William of Auxerre, Summa Sententiarum [c.1280]

Scope and Content

A French transcript of the four books of the Summa on the Sentences, beginning Fides est [substantia] rerum sperandarum [text much rubbed]. It is composed of 4 books, on God, on creation, angels and man, on Christ and the virtues, and on the sacraments and the four last things.

Ista summa fuit compilata a magister Wi. altissidorens et continet quatuor libros sive quatuor partes.[Above title given on f.1v in a hand of the fifteenth century].

Explicit summa Magistri Willelmi Altissiodorensis f.222v. Part of book 3 is missing with minor omissions of f.120v and f.121r.Pecia marks in margins.

Administrative / Biographical History

William of Auxerre (c.1150-1231) was a thirteenth century theologian who taught at the University of Paris. He was also archdeacon of Beauvais. He acted as advisor to Gregory IX on a conflict between his University and the citizens of Paris, and was asked by the pope to prepare corrections of recent translations from the Arabic of Aristotle’s works. His commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, Summa aurea, also dealt with issues overlooked by the Lombard. He is regarded as the first medieval theologian to have written systematic treatises on free will and natural law.


Single item

Access Information

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Given by Frederick Cornwallis Conybeare (1856-1924), Christ Church, Oxford in 4 December 1913.


Call number used to be ms4348.

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Binding: brown morocco with gold tooling, marbled end papers.Fine vellum: 17x25.6cm. Illuminated initials. Pricking visible on most folios.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

Written in France. Purchased by the donor in 1896 in Grenoble.




Full description in N R Ker and A J Piper Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries Oxford, 1992, Vol.IV (Paisley to York) pp.243-4. See also St Andrews Library Bulletin, VI (1914-15) p.1.

Corporate Names