Champeaux, William De

, in Latin Campellensis, was a native of the village of Champeaux near Melun, in the province of Brie, and flourished in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. After studying law under Ansehn, dean of the cathedral church of Melun, he was ordained | archdeacon of Paris, and appointed to read lectures on logic in the schools of that church. Some time after he retired with some of his pupils to a monastery, in which was St. Victor’s chapel, near Paris, and there founded the abbey of regular canons. He continued to teach in that convent, and, as generally supposed, was the first public professor of scholastic divinity. He was made bishop of Chalons in 1113, and died in Jan. 1121. None of his works are extant, for the “Dialogue between a Christian and a Jew,” printed under his name in the “Bibliotheca Patrum,” belongs to Gilbert of Westminster. It is thought that he wrote a book of sentences before Peter Lombard, of which a ms copy was in the library of Notre-dame at Paris. He maintained the doctrine of the Realists, who held that all individual things partake of the one essence of their species, and are only modified by accident. He had the appellation of the Venerable Doctor. Brucker has given a Jong account of his disputes with Abelard, who was one of his scholars, and who ventured to question the opinions of his master, and leaving him, opened a school of his own at Melun, where the splendour of his superior talents in disputation attracted general admiration, and eclipsed the fame of Champeaux. 1