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Richard of Saint Victor (d. 1173)

  1. Dale M. Coulter

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc1171

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Coulter, D. M. 2011. Richard of Saint Victor (d. 1173). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Richard of Saint Victor most likely arrived at the Abbey of Saint Victor sometime during the second half of the 1140s. Although born either in Scotland or northern England, like many other scholars from Britain he made his way to Paris, which was a growing intellectual center stimulated by a large number of schools that began to emerge around the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the 12th century. After arriving at Saint Victor, Richard soon advanced through its ranks beginning with the position of master of the novices (early 1150s) who had entered the Order of Saint Victor. As master, his task was to communicate the basic program of Saint Victor that centered on moral and spiritual formation. He accomplished this task by utilizing passages of scripture in order to develop his own thoughts on the moral and spiritual life. He also composed a comprehensive “text book,” the Book of Selections, that offered an overview of the basic information students should learn before proceeding to more advanced levels.


  • Richard of Saint Victor (d. 1173);
  • order of Saint Victor;
  • the book of selections;
  • on the ark of moses and on the twelve patriarchs