Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 809-811


Giles of Rome

  • Gyula KlimaAffiliated withDepartment of Philosophy, Fordham University Email author 

Alternate Names

Aegidius Colonna [Columna]; Aegidius Romanus

BornRome, (Italy), circa1247

DiedAvignon, France, 22 December 1316

Giles’ significance in the history of astronomy lies in his metaphysical investigations into such fundamental physical notions as matter, space, and time.

Giles was the most significant theologian of the Order of the Augustinian Hermits in the thirteenth century. His exact date of birth is uncertain, as is his alleged relation to the noble family of the Colonna (which is not mentioned in contemporary sources). He entered the Augustinian order at a young age, about 1260. Later, Giles was sent to study in Paris, where he probably was among the students of Thomas Aquinas from 1269 to 1272, and started writing his commentary on Peter Lombard’s Sentences, as well as extensive commentaries on Aristotle’s works. If one can believe the traditional yet often debated attribution, it was also during this period, around 1270, that he composed De Erroribus Philos ...

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