To achieve this aim, this discussion is arranged into three segments, each addressing a set of relevant questions. In order to establish the framework for the subsequent two sections, the first segment will define and catalog the vari­ ous ways in which medievals conceptualized the term auctoritas. By examining the standpoint of Natalis and Durandus vis-a-vis both the expansive spectrum of medieval authorities in general, as well as the more precise auctoritas of Aquinas, the second segment will help us to answer several significant ques­ tions. Most importantly, it will facilitate our efforts to roughly determine the extent to which the two antagonists were conscious of the relationship between their arguments and the consequent growth or retardation of Aquinas’ auctori­ tas. Reciprocally, this examination will provide information as to how the issue

of Aquinas’ auctoritas affected the controversies. Concluding our argument, the third segment evaluates the evolution and genus of Aquinas’ auctoritas within the Order prior to, during and after the controversies; thereby assessing the influence which the extended conflict between Natalis and Durandus had on that Aquinas’ auctoritas.