The picture below is a sculpture of Aquinas by Father
Saint Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican theologian, was born Thomas d'Aquino, the son of a baron, in his family's castle at Roccasecca, central Italy, in 1224 or 1225. At about the age of five, Thomas was placed by his parents in the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. His uncle had been abbot of the monastery, and his family had similar ambitions for Thomas. When Monte Cassino became the scene of a battle between papal and imperial troops, however, Thomas withdrew and enrolled at the University of Naples in November of 1239, where he stayed until April of 1244. There he came into contact with members of the Dominican order and, against the opposition of his family, became a Dominican friar in late April of 1244. Shortly after, in May of 1244, his family intervened forcibly, having him abducted and detained thereafter at Roccasecca. His mother tried to persuade Thomas for more than a year to give up his membership in the Dominican order. Failing to persuade him, Thomas was allowed to return to his order in July or August of 1245. He then went north to study for his novitiate till 1248, after which he came under the guidance of Albert the Great at Cologne until the Fall of 1252, during which time (1250/51) he was ordained a priest. From the Fall of 1252 to the Spring of1259, Thomas taught at the Dominican house of studies in Paris. It was during this time that he lectured on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. Between March 3 and June 17 of 1256, he was incepted as a master of theology, and was regent master in theology at Paris until 1259, during which time that he began his Summa contra gentiles. 1259 found Aquinas leaving Paris for Naples, where he stayed until the Fall of 1261 as head of the Dominican house of studies. From September of that same year to September of 1265, Aquinas was at Orvieto as a lector, where he completed the Summa contra gentiles. After a time at Rome in 1265 and Viterbo in 1267 (his great work, the Summa theologiae was begun in 1266), he took up his second Parisian regency from January of1269 to 1272. This was followed by his assignment to Naples in 1272 as regent of theology. December 6, 1273 saw the cessation of his writing, after a physical and mental breakdown from years of overwork. While going north to attend the Council of Lyon, Thomas injured his head, fell ill and died in the Cistercian abbey of Fossanova on March 7, 1274.
To download the works of Aristotle (Oxford), click here.
Here is an interesting site for medievalists.
The Summa Theologiae on line! Click here.
For info concerning the Busa edition of Aquinas's works, click here.
For another site with Aquinas info, click here
To read De principiis naturae , click here
D. J. Kennedy's article from the Catholic Encyclopedia (supplied by the Maritain Centre) has an excellent survey of Thomism and an equally good description of Thomas's life, works, method and influence.
Once again the Maritain Centre has provided us with an invaluable service, an electronic version of the Summa Contra Gentiles. So far, they have Book One and two thirds of Book Two available for viewing.
Last modified August 12, 1996
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