Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Glanville, Bartholomew de
GLANVILLE, BARTHOLOMEW de (fl. 1230–1250), is the name erroneously given to Bartholomew Anglicus or the Englishman. Leland, without citing any authority, called him De Glanville. Bale copied Leland in 1557, and added a list of writings wrongly attributed to Bartholomew. J. A. Fabricius (Bibl. Latina, 1734) pointed out that there was some confusion; while Quétif and Echard had previously given detailed reasons for refusing the name De Glanville to the Minorite friar, Bartholomeus Anglicus. The majority of later writers also erroneously assign Bartholomeus Anglicus to the fourteenth century, a mistake perhaps due to Trittenheim, who placed Bartholomew undated between articles dated 1350 and 1360. Wadding, to whom our first precise notices are due, was unconscious that he placed the same man both in the thirteenth and in the fourteenth centuries (viii. 202). Bartholomew the Englishman, a Minorite (c. 1230–50), is first met with in 1230, when a letter was recorded from the general of the friar minors in the new province of Saxony, asking the provincial of France to send Bartholomew and another Englishman to help in the work of that province. In the following year a manuscript Saxon chronicle states that two were sent, Johannes Anglicus, ‘and Bartholomew, also an Englishman, as teacher of holy theology to the brethren in that province.’ The Parmese chronicler, Salimbene, writing in 1283 (Sbaralea, p. 115; Dove, p. 3) of an elephant belonging to the Emperor Frederick II in 1237, refers to Bartholomew's chapter on elephants in the ‘De Prop. Rerum,’ and, naming him ‘Anglicus,’ calls him a ‘great clerk who read through the whole Bible in lectures at Paris.’ Bartholomew of Pisa (second half of fourteenth century) calls him ‘de provincia Francia,’ while John de Trittenheim, abbot of Spanheim (end of fifteenth century), still speaks of him simply as ‘Bartholomeus natione Anglicus,’ and relates his success as a teacher at Paris. From all which it appears that Bartholomew was an Englishman born, that he studied in the Paris schools, entered the French province of the Minorite order, and became a famous professor of theology in Paris; finally, that the newly organised branch of the order in Saxony desired his services, and that he was sent thither from France in 1231. M. Leopold Delisle, to whose recent paper this notice is much indebted, would claim Bartholomew as a Frenchman, but we venture to think the evidence lies wholly the other way; he was living in France and Germany, and therefore was carefully distinguished from the first as ‘Anglicus.’ That he was a Minorite ‘de provincia Francia’ does not prove that he was a Frenchman. The date of his great work ‘De Proprietatibus Rerum’ can only be approximately fixed by internal evidence and that of the manuscripts. Jourdain noted before 1819 that there are some of Aristotle's treatises always quoted by Bartholomew according to a translation from an Arab version, which fell out of use about 1260; and that while citing Albert the Great, who was teaching in Paris till 1248, he does not refer to Vincent de Beauvais, Thomas d'Aquinas, Roger Bacon, or Gilles de Rome, all workers of the thirteenth century. Salimbene shows that the book was known in Italy in 1283; two manuscripts (in the Paris Library) also show it was known and prized there in 1297 and 1329. That it was current in England in 1296 is proved by a manuscript at Oxford (Ashm. 1512), which was copied in November of that year. Manuscripts of the book are frequent in English and French libraries; many are of the end of the thirteenth or early part of the fourteenth century.
The work is a compilation in nineteen books from various departments of human knowledge. It was the encyclopædia of the middle ages. The facts are arranged with a religious and moral object. To its author was given the title of ‘magister de proprietatibus rerum.’ The Latin text long remained a classic in universities; it was one of the books hired at a regulated price by the scholars of Paris. It was first printed at Basle about 1470, and went through fourteen or more editions before 1500; it was translated into French for Charles V by Jean Corbichon in 1372, into English by John of Trevisa (from the Latin) in 1398, and into Spanish and Dutch a century later. Trevisa's English version was printed by Wynkyn de Worde about 1495, and by Berthelet in 1535. ‘Batman uppon Bartholome his booke De Proprietatibus [with Trevisa's translation], newly corrected and amended, with additions,’ London, 1582, fol., was by Stephen Batman [q. v.], and Douce believed that Shakespeare was well acquainted with the volume. The book was certainly the source of common information on natural history throughout the middle ages.
Trittenheim also attributes to Bartholomew a book of sermons, and cautiously mentions that ‘he is said to have written other things,’ but according to Sbaralea this statement is doubtful.[M. L. Delisle in Hist. Littéraire, xxx. 334; Wadding's Annales Minorum, ed. 1733, ii. 248, 274; Salimbene, ed. Parma, 1857; A. Dove's Doppelchronik von Reggio, &c., Leipzig, 1873; J. H. Sbaralea, Supplementum ad Scriptores trium ordinum S. Francisci, p. 115; Quétif and Echard's Scriptores Ordinum Prædicatorum, 1719, i. 486; Joh. Trithemius, De Ecclesiasticis Scriptoribus, in Fabricius's Bibl. Eccles. p. 150; Amable Jourdain, Recherches sur les traductions latines d'Aristote, 1819, pp. 35, 398. Biographical compilers, who have copied or added one unauthorised detail after another, are Leland (Script. Brit.), Bale, Pits, Wadding (viii. 202), Tanner, Cave's Wharton (Script. Eccles. ii. ii. 66), Oudin (Comm. de Script. Eccles. iii. 969), and Jöcher. Chevalier, in his Répertoire, gives Bartholomew the wrong name and date, therein following several of the authorities named by him. See also Hist. Littéraire, vol. xxiv.]