Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Philosophy, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28, Psalms 98:1-6, Mark 3:22-30, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica Summary, Toulouse France, Catholic Catechism Chapter 3:2-I Lord, Look Upon the Faith of Your Church

Monday, January 28, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Philosophy, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28, Psalms 98:1-6, Mark 3:22-30, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica Summary, Toulouse France, Catholic Catechism Chapter 3:2-I  Lord, Look Upon the Faith of Your Church 

Good Day Bloggers!  Happy Mardi Gras!
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


January 25, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. May your prayer be as strong as a living stone, until with your lives you become witnesses. Witness the beauty of your faith. I am with you and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
January 02, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
 "Dear children, with much love and patience I strive to make your hearts like unto mine. I strive, by my example, to teach you humility, wisdom and love because I need you; I cannot do without you my children. According to God's will I am choosing you, by His strength I am strengthening you. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. I will give them to my Son and in return, He will give you the gift of Divine peace. You will carry it to all those whom you meet, you will witness God's love with your life and you will give the gift of my Son through yourselves. Through reconciliation, fasting and prayer, I will lead you. Immeasurable is my love. Do not be afraid. My children, pray for the shepherds. May your lips be shut to every judgment, because do not forget that my Son has chosen them and only He has the right to judge. Thank you."


Today's Word:  philosophy   phi·los·o·phy  [fi-los-uh-fee]

Origin: 1250–1300; Middle English philosophie  < Latin philosophia  < Greek philosophía.  See philo-, -sophy

noun, plural phi·los·o·phies.
1. the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.
2. any of the three branches, namely natural philosophy, moral philosophy, and metaphysical philosophy, that are accepted as composing this study.
3. a particular system of thought based on such study or investigation: the philosophy of Spinoza.
4. the critical study of the basic principles and concepts of a particular branch of knowledge, especially with a view to improving or reconstituting them: the philosophy of science.
5. a system of principles for guidance in practical affairs.
6. an attitude of rationality, patience, composure, and calm in the presence of troubles or annoyances.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 98:1-6

1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.
2 Yahweh has made known his saving power, revealed his saving justice for the nations to see,
3 mindful of his faithful love and his constancy to the House of Israel. The whole wide world has seen the saving power of our God.
4 Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth, burst into shouts of joy!
5 Play to Yahweh on the harp, to the sound of instruments;
6 to the sound of trumpet and horn, acclaim the presence of the King.


Today's Epistle -  Hebrews 9:15, 24-28

15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so that, now that a death has occurred to redeem the sins committed under an earlier covenant, those who have been called to an eternal inheritance may receive the promise.
24 It is not as though Christ had entered a man-made sanctuary which was merely a model of the real one; he entered heaven itself, so that he now appears in the presence of God on our behalf.
25 And he does not have to offer himself again and again, as the high priest goes into the sanctuary year after year with the blood that is not his own,
26 or else he would have had to suffer over and over again since the world began. As it is, he has made his appearance once and for all, at the end of the last age, to do away with sin by sacrificing himself.
27 Since human beings die only once, after which comes judgement,
28 so Christ too, having offered himself only once to bear the sin of many, will manifest himself a second time, sin being no more, to those who are waiting for him, to bring them salvation.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Mark 3:22-30

The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were saying, 'Beelzebul is in him,' and, 'It is through the prince of devils that he drives devils out.' So he called them to him and spoke to them in parables, 'How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot last. And if a household is divided against itself, that household can never last. Now if Satan has rebelled against himself and is divided, he cannot last either -- it is the end of him. But no one can make his way into a strong man's house and plunder his property unless he has first tied up the strong man. Only then can he plunder his house. 'In truth I tell you, all human sins will be forgiven, and all the blasphemies ever uttered; but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin.' This was because they were saying, 'There is an unclean spirit in him.'

• The conflict grows. In the Gospel of Mark there is a progressive sequence. In the measure in which the Good News advances and people accept it, in the same measure grows also the resistance on the part of the religious authority. The conflict began to grow and to influence all the groups of persons. For example, the relatives of Jesus thought that he was out of his mind. (Mk 3, 20-21), and the Scribes who had come from Jerusalem thought that he was possessed, that Beelzebul was in him (Mk 3, 22).

• The conflict with the authority. The Scribes slandered against him. They said that Beelzebul was in him and that it was through the prince of devils that he drove out the devils. They had come from Jerusalem, about 120 kilometres distance, to keep an eye on or watch Jesus’ behaviour. They wanted to defend tradition against the novelty that Jesus taught to the people (Mk 7, 1). They thought that his teaching was against the good doctrine. The response given by Jesus had three parts.

- First Part: The comparison with a divided family. Jesus uses the comparison of the divided family and of the divided kingdom to denounce the absurdity of the slander. To say that Jesus casts out or drives out the devils with the help of the prince of the devils is to deny the evidence, what is evident. It is like saying that water is dry, and that the sun is darkness. The doctors of Jerusalem slandered, because they did not know how to explain the benefits worked by Jesus in behalf of the people. They were afraid to lose their leadership.

- Second Part: The comparison of the strong man. Jesus compares the devil to a strong man. Nobody, unless he is a strong person, will be able to take away the house from a strong man, to rob it. Jesus is the strongest of all. And this is why he succeeds to enter the house and to dominate and overcome the strong man. He succeeds in driving out the devils. Jesus wins over the strong man and robs his house, that is, he liberates the persons who were under the power of the evil one. The Prophet Isaiah had already used the same comparison to describe the coming of the Messiah (Is 49, 24-25). Luke adds that the expulsion of the devil is an evident sign of the coming of the Kingdom (Lk 11, 20).

- Third part: The sin against the Holy Spirit. All sins are forgiven, except the sin against the Holy Spirit. Which is the sin against the Holy Spirit? It is to say: “The spirit which impels Jesus to cast out or drive out the devil, comes precisely from the devil!” The one who speaks in this way is incapable to receive pardon. Why? Can the one who covers his eyes guess? He cannot! The one who closes his mouth, can he eat? He cannot. The one who does not close the umbrella of slander, can he receive the rain of pardon? He cannot! Pardon would pass by his side but would not reach him. It is not that God does not want to forgive. God always wants to forgive. But it is the sinner who refuses to receive pardon!

Personal questions
The religious authorities close themselves up in themselves and deny the evidence. Has this ever happened to me, that I close myself in self before the evidence of facts?
Slander is the arm or weapon of the weak. Have you had experience on this point?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Thomas Aquinas

Feast DayJanuary 28
Patron Saint: Academics; against storms; against lightning; apologists; Aquino, Italy; Belcastro, Italy; book sellers; Catholic academies, schools, and universities; chastity; Falerna, Italy; learning; pencil makers; philosophers; publishers; scholars; students; theologians.

Saint Thomas Aquinas, O.P. (pron.: /əˈkwnəs/ ə-KWY-nəs; 1225 – 7 March 1274), also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the "Dumb Ox", "Angelic Doctor", "Doctor Communis", and "Doctor Universalis". "Aquinas" is the demonym of Aquino: Thomas came from one of the noblest families of the Kingdom of Naples, with the title of "counts of Aquino".

He was the foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of Thomism. His influence on Western thought is considerable, and much of modern philosophy was conceived in development or refutation of his ideas, particularly in the areas of ethics, natural law, metaphysics, and political theory.

Thomas is held in the Roman Catholic Church to be the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology. The study of his works, according to papal and magisterial documents, is a core of the required program of study for those seeking ordination as priests or deacons, as well as for those in religious formation and for other students of the sacred disciplines (Catholic philosophy, theology, history, liturgy, and canon law). The works for which he is best-known are the Summa theologiae and the Summa Contra Gentiles. One of the 35 Doctors of the Church, he is considered the Church's greatest theologian and philosopher. Pope Benedict XV declared: "This (Dominican) Order ... acquired new luster when the Church declared the teaching of Thomas to be her own and that Doctor, honored with the special praises of the Pontiffs, the master and patron of Catholic schools."


Dominican (1225–1244)

Thomas was born in Roccasecca c. January 28, 1225, according to some authors, in the castle of his father, Landulf of Aquino, Roccasecca being in the Contea di Aquino (at that time in the Kingdom of Sicily. In present-day Italy, it is in the Lazio region). Thomas's father didn’t belong to the most powerful branch of the family and simply held the title miles, while Thomas's mother, Dame Theodora, belonged to the Rossi branch of the Neapolitan Caracciolo family. Landulf's brother Sinibald was abbot of the original Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino. While the rest of the family's sons pursued military careers, the family intended for Thomas to follow his uncle into the abbacy; this would have been a normal career path for a younger son of southern Italian nobility.

At the age of five, Thomas began his early education at Monte Cassino but after the military conflict that broke out between the Emperor Frederick II and Pope Gregory IX spilled into the abbey in early 1239, Landulf and Theodora had Thomas enrolled at the studium generale (university) recently established by Frederick in Naples. It was here that Thomas was probably introduced to Aristotle, Averroes and Maimonides, all of whom would influence his theological philosophy. It was also during his study at Naples that Thomas came under the influence of John of St. Julian, a Dominican preacher in Naples, who was part of the active effort by the Dominican order to recruit devout followers. There his teacher in arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music was Petrus de Ibernia.

The Castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano
At age nineteen, Thomas resolved to join the Dominican Order. Thomas's change of heart did not please his family, who had expected him to become a Benedictine monk and perhaps the abbot of the powerful Montecassino Abbey near his family's domains. In an attempt to prevent Theodora's interference in Thomas's choice, the Dominicans arranged for Thomas to be removed to Rome, and from Rome, sent to Paris. However, on his journey to Rome his brothers, per Theodora's instructions, seized him as he was drinking from a spring and took him back to his parents at the castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano.

Thomas was held prisoner for two years in the family castles at Monte San Giovanni and Roccasecca in an attempt to prevent him from assuming the Dominican habit and to push him into renouncing his new aspiration. Political concerns prevented the Pope from ordering Thomas's release, which had the effect of extending Thomas' detention. Thomas passed this time of trial tutoring his sisters and communicating with members of the Dominican Order. Family members became desperate to dissuade Thomas, who remained determined to join the Dominicans. At one point, two of his brothers resorted to the measure of hiring a prostitute to seduce him. According to legend Thomas drove her away wielding a fire iron. That night two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate.

By 1244, seeing that all of her attempts to dissuade Thomas had failed, Theodora sought to save the family's dignity, arranging for Thomas to escape at night through his window. In her mind, a secret escape from detention was less damaging than an open surrender to the Dominicans. Thomas was sent first to Naples and then to Rome to meet Johannes von Wildeshausen, the Master General of the Dominican Order.

Paris, Cologne, Albert Magnus, and first Paris regency (1245–1259)

Diego Velázquez, Aquinas is girded by angels with a mystical belt of purity after his proof of chastity
In 1245, Thomas was sent to study at the University of Paris' Faculty of Arts where he most likely met Dominican scholar Albertus Magnus, then the Chair of Theology at the College of St. James in Paris. When Albertus was sent by his superiors to teach at the new studium generale at Cologne in 1248, Thomas followed him, declining Pope Innocent IV's offer to appoint him abbot of Monte Cassino as a Dominican. Albertus then appointed the reluctant Thomas magister studentium. When Thomas failed his first theological disputation, Albertus prophetically exclaimed: "We call him the dumb ox, but in his teaching he will one day produce such a bellowing that it will be heard throughout the world."

Thomas taught in Cologne as an apprentice professor (baccalaureus biblicus), instructing students on the books of the Old Testament and writing Expositio super Isaiam ad litteram (Literal Commentary on Isaiah), Postilla super Ieremiam (Commentary on Jeremiah) and Postilla super Threnos (Commentary on Lamentations). Then in 1252 he returned to Paris to study for the master's degree in theology. He lectured on the Bible as an apprentice professor, and upon becoming a baccalaureus Sententiarum (bachelor of the Sentences) devoted his final three years of study to commenting on Peter Lombard's Sentences. In the first of his four theological syntheses, Thomas composed a massive commentary on the Sentences entitled Scriptum super libros Sententiarium (Commentary on the Sentences). Aside from his masters writings, he wrote De ente et essentia (On Being and Essence) for his fellow Dominicans in Paris.

In the spring of 1256, Thomas was appointed regent master in theology at Paris and one of his first works upon assuming this office was Contra impugnantes Dei cultum et religionem (Against Those Who Assail the Worship of God and Religion), defending the mendicant orders which had come under attack by William of Saint-Amour. During his tenure from 1256 to 1259, Thomas wrote numerous works, including: Questiones disputatae de veritate (Disputed Questions on Truth), a collection of twenty-nine disputed questions on aspects of faith and the human condition prepared for the public university debates he presided over on Lent and Advent; Quaestiones quodlibetales (Quodlibetal Questions), a collection of his responses to questions posed to him by the academic audience; and both Expositio super librum Boethii De trinitate (Commentary on Boethius's De trinitate) and Expositio super librum Boethii De hebdomadibus (Commentary on Boethius's De hebdomadibus), commentaries on the works of 6th century philosopher Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius. By the end of his regency, Thomas was working on one of his most famous works, Summa contra Gentiles.

Naples, Orvieto, Rome (1259–1268)

In 1259 Thomas completed his first regency at the studium generale and left Paris so that others in his order could gain this teaching experience. He returned to Naples where he was appointed as general preacher by the provincial chapter of September 29, 1260. In September 1261 he was called to Orvieto as conventual lector responsible for the pastoral formation of the friars unable to attend a studium generale. In Orvieto Thomas completed his Summa contra Gentiles, wrote the Catena aurea, (The Golden Chain), and produced works for Pope Urban IV such as the liturgy for the newly created feast of Corpus Christi and the Contra errores graecorum (Against the Errors of the Greeks).

In February 1265 the newly elected Pope Clement IV summoned Aquinas to Rome to serve as papal theologian. This same year he was ordered by the Dominican Chapter of Agnani to teach at the studium conventuale at the Roman convent of Santa Sabina which had been founded some years before in 1222. The studium at Santa Sabina now became an experiment for the Dominicans, the Order's first studium provinciale, an intermediate school between the studium conventuale and the studium generale. "Prior to this time the Roman Province had offered no specialized education of any sort, no arts, no philosophy; only simple convent schools, with their basic courses in theology for resident friars, were functioning in Tuscany and the meridionale during the first several decades of the order's life. But the new studium at Santa Sabina was to be a school for the province," a studium provinciale. Tolomeo da Lucca, an associate and early biographer of Aquinas, tells us that at the Santa Sabina studium Aquinas taught the full range of philosophical subjects, both moral and natural.

While at the Santa Sabina studium provinciale Thomas began his most famous work the Summa theologiae, which he conceived of specifically as suited to beginning students: "Because a doctor of catholic truth ought not only to teach the proficient, but to him pertains also to instruct beginners. as the Apostle says in 1 Corinthians 3: 1-2, as to infants in Christ, I gave you milk to drink, not meat, our proposed intention in this work is to convey those things that pertain to the Christian religion, in a way that is fitting to the instruction of beginners."[36] While there he also wrote a variety of other works like his unfinished Compendium Theologiae and Responsio ad fr. Ioannem Vercellensem de articulis 108 sumptis ex opere Petri de Tarentasia (Reply to Brother John of Vercelli Regarding 108 Articles Drawn from the Work of Peter of Tarentaise). In his position as head of the studium Aquinas conducted a series of important disputations on the power of God, which he compiled into his De potentia. Nicholas Brunacci [1240-1322] was among Aquinas' students at the Santa Sabina studium provinciale and later at the Paris studium generale. In November 1268 he was with Aquinas and his associate and secretary Reginald of Piperno, as they left Viterbo on their way to Paris to begin the academic year. Another student of Aquinas' at the Santa Sabina studium provinciale was Blessed Tommasello da Perugia.

