Pauca de barbarismo collecta de multis

  • Latin
  • prose

An early medieval Latin compilation of material on barbarisms, solecisms, metaplasms, figures of speech and other topics discussed in Book 3 of Donatus’ Ars maior. Headings: De barbarismo, De soloecismo, De ceteris uitiis, De metaplasmo, De scematibus, De tropis. The verse dedication which follows the text in the Bamberg manuscript is usually interpreted as an attribution to Clemens Scottus.

Ascribed to: Clemens Scottus
Clemens Scottus
(fl.c. 814–826)
(Scottus/Scotus), Irish peregrinus, grammarian and teacher active at the court of Louis the Pious.

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The Bamberg manuscript alone carries one or two attributions to Clemens Scottus but their relationship to the texts in the manuscript is not enitrely clear. This have occasioned different views, with some disagreement as to which texts are being referred to. Recent views seem to favour the following interpretation:
(1) The clearest evidence for attribution comes by way of a poem of dedication to Lothair beg. Pauca tibi Caesar de multis magne Hlothari, which follows the present text and mimics its opening words.
(2) An abbreviated inscription C G P A HL F D HV IM is found at f. 54r, directly following the finit of an ars grammatica and heading the tract on metrical feet that precedes the present text. Elias Steinmeyer suggested a tentative transliteration as Clemens grammaticus principi augustissimo Hlothario filio domni Hludovici imperatoris. It was previously assumed to belong to the ars grammatica. Vivien Law, however, argues that as inscriptions tend to head a new text, it was probably intended for Pauca de barbarismo..., even though a metrical tract intrudes at this point in the manuscript and disrupts the connection. She and others before her contend with this difficulty by suggesting that the metrical tract was an ill-placed editorial addition.
ff. 56v–70v
beg. ‘[Q]uid est barbarismus? Pompeius ostendit ita dicens’
Here followed by the poem beg. Pauca tibi Caesar de multis magne Hlothari.
Leiden, University Library, MS VLQ 33
ff. 160r–171r
ff. 87r–93v
rubric: ‘Incipit Expositio in barbarismo’
ff. 112v–123r
rubric: ‘Inicipiunt pauca de barbarismis collecta de multis’
beg. ‘Quid est barbarismus? Pompeus ostendit ita dicens’
  • Latin
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Related: Pauca tibi Caesar de multis magne HlothariPauca tibi Caesar de multis magne Hlothari

Latin poem of dedication by Clemens (Scottus) for Lothair, beg. Pauca tibi, Caesar, de multis, magne Hlothari, / iure tuus Clemens saepe legenda dedi, / caetera quo valeas per te penetrare sophiae / calle velut veterum, scita profund virum. The dedication apparently refers to foregoing tract in the manuscript, Pauca de barbarismo collecta de multis.



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.] Mari, Tommaso, Pauca de barbarismo collecta de multis: studio ed edizione critica, Testi e studi di cultura classica, 66, Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2017.  
L’opera conosciuta come Pauca de barbarismo collecta de multis è una compilazione grammaticale latina di età carolingia che attinge alla dottrina di numerosi grammatici tardoantichi su uitia et uirtutes orationis. Nel presente volume, che ne è l’editio princeps, l’autore descrive la tradizione manoscritta dell’opera, analizza le sue fonti grammaticali e letterarie e ne esamina la lingua, per poi delinearne una contestualizzazione storico-culturale. L’edizione è corredata da un ricco apparato critico che include puntuali raffronti con il testo e la tradizione manoscritta delle fonti della compilazione. Concludono il volume gli indici dei passi citati. Questo libro è pensato in primo luogo per gli studiosi della tradizione grammaticale latina tardoantica ed altomedievale, ma si rivolge anche a chi studia la fortuna dei classici latini nel Medioevo.

Secondary sources (select)

Zetzel, James E. G. (ed.), Critics, compilers, and commentators: an introduction to Roman philology, 200 BCE-800 CE, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.  
Table of contents
List of abbreviations
Part I: A short history of Roman scholarship
Chapter 1: The face of learning
Chapter 2: The origins of Roman grammar
Chapter 3: Word and world: Varro and his contemporaries
Chapter 4: Past and present: from Caecilius Epirota to Valerius Probus
Chapter 5: Finding the right word
Chapter 6: Dictionaries, glossaries, encyclopedias
Chapter 7: Commentary and exegesis
Chapter 8: Grammar and grammarians
Chapter 9: Author, audience, text
Chapter 10: Dictionaries and encyclopedias
Chapter 11: Commentaries
Chapter 12: Grammars and other forms of erudition
Chapter 13: Early medieval grammars
List of works cited
343 Describes the text as a “collection of material on barbarism, solecism and figures of speech [...] parallel to Donatus, Ars maior, Book 3”
Steinmeyer, Elias, and Eduard Sievers, Die althochdeutschen Glossen, Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung, 1879–1922.
Internet Archive – vol. 1: <link> Internet Archive – vol. 4: <link>
Vol. 4, 539
C. A., Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
November 2018, last updated: September 2023