Thomas Gallus of Vercelli

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Known also as Thomas of Saint-Victor, Augustinian Canon of Saint-Victor, first abbot of S. Andrea di Vercelli, mystical theologian; b. probably in France, before 1200; d. Ivrea or Vercelli in Piedmont, Dec. 5, 1246. Thomas's early life is unknown. He became a member of the distinguished parisian Abbey of Saint-Victor, and was chosen in 1218 by Cardinal Guala Bicchieri to assist in founding of the richly endowed Victorine abbey and hospital of S. Andrea in Vercelli. He took an active part in directing the construction of the abbey, where he was first prior and then abbot. There he continued to expound and correlate Dionysian texts and Scripture with mystical themes, in the form of commentaries, synopses, and tracts, which were broadly acclaimed. He also brought Dionysian themes into his commentaries on the Song of Songs. His reputation was such that he drew the Franciscan studium generale from Padua to Vercelli in 1228. Loyalty to his benefactor's family in Guelf-Ghibelline politics forced him in 1243 or 1244 into exile and excommunication in the neighboring Ghibelline town of Ivrea, where he went on writing until his death. His tomb is in S. Andrea di Vercelli. A 16th-century edition of his Extractio of Dionysian works was reprinted in vv. 15 (29275; 369395) and 16 (39349; 454469; 578583) of the Carthusian Opera Dionysii (Tournai 1902). His commentaries on Isaiah and the Song of Songs have now been presented in modern editions, although much of his writing still remains in manuscript.

Bibliography: thomas gallus. Commentaries du Cantique des Cantiques, ed. j. barbet (Paris 1967); "Commentaire sur Isaïe de Thomas de Saint-Victor," ed. g. thÉry, La Vie spirituelle 47 (1936) 146162. j. wals, "The Expositions of Thomas Gallus on the pseudo-Dionysian Letters," Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen-âge 30 (Paris 1963) 199220, text and bibliog. g. thÉry, "Thomas Gallus: Aperçu biographique," ibid. 14 (1939) 141208, biog. and bibliog. j. barbet, DS 15 (1991) 80081, bibliog. p. glorieux, Dictionnaire de théologie catholique, ed. a. vacant et al., (Paris 190350; Tables générales 1951) 15.1:773777, bibliog. of Théry's authoritative pioneer studies. r. javelet, "Thomas Gallus et Richard de St. Victor, mystiques," Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 29 (Louvain 1962) 206233; 30 (1963) 88121; "Thomas Gallus ou les écritures dans une dialectique mystique," in L'Homme devant Dieu; melangess offerts au Henri de Lubac (Paris 196364) 99110. j. barbet, Abbas vercellensis, Thomas Gallus: Le commentaire du Cantique des Cantiques 'Deiformis animae gemitus.' Étude d'authenticité et edition critique (Paris and Louvain 1972); "Un Apocryphe de Thomas Gallus. Le Commentaire Deiformis animae gemitus du Cantique des cantiques," Divinitas 11 (1967) 471490; "Un Apocryphe de Thomas Gallus Le Commentaire Deiformis animae gemitus du Cantique des cantiques," in Miscellanea Andre Combes, 2 vols. (Rome 1967). f. ruello, "Depassement mystique du discours theologique selon saint Bonaventure," Recherches de sciences Religieuses 64 (1976) 217270; "La mystique de l'Exode (Exode 3:14 selon Thomas Gallus, commentateur dionysien, d1246)," in Dieu et l'etre, ed. a. caquot (Paris 1978) 213243. f. stegmÜller, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi, 5 (Madrid 1955) 38781.

[p. edwards/

g. a. zinn]

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Thomas Gallus of Vercelli

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