Recent discoveries of Latin texts (s.IV-VII)
This page is an abstract of the much fuller article by François
Dolbeau in the Sacris Erudiri 50th anniversary volume. I felt that
the information deserved a wider circulation among the anglophone world.
'Recent' means since 1960.
A list of the differences between the 1961 and 1995 editions of the Clavis
Patrum Latinorum may be found in J. VERHEYDEN, The New 'Clavis Patrum
Latinorum', in Ephemerides Theologicae Louvanienses 73 (1997) pp.
121-143. This classifies the new texts by literary genre.
Verheyden does not include Latin translations of Greek texts, a much
neglected field in which there has likewise been progress:
- a fragment of Didymus the Blind from Vienna (?B 1616, s. VIII-IX). 1
- texts of St. Basil: De ieiunio, in Rufinus' translation, books 1 &
2. This was discovered by B. Altaner in 1941, in two Mss. of s. IX and
- John Chrysostom : the Latin version of the sermon "Ad neophytos"
used by St. Augustine, found in two Mss. of s.XII and XIV.3
Only a tiny amount of Pagan texts before Diocletian have been uncovered,
probably because of the devastation caused to classical culture in the 3rd
century AD, when the majority of literature produced before that time
disappeared. These are the finds (more details in the index of the TLL;
also R. HERZOG, Handbuch der lateinischen Literatur der Antike 5, 1987; Bibliographie
des texts medicaux latins):
- The verses attributed to Gallus
- A fragment of book XI of Livy, from the lost second decade.
- Some additional witnesses to A. Celsus and Scribonius Largus.
- 39 unknown verses of the second book of Rutilius Namatianus, De reditu
suo, in a fragment of cursive minuscule of the s.VII-VIII, used in s.XV
to restore a book at Bobbio.
- Tiberius Claudius Donatus. The commentary on the Aenead. The
explanation of the first 157 verses of book VI has been lost, owing to the
loss of a gathering from the Luxueil Ms. (Vat. lat. 1512, ca. 790-810), but
a copy has been found in an Ms. written around 1600 -- Vaticanus lat. 8222
t. 1, f. 2r-9v. (P.K.MARSHALL, Tiberius ClaudiusDonatus on Virgil Aen.
6, 1-157. Manuscripta 37, 1993, pp. 3-20; more refs. in Dolbeau).
- Marius Plotius Sacerdos. His s.III grammar in two books is
transmitted to us by a single lacunose Ms. (Naples, BN, Lat. 2, from
Bobbio). Missing leaves have been found.
- a fragment of an Ms. of Tractatus in Evangelium Iohannis, in 1966 at
Vezelay (Recherches Aug. 8, 1972, pp.145-147+2 pl.);
- 2 Ms, of s.XII and XIV preserve the Divjak letters of St. Augustine
- an unknown sermon on health (Dolbeau, REAug 40, 1994,
- In the Stadtbibliothek of Mayence, a little known archive, an
homiliary (Ms. I 9) from the old Carthusian house of the town contained
sermons by Augustine (Dolbeau, REAug 36, 1990, p.355-359; Augustin,
Vingt-six sermons au peuple d'Afrique, Paris 1996, p.9-16, Collection
des Etudes Augustiniennes, Serie Antique 147). It is the only Ms.
to preserve some 250 pages of Augustine, and is dated later than the
invention of printing.
- Bede, fragments of the lost Liber epigrammaton. (M. LAPIDGE, Some
remnants of Bede's lost Liber epigrammatum, English Historical Review 90,
1975, pp. 798-820.)
- Caesarius of Arles, a new Easter sermon. (R. ETAIX, RB 75, 1965,
p.201-211). In 4 Mss of a homiliary.
- Hilary of Potiers, two passages of the Apologetica Responsa.
- Jerome, a portion of an unknown treatise to Gaudentius of Brescia (RB 96,
- Maximus of Turin
- Also W. HAFNER, Die Engelberger B?herfunde, Librarium 6 (1963), p.
110-118 (9 Mss found under a floor, including a glossed Orosius of the 12th
- 12 Arian sermons in a homiliary of Munich (CPL 695a).
- Martianus Capella, Metrica, in 3 Mss. of s.XI, XV and XVI under the
name of 'Sergius' or 'Servius'. (M. De Nonno, Rivista di filologia e di
istruzione classica 118, 1990, 129-144). One is Oxford Bodl. Addit. C
- Authentic Acts of Gallonius, a martyr executed under Diocletian at
Utina in Africa. Found in the little-known episcopal seminary of
Gorizia in Frioul-Venetia on the Italo-Slovene frontier, in a Passionary of
s.XIII. (P. CHIESA, Analecta Bollandiana 114, 1996, 241-268).
- A letter of Pelagius already published (CPL 755) from some leaves from
Bobbio in Vienna (Ms. 954) -- the remaining bifolium from Bobbio have been
found in the Ambrosian Library in Milan. However the first 3 folios in
Vienna have disappeared and are now known only from a s.XIX transcription.
- Severus episcopus (unknown), fragment of books VIII-X containing 720
hexameters on the gospels. A new writer and a new work.
- Tyconius, the Donatist scholar, three fragments of his lost Commentary of
the Apocalypse. Identified between 1964 and 1974 by Laszlo Mezey in
the library of the central Catholic seminary in Budapest. The
fragments are written in a south-German Carolingian minuscule of s.IX.
They came from the Jesuit college at Presburg (now Bratislava) where they
had been used to bind Lutheran university theses. This is the first
time we have direct knowledge of his thought, hitherto known
only from an expurgated epitome (CPL 710). (R. GRYSON, RB 107, 1997,
p. 189-226). Two of the fragments have crumbled to dust and are now
only known from photographs.
- A Latin/Greek school text from the era of Ausonius, copied in 1495.
(A.C.DIONISOTTI, From Ausionius' Schooldays? - A schoolbook and its
relatives. JRS 72, 1982, pp. 83-125, inc. edition).
F. DOLBEAU, Découvertes récentes d'oeuvres latines
inconnues. Sacris Erudiri Anniversary edition. Checked.
M.D. REEVE, The Rediscovery of Classical Texts in the
Renaissance, in PECERE (ed.), Itinerari dei testi antichi, pp. 115-157.
1. P.-M. BOGAERT, Fragment inédit de
Didyme l'Aveugle en traduction latine ancienne, Revue Bénédictine 73 (1963),
2. H. MARTI, Rufin von Aquileia, De
ieiunio I, II. Leiden (1989). Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae 6, p.
3. J.-P. BOUHOT, Revue des Études
Augustiniennes 17 (1971), pp. 27-41.
Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger
Corrections and additions are very welcome.
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