Alexander of Neckam (Necham)
( Or Necham.) English scholar, born in Hertfordshire, 1157; died at Kempsey, Worcestershire, 1217. His first studies were in the abbey school of St. Albans ; his higher courses began in Paris, in the school of Petit Pons. In 1180 he commenced his career as teacher with great success, his comprehensive knowledge of philosophy and of theology and his Latin style, both in prose and verse, attracting many students to his lectures. Returning to England in 1186 he was first appointed teacher at Dunstable, and afterwards at St. Albans. After joining the Augustinian Order, he was chosen, in 1213, Abbot of Cirencester.
Neckam was a prolific writer on various subjects, but his works are, for the most part, still in manuscript. He wrote a grammar, commentaries on Scripture and the works of Aristotle, theological treatises, and sermons. He also translated the Fables of Aesop into elegiac verse. Only two of his works, however, have been printed: the "De naturis rerum" and the poem "De laudibus divinae sapientiae", (ed. Th. Wright in Rolls Series ). In the former he discusses the heavens, the stars, the atmosphere, the earth, water, and living organisms. Neckam is the first European author to mention the mariners' compass.
More Catholic Encyclopedia
Browse Encyclopedia by Alphabet
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 in fifteen hardcopy 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.
Browse the Catholic Encyclopedia by Topic
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