Hugh of Honau

views updated


Theologian of Alsace-Lorraine, author of two works in MS Cambridge Univ. Lib. Ii.4.27. The first is entitled A Book Concerning Homousion and Homoeusion (fols. 2129) and aims mainly at the clarification of such concepts as substance, nature, person, essence, existence, divinity, and many others. The author offers a multitude of texts gathered from Greek and Latin writings, including Aristotle's Physics, in support of his views. The second work, A Book Concerning the Difference between Nature and Person (fols. 130177), explains the meaning of Trinitarian terminology and contains translations from the Greek Fathers made by Hugh Etherian at Hugh of Honau's request. The date of the first work is uncertain; the second was completed about 1180.

Hugh of Honau, a canon regular, was a "schoolman" and a "deacon of the Sacred Palace" at the court of Frederick Barbarossa (115291). As Barbarossa's legate to Manuel I (114380), Hugh went to Constantinople twice. On his first mission, about 1171, he asked Hugh

Etherian for translations of texts in which Greek Fathers speak of a distinction between nature and person in God. Hugh's teacher, gilbert de la porrÉe, had insisted on the necessity of making such a distinction, but his view had been criticized at Rheims (1148). Gilbert's followers, however, were anxious to prove that Greek Fathers had taught the same doctrine. Hugh received the evidence of this on his second mission to Constantinople in 1179.

Bibliography: Two letters to Hugh of Etherian ed. by a. dondaine, Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen-âge 27 (1952) 128131. v. laurent, Catholicisme 5:1034. n. m. haring, "The Liber de diversitate naturae et personae by Hugh of Honau," ibid. 29 (1962) 120216; "The Liber de differentia naturae et personae by Hugh Etherian and the Letters Addressed to Him by Peter of Vienna and Hugh of Honau," Mediaeval Studies 24 (1962) 1619.

[n. m. haring]