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les Enluminures

ROBERTUS ANGLICUS, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus

In Latin, manuscript on paper
[Italy, c. 1300]

TM 154

54 folios, lacking last folios (likely last quire, with end of chapter X, and all of chapters XI and XII), in quires of 6 (collation i-ix6), on unusually thick paper with no visible watermarks, written in brown ink in a small Gothic bookhand, text on two columns (justification 160 x 57 x 57 mm.), catchwords, ruled in brown ink, headings underlined in red, capitals touched in red, paragraph marks throughout in red, diagram on f. 14 in black and red, added inscriptions below righthand column on last page (partly erased: “Iste liber est […]”). Bound in an ORIGINAL MEDIEVAL HALF BINDING of soft brown leather over wooden boards [of Italian type], spine sewn on 3 leather thongs nailed into the boards, leather nailed in with 10 starred pins, lacking clasp, brass catch remaining on lower cover, groove from a chain hasp on lower edge of outer side of back cover once held by two pins (binding worn and partly unhinged; some pale dampstaining in upper margins, a small hole in last folio with slight loss of text, a few margins frayed, upper outer corners of margins a bit knocked; overall, text still very practicable). Dimensions 218 x 155 mm.

Extremely rare commentary, of which there are only two other known manuscripts, both located in Italian libraries, and which remains unpublished, except for extracts; preserved in its original binding, this manuscript in comparison with the other two would provide a basis for a much-needed critical edition of this important text on logic.


1.Erased medieval inscription at the bottom of the righthand column of the last page: “Iste liber est […]”. This inscription would likely have revealed early (monastic?) ownership. Also present is an early, though likely later, shelfmark placed beneath the left column of the last page: “C. 57. qni 9”. Script and early paper both suggest an Italian origin, although further study of the manuscripts might yield better provenance for this copy.

2.Dr. André Rooryck, his MS. 26.


ff. 1-2, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus, Prologue: incipit, “Fons et origo omnium scientiarum a plenitudine [totius sapientie] duxit originem…”; authorship of treatise commented on is confirmed on fol. 1v, righthand column: “Primum est quid causa efficiens huius libri quoniam magister P[etrus] Yspan[us] quod totum tractatum composuit ad meliorem introductionem scolarium in artem dyalecticam”(f. 1v) [De Rijk (1969), p. 13]; division of the Summulae into twelve chapters: “Iste vero liber dividitur prima divisione in XII capitula…”(f. 2) [De Rijk (1969), p. 14];

ff. 2-14, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus, chapter I, De introductionibus: “Primum capitulum dividitur in duas partes in prima diffinit dyalecticam…”; diagram placed at the end of this chapter, highlighted in red ink (f. 14);

ff. 14-19v, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus, chaper II, De predicabilibus: “Superiorius determinavit magister de introductionibus. In hac parte determinat de predicabilibus…”;

ff. 19v-27, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus, chapter III, De predicamentis: “In superiori capitulo determinatum est de predicabilibus. In isto determinat de predicamentis…”;

ff. 27-31, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus, chapter IV, De sillogismis: “Determinatum est in superioribus de partibus sillogismi…”;

ff. 31-34v, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus, chapter V, De locis: “Superiorius praemisit magister quadam necessaria ad cogitationem (?) localis argumentationis. In hac parte determinat de argumentatione locali…”;

ff. 34v/35-40, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus chapter VI, De suppositionibus: “Determinatum est de sillogismi et de partibus eius…in hac parte intendit determinare de proprietatibus […] est necessaria ad cognitionem suppositionibus...”;

ff. 40-53, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus chapter VII, De fallaciis: “Superiorus determinavit hujus ponit quaedam (?) notabile […] sequitur (?) illa pars in qua determinat de fallaciis…”;

ff. 53-54, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus chapter VIII, De relativis: “[incipit not clearly identified] Relativorum (?) est duplex…”;

ff. 54-54v, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus chapter IX, De ampliationibus: “Superiorus determinavit […] fallaciis sed de relativiis; hic determinat de alia sed de ampliatione…”;

f. 54v, Robertus Anglicus, Commentary on the Summulae logicales of Petrus Hispanus, chapter X, De apellationibus: “Superiorus ac derteminavit in .xo. capitulo […]”; missing the end of chapter X (De appellationibus) and all of chapters XI and XII (De restrictionibus and De distributionibus [quoted on f. 2, lefthand column]).

This is the commentary by Robertus Anglicus on one of the most important medieval compendia on logic written by Petrus Hispanus or Peter of Spain, commonly listed as Summulae logicales (Tractatus is the more correct appellation). Peter of Spain is now identified with Pope John XXI, who was born in Portugal and taught medicine in 1245 in Italy. Court physician of Gregory X at Viterbo, he was eventually elected pope in 1276. He died the following year in 1277. Peter of Spain had studied logic in Paris, reputedly under Albertus Magnus (see L.M. de Rijk, Peter of Spain… [1972], pp. ix-xlii).

