Skip to main content Accessibility help

John of Salisbury as classical scholar

  • Janet Martin (a1)


John of Salisbury long has drawn the attention of scholars as a representative of medieval humanism. Many studies have been devoted to his allusions to the literature of pagan and Christian antiquity. But these studies necessarily have remained somewhat inconclusive because of our ignorance about the nature of John’s exemplars of his authors. Assessment of such matters as his interests and tastes, his working methods, his dependence on his authorities, and his originality and independence requires precise knowlege of the nature of his exemplars.



Hide All

1 The outstanding study of this aspect of John’s learning remains that by [Hans] Liebcschütz, Mediaeval Humanism [in the Life and Writings of John of Salisbury] (Studies of the Warburg Institute 17: London 1950, repr Nendeln 1968). There is much of value in two older studies by Schaarschmidt, Carl: ‘Johannes Saresberiensis in seinem Verhältniss zur klassischen Litteratur’, Rheinisches Museum für Philologie, ns 14 (Frankfurt 1859) pp 20034 ; Johannes Saresberiensis nach Leben und Studien, Schriften und Philosophie (Leipzig 1862) pp 81-141. For other comment see the references below and the bibliography by D. E. Luscombe pp 445-57. I am preparing a book on John of Salisbury and the classics.

2 Martin, [Janet], ‘John of Salisbury’s Manuscripts |of Frontinus and of Gellius’], Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 40 (London 1977) pp 126 ; Martin, [Janet], ‘Uses of Tradition: [Gellius, Petronius, and John of Salisbury’], Viator: Medieval and Renaissance Studies 10 (Berkeley, Los Angeles, London 1979) pp 5776 . The latter was announced as forthcoming in Imitation and Adaptation: The Classical Tradition in the Middle Ages, which has been withdrawn.

3 For the theory of stemmatics see Maas, [Paul], [Textual Criticism], trans Barbara Flower (Oxford 1958); Reynolds, Leighton D. and Wilson, Nigel G., Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Creek and Latin Literature (2 ed Oxford 1974) pp 186213 with bibliography pp 247-50. For the relevance of the history of the transmission of classical texts to the interpretation of twelfth-century authors, including John, see Reynolds, Leighton D., The Medieval Tradition of Seneca’s ‘Letters’ (Oxford 1965) pp 10424 ; Hunt, [Richard W.], [‘The Deposit of Latin Classics in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance’], Classical Influences [on European Culture, A.D. 500-1500 (ed Bolgar, R. R.:] Cambridge 1971) pp 515.

4 PW vol 10 pt 1 cols 591-606 sv ‘Iulius’ no 243; also Supplementband 14 cols 208-9.

5 Frontinus, , Strategematon libri [quattuor, ed Gundermann, Gotthold, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana] (Leipzig 1888) iii.15, pp 10910.

6 Gundermann, [Gotthold], ‘De [Iuli Frontini] Strategematon libro [qui fertur] quarto’, Commentationes philotogae Ienenses 1 (Leipzig 1881) pp 85161 esp pp 86-93, 110; Frontinus, Strategematon libri pp iii-v, xi-xii. For further details and references for this paragraph and the next see Martin, ‘John of Salisbury’s Manuscripts’ pp 1-5.

7 Frontinus, Strategematon libri IV.v.20, p 132 line 23; Gundermann, ‘De Strategematon libro quarto’ p 126 line 18; Policraticus vi.11, col 603d: 2p 28 line 17.

8 On these manuscripts see now Thomson, [R. M.], [‘The] “Scriptorium” [of William of Malmesbury’], Medieval Scribes, Manuscripts and Libraries: Essays Pre sented to N. R. Ker (ed Parkes, M. B. and Watson, Andrew G.; London 1978) pp 117- 42 esp pp 12930 and plates 28, 33.

9 Frontinus, Strategematon libri IV.i. 15, p 119 line 5; Policraticus vi.11, col 603d: vol 2 p 28 line 13.

10 Gundermann, ‘De Strategematon libro quarto’ p 114 lines 19-20. Gundermann’s inaccurate reports of B and O, which are not reported in his 1888 Teubner edition, have been corrected against the manuscripts.

