Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

A theologian, born towards the end of the fourteenth century, (about 1380), in the diocese of Rodez, France ; died in that city 6 April, 1444. He has been called the "Prince of Thomists", but only scanty details of his personal history are known. He was a Dominican affiliated to the province of Toulouse, and a general chapter of his order at Poitiers in 1407 assigned him to lecture on "The Sentences" in the University of Paris. He began in 1408 and achieved success. The following year he finished the first part of his celebrated defensive on commentary on the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas . He passed examinations for degrees at the Sorbonne in 1411 and in 1415. After serving for some time as regent of studies at Toulouse, he repaired to Rodez where he laboured assiduously at his commentaries completing the three remaining parts in 1426, 1428 and 1433. In the preface of a compendium of Capreolus's work by lsidore de Isolanis, it is stated that these manuscripts once narrowly escaped destruction by fire, a lay brother having saved thern, to the joy of the author, who was then advanced in years. The same authority describes the erudite commentator as having cherished through life a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Though following the order of "The Sentences", the commentaries of Capreolus are a calm, learned, and penetrating exposition of the teaching of St. Thomas, as well as a comprehensive defence against sundry opponents and critics, including Scotus, Henry of Ghent , John of Ripa, Guido (the Carmelite ), Aureolus, Durandus Gregory of Rimini, William of Ockham, and other Nominalists. Copious and apt citations show that the author mastered Aristotle and his Arabic commentator, Averroes ; but a scrupulous fidelity to the Angelical Doctor, that earned for him the extraordinary appellation of "Soul of St. Thomas", is his chief characteristic.

There is nothing in the wide field of the doctrinal discussions of his time that Capreolus did not study and elucidate with precision of insight and reasoning, and express in a style so terse and vigorous that his work is rightly given a place among the most enduring achievements of the golden age of Scholasticism. The commentaries, bearing slightly variant titles, were published in four folio volumes at Venice, 1483, 1514, 1519, 1589. ln 1881, Bishop Borret of Rodez, who had made the life and works of Capreolus, the object of considerable research, suggested a critically revised edition of the commentaries, which was at length undertaken by the Dominicans. Its publication was begun at Tours in 1900 and is now (1907) nearly compteted in the seventh volume, under the title: "Johannis Capreoli Tholosani, Ordinis Praedicatorum, Thomistarum principis, Defensiones Theologiae Divi Thomae novo editae cura et studio RR. PP. Ceslai Paban et Thomae Pegues". Early compendiums of the work by Paul Soncinas and by Sylvester Prierias were much used in their day.

More Encyclopedia

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.

Catholic Encyclopedia

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


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More