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Bernard Silvester

(813 words)

Author(s): Lemoine, Michel
Silvester, Bernard (Bernardus Silvestris), * year and place of birth unknown, † after 1159, (place of death unknown) Little is known about his life. An educator in Tours, he died after 1159. He was the author of several works: Experimentarius, a book of spells, from Arabian sources; Mathematicus, a poem addressing the problem of destiny, in which he stated that ‘blind chance stirs up the ridiculous troubles of humanity; our times are play, entertainment for the gods’; and a Commentary on Martianus Capella, in which he defined notably his hermeneutics. However, his principal work was the Co…

William of Auvergne

(616 words)

Author(s): Lemoine, Michel
William of Auvergne, * 1191 (Aurillac), † 1249 (Paris) Born in Aurillac, William became a canon before 1223, a master of theology in 1225, and bishop of Paris in 1228. He enjoyed the confidence of Louis IX and also that of the popes, despite a certain “Gallicanism”. His pastoral activity concerned the development of religious orders, the reorganization of parishes and monasteries, and the defense of Christian doctrine. Under his episcopate occurred the university strike of 1229-1231, the conflict between…

Morley, Daniel of

(508 words)

Author(s): Lemoine, Michel
Morley, Daniel of, * ca. 1140 (Norfolk), † ca. 1210 (place of death unknown) Living one generation after the masters of Chartres and Tours, Daniel demonstrated an interest similar to theirs in naturalistic Platonism. Unfortunately, regarding scientific subjects the Latin philosophers of his time offered him neither clarity nor certainty. Paris was mainly interested in Law and Theology. Daniel therefore went to Toledo to study the “teachings of the Arabs” ( doctrina arabum) and joined the circle of translators gathered around Gerard of Cremona. Deriving strength from…