia, see MELIAD und NEGRI,
Neues zum Pariser Albertismus des frhen 15. Jahrhunderts.
132
Cf. LAMBERTUS DE MONTE, Principium in secundum librum Sententiarum, in Bruxel-
les, Bibliothque Royale, Ms. 760, f. 85r: Ratione probatur ex supposito: primum est om-
nium principium, ergo omnia sunt a primo. Sed non sunt a primo nisi aliquid participando
ab ipso, et primum huiusmodi participatum vocatur esse simpliciter sive actualis existentie,
sicut dicit 4. propositio Libri causarum. Ergo omne citra primum est compositum ex partici-
pato, scilicet esse, et participante esse, scilicet quod est quod subicitur esse, ut cum dicitur
mundus est, Sortes est. An edition of the four Principia is being prepared by M. Meliad,
S. Negri, J. Witt and U. Zahnd.
133
IDEM, Ibid.: Sequitur collative et probatur quod esse simpliciter, seu esse actualis exi-
stentie, quod per creationem accipitur, non differt realiter ab essentia.
110 Mario Meliad

Cuius oppositum in suo primo principio posuit magister et dominus meus


reverendus actu legens in Scholis sancti Thome, adducendo rationes ad
positionem suam, et nisus est solvere rationes quibus probavi alias correla-
rium meum. Cum reverentia magistri mei ostendam rationes suas minus
concludere propositum suum, et deinde quod solutio sua rationes meas
non evacuat. Primo magister meus arguit auctoritatibus Boethii et Algaze-
lis. Dicit Boethius in Ebdomadibus quod diversum est esse et quod est.
Ista auctoritas non est pro magistro meo, sicut enim ipse dicit, quod est est
in quo natura sive essentia subsistit, sive suppositum. Sic etiam capit Boe-
thius, ut patet in processu suo, et ita in verbis Boethii non fit mentio de es-
sentia per quod est, sed per esse quod pro eodem habet cum essentia. Nec
etiam dicit Boethius quod diversum est esse et quod est re aut ratione.134
Lambertus opponent was probably a Dominican who supported the theory
of the real distinction between esse et essentia.135 According to Lambertus
account, in his principium the opponent explained the arguments in favor of
this position and refuted those that Lambertus had advanced previously. At
the heart of the debate is the interpretation of De hebdomadibus: Lambertus
denies that the Boethian distinction between esse and id quod est corre-
sponds to the distinction between being and essence, as the master in
scholis Sancti Thome argued. Boethius, Lambertus continues, does not refer
to essence when using the expression id quod est; in fact, in the context of
the hebdomads, the essence is signified by esse, which Boethius held to be
identical with essence. This passage is just an example of the polemics over
the Boethian distinction that surfaces repeatedly in the four principia as
well as in discussions with other bachelors.136 Each time Lambertus pre-
supposes a precise reading of De hebdomadibus (without developing it in
great detail) suited to his purpose of defending the doctrine of Johannes de
Nova Domos De esse et essentia.137 This interpretation, which opposes
that of Thomas Aquinas (or more precisely of his advocates), reoccurs in an
elaborate and detailed version in the Questiones super Ebdomadas.
In the Albertist commentary the treatment of the second rule proceeds
in two steps: first, the commentator gives a literal explanation of the axiom
and then formulates and disputes a question.138 Interestingly, he explicitly
134
IDEM, Ibid.
135
In 1423 the bachelors belonging to the Dominican order were Nicholaus de Rotaria
and Michael Cate; see Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis IV (1394-1452), ed. DENIFLE
et CHATELAIN, Paris 1897, 419 n 2218.
136
See, for instance, LAMBERTUS DE MONTE, Principium in tertium librum Sententiarum,
in Bruxelles, Bibliothque Royale, Ms. 760, ff. 148v-149r.
137
On Lambertus dependence on Johannes de Nova Domo, see MELIADO und NEGRI,
Neues zum Pariser Albertismus des frhen 15. Jahrhunderts, 354-59.
138
A detailed analysis of the quaestio (with long extracts from the text in the notes) can
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 111

evokes the interpretation of Gilbert of Poitiers.139 Similarly, in the thir-


teenth century Henry of Ghent adduced Gilberts authority to refute Giles
of Rome, who saw in the Boethian theorem an unequivocal formulation of
the real distinction.140
The author of the Questiones draws a preliminary distinction between a
theological and a philosophical understanding of the rule.141 Theologically,
Boethius terminology describes the (real) distinction between God, or self-
subsistent being, and the being-something of created substances. Indeed,
the term esse pertains primarily to God, from whom every other reality
derives. The id quod est, by contrast, represents being as received in other-
ness, and thus the being of something. Philosophically, the categories of De
hebdomadibus express the relation between essence (or subsistencia) and
that which subsists, for instance between humanity (that which makes a
man a man) and the concrete individual man.142 From both perspectives,
arguments refute the identification between id quod est and essentia, and
thereby point out a disagreement with the interpretation of Boethius by
Thomas Aquinas in his De ente et essentia.143
In order to show that the esse of Boethius hebdomads embraces charac-
teristics that belong both to esse actualis existentiae and to esse essentiae,
and thus to deny the claim of a real distinction, the Albertist commentator
carefully combines the interpretation of Boethius second axiom with the that
of the fourth proposition of the Liber de causis. Within this doctrinal matrix,
the two auctoritates have a complementary function: the authority drawn
from the Liber de causis explains being at the moment of emanation from the
First Cause, whereas the authority drawn from De hebdomadibus focuses on

be found in KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johannes Wenck, 84-93.


139
Cf. N. HRING, The Commentaries on Boethius by Gilbert of Potiers (Studies and
Texts 13), Toronto 1966, 181-230. Concerning Gilberts exposition of the second axiom, to
which the Questiones are here referring, see 193-95.
140
Cf. KNIG-PRALONG, Avnement de laristotlisme en terre chrtienne, 88-91.
141
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f.
52v: Pro intellectu advertendum est secundum Gilbertum Porritanum, quod presens ebdo-
mas dupliciter exponi potest, theologice et philosophice, propter diversum usum esse apud
theologos et philosophos.
142
The commentator sums it up thus (IDEM, Ibid., ff. 52v-53r): Theologice sic: diversum
est esse, hoc est principium et id quod est, hoc est illud quod est ex principio. Philoso-
phice sic: Diversum est esse, id est subsistencia et illud quod est, id est illud quod subsi-
stencia subsistit.
143
IDEM, Ibid., f. 53r: Sequitur corollarie quod per quod est non intelligitur essencia. Et
per consequens esse, cum recipiatur in quod est, non recipitur in essencia. Cuius oppositum
est fundamentum Tractatus De esse et essencia pro maiori sua parte.
112 Mario Meliad

the point of arrival of the flux, and thus on the relation between first created
being and the individual creature that participates in being.
The esse discussed in Boethius De hebdomadibus is defined by the au-
thor of the Questiones as totum intelligentia (Liber de causis prop. IV,
44), to the extent that it is inseparable from its formal determinations.144
This being is composed of the finite and infinite (compositum ex finito et
infinito, Liber de causis prop. IV, 42): it is finite because it is defined by
the First Cause from which it flows and it corresponds, according to this
flux, to the act of essence; it is infinite with reference to everything that
follows it because it is the formal principle of the infinite diversification of
being (vultum naturae).145 The esse is not yet (nondum est), as Boethius
second axiom proclaims (De heb.II, 26), because it is the first created thing
only secundum rationem, whereas the concrete product of creation is the id
quod est, which has received being and is informed by it (accepta essendi
forma est atque consistit, De heb. II, 26-27). For this reason, the author of
the Questiones concludes, the being of a creature is really identical with its
essence, and creation serves as a proof of this.146
In sum, the Albertist commentator seems to transpose the theory of Jo-
hannes de Nova Domo into his exegetical project. The use of the Liber de
causis and of De hebdomadibus in the dispute over being and essence was by
no means a novel phenomenon in medieval philosophy. In the context of the
same question, these texts had been referred to by Thomas Aquinas, Dietrich
of Freiberg, Giles of Rome and Henry of Ghent. Instead, the novelty con-
cerns the way in which the use of these sources is contextualized within a
coherent interpretive program, which derives from a specific model of the
science of metaphysics. Within this model, the two axiomatic treatises jointly
exercised a regulative function.

