painting of St. Thomas

Theological Syntheses

Scriptum super libros Sententiarum

Logos Bible Software has proposed a complete translation, with facing Latin, in electronic form; pre-orders, by which the company is measuring interest in the project and determining whether to proceed, are being accepted. The following are partial translations:

Summa contra gentiles

Summa theologiae

Besides the countless partial editions, see the following complete translations:

Commentaries on Scripture

Besides the snippets edited by C.J. Callan in Sermon Matter from St. Thomas Aquinas on the Epistles and Gospels of the Sundays and Feast Days (Advent to Easter) (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1950), see the following:

Catena aurea

Commendatio Sacrae Scripturae

Expositio et lectura super Epistolas Pauli Apostoli

The Aquinas Institute is preparing a 6-volume set of all Thomas’ Pauline commentaries, based largely on the work of Fr. Larcher, with English, Thomas’ Latin, and Paul’s Greek. The volume on Romans is in production and available for pre-order.

Expositio in Job “ad litteram”

Expositio super Isaiam ad litteram

Logos Bible Software has proposed a complete translation, with facing Latin, in electronic form; pre-orders, by which the company is measuring interest in the project and determining whether to proceed, are being accepted. The following selection is available:

Lectura super Johannem

Lectura super Matthaeum

Postilla super Psalmos

Postilla super Threnos

Super Ieremiam

Logos Bible Software has proposed a complete translation, with facing Latin, in electronic form; pre-orders, by which the company is measuring interest in the project and determining whether to proceed, are being accepted.

Commentaries on Aristotle

Sententia de caelo et mundo

Sententia de memoria et reminiscentia

Sententia de sensu et sensato

Sententia libri Ethicorum

Sententia libri Politicorum

Sententia super De anima

Sententia super libros De generatione et corruptione

Sententia super Metaphysicam

Sententia super Meteora

Sententia super Peri hermenias

Sententia super Physicam

Sententia super Posteriora Analytica

Commentaries on Neoplatonic Texts

Expositio in librum Boethii De hebdomadibus

Expositio super Dionysium De divinis nominibus

Expositio super librum Boethii De trinitate

Expositio super librum De causis

Disputations

De anima

De caritate

De malo

De potentia

De spiritualibus creaturis

De unione verbi incarnati

De veritate

De virtutibus cardinalibus

De virtutibus in communi

Quaestiones de quodlibet I–XII

Utrum anima coniuncta cognoscat seipsam per essentiam

Polemical Writings

Contra doctrinam retrahentium a religione

Contra impugnantes Dei cultum et religionem

De aeternitate mundi contra murmurantes

De perfectione spiritualis vitae

De unitate intellectus contra Averroistas

Other Authentic Works

Collationes de decem praeceptis

Collationes super Pater Noster

Collationes super Ave Maria

Collationes super Credo in Deum

Compendium theologiae

Contra errores Graecorum

De articulis fidei et Ecclesiae sacramentis

De emptione et venditione ad tempus

De ente et essentia

De mixtione elementorum

De motu cordis

De occultis operationibus naturae

De principiis naturae

De rationibus fidei contra Saracenos, Graecos et Armenos

De regno

De sortibus

De substantiis separatis

Epistola ad comitissam Flandriae

Epistola exhortatoria de modo studendi

Officium de festo Corporis Christi

Orationes

University Sermons

Works of Uncertain Authenticity

De quattuor oppositis

Officium de festo S. Augustini

Spurious Works

Aurora consurgens

De moribus divinis

De sacramento altaris

Expositio in Canticum canticorum

Sermons

Abbreviations Explained for Non-Latinists

Methods of referring to parts of the Summa theologiae

The Summa falls into three parts, of which Thomas subdivides the second into the first part of the second part (in Latin, prima [pars] secundae [partis]) and the second part of the second part (in Latin, secunda secundae). Because Thomas never finished the third part, his followers cut and pasted an ending from his earlier writings; their work is “the supplement.” You will see the following in notes and parenthetical references:

the first part (prima pars)
1; 1a; I; Ia
the first part of the second part
1–2; 1a–2ae; I–II; Ia–IIae
the second part of the second part
2–2; 2a–2ae; II–II; IIa–IIae
the third part (tertia pars)
3; 3a; III; IIIa
the supplement (supplementum)
suppl.

These parts break down into questions (qq.); and each question (in Latin, quaestio, abbreviated q. or quaest.) is comprised of articles (etymologically, “little joints” in the organic whole; a. = article). Most articles contain “objections” (suggested arguments) on one side of an issue, an argument or quotation supporting the other side and introduced with the formula sed contra (“on the other hand”), Thomas’ solution (solutio) in the body (corpus) of the article, and replies to the objections; replies open with the Latin preposition ad (“to” or “toward”) followed by an ordinal number (e.g., ad primum means “in reply to the first objection,” while ad tertium indicates the reply to the third). Here are sample citations:

ST 1.3.2c
Summa theologiae, part 1, q. 3, a. 2, corpus
ST 2–2.75.1 ad 3
Summa theologiae, 2nd part of 2nd part, q. 75, a. 1, reply to 3rd objection
ST 3.10.3 sed contra
Summa theologiae, part 3, q. 10, a. 3, the argument on the other side
ST Suppl. 41.2
Summa theologiae, supplement, q. 41, a. 2

Instead of ad 3, you may see ad 3um or ad 3m; the -um or -m represent the Latin declensional ending, as in ad tertium.

