Standard Article

Dominic (c.1171–1221)

  1. Gary Macy

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0440

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Macy, G. 2011. Dominic (c.1171–1221). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Dominic de Guzmán, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), was born into a noble family in the village of Caleruega in Castile, Spain. He attended school at Palencia and became canon of the church of Osma c.1196. In 1203 and again in 1205 Dominic accompanied Bishop Diego de Azevedo of Osma on diplomatic missions to Denmark. While on these journeys, Bishop Diego and Dominic passed through Toulouse and there met with the Cathar heresy. On the return from the second trip, the bishop stopped in Rome and requested that the pope allow him to resign his see in order to undertake missionary work. The pope refused, but while passing through southern France, Diego and Dominic joined the mission against the Cathars. Dismissing their entourage, Diego and Dominic decided to match the austere life of the Cathar leaders by committing themselves to a life of poverty and preaching, earning their way by begging. The mission met with success, and Dominic was placed in charge of mission headquarters in Toulouse in 1215. The preachers who joined him adopted the Rule of St. Augustine, and were recognized by Pope Honorius III as a new religious order, the Order of Preachers.


  • Dominic (c.1171–1221);
  • Dominic de Guzmán, founder of order of preachers (dominicans);
  • Dominic, joining the mission against the cathars;
  • rule of St. Augustine;
  • the order, its mission preaching against heresy;
  • order of dominican nuns