I.3. Six Articles

The Six Articles (Sex articuli) are Holcot’s only scholastic work that has been edited (for the most part) in a modern critical edition (Die “Conferentiae” des Robert Holcot O.P. und die akademischen Auseinandersetzungen an der Universität Oxford 1330–1332, ed. Fritz Hoffmann (Münster, 1993), 65–127). The Sex articuli were composed during the summer of 1332 after Holcot completed his lectures on the first book of the Sentences. In response to his lectures Holcot received substantial criticism from the Franciscan William of Chitterne and his fellow Dominican William Crathorn— he responded to the charges in the six articles (Gelber, It Could Have Been Otherwise, 296). Throughout this short work, Holcot is strongly influence by the philosophical views of William of Ockham and defends his Sentences commentary against Citterne and Crathorn.

As Hester Gelber argued (ICHBO,297, fn. 77), the edition of Hoffmann omits article 6. It seems that Hoffmann did not consult Oxford, Oriel ms. 15 (nor the Lyon 1518 edition) which both list the six articles (see f. 207rb and f. q.5ra respectively). Thus, for article six one must still consult the Lyon edition or one of the manuscripts. The manuscripts consulted by Hoffman include:

I. Manuscripts 

London, Royal British Museum, ms. 10.C.VI;
Oxford, Balliol College, ms. 71;
Oxford, Corpus Christi College, ms. 138;
Oxford, Oriel College, ms. 15;
Oxford, Pembroke College, ms. 236.

There are undoubtedly other manuscripts and I will provide further information as it is revealed. For more on the debate between Holcot and Chitterne, see Gelber, ICHBO, 295-306. See also Katherine Tachau, “Robert Holcot on Contingency and Divine Deception,” in Filosofia e theologian el trecento: Studi in ricordo di Eugenio Randi, ed. Luca Bianchi (Louvain-la-Neuve: Féderation internationale des institutes détudes médiévales, 1994), 157-196. In her article, Tachau notes that there are nine articles found in Oxford, Merton College, Cod. 113, ff. 218v-233r that contain the arguments of Chitterne (perhaps as a report—on page 184, fn. 72 she transcribes a section of Chitterne’s argument found on 218vb-219ra.  Nota Bene: in his discussion, Hoffmann mis-identifies Chitterne as Walter Chatton.

II. Incunabula/Early Modern Editions

 The six articles can be found in: In quatuor libros Sententiarum quaestiones. Lyon, 1518; reprinted Frankfurt: Minerva GMBH, 1967. (There are perhaps others.)


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