Robert Grosseteste

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Grosseteste, Robert

(grōs`tĕst), c.1175–1253, English prelate. Educated at Oxford and probably also at Paris, he became one of the most learned men of his time. He taught at Oxford and later, as rector, made the university an important center of learning. In 1224 he became lector of the Franciscans there and founded the Oxford Franciscan school, which profoundly influenced medieval thought. His most illustrious pupils, Adam MarshMarsh, Adam,
or Adam de Marisco
, d. 1259?, English Franciscan scholar. He was a student of Robert Grosseteste. When Grosseteste became bishop, Marsh took his place in the Franciscan school at Oxford.
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 and Roger BaconBacon, Roger,
c.1214–1294?, English scholastic philosopher and scientist, a Franciscan. He studied at Oxford as well as at the Univ. of Paris and became one of the most celebrated and zealous teachers at Oxford.
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, continued Grosseteste's work at Oxford after he was made (1235) bishop of Lincoln, then the most populous see of England.

As bishop, Grosseteste was an indefatigable administrator and zealous reformer, visiting the monasteries, assigning suitable candidates to parish offices, and preaching to the people. Grosseteste fought for the maintenance of the Magna Carta. He thwarted efforts of Henry IIIHenry III,
1207–72, king of England (1216–72), son and successor of King John. Reign
Early Years

Henry became king under a regency; William Marshal, 1st earl of Pembroke, and later Pandulf acted as chief of government, while Peter des Roches
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 to control ecclesiastical appointments, and as a member of the baronial council he supported the reforms of Simon de MontfortMontfort, Simon de, earl of Leicester,
1208?–1265, leader of the baronial revolt against Henry III of England. Early Life

He was born in France, the son of Simon de Montfort, leader of the Albigensian Crusade.
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 (1208–65). Grosseteste did not hestitate to censure Pope Innocent IVInnocent IV,
d. 1254, pope (1243–54), a Genoese named Sinibaldo Fieschi, a distinguished jurist who studied and later taught law at the Univ. of Bologna; successor of Celestine IV. He was of a noble family.
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 for his excessive exactions and for appointing foreigners to rich English benefices; he also attacked the Curia for its corruption and indolence. Some historians see in Grosseteste's protests against Rome an influence upon WyclifWyclif, Wycliffe, Wickliffe, or Wiclif, John
, c.1328–1384, English religious reformer. A Yorkshireman by birth, Wyclif studied and taught theology and philosophy at Oxford.
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 and a foreshadowing of the ReformationReformation,
religious revolution that took place in Western Europe in the 16th cent. It arose from objections to doctrines and practices in the medieval church (see Roman Catholic Church) and ultimately led to the freedom of dissent (see Protestantism).
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.

Grosseteste was a prolific scholar. He knew Greek and probably Hebrew; his translations of, and commentaries on, Aristotle served as a foundation for the scholasticismscholasticism
, philosophy and theology of Western Christendom in the Middle Ages. Virtually all medieval philosophers of any significance were theologians, and their philosophy is generally embodied in their theological writings.
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 of Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. His prolific writing included treatises on physics, optics, light, motion, color, mathematics, astronomy, psychology, pastoral works, and polemical poems in French for the laity. For 50 years after his death he was venerated in his diocese as a saint. In recent years he has been accounted one of the early practitioners of modern scientific method.

Bibliography

Few of Grosseteste'ss writings are available in English. Three treatises are translated in Richard McKeon, Selections from Medieval Philosophers (1928–31). See also S. H. Thomson, The Writings of Robert Grosseteste (1940); J. McEvoy, The Philosophy of Robert Grosseteste (1987); R. Southern, Robert Grosseteste: The Growth of an English Mind in Medieval Europe (1986).


Robert Grosseteste:

see Grosseteste, RobertGrosseteste, Robert
, c.1175–1253, English prelate. Educated at Oxford and probably also at Paris, he became one of the most learned men of his time. He taught at Oxford and later, as rector, made the university an important center of learning.
..... Click the link for more information.
.