Arnau de Vilanova’s Interpretation of Augustine of Hippo’s Eschatology in the Antidotum contra venenum effusum per fratrem Martinum de Atheca
Keywords:Arnold of Villanova, Martin of Ateca, Antidotum
In the apocalyptic controversy that set Arnald of Vilanova at odds with professional theologians during the early years of the 14th century, the interpretation of Augustine of Hippo’s texts concerning the possibility of acquiring advance knowledge of the end times played a very significant role. The aim of this article is to analyze this controversy in the final polemical work written by Arnald – in other words, the unpublished Antidotum contra venenum effusum per fratrem Martinum de Atheca. Both Arnald and his opponent Martin of Ateca found supporting arguments for their own positions within Augustine’s oeuvre, yet underlying this controversy was a further question: Under what authority did Arnald of Villanova issue his prediction? If this prediction was ther outcome of a revelation, as the Catalan thinker contended, the Augustinian texts would seem to come down on Master Arnald’s side; if it consisted in mere speculation on Arnald’s part, however, as Martin of Ateca claimed, Augustine of Hippo had already ruled out any attempt of this kind.
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