Alanus De Insulis

, or Alain de LIsle, surnamed the Universal Doctor, from his extensive knowledge, was born about the middle of the twelfth century, not at Lille in Flanders, as most biographers have asserted, but either at L’Isle, in the Comtat-Venaissain, according to the abbe Le Beuf, or in the island or peninsula of Madoc in the Bordelais. In all the accounts we have of him, he seems to be mistaken for the preceding. He appears to have taught theology in the university of Paris; but it is not true that he ever was a lay-brother of the Cistertians, or fed the sheep belonging to that abbey, or that he was called to Rome to assist at a general council. He died in the early part of the thirteenth century, in the abbey of the Cistertians, whither, after the example of many distinguished persons of his time, he retired to pass the remainder of his days. He was buried in the abbey with an inscription of seven lines, the last four of which Casimir Oudin, the ecclesiastical biographer and historian, discovered to have been added long after his death, and with a view to authenticate the stories that he had been a lay-brother, &c. But although our accounts of him are imperfect and confused, it appears that he enjoyed the esteem and admiration of his contemporaries, and that it was usual to say, “To have seen Alanus, is enough.Sufficiat vobis vidisse Alanum. Among his works are, 1. “Anti-Claudianus, seu de viro optimo, et in omni virtute perfecto, lib. ix. Carmine,Basil, 1536, and Antwerp, 1621. 2. “De planctu naturæ contra Sodomiæ vitium,” published with notes by Leo Allatius. 3. “Contra Albigenses, Waldenses, Judæos, et Paganos,Paris, 1618, 8vo. 4. “Dicta de Lapide philosophico,Leyden, 1600, 8vo. All his works, both prose and verse, were collected by Charles de Visch, and published at Antwerp, 1654, fol. but some of them have been attributed to the preceding Alanus. His “Parables” have | been translated into French, Paris, 1492, fol. and by Denys Janot, 8vo, without a date. 1

1 Care, vol. It. —Foppen Bibl. Belg.Moreri. Tanner, who is inclined from Dempster’s authority to place him among British writers. Biographic Universelle, which we have principally followed. —Saxii Onomasticon.