Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Meliton, William of

MELITON, MILITON, or MILTON, WILLIAM of (d. 1261), Franciscan, was D.D. and fifth master of the Friars Minors at Cambridge about 1250. He was afterwards called to Paris, and was appointed by Innocent IV to finish the ‘Summa Theologiæ’ of Alexander of Hales in 1252. About 1260 Meliton, Bonaventura, and other distinguished Minorites, at the request of Isabel or Elizabeth, sister of St. Louis, king of France, revised and corrected the rule which she had drawn up for the government of her new nunnery at Longchamp. Meliton died suddenly at Paris in 1261, leaving a reputation for learning and great holiness. His commentaries on Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Solomon, Ezekiel, the Twelve Minor Prophets, the Canonical Epistles, and the Apocalypse, are extant among the manuscripts of the National Library at Paris, and his ‘Quæstiones de Sacramento’ in the library of St. Anthony, Padua. Other works are preserved at Assisi. All or nearly all of these manuscripts date from the thirteenth century—showing that Meliton's popularity, though considerable, was not lasting.

[Monumenta Franciscana, vol. i.; Lanercost Chronicle, p. 70; Bollandists' Acta Sanctorum, sub die 31 Aug. p. 801; Wadding's Annales Minorum, vol. iv.; Supplementum ad Scriptores, p. 324, ed. 1806; Hist. Litt. de la France, xix. 416, xxvi. 403.]

A. G. L.