Latomus, Jacobus

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Louvain theologian; b. Cambron, Hainault, c. 1475;d. Louvain, May 29, 1544. Latomus (Jacques Masson) became a doctor in theology at Louvain in 1519, and was rector there in 1537. He aroused the humanists by his attack on the Erasmian school in De trium linguarum dialogus (Antwerp 1519), although he did not name erasmus. That humanist defended the necessity of knowledge of the languages of Scripture as a basis for true theology in his Apologia refellens suspiciones , and St. thomas more supported Erasmus in his letter to Edward Lee, mentioning Latomus (Rogers, Correspondence, 75.414). From 1520 on Latomus wrote against the reformers, defending the decree of Louvain in 1520 against Luther's ideas in Articulorum doctrinae F. Martini Lutheri (Antwerp 1521), and after a series of exchanges: De primatu Romani Pontificis (Antwerp 1525). He wrote tracts against Johannes Oecolampadius, Beatus Rhenanus, Jean Gerson, Bartholomew Batnus, and William Tyndale. His works, collected by his nephew, J. Latomus, were published at Louvain (1550). The controversial writings of Latomus, though marred by the defects of the time, mark progress from decadent scholasticism to the development of a genre that Bellarmine perfected.

Bibliography: h. hurter, Nomenclator literarius theologiae catholicae (Innsbruck 190313) 1:144748. e. amann, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique (Paris 190350) 8.2:262628. f. nÈve, Biographie nationale de Belgique 11:425. j. Étienne, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 6:822. r. stupperich, Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwart (Tübingen 195765) 4:239. p. kalkoff, Die Anfänge der Gegenreformation in den Niederlanden, 2 v. (Halle 1903).

[g. j. donnelly]