Vincent of Beauvais (Bellovacensis)

Vincent Of Beauvais (Bellovacensis)

surnamed the Speculator, lived in the former half of the 13th century, and was contemporary with Alexander Hales, and Thomas Aquinas, etc. He was educated in Burgundy, became a Dominican monk and a realist in philosophy. His fame as a teacher and a preacher was such that Louis IX commanded his presence and entered into permanent relations with him. He probably died in 1264. Vincent obtained a literary celebrity through his encyclopedic works (Specula), which contain a survey of the state of learning, particularly in the department of philosophy, in that day; and which manifest a surprising range of reading on the part of the author, and possess great value for the study of the progress of learning. The principal work, Speculum Majus, has three divisions:

(1) Speculum Naturale, including all natural science;

(2) Speculum Doctrinale, embracing philosophy, grammar, dialectics, logic, rhetoric, ethics, mathematics, physics, medicine, chemistry, alchemy, etc.;

(3) Speculum Historiale, which deals with universal history from the creation to the year 1264. A fourth part, Speculum Morale, is spurious. The Speculum Majus was first published at Strasburg in 1473, and afterwards frequently, in Latin and also in French and Dutch translations. The four Specula were published under the title Spec. Quadruplex (Duaci, 1624), by the Benedictines. A pedagogical work from the pen of Vincent, entitled De Institutione Filiorum Regiorum seu Nobilium, has likewise become famous. It' was published at Basle in 1481 by Amerbach, in a volume containing also the Tractatus de Gratia Dei; the Liber. de Laudibus Virginis Gloriosae; Liber de St. Joh. Evangelista; Epist. Consolat. ad Regem Francorum Ludovicum, etc. Several other works were written by Vincent, which are extant only in manuscript form. See Schlosser, Vincent von Beauvais, etc. (Frankf. 1819); Bibliographie Universelle (Paris, 1827), 49, 119. — Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v.

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