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Full Access A Late Medieval Reaction to Thierry of Chartres’s (d. 1157) Philosophy: The Anti-Platonist Argument of the Anonymous Fundamentum Naturae

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A Late Medieval Reaction to Thierry of Chartres’s (d. 1157) Philosophy: The Anti-Platonist Argument of the Anonymous Fundamentum Naturae

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Abstract An anonymous manuscript from the fourteenth or early fifteenth century, recently discovered, apparently transmitted Thierry of Chartres’s philosophical theology to Nicholas of Cusa around 1440. Yet the author of the treatise is not endorsing Thierry’s views, as both Cusanus and modern readers have assumed, but in fact is writing in order to refute them. Curiously the author never mentions Thierry’s best known triad of unitas, aequalitas and conexio. But a careful comparison of the structure of the author’s argument to Thierry’s extant works shows that the author was nevertheless quite familiar with the Breton master’s writings. The reatise’s author offers an incisive critique of Thierry’s theory of “four modes of being” and rejects two of the modes in particular. From this new perspective, the manuscript can be valued as the first known evidence of Thierry of Chartres’s late medieval reception.

1. *) Research for this article was supported by an Advancing Scholarship in the Humanities and Social Sciences grant from the University of Southern California. I would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their helpful suggestions.
2. FN11) Eichstätt Cod. st 687, fols. 4r-9v. On Schwarz’s collection, see Maarten J.F.M. Hoenen, Speculum philosophiae medii aevi. Die Handschriftensammlung des Dominikaners Georg Schwarz († nach 1484) (Amsterdam, 1994).
3. FN22) Maarten J.F.M. Hoenen, ‘“Ista prius inaudita.” Eine neuentdeckte Vorlage der De docta ignorantia und ihre Bedeutung für die frühe Philosophie des Nikolaus von Kues’, Medioevo. Rivista di Storia della filosofia medievale XXI (1995), 375-476. A transcript of the manuscript can be found on pp. 447-476. Hoenen anticipates and responds to several objections, including inter alia the possibilities that Fundamentum naturae is an early draft of De docta ignorantia by Cusanus or a later recension by someone else.
4. FN33) Zénon Kaluza, ‘Bulletin d’histoire des doctrines médiévales. Les XIVe et XVe siècles’, Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 81 (1997), 129.
5. FN44) David Albertson, ‘A Learned Thief? Nicholas of Cusa and the Anonymous Fundamentum Naturae: Reassessing the Vorlage Theory’, Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales 77/2 (2010), 351-390. For the purposes of the present study, therefore, I do not intend merely to assume the veracity of Hoenen’s claims, but rather to continue to weigh his proposal by exploring the significance of the Chartrian background of the text. Only after the relationship between Fundamentum naturae and Thierry’s thought has been better determined can one return to Hoenen’s questions about Cusan authorship of De docta ignorantia, as I will do in a forthcoming work.
6. FN55) Regarding Richard Southern’s well-known skepticism about the existence of such a “school,” I agree with Marcia Colish, Peter Lombard, vol. 1 (Leiden, 1994), 254: “there is a detectable family resemblance among the thinkers committed to the Chartrain project, despite their individual differences, and irrespective of whether they themselves studied or taught at Chartres.”
7. FN66) Hoenen, ‘Ista prius inaudita’, 404-405.
8. FN77) Fundamentum cites the popular florilegium Auctoritates Aristotelis that originates between 1267 and 1325. Ibid., 425-26.
9. FN88) Ibid., 423-24.
10. FN99) Ibid., 426-29. See Maarten J.F.M. Hoenen, ‘Thomismus, Skotismus und Albertismus. Das Enstehen und die Bedeutung von philosophischen Schulen im späten Mittelalter’, Bochumer Philosophisches Jahrbuch für Antike und Mittelalter 2 (1997), 81-103.
11. FN1010) Hoenen, ‘Ista prius inaudita’, 429-30.
12. FN1111) Ibid., 430-34.
13. FN1212) I cite Fundamentum naturae from Hoenen’s transcription as F, giving both folio and page numbers: F 4r, 448. The two occasions of “fundamentum naturae” in the treatise both occur in the passages borrowed from the florilegium Auctoritates Aristotelis. Even if the title were not given by the author, but by Schwarz’s copyist, it nevertheless remains entirely consonant with the treatise’s argument.
