Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Simon of Tournai

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Professor in the University of Paris at the beginning of the thirteenth century, dates of birth and death unknown. He was teaching before 1184, as he signed a document at the same time as Gerard de Pucelle, who died in that year Bishop of Coventry. The chroniclers of the period, however they differ on other points, are unanimous in proclaiming Simon's brilliancy in philosophy, which subject he taught for ten years. Later he lectured on theology with equal success. In his lectures he utilized the many works, including Aristotle's philosophical writings, which were being made known by the labors of the Arab translators. Simon's teachings aroused suspicion as early as the end of the twelfth century. His enemies were, probably, the opponents of the new philosophy; the accounts given by Thomas de Cantimpré, Matthew Paris, and Giraldus Cambrensis before them, though differing considerably as to details, agree at least in saying that Simon was struck dumb as a punishment for his blasphemy or his heretical assertions regarding the truths of the Christian faith. It would be difficult now to determine whether in private conversation he made statements that are not contained in his works; the latter, however, of which but few have been printed, are orthodox. They consist chiefly of a "Summa theologica" or "Sententiae", various "Quaestiones", "Sermons", and the "Expositio in symbolum s. Athanasii" printed in the "Bibliotheca Casinensis", IV (Rome, 1880), 322-46. The work entitled "De tribus impostoribus" was not written by Simon. A letter of Stephen of Tournai, earlier than 1192, speaks in very flattering terms of a Simon, who is probably to be identified with the subject of this article.

Hist. Litter. de la France, XVI, 388-94; DENIFLE AND CHATELAIN, Chartularium Univers. Paris, I, 45, 71; HAUREAU, Histoire de 1a la philosophie scolastique (Paris, 1880), 58 62; Notices et extraits des manuscrits de la Bibl. Nat., XXXI, pt. II, 293-300; Notices et extraits de quelques manuscrits (Paris, 1891), III, 250-59; UEBERWEG-HEINZE, Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie (Berlin, 1905), II, 211, 277, etc.; DE WULF, Histoire de la philosophie scolastique . . . dans les Pays Bas (Brussels, 1895), 39, etc.; Histoire de la Philosophie en Belgique (Brussels, 1910), 56-57.

J. de Ghellinck