William de Montibus

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Theologian and chancellor of Lincoln; d. melrose Abbey, 1213. During his lifetime he made the schools at Lincoln the most famous in England after Oxford, but he did not establish a lasting center of studies there. Between 1170 and 1180 he studied and taught in Paris, where giraldus cambrensis and alexander neckham were among those who attended his lectures on the Mont sainte-geneviÈve. Through the influence of Bp. hugh of lincoln, he became canon and prebendary of the See of lincoln between 1186 and 1189, and was chancellor there from c. 1191 till his death. His lectures drew large numbers of students to Lincoln. He was not so much an original thinker as an able popularizer who simplified theological learning and provided practical manuals for the instruction of the less-educated parochial clergy. His influence was strongest in the East Midlands of England. Some of his sermons and manuals as well as a work on number symbolism, the Arithmologia or Numerale, survive in manuscript, but many works ascribed to him have not been positively identified.

Bibliography: g. lacombe and b. smalley, "Lombard's Commentary on Isaiah and Other Fragments," The New Scholasticism 5 (1931) 123162, esp. 141142, 148150. r. w. hunt, "English Learning in the Late Twelfth Century," Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 4th ser. 19 (1936) 1935, esp. 2122. j.c. russell, Dictionary of Writers of Thirteenth Century England (New York 1936) 196197. k. edwards, The English Secular Cathedrals in the Middle Ages (Manchester, Eng. 1949) 189. a. b. emden, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to A.D. 1500 12:129899.

[m. m. chibnall]