14. FN1313) F 4r, 448, 450.
15. FN1414) F 5r, 452.
16. FN1515) To name just two examples: see Confessiones, Lib. VII, in James J. O’Donnell, Augustine: Confessions (Oxford, 1992), vols. 1-2; De genesi ad litteram, CSEL 28/1, ed. Joseph Zycha (Vienna, 1894), Lib. I, 3-31.
17. FN1616) See H. Schipperges, ‘Zur Bedeutung von ‘physica’ und zur Rolle des ‘physicus’ in der abendländischen Wissenschaftsgeschichte’, Sudhoffs Archiv 60/4 (1976), 354-74; Andreas Speer, Die entdeckte Natur. Untersuchungen zu Begründungsversuchen einer “scientia naturalis” im 12. Jahrhundert (Leiden, 1995).
18. FN1717) See the anonymous Hermetic treatise (formerly attributed to John of Salisbury), De septem septenis, PL 199: 960A-960C.
19. FN1818) See Clarembald of Arras, Tractatulus super librum Genesis, in Life and Works of Clarembald of Arras, ed. Nikolaus M. Häring (Toronto, 1965), 225-249.
20. FN1919) Peter Dronke, ‘Thierry of Chartres’, in A History of Twelfth-Century Western Philosophy, ed. Peter Dronke (Cambridge, 1988), 384 (358-85).
21. FN2020) “Eadem tribus aeternitas, eadem incommutabilitas, eadem maiestas, eadem potestas. In patre unitas, in filio aequalitas, in spiritu sancto unitatis aequalitatisque concordia, et tria haec unum omnia propter patrem, aequalia omnia propter filium, conexa omnia propter spiritum sanctum.” Augustine, De doctrina christiana, I.12 (V.5), in Augustine: De Doctrina Christiana, ed. R.P.H. Green (Oxford, 1995), 16. See further Bernard McGinn, ‘Does the Trinity Add Up? Transcendental Mathematics and Trinitarian Speculation in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries’, in Praise No Less Than Charity: Studies in Honor of M. Chrysogonus Waddell, ed. Rozanne Elder (Kalamazoo, 2002), 237-64.
22. FN2121) See Thierry of Chartres, Tractatus de sex dierum operibus 30-47, in Commentaries on Boethius by Thierry of Chartres and His School, ed. Nikolaus M. Häring (Toronto 1971) [hereafter TC] 568-575; Commentum II.30-38, TC 77-80; Lectiones V.16-19, TC 218-219; Glosa V.17-29, TC 296-299.
23. FN2222) See, for example, M.-D. Chenu, ‘Une définition Pythagoricienne de la vérité au moyen âge’, Archives d’histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen âge 28 (1961): 7-13; Édouard Jeauneau, ‘Mathématique et Trinité chez Thierry de Chartres’, in Metaphysik im Mittelalter. Miscellanea Mediaevalia 2, ed. Paul Wilpert (Berlin, 1963), 289-95; ibid., ‘Note sur l’Ecole de Chartres’, in ibid., Lectio philosophorum. Recherches sur l’Ecole de Chartres (Amsterdam, 1973), 5-36 (9-23); Werner Beierwaltes, ‘Einheit und Gleichheit. Eine Fragestellung im Platonismus von Chartres und ihre Rezeption durch Nicolaus Cusanus’, in Denken des Einen. Studien zur Neuplatonischen Philosophie und ihrer Wirkungsgeschichte (Frankfurt am Main, 1985), 368-84; Klaus Riesenhuber, ‘Arithmetic and the Metaphysics of Unity in Thierry of Chartres: On the Philosophy of Nature and Theology in the Twelfth Century’, in Nature in Medieval Thought—Some Approaches East and West, ed. Chumaru Koyama (Leiden, 2000), 43-73.
24. FN2323) More balanced discussions of Thierry’s different doctrines can be found in Anneliese Stollenwerk, Der Genesiskommentar Thierry von Chartres und die Thierry von Chartres zugeschriebenen Kommentare zu Boethius “De Trinitate,” Diss. Universität zu Köln, 1971; Enzo Maccagnolo, Rerum universitas. Saggio sulla filosofia di Teodorico di Chartres (Florence, 1976); Dronke, ‘Thierry of Chartres’; Stephen Gersh, ‘Platonism—Aristotelianism—Neoplatonism. A Twelfth-Century Metaphysical System and its Sources’, in Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century, eds. Robert L. Benson and Giles Constable (Toronto, 1991), 512-34; Vera Rodrigues, ‘Thierry de Chartres, Lecteur du De Trinitate de Boèce’, in Boèce ou la chaîne des savoirs, ed. Alain Galonnier (Louvain/Paris, 2003), 649-63; ibid., ‘Pluralité et particularisme ontologique chez Thierry de Chartres’, in Arts du Langage et Théologie aux confins des XIe et XIIe siècles. Textes, Maîtres, Débats, ed. Irène Rosier-Catach (Turnhout, 2011), 509-536.
