Author Robert of Courson (c. 1160 - 1219)Paris c. 1200-1212

Dating According to Baldwin, I: 19 Robert was English by birth and a student of Peter the Chanter, probably in the 1190's. The first charter mentioning his name appears in 1200 and bears the title Magister. Robert taught at Paris until he was raised to the cardinalate in 1212 by Innocentt III. He died in 1219.


Summa The only extent work of Robert. According to Baldwin, II:14, the Summa exists in fourteen manuscripts and in three principal forms, a primitive, alternative and final version. He gives the following breakdown of the manucripts and mentions that the differences are relatively minor. At that point, Dickson was preparing a critical edition. Baldwin, II:14-15 dates this work c. 1208-1212/3 based on a reference in the work to Innocent III's letter of March 1208 calling for a crusade against the Albigensians and the election of Robert to the cardinalate in 1212. For a general estimation of the work, see Baldwin, I: 25: "Using one version of the work [Peter the Chanter's Summa de sacramentis], Robert of Courson revised the general orgainizational plan to emphasize penance and morality, arrranged the individual questiones to follow a more logical progression, and within each questio reconstructed the material acording to a methodical procedure. To be sure, Robert was the author of a new Summa but in another sense his book consituted another draft of the work begun by the Chanter."

Primitive version:
Paris, BN 3258, 2359 (Baldwin transcribes this as 3259), 3495 and MS Escorial G IV 14
Alternate version
MS Brugges 247, MS Arras 66 (62) (mutilated), MS Paris BN 3203
Final version:
MS Paris BN 14524, MS Troyes 1175, MS Rouen 656 (A408)
Other versions:
MS Cambridge, Gonville and Caius *331/722 (borrows from
primitive and final versions; incomplete: see notes below)
MS London, BL Royal 9 E 14 (slightly different arrangement; 6 questions not found in other MSS; according to Kennedy, this is the only MS to cover the entire program given by Robert in his description of contents),
MS Anger 312 (fragments)
MS Erlanger University 353 (fragments)


R. Peppermüller, "Robert Courson," LMA 7 (1994): 903
S.C. Ferruolo, "Langton, Stephen," DMA, vol. 3 (1983), p. 659
Landgraf, Introduction, pp. 166-7.
John Balwin, Masters, Princes and Merchants: The Social Views of Peter the Chanter and His Circle, 2 vols., Princeton, 1970, I: 19-25.
V. L. Kennedy, "The Contents of Courson's Summa," Medieval Studies, 9 (1947), 81-107. (tituli from ONLY BN 2359, BN 14524, Troyes 1175 and Brugges 1175)
Marcel Dickson and Christiane. Dickson, "Vie de Robert de Courson," Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du moyen âge, 9 (1934), 53-142