Aquinas remained at the studium at Santa Sabina from 1265 until he was called back to Paris in 1268 for a second teaching regency. With his departure for Paris in 1268 and the passage of time the pedagogical activities of the studium provinciale at Santa Sabina were divided between two campuses. A new convent of the Order at the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva had a modest beginning in 1255 as a community for women converts, but grew rapidly in size and importance after being given over to the Dominicans friars in 1275. In 1288 the theology component of the provincial curriculum for the education of the friars was relocated from the Santa Sabina studium provinciale to the studium conventuale at Santa Maria sopra Minerva which was redesignated as a studium particularis theologiae.This studium was transformed in the 16th century into the College of Saint Thomas (Latin: Collegium Divi Thomæ). In the 20th century the college was relocated to the convent of Saints Dominic and Sixtus and was transformed into the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.

The quarrelsome second Paris regency (1269–1272)

In 1268 the Dominican Order assigned Thomas to be regent master at the University of Paris for a second time, a position he held until the spring of 1272. Part of the reason for this sudden reassignment appears to have arisen from the rise of "Averroism" or "radical Aristotelianism" in the universities. In response to these perceived evils, Thomas wrote two works, one of them being De unitate intellectus, contra Averroistas (On the Unity of Intellect, against the Averroists) in which he blasts Averroism as incompatible with Christian doctrine. During his second regency, he finished the second part of the Summa and wrote De virtutibus and De aeternitate mundi, the latter of which dealt with controversial Averroist and Aristotelian beginninglessness of the world.  Disputes with some important Franciscans such as Bonaventure and John Peckham conspired to make his second regency much more difficult and troubled than the first. A year before Thomas re-assumed the regency at the 1266–67 Paris disputations, Franciscan master William of Baglione accused Thomas of encouraging Averroists, calling him the "blind leader of the blind". Thomas called these individuals the murmurantes (Grumblers). In reality, Thomas was deeply disturbed by the spread of Averroism and was angered when he discovered Siger of Brabant teaching Averroistic interpretations of Aristotle to Parisian students. On 10 December 1270, the bishop of Paris, Etienne Tempier, issued an edict condemning thirteen Aristotlelian and Averroistic propositions as heretical and excommunicating anyone who continued to support them. Many in the ecclesiastical community, the so-called Augustinians, were fearful that this introduction of Aristotelianism and the more extreme Averroism might somehow contaminate the purity of the Christian faith. In what appears to be an attempt to counteract the growing fear of Aristotelian thought, Thomas conducted a series of disputations between 1270 and 1272: De virtutibus in communi (On Virtues in General), De virtutibus cardinalibus (On Cardinal Virtues), De spe (On Hope).

Final days and “Straw” (1272–1274)

In 1272 Thomas took leave from the University of Paris when the Dominicans from his home province called upon him to establish a studium generale wherever he liked and staff it as he pleased. He chose to establish the institution in Naples, and moved there to take his post as regent master.[37] He took his time at Naples to work on the third part of the Summa while giving lectures on various religious topics. On 6 December 1273 at the Dominican convent of Naples in the Chapel of Saint Nicholas after Matins Thomas lingered and was seen by the sacristan Domenic of Caserta to be levitating in prayer with tears before an icon of the crucified Christ. Christ said to Thomas, "You have written well of me, Thomas. What reward would you have for your labor?" Thomas responded, "Nothing but you Lord." After this exchange something happened, but Thomas never spoke of it or wrote it down. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: “Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me” (mihi videtur ut palea).[50] What exactly triggered Thomas's change in behavior is believed by Catholics to have been some kind of supernatural experience of God. After taking to his bed, he did recover some strength.

In 1054, a long-lasting schism had occurred between the Catholic Church and the churches in communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople, later known as the Eastern Orthodox. Looking to find a way to reunite the Eastern Orthodox churches with the Catholic Church Pope Gregory X convened the Second Council of Lyon to be held on 1 May 1274 and summoned Thomas to attend. At the meeting, Thomas's work for Pope Urban IV concerning the Greeks, Contra errores graecorum, was to be presented. On his way to the Council, riding on a donkey along the Appian Way, he struck his head on the branch of a fallen tree and became seriously ill again. He was then quickly escorted to Monte Cassino to convalesce. After resting for a while, he set out again, but stopped at the Cistercian Fossanova Abbey after again falling ill. The monks nursed him for several days, and as he received his last rites he prayed: "I receive Thee, ransom of my soul. For love of Thee have I studied and kept vigil, toiled, preached and taught...." He died on 7 March 1274 while giving commentary on the Song of Songs.

Condemnation of 1277

In 1277 Etienne Tempier, the same bishop of Paris who had issued the condemnation of 1270, issued another more extensive condemnation. One aim of this condemnation was to clarify that God's absolute power transcended any principles of logic that Aristotle or Averroes might place on it. More specifically, it contained a list of 219 propositions that the bishop had determined to violate the omnipotence of God, and included in this list were twenty Thomistic propositions. Their inclusion badly damaged Thomas's reputation for many years.

In The Divine Comedy, Dante sees the glorified soul of Thomas in the Heaven of the Sun with the other great exemplars of religious wisdom. Dante asserts that Thomas died by poisoning, on the order of Charles of Anjou;[61] Villani (ix. 218) cites this belief, and the Anonimo Fiorentino describes the crime and its motive. But the historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori reproduces the account made by one of Thomas's friends, and this version of the story gives no hint of foul play.

Thomas's theology had begun its rise to prestige. Two centuries later, in 1567, Pope Pius V proclaimed St. Thomas Aquinas a Doctor of the Church and ranked his feast with those of the four great Latin fathers: Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Jerome, and Gregory. However, in the same period the Council of Trent still turned to Duns Scotus before Thomas as a source of arguments in defence of the Church. Even though Duns Scotus was more consulted at the Council of Trent, Thomas had the honor of having his Summa theologiae placed on the altar alongside the Bible and the Decretals.

In his encyclical of 4 August 1879, Pope Leo XIII stated that Thomas's theology was a definitive exposition of Catholic doctrine. Thus, he directed the clergy to take the teachings of Thomas as the basis of their theological positions. Leo XIII also decreed that all Catholic seminaries and universities must teach Thomas's doctrines, and where Thomas did not speak on a topic, the teachers were "urged to teach conclusions that were reconcilable with his thinking." In 1880, Saint Thomas Aquinas was declared patron of all Catholic educational establishments.


When the devil's advocate at his canonization process objected that there were no miracles, one of the cardinals answered, "Tot miraculis, quot articulis"—"there are as many miracles (in his life) as articles (in his Summa)," viz., thousands. Fifty years after the death of Thomas, on 18 July 1323, Pope John XXII, seated in Avignon, pronounced Thomas a saint.

In a monastery at Naples, near the cathedral of St. Januarius, a cell in which he supposedly lived is still shown to visitors. His remains were placed in the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse in 1369. Between 1789 and 1974, they were held in Basilique de Saint-Sernin, Toulouse. In 1974, they were returned to the Church of the Jacobins, where they have remained ever since.

In the General Roman Calendar of 1962, in the Roman Catholic Church, Thomas was commemorated on 7 March, the day of death. However, in the General Roman Calendar of 1969, Thomas's memorial was transferred to 28 January, the date of the translation of his relics to Toulouse.

Saint Thomas Aquinas is honored with a feast day in the liturgical year of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America on 28 January.


Thomas was a theologian and a Scholastic philosopher. However, he never considered himself a philosopher, and criticized philosophers, whom he saw as pagans, for always "falling short of the true and proper wisdom to be found in Christian revelation." With this in mind, Thomas did have respect for Aristotle, so much so that in the Summa, he often cites Aristotle simply as "the Philosopher." Much of his work bears upon philosophical topics, and in this sense may be characterized as philosophical. Thomas's philosophical thought has exerted enormous influence on subsequent Christian theology, especially that of the Roman Catholic Church, extending to Western philosophy in general. Thomas stands as a vehicle and modifier of Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism.

Commentaries on Aristotle

Thomas wrote several important commentaries on Aristotle's works, including On the Soul, Nicomachean Ethics and Metaphysics. His work is associated with William of Moerbeke's translations of Aristotle from Greek into Latin.


Thomas believed "that for the knowledge of any truth whatsoever man needs divine help, that the intellect may be moved by God to its act." However, he believed that human beings have the natural capacity to know many things without special divine revelation, even though such revelation occurs from time to time, "especially in regard to such (truths) as pertain to faith." But this is the light that is given to man by God according to man's nature: "Now every form bestowed on created things by God has power for a determined act[uality], which it can bring about in proportion to its own proper endowment; and beyond which it is powerless, except by a superadded form, as water can only heat when heated by the fire. And thus the human understanding has a form, viz. intelligible light, which of itself is sufficient for knowing certain intelligible things, viz. those we can come to know through the senses. "


Thomas's ethics are based on the concept of "first principles of action." In his Summa theologiae, he wrote:
Virtue denotes a certain perfection of a power. Now a thing's perfection is considered chiefly in regard to its end. But the end of power is act. Wherefore power is said to be perfect, according as it is determinate to its act.
Thomas defined the four cardinal virtues as prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude. The cardinal virtues are natural and revealed in nature, and they are binding on everyone. There are, however, three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. These are somewhat supernatural and are distinct from other virtues in their object, namely, God:
Now the object of the theological virtues is God Himself, Who is the last end of all, as surpassing the knowledge of our reason. On the other hand, the object of the intellectual and moral virtues is something comprehensible to human reason. Wherefore the theological virtues are specifically distinct from the moral and intellectual virtues.
Furthermore, Thomas distinguished four kinds of law: eternal, natural, human, and divine. Eternal law is the decree of God that governs all creation. Natural law is the human "participation" in the eternal law and is discovered by reason. Natural law, of course, is based on "first principles":
. . . this is the first precept of the law, that good is to be done and promoted, and evil is to be avoided. All other precepts of the natural law are based on this . . .
The desires to live and to procreate are counted by Thomas among those basic (natural) human values on which all human values are based. According to Thomas, all human tendencies are geared towards real human goods. In this case, the human nature in question is marriage, the total gift of oneself to another that ensures a family for children and a future for mankind. To clarify for Christian believers, Thomas defined love as "to will the good of another."

Human law is positive law: the natural law applied by governments to societies. Divine law is the specially revealed law in the scriptures.

Thomas also greatly influenced Catholic understandings of mortal and venial sins.

Thomas denied that human beings have any duty of charity to animals because they are not persons. Otherwise, it would be unlawful to use them for food. But this does not give humans the license to be cruel to them, for "cruel habits might carry over into our treatment of human beings."

Thomas contributed to economic thought as an aspect of ethics and justice. He dealt with the concept of a just price, normally its market price or a regulated price sufficient to cover seller costs of production. He argued it was immoral for sellers to raise their prices simply because buyers were in pressing need for a product.


The pioneer of neurodynamics, cognitive neuroscientist Walter Freeman, considers the work of Thomas important in remodeling intentionality, the directedness of the mind toward what it is aware of.


Aquinas maintains that a human is a single material substance. He understands the soul as the form of the body, which makes a human being the composite of the two. Thus, only living, form-matter composites can truly be called human; dead bodies are “human” only analogously. One actually existing substance comes from body and soul. A human is a single material substance, but still should be understood as having an immaterial soul, which continues after bodily death.

Ultimately, humans are animals; the animal genus is body; body is material substance. When embodied, a human person is an “individual substance in the category rational animal.” The body belongs to the essence of a human being. In his Summa theologiae Aquinas clearly states his position on the nature of the soul; defining it as “the first principle of life.” The soul is not corporeal, or a body; it is the act of a body. Because the intellect is incorporeal, it does not use the bodily organs, as “the operation of anything follows the mode of its being.”

The human soul is perfected in the body, but does not depend on the body, because part of its nature is spiritual. In this way, the soul differs from other forms, which are only found in matter, and thus depend on matter. The soul, as form of the body, does not depend on matter in this way.

The soul is not matter, not even incorporeal or spiritual matter. If it were, it would not be able to understand universals, which are immaterial. A receiver receives things according to the receiver’s own nature, so in order for soul (receiver) to understand (receive) universals, it must have the same nature as universals. Yet, any substance that understands universals may not be a matter-form composite. So, humans have rational souls which are abstract forms independent of the body. But a human being is one existing, single material substance which comes from body and soul: that is what Thomas means when he writes that “something one in nature can be formed from an intellectual substance and a body,” and “a thing one in nature does not result from two permanent entities unless one has the character of substantial form and the other of matter.”

The soul is a "substantial form"; it is a part of a substance, but it is not a substance by itself. Nevertheless, the soul exists separately from the body, and continues, after death, in many of the capacities we think of as human. Substantial form is what makes a thing a member of the species to which it belongs, and substantial form is also the structure or configuration that provides the object with the abilities that make the object what it is. For humans, those abilities are those of the rational animal.

These distinctions can be better understood in the light of Aquinas’ understanding of matter and form, a hylomorphic ("matter/form") theory derived from Aristotle. In any given substance, matter and form are necessarily united, and each is a necessary aspect of that substance. However, they are conceptually separable. Matter represents what is changeable about the substance – what is potentially something else. For example, bronze matter is potentially a statue, or also potentially a cymbal. Matter must be understood as the matter of something. In contrast, form is what determines some particular chunk of matter to be a specific substance and no other. When Aquinas says that the human body is only partly composed of matter, he means the material body is only potentially a human being. The soul is what actualizes that potential into an existing human being. Consequently, the fact that a human body is live human tissue entails that a human soul is wholly present in each part of the human.


17th century sculpture of Thomas Aquinas
Thomas viewed theology, or the sacred doctrine, as a science, the raw material data of which consists of written scripture and the tradition of the Catholic Church. These sources of data were produced by the self-revelation of God to individuals and groups of people throughout history. 

Faith and reason, while distinct but related, are the two primary tools for processing the data of theology. Thomas believed both were necessary — or, rather, that the confluence of both was necessary — for one to obtain true knowledge of God. 

Thomas blended Greek philosophy and Christian doctrine by suggesting that rational thinking and the study of nature, like revelation, were valid ways to understand truths pertaining to God. According to Thomas, God reveals himself through nature, so to study nature is to study God. The ultimate goals of theology, in Thomas's mind, are to use reason to grasp the truth about God and to experience salvation through that truth.


Thomas believed that truth is known through reason (natural revelation) and faith (supernatural revelation). Supernatural revelation has its origin in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and is made available through the teaching of the prophets, summed up in Holy Scripture, and transmitted by the Magisterium, the sum of which is called "Tradition". Natural revelation is the truth available to all people through their human nature and powers of reason. For example, he felt this applied to rational ways to know the existence of God.

Though one may deduce the existence of God and his Attributes (Unity, Truth, Goodness, Power, Knowledge) through reason, certain specifics may be known only through the special revelation of God in Jesus Christ. The major theological components of Christianity, such as the Trinity and the Incarnation, are revealed in the teachings of the Church and the Scriptures and may not otherwise be deduced.

Faith and reason complement rather than contradict each other, each giving different views of the same Truth.


As a Catholic, Thomas believed that God is the "maker of heaven and earth, of all that is visible and invisible." Like Aristotle, Thomas posited that life could form from non-living material or plant life, a theory of ongoing abiogenesis known as spontaneous generation:
Since the generation of one thing is the corruption of another, it was not incompatible with the first formation of things, that from the corruption of the less perfect the more perfect should be generated. Hence animals generated from the corruption of inanimate things, or of plants, may have been generated then.
Additionally, Thomas considered Empedocles' theory that various mutated species emerged at the dawn of Creation. Thomas reasoned that these species were generated through mutations in animal sperm, and argued that they were not unintended by nature; rather, such species were simply not intended for perpetual existence. That discussion is found in his commentary on Aristotle's Physics:
The same thing is true of those substances which Empedocles said were produced at the beginning of the world, such as the ‘ox-progeny’, i.e., half ox and half man. For if such things were not able to arrive at some end and final state of nature so that they would be preserved in existence, this was not because nature did not intend this [a final state], but because they were not capable of being preserved. For they were not generated according to nature, but by the corruption of some natural principle, as it now also happens that some monstrous offspring are generated because of the corruption of seed.

