M6412 Alexander of Hales , Summa theologica , in Latin decorated manuscript on parchment [England (most probably Oxford), c. 1260]
Single leaf, double column, 60 lines of fine and tiny university script, eight initials in red or blue with simple contrasting penwork, recovered from reuse as a pastedown in a later binding and hence with some wormholes, 293 by 200 mm.
This leaf is from a large and appealing English copy of the magnum opus of the important English scholar and author, Alexander of Hales (now Halesowen, West Midlands). He was born there in the 1180s, and studied at Paris, where he became a Master of Arts by 1210. He had a notably varied career, teaching at Paris (where he introduced Peter Lombard’s Sententiae as the standard textbook for the study of theology), thereafter holding a prebend at Holborn and a canonry of St. Paul’s in London in the 1220s, as well as a canonry and an archdeaconry in Coventry and Lichfield. In the early 1230s, he returned to teaching in Paris, but also served King Henry II of England in a peace delegation sent to the French in 1235. At the age of 50 he joined the Franciscan Order, and was the first friar to hold a university chair. He most probably succumbed to an epidemic in Paris in 1245, and died there. The text here is from book II, on idolatry, with focus on that of the Jews, pagans and infidels.