Giles of Rome

Giles of Rome

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Giles of Rome (c. 1243, Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 – 22 December 1316, Avignon
Avignon
Avignon is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city on 1 January 2010, 12 000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.Often referred to as the...

), was an archbishop of Bourges who was famed for his logician commentary on the Organon
Organon
The Organon is the name given by Aristotle's followers, the Peripatetics, to the standard collection of his six works on logic:* Categories* On Interpretation* Prior Analytics* Posterior Analytics...

by Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

. Giles was styled Doctor Fundatissimus ("Best-Grounded Teacher") by Pope Benedict XIV
Pope Benedict XIV
Pope Benedict XIV , born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, was Pope from 17 August 1740 to 3 May 1758.-Life:...

. He was Prior General of the Augustinian order, and also authored two other important works, De Ecclesiastica Potestate, a major text of early 14th century papalism, and De Regimine Principum, a guide book for princes.

Writers in 14th and 15th century England such as John Trevisa
John Trevisa
John Trevisa , was a Cornish writer and translator.Trevisa was born at Trevessa in the parish of St Enoder in mid-Cornwall, and was a native Cornish speaker...

 and Thomas Hoccleve translated or adapted him into English.

Early life


Having entered the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine at Rome, he was sent to Paris for his philosophical and theological studies, and became there the disciple of Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

. He was the first Augustinian appointed to teach in the University of Paris
University of Paris
The University of Paris was a university located in Paris, France and one of the earliest to be established in Europe. It was founded in the mid 12th century, and officially recognized as a university probably between 1160 and 1250...

.

In 1281, at the Thirty-sixth Council of Paris, in which several differences between bishops and mendicant orders were arranged, he sided with the bishops against the regulars. Referring to this, a contemporary philosopher, Godfrey of Fontaines
Godfrey of Fontaines
Godfrey of Fontaines , whose name in Latin was Godefridus de Fontibus, was a scholastic philosopher and theologian, designated by the title Doctor Venerandus. He made contributions to a diverse range of subjects ranging from moral philosophy to epistemology...

 mentioned him as the most renowned theologian of the whole city (qui modo melior de totâ villâ in omnibus reputatur).

Philip III of France
Philip III of France
Philip III , called the Bold , was the King of France, succeeding his father, Louis IX, and reigning from 1270 to 1285. He was a member of the House of Capet.-Biography:...

 entrusted to him the education of his son, who later, in 1285, ascended the throne as Philip IV
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

. When the new king, after his coronation at Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

, entered Paris, Giles gave the address of welcome in the name of the university, insisting on justice as the most important virtue of a king. (For the text, see Ossinger, in work cited below.)

Controversy


Giles was involved in the condemnation of 1277 promulgated by Étienne Tempier
Étienne Tempier
Étienne Tempier was a French bishop of Paris during the 13th century...

. Several of his opinions had been found reprehensible by Archbishop Tempier, and in 1285 Pope Honorius IV asked him for a public retraction. This, however, was far from lessening his reputation, for in 1287 a decree of the general chapter of the Augustinians held in Florence, after remarking that Giles's doctrine "shines throughout the whole world" (venerabilis magistri nostri Ægidii doctrina mundum universum illustrat), commanded all members of the order to accept and defend all his opinions, written or to be written.

After filling several important positions in his order he was elected superior-general in 1292. Three years later Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

 appointed him Archbishop of Bourges, France, although Jean de Savigny had already been designated for this see
Episcopal See
An episcopal see is, in the original sense, the official seat of a bishop. This seat, which is also referred to as the bishop's cathedra, is placed in the bishop's principal church, which is therefore called the bishop's cathedral...

 by Pope Celestine V
Pope Celestine V
Pope Saint Celestine V, born Pietro Angelerio , also known as Pietro da Morrone was elected pope in the year 1294, by the papal election of 1292–1294, the last non-conclave in the history of the Roman Catholic Church...

. The French nobility protested on the ground that Colonna was an Italian, but his appointment was maintained and approved by the king.

He was present at the Council of Vienne
Council of Vienne
The Council of Vienne was the fifteenth Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church that met between 1311 and 1312 in Vienne. Its principal act was to withdraw papal support for the Knights Templar on the instigation of Philip IV of France.-Background:...

 (1311-1312) in which the Order of Knights Templars
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

 was suppressed.

Works


His writings cover the fields of philosophy and theology. There is no complete edition of his works, but several treatises have been published separately.

In Holy Scripture and theology he wrote commentaries on the Hexaemeron, the Canticle of Canticles, and the Epistle to the Romans
Epistle to the Romans
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that Salvation is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ...

; several Opuscula and Quodlibeta, various treatises, and especially commentaries on Peter the Lombard's Four Books of Sentences.

In philosophy, besides commentaries on almost all the works of Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

, he wrote several special treatises. But his main work is the treatise De regimine principum, written for, and dedicated to, his pupil, Philip IV. It passed through many editions (the first, Augsburg, 1473) and was translated into several languages. The Roman edition of 1607 contains a life of Egidio. The work is divided into three books: the first treats of the individual conduct of the king, the nature of his true happiness, the choice and acquisition of virtues, and the ruling of passions; the second deals with family life and the relations with wife, children, and servants; the third considers the State, its origin, and the proper mode of governing in times of peace and war.

