Vincent of Beauvais

Vincent of Beauvais
born 1190, Beauvais?, France
died 1264, Paris

French scholar and encyclopaedist.

A Dominican priest (с 1220), he became lector and chaplain to the court of King Louis IX. By 1244 he had compiled Speculum majus ("Great Mirror"), an 80-book compendium of knowledge that included human history from the Creation to the time of Louis IX, natural history and science known to the West, and a compendium of European literature, law, politics, and economics. His work influenced scholars and poets up to the 18th century. See also encyclopaedia.

* * *

▪ French scholar

born c. 1190, , Beauvais?, Fr.
died 1264, Paris

      French scholar and encyclopaedist whose Speculum majus (“Great Mirror”) was probably the greatest European encyclopaedia up to the 18th century.

      After he had entered the Dominican order in Paris (c. 1220) and become a priest and theologian, Vincent conceived the idea of creating a systematized compilation of universal knowledge and spent the years up to 1244 on that project. About 1250 he was appointed lector and chaplain to the French royal court of Louis IX, where he wrote an influential pedagogical treatise, De eruditione filiorum nobilium (1260–61; “On the Education of Noble Sons”).

      The original Speculum majus consisted of three parts, historical, natural, and doctrinal. A fourth part, the Speculum morale (“Mirror of Morals”), was added in the 14th century by an unknown author. An immense undertaking, the work covered all of Western human history from the Creation to the time of Louis IX, summarized all natural history and science known to the West, and provided a thorough compendium on European literature, law, politics, and economics. Perhaps the most notable aspect of Vincent's encyclopaedia is his familiarity with Greco-Roman classical scholarship and his obvious respect for the classics, particularly the Greek philosopher Aristotle, the Roman statesman-philosopher Cicero, and the Greek physician Hippocrates. This was an indication of the disappearing hostility to antiquity after the 12th-century renaissance of learning.

      The final synthesis of the three sections included 80 books, an enormous project for a single scholar. Vincent denied his own originality (although his own chronicle of 1223–50 on the reigns of Louis VIII and Louis IX was used by many later chroniclers); he gave full credit to the ancient and medieval writers from whom he had drawn his excerpts. His completed project remains one of vast erudition and serves as an excellent gauge of the state of knowledge in the 13th century. It was extremely influential in its own day, particularly on the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer. It was translated into French in 1328 and printed in Paris in 1495–96, and it was well known to humanist scholars of the Italian Renaissance.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vincent de beauvais — Vincent de Beauvais (v. 1190 v. 1264) est un frère dominicain français, auteur, entre autres, d une célèbre encyclopédie constituant un panorama des connaissances du Moyen Âge …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vincent of Beauvais — • Priest and encyclopedist (1190 1264) Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Vincent of Beauvais     Vincent of Beauvais     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Vincent von Beauvais — (lat. Vincentius Bellovacensis), gelehrter Dominikaner in Beauvais, gest. um 1264, verfaßte auf Veranlassung Ludwigs IX., Königs von Frankreich, dessen Söhne er unterrichtete, unter dem Titel: »Speculum quadruplex (mains)« (Douai 1624, 4 Bde.)… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Vincent de Beauvais — (hacia 1190? 1267?) fue un fraile de la orden de los Dominicos célebre por haber escrito la enciclopedia Speculum Majus, muy usada en la Edad Media. Se ignora prácticamente todo sobre su vida, incluyendo las fechas exactas de su nacimiento y de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Vincent de Beauvais — (Wängsang dö Bowä), lat. Vincentius Bellovacensis, ein franz. Dominikaner des 13. Jahrh., Freund und Hausgenosse Ludwigs IX., in dessen Auftrag er gelehrte Arbeiten unternahm, st. 1264. Sein Hauptwerk, Speculum, d.h. Spiegel, betitelt, ist eine… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Vincent de Beauvais — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Beauvais (homonymie). Vincent de Beauvais Vincent de Beauvais (* Boran sur Oise vers 1184 / 1194 † …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Vincent of Beauvais — The Dominican friar Vincent of Beauvais (Vincentius Bellovacensis) (c. 1190 ndash; 1264?) wrote the Speculum Maius , the main encyclopedia that was used in the Middle Ages. Early lifeThe exact dates of his birth and death are unknown and not much …   Wikipedia

  • Vincent de Beauvais — Vincentius Bellovacensis: Speculum maius (Straßburg: Johann Mentelin 1473, Teil 3: Speculum historiale Vinzenz von Beauvais (auch Vincent de Beauvais, latinisiert Vincentius Bellovacensis; * zwischen 1184 und 1194, † um 1264 in Beauvais),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vincent von Beauvais — Vincentius Bellovacensis: Speculum maius (Straßburg: Johann Mentelin 1473, Teil 3: Speculum historiale Vinzenz von Beauvais (auch Vincent de Beauvais, latinisiert Vincentius Bellovacensis; * zwischen 1184 und 1194, † um 1264 in Beauvais),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vincent de Beauvais — Fraile Vincent de Beauvais. Vincent de Beauvais (hacia 1190? 1264/1267?) fue un fraile de la orden de los Dominicos célebre por haber escrito la enciclopedia Speculum Majus, muy usada en la Edad Media. Se ignora prácticamente todo sobre su vida,… …   Wikipedia Español

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”