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William of Ware

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(William de Warre, Guard, Guaro, Varro or Varron.)

Born at Ware in Herts; the date of his birth and his death are unknown. He flourished 1270-1300. According to Woodford he entered the Order of St. Francis in his youth and Little thinks he may have been the "Frater G de Ver" who was at the London convent about 1250. He was S.T.P. of Paris, where most of his life was spent. Pitts calls him S. T. P. of Oxford, but his name does not occur in the list of Franciscan Masters at Oxford. That he studied there is not improbable, but there is no authority for the statement. He is said by Dugdale to have been a pupil of Alexander of Hales (d. 1245), and several authorities concur with Bartholomew of Pisa (1399) in calling him the teacher of Duns Scotus. Wadding tells us that on the tomb of Scotus in the old Franciscan church at Cologne was inscribed: "Magister Gulielmus Varro Præceptor Scoti". Scotus mentions William twice in his works (Quæst. super libros metaph. Aristotelis, lib. V, q. 10). He was renowned for his deep knowledge of both Aristotelean and Christian philosophy, and because of the solidity of his teaching he came to be styled "Doctor Fundatus" by Wilmot and later writers. William's "Commentary on the Sentences" may be found in many fourteenth-century manuscripts, e.g. at Oxford in Merton College, manuscript 103-104; it has never been printed. Other works of his enumerated by Wadding are: "Lecturæ theologicæ" (1 vol.); "Quodlibeticæ quæstiones" (1 vol.); "Quæstiones ordinariæ" (1 vol.), and "Comment. in Aristot." (several volumes). William's teaching on the Immaculate Conception as found in his "Commentary on the Third Book of Sentences" has recently been published apart: "Fr. Gulielmi Guarræ…Quæstiones disputatæ de Immac. Concept. B.M.V." (Quaracchi, 1904).

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