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Personal Life. Born 1226, died 1274 Father was Count of Aquino & mother was Countess of Teano Family ties with Henry VI, Frederick II and kings of Aragon, Castile and France. Seen very early on he was meditative and devoted to prayer.

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Personal life
Personal Life

  • Born 1226, died 1274

  • Father was Count of Aquino & mother was Countess of Teano

  • Family ties with Henry VI, Frederick II and kings of Aragon, Castile and France.

  • Seen very early on he was meditative and devoted to prayer.

  • 1245, humility caused others in scholl to think he was dumb and dull. After defence of difficult thesis Albertus Magnus commented “ we call this man a dumb ox, but his bellowing in doctrine will one day resound throughout the world”

Personal life cont d
Personal Life Cont’d

  • 1256- was appointed by the U of Paris to one of the chairs of theology reserved for the Dominicans


  • At the age of 5 he surprised his preceptor by always asking “what is God?”

  • 1245-1246 he commented of the 4 books of the sentences of Peter Lombard and composed a short treatise on being and essence

  • Also did his unfinished commentary on treatise of Boethius, on the Trinity. Became locus classicus for his teaching on classification, interrelation and methodology of the sciences of his time.

  • In 1259 he returned to Italy for 9 years. In this time he wrote his “philosophical” summa, the Summa Against the Gentiles


  • God’s effects are singular things, subsistent beings, technically known as supposita or “subjects”

  • Believed law mirrored a natural world order known to man by his own process of reasoning by Christian prophets and their divine revelation.

  • In his Summa Theologica he states “every human law has just so much of the character of law as it is derived from the law of nature. But if in any point it differs from the law of nature it is no longer a law but a corruption of law

Philosophy cont d
Philosophy cont’d

  • Strongly against spreading of Islam and Greek philosophy

  • Can be seen in Summa Theologica that Plato and Aristotle both strongly influenced his work

  • He stated “eternal law is the eternal government of the universe according to the divine will of God and natural law is the imprinting of eternal law on humans.

  • Viewed the purpose of human laws as training for humans to become virtuous.

Philosophy cont d1
Philosophy cont’d

  • Can natural law be altered? Aquinas answered this by saying if the change is adding something which would benefit humans then the change should be made, but if the change is taking something away, then the first principles should not be altered

The middle ages

The Middle Ages…

Well, the High Middle Ages…

The basics
The Basics…

  • We just learned that St. Thomas Aquinas Lived during the 1200’s.

  • Since the High Middle Ages consisted of the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, then that would Mean Aquinas lived during the High Middle Ages.

More basics
More basics?

  • The High Middle Ages were known for many different forms of intellectual works.

  • Even more, it is known for it’s spiritual works.

  • One of the major works was “Summa Theologica” by St. Thomas himself.

Summa theological
Summa Theological

  • It was intended as a manual for beginners as a compilation of all of the main theological teachings of that time. It is not designed or ordered as an apologetic work, to convince non-Catholics, but it does contain a summary of the reasoning’s for almost all points of the Catholic faith. (

The government
The Government

  • During these times, they had what is called a Feudal Government.

    * The country was divided into feudal states.

    *Lords ruled their state as if they were King.

    * The King ruled only his royal land.

The changes
The Changes…

  • For the first time since the Roman Empire, Merchants would travel to other countries to trade.

  • Europe’s population was increasing drastically.

  • Many domestic workers made their way into trades and crafts, also into farming.

  • Economic recovery.

The end
The End…

Or is it?

It is.




  • Electric library

  • “understanding the law” textbook