HIBERNICUS' ANTHOLOGY OF BEST EXTRACTS OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHERS AND THEOLOGIANS
Hibernicus, Thomas (editor). Flores omnium pene doctorum, qui tum in theologia, tum in philosophia hactenus claruerunt, per Thomam Hibernicum olim summa cum diligentia collecti, ac ordine alphabetico in unum congesti, nunc uero maiori quam antehac religione ac fide locupletissimi & castigatissimi facti. Autores, ex quibus depromptae gnomologiae in ipsa operis fronte praefixi sunt. Venice: Ioan. Mariam Lenum, 1576 [at colophon:] Venetiis: apud Ioan. Mariam Lenum, 1575.
8vo, contemporary limp vellum, ff. , 399, .
Uncommon edition of this precious anthology compiled by the Irish medieval theologian.
This florilegium is as a large Â«collection of some 6,000 extracts from patristic and a few classical authorsÂ» (Rouse). The Manipulus florum (Â«A Handful of FlowersÂ») survives in one hundred and ninety manuscripts, and was first printed in 1483. It was a great bestseller, reprinted twenty-six times in the 16th century (only twice in Italy, in 1550 and in 1576), eleven times in the 17th. Despite it, all editions are quite scarce to find on the market.
Thomas of Ireland (fl. 1295-1338), also known as Thomas Hibernicus was an Irish theologian, a Fellow of the College of Sorbonne (Paris) and a Master of Arts by 1295, and referred to as a former fellow in the first manuscripts of his Manipulus in 1306. He is believed to have died before 1338. Thomas compiled this collection from books in the library of the Sorbonne, and at his death he bequeathed his books and sixteen pounds Parisian to the college. Although Thomas was apparently a member of the secular clergy, his anthology was highly successful because it was Â«well suited to the needs of the new mendicant preaching orders [to] locate quotations relevant to any subject they might wish to touch on in their sermons» (Rouse). Indeed, Boyer has demonstrated that very soon after the Manipulus was completed a French Dominican used it to compose a series of surviving sermons. However, Nighman has argued that, although it was surely used by preachers, Thomas did not actually intend his anthology as a reference tool for sermon composition, as argued by the Rouses, but rather as a learning aid for university students, especially those intending on a clerical career involving pastoral care. Thomas was also among the earliest pioneers of medieval information technology that included alphabetical subject indices and cross-references: Â«In his selection, and in the various indexing techniques he invented or improved on, he revealed true originality and inventivenessÂ» (Rouse). Those finding tools are preserved, and electronically enhanced, in Nighman's online critical edition of the Manipulus florum.
References: Not in Adams, who quotes the Antwerp edition of the same year (T-640). CNCE, 37921. OCLC, 39394530.