Italian Christian theologian and philosopher Thomas Aquinas.

Thomas Aquinas

(c. 1224 - 1274)

Foremost theologian of the Roman Catholic Church, Thomas Aquinas sought to complement faith with the recently rediscovered philosophy of Aristotle. He received his “license to teach” in 1256, joining the faculty at the University of Paris as a professor of theology, but he spent much of the 1260s in Italy serving the papacy. He was canonized in 1323, forty-nine years after his death.

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Thomas Aquinas was so absorbed in solving a philosophical problem while dining with Louis IX around 1269 that he believed himself to be in his own office; when the solution came to him, he slapped the table and called to his secretary—who was not present—to get ready to write. The king, “amazed and edified that a man’s mind could be so enraptured by the spirit that none of the body’s senses could disturb it,” summoned a scribe to record the revelation.

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c. 1270 | Paris


Thomas Aquinas treatise on happiness.More

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