144
Cf. IDEM, Ibid., f. 54r.
145
IDEM, Ibid., f. 54r: Esse constitutum est ex finito et infinito, ut habet idem Alfarabius.
Patet quia per comparacionem ad id a quo est terminatum est lumine intellectus primi. Nisi
enim esse terminatum, principium composicionis primi et resolucionis ultimum universorum
encium causatorum esse non posset.... Quod eciam constituatur ex infinito sic ostenditur,
quia per comparacionem ad inferiora est infinitum. Ab ipso enim omes alii actus exeunt,
sicut vivere educitur ex esse et pariformiter omnes forme intelligibiles, hoc est stantes in
lumine intellectus universaliter agentis, quod omnem nature vultum penetrat.
146
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f.
54v: Esse creature realiter est eius essencia. Probacio est ista: Cum prima rerum creatarum
sit esse, creacio attingit primo esse in creatura. Igitur ab esse creatura habet, quod sit creatu-
ra essencialiter.... Sequitur quod creacio ostendit identitatem esse et essencie realem, cuius
oppositum est de intencione aliorum.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 113

VI. The Axiomatic Genre in Albertist Literature


The influence of De hebdomadibus and the Liber de causis on late-medieval
Albertism is similarly noticeable in the formal elaboration and method of
philosophical writing. The reorganization of metaphysical knowledge in the
form of propositions is, allowing for a certain variation, a characteristic of the
most important works of Albertist literature. It is significant, for instance, that
in his De esse et essentia and Tractatus universalium, Johannes de Nova
Domo arranges the material according to a pattern of alternation between
propositions and their illustration. Both works maintain the classical structure
of the quaestio only on a surface level, insofar as the discussion takes its start
from the enunciation of a problem (queritur utrum). However, Johannes
reaches the solution not through a classical discussion of the auctoritates and
arguments for and against a certain position but rather via a numbered se-
quence of propositions, which he sometimes enhances by adding corollaries,
dubia or notanda. Thereby, Johannes method aims at synthesizing and clari-
fying the contents, not least for didactic purposes.147 At the same time, his
procedure seeks to abridge and disambiguate the textual tradition of Alberts
works. As Johannes states in the prologue to his De esse et essentia, the
propositions that he enunciates are extracted in large part from Alberts writ-
ings and put into the service of the solution.148 Alberts theories are thus lo-
cated within an argumentative chain and recontextualized within the contem-
porary philosophical debates.
This conception likewise profoundly influenced the method of Albertist
commentaries on Aristotles works. Zenon Kauza notes, for instance, that
the method of Johannes de Nova Domos commentary on the Metaphysics,
which shows an often literal dependance on Alberts paraphrase, moves away
from Alberts own method: le texte de Jean de Maisonneuve suit toujours
celui de son modle, avec cette diffrence notable qu lintrieur de chaque
question et de chaque chapitre notre auteur progresse par des propositions
quil prouve ensuite.149 In fact, the Albertist masters did not adopt the para-

147
It is to this aspect that the colophon of a manuscript of the Tractatus universalium
seems to refer (Tbingen, Universittsbibliothek, Mc 103, f. 73v): pro suis discipulis com-
pendiose compilatus.
148
JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia, ed. MEERSSEMAN, in Geschichte des
Albertismus I, 91: Movebuntur aliquae quaestiones pro quarum solutione ponentur proposi-
tiones extractae ex diversis locis suorum [scil. Alberti] librorum.
149
KAUZA, Les querelles doctrinales Paris, 109 n. 8. Kauza continues: Cette m-
thode des thormes a par la suite t perfectionne par Heimeric de Campo, notamment
dans la premire partie de son Compendium divinorum.
114 Mario Meliad

phrastic technique of Albert but instead reworked the Aristotelian theories in


the form of conclusions and corollaries, often bound together by syllogisms
or accompanied by explanations. This holds also true for many commentaries
by Heymericus de Campo.150 In his Questiones supra libros philosophie Ar-
istotelis, for example, Heymericus summarizes the contents of the authorities
in propositional form and organizes the statements in a syllogistic framework
in order to bring out their argumentative stringency. In the course of his ca-
reer, Heymericus developed and refined the model devised by Johannes de
Nova Domo. Heymericus first philosophical treatise, the Compendium
divinorum (1420-1422), composed at Diest immediately after he left Paris,
especially in its first part exhibits a marked dependence on the Liber de cau-
sis and Proclus Elementatio, not only in terms of its expositional method.151
Compared with Ioannes de Nova Domo, Heymericus renders the descending
order of derivation among the theorems more evidently and confers a definite
structure on the network of propositions and corollaries.
One encounters a similar theorematic and syllogistic method in Hey-
mericus commentary on the Sentences and in philosophic works that he
conceived outside the disputes and disciplinary paradigms of the universi-
ty.152 In a series of short treatises composed over three decades, Heymeri-
cus attempted to develop an alternative scientific project, in which he in-
tended to formulate the principles of deduction of each human science and
to construct an archetypal encyclopaedia.153 In this project, the axiomatic-

150
Cf. J.-D. CAVIGIOLI, Les crits dHeymericus de Campo (1395-1460) sur les uvres
dAristote.
151
For a provisional edition of the work on the basis of only one manuscript, see J.B.
KOROLEC., Compendium divinorum Heymeryka de Campo W RKP BJ 695, in Studia
Mediewistyczne 8 (1967), 19-75, and 9 (1968), 3-90. For an analysis of the treatise, see
M.J.F.M HOENEN, Eenheid in de tegendelen. Heymeric van de Velde, Baarn 1990, at 24-33;
J.B. KOROLEC, Heimeric de Campo et sa vision noplatonicienne de dieu, in Albert der
Groe. Seine Zeit, sein Werk, seine Bedeutung, hrsg. v. A. ZIMMERMANN, New York-Berlin
1981, 208-16, esp. 211-14.
152
On Heymericus commentary on the Sentences, see M.J.F.M. HOENEN, Academic
Theology in the Fifteenth Century. The Sentences Commentary of Heymericus de Campo,
in Chemins de la pense mdivale. tudes offertes Znon Kaluza, d. P.J.J.M. BAKKER,
Turnhout 2002, 513-59. For Heymericus extra-university writings, see most of the works
collected in HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO, Opera selecta I, ed. R. IMBACH et P. LADNER (Spicile-
gium Friburgense, 39), Fribourg (Suisse) 2001.
153
Heymericus project of a universal science has never been analyzed systematically,
neither with regard to its internal theoretical and formal development nor to the constellation
of its sources. To this day, neither the relation among the various expressions of this science,
nor its connection with the philosophical-theological reflection represented in his academic
writings has been well understood. An important exception in this sense is F. HAMANN, Das
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 115

deductive model played a key role. Notably the Theoremata totius universi
fundamentaliter doctrinalia and the Ars demonstrativa are formed by a
hierarchy of syllogisms that are grouped as theorems or questions and are
rigorously deduced from a first principle, the law of non-contradiction.154 In
these works Heymericus interprets Aristotelian logic in a realistic sense as
the key to exposing the structure of the universe and revealing the common
rational foundation of theological, cosmological and anthropological inves-
tigation.155
In the context of a discussion of Boethius communes animi concep-
tiones the author of the Questiones super Ebdomadas develops a reflection
on the nature and function of axioms within metaphysical science.156 The
commentator defines the common notions as sedes prime philosophie. They
all derive from the intellects first apprehension, which is being.157 There

Siegel der Ewigkeit. Universalwissenschaft und Konziliarismus bei Heymericus de Campo,


Mnster i.W. 2006.
154
Both texts have survived only in Bernkastel-Kues, Bibliothek des St. Nikolaus-
Hospitals, Cod. 106. For an edition of the Theoremata, published together with the glosses
of Cusanus, see C. RUSCONI und K. REINHARDT, Die dem Cusanus zugeschriebenen Glos-
sen zu den Theoremata totius universi fundamentaliter doctrinalia des Heymeric de Cam-
po, in Heymeric de Campo. Philosophie und Theologie im 15. Jahrhundert, hrsg. v. K.
REINHARDT (Philosophie Interdisziplinr 28), Regensburg 2009, 58-74. A critical edition of
the Ars can be found in HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO, Opera selecta I, ed. IMBACH et LADNER,
138-67.
155
However, this view requires two short clarifications. First, after Heymericus Albertist
masters do not seem to follow the theorematic pattern any longer. Not least, with the institu-
tionalization of the school in the system of bursae at Cologne, metaphysics apparently does
not play a central role in the didactic program of Albertists, whose attention concentrates
exclusively on logic and natural philosophy in their writings. On this aspect, and more gene-
rally on Albertism in Cologne in the second half of the century, see the recent study of A.
SACCON, Il dibattito sullanima intellettiva nellalbertismo coloniense del XV secolo, Tesi di
dottorato, Universit di Torino 2013, esp. 37-47. Second, the use of a propositional scheme
and of an exposition through conclusiones seems to represent a broader tendency in the
fifteenth century. Surely, examples of axiomatic literature can also be found outside of the
Albertist school; see among others DIONYSIUS CARTHUSIANUS, Elementatio philosophiae
(Opera minora 1), Tournai 1907. Similarly, a syllogistic-propositional approach can be
found in HENRICUS DE GORYNCHEM, Quaestiones compendiosae ex congerie positionum
metaphysicalium, ed. H. QUENTELL, Kln 1502. What seems to be peculiar to Albertism in
this respect is the fact that the use of the theorematic genre is embedded in a specific model
of metaphysics, as the two Albertist commentaries show.
156
Cf. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610,
esp. ff. 49r-52v.
157
IDEM, Ibid., f. 50r: Primum quod in mente concipitur est ens quia operacio prima intel-
lectus est indivisibilium intelligencia III De anima. Ens autem est primum indivisibilium et
prima intelligentia.
116 Mario Meliad

can be no knowledge without a prior apprehension of being, since being is


the most simple and universal concept and is presupposed in every cogni-
tion of the intellect.158 Just as being is what every existing thing participates
first, so being is the constitutive concept of every operation of the intellect.
According to the Albertist master, the foundational impression of being in
the intellect implies the definition of the first rule inherent in each and eve-
ry act of cognition, which depends upon the opposition between being and
its negation. The author discusses the principle of non-contradiction in light
of Book IV of the Metaphysics.159 At the origins of first philosophy, he
states, there is a single principle to which all the other axioms can be re-
duced and upon which all demonstrations are founded. The principle of
non-contradiction is not only a norm of scientific discourse but also the
source of every metaphysical doctrine.160 The anonymous author discusses
the unfolding of theorems and their relation in terms of a flux (profluxus
conceptionum ab una et prima conceptione) and forges an analogy be-
tween the propositional structure of first philosophy and the causal struc-
ture of the cosmos. At the beginning of the fifteenth century, the Ques-
tiones super Ebdomadas reflects indirectly the conception of Proclus,
whereby the axiomatic structure of thought imitates the process of the very
emanation of being in the universe.

