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Medieval Sourcebook:

Courses in Theology [1271] and Medicine [1270-74]


Stephen of Canterbury: Course in Theology [1271]

In spite of the preponderance of biblical books, the basic text for theology courses was the Sentences of Peter Lombard. It was expounded in regular courses, the Bible in extraordinary courses.


from Chart. Univ. Paris. I, No. 437, P. 493. Latin.

To all the officers of the court at Paris who shall read this document, greeting. in the Lord. We make known that John of Orleans, constituted master in our presence, canon and chancellor of Paris, acknowledges and admits that he has received and had from the venerable master Nicholas, archdeacon of the church at Paris, formerly chancellor of the aforesaid church at Paris, the books named below - to be lent to the poor students studying theology, according to a certain clause contained in the will of master Stephen of blessed memory, formerly arch-deacon of Canterbury, which is inserted in the present document, as follows:

I will and command that my books on theology shall be delivered to the chancellor of Paris who, for the sake of piety, shall lend them to poor students studying theology at Paris who are without books; in such a manner, however, that each chancellor each year, shall receive back the aforesaid books and after receiving them shall again deliver and lend them, each year, to the poor students, as shall seem expedient.

The names of the books are as follows: the Bible complete with a glossary. Also, Genesis and Exodus, glossed, in one volume. Also, the books of Solomon, glossed, in one volume. Also, Exodus, glossed by itself. Also, Job, glossed by itself. Also, Ezekiel, glossed by itself. Also, the Gospels, glossed by themselves, in one volume. Also, the psalter, with a complete glossary. Also, the four books of Sentences [of Peter Lombard]. Also, the books of Numbers. Also, Joshua, Judith, Ruth, Deuteronomy, glossed, in one volume. Also, the four books of Kings, Chronicles, first and second. Also, Esdras, first and second of Maccabees, Amos, glossed, in one volume. Also, the Twelve Prophets, glossed, in one volume. Also, the Psalter, glossed and complete. Also, the Epistles of Paul, glossed. Also, the Psalter, glossed and complete. Also, the Scholastic Histories. [probably the Scholastic history of Peter le Mangeur] Also the four Gospels, glossed. Also, the Epistles of Paul, glossed, with a smaller glossary. Also, the Psalter, glossed and complete. Also, the first and second books of Maccabees, glossed as far as the tenth chapter. Also, the Gospel of Mark. The Gospels, glossed.

We, the above-mentioned official, have thought indeed that, in testimony and witness of all the above-mentioned, we ought to place on the present writing the seal of the court at Paris, together with the seal of the aforesaid chancellor; hoping and asking that his successors, who shall be chancellors, shall order and do with the aforesaid books, for the sake of the divine piety, according to the contents of the aforesaid clause.

Done in the year of our Lord, I271, Wednesday, the feast of the Apostles Simon and Jude.

Also, the Bible, in two volumes, with marginal notes, bishop Stephen presented. Also, the original of the Sentences of master Peter Lombard, in a certain volume, bound in calf, now somewhat worn, with round copper nails in the covers.



Course in Medicine [1270-74]

from Chart. Univ. Paris. I, No - 453, p. 517. Latin.

This is the form for licensing bachelors of medicine. First, the master under whom the bachelor is, ought to testify to the chancellor, in the presence of the masters called together for this purpose, concerning the suitability of licensing the bachelor. He ought to prove his time of study by at least two examinations; and the time which he ought to have studied is five and one-half years, if he has ruled in arts or has been a licentiate; or six, if he has not.

The course of study is as follows: he ought to have reard the Medica [perhaps the Liber Tegni of Galen]' twice in the regular courses and once in an extraordinary course with the exception of Theophilus [a 7th century Byzantine physician] On Urines, which it is sufficient to have heard once in either a regular or an extraordinary course; the Viaticum [composed by Abd Jafar Ahmed] twice in regular courses: the other books of Isaac [a Jewish physician who wrote a Liber dietarum universalium, Liber itarum particularium, Liber urinarium, Liber febrium, all translated from Arabic by Constantine the African] once in a regular course, twice in extraordinary courses, except the Particular Diets, which it is sufficient to have heard in an extraordinary or regular course ; the book of Antidotes of Nicholas, [Antidotes was then used in about the same sense as Book of Medicaments. This one was by Nicholas of Salerno] once. The Verses of Aegidius [of Corbeil, who taught at Paris under Philip Augustus. He wrote his works in verse] is not required. Also, he ought to have read the books on Theory and Practice. [by this is perhaps meant the Opus Pantegni, by Ali ben Abbas. This was divided into Theory and Practice. It was sometimes attributed to Constantine the African.]

And he ought to swear this. Moreover, if any one is convicted of perjury or lying he, although licensed, may be degraded.


trans in University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History: Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European history, published for the Dept. of History of the University of Pennsylvania., Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press [1897?-1907?]. Vol 2: no.3, 15-17



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(c)Paul Halsall Feb 1996
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