Grosseteste, Robert


Grosseteste, Robert
(ca. 1167–1253)
   Robert Grosseteste was an English cleric, statesman and scholar. He was the first chancellor of Oxford University and, later, bishop of Lincoln. He was also a prolific writer, producing sermons, commentaries on the Bible and on Aristotle, translations, an ALLEGORY on the salvation of man from the Fall through Christ’s resurrection (The Castle of Love), and, most famously, scientific treatises. In his time, Grosseteste was considered one of the most important clerics in Europe. Grosseteste was born in the village of Stradroke in Suffolk in about 1167 or shortly thereafter. Not much is certain about his life before about 1214, but it seems probable that he attended Oxford and, later, the University of Paris. In 1215, he returned to Oxford as chancellor of the university, a post he held until about 1221. He made Oxford one of the vital intellectual centers of Europe, and was instrumental in enhancing the role of the sciences in the university curriculum.When the Franciscan Order came to England in 1221, Grosseteste felt an intellectual and spiritual affinity with them, one that lasted his whole life, though he never joined the order himself. He founded the Oxford Franciscan School and beginning in about 1224, he served as lecturer in theology for the Franciscans in Oxford. In addition to his affiliation with the university, Grosseteste held a number of ecclesiastical positions between 1214 and 1232, but resigned from most of them, citing ill health as his reason. But when the bishopric of Lincoln, England’s most populous see, became available in 1235, Grosseteste was elected the new bishop and accepted the position, an appointment he kept until his death in 1253. He immediately began a program to reform clerical abuses in his diocese, beginning with visits to monasteries under his authority. He also contended with King Henry III over the king’s right to make ecclesiastical appointments, and even supported the reforming efforts of the most powerful, and rebellious, English baron, Simon de Montfort (1208–65). He also defended the independence of the English clergy from domination by the pope and the curia, and decried the papal appointments of alien clergy in England. In 1250 he even traveled to the papal court at Lyon and presented Pope Innocent IV and his cardinals with a complaint attributing to the curia all the evils of the church.His protest had no effect, but his position as one of the most respected clerics in the world allowed him to escape censure. In his last years, Grosseteste vigorously opposed a new tax on the English clergy, imposed by the allied king and pope, to support a new Crusade.
   In his own day, Grosseteste was best known as a writer and scholar. He translated texts of Aristotle and other Greek writers (including the so-called Pseudo-Dionysus) into Latin, providing Europe with translations apparently going back to the original Greek, as opposed to the translations made from Arabic. He also wrote commentaries on Aristotle, and composed scientific studies of geometry, physics, astronomy, and, most important, optics:His best-known treatise is probably De Luce (On light). His insistence that experiments must be used to test the truth of hypotheses has led modern admirers to see Grosseteste as one of the formulators of the modern scientific method— along with his most famous pupil, Roger BACON. In addition to Bacon,Montfort, Henry III, and Innocent IV, Grosseteste was acquainted with other significant figures of his time, including GIRALDUS CAMBRENSIS, who apparently sponsored him for his first ecclesiastical appointment, and Matthew PARIS, who includes a number of anecdotes about Grosseteste in his Chronicle.
   Bibliography
   ■ Ginther, James R.Master of the Sacred Page: A Study of the Theology of Robert Grosseteste, ca. 1229/301235. Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2004.
   ■ McEvoy, James. Robert Grosseteste. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
   ■ Southern, Richard William. Robert Grosseteste: The Growth of an English Mind in Medieval Europe. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986.
   ■ Thomson, S. Harrison. The Writings of Robert Grosseteste. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1940.

Encyclopedia of medieval literature. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Grosseteste, Robert — • Bishop of Lincoln and one of the most learned men of the Middle Ages; b. about 1175; d. 9 October, 1253 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Grosseteste, Robert — born с 1175, Suffolk, Eng. died Oct. 9, 1253, Buckden, Buckinghamshire English bishop and scholar. He introduced Latin translations of Greek and Arabic writings in philosophy and science to Europe. After serving as chancellor of the University of …   Universalium

  • Grosseteste, Robert — (c. 1168–1253) English medieval philosopher. Born in Suffolk, Grosseteste gained a reputation in medicine, and after study in Paris became perhaps the first Chancellor of the university of Oxford. He taught the Franciscans in Oxford, and became… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Grosseteste, Robert — See Metaphysics and science in the thirteenth century …   History of philosophy

  • Grosseteste, Robert — ( 1175, Suffolk, Inglaterra–9 oct. 1253, Buckden, Buckinghamshire). Obispo y erudito inglés. Introdujo en Europa traducciones latinas de obras filosóficas y científicas escritas en griego y árabe. Tras haber sido rector de la Universidad de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • GROSSETESTE, ROBERT —    a famous bishop of Lincoln, born at Stradbroke, Suffolk, of peasant parents; a man of rare learning, he became a lecturer in the Franciscan school at Oxford, and rose through various stages to be bishop of Lincoln in 1235; he was an active… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Grosseteste, Robert — (d. 1253)    Theologian and scholar, was b. of poor parents at Stradbrook, Suffolk, and studied at Oxf. and possibly Paris. His abilities and learning procured him many preferments; but after an illness he refused to be longer a pluralist, and… …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • Grosseteste — Robert Grosseteste (* vor 1170; † 9. Oktober 1253) war ein englischer Theologe und Philosoph und Bischof von Lincoln. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werke 3 Literatur 4 Webl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Robert Grosseteste —     Robert Grosseteste     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Robert Grosseteste     Bishop of Lincoln and one of the most learned men of the Middle Ages; b. about 1175; d. 9 October, 1253. He came from Stradbroke in the county of Suffolk. Little is known …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Robert Grosseteste — Robert Grossetête Portrait datant du XIIe siècle de Grosseteste Robert Grossetête ou Grosseteste, dit aussi Robert de Lincoln, est un érudit anglais, séculier proche de l Ordre franciscain, évêque de Lincoln, né vers 1175 et mort en 1253. Une… …   Wikipédia en Français


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.