VII. The Manuscript Transmission and Topography


of the Dissemination of the Two Albertist Commentaries
In the following pages I give brief descriptions of the contents of the codi-
ces that preserve the Albertist commentaries on De hebdomadibus and on
the Liber de causis.161 The purpose of these descriptions is to present a

158
IDEM, Ibid., f. 50v: Sine intellectu entis nichil intelligitur. Patet quia est primum. Quodlibet
autem secundorum presupponit primum. Sequitur eciam quod omne quod intelligitur, intelligitur
sub conceptu entis.
159
IDEM, Ibid., f. 50v: Natura primum complexum aliarum dignitatum est hoc principium:
idem simul inesse et non inesse secundum idem cum aliis circumstantiis in racione elenchi
expressis est impossibile. Patet quia dependet ex intellectu entis, quod primum impressum est
intellectui.... Ad primum principium simpliciter complexum tria requiruntur, scilicet quod sit
firmissimum, quod non sit condicionale, hoc est non ex supposicione habitum, et quod sit
naturaliter veniens ad habentem. On this aspect, see KUHNEKATH, Die Philosophie des Johan-
nes Wenck, 80-84.
160
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas, in Mainz, Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, f. 50r:
Sequitur ex istis semen omnis doctrine pullulare ex huiusmodi primo principio. In ipsum
enim est reduccio omnium dignitatum illustrantium conclusiones scibiles.
161
The list of codices as well as the analysis of the topography of their transmission must be
considered provisional because the investigation of the manuscripts and the study of the tradi-
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 117

synoptic view of the manuscript tradition of the texts and to highlight the
context of their transmission. For codicological and paleographic details I
refer the reader to library catalogues. The list of manuscripts is divided into
three sections: the first section describes those manuscripts that preserve
the two commentaries together; the second section includes those manu-
scripts that contain the Questiones super Ebdomadas alone; the third sec-
tion describes those manuscripts which preserve only the commentary on
the Liber de causis. In a fourth section, I discuss the traces of the Ques-
tiones super Librum de causis in excerpts contained in the commentary on
the Liber de causis by the Cracovian master Jacobus de Gostynin (1506).
The commentary on De hebdomadibus is testified in two versions (v1
and v2); of these, v2 seems to be an abbreviation (with some elaborations) of
v1. Version v1, which constitutes the principal basis of the present study, is
preserved in nine manuscripts (E, M, Ei, H, Mu, Pk2, Po, V, Y). It is this
version that contains explicit references to the commentary on the Liber de
causis. This version is preserved in the oldest witnesses and seems to have
enjoyed a wider geographical dissemination than the second version. By
contrast, version v2 is preserved only in manuscripts from the second half of
the fifteenth century, and was disseminated almost exclusively in Poland.
Probably, it is the fruit of a later re-adaptation made at the University of
Krakw. The formulation of the questions concerning the axioms is identi-
cal in the two versions. The only significant exception is the quaestio on
the ninth axiom, which is discussed only in v2, whereas in v1 it is remarked
simply that the material pertinent to the ninth axiom has been developed
elsewhere (alibi ista materia expedita est, ideo hic ad presens non tractabi-
tur). The text of v2 survives in seven manuscripts (K1, K2, K3, W, Wr1,
Wr2, Wr3), four of which preserve an incomplete text that breaks off at
various points in different manuscripts before the treatment of all the axi-
oms is complete (K1, K3, W, Wr1).
The commentary on the Liber de causis was subject to a more limited
and less complex transmission. The text was copied in Germany and in
Prague but it was received also in Krakw, as we shall see. Manuscripts E
and M quote the propositions of Liber de causis before each section of the
commentary; manuscripts T, Pk1 and Pu, in contrast, report the commentary

tion is still underway. The principal reference of the descriptions is the literature quoted (Ref.).
Nevertheless, the descriptions are enriched and often corrected on the basis of an examination
of partial or complete reproductions of the manuscripts. The remarks concerning the other
contents of the codices are selective and aim only at specifying the context of transmission of
the two commentaries. In many cases, it has been possible to identify the author of works that
were transmitted anonymously and that are registered in the catalogues without attribution.
118 Mario Meliad

in a continuous manner without the text of De causis. In manuscripts T and


Pu, however, the complete text of the Liber de causis is provided before the
beginning of the commentary. Manuscript Pk1 omits the text of the Liber
completely. The two ways of disposing the actual text of the Liber de cau-
sis signal the two branches of the textual tradition of the commentary itself,
as is confirmed by a long series of variant readings.162
In this study I would like to propose two main considerations relative to
the composition of the miscellanies in which the two commentaries are
included in manuscripts: the first regards the association of the commen-
taries with specific philosophical debates; the second concerns the circula-
tion of the commentaries with other works of the Albertist school.163
The works of the Albertist master seem to be connected chiefly to the
debate on being and essence: in 15 of 19 instances, his writings travel with
one or more treatises dedicated to this dispute. In eight manuscripts the
Questiones super Ebdomadas are preserved together with one or more
commentaries on Thomas Aquinas De ente et essentia (E, K1, K2, Mu, Pk2,
Po, W, Wr2). Five manuscripts contain the commentary by the Thomist
master Gerardus de Monte from Cologne (E, Mu, Pk2, W, Wr2). In manu-
script V, frater Petrus copies the commentary on De hebdomadibus and
De ente by Thomas Aquinas. On this point, one should note that the Albert-
ist commentary on Boethius De hebdomadibus never competes with the
Expositio in De hebdomadibus by Thomas Aquinas, as it does with Thom-
as De ente et essentia and Thomist commentaries on that work. In four
cases the works by the Albertist master are preserved with the Theoremata
de esse et essentia by Giles of Rome (Ei, Mu, Y, Pu), and in four other
codices with an anonymous commentary on Giles Theoremata (K2, Pk1,
164
Pk2, Wr2). Three manuscripts (Mu, Pk2, Y) bear witness to the way in

162
On this subject, see M. MELIAD, Le Quaestiones super Librum de causis attribuite a
Johannes Wenck. Studio e edizione parziale, in Unpublished Latin Commentaries on Liber
de Causis, ed. CALMA, forthcoming. Together with Zornitsa Radeva (University of Freiburg)
I am currently preparing an unabridged edition of the text.
163
The confection of the codices and miscellanies is obviously subsequent to the copying
of the text. For this reason, the material context of transmission is not always a guide to the
reconstruction of the intellectual context in which the texts were read and copied.
164
This commentary seems to be linked with that presented in Z.K. SIEMIATKOWSKA,
Avant lexil de Gilles de Rome. Au sujet dune dispute sur les Theoremata de esse et es-
sentia de Gilles de Rome, in Mediaevalia Philosophica Polonorum 7 (1960), 3-67. The
reception of the works of Giles of Rome in the milieu of the fifteenth-century university, and
particularly the reception of his Theoremata, deserves further investigations. On this issue,
see M.J.F.M. HOENEN, Spekulationen ber das Sein. Der anonyme Kommentar zu De esse
et essentia von Aegidius Romanus in der Handschrift Eichsttt Cod. st 683 (XV), in Tradi-
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 119

which the Albertist commentary on De hebdomadibus was associated and


juxtaposed with Quodlibet VIII by Franciscus de Mayronis, which seems to
have been the authoritative text of the Scotist school on that topic. Finally,
in five codices the Questiones super Ebdomadas are accompanied by the
De esse et essentia by Johannes de Nova Domo (Wr1, Mu, Wr2, Wr3, Y).
Three of the five manuscripts containing the Albertist commentary on the
Liber de causis reveal an association with the literature de universalibus
(Pk1, Pu, T). More generally, the context of transmission of both commen-
taries is almost exclusively philosophical. Interestingly, five codices (H, K1,
Pu, V, Wr2) associate the works of the Albertist master with commentaries
on Aristotles Metaphysics and three codices with other commentaries on
the Liber de causis (Pk2, W, Wr3).
Finally, the commentators works in eight cases are preserved together
with the writings of Johannes de Nova Domo, and thus are associated with
Parisian Albertism (four times with De esse et essentia in Mu, Wr2, Wr3, Y;
once with De esse et essentia and the De universali reali in Wr1; once with
the De universali reali in Pu; twice with the Tractatus de universali natura
in T and V); four times with the works of Heymericus de Campo (in M
with the Compendium divinorum, and in Mu, Pk1 and Y with the Tractatus
problematicus). There are seven occasions in which the commentaries are
preserved contextually with the works of Albert the Great (M, Mu, H, K1,
Wr2, Wr3, Y). In sum, the commentators works are contained in nine dif-
ferent miscellanies with the writings of the leading masters of the Albertist
school, and thus seem to represent regular items in the library of late-
medieval Albertist thought.