11 Thomson, R. M., ‘The Reading of William of Malmesbury’, RB 85 (1975) pp 362402 ; ‘The Reading of William of Malmesbury: Addenda el Corrigenda’, RB 86 (1976) pp 327-35; ‘“Scriptorium”’ p 117.

12 Kenney, [E.J.] , [‘The Character of Humanist Philology’], Classical Influences pp 119-28 at pp 120-1.

13 For a brief treatment of William’s revisions see Marshall, [P. K.], Martin, [Janet], and Rouse, [Richard H.], ‘Clare College MS. 26 [and the Circulation of Aulus Gellius 1-7 in Medieval England and France’], Mediaeval Studies 42 (Toronto 1980) pp 35394 at pp 3867.

14 Frontinus, Strategematon libri iv.1, sections 24a-25 p 120 lines 20-2; Gundermann, ‘De Strategematon libro quarto’ 1, sections 24b-25 p 116 line 4; Policraticus vi.12, col 604c: 2 p 29 lines 26-7.

15 Maas p 1.

16 Kenney p 125.

17 Martin, ‘John of Salisbury’s Manuscripts’ pp 1-2, 21.

18 Martin, ‘Uses of Tradition’, pp 58-59. Heiric’s excerpts from Suetonius have been edited by Ihm, [Maximilian], ‘Beiträge [zur Textgeschichte des Sueton: 1. Die Suetonexcerpte des Heiric von Auxerre’], Hermes 36 (Berlin 1901) pp 34356 ; Quadri, [Riccardo], [I Collectanea di Eirico di Auxerre], Spicilegium Friburgense: Collana di Testi per la Storia delta Vita Cristiana 11 (Fribourg 1966) pp 10413.

19 Tranquillus, C. Suetonius, De vita Caesarum libri VIII, ed Ihm, Maximilian (Leipzig 1907) Galba iv.3, p 274; xviii. 2, p 282; Policraticus v.4, col 545c: 1 p 292.

20 Janet Martin, ‘John of Salisbury and the Classics’ (Harvard University Ph.D. dissertation 1968) pp 195-6.

21 Frontinus, Strategematon libri bk 1 preface pp 1-2; Metalogicon, iii, prologue cols 889a-b p 117, iv.42, col 946b pp 218-19. On the contents and purposes of twelfth-century florilegia see Rouse, Richard H. and Rouse, Mary A., ‘The Florilegium Angelicum: its Origin, Content, and Influence’, Medieval Learning and Literature: Essays Presented to Richard William Hunt (ed Alexander, J. J. G. and Gibson, M. T.: Oxford 1976) pp 66114, 455 esp pp 88, 94 ; Rouse, R. H., ‘Florilegia and Latin Classical Authors in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Orléans’, Viator 10 (1979) pp 13160 ; Munk-Olsen, B,. ‘Note surquelques préfaces de florilèges latins du XIIe siècle’, Revue Romane 8 (Copenhagen 1973) pp 18591.

22 For further details and references for this paragraph see Martin, ‘Uses of Tradition’ pp 69-71; for the textual tradition of the Satyricon see Petronii Arbitri Satyrkon, ed Konrad Müller (Munich 1961) pp vii-xxxix esp pp xxxiii-xxxvi; Petronius: Satyrica (ed Konrad Müller and trans Wilhelm Ehlers: Munich 1965) pp 381-420 with corrected stemma p 415.

23 Ker, Neil R., Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books (2 ed London 1964).

24 James, Montague Rhodes, The Western Manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Cambridge: A Descriptive Catalogue (4 vols. Cambridge 1900-4) 3 pp 2825 no 1264; Bishop, T. A. M., ‘Notes on Cambridge Manuscripts: Part I’, TCBiblS 1 (1949-53) pp 43241 at p 432 . MSS 0.4.34 and 0.4.36 (James 1266), the latter destroyed in 1880, appear as item 221 in the catalogue from Christ Church, Canterbury, drawn up for Henry of Eastry (prior 1284-1331); see James, Montague Rhodes, The Ancient Libraries of Canterbury and Dover (Cambridge 1903) p. 41.

