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Encyclopedia > Vincent of Beauvais

The Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais (ca 1190 - 1264?) wrote the main encyclopedia that was used in the middle ages. Events March 16 - Massacre and mass-suicide of the Jews of York, England prompted by Crusaders and Richard Malebys kill 150-500 Jews in Cliffords Tower June 10 - Third Crusade: Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in the Saleph River while leading an army to Jerusalem. ... Events May 12 - The Battle of Lewes begins (ends May 14). ... Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon, 1902 An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia, also (rarely) encyclopædia,[1] is a comprehensive written compendium that contains information on all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge. ...

The exact dates of his birth and death are unknown and not much detail has surfaced concerning his career. Conjectures place him first in the house of the Dominicans at Paris between 1215 and 1220, and later at the Dominican monastery founded by Louis IX of France at Beauvais in Picardy. It is more certain, however,that he held the post of "reader" at the monastery of Royaumont on the Oise, not far from Paris, also founded by Louis IX between 1228 and 1235. The king read the books that Vincent compiled, and supplied the funds for procuring copies of such authors as he required. Queen Margaret, her son Philip and her son-in-law, Theobald V of Champagne and Navarre, are also named among those who urged him to the composition of his "little works," especially De Institutione Principum. The Eiffel Tower, the international symbol of the city, as viewed from the Trocadéro This article is about the capital and largest city in France. ... // Events A certified copy of the Magna Carta June 15 - King John of England forced to put his seal to the Magna Carta, outlining the rights of landowning men (nobles and knights) and restricting the kings power. ... // The world in 1220 Middle Ages in Europe Fifth Crusade (1217-1221) Events Mongols first invade Abbasid caliphate - Bukhara and Samarkand taken End of the Kara-Khitan Khanate, destroyed by Genghis Khans Mongolian cavalry Dominican Order approved by Pope Honorius III Frederick II crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope... Only representation of Saint Louis known to be true to life - Early 14th century statue from the church of Mainneville, Eure, France King Louis IX of France or Saint Louis (April 25, 1214/1215 – August 25, 1270) was King of France from 1226 until his death. ... Beauvais is a town and commune of northern France, préfecture (capital) of the Oise département. ... wazzup Categories: | ... Royaumont Abbey is a Cistercian abbey, located near Asnières-sur-Oise in Val-dOise, approximately 30 km north of Paris. ... Theobald V of Champagne (c. ...

Though Vincent may well have been summoned to Royaumont even before 1240, there is no actual proof that he lived there before the return of Louis IX and his wife from the Holy Land, early in the summer of 1254. But it is evident that he must have written his work De Eruditione Filiorum Regalium (where he styles himself as "Vincentius Belvacensis, de ordine praedicatorum, qualiscumque lector in monasterio de Regali Monte") after this date and yet before January 1260, the approximate date of his Tractatus Consolatorius occasioned by the death of one of the king's sons that year.


Speculum Maius

Vincent's Speculum Maius ('The Great Mirror'), the compendium, of all the knowledge of the Middle Ages, seems to have consisted of three parts, the Speculum Naturale, Speculum Doctrinale and Speculum Historiale. All the printed editions, however, include a fourth part, the Speculum Morale, added in the 14th century and mainly compiled from Thomas Aquinas, Stephen de Bourbon, and a few other contemporary writers. This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... Saint Thomas Aquinas [Thomas of Aquin, or Aquino] (c. ...

Speculum Naturale

The vast tome of the Speculum Naturale ("Mirror of Nature'), divided into thirty-two books and 3718 chapters, is a summary of all the science and natural history known to western Europe towards the middle of the 13th century, a mosaic of quotations from Latin, Greek, Arabic, and even Hebrew authors, with the sources given. Vincent distinguishes, however, his own remarks. (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in the region around Rome called Latium. ... The Arabic language (Arabic: ‎ transliterated: ), or simply Arabic (Arabic: ‎ transliterated: ), is the largest member of the Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family (classification: South Central Semitic) and is closely related to Hebrew and Aramaic. ... Hebrew (עִבְרִית ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel and Jewish communities around the world. ...

The Speculum Naturale deals with its subjects in the order that they were created: it is essentially a gigantic commentary on Genesis i. Thus book i. opens with an account of the Trinity and its relation to creation; then follows a similar series of chapters about angels, their attributes, powers, orders, etc., down to such minute points as their methods of communicating thought, on which matter the author decides, in his own person, that they have a kind of intelligible speech, and that with angels to think and to speak are not the same process. Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin), also called The First Book of Moses, is the first book of Torah (five books of Moses), and is the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of... This article concerns the holy Trinity of Christianity. ... The Annunciation - the Angel Gabriel announces to Mary that she will bear Jesus (El Greco, 1575) An angel is an ethereal being found in many religions, whose duties are to assist and serve God. ...

Book ii. treats of the created world, of light, color, the four elements, Lucifer and his fallen angels and the work of the first day. Lucifer, as depicted in Collin de Plancys Dictionnaire Infernal (1863). ...

Books iii. and iv. deal with the phenomena of the heavens and of time, which is measured by the motions of the heavenly bodies, with the sky and all its wonders, fire, rain, thunder, dew, winds, &c.

Books v - xiv. treat of the sea and the dry land: they discourse of the seas, the ocean and the great rivers, agricultural operations, metals, precious stones, plants, herbs, with their seeds, grains and juices, trees wild and cultivated, their fruits and their saps. Under each species, where possible, Vincent gives a chapter on its use in medicine, and he adopts for the most part an alphabetical arrangement. In book vi. c. 7 he incidentally discusses what would become of a stone if it were dropped down a hole, pierced right through the earth, and, curiously enough, decides that it would stay in the centre. In book ix he gives an early instance of the use of the magnet in navigation.