(1) The Joint Transmission of the Commentaries


E = Erlangen-Nrnberg, Universittsbibliothek, Hs. 498.
15th c.; paper, 20.8 x 15 cm., 130 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de causis.
Sine lumine nichil est videre scribitur tractatu primo III De anima. Hec proposicio sic os-
tenditur.... Sufficit enim Aristoteli invenire primam causam et orat in libro suo de essencia
prime bonitatis. Inveni te nunc causa causarum fac me tibi acceptabilem. Et sic est finis. Sit
laus et gloria trinitatis etc. (ff. 1r-25r); ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia
est dea scienciarum scribitur ab Aristotele I Prime Philosophie. Siquidem qui modicum
transgressus.... Sed alibi ista materia expedita est, ideo hic ad presens non tractabitur. Suffi-
ciant igitur que premisimus a prudente viro rationis interprete suis unumquodque aptabitur
argumentis. Et sic est finis ebdomadum Boecij cum questionibus ipsis annexis etc. (ff. 25v-
40v). Other contents: <GERARDUS DE MONTE>, Commentarius in De ente et essentia
Thome de Aquino. De quidditatibus interpres doctor sanctus ne dum adultos provehere

tio Augustiniana. Studien ber Augustinus und seine Rezeption hrsg. v. A. ZUMKELLER und
A. KRMMEL (Cassiciacum 46), Wrzburg 1994, 443-69.
120 Mario Meliad

verum eciam novicios efficiens erudire.... sed lucens eternaliter qui est deus benedictus.
Amen. Et sic est finis (ff. 41r-107v); GILBERTUS PORRETANUS, Liber sex principiorum (ff.
116r-130v). Ref.: H. FISCHER, Katalog der Handschriften der Universittsbibliothek Erlan-
gen 2: Die Lateinischen Papierhandschriften, Erlangen 1936, 100-1.
M = Mainz, Wissenschaftliche Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I 610.
15th c.; paper, 21 x 25 cm., 268 ff. The codex belonged to the Charterhouse of S. Michaelsberg
of Mainz; there are many glosses by the hand of Marcellus Geist. ANONYMUS, Questiones
super Librum de causis. Sine lumine nichil est videre, scribitur tractatu primo III De Anima.
Hec propositio sic ostenditur.... Sufficit enim Aristoteli invenire primam causam et orat in libro
suo de essencia prime bonitatis. Inveni te nunc causa causarum fac me tibi acceptabilem. Et sic
est finis sit laus et gloria trinis etc. (ff. 2r-38r); ANONYMUS, <Questiones super Ebdomadas>.
Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribitur ab Aristotele I Prime Philosophie. Siquidem qui modi-
cum transgressus.... Sed alibi ista materia expedita est, ideo hic ad presens non tractabitur.
Sufficiant igitur que premisimus a prudente viro rationis interprete suis unumquodque aptabitur
argumentis. Expliciunt ebdomades Boecij cum questionibus nucliatis(?) ipsis annexis (ff. 46r-
71r). Other contents: ANONYMUS, Conclusiones de intellectu et intelligibili. Incipiunt conclu-
siones de intellectu et intelligibili. Omne cognitivum animalium causatum est ex alio cogniti-
vo.... intelligendum est de indigentia relata ad intellectus perfectionem. Et sic est finis, deo laus
(ff. 38v-45v) [This is a compendium of De intellectu et intelligibili by Albertus Magnus];
Proposiciones Trismegisti (f. 74v) [These are the propositions from the Liber viginti quattuor
philosophorum]; JOHANNES WENCK, Questiones in tercium De anima. Quoniam autem duabus
differentiis diffiniunt animam. Iste est liber De anima in quo agitur de virtutibus interioris....
quod posicio platonicorum non est approbanda. Et sic finitur tercius de anima in vigilia(?)
Petri(?) per magistrum Johannem Wenck collectus questionatim (ff. 72r-84r); <HEYMERICUS
DE CAMPO>, Compendium divinorum (excerpts, ff. 89v-95v; 120r-176v); ANONYMUS, Ques-
tiones super octos libros Physice (ff. 180v-268v). Ref.: R. HAUBST, Johannes Wenck aus
Herrenberg als Albertist, in Recherches de Thologie ancienne et mdivale 18 (1951), 308-
23; B. MOJSISCH und F.-B. STAMMKTTER, Conclusiones de intellectu et intelligibili: Ein
Kompendium der Intellektheorie Alberts des Grossen, in Mediaevalia Philosophica Polono-
rum 31 (1992), 43-60.

(2) The Independent Transmission


of the Commentary on De hebdomadibus
Ei = Eichsttt, Universittsbibliothek, Cod. st 469.
15th. c.; paper, 31.5 x 21.5 cm., 224 ff. The codex was bound after 1473 and belonged to
Ulrich Pfeffel. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Circa ebdomadas Boecij talis
ponitur propositio: Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribit Aristoteles I Philosophie. Si quis
modicum transgressus.... Sed alibi hec materia expedita est ideoque hic non tractabitur.
Quare pro nunc sit benedictus deus in secula seculorum. Amen. Et sic est finis (ff. 191ra-
196vb). Other contents: AEGIDIUS ROMANUS, Theoremata de esse et essentia. Omne esse
vel est purum per se existens et infinitum vel est participatum in alio receptum et limita-
tum.... Et hec de esse et essencia dicta sufficiant. Magni et excellentissimi ingenij viri Egidij
de Roma cardinalis liber theoreumatum explicit feliciter (ff. 197ra-220vb). Ref.: K.H
KELLER, Die mittelalterlichen Handschriften der Universittsbibliothek Eichsttt 2: Aus
Cod. st 276 - Cod. st 470 (Kataloge der Universittsbibliothek Eichsttt 1; Die mittelalterli-
chen Handschriften 2), Wiesbaden 1999, 318-22.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 121

H = Halle (Saale), Universitts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, Stolb.-Wernig.


Za 27.
Frankfurt a.M.; 15th c. (1436); 29.5 x 21.5 cm., 119 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super
Ebdomadas. Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribitur ab Aristotele I Prime Philosophie.
Siquidem qui modicum transgressus.... simile huius est in luce exercita a sole corporali que
in colore concurrentibus qualitatibus (ff. 111va-119vb). Other contents: Metaphysica cum
commentario (ff. 1r-71r); Liber de causis. Finitus est liber de causis sub annis domini 1436
sabatina die ante reminiscere per Hinricum in schola Frankenvordis (ff. 71v-77r);
ANONYMUS, Memoriale rerum difficilium (ff. 78r-90v); ANONYMUS, Commentarius in Ele-
mentationem theologicam Procli. Eternitas non est de se mensura.... huius ratio est quia
substantia (ff. 90v-91v); ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De intellectu et intelligibili (ff. 92ra-110vb).
Ref.: R. SCHIPKE und K. HEYDECK, Handschriftencensus der kleineren Sammlungen in den
stlichen Bundeslndern Deutschlands, Wiesbaden 2000, 161-62.
K1= Krakw, Biblioteka Jagiellonksa, cod. 2087.
15th c. (1464); paper, 280 ff. Liber magistri Nicolai de Cracovia. ANONYMUS, Questiones
super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribit Aristoteles I Prime Philosophie et
hec proposicio duabus racionibus ostenditur. Prima sumitur ex parte habentis scientiam....
essencia et esse huiusmodi (ff. 276r-280r). The copy is interrupted during the question on
the fifth axiom. Other contents: <JOHANNES VERSOR>, Questiones in de ente et essencia
beati Thome. Utrum ab ente sumatur nomen essencie (ff. 1r-16r); Questiones super Libros
phisicorum (ff. 16r-191v); ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De intellectu et intelligibili (ff. 263r-275v).
Ref.: W. WISOCKI, Katalog rkopisw Biblijoteki Uniwersytetu Jagielloskiego 2, Krakw
1877, 601.
K2= Krakw, Biblioteka Jagiellonksa, cod. 2524.
Krakw; 15th c. (1479, 1489); paper, 276 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas.
Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribit Aristoteles I Prime Philosophie et hec proposicio duabus
racionibus ostenditur. Prima sumitur ex parte habentis scientiam.... simplicissima unitas in
essencia ac trinitas in personis. Amen (ff. 243v-248v). Other contents: ANTONIUS ANDREA,
Questiones super libros Metaphisice Aristotilis. Expliciunt questiones Antonij Andree ordinis
Minorum, correpte ac emendate per excellentissimum Franciscum de Nerithono ordinis Predi-
catorum, reportate in Studio Cracouiensi post Martinum de Tarnoviecz, finite die Saturni
immediate ante Galli in maiori Collegio anno reparacionis nostre 1489 (ff. 4r-103r);
<DOMINICUS GUNDISALVI>, Tractatus de unitate (ff. 104r-105v) [The work is here ascribed to
Boethius]; ANONYMUS, Questiones super Metaphysicam (ff. 110r-199r); <JOHANNES VERSOR>,
Questiones in de ente et essencia beati Thome. Utrum ab ente sumatur nomen essencie (ff.
201r-221r); ANONYMUS, Commentarius in Theoremata de esse et essentia Egidii Romani.
Philosophus II de Generacione dicit facilius (f. 221v-244r); De scripta Boecij et commentari-
bus aliis ex Vincencis libro historiali (f. 249r); Aliqua dicta necessaria ad predictam tam ad
hebdomades quam ad questiones (f. 250r-v) Ref.: W. WISOCKI, Katalog rkopisw Biblijoteki
Uniwersytetu Jagielloskiego 2, Krakw 1877, 506.
K3= Krakw, Biblioteka Jagiellonksa, cod. 2624.
16th c.; paper, 14 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia est dea scien-
ciarum scribit Arestoteles I Prime Philosophie et hec proposicio duabus racionibus ostendi-
tur. Prima sumitur ex parte habentis scientiam.... albus participat non solum esse substan-
ciale sed etiam albedinem etc. Septima proposicio (ff. 4r-12v). The commentary stops be-
fore the treatment of the seventh axiom. The manuscript presents a considerably abbreviated
and reworked version, with insertions of extracts from Aquinas commentary. The codex
122 Mario Meliad