25 Bately, J. M. and Ross, D. J. A., ‘A Check List of Manuscripts of Orosius’, Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri Septem’, Scriptorium 15 (Brussels 1961) pp 32934 at p 329; some of the stated provenances must be changed in the light of recent work. On Orosius’s apologie historique see Paschoud, François, Roma, Aeterna: Études sur le patriotisme romain dans I’occident latin à I’époque desgrandes invasions (Bibliotheca Helvetica Rotnana 7, Rome 1967) pp 27692.

26 Policraticus viii.18, col 786b: 2 p 360.

27 Policraticus viii.20, col 793c: 2 p 373.

28 Policraticus viii.21, col 807b: 2 p 396.

29 Orosius, [Paulus], Historiamm [adversum paganos] libri [VII], ed Zangemeister, Karl, CSEL 5 (1882) VI.xv.34, p 402 line 17; Policraticus viii. 19 col 789c: 2 p 365 line 26; Trinity College, Cambridge, MS 0.4.34 fol 71v.

30 Orosius, Historiarum libri VII.vii.11, p 455 line 2; Policraticus viii.18, col 788b: 2 p 363 line 19; Trinity College, Cambridge, MS 0.4.34 fol 82r.

31 Bately, [Janet M.], ‘King Alfred [and the Latin Manuscripts of Orosius’ History’], Classka et Mediaevalia 22 (Copenhagen 1961) pp 69105.

32 These are Boulogne-sur-mer Bibl. mun. MS 126, saec. 11, which once belonged to the monastery of Saint Benin at Saint-Omer; Saint-Omer Bibl. mun. MS 717, saec. 11, which once belonged to the cathedral chapter there; Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 23 ii, saec. 12, which was written at Dover Priory, a dependency of Christ Church, Canterbury; and Paris BN MS lat. 4880 fols 1-48v, saec. 14.

33 Paris BN MS lat. 4871 fols l-98v, saec. 11, and three mentioned in the preceding note: Boulogne-sur-mer MS 126, Saint-Omer MS 717, and Paris MS 4880. For others containing some of the glosses on Orosius bks 4 and 6 see Bately, ‘King Alfred’ pp 97-8.

34 Orosius, Historiarum libri VII.vii.6, pp 453-4; Policraticus viii. 18 col 788a: 2 p 362; ‘Heleifeles odam sonat, sacerdotales hymnos ciuitatis in qua solis splendor colitur decantabat’.

35 Trinity College, Cambridge, MS 0.4.34 fol 81 v: ‘Elys ciuitas grecie est. in qua felos id est sacerdotes olimpiaci agonis decantabant carmina diebus ludorum. Vnde et hoc nomen compositum est. elifeles id est sacerdos’.

36 Macrobius, , Saturnalia 1. xxiii. 10, ed Willis, James, Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana (2 vols. Leipzig 1963), 1 p 125.

37 Orosius, Historiarum libri VII.vii.4 and 6, pp 453-4; Policraticus viii. 18 cols 787d-788a: 2 p 362.

38 Nero xxxviii.2, p 258. Heiric’s excerpts do not mention Nero’s recitation.

39 Constable, Giles, ‘The Alleged Disgrace of John of Salisbury in 1159’, EHR 69 (1954) pp 6776 ; [The] Letters [of John of Salisbury I: The Early Letters (1153-1161). (ed W. J. Millor, H. E. Butler and C. N. L. Brooke: London 1955)] appendix 2 pp 257-8.

40 Policraticus iii.14 col 508c: 1 p 225. For this paragraph and the next see also Martin, ‘John of Salisbury’s Manuscripts’, pp 18-19.