Just war

Augustine of Hippo agreed strongly with the conventional wisdom of his time, that Christians should be pacifists philosophically, but that they should use defense as a means of preserving peace in the long run. For example, he routinely argued that pacifism did not prevent the defence of innocents. In essence, the pursuit of peace might require fighting to preserve it in the long-term. Such a war must not be preemptive, but defensive, to restore peace.

Thomas Aquinas, centuries later, used the authority of Augustine's arguments in an attempt to define the conditions under which a war could be just. He laid these out in his historic work, Summa Theologica:
  • First, war must occur for a good and just purpose rather than the pursuit of wealth or power.
  • Second, just war must be waged by a properly instituted authority such as the state.
  • Third, peace must be a central motive even in the midst of violence.

The School of Salamanca

The School of Salamanca expanded Aquinas' understanding of natural law and just war. Given that war is one of the worst evils suffered by mankind, the adherents of the School reasoned that it ought to be resorted to only when it was necessary to prevent an even greater evil. A diplomatic agreement is preferable, even for the more powerful party, before a war is started. Examples of "just war" are:
  • In self-defense, as long as there is a reasonable possibility of success. If failure is a foregone conclusion, then it is just a wasteful spilling of blood.
  • Preventive war against a tyrant who is about to attack.
  • War to punish a guilty enemy.
A war is not legitimate or illegitimate simply based on its original motivation: it must comply with a series of additional requirements:
  • The response must be commensurate to the evil; more violence than is strictly necessary would be unjust.
  • Governing authorities declare war, but their decision is not sufficient cause to begin a war. If the people oppose a war, then it is illegitimate. The people have a right to depose a government that is waging, or is about to wage, an unjust war.
  • Once war has begun, there remain moral limits to action. For example, one may not attack innocents or kill hostages.
  • The belligerents must exhaust all options for dialogue and negotiation before undertaking a war; war is only legitimate as a last resort.
Under this doctrine, expansionist wars, wars of pillage, wars to convert infidels or pagans, and wars for glory are all inherently unjust.

Nature of God

Thomas believed that the existence of God is self-evident in itself, but not to us. "Therefore I say that this proposition, "God exists," of itself is self-evident, for the predicate is the same as the subject.... Now because we do not know the essence of God, the proposition is not self-evident to us; but needs to be demonstrated by things that are more known to us, though less known in their nature — namely, by effects."

Thomas believed that the existence of God can be proven. In the Summa theologiae, he considered in great detail five arguments for the existence of God, widely known as the quinque viae (Five Ways).
  1. Motion: Some things undoubtedly move, though cannot cause their own motion. Since, as Thomas believed, there can be no infinite chain of causes of motion, there must be a First Mover not moved by anything else, and this is what everyone understands by God.
  2. Causation: As in the case of motion, nothing can cause itself, and an infinite chain of causation is impossible, so there must be a First Cause, called God.
  3. Existence of necessary and the unnecessary: Our experience includes things certainly existing but apparently unnecessary. Not everything can be unnecessary, for then once there was nothing and there would still be nothing. Therefore, we are compelled to suppose something that exists necessarily, having this necessity only from itself; in fact itself the cause for other things to exist.
  4. Gradation: If we can notice a gradation in things in the sense that some things are more hot, good, etc., there must be a superlative which is the truest and noblest thing, and so most fully existing. This then, we call God -->note Thomas does not ascribe actual qualities to God Himself!
  5. Ordered tendencies of nature: A direction of actions to an end is noticed in all bodies following natural laws. Anything without awareness tends to a goal under the guidance of one who is aware. This we call God --> Note that even when we guide objects, in Thomas' view the source of all our knowledge comes from God as well.[92]
Concerning the nature of God, Thomas felt the best approach, commonly called the via negativa, is to consider what God is not. This led him to propose five statements about the divine qualities:
  1. God is simple, without composition of parts, such as body and soul, or matter and form.
  2. God is perfect, lacking nothing. That is, God is distinguished from other beings on account of God's complete actuality. Thomas defined God as the ‘Ipse Actus Essendi subsistens,’ subsisting act of being.
  3. God is infinite. That is, God is not finite in the ways that created beings are physically, intellectually, and emotionally limited. This infinity is to be distinguished from infinity of size and infinity of number.
  4. God is immutable, incapable of change on the levels of God's essence and character.
  5. God is one, without diversification within God's self. The unity of God is such that God's essence is the same as God's existence. In Thomas's words, "in itself the proposition 'God exists' is necessarily true, for in it subject and predicate are the same."

In this approach, he is following, among others, the Jewish philosopher Maimonides.

Following St. Augustine of Hippo, Thomas defines sin as "a word, deed, or desire, contrary to the eternal law." It is important to note the analogous nature of law in Thomas's legal philosophy. Natural law is an instance or instantiation of eternal law. Because natural law is that which human beings determine according to their own nature (as rational beings), disobeying reason is disobeying natural law and eternal law. Thus eternal law is logically prior to reception of either "natural law" (that determined by reason) or "divine law" (that found in the Old and New Testaments). In other words, God's will extends to both reason and revelation. Sin is abrogating either one's own reason, on the one hand, or revelation on the other, and is synonymous with "evil" (privation of good, or privatio boni ). Thomas, like all Scholastics, generally argued that the findings of reason and data of revelation cannot conflict, so both are a guide to God's will for human beings.

Nature of the Trinity

Thomas argued that God, while perfectly united, also is perfectly described by Three Interrelated Persons. These three persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) are constituted by their relations within the essence of God. Thomas wrote that the term "Trinity" "does not mean the relations themselves of the Persons, but rather the number of persons related to each other; and hence it is that the word in itself does not express regard to another." The Father generates the Son (or the Word) by the relation of self-awareness. This eternal generation then produces an eternal Spirit "who enjoys the divine nature as the Love of God, the Love of the Father for the Word."

This Trinity exists independently from the world. It transcends the created world, but the Trinity also decided to give grace to human beings. This takes place through the Incarnation of the Word in the person of Jesus Christ and through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within those who have experienced salvation by God; according to Aidan Nichols.

Prima causa – first cause

Thomas's five proofs for the existence of God take some of Aristotle's assertions concerning principles of being. For Thomas, God as prima causa (first cause) comes from Aristotle's concept of the unmoved mover and asserts that God is the ultimate cause of all things.

Nature of Jesus Christ

In the Summa Theologica, Thomas begins his discussion of Jesus Christ by recounting the biblical story of Adam and Eve and by describing the negative effects of original sin. The purpose of Christ's Incarnation was to restore human nature by removing "the contamination of sin", which humans cannot do by themselves. "Divine Wisdom judged it fitting that God should become man, so that thus one and the same person would be able both to restore man and to offer satisfaction." Thomas argued in favor of the satisfaction view of atonement; that is, that Jesus Christ died "to satisfy for the whole human race, which was sentenced to die on account of sin."

Thomas argued against several specific contemporary and historical theologians who held differing views about Christ. In response to Photinus, Thomas stated that Jesus was truly divine and not simply a human being. Against Nestorius, who suggested that Son of God was merely conjoined to the man Christ, Thomas argued that the fullness of God was an integral part of Christ's existence. However, countering Apollinaris' views, Thomas held that Christ had a truly human (rational) soul, as well. This produced a duality of natures in Christ. Thomas argued against Eutyches that this duality persisted after the Incarnation. Thomas stated that these two natures existed simultaneously yet distinguishably in one real human body, unlike the teachings of Manichaeus and Valentinus.

In short, "Christ had a real body of the same nature of ours, a true rational soul, and, together with these, perfect Deity." Thus, there is both unity (in his one hypostasis) and composition (in his two natures, human and Divine) in Christ.
I answer that, The Person or hypostasis of Christ may be viewed in two ways. First as it is in itself, and thus it is altogether simple, even as the Nature of the Word. Secondly, in the aspect of person or hypostasis to which it belongs to subsist in a nature; and thus the Person of Christ subsists in two natures. Hence though there is one subsisting being in Him, yet there are different aspects of subsistence, and hence He is said to be a composite person, insomuch as one being subsists in two.
Echoing Athanasius of Alexandria, he said that "The only begotten Son of God...assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods."

Goal of human life

In Thomas's thought, the goal of human existence is union and eternal fellowship with God. Specifically, this goal is achieved through the beatific vision, an event in which a person experiences perfect, unending happiness by seeing the very essence of God. This vision, which occurs after death, is a gift from God given to those who have experienced salvation and redemption through Christ while living on earth.

This ultimate goal carries implications for one's present life on earth. Thomas stated that an individual's will must be ordered toward right things, such as charity, peace, and holiness. He sees this as the way to happiness. Thomas orders his treatment of the moral life around the idea of happiness. The relationship between will and goal is antecedent in nature "because rectitude of the will consists in being duly ordered to the last end [that is, the beatific vision]." Those who truly seek to understand and see God will necessarily love what God loves. Such love requires morality and bears fruit in everyday human choices.

Treatment of heretics

Thomas Aquinas belonged to the Dominican Order (formally Ordo Praedicatorum, the Order of Preachers) who began as an order dedicated to the conversion of the Albigensians and other heterodox factions, at first by peaceful means; later the Albigensians were dealt with by means of the Albigensian Crusade. In the Summa theologiae, he wrote:
With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death. On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death.(Summa, II–II, Q.11, art.3.)
Heresy was a capital offense against the secular law of most European countries of the 13th century, which had a limited prison capacity. Simple theft, forgery, fraud, and other such crimes were also capital offenses; Thomas' point seems to be that the gravity of this offense, which touches not only the material goods but also the spiritual goods of others, is at least the same as forgery. Thomas's suggestion specifically demands that heretics be handed to a "secular tribunal" rather than magisterial authority. That Thomas specifically says that heretics "deserve... death" is related to his theology, according to which all sinners have no intrinsic right to life ("For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord"). Nevertheless, his point is clear: heretics should be executed by the state. He elaborates on his opinion regarding heresy in the next article, when he says:
In God's tribunal, those who return are always received, because God is a searcher of hearts, and knows those who return in sincerity. But the Church cannot imitate God in this, for she presumes that those who relapse after being once received, are not sincere in their return; hence she does not debar them from the way of salvation, but neither does she protect them from the sentence of death. (Summa, op. cit., art.4.)


The afterlife and resurrection

A grasp of Aquinas's psychology is essential for understanding his beliefs around the afterlife and resurrection. Thomas, following Church doctrine, accepts that the soul continues to exist after the death of the body. Because he accepts that the soul is the form of the body, then he also must believe that the human being, like all material things, is form-matter composite. Substantial form (the human soul) configures prime matter (the physical body) and is the form by which a material composite belongs to that species it does; in the case of human beings, that species is rational animal. So, a human being is a matter-form composite that is organized to be a rational animal. Matter cannot exist without being configured by form, but form can exist without matter—which allows for the separation of soul from body. Aquinas says that the soul shares in the material and spiritual worlds, and so has some features of matter and other, immaterial, features (such as access to universals). The human soul is different from other material and spiritual things; it is created by God, but also only comes into existence in the material body.

Human beings are material, but the human person can survive the death of the body through continued existence of the soul, which persists. The human soul straddles the spiritual and material worlds, and is both a configured subsistent form as well as a configurer of matter into that of a living, bodily human. Because it is spiritual, the human soul does not depend on matter and may exist separately. Because the human being is a soul-matter composite, the body has a part in what it is to be human. Perfected human nature consists in the human dual nature, embodied and intellecting.

Resurrection appears to require dualism, which Thomas rejects. Yet, Aquinas believes the soul persists after the death and corruption of the body, and is capable of existence, separated from the body between the time of death and the resurrection. Aquinas believes in a different sort of dualism, one guided by Christian scripture. Aquinas knows that human beings are essentially physical, but that that physicality has a spirit capable of returning to God after life. For Aquinas, the rewards and punishment of the afterlife are not only spiritual. Because of this, resurrection is an important part of his philosophy on the soul. The human is fulfilled and complete in the body, so the hereafter must take place with souls enmattered in resurrected bodies. In addition to spiritual reward, humans can expect to enjoy material and physical blessings. Because Aquinas’s soul requires a body for its actions, during the afterlife, the soul will also be punished or rewarded in corporeal existence.

Aquinas states clearly his stance on resurrection, and uses it to back up his philosophy of justice; that is, the promise of resurrection compensates Christians who suffered in this world through a heavenly union with the divine. He says, “If there is no resurrection of the dead, it follows that there is no good for human beings other than in this life.” Resurrection provides the impetus for people on earth to give up pleasures in this life. Thomas believes the human who has prepared for the afterlife both morally and intellectually will be rewarded more greatly; however, all reward is through the grace of God. 

Aquinas insists beatitude will be conferred according to merit, and will render the person better able to conceive the divine. Aquinas accordingly believes punishment is directly related to earthly, living preparation and activity as well. Aquinas’s account of the soul focuses on epistemology and metaphysics, and because of this he believes it gives a clear account of the immaterial nature of the soul. Aquinas conservatively guards Christian doctrine, and thus maintains physical and spiritual reward and punishment after death. By accepting the essentiality of both body and soul, he allows for a heaven and hell described in scripture and church dogma.

Modern influence

Many modern ethicists both within and outside the Catholic Church (notably Philippa Foot and Alasdair MacIntyre) have recently commented on the possible use of Thomas's virtue ethics as a way of avoiding utilitarianism or Kantian "sense of duty" (called deontology). Through the work of twentieth century philosophers such as Elizabeth Anscombe (especially in her book Intention), Thomas's principle of double effect specifically and his theory of intentional activity generally have been influential.

In recent years, the cognitive neuroscientist Walter Freeman proposes that Thomism is the philosophical system explaining cognition that is most compatible with neurodynamics, in a 2008 article in the journal Mind and Matter entitled "Nonlinear Brain Dynamics and Intention According to Aquinas."

Thomas's aesthetic theories, especially the concept of claritas, deeply influenced the literary practice of modernist writer James Joyce, who used to extol Thomas as being second only to Aristotle among Western philosophers. The influence of Thomas's aesthetics also can be found in the works of the Italian semiotician Umberto Eco, who wrote an essay on aesthetic ideas in Thomas (published in 1956 and republished in 1988 in a revised edition).


Bertrand Russell criticized Aquinas' philosophy on the ground that
He does not, like the Platonic Socrates, set out to follow wherever the argument may lead. He is not engaged in an inquiry, the result of which it is impossible to know in advance. Before he begins to philosophize, he already knows the truth; it is declared in the Catholic faith. If he can find apparently rational arguments for some parts of the faith, so much the better; if he cannot, he need only fall back on revelation. The finding of arguments for a conclusion given in advance is not philosophy, but special pleading. I cannot, therefore, feel that he deserves to be put on a level with the best philosophers either of Greece or of modern times.

This critique is illustrated on the following examples: According to Russell, Aquinas advocates the indissolubility of marriage "on the ground that the father is useful in the education of the children, (a) because he is more rational than the mother, (b) because, being stronger, he is better able to inflict physical punishment." Even though modern approaches to education do not support these views, "no follower of Saint Thomas would, on that account, cease to believe in lifelong monogamy, because the real grounds of belief are not those which are alleged."It may be countered that the treatment of matrimony in the Summa Theologica is in the Supplements volume, which was not written by Aquinas. Moreover, as noted above Aquinas's introduction of arguments and concepts from the pagan Aristotle and Muslim Averroes was not uncontroversial within the Catholic church.

Aquinas' views of God as first cause, cf. quinque viae, "depend upon the supposed impossibility of a series having no first term. Every mathematician knows that there is no such impossibility; the series of negative integers ending with minus one is an instance to the contrary." Moreover, according to Russell, statements regarding God's essence and existence that are reached within the Aristotelian logic are based on "some kind of syntactical confusion, without which much of the argumentation about God would lose its plausibility."

