Celaya, Juan De

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Celaya, Juan De

(b. Valencia, Spain, ca. 1490; d. Turia, Spain, 6 December 1558),

logic, natural philosophy.

Celaya probably began his education at the University of Valencia, then transferred to Paris in the early years of the sixteenth century, apparently enrolling in the Collège de Montaigu and finishing the arts course there about 1509. Among his professors at Montaigu were Gasper Lax and John Dullaert of Ghent, both in turn students of the Scot John Maior, whose influence is detectable in Celaya’s thought. One of Celaya’s fellow students in arts, the Aragonian Juan Dolz del Castellar, composed three works on logic by 1513, the last of which was attacked by Celaya in his Summulae logicales (Paris, 1515); Dolz replied to Celaya in an extended rebuttal prefaced to his Cunabula omnium… difficultatum in proportionibus et proportionalibus (“The Origin of All… Difficulties in Ratios and Proportions”), printed at Montauban in 1518. Celaya meanwhile had continued studies in theology, lecturing on the Scriptures from 1515 to 1517 and on the Sentences during the academic year 1517/1518; he received the licentiate in theology on 24 March 1522 and the doctorate on 21 June 1522.

As a master of arts Celaya taught in the Collè gede Coqueret at Paris from about 1510 to 1515, where his associates were the Portuguese Alvaro Thomaz and the Scot Robert Caubraith; the former, especially, impressed Celaya with his “calculatory” techniques in treating physical problems. In 1515 Celaya passed to the College of Santa Barbara, where he remained until about 1524; among his students there were the Segovian Francisco de Soto (later 10 become a Dominican friar and change his name to Domingo) and the Portuguese Juan Ribeyro, both of whom became faithful disciples. During his entire stay at Paris, Celaya was a prolific writer, turning out a large number of works on logic and expositions, with questions, of Aristotle’s Physics (Paris, 1517), De caelo (Paris, 1517), and De generatione (Paris, 1518). The Physics commentary, in particular, is important for its influence on the development of modern science; its treatment of motion in the third book, which spans seventy-one folios of the 201 that make up the volume, is extensive, summarizing the main contributions of the English Mertonians, the Paris terminists, and the Paduan “calculatores,” as well as the teaching current at Paris in the nominalist (i.e., Ockhamist), realist (i.e., Scotist), and Thomist schools.

Following a dispute with the German Gervase Wain, Celaya returned to Spain about 1524 and in 1525 took up the post of rector in perpetuo and professor of theology at the University of Valencia. In his later years he seems to have lost interest in nominalist teachings and to have devoted himself instead to the Aristotelian-Thormistic tradition, which soon came to dominate in the Spanish universities with therise of the “second Scholasticism.”


I. Original Works. Celaya’s writings are listed in Ricardo G. Villoslada. S. J., La universidad de Paris durante los estudios de Francisco de Vitoria, (1507–1522), Analecta Gregoriana XIV (Rome, 1938), 180–215. esp. 207; this is the best study on Celaya available. None of Celaya’s works is translated from the Latin, and copies of the originals are quite rare; the University of Chicago has acquired a copy of his commentaries on the Physics, De caelo, and De generatione

II. Secondary Literature. Pierre Duhem, Études sur Léonard de Vinci, III (Paris, 1913), passim; Hubert Élie, “Quelques maítres de l’université de Paris vers l’an 1500,” in Archives d’histoire dactrinale el littéraire du moyen âage, 18 (1950–1951), 193–243; and William A. Wallace, O.P., “The Concept of Motion in the Sixteenth Century,” in Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association, 41 (1967), 184–195.

William A. Wallace, O.P.