Doctor (Scholastic Title)

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In the Middle Ages the titles of doctor and master were synonymous in theology, law, medicine, and arts. In the early Middle Ages any learned scholar who attracted students desirous of learning was called a master, much after the Hebrew manner of calling teachers rabbi, lord, master, or doctor (see Dt 29.10, 31.28; Lk 2.46; 2 Cor 12.28; Eph 4.11). When the medieval universities were organized under papal protection, it was more common to call approved teachers of theology magistri sacrae paginae (i.e., of the Bible) or magistri sacrae theologiae, while others were called masters of civil law (magistri legum ), canon law (magistri decretum ), medicine (magistri medicinae ), or arts (magistri artium ). As early as the 12th century the lawyers of Bologna preferred to be called doctor. Writing to the masters of Paris in 1208 or 1209, Innocent III addressed them as "doctors of the sacred page, canon law, and arts" (Chartularium universitatis Parisiensis, ed. H. Denifle and E. Chatelain, 4 v. [Paris 188997] 1.67). It was not until the early 16th century, however, that master theologians, lawyers, and physicians were commonly addressed as doctor, and that masters in arts ceased to be addressed as master.

The official function of a doctor in the Middle Ages was to teach (Lat. docere ). For this he was constituted by the guild of masters (universitas ) and the chancellor acting in the name of pope or emperor. At the time of his installation (inceptio ) the young master had to take an oath that he would teach for at least two years, and he was considered a perjurer until this oath was fulfilled, unless a dispensation was obtained. A master actually fulfilling his duty was called magister regens, exercising full responsibility in the class room (schola ) and in the university or studium. A master who had ceded his chair to another was called non regens, but he retained certain privileges in the university (see oxford, university of; paris, university of).

Honorific titles were given to outstanding masters by contemporaries and posterity to do them honor and to preserve academic impersonality. Just as Aristotle was commonly referred to as "the Philosopher," Averroës as "the Commentator," and St. paul as Doctor gentium, so too, frequently quoted masters were referred to under an honorific title, not officially conferred by any university or decree, but by contemporaries. The medieval penchant for honorific titles extended beyond the university to founders of religious orders: Pater apostolicus (St. domi nic), Pater seraphicus (St. francis of assisi), and others. But it was principally outstanding theologians and lawyers who were known to contemporaries and posterity by honorific titles. The custom of assigning such titles continued throughout the period known as the second scholasticism, and the titles of more eminent thinkers are still employed among scholastic writers (see scholasti cism).

The following list of honorific titles gives the principal surnames, the religious order affiliations (where known), and the date of death (where known). It is divided into two parts, the first giving titles associated with the appellation Doctor, the second those associated with other designations such as Magister.

