By correctoria are here meant, not the 13th-century Biblical correctories compiled in Paris by Dominicans and Franciscans for "correcting" the text of the Latin Vulgate, but those controversial writings exchanged between Franciscans and Dominicans in criticism or defense of St. thomas aquinas. These corrections are of two types, the anti-Thomist and the pro-Thomist.
Anti-Thomist Correctories. It was, perhaps, inevitable that the Aristotelian principles introduced by Aquinas into his synthesis of Catholic doctrine—in which "faith and reason, though distinct as of right, are joined together in the most intimate harmony of friendship" (Leo XIII, Aeterni Patris )—should rouse opposition from theologians brought up in a different tradition. The conflict became acute only after the Paris and Oxford syllabi of 1277.
Franciscan Correctorium. To render his fellow Franciscans immune from Thomist teaching, william de la mare wrote in 1278 a Correctorium Fratris Thomae, a correction of those theses he considered unsound, inasmuch as they were contrary to Scripture and the Fathers, and included, or at least implied, in the condemned errors. He censured 118 points drawn from the Summa theologiae, the Quaestiones disputatae, and De quolibet and from In 1 sententiarum. He systematically summarized Aquinas's doctrine, criticized it, and replied to his arguments. The censure falls mainly on philosophical matters: unicity of form, simplicity of spiritual beings, distinction of the powers of the soul, absolute potentiality of matter, eternity of the world, and similar topics regarded as opposed to the Augustinian school. About 1284 William meticulously undertook a revised edition, adding new criticism, enlarging his evidence, and improving it throughout, but without eliminating anything from his original. It is extant in Vat. lat. MS 4413, fol. 1–155r.
At the general chapter of Strasbourg in 1282, Bonagratia, Minister General, forbade the perusal of Thomas's Summa theologiae by the Franciscans, except by the more learned lectors; and even then it was to be accompanied by William's Declarationes, written not in the margins, but separately [G. Fussenegger, "Definitiones Capituli Generalis Argentinae celebrati anno 1282," Archivum Franciscanum historicum 26 (1933) 139]. Thus, by being made obligatory for students of the Summa, William's Correctorium became officially adopted by the Franciscans.
Ur-Correctorium. The so-called Ur-Correctorium [F. Pelster, Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 3 (1931) 397–99; Gregorianum 38 (1947) 230–35], which for many years has unduly haunted scholars, need not be dwelt upon at length. Contrary to its editor's contention [F. Pelster, Declarationes Magistri Guilelmi de la Mare, OFM, De variis Sententiis S. Thomae Aquinatis, Opuscula et Textus 21 (Münster-i-W. 1956)] that it was the earliest correctorium, identical with the Declarationes of Bonagratia's decree, it has been conclusively shown that it is simply a later anonymous list of 60 propositions extracted from William's second recension [see D. A. Callus, Bulletin Thomiste (Paris 1924–) 9 (1954–56) 944–48; Blackfriars 40 (1959) 39–41].
Pro-Thomist Correctories. The Dominicans took up William de la Mare's challenge and riposted with their Correctoria corruptorii Thomae. Five replies have been preserved: three from Oxford and two from Paris, known by their incipits as: (1) Correctorium Corruptorii "Quare" (ed. P. Glorieux, Bibliothèque Thomiste 9, Le Saulchoir 1927); (2) "Sciendum" (ed. idem, ibid. 31, Paris 1956); (3) "Quaestione" (ed. J. P. Muller, Studia anselmiana 35); (4) "Circa" (ed. idem, ibid. 12–13, 1941); (5) Apologeticum veritatis contra Corruptorium (ed. idem, Studi et Testi 108). All the correctoria have in common that, rather than taking the offensive, they stood on the defensive; hence they also became known as defensoria. Their main purpose, strictly speaking, was not to attack, although some harsh words occur occasionally, but to demonstrate that William's critique sprang from an utter misunderstanding of Aquinas. From Aquinas's own writings they proved that his doctrine, correctly grasped, was neither against Scripture and the Fathers nor contrary to philosophy, but sound and Catholic. They endeavored to make Thomas speak for himself, sui interpres, by giving either his own words, or the gist of his argument.
