Monday, June 13, 2011

The Franciscan Convent at Avignon

About three years ago there was a conference at Notre Dame on the subject of the studia of the religious orders and the papal court of Avignon (the proceedings may be out soon, I hear). There were some talks about the papal court and the Dominican studium at Avignon, but nothing about the Franciscan house. I haven't looked much into this yet (and I would prefer if someone else did the looking; I have enough projects at the moment), but perhaps this was because there was no studium proper, just a convent where friars passing through town and visiting the papal court happened to stay. But surely there was a library? My pet theory is that the pseudo-Franciscus de Mayronis Formalitates treatise was composed at Avignon, for, if there was a library, it would make sense if it contained the works of both Francis of Meyronnes and Petrus Thomae.

From a brief run through the Noone-Gracia companion to Medieval philosophy I have compiled the following list of friars who might have stayed at the house (except of course Petrus Thomae, who was not included in said companion).

1322-1346: John of Reading
1323-1328: Francis of Meyronnes (probably in and out various times)
1324-1328: Francis of Marchia
? - 1328: William of Ockham
1330?-1333: William of Alnwick
1332?-1339: Petrus Thomae (carted off to jail in 1339, died 1340)
1333-1343: Walter Chatton

With the exception of Ockham, I think all of these Franciscans had finished their major works by the time they would have been in Avignon. So there would have been a collection of major thinkers (well, for the early fourteenth century), in their prime, sitting around the house waiting for their day in court or whatever. I wonder what the dinner conversation was.

No comments: