Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Adam of Buckfield

ADAM of Buckfield (fl. 1300?), an English commentator on Aristotle, is praised by Bale and Pits for his love of this author and his subtlety in interpreting his works. Bale adds that he was accustomed to use Aristotle for the explanation of both natural and supernatural affairs. There still exists in Balliol College Library (MSS. ccxli.) a manuscript entitled ‘Adami Buckfield Commentarius super Aristotelis Metaphysicam.’ Coxe, in his Cat. MSS., assigns the handwriting of this manuscript to the fourteenth century; and, as the name of Alghazil, who died in 1111, occurs in it, we get two extreme dates within which Adam must have flourished. But, since Aristotle, till the thirteenth century, was known to Western Europe only as a logician (Bass Mullinger, History of Cambridge University), it is perhaps best to assign this commentator to the century in which his sole existing manuscript was written. Wadding reckons him as a Franciscan, and professes to have seen four other treatises upon Aristotle written by this Adam, besides the one above mentioned, which he had never come across. As regards the surname Buckfield or Buccenfeldus, there still remains a small village bearing the name of Buckingfield, not far from Morpeth in Northumberland; and as surnames had not yet lost all significance in the fourteenth century, it may have been the birthplace of our author.

[Leland, Comment. 269; Bale, ii. 45; Pits, 820; Wadding's Script. Ord. Min. p. 1; Biblioth. Franciscana, i. 9.]

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