According to Russell, the methodology of scholasticism used by Thomas is employed for proving what is already believed to be true. Therefore, according to Russell his work should be viewed perhaps as an artful, concise argument, but not a decisive proof. To the contrary, concerning Russell's criticism of Aquinas Anthony Kenny (Aquinas on Mind, 1993, 11) makes the following observation: "It is extraordinary that that accusation should be made by Russell, who in the book Principia Mathematica takes hundreds of pages to prove that two and two make four, which is something he had believed all his life."


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Seeburg, Reinhold (1914). "Thomas Aquinas". In Jackson, Samuel Macauley. New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. XI (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls. pp. 422–427.
  • Copleston, Frederick (1991). Aquinas: An Introduction to the Life and Work of the Great Medieval Thinker. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-013674-6.
  • Faitanin, Paulo (2008). A Sabedoria do Amor: iniciação à filosofia de Santo Tomás de Aquino. Instituto Aquinate. ISSN 1982-8845.
  • Faitanin, Paulo (2008). O Ofício do Sábio: o modo de estudar e ensinar segundo Santo Tomás de Aquino. Instituto Aquinate. ISSN 1982-8845.
  • Paterson, Craig & Matthew S. Pugh (eds.), Analytical Thomism: Traditions in Dialogue. Ashgate, 2006. Introduction to Thomism
  • Schmitz, Kenneth (2007). St. Thomas Aquinas (audiobook). Narrated by Charlton Heston. Ashland, OR; Boulder, CO: Knowledge Products; Blackstone Audiobooks; NetLibrary. ISBN 0-7861-6932-X. OCLC 78235338.
  • Torrell, Jean-Pierre (2005). Saint Thomas Aquinas. (Rev. ed. ed.). Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America Press. ISBN 978-0-8132-1423-8. OCLC 456104266.
  • Wallace, William A. (1970). "Thomas Aquinas, Saint". In Gillispie, Charles. Dictionary of Scientific Biography. 1. New York: Scribner & American Council of Learned Societies. pp. 196–200. ISBN 978-0-684-10114-9.
  • Weisheipl, James (1974). Friar Thomas D'Aquino: his life, thought, and work ([1st ed.] ed.). Garden City N.Y.: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-01299-7.


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Today's Snippet I:    Summa Theologica Summary

The Summa Theologiæ (written 1265–1274 and also known as the Summa Theologica or simply the Summa) is the best-known work of Thomas Aquinas (c.1225–1274). Although unfinished, the Summa is "one of the classics of the history of philosophy and one of the most influential works of Western literature." It is intended as a manual for beginners in theology and a compendium of all of the main theological teachings of the Catholic Church. It presents the reasoning for almost all points of Christian theology in the West. The Summa's topics follow a cycle: the existence of God; Creation, Man; Man's purpose; Christ; the Sacraments; and back to God.

Among non-scholars the Summa is perhaps most famous for its five arguments for the existence of God known as the "five ways" (Latin: quinque viae). The five ways occupy one and one half pages of the Summa's approximately three thousand five hundred pages (3,500).

Throughout the Summa Aquinas cites Christian, Muslim, Hebrew, and Pagan sources including but not limited to: Christian Sacred Scripture, Aristotle, Augustine of Hippo, Avicenna, Averroes, Al-Ghazali, Boethius, John of Damascus, Paul the Apostle, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maimonides, Anselm, Plato, Cicero, and Eriugena.

The Summa is a more structured and expanded version of Aquinas's earlier Summa contra Gentiles, though these works were written for different purposes, the Summa Theologiæ to explain the Christian faith to beginning theology students, and the Summa contra Gentiles to explain the Christian faith and defend it in hostile situations, with arguments adapted to the intended circumstances of its use, each article refuting a certain belief of a specific heresy.

Aquinas conceived of the Summa specifically as a work suited to beginning students: "Because a doctor of catholic truth ought not only to teach the proficient, but to him pertains also to instruct beginners. as the Apostle says in 1 Corinthians 3: 1-2, as to infants in Christ, I gave you milk to drink, not meat, our proposed intention in this work is to convey those things that pertain to the Christian religion, in a way that is fitting to the instruction of beginners."

It was while teaching at the Santa Sabina studium provinciale, the forerunner of the Santa Maria sopra Minerva studium generale and College of Saint Thomas which in the 20th century would become the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum, that Aquinas began to compose the Summa. He completed the Prima Pars in its entirety and circulated it in Italy before departing to take up his second regency as professor at the University of Paris (1269–1272).


The Summa is composed of three major parts, each of which deals with a major subsection of Christian theology.
  • First Part (in Latin, Prima Pars): God's existence and nature; the creation of the world; angels; the nature of man
  • Second Part:
  • First part of the Second Part (Prima Secundae, often abbreviated Part I-II): general principles of morality (including a theory of law)
  • Second part of the Second Part (Secunda Secundae, or Part II-II): morality in particular, including individual virtues and vices
  • Third Part (Tertia Pars): the person and work of Christ, who is the way of man to God; the sacraments; the end of the world. Aquinas left this part unfinished.

Each part contains several questions, each of which revolves around a more specific subtopic; one such question is "Of Christ's Manner of Life." Each question contains several articles phrased as interrogative statements dealing with specific issues, such as "Whether Christ should have led a life of poverty in this world?" The Summa has a standard format for each article.
  • A series of objections to the (yet to be stated) conclusion are given; one such objection, for example, is that "Christ should have embraced the most eligible form of life...which is a mean between riches and poverty."
  • A short counter-statement, beginning with the phrase "sed contra" ("on the contrary"), is then given; this statement almost always references authoritative literature, such as the Bible or Aristotle. In this instance, Aquinas begins, "It is written (in Matthew 8:20): 'The Son of Man hath not where to lay His head'".
  • The actual argument is then made; this is generally a clarification of the issue. For example, Aquinas states that "it was fitting for Christ to lead a life of poverty in this world" for four distinct reasons, each of which is expounded in some detail.
  • Individual replies to the preceding objections are then given, if necessary. These replies range from one sentence to several paragraphs in length. Aquinas's reply to the above objection is that "those who wish to live virtuously need to avoid abundance of riches and beggary, ...but voluntary poverty is not open to this danger: and such was the poverty chosen by Christ."
This method of exposition is derived from Averroes, to whom Aquinas refers respectfully as "the Commentator."

References within the Summa

The Summa makes many references to certain thinkers held in great respect in Aquinas' time. The arguments from authority, or sed contra arguments, are almost entirely based on citations from these authors. Some were called by special names:
  • The Philosopher: Aristotle. He was considered the most astute philosopher – the one who had expressed the most truth up to that time. The main aim of the Scholastic theologians was to use his precise technical terms and logical system to investigate theology.
  • The Commentator: Averroes (Ibn Rushd). He was among the foremost commentators on Aristotle's works in Arabic, and his commentaries were often translated into Latin (along with Aristotle's text).
  • The Master: Peter Lombard. Writer of the dominant theological text for the time: The Sentences (commentaries on the writings of the Doctors of the Church)
  • The Theologian: Augustine of Hippo. Considered the greatest theologian who had ever lived up to that time; Augustine's works are frequently quoted by Aquinas.
  • The Legal Expert (iurisperitus): Ulpian (a Roman jurist), the most-quoted contributor to the Pandects
  • Dionysius: Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite. Aquinas refers to the works of Dionysius, whom scholars of the time thought to be the person mentioned in Acts 17:34 (a disciple of St. Paul). However, they were most likely written in Syria during the 6th century by a writer who attributed his book to Dionysius (hence the addition of the prefix "pseudo-" to the name "Dionysius" in most modern references to these works).
  • Avicenna: Aquinas frequently cites the Aristotelian/Neoplatonic/Islamic philosopher, Ibn Sina (Avicenna).
  • Algazel: Aquinas also cites the Islamic theologian, al-Ghazali (Algazel).
  • Rabbi Moses: Rabbi Moses Maimonides was a Jewish rabbinical scholar, a near-contemporary of Aquinas (died 1204, before Aquinas). The scholastics derived many insights from his work, as he also employed the scholastic method.

Notable points made by the Summa

  • Theology is the mostly speculative of all sciences since its source is divine knowledge (which cannot be deceived), and because of the greater worth of its subject matter, the sublimity of which transcends human reason.
  • When a man knows an effect, and knows that it has a cause, the natural desire of the intellect or mind is to understand the essence of that thing – natural, because this understanding results from the perfection of the operation of the intellect or mind.
  • The existence of something and its essence are separate. That is, its being and the conception of being man has or can imagine of it (for example, a mountain of solid gold would have essence – since it can be imagined – but not existence, as it is not in the world) are separate in all things – except for God, who is simple.
  • The existence of God, his total simplicity or lack of composition, his eternal nature ("eternal," in this case, means that he is altogether outside of time; that is, time is held to be a part of God's created universe), his knowledge, the way his will operates, and his power can all be proved by human reasoning alone.
  • All statements about God are either analogical or metaphorical; one cannot say man is "good" in exactly the same sense as God, but rather that he imitates in some way the simple nature of God in being good, just or wise.
  • Unbelief is the worst sin in the realm of morals.
  • The principles of just war and natural law
  • The greatest happiness of all, the ultimate good, consists in the beatific vision.
  • Collecting interest on loans is forbidden, because it is charging people twice for the same thing.
  • In and of itself, selling a thing for more or less than it is worth is unlawful (the just price theory).
  • The contemplative life is greater than the active life, but greater still is the contemplative life that takes action to call others to the contemplative life and give them the fruits of contemplation. (This actually was the lifestyle of the Dominican friars, of which Aquinas was a member.)
  • Being a monk is greater than being married and even greater (in many ways) than being a priest, but it is not as good as being a bishop. Both monks and bishops are in a state of perfection.
  • Although the Jews delivered Christ to die, it was the Gentiles who killed him, foreshadowing how salvation would begin with the Jews and spread to the Gentiles.
  • After the end of the world (in which all living material will be destroyed), the world will be composed of non-living matter (such as rocks) but it will be illuminated or enhanced in beauty by the fires of the apocalypse; a new heaven and new earth will be established.
  • Martyrs, teachers of the faith (doctors), and virgins, in that order, receive special crowns in heaven for their achievements.

Overview of the entire Summa

The Summa Theologica is meant to summarize the history of the cosmos and provide an outline for the meaning of life itself.

This order is cyclical. It begins with God and his existence in Question 2. The entire first part of the Summa deals with God and his creation, which reaches its zenith in man. The First Part therefore ends with the treatise on man.

The second part of the Summa deals with man's purpose (the meaning of life), which is happiness. The ethics detailed in this part summarize the ethics (Aristotelian in nature) which man must follow to reach his intended destiny.

Since no man on his own can truly live the perfect ethical life (and therefore reach God), it was necessary that a perfect man bridge the gap between God and man. Thus God became man. The third part of the Summa, therefore, deals with the life of Christ.

In order to follow the way prescribed by this perfect man, in order to live with God's grace (which is necessary for man's salvation), the Sacraments have been provided; the final part of the Summa considers the Sacraments.

The entire Summa can be summarized roughly in this chart:

Aquinas summa cycle.svg


Summary of key opinions in the Summa

The following is from the New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge[ (a public-domain work):

The Summa, Part I: Theology

Aquinas's greatest work was the Summa, and it is the fullest presentation of his views. He worked on it from the time of Clement IV (after 1265) until the end of his life. When he died, he had reached Question 90 of Part III (on the subject of penance). What was lacking was added afterwards from the fourth book of his commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard as a supplementum, which is not found in manuscripts of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The Summa was translated into Greek (apparently by Maximus Planudes around 1327), Armenian, many European languages, and Chinese.

It consists of three parts. Part I treats of God, who is the "first cause, himself uncaused" (primum movens immobile) and as such existent only in act (actu) – that is, pure actuality without potentiality, and therefore without corporeality. His essence is actus purus et perfectus. This follows from the fivefold proof for the existence of God; namely, there must be a first mover, unmoved, a first cause in the chain of causes, an absolutely necessary being, an absolutely perfect being, and a rational designer. In this connection the thoughts of the unity, infinity, unchangeability, and goodness of the highest being are deduced.

As God rules in the world, the "plan of the order of things" preexists in him; in other words, his providence and the exercise of it in his government are what condition as cause everything which comes to pass in the world. Hence follows predestination: from eternity some are destined to eternal life, while as concerns others "he permits some to fall short of that end". Reprobation, however, is more than mere foreknowledge; it is the "will of permitting anyone to fall into sin and incur the penalty of condemnation for sin". The effect of predestination is grace. Since God is the first cause of everything, he is the cause of even the free acts of men through predestination. Determinism is deeply grounded in the system of Aquinas; things (with their source of becoming in God) are ordered from eternity as means for the realization of his end in himself. On moral grounds Aquinas advocates freedom energetically; but, with his premises, he can have in mind only the psychological form of self-motivation. Nothing in the world is accidental or free, although it may appear so in reference to the proximate cause. From this point of view miracles become necessary in themselves, and are to be considered merely as inexplicable to man. From the point of view of the first cause all is unchangeable, although from the limited point of view of the secondary cause, miracles may be spoken of.

In his doctrine of the Trinity, Aquinas starts from the Augustinian system. Since God has only the functions of thinking and willing, only two processiones can be asserted from the Father. But these establish definite relations of the persons of the Trinity, one to another. The relations must be conceived as real and not as merely ideal; for, as with creatures relations arise through certain accidents, since in God there is no accident but all is substance, it follows that "the relation really existing in God is the same as the essence according to the thing". From another side, however, the relations as real must be really distinguished one from another. Therefore, three persons are to be affirmed in God.

Man stands opposite to God; he consists of soul and body. The "intellectual soul" consists of intellect and will. Furthermore, the soul is the absolutely indivisible form of man; it is immaterial substance, but not one and the same in all men (as the Averroists assumed). The soul's power of knowing has two sides; a passive (the intellectus possibilis) and an active (the intellectus agens). It is the capacity to form concepts and to abstract the mind's images (species) from the objects perceived by sense. But since what the intellect abstracts from individual things is universal the mind knows the universal primarily and directly, and knows the singular only indirectly by virtue of a certain reflexio (compare Scholasticism). As certain principles are immanent in the mind for its speculative activity, so also a "special disposition of works" – or the synderesis (rudiment of conscience) – is inborn in the "practical reason", affording the idea of the moral law of nature so important in medieval ethics.

The Summa, Part II: Ethics


Part II of the Summa is divided into two parts. The first part comprises 114 quaestiones, and the second part comprises 189. The two parts of the second part are usually presented as containing several "treatises". The contents are as follows:
  • First part of Part II:
    • Treatise on the last end (qq. 1 to 5)
    • Treatise on human acts: Acts peculiar to humans (qq. 6 to 21)
    • Treatise on the passions (qq. 22 to 48)
    • Treatise on habits (qq. 49 to 54)
    • Treatise on habits in particular (qq. 55 to 89): Good habits, i.e. virtues (qq. 55 to 70)
    • Treatise on law (qq. 90 to 108)
    • Treatise on grace (qq. 109 to 114)
  • Second part of Part II:
    • Treatise on the theological virtues (qq. 1 to 46)
    • Treatise on the cardinal virtues (qq. 47 to 170)
      • Treatise on prudence (qq. 47 to 56)
      • Treatise on justice (qq. 57 to 122)
      • Treatise on fortitude and temperance (qq. 123 to 170)
    • Treatise on gratuitous graces (qq. 171 to 182)
    • Treatise on the states of life (qq. 183 to 189)


Content in general

The first part of the Summa is summed up in the premise that God governs the world as the "universal first cause." God sways the intellect; he gives the power to know and impresses the species intelligibiles on the mind, and he sways the will in that he holds the good before it as aim, creating the virtus volendi. "To will is nothing else than a certain inclination toward the object of the volition which is the universal good." God works all in all, but so that things also themselves exert their proper efficiency. Here the Areopagitic ideas of the graduated effects of created things play their part in Aquinas' thought. The second part of the Summa (two parts, Prima Secundae and Secunda Secundae) follows this complex of ideas. Its theme is man's striving for the highest end, which is the blessedness of the visio beata. Here Aquinas develops his system of ethics, which has its root in Aristotle.

