Illustrated Catholic Family Annual – Schoolmen of the Middle Ages


Saint Thomas Aquinas called the Doctor Angelicas, or the Angelic Doctor, is the most famous of these schoolmen. He was a Dominican friar. He is also called the Universal Doctor and the Angel of the Schools. (1227-1274)

Saint Bonaventura, Doctor Seraphicus, or the Seraphic Doctor, belonged to the order of Saint Francis, and was so culled from the religious fervor of his style. (1221-1274)

Duns Scotus, Doctor Subtilis, or the Subtle Doctor, was a Franciscan friar, and a professor at Oxford. He is claimed by three nations – England, Scotland, and Ireland. He was at the head of the Realists, and a stout defender of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, so dear to his order. (1265-1308)

William Occam, or Ockham, Doctor Invincibilis, or the Invincible Doctor, was a leader of the Nominalists and noted for his trenchant logic. Do was also called Doctor Singularis, or the Singular Doctor, and Venerabilis Inceptor, or the Venerable Initiator. His reasoning was based on a famous principle called “Occanis Ratio.” Died 1347.

William Durandus, Doctor Resolutissimus, the Most Resolute Doctor, so called from his skill in resolving and deciding a question. He was a Dominican and an opponent of Duns Scotus. Died 1332.

Alexander Hales, Doctor Irrefragabilis, or the Irrefragable Doctor, called likewise the Theologorum Monarcha, was a native of Gloucestershire, Noted for his acuteness of mind and strength in debate. Saint Bonaventura was one of his pupils. (Thirteenth century)

John Bassol, Doctor Ordinatissimus, or the Most Methodical Doctor, was a native of Scotland, and a disciple of Duns Scotus, so called from his method and the perspicuity of his reasoning. Died 1347.

Roger Bacon, Doctor Mirabilis, the Wonderful or Admirable Doctor, was an English Franciscan. He was a perfect master of the Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic languages, versed in theology, metaphysics, grammar, astronomy, chemistry, mechanics, logic, chronology, and optics, and the inventor of the air-pump, camera obscura, diving-bell, and gunpowder. (1214-1292)

Richard Middleton, Doctor Profundus, the Solid Doctor, was an English theologian of the Franciscan order. Died 1304.

Henry Goethals, Doctor Solemnis, the Solemn Doctor, was a noted member of the theological faculty at the Sorbonne, from whom he received that title. (1227-1293)

Egidio Colonna, otherwise AEgidius Romanus, Doctor Fundatissimus, or Well-Founded Doctor, was general of the Augustinian friars and archbishop of Bourges. He studied under Saint Thomas Aquinas and became preceptor to Philip le Bel, for whom he wrote his De Regimine Principis, on which Jean Bodin based his Republique, one of the best works on political philosophy, which Montesquieu took as a model.

William de Champeanx, styled Columna Doctomm, the Pillar of Doctors, and Doctor Venerabilis, was the founder of Realism. Abclard was one of his pupils. (Twelfth century)

Alain de Lille, Doctor Universalis, or Universal Doctor, was noted for the extent of his learning. (1114-1203)

Thomas Bradwardine, Doctor Profundus, the Profound Doctor, was archbishop of Canterbury. Died 1349.

William Varro, Doctor Fundatus, the Thorough Doctor, was an English Minorite friar of the latter part of the thirteenth century.

Walter Burleigh, Doctor Planus et Perspicuus, the Plain and Perspicuous Doctor, was an opponent of Duns Scotus.

John Bacon, or Baconthorp, Doctor Resolutissimus, or Most Resolute Doctor, was so called from his readiness in deciding controverted questions. Died 1346.

Gregory of Rimini, Doctor Authenticus, the Authentic Doctor. Died 1357.

Jean Ruysbroek, Doctor Ecstaticus, the Ecstatic Doctor, also called the Divine Doctor, was a celebrated mystic, and prior of the Augustinians at Grunthal, in Brabant. (1294-1381)

Anthony Andreas, Doctor Dulcifluus, the Dulcifluous Doctor, was a Spanish Franciscan of the school of Duns Scotus.

Peter Aureolas, Doctor Facundus, the Eloquent Doctor, was archbishop of Aix in the fourteenth century.

Raymond Lully, Doctor Illuminatus (1235-1315), was the author of the Ars Lulliana, a system taught for centuries throughout Europe, proving that the mysteries of religion are not contrary to reason.

The title of Illuminated Doctor is also given to John Tauler, the celebrated German mystic; also to Francois de Mairone, a French divine who died in 1327.

Jean Gerson, Doctor Christianissimus, the Most Christiau Doctor. (1363-1429)

The same title is also given to Cardinal Nicolas de Cusa, a German divine. (1401-1464)

Anselm of Laon, called the Doctor Doctorum, on account of his varied knowledge and his grasp of dogmatic theology. Born 1117. He was a disciple of Saint Anselm.

The Blessed Albertus Magnus, the Universal Doctor, Doctor Universalis, was so called from his vast knowledge upon every known subject. He was the teacher of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Died in 1280, aged 85.

MLA Citation

  • “Schoolmen of the Middle Ages”. Illustrated Catholic Family Annual, 1881. CatholicSaints.Info. 15 January 2017. Web. 31 October 2020. <>