25. FN2424) On dating Thierry’s works I concur with Häring’s sequence of Tractatus, Commentum, Lectiones and Glosa, pace Maccagnolo, Rerum universitas, 211-215, and Dronke, ‘Thierry of Chartres’, 360. On the critical issue of dating Commentum see further Constant J. Mews, ‘In Search of a Name and Its Significance: A Twelfth-Century Anecdote about Thierry and Peter Abaelard’, Traditio 44 (1988), 192 n. 80 (171-200).
26. FN2525) Commentum II.39-42, TC 80-82.
27. FN2626) Commentum II.49, TC 84.
28. FN2727) Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, IV.6.7-13, in Boethius. De consolatione philosophiae. Opuscula theologica, ed. C. Moreschini (Munich/Leipzig, 2005), 122:20-123:56. Thierry acknowledges this dependence at Lectiones II.6, TC 156; see also Commentum IV.42-44, TC 107.
29. FN2828) Lectiones II.4-5, TC 155.
30. FN2929) Commentum II.28, TC 77, and IV.7, TC 97.
31. FN3030) Lectiones II.9, TC 157. Later Thierry makes clear that reciprocal folding structures two pairs of terms: Lectiones II.10-11, TC 157-58; Glosa II.20-21, TC 273. Here and elsewhere I will translate necessitas complexionis, the second mode of being, as “the necessity of enfolding,” even though when the term appears in Cusan texts it is usually translated as “the necessity of connection” (D. and W. Dupré; P. Wilpert and H.G. Senger; H.L. Bond) or “connecting necessity” (J. Hopkins). These translations imply that complexio resembles conexio, but we may also compare complexio to complicatio, since both share the Greek root plekein (to weave, fold, enfold); on the Neoplatonic roots of complicatio and explicatio, see Thomas P. McTighe, ‘A Neglected Feature of Neoplatonic Metaphysics’, in Christian Spirituality and the Culture of Modernity: The Thought of Louis Dupré, ed. Peter Casarella (Grand Rapids, 1998), 27-49. This translation better conveys the structural links that Thierry consistently emphasizes among the four modes of being in the passages I have just cited. Dronke’s “necessity of make-up” (‘Thierry of Chartres’, 369) is better, and accords with the medieval philosophical sense of complexio as a natural constitution, composition or state, as in William of Conches, for example. But Dronke’s translation leads readers away from the all-important link between the second mode and reciprocal folding. Moreover, Thierry is capable of using the term “necessity of connection” when he wishes to do so: “Eadem enim uniuersitas et in simplicitate diuine mentis conplicite et in necessitate conexionis ut alibi dicitur.” Abbreviatio monacensis de hebdomadibus II.40, TC 412. It may well be that Thierry viewed necessitas complexionis and necessitas conexionis as equivalent expressions for the second mode of being, but this important question is occluded when the translator has already conflated the two.
32. FN3131) Boethius, De trinitate II, ed. Moreschini 168:68-169:80. Cf. Aristotle, Metaphysics VI.1 (1025b3-1026a33).
33. FN3232) Lectiones II.3-6, TC 155-56; II.13-15, TC 158-59.
34. FN3333) “Considerat enim theologia necessitatem que unitas est et simplicitas. Mathematica considerat necessitatem conplexionis que est explicatio simplicitatis. Mathematica enim formas rerum in ueritate sua considerat. Phisica uero considerat determinatam possibilitatem et absolutam. Absoluta autem necessitas et absoluta possibilitas in his extrema sunt. Reliqui uero modi uelud media. Quod alibi melius explicatur.” Lectiones II.11, TC 158. Thierry likely refers to Commentum II.28, TC 77.
35. FN3434) Glosa II.15-22, TC 272-73.
36. FN3535) Boethius, De trinitate II, ed. Moreschini 169:79-83, 170:92-93 and 170:110-171:117; De hebdomadibus, Regula II, ed. Moreschini 187:26-28. See further Fernand Brunner, ‘Deus forma essendi’, in Entretiens sur la Renaissance du 12e siècle, eds. Maurice de Gandillac and Édouard Jeauneau (Paris, 1968), 85-116; Pierre Hadot, ‘Forma essendi. Interprétation philologique et interprétation philosophique d’une formule de Boèce’, Les études classiques 38 (1970), 143-56; Jean-Michel Counet, Mathématiques et dialectique chez Nicolas de Cuse (Paris, 2000), 133-171.
37. FN3636) Abbreviatio monacensis de hebdomadibus 21-44, TC 408-413, but especially 25-26, TC 409; Lectiones II.38-41, TC 167-168; and Lectiones II.47, TC 170. Häring notes that Augustine uses the phrase “forma omnium formatorum” in Sermo 117.
38. FN3737) See Gangolf Schrimpf’s analysis of forma formarum in ‘Idee’, Historisches Wörterbuch der Philosophie, Bd. 4, ed. Joachim Ritter and Karlfried Gründer (Basel/Stuttgart, 1976), 78-79.
39. FN3838) “Dicitur autem prima forma que est diuinitas forma formarum quia est generatiua formarum. Mens etenim diuina generat et concipit intra se formas i.e. naturas rerum que a philosophis uocantur ydee.” Lectiones II.43, TC 168. “Unde mens diuina que est forma essendi forma omnium formarum merito dicitur et est. . . . Est enim unitas est eternitas est simplicitas conplicans in se uniuersitatem rerum que precedit et causa est omnium rerum.” Abbreviatio monacensis de hebdomadibus 28, TC 410.
40. FN3939) “Formis dixit pluraliter quia sunt ibi in necessitate conplexionis plura rerum exemplaria que omnia sunt unum exemplar in mente diuina.” Lectiones II.66, TC 176.
41. FN4040) See Hoenen’s analysis at ‘Ista prius inaudita’, 394-401.
42. FN4141) “Est enim modus essendi, qui absoluta necessitas dicitur, uti deus est forma formarum, ens entium, rerum ratio sive quiditas, et in hoc essendi modo omnia in deo sunt ipsa necessitas absoluta. Alius modus est, ut res sunt in necessitate complexionis, in qua sunt formae rerum in se verae cum distinctione et ordine naturae, sicut in mente. Alius modus essendi est, ut res sunt in possibilitate determinata actu hoc vel illud. Et quartus ultimus modus essendi est, ut res possunt esse, et est possibilitas absoluta.” F 4r, 448.
43. FN4242) Lectiones II.39-43, TC 167-168; and Abbreviatio monacensis de hebdomadibus II.25-30, TC 409-410.
44. FN4343) F 4r, 448.
45. FN4444) “Motum, per quem est conexio formae et materiae, spiritum quendam esse, inter formam et materiam medium, quidam opinati sunt. Hunc spiritum conexionis procedere ab utroque, scilicet possibilitate et anima mundi, dixerunt.” F 8v, 468-70. Cf. Aristotle, Physics III.1-3 (201a10-202b29).
46. FN4545) F 9r, 472. I discuss the author’s triad of absolute possibility, absolute form and absolute connection in the final section below.
