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RICHARD RUFUS OF CORNWALL AND THE AUTHORSHIP OF THE "SCRIPTUM SUPER METAPHYSICAM" In a recently published work, Fr. Peter Raedts has provided the scholarly world with a valuable study of the writings attributable to that once-famous Franciscan theologian, Richard Rufus of Cornwall.1 Although Raedts' survey of previous scholarship on Rufus is thorough and his own research extensive, his arguments for the authenticity of certain works attributed to Rufus appear inconclusive and, at times, inconsistent. His claims that Rufus did not author the Scriptum super Metaphysicam , a work preserved in V and several other manuscripts, but did author the Sentences commentary found in B, are particularly questionable.2 In the case of the former work, Raedts 1 Richard Rufus of Cornwall and the Tradition of Oxford Theology (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987). 2 The following sigla are used to designate manuscripts referred to below: A Assisi, Bibliotheca Communale, Ms. 176 As Assisi, Bibliotheca Communale, Ms. 138 B Oxford, Balliol College, Ms. 62 Bo Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. misc. lat. C. 71 E Erfurt, Bibliotheca Amploniana, Ms. qu. 290 N Oxford, New College, Ms. 285 P Prague, Library of the Metropolitan Chapter, Ms. m. 80 V Vatican City, Bibliotheca Apostólica Vaticana, Ms. lat. 4538 Vat Vatican City, Bibliotheca Apostólica Vaticana, Ms. lat. 12993 Almost all manuscripts of the Scriptum super Metaphysicam (E, N, P and V) have been described by Gedeon Gal, "Commentarius in Metaphysicam AristoteHs , cod. Vat. lat, 4538: Fons doctrinae Ricardi Rufi," Archivum Francicanum Historicum [AFH] 43 (1950): 209-10; and Raedts 94-98. The late P. Osmund Lewry found a partial copy of the Scriptum in Bo. See his article, "Oxford Logic 12501275 : Nicholas and Peter of Cornwall on Past and Future Realities" in The Rise of British Logic, ed. P. Osmund Lewry, Papers in Medieval Studies 7 (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1985) 35, n. 12. A provisional description of this manuscript, based on examination of a microfilm copy, may be found in the present author's doctoral dissertation, "An Edition and Study of 56TIMOTHY B. NOONE overlooks a crucial piece of evidence, while the arguments he proposes in support of Rufus' authorship of the latter either require a forced reading of the historical record or prove, upon careful examination, to be incompatible. In support of these contentions, I shall, after briefly listing the few known details of Rufus' life, summarize Raedts' positions on the authorship of the Scriptum super Metaphysicam, the Sentences commentary in B, the Abbreviatio (a Sentences commentary preserved in Vat and three other manuscripts),3 and the Quaestio de intettectu divino, one preserved in a collection of questions found in As.4 Next, I shall consider the crucial piece of evidence neglected by Raedts—an ascription to Rufus in V— and assess its significance for the issue of authorship. To evaluate this ascription, it will be necessary to undertake a critical re-examination of Raedts' reasons for attributing to Rufus the Sentences commentary in B. Finally, since the new evidence combined with the weaknesses of Raedts' arguments will provide ample justification for concluding that Rufus is the author of the Scriptum super Metaphysicam, I shall attempt to establish where and when that work was written. "Magnus et admirabilis philosophus iudicatus est."5 By using these words to sum up Rufus' Parisian academic career, Thomas of Eccleston clearly indicated that he considered him one of the most distinguished scholars of the early Franciscan movement in England. But Roger Bacon, who like Eccleston and Rufus was also a member of the English Franciscan province, seems to have been less enamored of his Cornish confrere. He testifies that Rufus was the chief agent responsible for introducing certain errors in logical theory into the theological schools at Oxford and Paris, whence they were disseminated throughout the intellectual world, much to the detriment of theology. Bacon also claims that Rufus was reproved for introducing certain novelties at Paris.6 Although it may be impossible, at a the Scriptum super Metaphysicam, bk. 12, dist. 2: A Work Attributed to Richard Rufus of Cornwall," U. of Toronto, 1988, 155-56. 3 The most complete description of these manuscripts, may be found in Raedts 40-47. 4 For...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 55-91
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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