Bartholomaeus Anglicus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Bartholomeus Anglicus)

Bartholomaeus Anglicus (before 1203–1272),[1] also known as Bartholomew the Englishman and Berthelet, was an early 13th-century Scholastic of Paris, a member of the Franciscan order. He was the author of the compendium De proprietatibus rerum ("On the Properties of Things"),[2] dated c.1240, an early forerunner of the encyclopedia and a widely cited book in the Middle Ages.[3] Bartholomew also held senior positions within the church and was appointed Bishop of Łuków in what is now Poland, although he was not consecrated to that position.[1]

Early life[edit]

Little is known of Bartholomew's early life. He is believed to have been born around the turn of the 13th century to unknown parents. The first record of him was in 1224 in Paris as a teacher, although he is also believed to have studied at Oxford University.[1]


The work De proprietatibus rerum was written at the school of Magdeburg in Saxonia and intended for the use of students and the general public.[1] Bartholomew carefully notes the sources for the material included, although, at present, it is sometimes impossible to identify or locate some of them. His annotations give a good idea of the wide variety of works available to a medieval scholar.

The original Latin work was translated into French in 1372 and a number of manuscripts of the Latin and French versions survive. The work was later printed in numerous editions. John Trevisa produced an English translation in 1397. Extracts were compiled by Robert Steele under the title Medieval Lore: an Epitome (1893).[4] A critical edition of Trevisa's translation appeared in 1975.[5]

Stages of Life by Bartholomeus Anglicus (1486).

The work was organized in 19 books. The subjects of the books, in order, are God, angels (including demons), the human mind or soul, physiology, of ages (family and domestic life), medicine, the universe and celestial bodies, time, form and matter (elements), air and its forms, water and its forms, earth and its forms including geography, gems, minerals and metals, animals, and color, odor, taste and liquids.

  • Book 1 De Deo On God and the names of God
  • Book 2 De proprietatibus angelorum On angels, good and bad
  • Book 3 De anima On the soul and reason
  • Book 4 De humani corporis On the bodily humors
  • Book 5 De hominis corpore On the parts of the body
  • Book 6 De state hominis On daily life
  • Book 7 De infirmitatibus On diseases and poisons
  • Book 8 De mundo On earth and the heavenly bodies
  • Book 9 De temporibus On time and motion
  • Book 10 De materia et forma On matter, form and fire
  • Book 11 De aere On the air and weather
  • Book 12 De avibus On birds
  • Book 13 De aqua On water and fishes
  • Book 14 De terra On the earth and its surface
  • Book 15 De regionibus et provinciis On regions and places
  • Book 16 De lapidibus et metallis On rocks, gems and minerals
  • Book 17 De herbis et arboribus On plants and trees
  • Book 18 De animalibus On land animals
  • Book 19 De accidentibus On colours, smells and tastes, substances, measurements, numbers and music


Sources as given by William Morris[6]

Church positions[edit]

Bartholomew was elected as Minister of Austria in 1247 and was then elected as Minister of Bohemia in 1255. This appointment included Poland where he resolved a dispute between Duke Boleslaw and the Cathedral Chapter at Kraków. Pope Alexander IV appointed him as Papal legate north of the Carpathians in 1256 and appointed him as the Bishop of Łuków. However, he was probably not consecrated in that position due to the second Mongol invasion of Poland in 1259. Bartholomew was appointed as Minister at Saxonia in 1262 and served in that position until his death in 1272.

He was at some point confused with Bartholomeus de Glanvilla, another Franciscan friar who lived a century later.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d "Bartholomaeus Anglicus". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/10791. Retrieved Aug 27, 2022.
  2. ^ "De proprietatib[us] rerum". Rakow Research Library Catalog. Corning Museum of Glass. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  3. ^ Steele 1893, p. 1
  4. ^ Steele 1893, pp. 6–7
  5. ^ M.C. Seymour (ed.). On the Properties of Things: John Trevisa's Translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus, De Proprietatibus Rerum, 3 vols., Oxford University Press, Oxford 1975-1988.
  6. ^ a b Bartholomaeus (Anglicus); Morris, William (1907). Mediæval lore from Bartholomaeus Anglicus. Chatto and Windus. pp. 176. Retrieved 24 March 2015.
  7. ^ "Bartholomew De Glanville |". Retrieved Aug 27, 2022.
  8. ^ I, Pope Gregory (1844). Morals on the Book of Job. J.H. Parker. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  9. ^ "HYGINUS, ASTRONOMICA 2.1-17 - Theoi Classical Texts Library". Retrieved Aug 27, 2022.
  10. ^ Thorndike, Lynn (1923). A History of Magic and Experimental Science. Columbia University Press. pp. 423–. ISBN 9780231087957. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  11. ^ Marbode; Cornarius (1799). Marbodi Liber lapidum, seu de Gemmis. typis J. C. Dieterich. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  12. ^ *Smith, A. Mark, ed. and trans. (2001), "Alhacen's Theory of Visual Perception: A Critical Edition, with English Translation and Commentary, of the First Three Books of Alhacen's De aspectibus, the Medieval Latin Version of Ibn al-Haytham's Kitāb al-Manāzir, 2 vols", Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, 91 (4–5), Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, ISBN 0-87169-914-1, JSTOR 3657357, OCLC 47168716{{citation}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link), p.xx, note 32 is on p.cxxiii
  13. ^ Schulman, Jana K. (2002). The Rise of the Medieval World, 500-1300: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 9780313308178. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  14. ^ Wallis, Faith (2010). Medieval Medicine: A Reader. University of Toronto Press. pp. 31–. ISBN 9781442601031. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  15. ^ Athens.), Stephanus (of (1998). Stephanus the Philosopher and Physician: Commentary on Galen's Therapeutics to Glaucon. BRILL. ISBN 9789004109353. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  16. ^ Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Bartholomaeus Anglicus" . Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

External links[edit]