Scholastic Doctors

Abstractionum: Francis of Meyronnes, OFM
Acutissimus: Pope sixtus iv, OFM
Acutus: william of ware, OFM; Francis of Meyronnes, OFM; gregory of rimini, OESA; Nicolas de Orbellis, OFM, c. 1472; Gabriel vÁzquez, SJ
(Ad) mirabilis: roger bacon, OFM
A doctoribus: Anthony François, 1528
Amoenus: robert cowton, OFM
Angelicus: thomas aquinas, OP; Richard Brinkel, OFM, c. 1350
Armatus: Matthias Döring, OFM, 1469
Authenticus: richard of middleton; Gregory of Rimini OESA
Authoratus: Richard of Middleton
Beatus: Thomas Aquinas, OP; giles of rome, OESA
Bonus: Walter Brinkley (Brinkell), OFM, c. 1310
Breviloquus: Gui Terreni of Perpignan, OCarm, 1342
Brevis: william of vaurouillon, OFM
Bullatus: Roberto Caracciolo, OFM
Cherubinus: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Christianissimus: Jean gerson
Christianus: nicholas of cusa
Clarus: Peter of Aquila, OFM; Denis of Montina, OESA, 1371 or 1372; Thomas Doctius, 1441; Luis de Montesinos
Collectivus: Landolf caracciolo, OFM
Communis: Thomas Aquinas, OP; Richard of Middleton
Consummatus: Dominic of St. Theresa, OCarm, 1654
Contradictionum: Johannes Wessel gansfort
Copiosus: Richard of Middleton
Correctivus: William de la Mare, OFM
Curialis: peter aureoli, OFM
Decretalium: Bonagratia of Bergamo, OFM, 1347
Decretistarum: Peter Quaesuet
Devotus: bonaventure, OFM
Difficilis: john of ripa, OFM
Digressivus: henry of ghent
Divinus: Jan van ruysbroeck
Doctorum: anselm of laon; alexander of hales, OFM
Dulcifluus: antonius andreas, OFM
Dulcis: Humbert of Garda
Egregius: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Egregius in saeculorum fine doctissimus: isidore of seville
Elegans: Peter Aureoli, OFM
Eminens: john of matha
Eucharisticus: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Evangelicus: anthony of padua, OFM; Philip of Montecalerio, OFM, c. 1335; John wyclif
Excellentissimus: Anthony Corsetto, 1503
Eximius: Thomas Aquinas, OP; Richard of Middleton; Peter Aureoli, OFM; John Tissier, c. 1564
Expertus: albert the great, OP
Exstaticus: Jan van Ruysbroeck; denis the carthusian
Facundus: Peter Aureoli, OFM
Famosissimus: Peter Alberti, 1426
Famosus: Peter of Tarentaise (Pope innocent v), OP; Bertrand de la Tour, OFM, 1332
Fertilis: Francis of Candia, OFM, 15th century
Firmus et indefatigabilis: robert holcot
Fructuosus: peter of la palu, OP
Fundamentalis: John Faber (Le Fèvre) of Bordeaux, 1340
Fundatissimus: Richard of Middleton; Giles of Rome, OESA
Fundatus: William of Ware, OFM; durandus of saintpourÇain, OP; Peter of Navarra
Generosus: Peter de Turre
Gratiae: augustine
Gratiosus: james of viterbo, OESA; Durandus of Saint-Pourçain, OP
Hispaniae: Isidore of Seville
Illibatus: Alexander Alamannicus, c. 1400
Illuminatissimus: Thomas Aquinas, OP; Francis of Meyronnes, OFM
Illuminatus: Raymond lull, OFM; Francis of Meyronnes, OFM; Johannes tauler, OP
Illustratus: adam marsh, OFM; Francis of Marchia, OFM
Illustris: Adam Marsh, OFM
In expondis sacris scripturis: jerome Inclytus: william of macclesfield, OP
Inflammatus: Luke of Padua, OFM, 14th century
Ingeniosissimus: Andrew of Novocastro, OFM, 14th century
Ingeniosus: john peckham, OFM; Peter Aureoli, OFM
Inter aristotelicos aristotelicissimus: haymo of faversham, OFM
Inventivus: James of Viterbo, OESA
Invincibilis: william of ockham, OFM; peter tho mae, OFM
Irradiatissimus: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Irrefragabilis: Alexander of Hales, OFM
Lucidus: Pope alexander iii
Magnificus: Pope Sixtus IV, OFM
Magnus: Gilbert the Cistercian, 1168; alan of lille
Marianus: anselm of canterbury; John duns sco tus, OFM
Maximus: Jerome; John Duns Scotus, OFM
Mellifluus: bernard of clairvaux
Mellifluus alter: aelred
Memorialis: bartholomaeus anglicus, OFMv
Memoriosissimus: Ludovicus pontanus romanus
Mirabilis: Anthony Perez, SJ, 1649
Modernus: Durandus of Saint-Pourçain, OP
Moralis: Gerald Odonis, OFM, 1349
Navarrus: Martin aspilcueta
Nominatissimus: stephen langton
Noster: Thomas Aquinas, OP; thomas bradwardine
Notabilis: Peter de Insula (d'Isle), OFM, 14th century
Novus: Peter Aureoli, OFM
Ordinatissimus: John of Bassols, OFM, 1333
Ornatissimus: John of Bassols, OFM, 1333; Peter of Aquila, OFM
Ornatus: Antonius Andreas, OFM
Pacificus: Nicholas bonet, OFM
Panormitanus: Nicolaus de tudeschis
Parisiennsis: Gui Terreni of Perpignan, OCarm, 1342
Perplexus: Francis of Marchia, OFM