41 Frontinus, Strategematon libri IV.vii.4-5, pp 134-5.

42 The excerpts are from Iulius caps 45 and 47; see Ihm, ‘Beiträge’ p 347; Quadri p 105.

43 Policraticus iii.14 cols 508c-d: 1 pp 225-6.

44 These are BL MS Additional 19835 fols 1-19, written in the second half of the twelfth century with some fourteenth-century marginal notes in English; and the thirteenth-century Leipzig Stadtbibliothek MS 94 (Rep. 1.4.48) fols 92v-103v. John’s manuscript most closely resembled the latter. For descriptions see Quadri pp 31-2, 45-6, 50; Schullian, Dorothy M., ‘The Excerpts of Heiric Ex libris Valerii Maximi memorabilium dictorum vel factorum ’, Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 12 (Rome 1935) pp 1558.

45 Liebeschütz, Hans, ‘John of Salisbury and pseudo-Plutarch’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 6 (London 1943) pp 339 , reprinted in England and the Mediterranean Tradition: Studies in Art, History, and Literature, Warburg and Courtauld Institutes (Oxford 1945); Liebeschütz, Mediaeval Humanism pp 23-6.

46 Desideri, [Saverio], La ‘Institutio Traiani’, Pubblkazioni dell’Istituto di Filologia Classica 12 (Genoa 1958) pp 467, 68 ; Kerner, [Max], ‘Zur Entstehungsgeschichte [der Institutio Traiani’], DA 32 (1976) pp 55871 with full bibliography; Kerner, [Max], Johannes von Salisbury [und die logische Struktur seines Policraticus] (Wiesbaden 1977) pp 1801 . On the organic analogy expounded by ‘Plutarch’, see now Tilman Struve, Die Entwicklung der organologischen Staatsauffassung im Mittelalter (Monographien zur Geschichte des Mittelalters 16: Stuttgart 1978) pp 123-48.

47 Martin, ‘John of Salisbury’s Manuscripts’, pp 1-5, 19-20; Martin, ‘Uses of Tradition’, p 66.

48 Compare Desideri, La ‘Institutio Traiani’, pp 36-42.

49 The same Gellius anthology was used by William of Malmesbury in his Polyhistor; see Martin, ‘John of Salisbury’s Manuscripts’, p 20; Martin, ‘Uses of Tradition’, pp 64-7; Marshall, Martin and Rouse, ‘Clare College MS. 26’, pp 370-4; Thomson, R. M., ‘William of Malmesbury, John of Salisbury and the Nodes Atticarum ’, Hommages à André Boutemy (Collection Latomus 145: Brussels 1976) pp 36789.

50 Gellius, Aulus, Nodes Atticae, I.xxvi. 5-9 ed Marshall, P. K. (Oxford Classical Texts; 2 vols. Oxford 1968) 1 pp 834 ; Policraticus iv.8 cols 530d-531c: 1 pp 265-6. Part of the Gellius anthology is preserved in Oxford Bodleian MS Lat. class, d.39 (formerly London Sion College MS Arc. L.40.2/L.21) fols 153-9, written in England in the middle of the twelfth century; the story of Plutarch and the clever slave appears on fol 158v.

51 Martin, ‘Uses of Tradition’, pp 67-8, 73-6. Compare Desideri, La ‘Institutio Traiani’ pp 25-8, 53-62; Kerner, ‘Zur Entstehungsgeschichte’ pp 562-7.

52 On the authors studied in the medieval schools see Glauche, Günter, Schullektüre im Mittelalter: Entstehung und Wandlungen des Lektürekanons bis 1200 nach den Quellen dargestellt, Münchener Beiträge zur Mediävistik und Renaissance-Forschung 5 (Munich 1970); the sections on ‘Curriculum Authors’ and ‘Medieval Canon’ and the excursus on ‘Early Christian and Medieval Literary Studies’ by Ernst Robert Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages (trans W. R. Trask, Bollingen Series 36: Princeton 1973) pp. 48-54, 260-4, 446-67; Hunt p 55.

53 Policraticus i.4 col 391b: 1 p 22: ‘Fuderit auctor Romani generis ceruorum corpora, non uanae uoluptatis solatium, sed sibi et sociis quaesiuit suffragium uitae’; [Vergil] Aeneid, 1 lines 192-4 ed R. A. B. Mynors (Oxford 1969 corrected repr 1972) p 109: ‘nee prius absistit quam septem ingentia uictor/corpora fundat humi et numerum cum nauibus aequet;/hinc portum petit et socios partitur in omnis’.

