Franciscan encyclopedist of the thirteenth century. An Englishman by birth he had been professor of theology at the University of Paris, when, in 1224 or 1225, he entered the newly established Order of St. Francis in company with his countryman and fellow-professor of theology, Haymo of Faversham , and two other professors of the same faculty. He continued his lectures in the claustral school till 1231, when he was sent to Magdeburg in Germany. He was succeeded by his illustrious countryman Alexander of Hales who, by being a member of the university, raised the private school of the Franciscans to the dignity of a school of the university. The date of Bartholomaeus's death is unknown. He was formerly identified with a later Franciscan and Englishman, Bartholomaeus of Glanvilla, or Glaunvilla, who died about 1360, and to him the famous work "De proprietatibus rerum" was ascribed. Recent researches place beyond doubt that the two men must be distinguished and that the authorship of the work in question must be attributed to the Magdeburg professor of 1231.
"De proprietatibus rerum" is an encyclopedia of all the sciences of that time : theology, philosophy, medicine, astronomy, chronology, zoology, botany, geography, mineralogy, are the subjects treated in the nineteen books of this work. We have in it the first important encyclopedia of the Middle Ages and the first in which the works of Greek, Arabian, and Jewish naturalists and medical writers, which had been translated into Latin shortly before, were laid under contribution. Aristotle, Hippocrates, Theophrastus, the Jew Isaac Medicus, the Arabian Haly, and other celebrities are quoted. To Bartholomaeus must be given that honor which has been accorded until recently to the Dominican, Vincent of Beauvais, whose work exceeds by ten times the 400 page folio volume of Bartholomaeus. Like the later "Speculum universale" of Vincent, the "De proprietatibus rerum" enjoyed unbounded popularity. Witness to this are the many manuscripts and editions There is hardly a large library in Europe which has not manuscript copies of it, the National Library at Paris possessing as many as eighteen. Very many editions appeared in print, at least fourteen before the year 1500, and one as late as 1601 at Frankfort. By being translated and thus made accessible to the laity, the encyclopedia of Bartholomaeus exercised a greater influence on medieval thought than that of Vincent. Of the latter's work only the "Speculum historiale" was translated, but Bartholomaeus's work went through eight editions in French, two in Belgian, one in English and one in Spanish prior to 1500. The work of Bartholomaeus, though not fulfilling modern requirements of natural sciences, remains a valuable source of information to the student of medieval times.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online