Narcissus Pfister OSB (Spijstr, Phister, Pistoris) 

Narcissus’ is not a very common medieval name: The Biographical Index of the Middle Ages, compiled by Berend Wispelwey, only registers four others: Narcissus Hertz, Narcissus Pfister, Narciso (Narcissus) de Santo Dionisio, Narciso (Narcissus) de Verduno. Only Narciso de Santo Dionisio lived in the 14th century, whereas the other three in the 15th (Berend Wispelwey, Biografical Index of the Middle Ages: A-I, K.G. Saur Verlag, München, 2008, p. 798, col. a). It is worth mentioning, as a comparison, that the same Index mentions no less than 21 ‘Innocentius’ (Berend Wispelwey, p. 573).

The surname ‘Pfister’ is the old German word for ‘pistoris’, a genitive of filiation, meaning ‘the baker’s son’, just as if he were named ‘Narcissus Petri’ (‘Narcissus, the son of Peter’).

Historical Timeline

1382: Narcissus Pfister begins his theological career within the Dominican order in Augsburg

1388-1389: He works as a lector in Speyer

1400: Lector at the Dominican studium generale of Cologne, reading the Sentences cursorie

1401: He occupies the function of Magister studentium at Cologne

1402-1406: Narcissus reads the Bible and the Sentences at the University of Cologne

1406: Enrolls at the University of Cologne as baccalaureus formatus Sacrae Paginae

1408: He is promoted to Doctor Theologiae

1410: He becomes Professor of Theology

1413:  Narcissus obtains his licentia, but does not leave the University of Cologne until his replacement arrives

1416 or 1419: Leaves Cologne for Augsburg

1423/1424: Enters the Benedictine order at the Monastery Saint Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg

1434: Narcissus died sometime after this year


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