Since the Franciscan attack had appeared in England, it was natural that the first defense should come from Oxford. Internal and external evidence shows that the three correctoria "Quare," "Sciendum," and "Quaestione" were of Dominican and English provenance and that they were the first to arrive. However, owing to the prohibition of 1277 by robert kilwardby, they were circulated anonymously, with the result that it is difficult to discover their authorship. The problem became further complicated by groundless conjectures. To proceed methodically one may, at the outset, eliminate such pretenders as giles of rome, Hugh de Billom, Durandellus (durandus of aurillac), Bl. John of Parma, and harvey nedellec, though they are tentatively suggested by great scholars. One is on firmer ground with the early catalogue of Dominican writers (Tabula Stamsensis ), which attributes a correctorium to the Oxford masters richard knapwell and william of macclesfeld.
Correctorium Corruptorii "Quare." This is the earliest, the most complete, and the best known. It comprises the full text of the Franciscan "correction," and a thorough and complete answer to its criticism. It has come down in two recensions, which suggests that two writers collaborated on it. The revision consists chiefly in eliminating repetitions, in supplementing several additions, and in reducing the whole to firmer unity. On the authority of a late, and faulty, ascription (in MS Paris, Bibl. Nat. lat. 14549), it was printed under the name of the Italian Augustinian Giles of Rome (Strasbourg 1501; Venice 1508, 1516, etc.); but "Quare" is unquestionably of Dominican and Oxford origin. F. Pelster attributed it to thomas of sutton ["Thomas von Sutton und das Correctorium 'Quare detraxisti,"' Mélanges A. Pelzer (Louvain 1947) 441–66]. Almost all scholars, however, agree in ascribing it to Richard Knapwell, at least as to its principal author. Parallel passages between his Quaestio disputata on the unicity of form and "Quare" strengthen this conviction. It was written not later than 1282 or 1283, before the clash with john peckham. The Dominus Cantuariensis does not refer to Peckham, as has been assumed, but to Archbishop Kilwardby. The whole paragraph (p. 206, lines 22–34) is an allusion to the concluding sections of Kilwardby's letter to Peter of Conflans (ed. A. Birkenmajer, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 20.5:60–64). Kilwardby dismissed the unicity tenet as absurd or as a figment of the imagination (fatua positio, vel imaginatio phantastica ) against faith and philosophy (see forms, unicity and plurality of). Knapwell ironically retorted that, lest it should seem to disparage the learned men (Kilwardby) who maintained an opposite opinion, he would not declare it contrary to faith and philosophy; he would not even reply to their arguments, lest he should be compelled to assert fancies and absurdities (ficta et fatua ).
The author of this article tentatively suggests Thomas of Sutton as responsible for the second redaction of "Quare. " Sutton wrote the De unitate formae to confute Kilwardby's letter [ed. F. Ehrle, Archiv für Literatur und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters 5 (1889) 614–32; Birkenmajer, op. cit. ] and De productione formae substantialis against the inchoationes formarum, which is another aspect of the same question. On the other hand, most of William de la Mare's arguments against the unicity thesis are drawn from Kilwardby. Hence Sutton's confutation militates against both. Now it does not seem altogether inconceivable that Sutton and Knapwell, living in the same house and contemporaneously confuting the same adversaries, should communicate their findings to each other. If this conjecture is correct, it satisfactorily explains the borrowings from the De unitate formae and the De productione formae substantialis.