47. FN4646) Lectiones II.3, 4, 6, 13, 15, TC 155-59.
48. FN4747) Lectiones II.2-4, TC 154-55.
49. FN4848) Commentum II.28, TC 77.
50. FN4949) Commentum IV.7, TC 97.
51. FN5050) Commentum II.39-40, TC 80-81.
52. FN5151) Lectiones II.9, TC 157.
53. FN5252) Lectiones II.10, TC 157; Glosa II.18, TC 272.
54. FN5353) Thierry attributes the plurality and mutability of the universe to its fourth mode: Glosa II.17, TC 272.
55. FN5454) F 5r-6r, 452-58.
56. FN5555) F 6r-6v, 458.
57. FN5656) Some readers may concur with one anonymous reader of the present study, who suggested that this fact renders Hoenen’s proposal implausible prima facie. That is: why would Cusanus, an avowed Platonist, adopt explicitly anti-Platonist passages from an Aristotelian author and place them at the center of De docta ignorantia? Two responses can be made. (1) Cusanus’s early affiliation with Heymericus de Campo’s Albertism may have generally predisposed him to seek to harmonize Platonism and Aristotelianism. The Albertist school advocated a reading of Aristotle influenced by Proclus, Ps.-Dionysius and the Liber de causis and claimed Boethius (who famously declared his plans to harmonize Plato and Aristotle) as an intellectual ancestor. See Maarten J.F.M. Hoenen, ‘Via Antiqua and Via Moderna in the Fifteenth Century: Doctrinal, Institutional and Church Political Factors in the Wegestreit ’, in The Medieval Heritage in Early Modern Metaphysics and Modal Theory, 1400-1700, eds. R.L. Friedman and L.O. Nielsen (Dordrecht, 2003), 9-36. Cusanus likewise praised Boethius in Book I of De docta ignorantia and then, like other fifteenth-century Platonists, pursued a new dialogue with Aristotle in such later works as Apologia doctae ignorantiae (1449), Idiota de mente (1450) and De beryllo (1458). See Maurice de Gandillac, ‘Platonisme et Aristotelisme chez Nicholas de Cues’, in Platon et Aristote à la renaissance, ed. Jean-Claude Margolin (Paris, 1976), 7-23; Hans Gerhard Senger, ‘Aristotelismus vs. Platonismus. Zur Konkurrenz von zwei Archetypen der Philosophie im Spätmittelalter’, in Aristotelisches Erbe im arabisch-lateinischen Mittelalter. Übersetzungen, Kommentare, Interpretationen. Miscellanea Mediaevalia 18, ed. Albert Zimmermann (Berlin/New York, 1986), 53-80; Meredith Ziebart, ‘Some Reflections on Aristotle in the Works of Cusanus’, in Universalität der Vernunft und Pluralität der Erkenntnis bei Nicolaus Cusanus, eds. Klaus Reinhardt and Harald Schwaetzer (Regensburg, 2008), 135-168. (2) I grant that in this particular instance, however, the tension between Fundamentum’s anti-Platonist intentions and Cusanus’s thoroughly Platonist predilections is so great that—if Hoenen’s theory is correct—we should expect to observe traces of discord or discomfort as Cusanus attempts to integrate the anonymous treatise into De docta ignorantia. I believe that one can indeed identify such traces of tension in Book II, as I will show in a forthcoming work.
58. FN5757) The author refers to the Platonici four times, all within the treatise’s second part: F 7r, 460; F 7v, 466; F 8r, 466; F 8r, 468.
59. FN5858) F 4r, 550. Cf. Hoenen, ‘Ista prius inaudita’, 424 n. 124.
60. FN5959) “Et ideo veteres quandam absolutam omnia essendi possibilitatem et illam aeternam affirmarunt, in qua omnia possibiliter complicata credebant. Et ita non nisi ignoranter materiam attingerunt. Reperimus enim fore impossibile possibilitatem absolutam esse.” F 5r, 452-54.
61. FN6060) F 4r, 448-50.
62. FN6161) F 4r, 448.
63. FN6262) The concept of contractio has been customarily associated with Nicholas of Cusa’s philosophy and with De docta ignorantia in particular. Some readers may ask whether its appearance in Fundamentum naturae is not evidence of the priority of De docta ignorantia. But in fact, for contractio to appear in another work before De docta ignorantia is entirely unremarkable, since the two particular senses given the term in the Fundamentum treatise (see n. 67 below) can be dated back to Giles of Rome’s commentary on the Liber de causis. See Graziella Federici Vescovini, ‘Temi ermetico-neoplatonici de La dotta ignoranza di Nicola Cusano’, in Il Neoplatonismo nel Rinascimento, ed. Pietro Prini (Rome, 1993), 117-32; and especially Leo Catana, The Concept of Contraction in Giordano Bruno’s Philosophy (Aldershot, 2005), 103-134. Therefore it is difficult to object to Hoenen’s theory, as some have, merely on the grounds that contractio is more at home within De docta ignorantia than within the Fundamentum treatise. On the contrary: there are signs of awkwardness in Cusanus’s own use of the term. As I have argued previously (see ‘Learned Thief’, 365-72), the cardinal seems to have difficulty fleshing out the sense of contractio in De docta ignorantia and, somewhat curiously, continually resorts to Thierry of Chartres’s concepts in order to do so.
64. FN6363) F 4r, 448; F 5v, 454.
65. FN6464) F 5v, 454-58.
66. FN6565) F 5v, 456.
67. FN6666) F 6r, 456.
68. FN6767) Regarding the author’s first and second senses of contractio, see Catana, Concept of Contraction, 129-33 and 123 respectively.
