Albertus Magnus  

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"Al-Gazali. Abu Hamid Mohammed Ibn Mohammed, the celebrated Arabian philosopher, born at Tous in Khorasan in 1038; died at Nissapour in 1111. He passed through complete scepticism to the mysticism of the Sufis. It is often said that Blessed Albertus Magnus wrote thus: “Non approbo dictum Avicennae et Algazel de fascinatione, quia credo quod non nocet fascinatio, nec nocere potest ars magica, nec facit aliquid ex his quae timentur de talibus." But this passage is more than suspicious."--Montague Summers in Malleus Maleficarum (1487) by Heinrich Kramer

"He began by turning over all his Latin library, after which he re-marshalled the special works of Archelaüs, Albertus Magnus, Raymond Lully and Arnaud de Villanova treating of the kabbala and the occult sciences; lastly he verified, one by one, his modern books and was delighted to find they were all intact, dry and in good condition."--À rebours (1884) by Joris-Karl Huysmans

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Albertus Magnus (c. 1200 – 15 November 128) was a friar and bishop who achieved fame for his comprehensive knowledge of and advocacy for the peaceful coexistence of science and religion. He is considered to be the greatest German philosopher and theologian of the Middle Ages. He was the first among medieval scholars to apply Aristotle's philosophy to Christian thought. Catholicism honors him as a Doctor of the Church, one of only 33 persons with that honor.

Cultural references

The iconography of the tympanum and archivolts of the late-13th century portal of Strasbourg Cathedral was inspired by the writings of Albertus Magnus. Albertus is recorded as having made a mechanical automaton in the form of a brass head that would answer questions put to it. Such a feat was also attributed to Roger Bacon.

In The Concept of Anxiety Søren Kierkegaard wrote that Albert Magnus, "arrogantly boasted of his speculation before the deity and suddenly became stupid." Kierkegaard cites G. O. Marbach who he quotes as saying "Albertus repente ex asino factus philosophus et ex philosopho asinus" [Albert was suddenly transformed from an ass into a philosopher and from a philosopher into an ass].

In 1968, he was cited by William F. Buckley as one of several historical figures whose best qualities would be emulated by the ideal President.

The typeface Albertus is named in his memory.

In Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Albertus Magnus is referred to as one of Victor Frankenstein's chosen readings. He is also referred to in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birth-mark and Herman Melville's The Bell Tower. In Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, the character of Alberto Mallich (founder of the Unseen University and later Death's manservant Albert) is a sly nod to Albertus Magnus in his more legendary and esoteric guise. Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s novel A Canticle for Leibowitz centers around a monastic order called the Albertian Order of Leibowitz, named by its founder after Albertus Magnus and dedicated to preserving scientific knowledge lost after a nuclear war.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Albertus Magnus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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