Hugh of St Victor, mystic philosopher, was probably born at Hartingam, in Saxony. After spending some time in a house of canons regular at Hamersleben, in Saxony, where he completed his studies, he removed to the abbey of St Victor at Marseille, and thence to the abbey of St Victor in Paris. Of this last house he rose to be canon, in 1125, scholasticus, and perhaps even prior, and it was there that he died on the 11th of February 1141.
His eloquence and his writings earned him fame and influence that far exceeded St Bernard's, and which held its ground until the advent of the Thomist philosophy. Hugh was more especially the initiator of the mysticism of the school of St Victor which filled the whole of the second part of the 12th century. The mysticism which he inaugurated, says Charles-Victor Langlois, is learned, unctuous, ornate, florid, a mysticism which never indulges in dangerous temerities. It is the orthodox mysticism of a subtle and prudent rhetorician. This tendency undoubtedly shows a marked reaction from the contentious theology of Roscellinus and Abélard.
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