John of Wales

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John of Wales (died c. 1285), also called John Waleys and Johannes Guallensis, was a Franciscan theologian who wrote several well-received Latin works, primarily preaching aids.[1]

Born between 1210 and 1230, almost certainly in Wales, John joined the Franciscan order, and incepted in theology at Oxford University sometime before 1258. After this, he taught there until 1270 when he moved to the University of Paris, where he remained until his death around 1285. He was a moral theologian and a great admirer of the ancient world, incorporating many classical authors into his works. He is often considered a forerunner of later Christian humanists. His works were translated into six languages and were in print before the end of the 15th century.[1]

Works by John of Wales[edit]

  • Breviloquium de philosophia, sive sapientia sanctorum (Short treatise about philosophy, or wisdom of the saints), translated into Catalan in the 15th century.
  • Compendiloquium, which is a summary of the history of philosophy.
  • Communiloquium or Summa collationum, which is a kind of manual for priests and preachers, and which was also translated into Catalan in the 14th century.
    • Digital edition of the incunabulum edition of Cologne 1472
    • Digital edition of the incunabulum edition of Ulm 1481
    • Digital edition of the incunabulum edition of Strasbourg 1489



  1. ^ a b Diem, 2009.


  • Diem, Albrecht, ‘A Classicising Friar at Work: John of Wales’ Breviloquium de virtutibus’, in: Alasdair A. MacDonald, Zweder von Martels, and Jan Veenstra (eds.), Christian Humanism. Essays in Honor of Arjo Vanderjagt, Leiden, 2009, pp. 75-102.
  • Diem, Albrecht, ‘Virtus est via ad gloriam. John of Wales and Michele da Massa in disagreement’, in: Franciscan Studies 63 (2005), pp. 219-273.
  • Nighman, Chris, ‘Revisiting John of Wales's role in the creation of the Manipulus florum’, in: J. Hamesse, M.-J. Mũnoz Jiménez & C.L. Nighman (eds.), New perspectives on Thomas of Ireland’s Manipulus florum / Nouvelles perspectives sur le Manipulus florum de Thomas d’Irlande, Papers in Mediaeval Studies 32, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, pp. 17-30.
  • Pantin, William Abel. "John of Wales and Medieval Humanism". John Anthony Watt, John B. Morall and Francis Xavier Martin, eds. Medieval Studies: Presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S.J.. Dublin: 1961, pp. 297–319.
  • Swanson, Jenny. John of Wales: A Study of the Works and Ideas of a Thirteenth-Century Friar. Cambridge, 1989.

External links[edit]