John of Salisbury

John Of Salisbury, an eminent English prelate, was born at Salisbury (old Sarum) about 1110. He was first educated at Oxford, and in 1136 went to France, where he continued his studies under Abelard, and many other celebrated French divines of that age. About 1151 he returned to England, and was appointed chaplain of Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury. Sent on a mission to pope Hadrian IV in 1156, he openly approached the latter on the abuses of the Church and of the papacy, though always an earnest advocate of the unity and liberty of the Church, and the independence of the episcopate from the secular princes. He was an intimate friend and admirer of Thomas a Becket, whose cause he espoused warmly, and whom he followed into exile returning only to England with him in 1170, and after his death secured his canonization. John was called Becket's eye and arm. In 1176 he was appointed bishop of Chartres, and died about 1180. His works, which evince positive Realistic tendencies, and bear evidence of fruitful genius, sound understanding, and great erudition, are, Policraticus s. de nugis curialium et vestigiis philosophorum (Leyden, 1691) (an excellent treatise on the employments, duties, virtues, and vices of great men — a curious and valuable monument of the literature of John of Salisbury's time): — Metaloqicus (Leyd. 1610, Amst. 1664), an exhibition of true and false science; — Entheticus de dogmate philosophorum (pub. by Chr. Petersen, Hamb. 1843): — Vita ac Passio S. Thomoe (a Life of Thomas a Becket), etc. His collective works have been published by J. A. Giles (Lond. 1848, 5 vols. 8vo). See H. Reuter, J. von Salisbury (Berl. 1842); J. Schmidt, Joan Parv. Sarisb., etc. (1838); Hist. Litt. de la France, etc., 14, 89 sq.; Ritter, Gesch. d. Philos. 7, 605; Darling, Cyclop. Bibliogr. s.v. SEE BECKET; SEE PAPACY.

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