Glosses on Philargyrius

  • Old Irish
  • prose
Old Irish glosses to Iunius Philargyrius’ commentary on Virgil’s Eclogae, al. Bucolica. While the original manuscript containing them is lost, they are found in continental copies of the commentary produced in the 9th and 10th centuries, presumably transcribed by scribes who had no knowledge of the Irish language.
ff. 2v, 3r–v, 4v, 6v, 7v–8v, 9v–12v, 13v–14r (Explanatio I); 16r–18r, 20v, 21v–22v (Explanatio II)
ff. 1–17
The version is close to that of the Florence MS and may have shared with it a common exemplar.
A fuller version whose exemplar appears to have been different from that of the Florence MS and BNF MS lat. 7960.
  • Old Irish
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
(Possible) sources: Explanationes in Bucolica VergiliiExplanationes in Bucolica VergiliiLatin commentary on Virgil’s Eclogae, al. Bucolica, attributed to one Iunius Philargyrius and dedicated to Valentinianus, possibly referring to Valentinian III (r. 425-455). Its transmission owes something to Irish scholarly interest of the seventh or eighth century. Two recensions (explanationes or expositiones) of the text are preserved, Explanatio I and the shorter Explanatio II (or Brevis expositio), which include Old Irish glosses, accounts of the life of Virgil and other material not originally part of the commentary. Recension I may have been compiled or at least written down by one Fatosus, if that much can be inferred from its colophon.
Related: Irish glosses to the Brevis expositio Vergilii GeorgicorumIrish glosses to the Brevis expositio Vergilii Georgicorum

Two Old Irish glosses to the Brevis expositio Vergilii Georgicorum, a commentary on Virgil’s Georgics, as it stands in a Florence MS (Plutarch 45.14). The glosses in this manuscript reflect a later stage of transmission in which they are found integrated within the main text and were presumably copied by a scribe who had no knowledge of Irish.



Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] Lambert, Pierre-Yves, “Les gloses celtiques aux commentaires de Virgile”, Études Celtiques 23 (1986): 81–128.
Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 23, 1986: <link>
[ed.] Stokes, Whitley, and John Strachan [eds.], Thesaurus palaeohibernicus: a collection of Old-Irish glosses, scholia, prose, and verse, 3 vols, vol. 2: Non-Biblical glosses and scholia; Old-Irish prose; names of persons and places; inscriptions; verse; indexes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1903.  
comments: Reprinted by DIAS in 1987, together with Stokes' supplementary volume.
Internet Archive: <link> Internet Archive – originally from Google Books: <link> Wikisource: <link>
46–48 (Plut. 45.14, with variants from Paris MS 7960 in the footnotes); 360–363 (Paris MS 11308); xvii (introduction). direct link direct link direct link
[ed.] Uhlich, Jürgen, “Two unrecognised Philargyrius glosses”, Ériu 65 (2015): 127–136.
[tr.] Stansbury, Mark, “[Various contributions]”, in: Jan Ziolkowski, and Michael C. J. Putnam (eds), The Virgilian tradition: the first fifteen hundred years, New Haven, London: Yale University Press, 2008..
698–700 Select glosses in translation

Secondary sources (select)

Daintree, David, “The transmission of Virgil and Virgil scholia in early medieval Ireland”, Romanobarbarica 16 (1999): 33–47.
Hofman, Rijcklof, “Some new facts concerning the knowledge of Vergil in early medieval Ireland”, Études Celtiques 25 (1988): 189–212.
Persée – Études Celtiques, vol. 25, 1988: <link>
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
November 2019, last updated: June 2023