Versus in oratorio sancti Patricii
verse beg. Istam Patricius sanctus sibi vindicat aulam

  • Latin
  • verse
Short Latin hexametrical poem on an oratory dedicated to St Patrick. Since a study by Ludwig Traube, Cellán, abbot of Péronne, is usually identified as the author of the poem, or perhaps the one who commissioned it.
Versus in oratorio sancti Patricii
John Leland referred to it as Versus Bedae in oratorio S. Patricii.
First words (verse)
  • Istam Patricius sanctus sibi vindicat aulam
The use of nostri (l. 2) has been taken to indicate an Irish author. Traube has made the case for Cellanus (Ir. Celllán), abbot of Péronne (d. 706), as being the author of the poem or else the one who commissioned it. This view is based on the fact that in the Florence MS, it is found together with another hexametrical poem (Quid Vermendensis memorem tot milia plebi) which acknowledges Cellán at the end of the text (Haec modo Cellanus venerandi nominis abbas / Iussit dactilico discrivi carmina versu). They belong to a small collection of tituli, i.e. transcriptions from inscriptions on ecclesiastical buildings, suggesting that the poem was formerly inscribed or painted on a chapel or oratory dedicated to Saint Patrick. A context for this is suggested by an episode in Virtutes sancti Fursei, ch. 19, which tells that St Fursa had brought certain pignora, here ‘relics’ (lit. ‘pledges’), of St Patrick to Péronne. Traube was the first to suggest that the chapel of the poem may have been erected to house those relics.
Cellán of Péronne
Cellán of Péronne
(d. 706)
Irish churchman, fourth abbot of St Fursa’s foundation in Péronne, Neustria, in what became Picardy, France. From William of Malmesbury, he is known to have corresponded with Aldhelm. He has been identified as the author of a number of Latin  poems. The Lorsch annals give his obit under 706.

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(authoring, commissioning)
f. 61v
beg. ‘Istamen patricius scs sibi uindicat aula’
Eight hexameters. Followed by a titulus beg. Quid Vermendensis memorem tot milia plebis.
Compilation of Milred of Worcester.
beg. ‘Istam Patricius sanctus sibi uindicat aulam’
A fragment from a larger MS now lost, which contained a collection of inscriptions compiled by bishop Milred of Worcester.
Transcriptions by John Leland.
  • Latin
Late 7th or 8th century?
verse (primary)
Number of lines: 8
Textual relationships
Related: Quid Vermendensis memorem tot milia plebisQuid Vermendensis memorem tot milia plebis

Short Latin hexametrical epigram written or commissioned by Cellán, abbot of Péronne, for Transmarus, bishop of the people of Vermandois (plebs Vermandensis) in Picardy.



Saint Patrick
Saint Patrick
(fl. 5th century)
No short description available

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Perrona ... Péronne
No short description available

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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.] Wallach, Luitpold, “The Urbana Anglo-Saxon sylloge of Latin inscriptions”, in: Gordon M. Kirkwood (ed.), Poetry and poetics from ancient Greece to the Renaissance: studies in honor of James Hutton, Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1975. 134–151.
[corr.] Schaller, Dieter, “Bermerkungen zur Inschriften-Sylloge von Urbana”, Mittellateinisches Jahrbuch 12 (1977): 9–21.
Offers corrections to Wallach’s text.
[ed.] Levison, Wilhelm, “Zu den Versen des Abtes Cellanus von Péronne”, Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie 20 (1936): 382–390.
[ed.] Meyer, Kuno, “Verses from a chapel dedicated to St Patrick at Péronne”, Ériu 5 (1911): 110–111.
[ed.] Hamman, Adalbert-Gautier (ed.), Patrologia cursus completae, serlies latina [Patrologiae latinae], supplementum, 5 vols, vol. 4, Paris: Garnier, 1967–1971.
2191 Reprint of Traube’s edition.
[ed.] Traube, Ludwig, “XXIV. Perrona Scottorum”, in: Ludwig Traube, Vorlesungen und Abhandlungen, ed. Franz Boll, and Samuel Brandt, 3 vols, vol. 3: Kleine Schriften, Munich: C. H. Beck, 1920. 95–119.
Internet Archive: <link>
107 (with discussion after) Reprint.
[ed.] Traube, Ludwig, “Perrona Scottorum. Ein Beitrag zur Überlieferungsgeschichte und zur Paläographie des Mittelalters”, Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse (1900): 469–538.
Internet Archive – Offprint: <link> Internet Archive – Extremely poor copy: <link>
487 (with discussion after)
[ed.] Bandini, Angelo Maria, Catalogus codicum latinorum Bibliothecae Mediceae Laurentianae, 5 vols, Florence, 1774–1778.
Internet Archive – vol. 1: <link> Internet Archive – vol. 2: <link> HathiTrust – vol. 3: <link> Google Books – vol. 3: <link> HathiTrust – vol. 4: <link> Google Books – vol. 4: <link>
Vol. 2, 813–814

