John Duns Scotus

Duns Scotus, John, was born about 1274,[339] if in Ireland, as is probable, either at Downpatrick or Taghmon. He was educated at Oxford, where he became a Fellow, and in 1301 was appointed to the chair of divinity, drawing “upwards of 30,000 students to his lectures.”

In 1304 he removed to Paris, where he held a celebrated disputation on the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, in which he answered 200 objections, and “established the doctrine by a cloud of arguments.”

In Paris he was created Doctor of Divinity, and the divinity schools were committed to his care.

Afterwards he removed to Cologne, being escorted into the city in a triumphal car by “nearly all the citizens.”

His career was cut short by an attack of apoplexy, on 8th November 1308 (aged about 34).

His collected works were edited at Lyons in 1639 in 12 vols. folio, by Luke Wadding, his biographer.

Duns Scotus was esteemed the chief ornament of the Franciscan order.

His writings are principally commentaries on the Scriptures and on Aristotle, with some treatises on grammar, and sermons.

He was the head of the Scotists in opposition to the Thomists, or followers of Thomas Aquinas.


196. Irishmen, Lives of Illustrious and Distinguished, Rev. James Wills, D.D. 6 vols. or 12 parts. Dublin, 1840–’7.

339. Ware, Sir James, Works: Walter Harris. 2 vols. Dublin, 1764.