The identity of the commentator Robertus Anglicus, or Robert the Englishman, is less certain. Glorieux (1971), no. 411n and Kaeppeli, Scriptores…, no. 3512, both propose that he was the Oxford Dominican Robert Kilwardby, archbishop of Canterbury (1272-1279). This is rejected by de Rijk, who identifies him instead as Robertus Anglicus, who taught in Montpellier in the 1270s and who was astronomer and commentator on Johannes de Sacrobosco’s De sphera (see De Rijk, 1969, pp. 8-61).

In the thirteenth century, several authors produced summary works that surveyed the whole field of logic, including the “Old” (Vetus) logic [Aristotle’s Categories and De interpretatione translated by Boethius and Porphyry] and “New” (Nova) logic [rediscovery of the remainder of Aristotle’s logical works including the Prior and Posterior Analytics and the Topics] as well as the new developments in the Logica moderna or modernorum. These compendia are often called summulae (“little summaries”), and their authors “summulists.” The present work by Robertus Anglicus comments on the Summulae by Peter of Spain, dedicated to termistic logic that investigates the property of terms (proprietates terminorum) in a sentence, moving away from the analysis of meaning in words (what does homo mean?) to the analysis of meaning of terms in phrases (what part of the meaning of homo is responsible for the fact that “omnis homo mortalis est” is true?). One of the most important elements in Peter of Spain’s logic concerns the doctrine of supposition. The theory of supposition has its origins in the twelfth century, which showed a growing interest in the ways in which words function in different contexts. This way of dealing with the semantics of terms has been dubbed the "contextual approach."

Peter of Spain divides his Summulae into two main parts, composed of twelve tracts. One part deals with doctrines found in the so-called logica antiquorum or logica vetus (old logic) and logica nova (new logic), the other contains doctrines covered by the logica modernorum, that is those tracts that discuss the proprietates terminorum (properties of terms). The rubrics read: On introductory topics, On the predicables, On the categories [discusses the ten Aristotelian categories], On syllogisms, On topical relationships, On suppositions, On fallacies [forms part of the Aristotelian-Boethian logic]; On anaphora or relatives, On ampliation, On appellation. Missing here are the chapters “On restriction” and “On distribution.” Robertus Anglicus follows the same divisions in his commentary which seem to be a written record of the lectures he delivered on logic, according to de Rijk.

Never published, except for the prologue and short excerpts (de Rijk, 1969), this text is recorded in only two other copies, which preserve two quite different redactions of the same commentary: Todi, Biblioteca Comunale, Cod. 54 and Bibl. Vaticana, Vat. Lat. 3049 (both dated at the end of the thirteenthor beginning of the fourteenth centuries). De Rijk (1969, p. 31) suggests that the Todi and Vatican manuscripts present a “double redaction” by a single commentator on Peter of Spain’s Summule logicales. De Rijk considered the Rome redaction to be the earliest, and the present manuscript is closer to that one than to the version preserved in the Todi redaction. The Todi manuscript opens with a different prologue: “Cum divinum auxilium sit teste Platone in Thymeo….” A colophon in the Rome manuscript, not present in our manuscript, clearly ascribes the text to Robertus Anglicus and gives the date 1207 [sic]. De Rijk (1969, p. 14) conjectures that 1277 is the probable date of composition of this commentary. A systematic study of the three manuscripts would likely clarify their relationship, dates, and origins, leading to a critical edition. It seems significant that the three manuscripts appear to date at the latest in the generation just after Robertus Anglicus’s (and Peter of Spain’s) lifetime and that the text was not widely disseminated in later years.


De Rijk, L.M. “On the Genuine Text of Peter of Spain’s Summulae logicales I and II”, in Vivarium, vol. VI, no. 1 (May 1968) and no. 2 (Nov. 1968).

De Rijk, L. M. “On the Genuine Text of Peter of Spain’s Summulae logicales, III, Two Redactions of a Commentary upon the Summulae by Robertus Anglicus”, in Vivarium, VII, 1969, pp. 8-61.

De Rijk, L. M. Peter of Spain (Petrus Hispanicus Portugalensis), Tractatus, called afterwards Summulae Logicales. First Critical Edition from the Manuscripts with an Introduction, Assen, Van Gorcum, 1972.

Glorieux, Palémon. La Faculté des arts et ses maîtres à Paris au XIIIe siècle, Paris, Vrin, 1971.

Kaeppeli, T. Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum medii aevi, Roma, 1980, III, no. 3512 (Kaeppeli attributes this commentary to Robertus Kilwardby, student in Paris in 1231 and later archbishop of Canterbury in 1273; and quotes MS. Bibl. Vaticana, Vat. lat. 3049 (13th c.), ff. 1-81v).
Mullally, Joseph P. The Summulae Logicales of Peter of Spain, Notre Dame University Press, 1945.

Online resources

On Peter of Spain