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Anselm of Laon

Anselm of Laon (died 1117) was a French theologian.

Born of very humble parents at Laon before the middle of the 11th century, he is said to have studied under St. Anselm at Bec. In about 1076 he was teaching with great success at Paris, where, as the associate of William of Champeaux, he upheld the realistic side of the scholastic controversy. Later he moved back to his place of birth and was Master of Laon, with his brother Ralph, from c 1090 until his death. His school for theology and exegetics rapidly became the most famous in Europe. in 1113 he expelled Peter Abelard from his school.

He was dean and chancellor of Laon from about 1109 and archdeacon from 1115.

The Liber Pancrisi (c. 1120) names him, with Ivo of Chartres and William of Champeaux, as on of the three modern masters.


Anselm's greatest work, an interlinear gloss on the Scriptures, was one of the great authorities of the middle ages. It has been frequently reprinted. Other commentaries apparently by him have been ascribed to various writers, principally to the great Anselm. A list of them, with notice of Anselm's life, is contained in the Histoire littéraire de la France, x. 170-189.

The works are collected in Migne's Patrologia Latina, tome 162; some unpublished Sententiae were edited by G Lefevre (Milan, 1894), on which see Barthélemy Hauréau in the Journal des savants for 1895.