Albertus Magnus

Lauingen 1200 - Köln 1280

Albertus Magnus (also called Albert the Great) was born around 1200 in Lauingen. The philosopher, scientist, theologian and dominican was called "Magnus" because of his outstanding general education. His aim was to collect the entire knowledge of his era in a voluminous and comprehensive work. Albertus Magnus wrote more than 70 papers and books. Today, his ideas would fill more than 22.500 printed pages. The Albertus-Magnus-Institute, founded in 1931, has been working on a critical complete edition of his lifework and on the exploration of his ideas since then.
Albertus Magnus is regarded as the first great Aristotelian of medieval times. From 1223 he studied free arts in Padua. It is not quite certain wether or not he also pursued medical studies there. In the same year, he came across Aristoteles' writings for the very first time and was immediately mesmerized. In 1223 Albertus Magnus joined the dominican fraternity. He completed his novitiate in Cologne.
In 1243 Albertus Magnus went to university in Paris. There, he obtained his Masters' degree in theology. He intensely looked into the doctrine of Aristoteles and dealt with Jewisch-Arabic philosophy. Albertus Magnus was appointed bishop of Regensburg in January 1260 through pope Alexander IV. and therefore had the status of a souvereign. As this was not compatible with his mendicant principles, he first hesitated to accept this office. In July 1260 Albertus Magnus finally followed the calling, was mitred and participated in the synod of the Bavarian church.
Albertus Magnus died in 1280 in Cologne. He was beatified in 1622. Finally, in 1931, he was canonized and appointed doctor of the catholic church.

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Gunter Sachs
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