Perspicacissimus: John Faber (Le Fèvre) of Bordeaux, 1340
Perspicuus: Jerome of Ascoli (Pope Nicholas IV), OFM;walter burley
Planus: Walter Burley; Nicholas of Lyra, OFM
Praecellentissimus philosophiae: siger of brabant
Praeclarus: William of Ware, OFM; Peter of Kaiserslautern, OPraem, 1330
Praefulgidus : Francis of Marchia, OFM
Praestantissimus: Thomas netter
Primus: Alexander of Hales, OFM
Proficuus: Peter Thomae, OFM; Nicholas Bonet, OFM
Profitabilis: Nicholas Bonet, OFM
Profundissimus: Paolo veneto; Gabriel biel; Juan Alonso Curiel
Profundus: James of Ascoli, OFM; Francis of Marchia, OFM; Thomas Bradwardine
Rarus: harvey nedellec (hervaeus natalis), OP
Recollectus: Landolph Caracciolo, OFM
Refulgens: Peter of Candia (Alexander V, antipope)
Refulgidus: peter of candia (alexander v, antipope)
Relucens: Francis of Marchia, OFM
Resolutissimus: Durandus of Saint-Pourçain, OP
Resolutus: john baconthorp, OCarm
Reverendus: Henry of Ghent; godfrey of fontaines
Sanctissimus: Anthony of Padua, OFM
Sanctus: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Satisfaciens: Astesanus, c. 1330
Scholasticus: Anselm of Laon; Peter abelard; gilbert de la porrÉe; peter lombard; peter of poitiers; hugh of newcastle
Securus: Peter Reginaldeti
Seraphicus: Bonaventure, OFM
Serenus: Peter Thomae, OFM
Singularis: William of Ockham, OFM
Solemnis: Henry of Ghent
Solidus: Richard de Paribilla
Sollers: Peter Thomae, OFM
Spectabilis: Peter of Tarentaise (Pope Innocent V), OP
Speculativus: James of Viterbo, OESA
Strenuus: Peter Thomae, OFM
Sublimus: Johannes Tauler, OP; Francis bacon, OCarm; Jean Courtecuisse (brevicoxa)
Subtilior inter omnes: Durandus of Saint-Pourçain, OP
Subtilis: John Duns Scotus, OFM; John Faber (Le Fèvre) of Bordeaux, 1340; Denis of Montina, OESA, 1371 or 1372; Joannes Calderini; Benedict Raymundus, 1440; Philip Corneo, 1462
Subtilissimus: Peter of Mantova, 14th century
Succinctus: Francis of Marchia, OFM
Sufficiens: Peter of Aquila, OFM
Summus: Francis of Perusio (Paris?), 14th century
Supersubtilis: John of Ripa, OFM
Universalis: Alan of Lille; Thomas Aquinas, OP; Albert the Great, OP
Utilis: Nicolas of Lyra, OFM; Nicholas Bonet, OFM
Venerabilis: Thomas Aquinas, OP; Albert the Great, OP; Jean Gerson
Venerandus: Godfrey of Fontaines
Verbalis: Francis of Candia, OFM, 15th century
Verbosus: Giles of Rome, OESA