In a chain of acts of will, man strives for the highest end. They are free acts, insofar as man has in himself the knowledge of their end (and therein the principle of action). In that the will wills the end, it wills also the appropriate means, chooses freely and completes the consensus. Whether the act be good or evil depends on the end. The "human reason" pronounces judgment concerning the character of the end; it is, therefore, the law for action. Human acts, however, are meritorious insofar as they promote the purpose of God and his honor.

By repeating a good action, man acquires a moral habit or a quality which enables him to do the good gladly and easily. This is true, however, only of the intellectual and moral virtues (which Aquinas treats after the manner of Aristotle); the theological virtues are imparted by God to man as a "disposition", from which the acts here proceed; while they strengthen, they do not form it. The "disposition" of evil is the opposite alternative. An act becomes evil through deviation from the reason, and from divine moral law. Therefore, sin involves two factors: its substance (or matter) is lust; in form, however, it is deviation from the divine law.

Sin has its origin in the will, which decides (against reason) for a "changeable good." Since, however, the will also moves the other powers of man, sin has its seat in these too. By choosing such a lower good as its end the will is misled by self-love, so that this works as cause in every sin. God is not the cause of sin since, on the contrary, he draws all things to himself. But from another side God is the cause of all things, so he is efficacious also in sin as actio but not as ens. The devil is not directly the cause of sin, but he incites the imagination and the sensuous impulse of man (as men or things may also do).

Sin is original sin. Adam's first sin passes through himself to all the succeeding race; because he is the head of the human race and "by virtue of procreation human nature is transmitted and along with nature its infection." The powers of generation are, therefore, designated especially as "infected." The thought is involved here by the fact that Aquinas, like other scholastics, believed in creationism; he therefore taught that souls are created by God. Two things according to Aquinas constituted man's righteousness in paradise – the justitia originalis or the harmony of all man's powers before they were blighted by desire, and the possession of the gratis gratum faciens (the continuous, indwelling power of good). Both are lost through original sin, which in form is the "loss of original righteousness." The consequence of this loss is the disorder and maiming of man's nature, which shows itself in "ignorance; malice, moral weakness, and especially in concupiscentia,' which is the material principle of original sin." The course of thought here is as follows: when the first man transgressed the order of his nature appointed by nature and grace, he (and with him the human race) lost this order. This negative state is the essence of original sin. From it follow an impairment and perversion of human nature in which thenceforth lower aims rule, contrary to nature, and release the lower element in man.

Since sin is contrary to the divine order, it is guilt and subject to punishment. Guilt and punishment correspond to each other; and since the "apostasy from the invariable good which is infinite," fulfilled by man, is unending, it merits everlasting punishment.

But God works even in sinners to draw them to the end by "instructing through the law and aiding by grace." The law is the "precept of the practical reason." As the moral law of nature, it is the participation of the reason in the all-determining "eternal reason." But since man falls short in his appropriation of this law of reason, there is need of a "divine law." And since the law applies to many complicated relations, the practicae dispositiones of the human law must be laid down.

The divine law consists of an old and a new. In so far as the old divine law contains the moral law of nature it is universally valid; what there is in it, however, beyond this is valid only for the Jews. The new law is "primarily grace itself" and so a "law given within," "a gift superadded to nature by grace," but not a "written law." In this sense, as sacramental grace, the new law justifies. It contains, however, an "ordering" of external and internal conduct, and so regarded is, as a matter of course, identical with both the old law and the law of nature. The consilia (see Consilia Evangelica) show how one may attain the end "better and more expediently" by full renunciation of worldly goods.

Since man is sinner and creature, he needs grace to reach the final end. The "first cause" alone is able to reclaim him to the "final end." This is true after the fall, although it was needful before. Grace is, on one side, "the free act of God", and, on the other side, the effect of this act, the gratia infusa or gratia creata, a habitus infusus which is instilled into the "essence of the soul," "a certain gift of disposition, something supernatural proceeding from God into man." Grace is a supernatural ethical character created in man by God, which comprises in itself all good, both faith and love.

Justification by grace comprises four elements: "the infusion of grace, the influencing of free will toward God through faith, the influencing of free will respecting sin, and the remission of sins." It is a "transmutation of the human soul," and takes place "instantaneously." A creative act of God enters, which, however, executes itself as a spiritual motive in a psychological form corresponding to the nature of man. Semipelagian tendencies are far removed from Aquinas. In that man is created anew he believes and loves, and now sin is forgiven. Then begins good conduct; grace is the "beginning of meritorious works." Aquinas conceives of merit in the Augustinian sense: God gives the reward for that toward which he himself gives the power. Man can never of himself deserve the prima gratis," nor meritum de congruo (by natural ability; cf. R. Seeberg, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, ii. 105-106, Leipsic, 1898).

After thus stating the principles of morality, in the Secunda Secundae, Aquinas comes to a minute exposition of his ethics according to the scheme of the virtues. The conceptions of faith and love are of much significance in the complete system of Aquinas. Man strives toward the highest good with the will or through love. But since the end must first be "apprehended in the intellect," knowledge of the end to be loved must precede love; "because the will can not strive after God in perfect love unless the intellect have true faith toward him." Inasmuch as this truth which is to be known is practical it first incites the will, which then brings the reason to "assent." But since, furthermore, the good in question is transcendent and inaccessible to man by himself, it requires the infusion of a supernatural "capacity" or "disposition" to make man capable of faith as well as love. Accordingly the object of both faith and love is God, involving also the entire complex of truths and commandments which God reveals, in so far as they in fact relate to God and lead to him. Thus faith becomes recognition of the teachings and precepts of the Scriptures and the Church ("the first subjection of man to God is by faith"). The object of faith, however, is by its nature object of love; therefore faith comes to completion only in love ("by love is the act of faith accomplished and formed").

Treatise on Law

According to Question 90, Article Four of the Second Part of the Summa, law "is nothing else than an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated." All law comes from the eternal law of Divine Reason that governs the universe, which is understood and participated in by rational beings (such as men and angels) as the natural law. The natural law, when codified and promulgated, is the human law. In addition to the human law, dictated by reason, man also has the Divine law, which, according to Question 91, is dictated through revelation, that man may be "directed how to perform his proper acts in view of his last end," "that man may know without any doubt what he ought to do and what he ought to avoid," because "human law could not sufficiently curb and direct interior acts," and since "human law cannot punish or forbid all evil deeds: since while aiming at doing away with all evils, it would do away with many good things, and would hinder the advance of the common good, which is necessary for human intercourse." Human law is not all-powerful; it cannot govern a man's conscience, nor prohibit all vices, nor can it force all men to act according to its letter, rather than its spirit. Furthermore, it is possible that an edict can be issued without any basis in law as defined in Question 90; in this case, men are under no compulsion to act, save as it helps the common good. This separation between law and acts of force also allows men to depose tyrants, or those who flout the natural law; while removing an agent of the law is contrary to the common good and the eternal law of God which orders the powers that be, removing a tyrant is lawful as he has ceded his claim to being a lawful authority by acting contrary to law.

The Summa, Part III: Christ

The way which leads to God is Christ, the theme of part III. It can be asserted that the incarnation was absolutely necessary. The Unio between the Logos and the human nature is a "relation" between the divine and the human nature which comes about by both natures being brought together in the one person of the Logos. An incarnation can be spoken of only in the sense that the human nature began to be in the eternal hypostasis of the divine nature. So Christ is unum since his human nature lacks the hypostasis. The person of the Logos, accordingly, has assumed the impersonal human nature, and in such way that the assumption of the soul became the means for the assumption of the body. This union with the human soul is the gratia unionis which leads to the impartation of the gratia habitualis from the Logos to the human nature. Thereby all human potentialities are made perfect in Jesus. Besides the perfections given by the vision of God, which Jesus enjoyed from the beginning, he receives all others by the gratia habitualis. In so far, however, as it is the limited human nature which receives these perfections, they are finite. This holds both of the knowledge and the will of Christ. The Logos impresses the species intelligibiles of all created things on the soul, but the intellectus agens transforms them gradually into the impressions of sense. On another side the soul of Christ works miracles only as instrument of the Logos, since omnipotence in no way appertains to this human soul in itself. Concerning redemption, Aquinas teaches that Christ is to be regarded as redeemer after his human nature but in such way that the human nature produces divine effects as organ of divinity. The one side of the work of redemption consists herein, that Christ as head of humanity imparts ordo, perfectio, and virtus to his members. He is the teacher and example of humanity; his whole life and suffering as well as his work after he is exalted serve this end. The love wrought hereby in men effects, according to Luke vii. 47, the forgiveness of sins.

This is the first course of thought. Then follows a second complex of thoughts which has the idea of satisfaction as its center. To be sure, God as the highest being could forgive sins without satisfaction; but because his justice and mercy could be best revealed through satisfaction he chose this way. As little, however, as satisfaction is necessary in itself, so little does it offer an equivalent, in a correct sense, for guilt; it is rather a "superabundant satisfaction", since on account of the divine subject in Christ in a certain sense his suffering and activity are infinite. With this thought the strict logical deduction of Anselm's theory is given up. Christ's suffering bore personal character in that it proceeded "out of love and obedience". It was an offering brought to God, which as personal act had the character of merit. Thereby Christ "merited" salvation for men. As Christ, exalted, still influences men, so does he still work in their behalf continually in heaven through the intercession (interpellatio). In this way Christ as head of humanity effects the forgiveness of their sins, their reconciliation with God, their immunity from punishment, deliverance from the devil, and the opening of heaven's gate. But inasmuch as all these benefits are already offered through the inner operation of the love of Christ, Aquinas has combined the theories of Anselm and Abelard by joining the one to the other.

The Sacraments

The doctrine of the sacraments follows the Christology; the sacraments "have efficacy from the incarnate Word himself". They are not only signs of sanctification, but bring it about. It is inevitable that they bring spiritual gifts in sensuous form, because of the sensuous nature of man. The res sensibiles are the matter, the words of institution the form of the sacraments. Contrary to the Franciscan view that the sacraments are mere symbols whose efficacy God accompanies with a directly following creative act in the soul, Aquinas holds it not unfit to agree with Hugo of St. Victor that "a sacrament contains grace", or to teach that they "cause grace".

Aquinas attempts to remove the difficulty of a sensuous thing producing a creative effect, by distinguishing between the causa principalis et instrumentalis. God as the principal cause works through the sensuous thing as the means ordained by him for his end. "Just as instrumental power is acquired by the instrument from this, that it is moved by the principal agent, so also the sacrament obtains spiritual power from the benediction of Christ and the application of the minister to the use of the sacrament. There is spiritual power in the sacraments in so far as they have been ordained by God for a spiritual effect". This spiritual power remains in the sensuous thing until it has attained its purpose. At the same time Aquinas distinguished the gratia sacramentalis from the gratia virtutum et donorum, in that the former perfects the general essence and the powers of the soul, whilst the latter in particular brings to pass necessary spiritual effects for the Christian life. Later this distinction was ignored.

In a single statement, the effect of the sacraments is to infuse justifying grace into men. That which Christ effects is achieved through the sacraments. Christ's humanity was the instrument for the operation of his divinity; the sacraments are the instruments through which this operation of Christ's humanity passes over to men. Christ's humanity served his divinity as instrumentum conjunctum, like the hand: the sacraments are instrumenta separata, like a staff; the former can use the latter, as the hand can use a staff. For a more detailed exposition cf. Seeberg, ut sup., ii. 112 sqq.


Of Aquinas' eschatology, according to the commentary on the Sentences, this is only a brief account. Everlasting blessedness consists in the vision of God; this vision consists not in an abstraction or in a mental image supernaturally produced, but the divine substance itself is beheld, and in such manner that God himself becomes immediately the form of the beholding intellect. God is the object of the vision and at the same time causes the vision. The perfection of the blessed also demands that the body be restored to the soul as something to be made perfect by it. Since blessedness consists in operatio, it is made more perfect in that the soul has a definite operatio with the body, although the peculiar act of blessedness (in other words, the vision of God) has nothing to do with the body.


     This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Seeburg, Reinhold (1914). "Thomas Aquinas". In Jackson, Samuel Macauley. New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. XI (third ed.). London and New York: Funk and Wagnalls. pp. 422-427.


      Today's Snippet II:  Toulouse, France

      Toulouse (French pronunciation: [tu.luz] locally: [tuˈluzə]; Occitan: Tolosa [tuˈluzɔ], Latin: Tolosa, medieval Tholoza) is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern France. It lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 150 kilometers from the Mediterranean Sea and 300 from the Atlantic Ocean, and 590 km (366 mi) away from Paris. With 704 395 inhabitants, Toulouse Métropole, the Greater Toulouse is the 6th largest urban area in France after Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Lille and Bordeaux. With 1,202,889 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008, the Toulouse metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in France, after Paris (12.1 million), Lyon (2.1 million), and Marseille (1.7 million).

      Toulouse is the centre of the European aerospace industry, with the headquarters of Airbus, Galileo positioning system, the SPOT satellite system, ATR (aircraft manufacturer), the Aerospace Valley, considered as a cluster global,the city also host l'Oncopole de Toulouse, the largest cancer research centre in Europe, the European headquarters of Intel and CNES's Toulouse Space Centre (CST), the largest space centre in Europe. Thales Alenia Space, and Astrium Satellites, EADS's satellite system subsidiary, also have a significant presence in Toulouse. Its world renowned university is one of the oldest in Europe (founded in 1229) and, with more than 119,000 students, is the third-largest university campus of France after Paris and Lyon.

      Toulouse was the capital of the former province of Languedoc (provinces were abolished during the French Revolution), the former Visigothic Kingdom and was the capital of the historical region of Occitania (Southern France). It is now the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region, the largest region in metropolitan France. It is also the capital of the Haute-Garonne department.

      Moreover, the city of Toulouse has two historic sites added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal Du Midi (shared with other cities), since 1996, and the Basilica of St. Sernin under the description: World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France, since 1998.

      Toulouse is home to the Galerie du Château d'eau, one of the oldest places dedicated to photography in the world, the Académie des Jeux floraux, the oldest literary society of the Western World and, according to many historians, was one of places where capitalism was invented.


      Before 118 BC: pre-Roman times

      Archaeological evidence dates human settlement in Toulouse to the 8th century BC. The location was very advantageous, at a place where the Garonne River bends westward toward the Atlantic Ocean and can be crossed easily. It was a focal point for trade between the Pyrenees, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Immediately north of these hills was a large plain suitable for agriculture. People gathered on the hills overlooking the river, south of the plain, 9 kilometers south of today's downtown Toulouse. The name of the city was Tolosa. Researchers today agree that the name is probably Aquitanian, related to the old Basque language, but the meaning is unknown. The name of the city has remained almost unchanged over centuries despite Celtic, Roman and Germanic invasions, which is rare for French cities.

      The first inhabitants seem to have been Aquitanians, of whom little is known. Later came Iberians from the south, who, like the Aquitanians, were non-Indo-European people. In the 3rd century BC there came a Celtic Gallic tribe called the Volcae Tectosages from Belgium or southern Germany, the first Indo-European people to appear in the region. They settled in Tolosa and interbred with the local people. Their Gaulish language became predominant. By 200 BC Tolosa is attested to be the capital of the Volcae Tectosages (coins found), which Julius Caesar later called Tolosates in his famous account of Gallic wars (De Bello Gallico, 1.10), singular Tolosas. Archeologists say Tolosa was one of the most important cities in Gaul, and certainly it was famed in pre-Roman times for being the wealthiest one. There were many gold and silver mines nearby, and the offerings to the holy shrines and temples in Tolosa had accumulated a tremendous wealth in the city.

