The Life and Works of Albertus Magnus

The Life and Works of Albertus Magnus

June 26, 2021 Off By Felso

Albertus Magnus was born around 1200 in Lauingen, a German city on the Danube between the cities of Ulm and Regensburg. (His date of birth varies between 1193 and 1207. The thirteenth century, in which Albertus Magnus lived, was a shaky period in many respects. The Crusades on the one hand, the intensity of the wars between the states on the other, and the development of trade routes are among the main striking features of this period.

Albertus Magnus entered the Dominican order in 1229 and began working on a chair at the University of Paris. The order was in a serious organization all over Europe, even though it was only a few years after its founder, Dominicus. He managed to finish his doctorate at the age of 40, which can be considered too late due to his busy work. After this stage, he became the head of one of the two chairs of the order at the University of Paris. His most important student here would be Thomas Aquinas, whom he nicknamed the “deaf ox”.

Albertus Magnus, who left Paris in 1248, settled in the city of Cologne in the region known as the province of Teutonia at that time. The task given to him by the sect was to establish a studium generale in this city. In 1254 he became the Dominican ruler of the province of Teutonia (the region that includes today’s Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Alsace-Lorraine region, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands). In 1261, he met Guilelmus de Moerbeka, the most famous translator of that time, in Viterbo and wrote various articles there. He returned to Cologne again; He continued to write many of his works here. Throughout his life, he made many journeys and rendered services to his sect. He died on November 15, 1280. He was called Doctor Universalis (Universal Teacher) during the Middle Ages.

The Studium Generale was a kind of school community that gathered students from different geographies and got its legitimacy from the Papacy. These educational institutions, which have not yet become universities, have become secularized with the decline of the influence of the Papacy and the strengthening of civil life. Although the Studium Generale was confused with the university in terms of education, they were narrower than the universities.

Albertus Magnus produced many works in many fields. The most important ones are mentioned below: De Caelo et Mundo (About the Sky and the Moon), De Anima (About the Spirit), De Natura et Origine Animae (About the Structure and Origin of the Spirit), De Principiis Motus Progressivi (About the Principles of Motion), Quaestiones Super de Animalibus (Questions About Living Beings), Super Ethica (Moral Philosophy), Metaphysica (Metaphysics), De Unitate Intellectus (About Unity of Mind), De Fato (About Destiny), Summa Theologiae, De Generatione et Corruptione (About Creation and Decay) , Mineralia (About Minerals). In addition to these works, Albertus Magnus has various logic studies. Much of Aristotle’s famous Organon has been interpreted by him in various writings.

Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook