Roberti Grosseteste Episcopi Quondam Lincolniensis Epistolae

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Published as part of the Rolls Series in 1861, these collected letters date mainly from 1235-53, when, as bishop of Lincoln, their author presided over the largest diocese in England. Both a scientist and a theologian, Robert Grosseteste (c.1170-1253) boasts what the medieval historian R. W. Southern describes as 'a rarely paralleled breadth of intellectual interests'. His letters are invaluably illustrative of the social conditions of the time. He writes heatedly and earnestly on such topics as the laws concerning illegitimacy, the condition of the Jews and the liberties of the Church, with a violence of opinion that was 'balanced, indeed prompted, by a deep concern for the souls of ordinary people'. Henry Richards Luard (1825-91) puts Grosseteste's writing into context in his preface, while useful summaries of each letter in the contents list, and commentary provided in the side-notes, make the Latin text accessible to modern readers.