54 Servii [Grammatici quiferuntur in Vergilii carmina] commentarii, ed G. Thilo and H. Hagen (3 vols Leipzig 1881-7) 1 p 76 on Aeneid 1 line 192: ‘bene definit numerum; necessitatis enim est haec venatio, non voluptatis, in qua plura requiruntur. nee enim conveniebat, sociis diversis modis laborantibus, voluptati operam dare’. The sentence beginning nec enim is found only in the conflated scholia known as Servius Auctus or Scholia Danielis. On the codices of Servius and Servius Auctus see now Murgia, Charles E., Prolegomena to Servius 5: The Manuscripts (University of California Publications: Classical Studies 11: Berkeley, Los Angeles, London 1975).

55 Policraticus viii.6 cols 728b-730d: 2 pp 257-62; Aeneid 1 lines 723-49 pp 125-6; 8 lines 175-83 p 287.

56 Policraticus viii.6 col 730b: 2 p 261. Compare Macrobius, Saturnalia 11.i.1, vol 1 p 133: VII.i.14, 1 pp 398-9; quoted in Policraticus viii.6 cols 728d-729a: 2 p 258: viii. 10 cols 743d-744a: 2 pp 285-6. Compare Servius on Aeneid 1 lines 737 (‘verecundiam reginae ostendit’) and 742 (the song of Iopas: ‘bene philosophica introducitur cantilena in convivio reginae adhuc castae’), Servii commentarii 1 pp 205-7. The latter judgement may be reflected in John’s guarded approval of Iopas’s song in Policraticus viii.6 col 729b: 2 p 259.

57 A brief overview is given by Brinkmann, [Hennig], [‘Verhüllung (integumentum) als literarische Darstellungsform im Mittelalter’], Der Begriff der Repraesentatio im Mittelalter: Stellvertretung, Symbol, Zeichen, Bild, ed Zimmermann, Albert (Miscellanea Mediaevalia 8: Berlin and New York 1971) pp 31439 . Three comprehensive studies are: [Philippe] Delhaye, [‘Grammatica et Ethica au XIIe siècle’]. RTAM 25 (1958) pp 59-110 esp pp 75-7, 91-110; Jeauneau, [Édouard], ‘L’usage [de la notion d’integumentum à travers les gloses de Guillaume de Conches’], Archives d”Histoire Doctrinale et Littéraire du Moyen Âge 32 (Paris 1957) pp 35100 , reprinted in Jeauneau, [Édouard,] ‘Lectio [Philosophorum’: Recherches sur l’Ézcole de Chartres] (Amsterdam 1973) pp 12792 ; Dronke, [Peter], [Fabula: Explorations into the Uses of Myth in Medieval Platonism] (Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 9: Leiden and Cologne 1974) with full bibliography.

58 Aeneid 6 lines 724-51 pp 250-1; Metalogicon ii. 11 col 869c p 83. For references to use of this Vergilian passage by William of Conches and others see [Guillaume de Conches:] Glosae [super Platonem], ed Édouard Jeauneau (Textes Philosophiques du Moyen Âge 13: Paris 1965) p 145; Jeauneau, Édouard, ‘Un commentaire inédit sur le chant “O qui perpetua” de Boèce’, Rivista critica di Storia delta Filosofia 14 (Florence 1959) pp 6080 , repr ‘Lectio’ pp 311-31 esp pp 322-3; Dronke pp 110-13.