does not preserve other works. Ref.: W. WISOCKI, Katalog rkopisw Biblijoteki Uniwer-
sytetu Jagielloskiego 2, Krakw 1877, 622-623.
Mu= Mnchen, Universittsbibliothek, 2 Cod. ms. 49.
Leipzig; 15th c. (1466-1468); paper, 31 x 21 cm., 309 ff. The manuscript belonged to Jo-
hannes Molitoris (1482), Master of Arts at the University of Leipzig in 1462.
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribit Aristoteles
I Prime philosophie. Si quis enim modicum ingressus.... Sed alibi ista materia expedita est,
ideo hic non tractabitur causa brevitatis. Et hec de ebdomatibus Boecij (ff. 97ra-107ra).
Other contents: <HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO>, Tractatus problematicus. Incipiunt propleuma-
ta sancti Thome et domini Alberti secundum ordinem.... cum hoc vere sit intelligendum de
habitu perfecto, cuius addicione facultas naturalis liberi arbitrij fit expedita etc. (ff. 1ra-
54rb); <FRANCISCUS DE MAYRONIS>, Questio quodlibetalis VIII (Vinculum). Ab inicio et
ante secula creata sunt omnia etc. Quia vero non aliqua.... sicut individualis proprietas re-
ducitur ad speciem cuius est proprietas, sicut hecceitas aut quiditas virtutis intensio caloris
est in ipso igne etc. (ff. 54va-61va); <JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO>, De esse et essentia. Ad
habendum aliqualem notitiam pariter et intellectum circa naturam de esse et essencia secun-
dum mentem peripateticorum.... Patet eciam ex dictis quomodo accidens innascitur sub-
stancie. Et hec de esse et essencia venerabilis domini Alberti dicta sufficiant. Deo gratias (ff.
61vb-72vb); <ALBERTUS MAGNUS>, De natura et origine animae (ff. 73ra-96vb);
GERARDUS DE MONTE, Commentarius in De ente et essentia Thomae de Aquino. Insignis
peripathetice veritatis interpres doctor sanctus nedum indultos.... reducat nos finaliter hec
ipsa lux eclipsabilis sed lucens eternaliter, qui est deus benedictus in secula seculorum
amen. Explicit materia de ente et essencia doctoris Gerhardi canonici Coloniensis in ecclesia
sancti Andree (ff. 108ra-150ra); THOMAS DE AQUINO(?), Opuscula philosophica (ff. 151ra-
165rb); <GUILELMUS DE ALVERNIA>, De immortalitate anime (ff. 174rb-175rb), excerpts;
<THOMAS DE SUTTON>, De productione forme substantialis (ff. 175rb-181rb); THOMAS DE
AQUINO(?), Opuscula philosophica, (ff. 181rb-203vb); ANONYMUS, Commentarius in De
ente et essentia Thomae de Aquino. In unoquoque genere est dare unum principium.... qui
propter sui simplicitatem est causa et finis enim et principium a quo dependent omnia in
secula seculorum. Amen Deo gracias (ff. 204ra-242rb); <FRANCISCUS DE MAYRONIS>,
[Questio quodlibetalis VIII (Vinculum)]. Queritur utrum esse essencie quiditatum creabilium
sit eternum. Circa hanc questionem sunt duo articuli declarandi, quorum primus est ab inicio
ante secula.... sicut hec entitas aut quiditas virtutis ut intencio calorum est in ipso igne etc.
Amen Deo gracias (ff. 242va-250vb); ANONYMUS, Commentarius in De ente et essentia
Thome de Aquino. Circa inicium tractatus sancti Thome de quiditatibus encium queritur
primo, utrum ad habendum cognicionem quiditatis encium a significacione entis ad signifi-
cacionem essencie sit procedendum.... Et patet etiam quomodo huiusmodi essencia se habeat
ad intenciones loycas generis, speciei aut differencie. Ad raciones ante oppositum patet
solutio. Sit laus Deo etc. (ff. 251ra-259vb); AEGIDIUS ROMANUS, Tractatus de plurificatione
intellectus possibilis (ff. 260ra-269rb); Registrum super Theoreumata Egidij (ff. 270ra-
270va); AEGIDIUS ROMANUS, Theoremata de esse et essentia. Omne esse vel est purum per
se existens et infinitum vel est participatum in alio receptum et limitatum.... Et hec de esse et
essencia dicta sufficiunt. Deo gracias alleluia (ff. 271ra-294vb). Ref.: N. DANIEL, G.
KORNRUMPF und G. SCHOTT, Die Lateinischen mittelalterlichen Handschriften der Universi-
ttsbibliothek Mnchen. Die Handschriften aus der Folioreihe 1 Wiesbaden 1974, 62-65.
AEGIDII ROMANI Opera omnia I, Il catalogo dei manoscritti (457-505), a cura di B. FAES DE
MOTTONI, Firenze 1990, 232-39.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 123

Pk2= Praha, Knihovna Metropolitni Kapituly u svatho Vita, Cod. O.15.


15th c.; paper, 21.1 x 15.5 cm., 372 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapi-
encia est dea scienciarum scribit Aristoteles I Prime Philosophie. Si quis modicum trans-
gressus fuerit.... Sed alibi ista materia expedita est. Ideo hic non tractabitur (ff. 83r-93r).
Other contents: ANONYMUS, Commentarius in Theoremata de esse et essentia Egidii Rom-
ani. Philosophus II de Generacione dicit facilius (f. 1r-14r); <GERARDUS DE MONTE>,
Commentarius in De ente et essentia Thome de Aquino. Insignis peripatetice veritatis inter-
pres (ff. 15r-62r); ANONYMUS, Commentarius in Librum de causis, Sapiencie quinto scribi-
tur: aufer de argento rubiginem et egredietur vas purissimum.... trinus et unus semper bene-
dictus in secula seculorum. Amen (ff. 63r-81r); FRANCISCUS DE MAYRONIS, Questio quodli-
betalis VIII (Vinculum). Ab inicio et ante secula (ff. 95r-101v). Ref.: A. PODLAHA, Soupis
rukopis knihovny Metropolitn Kapitoly Prask, II, Praha 1922, 473-74 nr. 1599.
Po= Pozna, Archiwum Archidiecezjalne, MS. 46.
15th c. (1459); paper, 29.5 x 21.5 cm. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapien-
cia dea est scienciarum scribit Aristoteles I Prime Philosophie. Siquidem modicum trans-
gressus fuit.... Sed alibi ista materia expedita est. Ideo hic non tractabitur. Et sic est finis (ff.
234ra-238vb). Other contents: The codex preserves many anonymous Aristotelian com-
mentaries, Thomas De ente et essentia with an exposition on the same work, a treatise de
universalibus. Most of these texts seem to have been copied in Paris by Liborius Naker
during the second half of the fifteenth century. Ref.: A. LISIECKI, Katalog rkopisw bibli-
oteki seminaryjnej w Poznaniu: a do wieku XV wcznie, Pozna 1905, 54-55.
V = Vaticano (Citt del), Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Cod. Pal. lat. 1058.
France and Germany; 15th c. (1400-1427); paper, 21 x 14.5 cm., 285 ff. The manuscript
belonged to Erhard Knab (ca. 1420-1480) Master at the Faculty of Medicine in Heidelberg.
Ff. 85v-118v, 121r-132v, 260r-280v, were copied in Paris by the hand of Petrus (de Rupel-
la?). F. 132v is dated to the year 1417. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapi-
encia dea est scienciarum, scribitur ab Aristotele I Prime philosophie. Siquidem quis modi-
cum transgressus fuerit.... Sed alibi ista materia expedita est, ideo hic non tractabitur causa
brevitatis. Sequitur etc. et sic est finis (ff. 85v-100r). Other contents: ANONYMUS, Ques-
tiones in Metaphysicam Aristotelis (ff. 1ra-71r); ANONYMUS, Tractatus brevis de origine seu
inchoacione anime racionalis (ff. 71v-72r); <AEGIDIUS ROMANUS>, Tractatus de intellectu
possibili (ff. 73r-84v); JACOBUS DE VITERBIO, Questio de racionibus seminalibus in materia
(ff. 110v-107v); THOMAS DE AQUINO, De ente et essencia. Quoniam parvus error in princip-
io.... in quo sit finis et consummacio huius sermonis. Amen. Explicit tractatus de ente et
essencia beati Thome de Alquino[!] fratris ordnis Iacobutarum sub anno domini 1417 feria
quarta ante festum pasche per me Petrum fratrem Parisius pro tunc studio vacantem, laude-
tur deus etc. (ff. 121r-132v); ANONYMUS, Questio metaphisicalis de universalibus (ff. 135r-
138r); ANONYMUS, Questio phisicalis in tercium De anima (ff. 138v-140v); <JOHANNES DE
NOVA DOMO>, Tractatus de natura universali. Utrum universale quod est forma totius
communicabilitatem propriam habet ex hoc quod est universale in re vel ex hoc quod est
universale ante rem.... quibus nomina universalium sunt inposita etc. Et sic est finis aliquor-
um notabilium pro noticia universalium (ff. 145ra-151vb). Ref.: D. WALZ, Die historischen
und philosophischen Handschriften der Codices Palatini Latini in der Vatikanischen Biblio-
thek: Cod. Pal. Lat. 921-1078 (Kataloge der Universittsbibliothek Heidelberg 3), Wiesba-
den 1999, 230-36; AEGIDII ROMANI Opera omnia I, Il catalogo dei manoscritti (1-95), a cura
di B. FAES DE MOTTONI e C. LUNA, Firenze 1987, 97-104.
124 Mario Meliad

W= Wien, sterreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 5141.