      118 BC–AD 418: Roman period

      Vomitorium of the amphitheatre of Toulouse, first century
      The Romans started their conquest of southern Gaul (later known as the Provincia) in 125 BC. Moving westward, they founded in 118 BC the colony of Narbo Martius (Narbonne), the Mediterranean city nearest to inland Toulouse, and so they came into contact with the Tolosates, famous for their wealth and the key position of their capital for trade with the Atlantic. Tolosa chose to ally with the daunting Romans, who established a military fort in the plain north of the city, a key position near the border of independent Aquitania, but otherwise left the inhabitants of Tolosa free to rule themselves in semi-independence.

      In 109 BC a Germanic tribe, the Cimbri, descending the Rhone Valley, invaded the Provincia and defeated the Romans, whose power was shaken all along the recently conquered Mediterranean coast. The Tolosates rebelled against Rome and murdered the Roman garrison. Soon, however, Rome recovered and defeated the invaders. In 106 BC, General Q. Servilius Caepio was sent to reconquer and punish Tolosa. With the help of some Tolosates who remained faithful to Rome, he captured the city and the immense wealth of the temples and shrines.

      Tolosa was then fully incorporated into the Roman Provincia (Provincia Romana—the usual name for what was officially called the province of Transalpine Gaul, with its capital at Narbo Martius). Tolosa was an important military garrison at the western border of the Roman realm. However the city remained a backwater in the Provincia, people were still living in the old Celtic city in the hills. No Roman colony was established; few Roman soldiers settled in the area.

      Things changed after the conquest of the rest of Gaul by Julius Caesar. In a sign that Romanization of the people was already well under its way, Tolosa did not take part in the various uprisings against Rome during the Gallic wars. In fact southern France would prove to be the most romanized part of France after the fall of the Roman Empire. Caesar established his camp in the plain of Tolosa in 52 BC, and from there he conquered the western regions of Aquitania. With the conquest of Aquitania and the whole of Gaul, Tolosa was no more a military outpost. It capitalized on its key position for trade between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, now both under Roman control, and the city developed rapidly.

      Consequently, the most important event in the history of Toulouse was the decision to relocate the city north of the hills. A typical Roman city of straight streets was founded in the plain on the eastern bank of the river sometime at the end of the reign of Augustus and the start of the reign of Tiberius (around AD 10 –AD 30). The population was forced to relocate to the new city, still named Tolosa, while the old settlement was abandoned. Walls were built around the new city, probably at the initiative of Emperor Augustus, who wanted to create a major city at the junction of the newly built Via Aquitania and the Garonne River. Due to the Pax Romana, walls were not needed around cities, and they were only built as an imperial favor to show the special status of a city. Until the fall of the Roman Empire, the new Tolosa was to be a civitas of the province of Gallia Narbonensis (capital Narbo Martius – Narbonne), the new name of the old Provincia.

      With imperial favor and a thriving trade, Tolosa rapidly transformed into one of the major cities of the Roman Empire. During the civil war following Nero's death, Tolosa native M. Antonius Primus led the armies of Vespasian into Italy and entered Rome in AD 69, establishing the Flavian dynasty. Emperor Domitian, son of Vespasian and personal friend of M. Antonius Primus, granted Tolosa the honorific status of Roman colony. Another sign of imperial favor was displayed when Domitian gave Tolosa the title of Palladia, in reference to Pallas Athena, goddess of arts and knowledge, of whom he was very fond.

      Palladia Tolosa was by all means a major Roman city, with aqueducts, circus and theaters, thermae, a forum, an extensive sewage system, etc. Protected by its walls and by its far location from the Rhine border, Palladia Tolosa escaped unscathed from the invasions of the 3rd century. With much of Gaul destroyed, Toulouse emerged as the fourth largest city of the western half of the Roman Empire, after Rome, Treves and Arles. Around that time Christianity entered the city, and the Christian community greatly expanded under the first bishop of Toulouse Saint Saturnin (locally known as Saint Sernin), who was martyred in Toulouse around AD 250. In 313 the Edict of Milan established religious freedom in the empire, ending persecution of Christianity. In 403 the Saint-Sernin basilica was opened to serve as a shrine for the relics of Saint Saturnin.
      On December 31, 406 the Rhine frontier was breached by a massive invasion of tribes seeking to escape starvation during a brutal winter. In 407 Toulouse was besieged by the Vandals, but under the impulse of its bishop Saint Exuperius the city resisted behind its strong walls, and the Vandals lifted the siege and moved into Spain, and from there into North Africa where they settled. "The provinces of Aquitaine and of the Novempopulana (that is, Gascony), of Lyon and of Narbonne are, with the exception of a few cities, one universal scene of desolation. And those which the sword spares without, famine ravages within. I cannot speak without tears of Toulouse which has been kept from failing hitherto by the merits of its reverend bishop Exuperius." wrote Jerome to a Roman widow in 409 (Letters cxxiii.16 ). In 413, three years after they had sacked Rome, the Visigoths under King Ataulf captured Toulouse. Under pressure from Roman forces, they soon withdrew south of the Pyrenees. After the murder of Ataulf, his successor Wallia resolved to make peace with Rome. In exchange for peace, in 418, Emperor Honorius granted the Visigoths the region of Aquitania as well as the city of Toulouse (in Gallia Narbonensis at the border of Aquitania). The Visigoths chose the prestigious and wealthy Palladia Tolosa as the capital of their kingdom, thus ending Roman rule in Toulouse.

      418–508: Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse

      Extent of the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse by 500
      The Visigothic kings of Toulouse, officially one of the foederati (federated allies) of the Roman Empire of the West and limited to Aquitania and Toulouse, soon started to encroach on neighboring territories. As allies of Rome, the Visigoths helped defeat various Germanic invaders in Spain, notably the Suevi, and took advantage of their position to expand their own territory south of the Pyrenees. They tried to conquer the Mediterranean coast of the remaining province of Gallia Narbonensis but were opposed by their Roman ally. In 439 the Roman general Litorius defeated the Visigoths at Narbonne and even succeeded in driving them back to Toulouse. He besieged the city, but was defeated and taken prisoner in a battle outside the city. Avitus, the praetorian prefect of Gaul, who had great influence with King Theodoric I of the Visigoths, was then sent to Toulouse and brought about the conclusion of peace. In 451, under threat of a major invasion of the Huns in Gaul, Avitus again negotiated a treaty between Rome and the Visigoths, and they jointly defeated the Huns. In 455, Avitus, then magister militum (the senior military officer of the Empire) on a diplomatic mission to King Theodoric II of the Visigoths, was proclaimed the new Roman emperor in Toulouse by his Visigothic friends as the news arrived that the Vandals had sacked Rome and that Emperor Petronius Maximus had been murdered. However, his reign in Rome was brief, and he was defeated by his enemies in 456. This antagonized the Visigoths and pushed them into constant warfare with the new Roman leaders. Eventually, a weaker and weaker Rome gave way. The region of Narbonne was finally conquered by the Visigoths in 462.

      King Euric of the Visigoths (466–484) was the most adamant enemy of Rome, and he was very successful in extending the Visigothic territory in Gaul and Spain. In 475 he officially broke the treaty with Rome and proclaimed full independence, one year before the Western Roman Empire was to disappear. Toulouse was now the capital of a rapidly expanding Gothic kingdom. By the end of the 5th century, the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse extended from the Loire Valley in the north to the Strait of Gibraltar in the south, and from the Rhone River in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. This was the largest extent of land ever to be controlled from a capital at Toulouse.

      Battle between Clovis and the Visigoths
      Unlike most cities in western Europe, Toulouse remained prosperous throughout the period of the Migrations (also known as Great Invasions). Although the Visigoths professed a non-Trinitarian brand of Christianity known as Arianism, and lived segregated from their Gallo-Roman subjects, they were generally well accepted by their subjects, to whom they brought protection and continued prosperity. The city behind its 1st-century walls continued to encompass the same area, whereas most cities of western Europe were hastily building new walls enclosing only a small portion of their former Imperial area. The treasure which the Visigoths seized in Rome in 410 (including the treasure of the Temple in Jerusalem) is said to have been stored in Toulouse at the time. The Visigoths slowly achieved a blend of the Roman and Gothic cultures. They are responsible for the preservation of Roman law through the drafting of the Breviary of Alaric in 506 which applied on this immense territory both to the Visigoths and the local Roman populations. By all accounts, the Visigothic kingdom of Toulouse was more Romanized and its state structure more elaborated than the Frankish kingdom north of the Loire Valley.

      However, the pagan Franks under their king Clovis converted to Catholicism, and thus received the considerable support of the network of Christian bishops, rapidly becoming the only effective institution of power that was more than local in extent, which strongly opposed the Arianism of the Visigothic aristocrats. Soon enough, the Franks on their march south came into contact with the northern borders of the Visigothic kingdom. War ensued, and eventually the Visigothic king Alaric II was defeated by the Frankish king Clovis at the Battle of Vouillé in 507, a battle important in the psyche of modern-day France (etymologically land of the Franks), where Franks are perceived as "French" and Visigoths have become "foreigners". Following their victory, the Franks moved south, conquered Aquitania, and captured Toulouse in 508. The Visigoths withdrew to their Hispanic dominions, where they later resettled their capital in Toledo. Toulouse became part of Aquitaine— cut from Narbonne and the Mediterranean region where Visigothic rule remained—a diminished capital city within the scarcely integrated Frankish kingdom.

      508–768: Merovingian Franks and the duchy of Aquitaine

      Following the Frankish conquest, Toulouse entered a period of decline and anarchy. Bad weather, plagues, demographic collapse, decline of schools, education and culture were common features of the Frankish lands in the dark period of the 6th and 7th centuries. Following Clovis' death in 511, Aquitaine was divided between his sons (the Merovingian dynasty) like the rest of the kingdom. The period was extremely complex, with each Merovingian king fighting and murdering each other for the control of the whole of the Frankish realm, which was reunited, then divided again, then reunited, etc. Far from the power base of the Franks, Aquitaine was loosely controlled by one or the other competing Frankish kings, who delegated dukes to control the region in their name. In 680, the Duchy of Vasconia (founded 602) and Aquitaine merged by personal union under the first independent duke of Aquitaine Felix, a patrician of 'Roman' stock from Toulouse. The Merovingian monarchy was so weakened that a local independent dynasty of dukes emerged in Aquitaine. Whether they were blood relatives of the Merovingians, Frankish envoys turned dynastic rulers or local non-Frankish rulers is still a matter of debate. Although not recognized by the Merovingians, they governed as kings in all but name in Aquitaine (including the then Basque speaking area of Gascony south of the Garonne River), and their capital was in Toulouse.

      At the beginning of the 8th century, the Arabs appeared in the region. Coming from Spain along the Mediterranean coast they captured Narbonne from the last Visigoths in 719. Then al-Samh ibn Malik al-Khawlani, the wali (governor) of al-Andalus (Muslim Spain), mustered a strong army (from North Africa, Syria, and Yemen) and set to conquer Aquitaine. Moving west from Narbonne he besieged Toulouse, capital of the duchy of Aquitaine, but after 3 months of siege, just as the city was about to surrender, Duke Odo of Aquitaine (also known as Eudes) who had left the city to find help managed to come back with an army and defeated the Arab army at the Battle of Toulouse on June 9, 721, just outside of the city walls. Noticeably, the Frankish Charles Martel had refused to help, wishing to take advantage of the situation to recover Aquitaine, and Odo is recorded as leading an army of ('Roman' and maybe Basque speaking Gascon) Aquitanians and regional Franks to fight against the Arabs. The Battle of Toulouse was a crushing defeat for the Arabs, who perished in battle by the thousands. The Arab army scattered and most of the soldiers were killed, al-Samh died of his wounds, and the remainder of the Arab troops under second-in-command Abd al-Rahman al-Ghafiqi fled back to Narbonne where Duke Odo decided not to pursue them. This battle is still remembered today among Arab historians as the major check in Arab expansions toward the west.

      Sometime before 730, Odo decided to ally with the Muslim ruler of Catalonia, Uthman ibn Naissa (also known as Munuza). The greatest threat to Duke Odo was his Frankish neighbor on the north. Odo married his daughter to Munuza, and Arab raids in Aquitaine temporarily ended, thus enabling Odo to focus on the northern threat. However, in 731 Munuza rebelled against the new wali of al-Andalus, Abd al-Rahman al-Ghafiqi. Abd al-Rahman soon defeated Munuza, and in order to punish Duke Odo for his alliance with Munuza he launched a raid in Aquitaine. With the memory of the Battle of Toulouse looming ominously in his mind, he chose to cross the Pyrenees west of Toulouse, rather than coming from Narbonne, and soon he reached Bordeaux where he defeated Duke Odo's army. Odo seems to have disbanded some of his troops after the peace signed with Munuza, which could account for his failure to stop Abd al-Rahman. With Bordeaux captured, the Arabs set north towards the sacred Frankish abbey of Tours. Odo had no choice but to ask for Frankish help. Charles Martel, then leader of the Franks (Merovingian kings were maintained as puppet kings), finally preoccupied by the Arab threat moving to his land, mustered an army and met the Arabs near Poitiers. On 25 October 732, at the most celebrated Battle of Poitiers, the Arabs were defeated and Abd al-Rahman died on the field. The scholars of Charlemagne, grandson of Charles Martel, made much for the renown of the Battle of Poitiers. In Europe it is still remembered as "the" battle which saved Europe and Christendom from the Arabs.

      Following the Battle of Poitiers, Duke Odo was forced to do homage to Charles Martel and recognize the overlordship of the Franks. However, the Franks were busy in Burgundy and did not pursue further south, leaving Odo virtually independent until his death in 735. He was succeeded by his son Duke Hunald of Aquitaine (also known as Hunold, or Hunaud). Hunald refused to recognize the authority of Charles Martel, and this time Charles Martel sent his troops south and captured Bordeaux in 736. Hunald was forced to accept Frankish overlordship, and Charles Martel withdrew his troops from Aquitaine in order to attack the Arab territories on the Mediterranean coast around Narbonne. In 741 Charles Martel died and was followed by his son Pippin the Short (Pépin le Bref). Duke Hunald then rebelled again against Frankish authority in 742, but he was finally defeated in 745 and he retired to a monastery. He was succeeded by his son Duke Waifer of Aquitaine (also known as Waifre, or Gaifier). Pippin, busy at home and also sharing power with his brother, left Waifer in possession of the entirety of Aquitaine, without occupying it. However, in 747 Pippin became the only master of the Frankish realm. In 751 he deposed the last Merovingian king and was elected King of the Franks with the support of the Pope, founding the Carolingian dynasty.

      In 752 Pippin resumed the conquest of the Arab territories on the Mediterranean coast where his father had failed. Amidst fierce local resistance, including one intervention of Duke Waifer in the area in 752, it was not until 759 that he finally captured Narbonne and effectively ended Arab rule north of the Pyrenees. Aquitaine was now surrounded by the Frankish kingdom on most sides. In 760, Pippin started the conquest of Aquitaine. It proved a difficult task. It took the Franks eight long years to subdue Aquitaine and Toulouse. Gascony was also submitted. In 768, the last pockets of resistance fell as Duke Waifer was betrayed and murdered in mysterious circumstances. Aquitaine was utterly destroyed after 8 long years of scorched-earth tactics pursued both by Pippin and Waifer. Nonetheless, the region was soon to recover under the long reign of Charlemagne.