59 For the teaching of John’s masters see Jeauneau, Edouard, ‘Note sur l’École de Chartres’, Studi medievali 3 ser 5 (Turin 1964) pp 82165 , repr ‘Lectio’ pp 5-49; Jeauneau, ‘L’usage’; Dronke esp pp 1-78. William’s surviving glosses offer direct evidence of his teaching of ancient texts: Priscian’s Institutions, Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy, Macrobius’s Commentarii in Somnium Scipionis, Plato’s Timaeus, and perhaps Juvenal’s Satires; see Glosae pp 9-16, 49-50. For an overview of John’s student years and his theories on education see Kerner, Johannes von Salisbury pp 7-58; Guth, Klaus, Johannes von Salisbury (1115/20-1180): Studien zur Kirchen-, Kultur- und Sozialgeschichte Westeuropas im 12. Jahrhundert (Münchener Theologische Studien, 1. Historische Abteilung 20: St Ottilien 1978) pp 2381, 28098.

60 The themes and organization of Policraticus bks 7-8 are derived from the third book of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy: see Liebeschütz, Mediaeval Humanism pp 28-33; Delhaye pp 106-9.

61 Policraticus viii.24 col 817a: 2 p 415.

62 Ibid: ‘Nam Eneas, qui ibi fingitur animus, sic dictus eo quod est corporis habitator; ennos enim, ut Grecis placet, habitator est, demas corpus et ab his componitur Eneas ut significet animam quasi carnis tugurio habitantem. Sic etiam Neptunum ennosigeum eo quod Sigeum inhabited. Compare Commentum [quod dicitur] Bernardi [Silvestris super Sex Libros Eneidos Virgilii], ed Julian Ward Jones and Elizabeth Frances Jones (Lincoln, Nebraska and London 1977) p 10: ‘…intellige …per Eneam humanum spiritum. Dicitur autem Eneas quasi ennos demas, id est habita tor corporis, ennos Grece habitator Latine. Unde Iuvenalis Neptunum Ennosigeum vocat, id est habitatorem Sygei. Demas vero, id est vinculum, corpus dicitur quia anime career est’. For bibliography see this edition pp xxv-xxxi; for comment see especially Padoan, Giorgio, ‘Tradizione e fortuna del commento all’ “Eneide” di Bernardo Silvestre’, Italia medioevale e umanistica 3 (Padua 1960) pp 22740 ; Wetherbee, [Winthrop], [Platonism and Poetry in the Twelfth Century: The Literary Influence of the School of Chartres] (Princeton 1972) pp 10411, 1245 ; also Brinkmann pp 320-9; O’Donnell, J. Reginald, ‘The Sources and Meaning of Bernard Silvester’s Commentary on the Aeneid’, Mediaeval Studies 24 (Toronto 1962) pp 23349 . Bernard’s primary source, notably for the thesis that the Aeneid represents the stages of human life, was Fulgentius’s Vergiliana continentia written about the end of the fifth century.

63 Policraticus viii.24 cols 817d-818a: 2 p 417. On Bernard’s treatment of the four significations of descensus ad inferos and the very similar treatment in William of Conches’s glosses on the Consolation of Philosophy seejeauneau, ‘L’usage’ pp 42-51, repr ‘Lectio’ pp 134-43; Wetherbee pp 107-10.

64 Policraticus viii.24 col 818a: 2 p 417: ‘Constat enim apud eos qui mentem diligentius perscrutantur auctorum Maronem geminae doctrinae uires declarasse, dum uanitate figmenti poetici philosophicae ueritatis (uirtutis Webb) inuoluit archana’. Compare the beginning of Commentum Bernardi p 1: ‘Gemine doctrine observantiam perpendimus in sua Eneide Maronem habuisse, teste namque Macrobio: et veritatem philosophic docuit et ficmentum poeticum non pretermisit’; also

65 Policraticus viii.25 col 818d: 2 p 419: ‘Via siquidem haec uirtus est, duobus interiecta et artata limitibus, cognitione scilicet et exercitio boni. Nosse namque bonum et non facere meritum dampnationis est, non uia beatitudinis’; Delhaye pp 94-6.

66 Policraticus viii.25 col 819d: 2 p 420: ‘In arbore ergo scientiae quasi quidam uirtutis ramus nascitur, ex quo tota uita proficientis hominis consecratur. Neque enim ad genitorem uitae, Deum scilicet, alter redit, nisi qui uirtutis ramum excisum de ligno scientiae praetendit’.