16th c.; paper, 156 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia prima est dea
scienciarum particularium. Hanc Aristoteles scribit I Prime Philosophie et hec proposicio
duabus racionibus ostenditur.... nomine concreti (ff. 62r-67v). This copy is interrupted with
the treatment of the eighth axiom. Other contents: <GERARDUS DE MONTE>, Commentarius
in De ente et essentia Thome de Aquino. Insignis peripatetice veritatis.... rationabiliter in
superficie (ff. 1r-49v); <JACOBUS DE GOSTYNIN>, Expositio in Librum de causis. Ut autem
sermo mentibus aut gencium.... ut intelligencia sed non nisi sciens (ff. 69r-107v). This copy
of the commentary is incomplete. Ref.: Tabulae codicum manuscriptorum praeter graecos
et orientales in Bibliotheca Palatina Vindobonensi asservatorum IV, ed. Academia Caesarea
Vindobonensis, Wien 1870, 38.
Wr1= Wrocaw, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, IV.Q.19.
15th c. (1466); paper, 21 x 14.5 cm., 105 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas.
Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribit Aristotiles I Prime etc.... ut aliquid eo sit sed ab hoc
tantum est ut eo sit (ff. 9r-18r). The commentary is incomplete and stops at the exposition of
the sixth axiom. Other contents: <JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO>, De esse et essentia. Ad
habendam aliqualem noticiam aliter et intellectum circa materiam quidem esse et essencia
secundum mentem Peripateticorum.... rescipit formam partis et ex consequenti formam
tocius (ff. 1r-8v); <JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO (?)>, De universali reali (ff. 28r-38v). Ref.:
W. GBER, Katalog rkopisw dawnej Biblioteki Uniwersyteckiej we Wrocawiu, t.19 (IV Q
1-50), 60-61. Gbers catalogue is hand-written, preserved in the Library of the University
of Wrocaw (it is now available on-line), and in F.E. CRANZ. A Microfilm Corpus of Unpu-
blished Inventories of Latin Manuscripts through 1600 A.D., New London, CT 1987, reel
332.1-5. Willi Gber prepared all the descriptions to this catalogue at the beginning of the
twentieth century based on the works of Otto Gnther, Joseph Klapper and Karl Rother.
Wr2= Wrocaw, Biblioteka Uniwersytecka, IV.Q.20.
Krakw; 15th c. (1477); paper, 22 x 16 cm., 339 ff.. There is a double numeration of the folios
and both seem to be inconsistent. We follow here the numeration of KUKSEWICZ.
ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia est dea scienciarum scribit Aristoteles I
Prime philosophie. Et hec propositio duabus racionibus ostenditur.... simplicissima unitas in
essencia ac trinitas in personis. Amen. Pro quo fine sit deus benedictus in secula seculorum.
Amen. Nomen meum imponere nolo, quia magis scribere volo. Et sic finis habetur etc. (ff.
275r-281r). Other contents: ANONYMUS, Tractatus de conceptibus (ff. 1r-8r); ANONYMUS,
Questio de esse et essencia (ff. 9r-16v); ANONYMUS, Commentarius in Theoremata de esse et
essentia Egidii Romani. Philosophus II de Generacione dicit facilius.... totaque curia celestis
per infinita secula seculorum. Amen. Expliciunt Theoremata de esse et essencia edita a frate
Egidio Romano ordinis fratrum Sancti Augustini (ff. 21r-44r); ANONYMUS, Questiones super
libros Metaphisice Aristotelis. Circa inicium I Metaphisice queritur primo utrum subiectum
prime philosophie sit ens inquantum ens.... oppositum est pro dictis. Et sic est finis Cracovie
per me Paulum Lehener anno etc. 1478 (ff. 45r-106r); GERARDUS DE MONTE, Commentarius in
De ente et essentia Thome de Aquino. Insignis peripatetice veritatis princeps et interpres doctor
sanctus Thomas.... hec ipsa lux non elapsibilis, sed lucens eternaliter. Amen. Explicit materia
Gychardi super de ente et essencia Thome (ff. 107r-152v); ANONYMUS, Questiones super
libros Metaphisice Aristotelis. Circa inicium prime philosophie queritur utrum ens sit subiec-
tum adequatum librorum metaphisice.... ex quo sequitur quod melius est posse malum facere
quam facere malum. Et tantum de nono (ff. 155r-208r); ANONYMUS, Memoriale rerum difficil-
ium, (ff. 231r-245r); ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De intellectu et intelligibili, (ff. 287r-305r);
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 125

<JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO>, De esse et essentia. Ad habendum aliqualem noticiam aliter et


intellectum circa materiam de esse et essencia secundum mentem Peripatethicorum.... Et hic de
natura essencie et esse secundum tradicionem venerabilis domini Alberti Magni ad presens suffi-
ciant. Et sic est finis (ff. 311r-332v). Johannes text is glossed heavily. Ref.: W. GBER, Katalog
rkopisw dawnej Biblioteki Uniwersyteckiej we Wrocawiu, t.19 (IV Q 1-50), 62-66. Z.
KUKSEWICZ, Contribution au problme de linfluence de lalbertisme sur lUniversit de Craco-
vie au XVe sicle, in Mediaevalia Philosophica Polonorum 11 (1963), 49-68, esp. 49-52.
Wr3= Wrocaw, Biblioteka Zakadu Narodowego im. Ossolinskich (Ossolineum), Rkps.
734.
Krakw; 15th-16th c.; paper, 208 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia
est dea scienciarum scribit Aristoteles I Metaphisice. Et hec proposicio duabus racionibus....
hec simplicissima unitas in essentia et trinitas in personis Amen. Anno virginalis partus
1502 (ff. 135r-142r). Other contents: ANONYMUS, Commentarius in Librum de causis,
Sapiencie quinto scribitur: aufer rubiginem de argento.... trinus et unus super est benedictus
in secula seculorum (ff. 1r-30v); ANONYMUS, Commentarius in Librum de causis, Liber
sapientis David Iudeorum (ff. 31v-60r); Memoriale rerum difficilium (62r-79r); JOHANNES
DE NOVA DOMO, De esse et essentia (ff. 81r-95r). Ref.: W. KTRZYSKI, Katalog rkopisw
Biblioteki Zakadu Nar. im. Ossoliskich 3, Lww 1898, 231-32; KUKSEWICZ, Contribution
au problme de linfluence de lalbertisme, 49-68, esp. 53-56.
Y= New Haven, Yale University: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 768.
Germany; 15th c.; paper, 31.5 x 21 cm., 370 ff. From the library of the Fugger family
(shelfmark I-C-17). ANONYMUS, Questiones super Ebdomadas. Sapiencia est dea scien-
ciarum scribit Arestotiles I prime philosophie.... sed alibi ista materia expedita est, ideo hic
non tractabitur causa brevitatis. Et hec de ebdomatibus Boecii etc. (ff. 254v-262v). Other
contents: THOMAS DE AQUINO, Questiones de quolibet (ff. 1r-127r); ID., Opuscula philo-
sophica (ff. 171r195r); <GUILELMUS DE ALVERNIA>, De immortalitate anime (ff. 195r-
196r), excerpts; PS.-THOMAS DE AQUINO, De universalibus. Sequitur tractatus beati Thome
de universalibus. Circa consideracionem universalis oportet.... consimile dicit VII
Metaphisice. Hec de univesalibus dicta sufficiant. Laus Deo (ff. 218v-223v); AEGIDIUS
ROMANUS, Theoremata de esse et essencia. Omne esse vel est purum, per se existens et
infinitum, vel est participatum, in alio receptum et limitatum.... et hec de esse et essencia
dicta sufficiunt. Laus sit ipsi Deo in quo est omne esse, qui est trinus et unus, benedictus in
secula seculorum. Amen (ff. 227r-254v); ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De intellectu et intelligibili
(ff. 263r-275v); IDEM, De natura et origine anime (ff. 275v-295r); <HEYMERICUS DE
CAMPO>, Tractatus problematicus, Cum animadverterem modernorum figmenta a doctrina
Aristotelis presertim in sciencia universalium... Incipiunt propleumata sancti Thome et
domini Alberti secundum ordinem. Restat nunc ordine premisso [f. 302v].... sit intelligen-
dum de habitu perfecto, cuius addicione facultas naturalis liberi arbitrii sit expedita, etc. (ff.
299r-354v); <FRANCISCUS DE MAYRONIS>, Questio quodlibetalis VIII (Vinculum). Ab initio
et ante secula creata sunt omnia.... proprietas sicut hecceitas aut quittitas virtutis intensio
caloris est in ipso igne, etc. (ff. 354v-361r); <JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO>, De esse et essen-
tia. Ad habendum aliqualem noticiam pariter et intellectum circa naturam de esse et essencia
secundum mentem Periippoteticorum[sic].... Patet eciam ex dictis quod accidens innascitur
substancie. Et hec de esse et essencia venerabilis domini Alberti dicta sufficiant, etc. Deo
gracias (ff. 361r-370v). Ref.: Unpublished description by A. DEROLEZ, available on the
following link: http://brbl-net.library.yale.edu/pre1600ms/docs/MS768.pdf
126 Mario Meliad

