Varro: the Manuscripts of "De lingua Latina"

Only part of this work still survives, in a copy written at Montecassino.  It is possible that this much survives because of local patriotism; Varro owned the villa at Casinum where Anthony was said to have behaved so disgustingly.  This event was recorded in Cicero, Phil. 2.103ff, and in the Montecassino copy of this text, now Vatican lat. 3227, on f.24r, this passage is marked with the contemporary marginal heading 'CASINVM'.



Shelfmark & Notes

Date /


Florence, Bibliotheca Mediceo-Laurenziana  Laurentianus 51.10.  This was written in a Beneventan hand at Montecassino towards the back of the 11th century.  The manuscript also contains Cicero Pro Cluentio and Ad Herennium.  This is the ancestor of all the other manuscripts.  The second quire is now lost (5.118-6.61), but was lost after 1521 when readings from it were recorded by Petrus Victorius and Jacobus Diacestius into a copy of the editio princeps now at Munich (4º Inc. s.a.1908d)


Montecassino Casinensis 361.  This contains Frontinus De aquis, but also an excerpt from Varro (5.41-6).


Florence, Bibliotheca Mediceo-Laurenziana  Laurentianus 51.5.  The best of the descendants of F, useful for the now missing portion.


There are numerous descendants of F made in the 15th and 16th centuries.  Some 47 are listed in Goetz and Schoell.

The editio princeps was by Pomponio Leto, Rome, 1471.


L.D.Reynolds, Texts and Transmissions.  Oxford: Clarendon (1983) p.430-1.  Checked.

G. Goetz and F. Schoell, M. Terentii Varronis De Lingua Latina quae supersunt.  Leipzig (1910).  Pp. xxx-xxxv are a list of recent mss. Not checked.

J. Collart, De Lingua Latina Livre V. Paris (1954).  Pp. xxx-xxxviii list the mss. Not checked.

Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger Pearse. Corrections and additions are very welcome.

This page has been online since 2nd June 2007

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