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John of Salisbury

c.1115-1180. Medieval philosopher and classical scholar. Born of a poor family at Salisbury, Wiltshire, he studied under Abelard* at Paris and at Chartres. He became a papal clerk and was employed on various missions. In 1153 he returned to England to become chief minister and secretary to Theobald and Thomas Becket,* archbishops of Canterbury. He supported Becket against Henry II and was present at the archbishop's death in 1170. He became bishop of Chartres in 1176. His principal writings are the Policraticus (1159), a political treatise, and the Metalogicon (1159), which defends the study of logic and metaphysics and argues fittingly, as the best Latinist of his age and a notable man of letters, that this should be related to literary education. The latter work demonstrates his acquaintance with Aristotle's logical writings. He also wrote Historia Pontificalis and a number of Letters.