Johannes Scottus Eriugena [John Scotus Erigena; John the Scot]
- Lawrence Gushee
- , revised by Bradley Jon Tucker
[John Scotus Erigena; John the Scot]
(b Ireland, c810; d ?England, c877). Theologian, philosopher and translator. He arrived in Gaul in about 845 and taught grammar and dialectic at the palace school of Charles the Bald, of which he is also thought to have been the head for a time. The story told by William of Malmesbury that he died in England, stabbed to death by the pens of his pupils, is considered legend. His early theological writings rendered him open to attack in the late 850s. Between about 860 and 865 he translated a number of works from Greek at the behest of Emperor Charles. His masterpiece, the De divisione naturae (also called Periphiseon) was completed, it is thought, between 860 and 867. It presents a transcendental philosophy that in the opinion of modern scholarship is unequalled in its time for profundity and originality. Whether it was influential in subsequent centuries is unclear, although it was condemned as heretical by Pope Honorius III in ...