Book xv. deals with astronomy: the moon, stars, and the zodiac, the sun, the planets, the seasons and the calendar. Indo-European Zodiac signs, 16th century , medieval woodcuts Literally translated, zodiac means the circle of animals. ...

Books xvi. and xvii. treat of fowls and fishes, mainly in alphabetical order and with reference to their medical qualities.

Books xviii.-xxii. deal in a similar way with domesticated and wild animals, including the dog, serpents, bees and insects; they also include a general treatise on animal physiology spread over books xxi.-xxii.

Books xxiii.-xxviii. discuss the psychology, physiology and anatomy of man, the five senses and their organs, sleep, dreams, ecstasy, memory, reason, etc. Psychology (Gk: psyche, soul or mind + logos, speech) is an academic and applied field involving the study of the human mind, brain, and behavior. ... Physiology (in Greek physis = nature and logos = word) is the study of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of living organisms. ... Anatomical drawing of the human muscles from the Encyclopédie. ...

The remaining four books seem more or less supplementary; the last (xxxii.) is a summary of geography and history down to the year 1250, when the book seems to have been given to the world, perhaps along with the Speculum Historiale and possibly an earlier form of the Speculum Doctrinale.

Speculum Doctrinale

The second part, Speculum Doctrinale ("Mirror of Doctrine'), in seventeen books and 2374 chapters, is intended to be a practical manual for the student and the official alike; and, to fulfil this object, it treats of the mechanic arts of life as well as the subtleties of the scholar, the duties of the prince and the tactics of the general. It is a summary of all the scholastic knowledge of the age and does not confine itself to natural history. It treats of logic, rhetoric, poetry, geometry, astronomy, the human instincts and passions, education, the industrial and mechanical arts, anatomy, surgery and medicine, jurisprudence and the administration of justice.

The first book, after defining philosophy, etc., gives a long Latin vocabulary of some 6000 or 7000 words. Grammar, logic, rhetoric and poetry are discussed in books ii. and iii., the latter including several well-known fables, such as the lion and the mouse. Book iv. treats of the virtues, each of which has two chapters of quotations allotted to it, one in prose and the other in verse. Book v. is of a somewhat similar nature. With book vi. we enter on the practical part of the work: it gives directions for building, gardening, sowing and reaping, rearing cattle and tending vineyards; it includes also a kind of agricultural almanac for each month in the year. Grammar is the study of rules governing the use of language. ... Logic, from Classical Greek λόγος (logos), originally meaning the word, or what is spoken, (but coming to mean thought or reason) is most often said to be the study of criteria for the evaluation of arguments, although the exact definition of logic is a matter of controversy among philosophers. ... Rhetoric (from Greek ρήτωρ, rhêtôr, orator, teacher) is the art or technique of persuasion, usually through the use of language. ... Look up poetry in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Books vii.-ix. have reference to the political arts: they contain rules for the education of a prince and a summary of the forms, terms and statutes of canonical, civil and criminal law. Book xi. is devoted to the mechanical arts, of weavers, smiths, armourers, merchants, hunters, and even the general and the sailor.

Books xii.-xiv. deal with medicine both in practice and in theory: they contain practical rules for the preservation of health according to the four seasons of the year, and treat of various diseases from fever to gout.

Book xv. deals with physics and may be regarded as a summary of the Speculum Naturale. Book xvi. is given up to mathematics, under which head are included music, geometry, astronomy, astrology, weights and measures, and metaphysics. It is noteworthy that in this book Vincent shows a knowledge of the Arabic numerals, though he does not call them by this name. With him the unit is termed "digitus"; when multiplied by ten it becomes the "articulus"; while the combination of the articulus and the digitus is the " numerus compositus." In his chapter xvi. 9, he clearly explains how the value of a number increases tenfold with every place it is moved to the left. He is even acquainted with the later invention of the cifra or cipher.

Speculum Historiale

The most widely disseminated part of the Speculum Maius was the Speculum Historiale, which provided a history of the world down to Vincent's time. It is based on the Chronicon of Helinand of Froidmont (d.c.1229). It was a massive work, running to nearly 1400 large double-column pages in the 1627 printing[1].

Other works

Other works of Vincent of Beauvais are: De eruditione filiorum regalium ('On the education of princes') and a "Tractatus consolatorius de morte amici" ('Consolation upon the death of a friend'), addressed to Louis on the death of one of his sons in 1260.

External links

  • Vincent of Beauvais website, with massive bibliography.
  • An even more massive and up-to-date bibliography of Vincent de Beauvais' works (Archives de littérature du Moyen Âge - Arlima).


A Gabriel, The Educational Ideas of Vincent of Beauvais (2d ed. 1962)

This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. Encyclopædia Britannica, the 11th edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...

  Results from FactBites:
Vincent of Beauvais - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1184 words)
The Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais (ca 1190 - 1264?) wrote the main encyclopedia that was used in the middle ages.
Though Vincent may well have been summoned to Royaumont even before 1240, there is no actual proof that he lived there before the return of Louis IX and his wife from the Holy Land, early in the summer of 1254.
Other works of Vincent of Beauvais are: De eruditione filiorum regalium ('On the education of princes') and a "Tractatus consolatorius de morte amici" ('Consolation upon the death of a friend'), addressed to Louis on the death of one of his sons in 1260.
  More results at FactBites »



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