Secondary sources (select)

Howlett, David, “Early Insular Latin poetry”, Peritia 17–18 (2003–2004): 61–109.
Lapidge, Michael, “Some remnants of Bede’s lost Liber epigrammatum”, in: Michael Lapidge, Anglo-Latin literature, vol 1: 600–899, London, Rio Grande, Ohio: Hambledon Press, 1996. 357–379, 510–512 (additional notes).
364–365 Additional notes contains remarks on the Urbana MS.
Lapidge, Michael, and Richard Sharpe, A bibliography of Celtic-Latin literature, 400-1200, Royal Irish Academy Dictionary of Medieval Latin from Celtic Sources, Ancillary Publications, 1, Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1985.
[id. 644.]
Sims-Williams, Patrick, “Milred of Worcester’s collection of Latin epigrams and its continental counterparts”, Anglo-Saxon England 10 (1981): 21–38.  

Milred, who was bishop of Worcester from 743 × 745 to 774 × 775, is almost as shadowy a figure in the history of Anglo-Latin literature today as he was in the sixteenth century when John Leland recorded in his Commentarii de Scriptoribus Britannicis: ‘invidiosa vetustas Milredi monumenta destruxit’. The only composition by Milred that has come to light, in a single ninth-century continental manuscript, is the letter of consolation that he sent to Lull of Mainz after St Boniface's martyrdom. Apart from its inherent interest, this letter, with its elegant use of Vergilian echoes, is a valuable indication of Milred's literary interests and aspirations. Better still, it ends with a tantalizing glimpse of the literary world in which Milred lived: a postscript in which he apologizes for failing to send a copy of the picture poems of Optatianus Porphyrius because Cuthbert, the archbishop of Canterbury, had failed to return them. It was perhaps this very copy of Porphyrius that served as the model for the decoration of the Codex Aureus (Stockholm, Kungliga Biblioteket, A. 135), which may have been produced at St Augustine's, Canterbury, during Cuthbert's time.

(source: Introduction, in lieu of an abstract)
Lapidge, Michael, “Some remnants of Bede’s lost Liber epigrammatum”, The English Historical Review 90:357 (October, 1975): 798–820.
The article was published before Lapidge was able to study the newly discovered MS in Urbana.
Coccia, Edmondo, “La cultura irlandese precarolingia: miracolo o mito?”, Studi medievali, serie terza 8 (1967): 257–420.
Grosjean, Paul, “Notes d’hagiographie celtique, no. 46: Les inscriptions métriques de l’église de Péronne”, Analecta Bollandiana 78 (1960): 369.
Kenney, James F., “Chapter VI: The expansion of Irish Christianity”, in: James F. Kenney, The sources for the early history of Ireland: an introduction and guide. Volume 1: ecclesiastical, Revised ed., 11, New York: Octagon, 1966. 486–621.
507 [id. 306.]
Dennis Groenewegen
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July 2021, last updated: September 2023