Correctorium "Sciendum." Like "Quare, " the Correctorium "Sciendum" contains an answer to all the points raised by the Franciscan critique; but unlike "Quare, " it omits William's text. The refutation, however, is wider, more vigorous, and sometimes aggressive. The redaction is somewhat hasty: the style is abrupt, the citations often unfilled; it gives the impression of a draft rather than of a finished version. Pressed, perhaps by the urgency of publishing his riposte, the author had no time to revise it. It was written shortly after "Quare, " yet before 1284. The Tabula Stamsensis assigns to the Oxford master robert of orford a Contra dicta Henrici (henry of ghent) and a Contra primum Egidii (Giles of Rome). The author appeals in both works to a correctorium of his own, which references fit well in "Sciendum " alone [see P. Bayerschmidt, Divus Thomas 17 (1939) 311–26]. He also cites his commentary In 2 sententiarum, of which there is a fragment (in MS Klosterneuburg 322) with the ascription De Orforth. The Contra dicta Henrici is attributed (in MS Vat. lat. 987, fol. 128v) to Robert de Colletorto, whereas the Contra Egidium in the only known MS (Oxford, Merton College 276) is anonymous, but cross references show that both works are by the same writer. In MS Todi 12, fol. 1 is noted explicitly "Inc. correct. corrupt. secundum collemtortum ordinis predicatorum"; but in MS Salamanca, University 1887 (olim Madrid, Bibl, Real VII.H.5) the author is called "William de Tortocollo." That Colletorto, or Tortocollo, is the author of Contra dicta Henrici, of Contra Egidium, and of "Sciendum " is unquestionable. The difficulty is whether his name was Robert or William. The editor of "Sciendum, " P. Glorieux, opting for William, unhesitatingly attributes it to William of Macclesfeld, to whom the Tabula Stamsensis assigns a correctorium and a Contra Henricum. F. Pelster and others, on the contrary, identifying Colletorto with Robert of Orford, ascribe to him the Correctorium "Sciendum. " The author of this article believes that Robert of Orford and Colletorto are the same person and suggests that the confusion arises from the omission of one line due to homography in the Salamanca MS. Similar omissions by copyists occur frequently, as all medievalists know [cf. an analogous instance in A. Dondaine, Archivum Fratum Praedicatorum 17 (1947) 188–92]. The author's name, it seems, was inadvertently omitted, whereas Guillermi refers to the author of the corruptorium, not of the correctorium. In this case the colophon should read thus (or similarly):
Explicit (correctorium) corruptorii Guillermi [de Mara anglici magistri in theologia,] de Torto collo anglici magistri in theologia ordinis fratrum predicatorum.
Correctorium "Quaestione." Unlike "Sciendum " and "Circa," but like "Quare, " the Correctorium "Quaestione" first reproduces the Franciscan criticism in full, then vigorously refutes each of the arguments. But whereas William de la Mare's text is complete (except for the last nine articuli ), the reply stops short at art. 30. That the author intended to continue his work is evident from several references (e.g., "hoc plenius ostendetur inferius; infra ad plenum improbabitur," etc.). It is anonymous in the only known manuscript. From internal evidence it is clear that the writer was an English Dominican and that it was written after "Quare. " It has been attributed to Thomas of Sutton, Richard Knapwell, Hugh de Billom, and William of Macclesfeld. Dom Muller, its editor, left the question open. Yet there is fairly circumstantial evidence pointing to Macclesfeld. According to the Tabula Stamsensis Macclesfeld wrote a correctorium. Now, of the three Oxford correctoria, "Quare " belongs to Richard Knapwell, and "Sciendum " very probably to Robert of Orford, or Colletorto; there remains "Quaestione, " which one may tentatively assign to Macclesfeld. That he ceased abruptly at the point of treating the unicity thesis, which he had promised to discuss (p. 73), is telling. It seems to indicate that the interruption was due to a cogent reason, perhaps Peckham's intervention in the period between 1284 and 1286. Later he went to Paris to read the Sentences in preparation for his bachelorship in theology. He returned to Oxford to incept as master only after Peckham's death.
Correctorium "Circa." This correctory omits William's text, but gives the gist of his critique. It was written in Paris by john (quidort) of paris [see M. Grabmann, Revue néo-scolastique de philosophie 19 (1912) 404–18] contemporaneously with his commentary on the Sentences, 1292 to 1294 [see J. P. Muller, Angelicum 36 (1959) 129–62]. It was left unfinished at the end of the criticism of Summa theologiae 1a2ae. Later hands supplemented some additions from "Quare " and "Sciendum " introduced by secundum alios. This correctory is remarkable for the large use of philosophical, particularly Arabic, sources.