(3) The Independent Transmission


of the Commentary on Liber de causis
Pk1= Praha, Knihovna Metropolitni Kapituly u svatho Vita, Cod. M.55.
Praha; 15th c.; paper, 22.1 x 16 cm., 119 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de
causis. Circa inicium libri De causis assumitur talis proposicio: Sine lumine nihil est videre,
scribitur tractatu primo III De anima.... Sed de hiis alibi est distincio. Sufficit enim Aristoteli
invenire primam causam et erat in libro suo de essencia prime bonitatis. Inveni te nunc causa
causarum, fac me tibi acceptabilem. Et sic finis (ff. 1ra-13va). Other contents: ANONYMUS,
Disputatio super differentiam inter esse et essentiam secundum Egidium Romanum. Utrum
in rebus creatis esse et essencia differant realiter.... sed tamen ipsum esse non est essencia
etc. (ff. 14r-17v); <HEYMERICUS DE CAMPO>, Tractatus problematicus. Cum animad-
verterem modernorum figmenta a doctrina Arestotelis.... et per consequens de omnibus aliis
in principio huius operis titulariter prenotatis (ff. 18r-87v); ANONYMUS, Tractatus de univer-
salibus, Quia ut habet Philosophus in X De animalibus.... qui est universale bonum et omnis
bonitas fontanea origo deus sublimis et benedictus. Amen (ff. 89r-110v) Ref.: A. PODLAHA,
Soupis rukopis knihovny Metropolitn Kapitoly Prask II, Praha 1922, 302 nr. 1411; K.
EMERY, Jr., Dionysii Cartusiensis Opera selecta (Corpus Christianorum Continuatio Me-
diaevalis 121), Turnhout 1991, 124-25. The manuscript is also described by P. RUTTEN in
the introduction to his edition of the Tractatus problematicus, available at the following
address: https://sites.google.com/site/tractatusproblematicus/the-manuscripts.
Pu = Praha, Nrodn Knihovna esk Republiky. Cod. I.F.25.
Praha; 15th c. (1455-1459); 22 x 16 cm., 307 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super Librum de
causis. Circa inicium Libri de causis assumitur talis propositio: Sine lumine nichil est videre
scribitur tractatu primo III De Anima. Hec propositio sic ostenditur.... Sed de hijs alibi est
distinctio. Sufficit enim Aristoteli invenire primam causam. Et orat in libro suo de essencia
prime bonitatis. Inveni te nunc causa causarum fac me tibi acceptabilem. Et sic est finis pro
quo deus laudetur in astris (ff. 290v-302v). Other contents: <JOHANNES VERSOR>, Ques-
tiones XII librorum Metaphisice Aristotelis. Circa inicium libri Metaphisice queritur utrum
ista sciencia que metaphisica dicitur sit ab aliis partibus philosophie distincta.... solum autem
est unus quid in substancia omnis perfeccionis includit et hoc est deus gloriosissimus, qui sit
benedictus in secula seculorum. Amen. Et sic finis XII libri Metaphisice anno domini 1459
feria V in vigilia sancti Andree per Crucem de Telcz Prage in collegio regis Wenceslai (ff.
1r-128v); AEGIDIUS ROMANUS, Theoremata de esse et essentia. Omne esse vel est purum per
se existens et infinitum.... nec substancia que est analoga predicatur. Hec dicta de esse et
essencia sufficiant Egidii Romani (ff. 129r-129v) [It contains only the theorems without
explanations]; <JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO (?)>, De universali reali (excerpts, ff. 260r-
261r); Tractatus de universalibus. Articulus secundus unde veniat et fit universalitas in
entibus.... qui est universale bonum et omnis bonitas fontanea origo deus sublimis et bene-
dictus. Amen (ff. 262r-282r). Ref.: J. TRUHL, Catalogus codicum manu scriptorum lati-
norum, qui in c.r. Bibliotheca Publica atque Universitatis Pragensis asservantur I, Praha
1905, 105-16 nr. 257; A. BIRKENMAJER, Etudes dhistoire des Sciences en Pologne (Studia
Copernicana 4), Wrocaw 1972, 328-30.
T = Tbingen, Universittsbibliothek, Mc 103.
Heidelberg; ca. 1473-1482; paper, 20 x 14 cm., 228 ff. ANONYMUS, Questiones super
Librum de causis. Assumitur propositio: Sine lumine nichil est videre conscribitur tractatu
primo III De Anima. Hec propositio sic ostenditur.... Sufficit enim Aristoteli invenire primam
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 127

causam ut habet in libro suo de essencia prime bonitatis. Inveniente nunc causa causarum facit
me tibi acceptabilem. In secula seculorum. Amen (ff. 114v-122v). Other contents:
ANONYMUS, Tractatus contra universalia realia negantes (ff. 65r-66v); ANONYMUS, Tractatus
contra ineptos et falsissimos modernos negantes (f. 66v); JOHANNES DE NOVA DOMO, Tractatus
de natura universali. Tractatus de natura universali venerabilis viri Johannis de Nova Domo
sacre theologie professoris eximii incipit feliciter. Quicumque ignorat universalia ignorat omne
genus sciencie.... nomina sunt imposita. Et in hec finitur tractatus, determinatur universalium
natura venerabilis viri Johannis de Nova Domo sacreque theoloye professoris eximii quondam
prius pro suis discipulis compendiose compilatus (ff. 67r-74v); <DOMINICUS GUNDISALVI>,
Tractatus de unitate (ff. 74r-78r) [The work is here ascribed to Boethius]; Tractatus de univer-
salis natura. Cum sit necessarium scire universalis naturam que fundamentum est omnis sci-
encie.... primus error incipiendo maximus erit in fine. Et hec de universalis natura dicta breviter
sufficiunt (ff. 103r-108v); Liber de causis (ff. 108v-113v). Ref.: H. RCKELEIN, Die
lateinischen Handschriften der Universittsbibliothek Tbingen 1, beschrieben von H.
RCKELEIN unter Mitwirkung von G. BRINKHUS, H. WEIGEL und U. HASCHER-BURGER; unter
Benutzung der Vorarbeiten von E. NEUSCHELER (Handschriftenkataloge der Universittsbiblio-
thek Tbingen 1), Wiesbaden 1991, 217-19.

(4) The Reception of the Commentary on the Liber de causis


in Poland: the Case of Jacobus de Gostynin

Apart from the five manuscripts described above, the diffusion of the Ques-
tiones super Librum de causis is documented by their reception in the sub-
sequent commentary tradition. As mentioned earlier, the Faculty of Arts at
the University of Krakw at the end of the fifteenth century was a fertile
center of Albertist philosophy. Indeed, texts produced by the Albertist
movement in Paris and Cologne in the first half of the century had a signif-
icant impact in Krakw.165 Jacobus de Gostynin, who may be considered
one of the most representative Polish masters at that time, wrote an exten-
sive paraphrase of the Liber de causis, which is preserved in two manu-
scripts (Krakw, Biblioteka Jagiellonska, cod. 505, ff. 155r-190v; Wien,
sterreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 5141, ff. 69r-107v) and was
printed 1507 in Krakw under the title Theoremata seu propositiones Auc-
toris Causarum David Judei cum annotationibus ac luculenta exposi-
tione.166 In this work, Jacobus not only uses the doctrines of Johannes de

165
See, among others, M. MARKOWSKI, Albert und der Albertismus in Krakau, in Albert
der Grosse. Seine Zeit, sein Werk, seine Wirkung, hrsg. v. A. ZIMMERMANN (Miscellanea
Mediaevalia 14), Berlin-New York 1981, 177-92; Z. KUKSEWICZ, Contribution au problme
de linfluence de lalbertisme sur lUniversit de Cracovie au XVe sicle, in Mediaevalia
Philosophica Polonorum 11 (1963), 49-68; IDEM, Die Einflsse der Klner Philosophie auf
die Krakauer Universitt im 15. Jahrhundert, in Die Klner Universitt im Mittelalter, hrsg. v.
A. ZIMMERMANN (Miscellanea Mediaevalia 20), Berlin-New York 1989, 287-98.
166
For a modern edition (not critical) based only on the early print, see W.P. GRA, Ja-
kub z Gostynina Komentarz do Liber de Causis, in Materialy i Studia Zakladu Historii
128 Mario Meliad

Nova Domo, but he also quotes extensively and tacitly from the Questiones
super Librum de causis.
In the proemium to his paraphrase of the Liber de causis, Jacobus
acknowledges his reliance on Albert the Great, Thomas Aquinas and Giles of
Rome and reliquos nostra aetate admirandos.167 Was the author of the
Questiones super Librum de causis one of those in our time to be admired?
In any event, Jacobus quotes the Questiones literally if tacitly; sometimes a
text from the Questiones mediates a reading of Albert; other times a text
serves as a starting point of Jacobus discussion.
In what follows, I give two short examples of Jacobus use of the Que-
stiones, leaving to further studies the precise determination of the relation
between the two commentaries and of their common dependence on Al-
berts paraphrase. The first passage is from the prologue and discusses the
different titles ascribed to the Liber de causis:
JACOBUS DE GOSTYNIN, Theoremata cum annota- Questiones super Librum de causis (Mainz,
tionibus ac luculenta expositione, ed. GRA, 13. Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, 1v).
Quantum ad secundum quod est de titulo huius Quantum ad secundum dicitur quod liber
libri est ista secunda conclusio: liber iste a iste <a philosophis add. E> diversis ration-
philosophis diversis rationabiliter quinque titulis abiliter quinque titulis inscriptus est. Patet

filozofii Starozytnej i Sredniowiecznej 11 (1969), 3-162. On Jacobs commentary, see D.


