Bartholomeus Anglicus

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Bartholomeus Anglicus (Bartholomew of England) (born before 1203–died 1272)[1] was an early 13th-century scholastic scholar of Paris, a member of the Franciscan order. He was the author of On the Properties of Things (De proprietatibus rerum), dated at 1240, an early forerunner of the encyclopedia. Anglicus also held senior positions within the church and was appointed Bishop of Łuków although he wasn't consecrated to that position.[2]

Contents

Early life

Little is known of his early life. Anglicus is believed to have been born around the turn of the 13th century, to unknown parents. The first record of him was in 1224 in Paris as a teacher, although he is believed to have studied at Oxford University.[2]

Encyclopedia

The work was written for the use of students and the general public, in Latin in 19 books at the school of Magdeburg in Saxonia[1]. A number of copies exist both in manuscript and in printed form. Bartholomew carefully notes the sources for the material included, although, at present, it is sometimes impossible to identify or locate some of them. His annotations give a good idea of the wide variety of works available to a medieval scholar.

The subjects of the books, in order, are God, angels (including demons), the human mind or soul, physiology, of ages (family and domestic life), medicine, the universe and celestial bodies, time, form and matter (elements), air and its forms, water and its forms, earth and its forms including geography, gems, minerals and metals, animals, and color, odor, taste and liquids.

Church positions

He was elected as Minister of Austria in 1247 and was then elected as Minister of Bohemia in 1255. This appointment included Poland where he resolved a dispute between Duke Boleslaw and the Cathedral Chapter at Kraków. Pope Alexander IV appointed him as Papal legate north of the Carpathians in 1256 and appointed him as the Bishop of Łuków. However, he was probably not consecrated in that position due to the Mongol invasion of Poland in 1259. Anglicus was appointed as Minister at Saxonia in 1262 and served in that position until his death in 1272.

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