Alain of Lille (ca. 1128–1203)
Also known as Alanus de Insulensis, Doctor Universalis (because
of his universal knowledge), theologian and poet, presumed
author of a treatise on alchemy entitled Dicta de Lapide
Philosophico, published at Leyden in 1600. Alain de Lille entered
the Cistercian order at Clairvaux, taught in Paris, and became
bishop of Auxerre. His writings were praised for their
clarity of style. However, there is some doubt as to whether he
was really the author of the Dicta, since it appears to have been
written first in German. The work bears the ascription ‘‘Alanus
Insulensis,’’ but this may have been due to a contemporary
practice of ascribing anonymous works to some illustrious individual
who had died and was therefore unable to deny authorship.
It has been suggested that the real author was Albertus
Cranzius, ca. 1430.

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