Giles of Rome

c.1243/47-1316. Theologian and philosopher. After studies at the Paris house of the Augustinian Hermits, he read theology under Aquinas in the University of Paris. From 1285 to 1291 he was the first Augustinian master in theology there. He was a prodigious writer. In 1287 the order prescribed that his teaching be followed in its schools. He became its general in 1292. As tutor to Philip IV of France he wrote De Regimine principum; as archbishop of Bourges from 1295 his De Renuntiatione papae upheld the validity of Celestine V's abdication and Boniface VIII's election. He later sided with Boniface in a quarrel with Philip, writing De ecclesiastica potestate (1301/2) which inspired Boniface's Unam Sanctam (1302). In papal theocracy he saw fulfillment of Augustine's City of God ideal, the theology of which he defended. A witness for Aquinas's thought, though differing appreciably on some issues, Giles also commented on Aristotle's and Peter Lombard's works, and produced exegetical writings on Paul's letters and John's gospel.