He was a fellow of
Merton College, Oxford, before 1360, and famous as a teacher of logicand philosophyand a writer on educational subjects. He belonged, like Thomas Aquinasand Bonaventure, to that "School of the Middle" which mediated between realists and nominalists.
Besides his "Logica", which has not survived, he wrote "Consequentiae", a treatise on the
syllogism, and "Obligationes" or "Scholastica militia", a series of "formal exercises in scholastic dialectics." He had some not unfriendly controversy with his colleague John Wyclif, against whom he defended the possession of wealth by the clergy, and held that in the Church abuses were better than disturbance. He also attacked Wyclif's doctrine of predestination. His positions are gathered from Wyclif's "Responsiones ad Rodolphum Strodum" (MS. 3926, Vienna Imperial Library). Chaucerdedicates his poem " Troilus and Criseyde" to the contemporary poet John Gowerand to Strode:Quotation
"O moral Gower, this book I directe
To the, and to the, philosophical Strode,
To vouchen sauf, ther nede is, to correcte,
Of youre benignités and zeles goode.
(Book V, 1856-1860)
Modern English translation: "O moral Gower, I permit this book to you, and to you, philosophical Strode, to correct, away from your benevolence and zealous goodness."
According to the 15th-century "Vetus catalogus" of fellows of Merton, Strode himself was a "poeta nobilis." Leland and Bale confirm this, but none of Strode's poems have survived. However, Professor Gollancz suggested that the "Phantasma Radulphi" attributed to Strode in the Vetus Catalogus could be the 14th-century elegiac poem "The Pearl", but this has found no support from later scholars and, on the basis of the poem's dialect, seems very unlikely.
From 1375 to 1385 this Strode or another of the same name was common sergeant of the
City of London; he died in 1387.
*Prantl, "Geschichte der Logik"
*For an attempt to distinguish between Strode the schoolman and Strode the poet, see JTT Brown, in "The Scottish Antiquary" (1897), vol. xii.
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