Popular quotes: The meaning an history behind "Beware the man of one book"
Beware the man of one book (homo unius libri)
This phrase is generally attributed to Thomas Aquinas
Thomas of Aquino is believed to have been born in 1225. His family intended that he would become a Benedictine monk but at the age of nineteen, influenced by one of his teachers at the university, he decided to join the recently established Dominican order. His family were so displeased by his decision that they had him kidnapped and held him captive in the family castle for two years in hopes of convincing him to change his mind. Eventually realizing that they wouldn't succeed, his mother arranged for Thomas to escape at night on the basis that this would be less embarrassing to the family than admitting they'd allowed him to join.
In university he had been heavily influenced by the writings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC 322 BC), and also by the 12th century philosophers, Averroes (a Muslim polymath) and Maimonides (a Jewish Rabbi). During his 49 years he became an extremely influencial philosopher and theologian and is considered the leading classical proponent of natural theology (theology based on reason and ordinary experience as opposed to revealed theology which is based on scripture and religious experience).
His best known works are the Summa Theologica (Compendium of Theology) which, despite being unfinished at his death, is considered one of the most influential works of Western literature; and the Summa contra Gentiles
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