His pedagogical writings have been published in German by Kaufmann (Freiburg, 1904).

His attitude in the difficulties between Pope Boniface VIII and King Philip IV was long believed to have been favourable to the king. But it has been proved that he is the author of the treatise De potestate ecclesiasticâ, in which the rights of the pope are vindicated. The similarity between this treatise and the bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 Unam Sanctam
Unam sanctam
On 18 November 1302, Pope Boniface VIII issued the Papal bull Unam sanctam which historians consider one of the most extreme statements of Papal spiritual supremacy ever made...

seems to support the view taken by some writers that he was the author of the bull.

He had already taken an active part in ending the discussions and controversies concerning the validity of Boniface's election to the papacy. In his treatise De renunciatione Papæ sive Apologia pro Bonifacio VIII he shows the legitimacy of Celestine's resignation and consequently of Boniface's election. In philosophy and theology he generally follows the opinions of his master, St. Thomas, whose works he quotes as scripta communia.

The Defensorium seu Correctorium corruptorii librorum Sancti Thomæ Acquinatis against the Franciscan William de la Mare
William de la Mare
William De La Mare was an English Franciscan theologian.He is known for his opposition to the theology of Thomas Aquinas, expressed in his work Correctorium fratris Thomae. It earned him the name Doctor correctivus.-External links:*...

 of Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 is by some attributed to him; but this remains uncertain. Nevertheless, on many points he holds independent views and abandons the Thomistic doctrine to follow the opinions of St. Augustine
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 and of the Franciscan School. He even errs in asserting that, before the Fall, grace
Actual grace
Actual grace is, in Roman Catholic theology, a share in God's life. It is contrasted with sanctifying grace, which is a state of being that can be permanent, in that it consists only in a passing influence of God on the soul....

 had not been given to Adam
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

, an opinion which he wrongly attributes to St. Augustine.

Giles wrote a commentary on Guido Cavalcanti
Guido Cavalcanti
Guido Cavalcanti was a Florentine poet, as well as an intellectual influence on his best friend, Dante. His poems in their original Italian are available on Wikisource .-Historical background:...

's philosophical love canzone
Canzone
Literally "song" in Italian, a canzone is an Italian or Provençal song or ballad. It is also used to describe a type of lyric which resembles a madrigal...

"Donna me prega" (see Enrico Fenzi, La canzone d'amore di Guido Cavalcanti e i suoi antichi commenti, Melangolo, 1999).

The Aegidian school


After the decree of the general chapter of 1287, mentioned above, his opinions were generally accepted in the Augustinian Order. He thus became the founder of the Ægidian School. Among the most prominent representatives of this school must be mentioned Giacomo Capoccio of Viterbo (d. 1307) and Augustinus Triumphus
Augustinus Triumphus
Augustinus Triumphus , also known as Augustinus of Ancona or Agostino Trionfo, was a Hermit of St. Augustine and writer. He is celebrated for his work Summa de potestate ecclesiastica, printed in 1473. In the latter part of the sixteenth century, according to William J...

 (d. 1328), both of them his contemporaries, and also students and professors in the University of Paris: Prosper of Reggio
Prosper of Reggio
Saint Prosper of Reggio is an Italian saint. Tradition holds that he was a bishop of Reggio Emilia for twenty-two years. Little is known of his life, but documents attest that he was indeed bishop of Reggio Emilia in the fifth century....

, Albert of Padua, Gerard of Siena, Henry of Frimar, Thomas of Strasburg
Thomas of Strasburg
Thomas of Strasburg was a fourteenth-century scholastic of the Augustinian Order.In 1347, two years after he became general, his second son died of the plague. In 1345 he became the general of his order, a position he would hold for the rest of his life. During his tenure he would revise the...

 — all in the first half of the fourteenth century.

For some time after this other opinions prevailed in the Augustinian Order. But as late as the seventeenth century should be mentioned Raffaello Bonherba (d. 1681) who wrote Disputationes totius philosophiæ … in quibus omnes philosophicæ inter D. Thomam et Scotum controversiæ principaliter cum doctrinâ nostri Ægidii Columnæ illustrantur (Palermo, 1645, 1671); and Augustino Arpe (d. 1704) who wrote Summa totius theologiæ Ægidii Columnæ (Bologna, 1701, and Genoa, 1704).

Federico Nicolò Gavardi (d. 1715), the most important interpreter of Colonna, composed Theologia exantiquata iuxta orthodoxam S. P. Augustini doctrinam ab Ægidio Columnâ doctoræ fundatissimo expositam … (6 vols. fol., Naples and Rome, 1683-1696); this work was abridged by Anselm Hörmannseder in his Hecatombe theologica (Presburg, 1737). Benignus Sichrowsky (d. 1737) wrote also Philosophia vindicata ad erroribus philosophorum gentilium iuxta doctrinam S. Augustini et B. Ægidii Columnæ (Nuremberg, 1701).

External links