69. FN6868) F 5v, 456.
70. FN6969) “Cadunt autem differentiae et graduationes, ut unum actu magis sit, aliud magis potentia, absque hoc quod deveniatur ad maximum et minimum simpliciter, quoniam maximus et minimus actus coincidunt cum maxima et minima potentia ut sunt maximum absolute dictum.” F 5v, 456. There is a textual problem in the last clause, where one would expect a subjunctive verb. Most manuscripts of De docta ignorantia, for example, substitute et for ut: see De docta ignorantia II.8 (§137), ed. Ernst Hoffmann and Raymond Klibansky, Nicolai de Cusa. Opera Omnia, vol. I (Leipzig, 1932), 88:22. I thank the anonymous reviewer who clarified this point. I have inserted words in brackets to express what I take to be the author’s intended argument.
71. FN7070) “Si enim reperiuntur diversa in mundo ita se habentia, quod ex uno possunt plura esse quam ex alio, ad maximum tamen et minimum simpliciter et absolute non devenitur. Sed quia illa reperiuntur, patet possibilitatem absolutam non esse dabilem.” F 5v-5r, 454.
72. FN7171) F 9r, 472. The author may have in mind Aristotle’s law of non-contradiction; see Metaphysics IV.3-4 (1005b17-1009a5). Johannes Wenck, a scholastic trained in Heidelberg, rejected coincidentia on these grounds in his De ignota litteratura (1442-43), prompting Cusanus’s reply in Apologia doctae ignorantiae (1449). Unlike the author of Fundamentum, Cusanus thinks such coincidentia is valid when expressing higher (theological) truths of the intellect. See Franz- Bernhard Stammkötter, ‘ “Hic homo parum curat de dictis Aristotelis ”. Der Streit zwischen Johannes Wenck von Herrenberg und Nikolaus von Kues um die Gültigkeit des Satzes vom zu vermeidenden Widerspruch’, in “Herbst des Mittelalters”? Fragen zu Bewertung des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts. Miscellanea Mediaevalia 31, eds. Jan A. Aertsen and Martin Pickavé (Berlin/ New York, 2004), 433-444.
73. FN7272) Physics II.4-6 (195b30-198b8).
74. FN7373) F 5v, 456.
75. FN7474) F 8v, 468-470.
76. FN7575) Physics III.3 (202a13-202a22).
77. FN7676) “. . . descendit, ut sit contracte in possibilitatem, hoc est, ascendente possibilitate versus actu esse descendit forma, ut sit finiens, perficiens et terminans possibilitatem. Et ita ex ascensu t descensu motus exoritur conectens utrumque. Qui motus est medium conexionis potentiae et actus, quoniam ex possibilitate mobili et motore formali oritur ipsum movere medium.”F 8v, 470.
78. FN7777) F 9r, 472. The author’s notion of spiritus creatus resembles De septem septenis: see PL 199: 961D-962A.
79. FN7878) “Ita quidem motus gradatim de universo in particulare descendit et ibi contrahitur ordine temporali aut naturali.” F 8v, 470.
80. FN7979) Ibid.
81. FN8080) F 9r, 472.
82. FN8181) Thierry usually calls the third mode possibilitas determinata, but occasionally also glosses the second mode as necessitas determinata. Glosa II.21, TC 273.
83. FN8282) “Unde cum possibilitas absoluta sit deus, si mundum consideramus ut <in> ipsa est, tunc est ut in deo, qui est esse omnium, et est ipsa aeternitas. Sed si ipsum consideramus ut est in possibilitate contracta, tunc possibilitas naturaliter tantum mundum praecedit, et non est ista possibilitas contracta nec aeternitas nec deo coeterna, sed cadens ab ipsa aeternitate, ut contractum ab absoluto, quae distant per infinitum.” F 6r, 456-58.
84. FN8383) “Quare possibilitas absoluta in deo est deus, extra vero non est possibilis.” F 5r, 454.
85. FN8484) Lectiones II.7-34, TC 156-166, passim; Glosa II.20-21, TC 273; Abbreviatio monacensis de hebdomadibus II.39-42, TC 412.
86. FN8585) “Et nulla potest esse creatura, quae non sit ex contractione diminuta, ab isto opere divino per infinitum cadens. Solus deus est absolutus, omnia alia contracta. Nec cadit eo modo medium inter absolutum et contractum, ut illi Platonici imaginati sunt, qui animam mundi mentem putarunt post deum et ante contractionem mundi.” F 8r, 468.
87. FN8686) F 7r, 460.
88. FN8787) “Unde necessitas complexionis non est, ut posuerunt Platonici, scilicet mens minor gignente, sed est verbum et filius aequalis patri in divinis, et dicitur logos seu ratio, quoniam est ratio omnium.” F 7v-8r, 466.
89. FN8888) “Est notandum quod impossibile est devenire ad maximum simpliciter, quare non potest esse absoluta potentia, absoluta forma siue actus, quae non <sit> deus, et quod non sit ens praeter deum non contractum, et quod non est nisi una forma formarum et veritas veritatum, et non est alia veritas maxima circuli quam quadranguli. Unde formae rerum non sunt distinctae, nisi ut sunt contracte. Ut enim sunt absolute, tunc sunt una indistincta forma, quae est verbum in divinis.” F 7r, 466.
90. FN8989) F 4r, 448.
91. FN9090) “Nihil est ergo illud, quod de imaginibus formarum Platonici dixerunt, quoniam non est nisi una infinita forma formarum, cuius omnes formae sunt imagines.” F 8r, 466.
92. FN9191) “Ex his enim formis quae praeter materiam sunt, istae formae venerunt quae sunt in materia et corpus efficiunt. Nam ceteras quae in corporibus sunt abutimur formas vocantes, dum imagines sint. . . .” Boethius, De Trinitate II, ed. Moreschini 171:113-116.
93. FN9292) “Praeter materiam sunt in ueritate sua: scilicet in necessitate conplexionis. Formis dixit pluraliter quia sunt ibi in necessitate conplexionis plura rerum exemplaria que omnia sunt unum exemplar in mente diuina. Secundum quod Plato dicit in Parmenide Calcidio testante quod unum est exemplar omnium rerum et plura exemplaria in quo nulla diuersitas nulla ex diuersitate contrarietas sicut in Platone dicitur.” Lectiones II.66, TC 176. In the passage to which Thierry refers, Calcidius notes the difficulty of the problem of singular or plural formal exemplars in Plato: “Ignis porro purus et ceterae sincerae intellegibilesque substantiae species sunt exemplaria corporum, ideae cognominatae; quarum ad presens differt examinationem nec quaerit, unane sit archetypa species eorum quae sunt communis omnium, an innumerabiles et pro rerum existentium numero, quarum coetu et congregatione concreuerit uniuersa moles, an uero idem unum pariter et multa sint, ut docet in Parmenide.” Calcidius, In Timaeum Platonis 272, in Timaeus a Calcidio translatus commentarioque instructus, ed. J. Waszink (London/Leiden, 1962), 276:14-277:3. See Stephen Gersh, Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism: The Latin Tradition, Vol. 2 (Notre Dame, 1986), 460-467, esp. 466 n. 203.
94. FN9393) “Non est ergo possibile plura distincta exemplaria esse. Quodlibet enim ad sua exemplata esset maximum atque verissimum. Sed hoc non est possibile, ut sint plura maxima et verissima. Unum enim infinitum exemplar tantum est sufficiens et necessarium, in quo sunt omnia ut ordinata in ordine, omnes quantumcumque distinctas rerum rationes adaequatissime complicans. . . .” F 7v, 466.
95. FN9494) F 6v, 460; F 8r, 468; F 8v, 470.
96. FN9595) F 7r, 466.
97. FN9696) F 7v-8r, 466; F 8r, 468.
98. FN9797) See, for example, Ennead V.2. Gersh analyzes the Macrobian doctrine of the second hypostasis, as well as its Middle Platonic and Plotinian sources, in Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism, 530-545.
99. FN9898) See Édouard Jeauneau, ‘Gloses de Guillaume de Conches sur Macrobe. Note sur le manuscrits’, in Lectio philosophorum. Recherches sur l’Ecole de Chartres (Amsterdam, 1973), 267-278; ibid., ‘Macrobe, source du platonisme chartrain’, in Lectio philosophorum, 279-300.
