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James of Eltville's Lectura, vol. 1

This is the first of three volumes of the Cistercian James of Eltville's popular Lectura on the Sentences, stemming from his bachelor lectures (University of Paris, 1369-1370) on the standard medieval textbook in systematic theology, the four books of Peter Lombard's Sentences. This first volume, which is volume 312 in the Continuatio Mediaevalis of the Corpus Christianorum, includes the Principium, the two questions of the Prologus and the first four questions of book I. It is the product of the collaboration of ten editors.

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This is the first critical edition of a major theological work by a Cistercian from a medieval university: the questions on book I of the Sentences by James of Eltville (Jacobus de Altavilla, d. 1392), monk and later abbot of the majestic Eberbach Abbey, the filming location of many of the scenes in The Name of the Rose. The product of bachelor lectures delivered in 1369-1370 at the magnificent Bernardins in Paris just south of Notre-Dame across the Seine, James' Lectura in libros Sententiarum survives in almost two dozen manuscripts. Based on a complete collation of all the witnesses, the editio princeps provides access to a text that illuminates a relatively dark period in the history of scholasticism, portrays the status quaestionis on many issues in philosophical theology between the Black Death and the Great Schism, and illustrates the importance of later-medieval Cistercian theologians and their symbiotic relationship with the Augustinian Hermits who dominated the field from the 1330s to the 1370s. Through the exodus of German scholars from Paris after the outbreak of the Schism, James of Eltville's ideas spread to the new faculties of theology founded in Germanic lands where they exerted a profound influence.

Chris Schabel, former Professor of Medieval History at the University of Cyprus, is currently associated researcher at the CNRS (IRHT, Aubervilliers). His publications focus on the Latin East, Greek-Latin intellectual relations, and later-medieval intellectual history.

Monica Brinzei is Directrice de recherche at the CNRS (IRHT, Aubervilliers), principal investigator of the ERC projects THESIS (2012-2018) and DEBATE (2018-2024), and leader of the French team of the Horizon 2020 project RESTORY (2024-2026). She specializes in the history of later-medieval universities.

From Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca: Dr. Alexandra Anisie (researcher in the ERC-NOTA project), Dr. Alexandra Baneu (PI of ERC Nota project and researcher at the Romanian Academy), Prof. Alexander Baumgarten, Dr. Luciana Cioca, Dr. Daniel Coman, Dr. Ioana Curuţ (MSCA Seal of Excellence-RABY project), Dr. Andrei Marinca (Lecturer), Dr. Madalina Pantea (researcher in the ERC-NOTA), all of them previously team members in the ERC THESIS project, explore via their studies, editions, and translations the tradition of the Sentences in the fourteenth and fifteen centuries.




I. Biographical Note

II. Context of the Edition

III. Sigla of the Manuscripts

IV. Description of the Manuscripts

V. Tabula quaestionum

VI. Chart of Manuscripts and Questions of Book I

VII. Stemmatic Discussion and ratio edendi



Primary Sources

Secondary Literature

Iacobi de Altavilla Lectura In Libros Sententiarum

Principium: Utrum Deus ad quamlibet speciem entis creabilis se habens distanter infinite in aliqua specie intellectuali a nobis nominari possit quidditative

Questio 1 (Questio 1 Prologi): Utrum veritates theologice scientie contrarientur seu repugnent veritatibus principiorum naturalis luminis et sensualis experientie

Questio 2 (Questio 2 Prologi): Utrum studens in Sacra Scriptura non credens sicut sancta credit Ecclesia erret

Questio 3 (Questio 1 distinctionis 1 libri 1): Utrum pro studio sacre theologie ex caritate procedente debeatur pro mercede visio Dei et eius fruitio

Questio 4 (Questio 2 distinctionis 1 libri 1): Utrum inter creature totius usum et Dei solius fruitionem licitum sit rationali creature facere aliquo modo commutationem

Questio 5 (Questio un. distinctionis 2 libri 1): Utrum creatura rationalis viatrix vel beata infallibilem habere possit notitiam de divina essentia

Questio 6 (Questio 1 distinctionum 2-3 libri 1): Utrum in entibus fore unum primum seu Deum unicum possit a viatore efficaciter esse scitum


Index locorum Sacrae Scripturae

Index fontium

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