Jocelin of Soissons

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Jocelin of Soissons[1] (died 1152) was a French theologian, a philosophical opponent of Abelard. He became bishop of Soissons, and is known also as a composer (commonly as Goslenus Suessionensis, or Magister Goslenus, episcopus Suessionensis), with two pieces in the Codex Calixtinus.[2] He was teaching at the Paris cathedral school in the early 1110s.[3]


He began work on the present Soissons Cathedral; it only took shape in the 1190s.[4]

Abbot Suger addressed his history of Louis the Fat to him.[5] In the papal politics of the late 1220s and 1230s, Suger counted Jocelin, at Soissons from 1126, as a supporter of Pope Innocent II against antipope Anacletus II, along with other bishops of northern France.[6][7]

As bishop he founded Longpont Abbey[8] in 1131, a Cistercian monastery supported by Bernard of Clairvaux;[9] Bernard was a correspondent.[10] He favoured the Knights Templars, having participated in the Council of Troyes that gave them full standing.[11] He was present at the 1146 Council of Arras, a probable occasion for the planning of the Second Crusade.[12]


The De generibus et speciebus has been attributed to him.[13] Now scholars call its author Pseudo-Joscelin.[14] It may be by a student of his.[3] The Metalogicus of John of Salisbury attributed to him the view that universals exist only in the collection, not the individuals.[15]


  • Annales de la vie de Joscelin de Vierzi in Achille Luchaire, Quatrièmes mélanges d'histoire du moyen age (1905)
  • Desmond Paul Henry, Medieval Mereology (1991)