Thomas Tuscus

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Thomas Tuscus or Thomas of Pavia [1] (c. 1212 – c. 1282) [2] was a Franciscan friar and historian. Between 1279 and 1285 he wrote the Gesta imperatorum et pontificum ("Deeds of the Emperors and Popes"), a history of the Holy Roman Empire from the reign of Augustus down to 1279. [3] [4]

Holy Roman Empire varying complex of lands that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe

The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Augustus First emperor of the Roman Empire

Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader who was the first Emperor of the Roman Empire, controlling Imperial Rome from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history. The reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was largely free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession.

In his work, Thomas claims to have travelled widely in Europe. In 1245, he was in the company of Saint Bonaventure at the Council of Lyon. [3]

Bonaventure 13th-century philosopher, Franciscan, theologian, and saint

Saint Bonaventure, born Giovanni di Fidanza, was an Italian medieval Franciscan, scholastic theologian and philosopher. The seventh Minister General of the Order of Friars Minor, he was also Cardinal Bishop of Albano. He was canonised on 14 April 1482 by Pope Sixtus IV and declared a Doctor of the Church in the year 1588 by Pope Sixtus V. He is known as the "Seraphic Doctor". Many writings believed in the Middle Ages to be his are now collected under the name Pseudo-Bonaventure.

First Council of Lyon synod

The First Council of Lyon was the thirteenth ecumenical council, as numbered by the Catholic Church, taking place in 1245.

Thomas's main sources are Martin of Opava and Vincent of Beauvais, but he added much original material, most of it legendary. His account of the reign of Frederick Barbarossa is littered with popular anecdotes. In general, he expresses Guelph sympathies: hostility to the Staufer and partisanship for the Angevins. [3]

Martin of Opava Czech medieval chronicler

Martin of Opava, O.P. also known as Martin of Poland, was a 13th-century Dominican friar, bishop and chronicler.

Vincent of Beauvais French encyclopedist

Vincent of Beauvais was a Dominican friar at the Cistercian monastery of Royaumont Abbey, France. He is known mostly for his "Great Mirror", a major work of compilation that was widely read in the Middle Ages. Often retroactively described as an encyclopedia or as a florilegium, his text exists as a core example of brief compendiums produced in medieval Europe.

The Guelphs and Ghibellines were factions supporting the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, respectively, in the Italian city-states of central and northern Italy. During the 12th and 13th centuries, rivalry between these two parties formed a particularly important aspect of the internal politics of medieval Italy. The struggle for power between the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire had arisen with the Investiture Controversy, which began in 1075 and ended with the Concordat of Worms in 1122. The division between the Guelphs and Ghibellines in Italy, fuelled by the imperial Great Interregnum, persisted until the 15th century.


<i>Monumenta Germaniae Historica</i> comprehensive series of carefully edited and published primary sources of german history and the scientific institute, that works in this field

The Monumenta Germaniae Historica is a comprehensive series of carefully edited and published primary sources, both chronicle and archival, for the study of Northwestern and Central European history from the end of the Roman Empire to 1500. Despite the name, the series covers important sources for the history of many countries besides Germany, since the Society for the Publication of Sources on Germanic Affairs of the Middle Ages has included documents from many other areas subjected to the influence of Germanic tribes or rulers. The editor from 1826 until 1874 was Georg Heinrich Pertz (1795–1876); in 1875 he was succeeded by Georg Waitz (1813-1886).

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  1. Latin: Thomas de Papia
  2. Pierre Péano, "Thomas de Pavie", Dictionnaire de spiritualité ascetique e mystique XV (Paris: Beauchenes, 1991), col. 867–68.
  3. 1 2 3 Auguste Molinier, "2769. Thomas Tuscus", Collections numériques de la Sorbonne3 (1903): 166–67.
  4. Regis J. Armstrong, J. A. Wayne Hellmann, and William J. Short (eds.), Francis of Assisi – The Prophet, Vol. 3: Early Documents (New York: New City Press, 2001), pp. 791ff.