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But Albertus prophetically exclaimed: "You call him the dumb ox, but in his teaching he will one day produce such a bellowing that it will be heard throughout the world." Thomas taught in Cologne as an apprentice professor (baccalaureus biblicus), instructing students on the books of the Old Testament and writing Expositio super Isaiam ad litteram (Literal Commentary on Isaiah), Postilla super Ieremiam (Commentary on Jeremiah) and Postilla super Threnos (Commentary on Lamentations).

Then in 1252 he returned to Paris to study for the master's degree in theology.

During his tenure from 1256 to 1259, Thomas wrote numerous works, including: Questiones disputatae de veritate (Disputed Questions on Truth), a collection of twenty-nine disputed questions on aspects of faith and the human condition and both Expositio super librum Boethii De trinitate (Commentary on Boethius's De trinitate) and Expositio super librum Boethii De hebdomadibus (Commentary on Boethius's De hebdomadibus), commentaries on the works of 6th-century Roman philosopher Boethius.

In 1259 Thomas completed his first regency at the studium generale and left Paris so that others in his order could gain this teaching experience.

He returned to Naples where he was appointed as general preacher by the provincial chapter of 29 September 1260.

Because Thomas was quiet and didn't speak much, some of his fellow students thought he was slow.

He lectured on the Bible as an apprentice professor, and upon becoming a baccalaureus Sententiarum (bachelor of the Sentences) devoted his final three years of study to commenting on Peter Lombard's Sentences.

In the first of his four theological syntheses, Thomas composed a massive commentary on the Sentences titled Scriptum super libros Sententiarium (Commentary on the Sentences).

According to legend, Thomas drove her away wielding a fire iron.

That night two angels appeared to him as he slept and strengthened his determination to remain celibate.

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