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ROBERT GROSSETESTE BISHOP OF LINCOLN (1235—1253) ON THE REASONS FOR THE INCARNATION Introduction Scholars have known all along about the teachings of Robert Grosseteste concerning the reasons for the Incarnation. Since, however, there was no printed edition of the relevant works, scholars were for a long time dependent on secondary sources. The chief of these was the lengthy presentation from Robert's De cessatione legalium, given by Peter of Candia, O. Min. (Pope Alexander V, 1409—1410).1 In 1939 the eminent Scotist scholar, Ephrem Longpré, O. F. M., wrote an introductory article on Grosseteste and the motive of the Incarnation, with the intention of editing later the sections of De cessatione legalium and of the sermonExiit edictum, which treat of this problem, according to the manuscript Royal VII F. 2 of the British Museum.2 The second instalment, however, never appeared; no doubt the war interfered. In the meantime a very important manuscript was discovered that contains, among other writings, Grosseteste's De cessatione legalium and Hexaëmeron. It was acquired by the Bodleian library of Oxford in 1947.3 The importance of the manuscript stems from the fact that the Bishop himself made marginal interlinear corrections on it.4 1 In his commentary on the Third Book of the Sentences, he lists and explains sixteen reasons why there would have been an Incarnation even though man had not sinned. But he himself refutes these reasons and holds the opposite view. The text is found in [Chrysostome Urrutibéhéty], O. F. M., Christus Alpha et Omega, seu de Christi universali regno (2d edition, Rome— Lille, 1910), pp. 12—21. This text was transcribed from a manuscript in the Library of Bordeaux by a confrère of Father Chrysostome's. 2 Ephrem Longpré, O. F. M., "Robert Grosseteste et le B. Jean Duns Scot. Le motif de l'Incarnation," in La France Franciscaine, Documents, 21 (1939), i—16. 3 R. W. H[unt], ."Notable Accesions: Manuscripts," in Bodleian Library Record, 2 (1941—-1949), 226—227; and Beryl Smalley, "The Biblical Scholar," in Robert Grosseteste, Scholar and Bishop: Essays in Commemoration of the Seventh Centenary of His Death. Edited by D. A. Callus, O. P. (Oxford, 1955), p. 80. 4 Cf. Hunt, art. cit., p. 226. 1 Franciscan Studies, 1956I 2 D.J. UNGER Recently, too, the outstanding Franciscan theologian and world specialist on the doctrine about the reasons for the Incarnation, Jean Fr. Bonnefoy, O. F. M., called, for the first time it seems, attention to the fact that also in Robert's Hexaëmeron there are noteworthy remarks anent the question Cur Deus homo?5 A critical edition of Grosseteste's works is in preparation. But, at least until such time as we shall have a critical edition of the works pertinent to our question, I thought it serviceable to edit those sections at present. I do not intend to make a critical edition in the sense of comparing all the extant manuscripts. For the De cessatione legalium and the Hexaëmeron I have used the recently discovered Cod. Bodl. lat. th. c. 17, corrected by Robert himself. The sermon Exiit edictum I have taken from Cod. Royal VII F. 2 of the British Museum. For the first two works, however, I have consulted also the manuscripts of the British Museum: Royal VII F. 2, fol. 121A—167C, for De cessatione legalium and Royal VI E. 5, fol. 143 va, for the Hexaëmeron, and I have called attention in footnotes to some notable differences. Since the variations in these codices on our matter are slight, and since Cod. Bodl. was corrected by the Bishop himself, we can be sure that we have the exact doctrine of the Bishop, even though we do not as yet have a critical text. So the first part of our study will be the edition of the texts as described. To this we have added a few notes of references and interpretation . In the second part of this study we purpose to give an analysis and synthesis of the doctrine of Grosseteste on the reasons for the Incarnation.* Let it suffice here to note the chronological order of the works that...


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