CALMA, Du noplatonisme au ralisme et retour, parcours latins du Liber de causis aux
XIIIe-XVIe sicles, 256-57; W. SEKO, Jakub z Gostynina i jego komentarz do Liber de
causis, in Studia Mediewistyczne 2 (1961), 185-210.
167
JACOBUS DE GOSTYNIN, Theoremata seu propositiones Auctoris Causarum David Judei
cum annotationibus ac luculenta expositione, in GRA, Jakub z Gostynina Komentarz, 12:
Nemo est tam simplex, qui si ad hanc sapientiam animum applicet, non uberes ex ea fruc-
tus accipiat id quod sapientissimi viri testantur, qui quidquam laboris ad eam exponendam
potuit impendi ad ipsam contulere. Siquidem Albertus, cui Magnus cognomen fuit, vir
excellenti ingenio permulta et ea quidem ardua in ipsa conspexit, expressit, patefaecit. Quid
dicam de Thoma Aquinate, cui paene videtur esse infusum cuiuscumque capax est huma-
num ingenium. Is ad eam exponendam se conferre minime dubitavit. Quam miro Aegidium
Romanum reliquosque nostra aetate admirandos, quibus quidquid fuit ingenii ad enotan-
dam huius scientiae difficultatem conferendum duxerunt. Taceo et caeteros quid nunquam id
assecuti sunt, ut tam admirabilem et divinam scientiam et comprehendere et explicare potue-
rint. Multa in ea scribuntur, quae intellectu cognituque difficilia existunt, ut legentem saepe-
numero perturbent. Et id quod adeo perspicuum est, ut nulla egeat confirmatione. Nos igitur,
quibus summus ille rerum opifex veritatis munus aperuit ad complectendam hanc scien-
tiarum reginam, omnibus ingenii viribus adniti oportet. Since I do not have, at the moment,
a reproduction of the 1507 edition, I quote here and hereafter from the modern edition based
on the 1507 edition, even though Gras text seems not to be exempt from errors. Note that
this passage from the proemium is testified only in the incunable. The two manuscripts attest
a much shorter preface and it is possible that Jacob augmented the proemium (and the rest of
the commentary) for the printed edition.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 129

inscriptum est. Patet, quia si ea, quae hic con- quia si ea quae hic considerantur, consider-
siderantur, considerantur ea parte, qua nec arentur ea parte qua nec secundum esse, nec
secundum rem nec secundum rationem materiam secundum rationem materiam concipiunt,
concipiunt, tunc ascribitur a David Iudaeo com- tunc inscribitur a David Iudeo commenta-
mentatore propositionum et etiam collectore tore proposicionum et eciam collatore
earundem liber Metaphysicae. Huius tituli quat- earundem liber Metaphysice, quasi de
tuor dedit rationes, ut narrat dominus Albertus. transcendentibus materiam.

The original source of this passage is Albert, but the reworking of the materi-
al comes literally from the Questiones.168 One should note that the corre-
spondence between the two texts ends the moment when Jacobus intends to
explicate the reasons why David assigned the title liber Metaphysicae. Since
the Questiones do not discuss the arguments reported by Albert and simply
summarize them with the expression quasi de transcendentibus materiam,
Jacobus here must draw directly upon Albert. Indeed, the passage that comes
immediately afterwards is a long extract from Alberts paraphrase.169 In this
case, however, the quotation is announced explicitly (ut narrat dominus
Albertus). The correspondence with the Questiones continues intermittently
throughout the whole proemium of Jacobus exposition.170
A second example of Jacobus use of the Questiones comes from the
commentary on the first proposition (in the context of the numbering of the
primary causes and their operations) and regards the noble soul:
JACOBUS DE GOSTYNIN, Theoremata cum annota- Questiones super Librum de causis (Mainz,
tionibus ac luculenta expositione, ed. GRA, 21. Stadtbibliothek, Hs. I.610, 4v).
Hic potest vocari opus animae nobilis, quae non Ibi potest videri opus anime nobilis que non
substantialiter, ut postea declarabitur, differt ab substancialiter, ut posterius declarabitur,
intelligentia, sed causaliter. Habet enim rationem differt ab intelligencia, sed causaliter. Habet
finis et intelligentia rationem formae. Cum ergo enim racionem finis et intelligencia ra-
movens debet esse proportionatum mobili suo, cionem forme. Cum ergo movens dicit esse
relinquitur animam nobilem esse proportionatam proporcionatum suo mobili, relinquitur
mobili suo, scilicet corpori caelesti. Nam sicut animam nobilem esse proporcionatam
dicit Averroes II Caeli, quod motor non suffic- mobili suo, scilicet corpori celesti, intellec-
eret movere maius mobile quod movit. De ista tum ut dicit Averroys II Celi quod talis est
anima nobili videatur, si placeat, apud Albertum adequacio motoris ad mobile celeste quod
hic capitulo secundo et tertio libri secundi tracta- motor non sufficeret movere maius mobile.
tus primi.

Once again, the correspondence is literal and also involves an intertextual


168
Cf. ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De causis et processu universitatis a causa prima II.1.1, ed.
FAUSER, 59.
169
Cf. JACOBUS DE GOSTYNIN, Theoremata seu propositiones Auctoris Causarum David Judei
cum annotationibus ac luculenta expositione, in GRA, Jakub z Gostynina Komentarz, 13-14.
170
IDEM, Ibid., 14-17.
130 Mario Meliad

reference of the Questiones (ut posterius declarabitur) in which, they


were hinting at a position developed later in the commentary on the third
proposition. The passage is an adaptation of Alberts commentary.171 Inter-
estingly, Jacobus concludes his excerpt from the Questiones by referring
the reader precisely to those chapters in Alberts paraphrase upon which the
passage from the Questiones depends.
Jacobus de Gostynin similarly quotes tacitly Albert the Greats com-
mentary on the Liber de causis and Johannes de Nova Domos De esse et
essentia. This phenomenon indicates that Jacobus consciously employed
the schools literature and offers proof of the authority of the Questiones
super Librum de causis within the Albertist tradition.

VIII. Conclusion
The philosophy of the fifteenth century is characterized by an almost obses-
sive effort to develop various models for assimilating and revising the heri-
tage of a tradition that had been rendered extremely complex and diverse
after two centuries of university discussion and interpretation of the corpus
aristotelicum. It is well-known that the attempt to reorganize this tradition
was often accompanied by rigid distinctions among schools of thought.172
Each school made a range of specific and distinctive choices in at least
three respects: with respect to a textual canon upon which the philosophical
disciplines and their teaching were founded; with respect to a set of doctri-
nes that relied on selected auctoritates and guided their interpretation; with
respect to the method of philosophical writing, i.e., the literary model of
treatises and commentaries that were intended to expose and re-think that
textual tradition. This article illustrates the significance of Boethius De
hebdomadibus and the Liber de causis within the Albertist school of the
early fifteenth century in these three respects. These two anonymous com-
mentaries reveal the crucial authoritative role that theorematic literature
played in Albertist thought, and shed new light on the effort of late-
medieval Albertists to reconstruct an axiomatic model of metaphysics.

Mario MELIAD (Freiburg im Breisgau)


Albert-Ludwigs-Universitt Freiburg
mario.meliado@philosophie.uni-freiburg.de

171
Cf. ALBERTUS MAGNUS, De causis et processu universitatis a causa prima II.1.3, ed.
FAUSER, 63.
172
On this subject, see M.J.F.M. HOENEN, Thomismus, Skotismus und Albertismus. Das
Entstehen und die Bedeutung von philosophischen Schulen im spten Mittelalter, in Bo-
chumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch fr Antike und Mittelalter 2 (1997), 81-103.
Axiomatic Wisdom: Late-Medieval Albertism 131

Abstract: By developing a reassesment of the repertoire of Albertist literature in light of


new manuscript witnesses, the article intends to reconstruct the late-medieval Albertist
model of metaphysics and to investigate the crucial reception of Boethius De hebdomadi-
bus and of the Liber de causis in the academic teaching and disputes of the early fifteenth
century. The article focuses on two anonymous commentaries on these treatises, which were
both composed by the same Albertist master (most probably in Paris), and analyzes their
significance within the Albertist school as well as their close relation to the works of Johan-
nes de Nova Domo. In particular, the essay illustrates how the De hebdomadibus and the
Liber de causis, which were adduced and commented on as canonical authorities, not only
constituted central sources for Albertist doctrines, but also served as disciplinary models for
the axiomatic exposition of first philosophy. The final section of the article provides a de-
tailed account of the manuscript transmission of the two Albertist commentaries and traces
the topography of their dissemination.
Keywords: Albertism, axiomatic method, being and essence, De hebdomadibus, Heymeri-
cus de Campo, Jacobus de Gostynin, Johannes de Nova Domo, Johannes Wenck, Lambertus
de Monte, Liber de causis, metaphysics.