      768–877: Carolingian Franks and the Kingdom of Aquitaine

      Toulouse and Aquitaine (as well as Gascony) were once again part of the kingdom of the Franks. Following his victory, Pippin the Short died in 768 and was followed by his sons Charlemagne and Carloman. With Pippin having died, Hunald, son of the late Duke Waifer, raised an insurrection against Frankish power in Aquitaine. Charlemagne soon intervened and defeated him. In 771, Carloman died and Charlemagne was left as the only ruler of the Frankish realm. In 778, Charlemagne led his army into Spain against the Arabs. On his way back there happened the famous event of Roncesvalles (Roncevaux in French): Charlemagne's rear-guard was attacked in the pass of the same name by some Basque warriors. This led Charlemagne to realize that Frankish power in Gascony and Aquitaine was still feeble, and that the local populations were not entirely loyal to the Franks. Consequently, that same year he completely reorganized the administration of the region: direct Frankish administration was imposed, and Frankish counts (deputies of the Frankish king) were created in key cities, such as Toulouse.

      In 781, he set up the Kingdom of Aquitaine, comprising the whole of Aquitaine (including Gascony, formally) plus the Mediterranean coast from Narbonne to Nîmes (area then known as Gothia), and gave the crown of Aquitaine to his three-year-old son Louis. Other such kingdoms were created inside the wider Carolingian empire in places such as Bavaria or Lombardy. They were meant to ensure the loyalty of local populations in territories freshly conquered and with strong local idiosyncrasies. Crowns were given to the sons of Charlemagne. The people of Aquitaine were known in the whole empire for their strong spirit of independence, as well as their wealth. Indeed, the region was quite prosperous during that period, past the recovery from the war of conquest.

      Charlemagne in turn saw he could not trust the local nobility of the Vasconia, whose ties and loyalty to the Franks were flimsy. He took to appoint Frankish counts of his trust and create counties (e.g. Fezensac) that could fight the power of regional lords, like the duke Lupus. General supervision of this Basque frontier seems to have been placed in the hands of Chorson, count or duke of Toulouse. These politics displeased the Basques, and in 787 or 789 we learn that Chorson was captured by Odalric "the Basque", probably son of duke Lupus, who forced Chorson to an agreement which Charlemagne considered so shameful that replaced him by the Count William in 790.

      The reign of Charlemagne in general saw a great recovery of western Europe after the Dark Ages preceding it, and Toulouse was no exception. Toulouse was a major Carolingian military stronghold in front of Muslim Spain. Military campaigns against the Muslims were launched from Toulouse almost every year during the reign of Charlemagne. Barcelona was conquered in 801, as well as a large part of Catalonia. Together with the northern areas of Aragon and Navarre along the Pyrenees, the region became the southern march (the Spanish March) of the Frankish empire.

      In 814, Charlemagne died, and his only surviving son was Louis, king of Aquitaine, who became Emperor Louis the Pious (Louis le Pieux). The Kingdom of Aquitaine was transmitted to Pippin, the second son of Louis the Pious. Gothia was detached from the Kingdom of Aquitaine and administered directly by the emperor, thus recreating the limits of the former duchy of Aquitaine. Problems soon arose. Louis the Pious had three sons, and in 817 he arranged an early allocation of the shares in the future inheritance of the empire: Pippin was confirmed king in Aquitaine (Pippin I of Aquitaine), Louis the German was made king in Bavaria, while the eldest son Lothar was made co-emperor with future authority over his brothers.

      In 823, Charles the Bald (Charles le Chauve) was born from the second wife of Louis the Pious. Soon enough, she wished to place her son in the line of succession. Louis the Pious was rather weak, and fight started between the three sons on one side, and their father and his new wife on the other side, which eventually would lead to the total collapse of the Frankish empire. Louis the Pious was toppled from power, then reinstalled, then toppled, then reinstalled again. In 838 Pippin I of Aquitaine died, and Louis the Pious and his wife managed to install Charles the Bald as the new king of Aquitaine. At the Assembly of Worms in 839 the empire was re-divided like this: Charles the Bald was given the western part of the empire, Lothar the central and eastern part, while Louis the German was keeping only Bavaria. Pippin II of Aquitaine, the son of Pippin I, was not going to accept such a decision. He was hailed king by the Aquitanians (but not by the Basques, who by then had seceded and detached Vasconia from Aquitaine), and he resisted his grandfather. Louis the German in Bavaria also opposed the decision of his father.

      Eventually Louis the Pious died in 840. Lothar the eldest son claimed the whole empire, general war broke out. First allied with his nephew Pippin II, Louis the German soon allied with his half-brother Charles the Bald and they jointly defeated Lothar. Then in August 843, they signed probably the most important treaty in European history, the Treaty of Verdun. The empire was divided in three: Charles the Bald was given the western part, Francia Occidentalis (Western Frankland, soon to be called France), Louis the German was given the eastern part, Francia Orientalis (Eastern Frankland, soon to become the German Holy Roman Empire), while Lothar was given the central part, soon to be conquered and divided by his two brothers.

      The family feud had left the empire weak and undefended. Some invaders rightly analyzed the situation and took advantage of it: the Vikings. Following the Treaty of Verdun, Charles the Bald moved south to defeat Pippin II and add Aquitaine to his territory. First he conquered Gothia over its rebelled count (who had taken advantage of the Carolingian feud) and had him executed. In 844, he set west and was besieging Toulouse, the capital of King Pippin II of Aquitaine. However, he had to withdraw without being able to capture the city. That same year, the Vikings entered the mouth of the Garonne River, took Bordeaux, and sailed up as far as Toulouse, plundering and killing all along the Garonne River valley. They moved back when they reached Toulouse, without attacking the city. It is still a matter of debate among historians whether they were called by Pippin II in his fight against Charles the Bald (as Charles' propaganda later claimed), helped defeat Charles the Bald, and left with due payment from Pippin II, or whether they just took advantage of the war to invade unchecked but moved back at the sight of the strong garrison of Toulouse who had just resisted successfully Charles the Bald.

      Following these events, Charles the Bald in 845 signed a treaty with King Pippin II of Aquitaine whereby he recognized him as king of Aquitaine, in exchange of which Pippin II was relinquishing the northern part of Aquitaine (county of Poitiers) to Charles the Bald. However, the Aquitanians grew very unhappy with their king Pippin II, perhaps for his friendliness towards the Vikings who inflicted terrible damage on the population, and so in 848 they called Charles the Bald to topple Pippin II. In 849 Charles the Bald was south again, and he was handed over the capital of Aquitaine, Toulouse, by Frédelon, the count of Toulouse recently appointed by Pippin II. Charles the Bald then officially confirmed Frédelon as count of Toulouse. Soon the whole of Aquitaine was submitting to Charles the Bald, and in 852, Pippin II was made prisoner by the Basques and handed over to his uncle Charles the Bald who put him in a monastery.

      In 852, Count Frédelon of Toulouse died, and Charles the Bald appointed Frédelon's brother Raymond (Raimond) as the new count. This was a special favor, normally counts were only administrative agents not chosen in the same family. However, it would prove to be the start of the dynasty of the counts of Toulouse, who were all descendants of Count Raymond I of Toulouse (Raimond I). In 855, following the example of his grandfather Charlemagne, Charles the Bald recreated the kingdom of Aquitaine (without Gothia), and he gave the crown to his son Charles the Child (Charles l'Enfant). Meanwhile, Pippin II of Aquitaine had escaped from his monastery in 854, and he was raising an insurrection in Aquitaine. It did not prove very popular among Aquitanians though, and he was unsuccessful. He then resorted to calling the Vikings for help. In 864, at the head of a Viking army, Pippin II of Aquitaine besieged Toulouse where the count of Toulouse resisted fiercely. The siege failed, and the Vikings left to plunder other areas of Aquitaine. Pippin II, abandoned by all, saw the ruins of his ambitions. He was captured and again put in a monastery by his uncle, where he died soon after.

      In 866, Charles the Child died. Charles the Bald then made his other son, Louis the Stammerer (Louis le Bègue), the new king of Aquitaine. By then, the central state in the kingdom of France was rapidly losing authority. Charles the Bald was rather unsuccessful at containing the Vikings, local populations had to rely on their local counts to resist the Vikings, and the counts soon became the main source of authority, challenging the central authority of Charles the Bald in Paris. As they grew in power, they started to be succeeded in the same family and establish local dynasties. Wars between the central power and the counts arose, as well as wars between the competing counts, which further debilitated the defenses against the Vikings. Western Europe, France in particular, were again entering a new dark age, which would prove even more disastrous than the one of the 6th and 7th centuries.

      In 877, Charles the Bald had to give in: he signed the Capitulary of Quierzy, which allowed counts to be succeeded by their sons when they died. This was the founding stone of feudalism in western Europe. Charles the Bald died four months later. The new king of France was his son Louis the Stammerer, formally king of Aquitaine. Louis the Stammerer did not choose any of his sons to become the new king of Aquitaine, thus in effect putting an end to the kingdom of Aquitaine, which would never be revived again. Louis the Stammerer died shortly after in 879 and was succeeded by his two sons, Louis III and Carloman. Louis III inherited northwest France, while Carloman inherited Burgundy and Aquitaine. In practice however, during the years 870-890 the central power was so weakened that the counts in southern France achieved complete autonomy. The dynasties they established ruled independently. The central state in Paris would not be able to reassert its authority over the south of France for the next four centuries.

      877–10th century

      The town in the early Middle-ages
      By the end of the 9th century, Toulouse had become the capital of an independent county, the county of Toulouse, ruled by the dynasty founded by Frédelon, who in theory was under the sovereignty of the king of France, but in practice was totally independent. The counts of Toulouse had to fight to maintain their position at first. They were mostly challenged by the dynasty of the counts of Auvergne, ruling over the northeastern part of the former Aquitaine, who claimed the county of Toulouse as their own, and even temporarily ousted the counts of Toulouse from the city of Toulouse. However, in the midst of these Dark Ages, the counts of Toulouse managed to preserve their own, and unlike many local dynasties that disappeared, they achieved survival. Their county was just a small fraction of the former Aquitaine, the southeastern part of it in fact. However, at the death of Count William the Pious of Auvergne (Guillaume le Pieux) in 918 they came into the possession of Gothia which had been in the family of the counts of Auvergne for two generations. Thus they more than doubled their territory, once again reuniting Toulouse with the Mediterranean coast from Narbonne to Nîmes. The county of Toulouse took its definite shape, from Toulouse in the west to the Rhone River in the east, a unity that would survive until the French Revolution as the province of Languedoc. Toulouse would never again be part of the Aquitaine polity, whose capital in later times would become Poitiers, then Bordeaux. At first though, the memories of Aquitaine lived strong in Toulouse. Count William the Pious of Auvergne was the first to recreate the title of Duke of Aquitaine for himself in the 890s. Then the count of Poitiers inherited the title in 927. In 932 the king of France Raoul was fighting against the count of Poitiers, and he transferred the title of Duke of Aquitaine to his new ally Count Raymond III Pons of Toulouse (Raimond III). However, the title did not mean much. The various counts of the former Aquitaine were all independents, and did not recognize a superior authority.

      Various factions were competing for the throne of France, but since all central authority had disappeared, the position of King of France had become an almost empty title. After Raoul's death, another faction succeeded in establishing an English bred Carolingian prince to the throne, Louis IV from Overseas (Louis IV d'Outremer). Raymond III Pons was from the opposite faction and so when he died in 950 Louis IV awarded the title of Duke of Aquitaine to Count William III Towhead of Poitiers (Guillaume III Tête d'Étoupe) who was an ally of Louis IV. From now on the title of Duke of Aquitaine would be used in the family of the counts of Poitiers, whose power base of Poitou was in the northwestern part of the former Aquitaine. The counts of Toulouse would soon forget any dreams about Aquitaine. Eventually, at the death of the Carolingian king of France Louis V in 987, the Robertian faction succeeded in having its chief, Hugh Capet (Hugues Capet) elected to the French throne. This time, the Carolingian dynasty effectively ended. Hugh Capet was the founder the Capetian dynasty, which would rule in France for the next eight centuries. However, from now on the history of France is irrelevant to Toulouse, at least until the 13th century.

      The counts of Toulouse had extended their rule to the Mediterranean coast, but they would not long enjoy the large domain they had succeeded in carving for themselves. The 10th century was perhaps the worst century for western Europe in the last two millennium. Four centuries after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, civilization had declined, arts and education were in a very poor state. There had been momentarily a rebirth of culture and order in the time of Charlemagne, but soon with the return of invasions (especially the Vikings), western Europe was falling again. This conjugated with dramatic civil wars as explained above, as well as bad weather, plagues, population loss. Entire areas of western Europe returned to wilderness. Cities were completely depopulated. Churches were abandoned or plundered, the Church was experiencing a sharp decline in morals. It seemed as if the legacy of the Roman Empire would completely disappear. Culture from the Antiquity only survived in a few scattered monasteries. This was in sharp contrast with the then flourishing emirate of Córdoba in Spain or the Byzantine Empire. Another phenomenon of these times was the complete disappearance of central authority. Power fragmented, falling first in the hands of counts, then viscounts, then in the hands of thousands of local feudal lords. By the end of the 10th century, France was ruled by thousands of local rulers who controlled only one town, or one castle and the few villages around. Toulouse and its county was exactly reflecting this situation. Between 900 and 980 the counts of Toulouse gradually lost control over the county, with the emergence of local dynastic rulers in every part of the county. By the end of the 10th century the counts of Toulouse only had authority over a few estates scattered around the county. Even the city of Toulouse was ruled by a viscount independent from the counts of Toulouse!

      Invasions had also returned. The famous ruler of the emirate of Córdoba, Abd al-Rahman III, managed to reunite Muslim Spain, and carried the emirate of Córdoba to its zenith, transforming it into the prestigious caliphate of Córdoba in 929. In the 920s he launched a general offensive against the Christian kingdoms in the north of Spain. In 920 (and possibly also in 929) one of his armies crossed the Pyrenees and went as far north as Toulouse, without capturing the city. In 924, the Magyars (ancestors of the Hungarians) launched an expedition toward the west and went as far as Toulouse, but they were defeated by Count Raymond III Pons of Toulouse. At the end of the 10th century, all the Carolingian wars and subsequent invasions had left the county of Toulouse in disarray. Large expanses of lands were left uncultivated, many farms had been abandoned. Toulouse was perhaps faring a little better than northern France in the sense that its proximity with Muslim Spain meant there was a strong flow of knowledge and culture coming from the schools and printing houses of Córdoba. Toulouse had also retained Roman Law unlike northern France, and had in general kept more of the Roman legacy, even in these troubled times. The ground was there for a recovery of civilization.

      11th century

      Saint-Étienne cathedral
      The end of Carolingians marked the beginning of Feudalism.

      At the beginning of the millennium, the drifting attitude of the clergy and the confiscation of the Church by the Toulouse administration initiated a degradation of the worship. The Saint-Sernin church, the Daurade basilica and the Saint-Étienne cathedral were not maintained properly. New religious currents appeared, like the Cluniac reform.

      Bishop Isarn, helped by Pope Gregory VII, tried to put everything back in order. He gave the Daurade Basilica to the Cluniac abbots in 1077. In Saint-Sernin, he met a strong opposition in the person of Raimond Gayrard, a provost who had just built a hospital for the poor and was proposing to build a basilica.

      Supported by count Guilhem IV, Saint Raymond finally gained permission from Pope Urban II to dedicate the building in 1096. The religious quarrels had just awoken the faith of Toulouse. This rebirth was accompanied by a new demographic progression, supported by technically more efficient agriculture.

      The suburbs of Saint-Michel and Saint Cyprien were built during this period. The Daurade bridge connected in 1181 the Saint-Cyprien suburb to the gates of the city. The suburbs of Saint-Sernin and Saint-Pierre des Cuisines also had a remarkable expansion.

      12th century

      The end of the 11th century marked the departure of count Raymond IV to the crusades. Various succession wars followed, besieging Toulouse several times. In 1119, the population of Toulouse proclaimed Alphonse Jourdain count. Alphonse Jourdain, willing to be grateful to his people, reduced the taxes immediately.

      With the death of the count, an administration of 8 "capitulaires" was created. Under the direction of the count, they had the responsibility of regulating the exchanges and making sure the laws were applied. These were the Capitouls, whose first acts were dated in 1152.