Apologeticum veritatis contra Corruptorium. The last of the five Dominican correctories, the Apologeticum veritatis contra Corruptorium, was written in Paris by rambert of bologna, before 1299, when he left for home. It was interrupted at art. 16 in the middle of a sentence. Rambert followed the method of the earlier correctoria; and like John Quidort, he summarized William's text. The abrupt end of the Apologeticum is a grave loss to the history of the late 13th-century Paris theological speculation, for Rambert did not confine himself to the confutation of William de la Mare's attack, but riposted also against his contemporaries, the leading masters of the day—the magni, as he qualified them—Henry of Ghent, Giles of Rome, and richard of middleton (mediavilla). He borrowed tacitly from the Correctorium "Circa, " and referred to the "artists," siger of bra bant and others.
Finally, one may mention, to be complete, that c. 1315 to 1320 appeared a tardy reply to the Dominican correctoria by a German (?) Franciscan, which is extant (in Berlin MS 460, Theol. lat. qu. 13).
Significance of the Correctoria. Historically the corruptorium and correctoria are of considerable moment as witnesses of the first controversy between socalled Augustinianism and thomism. They are invaluable for ascertaining how far and how deeply St. Thomas's doctrine was understood by opponents and defenders. They show at a glance the primary equivocation under which many of the late 13th-century discussions labored: the disputants spoke a different language; they used the same terminology, but meant quite different things. Under the cloak of Augustine's authority, William de la Mare meticulously opposed Thomas's arguments and conclusions, without ever attempting to penetrate into the true meaning of the doctrine he was attacking. potency and act, matter and form, privation and change, seminal reasons in matter, and other basic Aristotelian principles as interpreted by Aquinas have a totally different meaning in William and in Thomas. Hence the critique is based on an utter incomprehension of Thomism. The nature of being, the composition of essence and existence, and similar pertinent Thomistic theses were never discussed. The authors of the correctoria, on the other hand, knew Thomas well and generally interpreted him correctly, though occasionally they did not grasp his meaning fully. The depth and breadth of the Thomistic synthesis are so vast that it is not surprising that the first generation of Thomists should have failed to assimilate it completely. For example, the authors of "Quare " and "Sciendum " unequivocally asserted the composition of essence and existence; but one might, perhaps, have expected a fuller explanation of it, particularly when they dealt with the hylomorphic composition of spiritual beings.
Nevertheless the doctrinal value of the correctoria, though confined to points raised in the controversy and despite some defects, is indeed notable. The contribution they make to knowledge of the early Thomistic school is highly important. As an instance of the great profit that a serious study of the correctoria may yield, see A. Hufnagel, "Studien zur Entwicklung des thomistischen Erkenntnisbegriffes im Anschluss an das Correctorium 'Quare,"' Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 31.4 (Münster-i-W. 1935).
Bibliography: p. mandonnet, "Premiers travaux de polémique thomiste," Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 7 (1913) 46–70. f. ehrle, "Der Kampf um die Lehre des hl. Thomas von Aquin in den ersten fünfzig Jahren nach seinem Tod," Zeitschrift für katholische Theologie 37 (1913) 266–318. p. glorieux, "La Littérature des Correctoires: Simples notes," Revue thomiste 33 (1928) 69–96; "Les Correctoires: Essai de mise au point," Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 14 (1947) 287–304; "Non in marginibus positis," ibid. 15 (1948) 182–84. f. pelster, "Zur Datierung der Correctoria und der Schriften des Johannes von Paris," Divus Thomas 3d series 30 (1952) 417–38. r. creytens, "Autour de la littérature des Correctoires," Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 12 (1942) 313–30. a. vella, "Early Thomistic Controversies," Melita Theologica 3 (1950) 57–74; 4 (1951) 14–33. d. a. callus, Bulletin Thomiste 9 (1954–56) 643–55. l. j. bataillon, ibid. 8 (1947–53) 1251–59; 10 (1957–59) 583–94. f. j. roensch, Early Thomistic School (Dubuque 1964).
[d. a. callus]