100. FN9999) “Haec monas initium finisque omnium, neque ipsa principii aut finis sciens, ad summum refertur deum eiusque intellectum a sequentium numero rerum et potestatum sequestrat, nec in inferiore post deum gradu frustra eam desideraveris. Haec illa est mens ex summo enata deo, quae vices temporum nesciens in uno semper quod adest consistit aevo, cumque utpote una non sit ipsa numerabilis, innumeras tamen generum species et de se creat et intra se continet.” Ambrosii Theodosii Macrobii Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis, ed. J. Willis (Leipzig, 1963), I.6.8, 19-20. “Ceterum cum ad summum et principem omnium deum, qui apud Graecos tagathon, qui pröton aition nuncupatur, tractatus se audet attollere, vel ad mentem, quem Graeci noun appellant, originales rerum species, quae ideai dictae sunt, continentem, ex summo natam et profectam deo: cum de his inquam loquuntur summo deo et mente, nihil fabulosum penitus attingunt . . . ideo et nullum ei simulacrum, cum dis aliis constituerentur, finxit antiquitas, quia summus deus nataque ex eo mens sicut ultra animam ita supra naturam sunt. . . .” Ibid., I.2.14, 16, ed. Willis, 6-7. Emphases are mine.
101. FN100100) “Istum autem modum siue unitatis equalitatem antiqui philosophi tum mentem diuinitatis tum prouidentiam tum creatoris sapientiam appellauerunt.” Tractatus 42, TC 572.
102. FN101101) Lectiones II.43, TC 168; Abbreviatio monacensis de hebdomadibus 25-27, TC 409-10.
103. FN102102) “Philosophi quidem de verbo divino et maximo absoluto sufficienter instructi non erant. Ideo mentem et animam ac necessitatem in quadam explicatione necessitatis absolutae sine contractione considerarunt.” F 8r, 468.
104. FN103103) F 7v, 466; F 8r, 468. In Fundamentum’s third part, he also uses complicatio to define the divine rest from which all motion proceeds: “Non est ergo aliquis motus simpliciter maximus, quia ille cum quiete coincidit. Quare non est motus aliquis absolutus, quoniam absolutus motus est quies et deus. Et illa quies complicat omnes motus.” F 9r, 472.
105. FN104104) Lectiones II.4-6, II.10-11, TC 155-58; Glosa II.20-21, TC 273.
106. FN105105) By noting the elegance of the author’s argumentation, I do not intend to elevate the doctrine of Fundamentum over that of Thierry of Chartres.
107. FN106106) On divine aequalitas in Thierry of Chartres, see Tractatus 37-47, TC 570-75; Commentum II.31-36; Lectiones VII.5-7, TC 224-25; Glosa V.17-21, TC 296-97. Aequalitas is also prominent in two works transmitted with Thierry’s texts by members of his circle of students: Commentarius Victorinus 81-95, TC 498-501; Tractatus de trinitate 12-19, TC 306-307.
108. FN107107) Tractatus 41-42, TC 572; Tractatus 45, TC 574.
109. FN108108) Lectiones II.38, TC 167.
110. FN109109) Glosa V.19, TC 297.
111. FN110110) See Albertson, ‘Learned Thief’, 376 n. 79.
112. FN111111) Tractatus de sex dierum operibus exists in nine manuscripts, mostly of French provenance, and excerpts appear in other twelfth-century works such as Helinand de Froidmont’s Chronicon. It therefore “holds a key position in any attempt to establish the extent of the literary activity and influence that emanated from Thierry and his school” (Häring, TC 46). The Boethian commentaries are more rare: Commentum survives in four manuscripts, Lectiones in two, and Glosa in one. One Parisian codex (BN Lat 14489) preserves a copy of Lectiones along with three other related glosses probably not by Thierry himself. However, an abridged version of Lectiones (date unknown), along with two of the Commentum manuscripts, can be traced to thirteenth-century Cistercian monasteries in Bavaria—“a fact,” notes Häring, “which reveals the lasting interest in Thierry’s ideas at least among Cistercians,” the order to which the Breton master retired in his later years (TC 34).
113. FN112112) See F 5r, 454; F 6r, 456; F 6r, 458; F 6v, 458; F 7r, 466.
114. FN113113) “Sicut ergo omnis possibilitas est in absoluta, quae est deus aeternus, et omnis forma et actus in absoluta forma, quae est verbum patris et filius in divinis, ita omnis motus conexionis et proportio ac harmonia uniens est in absoluta conexione divini spiritus, ut sit unum omnium principium deus. . . .” F 9r, 472.
115. FN114114) F 8r, 468.
116. FN115115) Commentum II.39, TC 80-81.
117. FN116116) F 9r-9v, 472.

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