De corona militis
(On the military garland)

[CPL 21]

Latin: Fontaine, 1966 --- English: Dodgson, 1842; Thelwall, 1869 --- French: Charpentier, 1844; Genoude, 1852 --- German: Kellner, 1915 --- Slovenian: Marincic, 2001.

Summary Content Other points of interest Manuscripts Title variations Bibliography


A Christian soldier had drawn attention to his beliefs at the time of the annual bonus by refusing to wear the garland worn in the ceremony, and was promptly arrested as a Christian, stirring up anti-Christian feeling. Some Christians felt he was irresponsible, given that all might be persecuted in consequence. Tertullian defends his action, and attacks his critics.





The text of this work was transmitted to us in two collections.

The primary witnesses, therefore, for the latter are:

Possibly also to be considered are:

which may or may not have some independent witness.  Many consider them simply copies of F, however.


DE CORONA EXPLICIT MILITIS Florentinus Magliebechianus, Conventi soppressi VI, 9 (N) - title is blank, but explicit as shown, with MILITIS in a more recent hand
Explicit liber De corona militis Florentinus Magliebechianus, Conventi soppressi VI, 10 (F) - title is blank, but explicit as shown
DE CORONA MILITIS Rhenanus (from the lost Hirsau codex), Mesnart (B)
LIBER DE CORONA MILITIS Leidensis latinus 2 (L)
DE ROMANA MILITIA Leidensis latinus 2 (L) "in indice m. rec."


Unless otherwise indicated, details are from Quasten's Patrology, 2 (1955). See also Editions page and Critical Editions page for more information.

[Note: I need to add some biblio, from l'Annee Phil. for the years 1954-1974 and from CTC after that].


J.-P. MIGNE, Patrologia Latina. 2 (1844) 73 ff. (93 ff in reprint). (Details from CPL)
F. OEHLER, Tertulliani opera quae supersunt, editio maior. 1 (1851-3). 415-460.  Checked. (Personal copy)
G. CURREY, Tertulliani Libri tres, de spectaculis, de idololatria, et de corona militis. Three treatises of Tertullian, with English notes, an introduction and indexes. Edited ... by G. Currey.. Cambridge, printed, and London, 1854. 8o.(Details from BL online catalogue)
J. MARRA, Tertullianus, De corona (Corpus script, lat. Paravianum 49). Turin, 1927. [Septimii Tertulliani "De corona" liber : ad fidem praecipue codicis Agobardini. Aug. Taurinorum [etc.] : in aedibus I.B. Paraviae et sociorum, 1927. Description: xxvii, 47 p. 19 cm. Series: Corpus scriptorum latinorum Paravianum, n. 49 Other Names: Marra, Giuseppe (Details from Bodleian online catalogue)]
E. KROYMANN, CSEL 70 (1942) 153-188. Checked.
E. KROYMANN, CCSL 2 (1954) 1037-1066. Checked.
J. FONTAINE, Q. S. F. Tertullianus, De Corona. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (1966).  (Details from CPL and personal copy).  [Latin text and critical apparatus only online].  No translation, but introduction and masses of notes (only 3-5 lines of Latin per page!).
F. RUGGIERO, Tertulliani de Corona. Milano (1992). (Details from CPL)
J. (Josephus = Giuseppe) MARRA, De corona liber; De cultu feminarum libri duo, Q. Septimii Tertulliani; iterum recognovit et praefatus est Iosephus Marra, Augustae Taurinorum, In aedibus Io. Bapt. Paraviae et sociorum, 1951, II editio (Corpus scriptorum Latinorum Paravianum). 181 p. ; 20 cm. (Details from Dr. Andrea Nicolotti)


H. QUELLET, Concordance verbale du De Corona de Tertullien, Hildesheim & New York: G. Olms (1975). 434 p. 24cm (Details from CTC 75, 3).