Miscellaneous abbreviations for parts of works

c.
caput, “chapter”
d.
distinction (a division within commentaries on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, the theological textbook in Thomas’ day)
div. text.
division of the text (Thomas’ outline of the text he’s commenting on)
expos. text.
exposition of the text (Thomas’ detailed interpretation)
lect.
lectio, “lesson” (units of text Thomas comments on; lessons of Aristotle’s works are usually shorter than the chapters modern readers know)
princ.
principium, “beginning”
q.a
quaestiuncula, “little question,” an inquiry attached to an article within a question within a distinction

A few common abbreviations for some of Thomas’ works

You may see the following abbreviations, and many variations on them, in footnotes and in lists of parallel passages. Note well: Even the full titles of Thomas’ works may vary from manuscript to manuscript and, therefore, from edition to edition.

Ad Gal.
on the epistle to the Galatians
Compend. theol.
Compendium theologiae
Cont. err. Graec.
Contra errores Graecorum
Cont. Gent.
Summa contra gentiles
Cont. impug. relig.
Contra impugnantes Dei cultum et religionem
Cont. retrahent. ab ingressu relig.
Contra doctrinam retrahentium a religione
De anima or Super De anima
Sententia super De anima
De caelo or Sent. De caelo
Sententia de caelo et mundo
De dec. praec.
Collationes de decem praeceptis
De duob. praec.
part of Collationes de decem praeceptis, on charity
De div. nom.
Expositio super Dionysium De divinis nominibus
De hebdom. or Super De hebd.
Expositio in librum Boethii De hebdomadibus
De perf. vitae spir.
De perfectione spiritualis vitae
De pot.
De potentia
De spirit. creat.
De spiritualibus creaturis
De unit. intell.
De unitate intellectus contra Averroistas
De verit.
De veritate
De virtut.
De virtutibus in communi
Ethic. or Sent. Ethic.
Sententia libri Ethicorum
Expos. in Orat. Dom.
Collationes super Pater Noster
Expos. in Salut. Angelicam
Collationes super Ave Maria
Expos. super Symb.
Collationes super Credo in Deum
In Boeth. De Trin.
Expositio super librum Boethii De trinitate
In Col.
on the epistle to the Colossians
In Eph.
on the epistle to the Ephesians
In Heb.
on the epistle to the Hebrews
In I Cor. and In II Cor.
on the epistles to the Corinthians
In I Thess. and In II Thess.
on the epistles to the Thessalonians
In I Tim. and In II Tim.
on the epistles to Timothy
In Io. or Super Joh.
Lectura super Johannem. Reportatio
In Iob
Expositio in Job “ad litteram”
In Is. or Post. Is.
Postilla super Isaiam, on Isaiah
In Mt. or Super Matt.
Lectura super Matthaeum. Reportatio
In Ps.
Postilla super Psalmos
In Rom.
on the epistle to the Romans
In Tit.
on the epistle to Titus
Metaphys. or Super Meta.
Sententia super Metaphysicam
Periherm.
Sententia super Peri hermenias
Phys. or Super Phys.
Sententia super Physicam
Poster. or Super Post. An.
Sententia super Posteriora Analytica
Q. de anima
Disputed questions De anima
Qq. disp.
Quaestiones disputatae
Quodl.
Quaestiones de quodlibet I–XII
Sent. or Super Sent.
Scriptum super libros Sententiarum

Latin Texts & Aids

For those who can read Latin

Besides the English translations with facing Latin texts, noted above, the web offers an increasing number of Latin e-texts. Building on Roberto Busa’s work for the Index Thomisticus, Enrique Alarcón has put the writings of Thomas (and some by his contemporaries) as well as many tools for their study on-line and in a most pleasing format at www.corpusthomisticum.org. But given the vagaries of servers and browsers, it’s good to know other addresses besides, and each of the following has its advantages:

For those who wish they could read Latin

Thomas kept his Latin simple and straightforward, wanting nothing to come between his readers and truth. Consequently, learning enough Latin to consult his works in the original takes far less time and effort than learning to read Cicero or Livy or Vergil. You can do it, and on-line resources can help. Start with this tutorial for beginners in medieval Latin (it presupposes no knowledge of classical Latin), and then explore these aids:

Dictionaries

The Perseus Digital Library at Tufts University provides many tools for students of classical Latin, among other things:

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated,” said Mark Twain, and we might say something similar about Latin. Like a living thing (if only of the slow-moving sort), Latin changed during the Middle Ages, and even today it acquires new words. When you read medieval or later authors, you will find that, sooner or later, dictionaries of classical Latin let you down, and you will want resources which take post-classical developments into account:

Grammars

Other resources

More Sites of Interest

Early Christian Writers

Medieval Authors

Middle Ages

Islamic Philosophy

On St. Thomas