      In 1176, the "chapitre" already had 12 members, each of them representing a district of Toulouse, or a suburb. The consuls quickly opposed count Raimond V. The population of Toulouse was divided on the subject, and after 10 years of fighting, in 1189, the town council finally obtained the submission of the count.
      In 1190 began the construction of the future Capitole, the common house, the town council headquarters. With 24 members, probably elected, the Capitouls granted themselves the rights of police, trade, imposition and started some conflicts with the closest cities. Toulouse was usually victorious, extending the domination of the patria tolosana.

      Despite the intervention of the King, the administration of the Capitouls gave a relative independence to the city, for nearly 600 years, until the French Revolution.

      Anecdotally, the players of the Stade Toulousain, the local Rugby team, today wear the red and black colors of the Capitouls.

      13th century

      Catharism is a doctrine professing the separation of the material and the spiritual existences, one of its possible inspiration may be Bogomilism of Bulgaria. It conflicts with the orthodox confession. Called "heretics", the Cathars found a strong audience in the south of France, and during the 12th century. Simon de Montfort tried to exterminate them.

      Toulouse was reached by the Cathar doctrine too. The orthodox White Brotherhood pursued the hereticals Blacks in the streets of the city. The abbot of Foulques took advantage of this because the heretics were his creditors, and encouraged this inquisition.

      Some people joined the white fighters, others chose to assist the besieged population. The consuls did not wish to encourage the division of Toulouse, and defied the pontifical authority, refusing to identify the heretics. Raymond VI, Count of Toulouse, a Catholic, who was excommunicated for his dispute with the pope, later sympathised with the heretics because he saw the crusade take an unholy path with the extermination at Bézier.

      In 1211, the first siege of Toulouse by Simon de Montfort was unsuccessful but two years later, he successfully defeated the Toulouse army. Under the threat of killing many hostages, he entered the city in 1216, and appointed himself as a count.

      Simon de Montfort was killed by a stone at the Siege of Toulouse in 1218. Until the last siege, the "whites" were fought against by the Toulouse populace. Louis VII finally decided to give up in 1219. Raymond VI recognized the support he had received from the population, helping him to preserve his interests, gave up his last prerogatives to the Capitouls.

      13th to 14th century

      Les Jacobins in Toulouse
      The 13th century went in a political direction opposite to the path drawn by the past centuries. In 1229, the Treaty of Paris introduced the University of Toulouse, intending to teach theology as well as Aristotelian philosophy. Copied from the Parisian model, the teaching was supposed to dissolve the heretic movement.

      Various monastic orders, like the congregation of the order of frères prêcheurs (Dominican Order), were started. They found home in Les Jacobins. In parallel, a long period of inquisition began inside the Toulouse walls. The fear of repression obliged the notabilities to exile, or to convert themselves. The inquisition lasted nearly 400 years, making Toulouse its capital.

      Count Raimond VII was convicted of heresy and died in 1249 without an heir. The Toulouse county was given to the King of France, who imposed his laws. The power of the Capitouls was reduced.

      In 1323 the Consistori del Gay Saber was established in Toulouse to preserve the lyric art of the troubadours. Toulouse became the centre of Occitan literary culture for the next hundred years; the Consistori was last active in 1484.

      Reinforcing its place as an administrative center, the city grew richer, participating in the trade of Bordeaux wine with England, as well as cereals and textiles.

      Accompanying the inquisition, many threats affected the city. Plague, fire and flood devastated the districts. The Hundred Years' War decimated Toulouse. Despite strong immigration, the population lost 10,000 inhabitants in 70 years. Toulouse only had 22,000 people in 1405.

      15th to 16th century

      Civitas Tholosa, Nicolas Bertrand, 1515
      The 15th century began with the creation of the Parlement by Charles VII. Promising an exemption of taxes, the King reinforced his influence and defied the administration of the Capitouls. Invested with the rights of jurisdiction, the Parlement gained its political independence thereafter.

      This century is also the stage of many food shortages. The roads were worn and unreliable, and Toulouse experienced a terrible fire in 1463. The dwellings located between the current rue Alsace-Lorraine and the Garonne river were decimated. The city encountered a new demographic expansion, resulting in a true housing shortage.

      Continuing the textile activity of the city, the trade of fabric dye woad increased from 1463. This dye was called at the time pastel and triggered the most prosperous period of the Toulouse history. Toulouse used its newfound wealth to build the magnificent homes and public buildings that are today the core of the old city. A rich representative of this era was Pierre D'Assézat.

      The prosperity did not last. Woad was to be eclipsed by indigo from the New World, which produced a darker and more colorfast blue.

      In the middle of the 16th century, the University of Toulouse comprised nearly 10,000 students. A humanistic tide crossed its walls and the academics were often agitated. The inquisition continued to burn people at the stake.

      During the 1562 Riots of Toulouse street battles between Huguenots and Catholics resulted in over 3000 deaths and the purposeful burning of 200 homes in the Saint-Georges quarter.
      D'Assézat was expelled while 32 years of civil war began.

      17th century

      Tavernier's 1631 plan of Toulouse
      With Henry IV acceding to the throne, the Toulouse disorders came to an end. The Parlement recognized the King of France and the edict of Nantes was accepted in 1600. The Capitouls lost the last influence they had. A threat much more serious than La Fronde reached Toulouse in 1629 and 1652, leaving thousands of victims: the plague.

      For the first time, the municipality and the local Parlement took measures together to assist the people affected by the epidemic. Most of the clergy left the city. The richest people also fled. Only the doctors were required to stay. Starvation led the remaining Capitouls to prevent the butchers and the bakers from leaving.
      The La Grave hospital welcomed the people hit by the epidemic, and placed them in quarantine. The Pré des Sept Deniers also welcomed many patients under precarious conditions. Before closing its gates, the city became a den of beggars attracted by a medical infrastructure which held more hope than the countryside. The money failed to feed the population, and some requisitions were ordered. At the worst moments of the crisis, the rich were responsible for the poor.

      In 1654, when the second epidemic ended, the city was devastated. However, during the periods of no plague two major projects were completed: the Pont-Neuf in 1632 and the Canal du Midi in 1682. This troubled century ended with a last starvation, in 1693.

      The seventeenth century marked the arrival of a secret association, Aa (associatio amicorum), bringing together members of the clergy and academics, and preaching an exacerbated faith. The influence of this organization became particularly strong during the eighteenth century.

      18th century

      Frontage of the Capitole.
      Various artistic, religious, and architectural currents traversed the city during the 18th century.

      Louis de Mondran was the instigator of a new town planning, probably inspired by his stay in the capital. The principal achievements of this period were the Grand Rond, the Cours Dillon, and the frontage of the Capitole.

      In 1770, the Cardinal of Brienne inaugurated the first stone of the channel that was named after him. The channel that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Canal du Midi to the Canal Lateral à la Garonne were finished six years later. The point of junction is known under the name of Ponts-Jumeaux.

      The city grew more pecuniary, impoverishing the most stripped, and enriching the nobility and the clergy. The local architects and the sculptors became very busy, thanks to the numerous fortunate individuals. The Reynerie was the summer residence of the husband of the Comtesse du Barry.

      Toulouse did not forget its traditional religious enthusiasm, even if the end of the 18th century marks a certain decline. New congregations began to appear—most famously the Blue Penitents—officiating as the Saint-Jérome church. The local Parlement, infiltrated by the Aa group (see 17th century), regulated the religious life, and condemned the Protestants.

      The Calas affair began in this difficult context. With Parlement deciding the execution of Jean Calas, they demonstrated their newly acquired control of the city.

      Worried for its autonomy, the Toulouse population supported the Parlement when threatened by the monarchy. The Capitouls were now chosen by the Parlement, and only 8 representatives were allowed. A revolution would become necessary for the town to escape from the Parlement lead.

      19th century

      Toulouse and its faubourgs in 1815

      Downtown Toulouse and Garonne River in 1877

      Grand Cafe de la Comedie at Lafayette in 1905
      The French Revolution is a major event in the Toulouse history. It changed the role of the city, as well as its political and social structure.

      The city was one of many spectators of the Parisian movement. The on-coming of the protests of July 14, 1789 had minor repercussions, punctuated by some plundering. Five months later, when the Ancien Régime was abolished, a new order took over. The members of the Parlement and the Capitouls fought to preserve their privileges, they demonstrated on September 25, and hardly received any support from a population which did not recognize its former protectors.

      The regional influence of Toulouse, formerly ensured by its Parlement, was reduced to a department, Haute-Garonne. The clergy was required to yield to the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy" imposed by the constituent assembly. A new archbishop was named despite the disagreement of Loménie de Brienne. Part of the population was hostile to these reforms and their financial impact.

      The prerogatives of the Capitouls were abolished on December 14, 1789. Joseph de Rigaud was the first mayor, elected on February 28, 1790.

      In 1793, during the Commune, Toulouse refused to join the Provence and Aquitaine federalists in going to Paris. The prospects of the war against Austria and those of the interior resistance's initiated the Terror, purifying Toulouse from part of the refractors to the Revolution.

      In 1799, the fortified city resisted the attack of the British and Spanish royalist armies, during the first battle of Toulouse. The elevation of Napoleon to the head of the new regime, then empire, restored partially the regional statute of the city. The emperor even came to Toulouse in 1808, and gave in particular the Daurade cloister to the tobacco factory.

      In 1814, during the battle of Toulouse, the British army entered the city abandoned by the imperial army. Hence 10 April 1814 marks the last battle of the Empire: Napoleon having abdicated eight days earlier (but unfortunately the French commander, Soult, hadn't yet been informed!) The army of Wellington was welcomed there by a great number of royalists, which prepared Toulouse for the Restoration of Louis XVIII.

      Modern day

      Flags of France, the European Union, and the Midi-Pyrénées at half-mast on the Toulouse Capitole after the Mohammed Merah's shootings in the city.
      Toulouse suffered the explosion of the AZF chemical plant, owned by the Société nationale des poudres et des explosifs, on September 21, 2001. The plant was totally destroyed and the explosion damaged many houses, schools, churches, monuments and shops. More than 20,000 flats were damaged. The plant is 8 km (5.0 mi) from the centre of Toulouse. Twenty nine people died and several thousand were injured. The root of the explosion was in a building containing ammonium nitrate.

      In March 2012 a local Islamic extremist, Mohammed Merah, opened fire at a Jewish school in Toulouse, killing a teacher and three children. A 8 year old girl was shot in the head at point blank range. President Nicolas Sarkozy said that it was "obvious" it was an anti-Semitic attack and that, "I want to say to all the leaders of the Jewish community, how close we feel to them. All of France is by their side." The Israeli Prime Minister condemned the "despicable anti-Semitic" murders. After a 32 hour siege and standoff with the police outside his house, and a French raid, Merah jumped off a balcony and was shot in the head and killed. Merah told police during the standoff that he intended to keep on attacking, and he loved death the way the police loved life. He also claimed connections with al-Qaeda.


      Musée des Augustins
      The Théâtre du Capitole is the home of opera and ballet; there has been a theatre on the site since 1736. The Orchestre National du Capitole, long associated with Michel Plasson, plays at the Halle aux Grains.

      Le Château d'Eau gallery, an old nineteenth century water-tower was converted as a gallery in 1974 by Jean Dieuzaide, a French photographer from Toulouse and is now one of the oldest public places dedicated to photography in the world.

      Toulouse is the seat of the Académie des Jeux Floraux, the equivalent of the French Academy for the Occitan-speaking regions of southern France, making Toulouse the unofficial capital of Occitan culture. The traditional Occitan cross was adopted as the symbol of both the City of Toulouse and the newly-founded Midi-Pyrénées région.

      The city's gastronomic specialties include Saucisses de Toulouse, a type of sausage, cassoulet Toulousain, a bean and pork stew, and garbure, a cabbage soup with poultry. Also, foie gras, the liver of an overfed duck or goose, is a delicacy mainly made in the Midi-Pyrénées.


      Hôtel d'Assézat

      Hôtel de Bagis, also called Hôtel de Pierre

      The romanesque Saint-Sernin Basilica and its tower.

      Notre-Dame de la Dalbade church (15th–16th century)
      • Capitole de Toulouse (mainly 18th century), housing the Hôtel de Ville, the Théâtre du Capitole (opera house), and the Donjon du Capitole (16th century), located on the Place du Capitole.
      • Banks of the Garonne (mainly 18th century)
      • Bazacle
      • Jardin des Plantes, Grand-Rond, Jardin Royal
      • Pont Neuf (16th century)
      • Hôpital de la Grave, featuring a copper dome of the 18th century
      • Hôpital Saint-Raymond, 16th century hospital
      • Hôtel-Dieu Saint Jacques, former 16th and 17th century hospital on the banks of the Garonne
      • Galerie du Château d'eau (19th century)
      • Canal du Midi
      • Many Hôtels particuliers (palaces), notably of the 16th century like the Hôtel d'Assézat, the Hôtel du Vieux-Raisin, the Hôtel de Bernuy and the Hôtel de Bagis.
      • Saint-Pierre bridge, 19th century iron bridge
      • Wilson Square
      • Halle aux Grains (19th century)
      • Gare de Toulouse Matabiau, railroad station
      • Médiathèque José Cabanis


      • Musée des Augustins, the fine arts museum of the city housed in a former gothic convent.
      • Les Abattoirs, museum of modern and contemporary art.
      • Fondation Bemberg, art museum housed in the 16th century Hôtel d'Assézat.
      • Musée Saint-Raymond, a museum devoted to Antiquity housed in the former 16th century Saint-Raymond hospital.
      • Musée Paul-Dupuy, houses a collection of decorative and graphic arts
      • Le Château d'Eau, a gallery dedicated to contemporary photography.
      • Musée Georges Labit, displaying Asiatic and far-eastern art.
      • Musée du Vieux Toulouse, a museum presenting the history of the city.
      • Cité de l'espace (City of Space), a theme park of space exploration.
      • Muséum de Toulouse (Museum of Toulouse), a natural history museum.

      Religious buildings

      • Saint-Sernin Basilica (the largest romanesque church in Europe) which contains what is widely considered the most beautiful pipe organ in France.
      • Notre-Dame du Taur church, 14th century
      • Church of the Jacobins and its cloister (burial place of Saint Thomas Aquinas)
      • Saint-Étienne cathedral, 13th to 16th century
      • Daurade basilica, 18th–19th century
      • Ursulines tower
      • Saint Nicolas church, gothic church
      • Notre-Dame de la Dalbade church, 15th–16th century
      • Saint-Pierre des Cuisines church, 11th and 12th century with a 4th century crypt.
      • Carmelite chapel, chapel with 17th and 18th century frescoes.
      • former Augustine Convent and its gothic cloister, which now houses the Musée des Augustins.


      • "Toulouse", A Handbook for Travellers in France, London: John Murray, 1861
      • "Toulouse", The Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.), New York: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1910, OCLC 14782424
      • "Toulouse", Southern France, including Corsica (6th ed.), Leipzig: Baedeker, 1914
      • Anne Le stang, Histoire de Toulouse illustrée, Toulouse, Le Pérégrinateur Éditeur, 2006, ISBN 2-910352-44-7, in French
      • Helen ISAACS and Jeremy KERRISON, The Practical guide to Toulouse, 6th edition, Toulouse, 2008 Le Pérégrinateur Éditeur, ISBN 2-910352-46-3


        Catechism of the Catholic Church

        Part One: Profession of Faith, Chapter 3:2-I

        I. "Lord, Look Upon the Faith of Your Church"

        168 It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith. Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: "Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you", as we sing in the hymn Te Deum; with her and in her, we are won over and brought to confess: "I believe", "We believe". It is through the Church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister of Baptism asks the catechumen: "What do you ask of God's Church?" and the answer is: "Faith." "What does faith offer you?" "Eternal life."Roman Ritual, Rite of Baptism of Adults

        169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation."Faustus of Riez, De Spiritu Sancto 1, 2: PL 62, II Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.