Any work entitled The Universe is bound to be large, and William’s work certainly measures up to its name, even though he includes in it only the world of creatures, for he had already dealt with God, one and triune, in The Trinity, or the First Principle, the first part of his Teaching on God in the Mode of Wisdom (Magisterium divinale et sapientiale), a truly immense work that contains in seven parts the full sweep of the philosophical and theological thought that is found in the great Summae of the later half of the thirteenth century. This translation of selections from the De universo grew out of a graduate seminar on William offered at Marquette University in the spring semester of 1995.
In order to make William available to the students whose Latin was limited or non-existent, I translated large parts of the De universo and of the De anima which we read in class along with the translations of William’s De trinitate and De immortalitate animae. I subsequently corrected the translation, polished it somewhat, and annotated it as best I could. I hope that it will prove useful to other students of medieval philosophy and allow them to become familiar with the thought of William of Auvergne, one of the first of the great philosopher-theologians of the thirteenth century. — From the translator’s Introduction.
Roland J. Teske, S.J., is the Donald J. Schuenke Professor of Philosophy at Marquette University. He is the author, editor, and translator of some twenty books and nearly one hundred articles, and is the editor of the series Mediæval Philosophical Texts in Translation.