67 Policraticus viii.25 col 820a: 2 pp 420-1: ‘Hoc ipsum forte sensit et Maro, qui, licet ueritatis esset ignarus et in tenebris gentium ambularet, ad Eliseos campos felicium et cari genitoris conspectum Eneam admittendum esse non credidit, nisi docente Sibilla, quae quasi siosbole consilium Iouis uel sapientia Dei interpretatur, ramum hunc Proserpinae, quae proserpentem et erigentem se a uitiis uitam innuit, consecraret’. See also n 63 above.

68 Aeneid 6 lines 136-44 p 231; Policraticus viii.25 col 820b: 2 p 421: ‘Plane quid penarum lateat in terrenis uel quid in his possit mereri solus agnoscit qui de arbore scientiae ramum bonae operationis auellit. Eoque auulso alter non defuit, quia quo amplius exercentur, eo magis subcrescunt et proficiunt scientiae et uirtutes’.

69 On Anchises see Commentum Bernardi p 9: ‘Anchises enim celsa inhabitans interpretatur quern intelligimus esse patrem omnium omnibus presidentem’; also pp 27-8, 51-2; compare Fulgentius, Virgiliana continentia, in Fabii Planciadis Fulgentii V.C. Opera, ed Rudolf Helm (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana: Leipzig 1898, enlarged repr Stuttgart 1970) p 102. On the Sibyl see Commentum bernardi p 31: ‘Sibilla vero quasi scibule, id est divinum consilium, quod accipimus esse intelligentiam, que dicitur consilium quia per earn homo sibi consulit. Dicitur divinum quia intelligentia non est aliud quam divinorum comprehentio’; compare Servius on Aeneid 3 line 445 and 6 line 12, Servii commentarii 1 p 421; 2 p 5. On the golden bough see Commentum Bernardi p 58: ‘Ramus ergo aureus hoc loco intelligitur philosophia …Hunc ramum intelligentia monet querere Eneam ut possit meatus ad inferos patere quia qui philosophia caret ei rerum agnitio non patet’; also pp 58-65 passim; compare Servius on Aeneid 6 line 136, Servii commentarii 2 pp 30-1; and Fulgentius, Virgiliana continentia pp 95-8, 101. Unlike John, Bernard follows Servius in explicitly connecting the golden bough with the littera Pythagoreae (Y), which signifies the choice in life between virtue and vice; see Harms, Wolfgang, Homo Viator in Bivio: Studien zur Bildlichkeit des Weges, Medium Aevum (Philologische Studien 21: Munich 1970) pp 5762 . On Aeneas as the human soul see n 62 above.

70 But his emphasis on good action (bona operatio) may owe something to Bernard’s interpretation of Aeneid 6 lines 145-6 (‘ergo alte uestiga oculis et rite repertum/carpe manu’): ‘ERGO: quia oportet ramum habere, ratione et intellectu et que sunt agenda inquirere et iuxta inventa agere. MANU: operatione’; see Commentum Bernardi p 60. John’s etymology of Proserpina and his explanation for the regrowth of the bough are not found in the usual commentaries. On the former contrast Fulgentius, Virgiliana continentia pp 101-2; Commentum Bernardi p 59. On the regrowth of the bough contrast Servius on Aeneid 6 line 143, Servii commentarii 2 p 31; Commentum Bernardi pp 59-60.

71 Policraticus viii.25 cols 820b-821a: 2 pp 421-2. For John’s reservations regarding the pagan Vergil’s ultimate authority see also Policraticus viii.24 col 816d: 2 p 415; viii.25 col 820a: 2 p 420. Of the Roman poetsjohn had special regard for Vergil and Lucan; see the references given by Moos, Peter von, ‘Lucans tragedia im Hochmittelalter, Pessimismus, contemptus mundi und Gegenwartserfahrung (Otto von Freising, Vita Heinrici IV., Johann von Salisbury)’, Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 14 (Kastellaun 1979) pp 12786 esp pp 16776 and n 138.

John of Salisbury as classical scholar

  • Janet Martin (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed