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Chris Schabel

The beautiful Latin MS 198 of the John Rylands Library preserves one of two currently known manuscript copies of the Servite Lorenzo Opimo of Bologna’s Scriptum on the Sentences, the only such text by a Servite that survives. In 1494, the Chapter General of the Servite Order made Lorenzo the order’s teaching doctor, since the representatives declared that his work, primarily his questions on the Sentences, would be required reading for Servite students and masters of theology. No doubt as a result, Lorenzo’s Scriptum was printed in Venice in 1532. To most medieval intellectual historians, the printing, the author, and even the religious order are virtually unknown. This two-part article puts this unique text in its doctrinal and institutional context. Part I argues that Lorenzo delivered his Sentences lectures at the University of Paris in 1370–71, presents and analyses the tradition of the three textual witnesses, and offers a question list.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Chris Schabel

This is part II of a two-part article on the questions on the Sentences of the Servite Lorenzo Opimo of Bologna. This part focuses on the doctrine and sources of the work, which would become the theological guide for the Order by the end of the Middle Ages. An appendix offers a catalogue of the theses Lorenzo defended: conservative but also up to date at a time when radical ideas were spreading. His explicit citations suggest that he was well versed in fourteenth-century theology, citing ten theologians of the era by name as opposed to just five for the more famous thirteenth century. He also favoured Austin Friars over Franciscans and he completely ignored Dominicans, except for Thomas Aquinas. Upon closer inspection, however, and in common with some of his contemporaries, Lorenzo’s knowledge of some of these fifteen theologians was indirect via passages borrowed from the Augustinians Gregory of Rimini and Hugolino of Orvieto from the 1340s and the Franciscan Francis of Perugia, the Minorite regent master during the year in which Lorenzo lectured.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library