Other Titles

Abbas modernus: Nicolaus de Tudeschis
Abbas siculus: Nicolaus de Tudeschis
Antoninus consiliorum: antoninus, OP
Arca testamenti: Anthony of Padua, OFM
Aristoteles lusitanus: Peter da fonseca, SJ
Aristotelis anima: John Dondus, 1380
Averroista: Urban of Bologna, OSM, 1403
Chrysologus minorita: francis of osuna, OFM
Columna doctorum: william of champeaux
Conciliator: Peter of Abano, c. 1315
Dialogus: Pope gregory i (the great)
Divus Thomas: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Doctoris sancti viae archicursor et sancti doctoris doctrinae armarium refertissimum: Peter Piscatoris, OP, 1508
Dominus legum: Azzo dei Porri, 13th century
Egregius versificator: hildebert of lavardin
Emporium theologiae: Laurent Gervasi, OP
Eucharistiae praeco et vates maximus: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Eximius et pius: Francisco suÁrez, SJ
Facundus apollo: Ralph of Rodington, OFM, 14th century
Famosus expositor: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Flos mundi: Maurice o'fihely, OFM
Flos omnium artistarum: William of Ockham, OFM
Flos omnium modernorum: Roger Bacon, OFM
Fons canonum: Joannes Andreae
Fons doctorum: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Fons vitae: Alexander of Hales, OFM
Gilbertus universalis: Gilbert of London, 1134
Gregorius Novellus: Gregory of Rimini, OESA
Inceptor profundus: William of Ware, OFM
Lector exiguus: john of freiburg, OP
Lucerna iuris: irnerius; Baldus de Ubaldis
Lucerna iuris pontificii: Nicolaus de Tudeschis
Lumen iuris: Pope Clement IV
Lumen legum: Irnerius
Lumen magistrorum: Augustine
Lumen mundi: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Lux mundi: Johannes Wessel Gansfort
Magister: Augustine
Magister de proprietatibus: Bartholomaeus Anglicus, OFM

Magister Hieronymus: Jerome of Ascoli (Pope Nicholas IV), OFM
Magister historiarum: peter comestor
Magister Scott: William of Ware, OFM
Magister sententiarum: Peter Lombard
Magnus: Albert the Great, OP; Siger of Brabant
Malleus: bernard of auvergne, OP
Malleus haereticorum: Francis Coster
Modernorum magister magistrorum: manegold of lautenbach
Monarcha iuris: Bartholomew of Saliceto, 1412
Monarcha theologorum: Alexander of Hales, OFM
Mundi probatus magister: Augustine
Nemo bonus iurista nisi sit Bartolista: bartolo of sassoferrato
Normaque morum: Joannes Andreae
Os aureum: Bulgarus, c. 1166
Pater decretalium: Pope gregory ix
Pater et organum veritatis: Pope innocent iv
Pater et tuba iuris canonici: Joannes Andreae
Pater iuris: Pope innocent iii
Pater peritorum: Peter of Belle-Perche, 1308
Peripateticus palatinus: Peter Abelard
Philosophiae parens: Urban of Bologna, OSM, 1403
Phoenix theologorum: John Baptist of Asti
Praeceptor germaniae: rabanus maurus
Princeps averroistarum: John Baconthorp, OCarm
Princeps scotistarum: Bartholomaeus mastrius, OFM
Princeps subtilitatum: Francis de Accoltis, 1485?
Princeps thomistarum (in philosophia): dominic of flanders, OP
Princeps thomistarum (in theologia): John Capreolus, OP
Rabbi censor: Joannes Andreae
Rabbi doctorum: Joannes Andreae
Rabbi lux: Joannes Andreae
Scotellus: Peter of Aquila, OFM
Scotulus: Antonius Andreas, OFM
Speculator: William duranti the elder
Speculum et lumen iuris canonici: Joannes Andreae
Speculum iuris: Bartolo of Sassoferrato
Studiorum ducem: Thomas Aquinas, OP
Summus doctorum: Henry of Ghent; Peter of Belle Perche, 1308
Tortor parvulorum: Gregory of Rimini, OESA
Venerabilis inceptor: William of Ockham, OFM
Vir trilinguis: Jerome
Vitae arbor: John of Wales, OFM

Bibliography: f. ehrle, Die Ehrenfitel der scholastichen Lehrer des Mittelalters (Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu München; 1919). f. pelster, "Die Ehrentitel der scholastischen Lehrer des Mittelalters," Theologische Quartalschrift 103 (1922) 3756. p. lehmann, "Mittelalterliche Beinamen und Ehrentitel," Historical Journal 49 (1929) 215239. l. meier "De anecdoto titulorum scholasticorum elencho," Antonianum 25 (1950) 153157; "De quodam elencho titulorum scholasticorum denuo invento," ibid. 27 (1952) 367376.

[j. c. vansteenkiste]