Reginald of Piperno’s nota

Because of the research of Mauro Turrini, we now know who the author is of a short nota that is found three certain manuscript copies of the Tertia pars of Thomas’s Summa theologiae: Reginald of Piperno, Thomas’s socius continuus for a number of years, likely from the time of his return to Italy in the 1260-1262 range.

What is the nota about? Evidently, Reginald of Piperno had before him the original copy of Thomas’s Tertia pars, and was asked to look over another copy of the Tertia pars, to make a comparison and verification of its contents. It turned out that in eight cases his own copy had either gaps or texts that were at significant variance from those in the manuscript copy. In most cases, those “gaps” in the original were plugged by others with texts that are not written by Thomas: “non est fratris Thome.” It also seems to be the case that these ‘additions’ or ‘improvements’ have been propagated throughout the manuscript tradition, and made their way into the editions of the Tertia pars we use today. The nota itself was copied into three manuscripts of the Tertia pars, after question 90, a. 4.

I said “throughout the tradition.” Except, however, for two manuscripts that we know of: Naples, Biblioteca Nazionale VII B 15, and Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional 515. These two manuscripts correspond to the description of the manuscript original that Reginal provides, leading Turrini to think that they could well have been copied from the manuscript Reginald had, or from a good, immediate copy therefrom. Alas, neither of these two manuscripts had a prominent place in the Leonine Edition of 1906, which was at the cutting edge of editorial technique at the time. Using those two manuscripts as principal witnesses, Turrini established a much better text for the treatment of the sacraments in the Tertia pars, qq. 60-65 (see: Mauro Turrini, “Etablissement critique du texte du «De sacramentis in communi» de Thomas d’Aquin: «Tertia Pars», qq. 60-65,” Studi medievali [1998]: 911-952).

Here is an English translation of Reginald’s nota, made from the edition Turrini provides (Mauro Turrini, “Réginald de Piperno et le text original de la Tertia pars de la Somme de théologie de S. Thomas d’Aquin,” Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiques 73 [1989]: 233-247, at 236-237).

There are four downloadable versions of this nota. Simply click on the link of the version that you want, and the file will be available for you to save on your computer. The versions are:

  1. Adobe Acrobat (pdf)
  2. Downloadable web page (html)
  3. Microsoft Word (doc)

Please contact me with any comments or corrections you may have.

The Text of the Nota

(Summa theologiae, III, q. 90, a. 4, ad 3)…and so before baptism no distinction is made between penance for mortal sins or for venial sins. Next consideration is to be given to the parts of penance. And first to contrition, second to confession, third to satisfaction.

Here ends all that was had from the third part of the Summa of venerable brother Thomas de Aquino of the order of the Brothers preacher who, prevented by death, was not able to bring it to completion.

1.      Note that in question 22, article 2, the solution to the third argument was missing in the original of this third part of Brother Thomas, and in all the others that took their original from it.

2.      Likewise, question 57, article 4, the second argument placed here with its answer was deleted from the original, and in its place was added an argument and its answer that here has the third place, but that is not by brother Thomas.

3.      Likewise, question 62, article 6, in the answer to the third argument, the second last response given here, which begins “and so it better should be said” is by Brother Thomas but was deleted from the original, and in its place was a final response, which is not by Brother Thomas, and which begins “or it should be said.”

4.      Likewise, questions 68, article 3, Brother Thomas, having made his arguments, said “On the contrary is what Augustine says,” and he didn’t follow through on the authority, but left space in the original where the authority could be put. But what has been placed here is either that authority or another by the same Augustine which is sufficient making the proposed argument, as is clear in that place.

5.      Likewise, in the same question, article 12, Brother Thomas, having made the arguments, says “On the contrary is what Augustine says,” but he didn’t follow through on the authority, but left space in the original where it could be placed. But here the authority itself has been put or a similar one taken from book 4 of his Scriptum, distinction 4, question 8, article 3.

6.      Likewise, question 70, article 4, in the body, where Brother Thomas is saying “insofar as it is an instrument of the passion of Christ already completed” what follows here, namely, “now in circumcision grace was conferred not from the power of circumcision but in virtue of faith in the passion of Christ of which circumcision was a sign” was deleted from the original, and what is added there all the way up to where it says “and so namely,” this is not by Brother Thomas.

7.      Likewise, question 73, article 5, in the body, Brother Thomas in the original, for confirmation of the second reason, says, “hence Pope Leo says” but didn’t follow through on the authority, left space where the authority was to be written. But what has been placed here is either that authority or something similar from the same Pope Leo.

8.      Likewise, question 82, article 8, in the first argument, Brother Thomas adduces an authority from canon law in the place of the minor proposition, and didn’t assign in which causa, question or chapter it was, but left space where it could be written. Here however the authority has been assigned.

Here begin the rubrics of the Third part…