English: C. DODGSON, Library of Fathers 10. Oxford, 1842, 158-184. Online.  Checked.
-- S. THELWALL, ANCL 11 (1869) pp.333-355; reprinted ANF 3 (1885), pp. 669-679.  Online.  Checked.
-- E. A. QUAIN, Fathers of the Church 40 (1959) 225-270. Checked.
French: Audebert MACERÉ, De la Couronne du soldat. Liure premirement escrit en Latin par Q. Septim. Florent Tertullian... Et maintenont mis en Francoys par Audebert Maceré..., Paris : De l' impr. de M. Vascosan (1563). 93 p. ; 8° (Details from the Montpellier library catalogue)
-- M. CHARPENTIER, Oeuvres de Tertullien: Apologétique. Prescriptions contre les gentils. Du Baptême. De l'Ornement des femmes. [Contre les spectacles. De la Patience. De la Couronne du soldat. Contre Marcion, extrait. De la Chair de Jésus-Christ. De la Résurrection de la chair. Aux nations. - listed in table of contents but not on title page] Paris : Ed. M. Charpentier, 1844. 12o, III-504 p.  Another title page has the address:"A. Delahays, 1845". "Oeuvres de Tertullien traduites en français" Checked (Details from BNF catalogue and personal copy).  De Corona is pp.236-259. Online.
-- A. DE GENOUDE, De la Couronne du soldat. Oeuvres de Tertullien2, Paris (1852). t. 2, pp.129-152. Checked. Online.
German: H. KELLNER-G. ESSER, Vom Kranze des Soldaten, BKV2 24 (1915). pp. 230/576-263/609.  Checked. Online.
Dutch: H. U. MEYBOOM, Over den lauwerkrans der soldaten (Oudchristel. geschriften, dl. 46). Leiden, 1931.
Italian: Selvaggia BORGHINI, Opere di Tertulliano tradotte in Toscano. Rome (1756). p.213-242.  Personal copy. Checked.
-- Pier Angelo GRAMAGLIA, Tertulliano, La corona ; introduzione, traduzione e note di Pier Angelo Gramaglia .Roma : Edizioni paoline, [1980]. 241 p. ; 20 cm. ( Letture cristiane delle origini. Testi) ISBN 88-215-0022-5. (Details from BN Florence OPAC)
-- Fabio RUGGIERO, Tertulliano, De corona ; introduzione, testo, traduzione e note a cura di Fabio Ruggiero .Milano : A. Mondadori (1992) LIV, 183 p. ; 20 cm. ( Classici greci e latini ; 30.) ISBN 88-04-36406-8 (Details from BN Florence OPAC)
Slovenian: Tertulijan, O vencu (De corona militis).  Translated by Marko MARINCIC, 2001.
Hungarian: László VANYÓ &c, Tertullianus muvei (The works of Tertullian), Budapest: Szent István Társulat (1986) 1100pp. (Ókeresztény frók 12). (Details CTC 2002.75).  The older translations of István Városi (Pat, Apol, Orat, Ux, Cult) and Marcell Mosolygó (Mart) have been recycled; the rest are new.


E. VACANDARD, La question du service militaire chez les chrétiens des premiers siècles. Paris, 1910, 127 ff.
P. FRANCHI DE' CAVALIERI, Note agiografiche, Fasc. 8 (ST 65). Vatican City, 1935, 357-386.
J. W. C. L. SCHULTE, Tertullianus en de krijgsdienst: Onder eigen Vaandel 12 (1937) 71-89.
K. BAUS, Der Kranz in Antike und Christentum. Eine religionsgeschichtl. Untersuchung mit bes. Berücksichtigung Tertullians (Theophaneia 2). Bonn, 1940.
F. J. DÖLGER, Das Nachsprechen der Formel beim Militärgebet am Jahres-Anfang. Zu Tertullians De corona 12: Antike und Christentum 6 (1941) 77.
H. R. MINN, Tertullian and War: Ev. Quarterly 13 (1941) 202-213.
R. H. BAINTON, The Early Church and War: HThR 39 (1946) 190f.
G. DE PLINVAL, Tertullien et le scandale de la Couronne: Mélanges de Ghellinck. Gembloux, 1951, 183-188.
E. A. RYAN, The Rejection of Military Service by the Early Christians: TS 13 (1952) 1-32.
G. THÖRNELL, ..., Gnomon 25 (1953) 104-106. (Details from CPL)
Germaine GUILLAUME-COIRIER, Techniques coronaires romaines: plantes "liées" et plantes "enfilées". Revue archéologique, New series (2002), pp.61-71.  (Details CTC 2003, 31).  Types of garland (Cor. 5:3), based on new archaeological discoveries.

This page has been online since 11th December 1999. 

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