The catalogue entry for this text has not been published as yet. Until then, a selection of data is made available below.

An early medieval Latin compilation of gnomic maxims attributed to the Greeks, perhaps dating to the 7th century. The earliest transmission of its material is closely associated with Insular, particularly Irish scholarship, as seen in works of Sedulius Scottus and the B-recension of the Collectio canonum Hibernensis.

Manuscript witnesses

Bernkastel-Kues, Bibliothek des St. Nikolaus-Hospitals, MS 52 
context: Collectaneum miscellaneum (Sedulius Scottus)   rubric: Incipiunt Prouerbia Grecorum   incipit: Hec uero de Grecorum prudentia   Prefatory letter and 74 statements.
f. 246r-v  
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 100 
context: Vita Ælfredi regis   incipit: Super modicum fundamentum aedificat iustus et paulatim ad maiora defluit   1 quotation in Asser's Life of Alfred c.88. Lapidge suggests that Asser may have known the Proverbia directly.
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 415 
rubric: De quinque temporibus regni in Prouerbiis Grecorum legitur   10 statements.
pp. 195–199   
Karlsruhe, Badische Landesbibliothek, Aug. perg. 18 
context: Collectio canonum Hibernensis   rubric: De variis temporibus regni   1 statement.
Liber Proverbiorum Graecorum inutilis (lost) 
A manuscript, or manuscript text, now lost but mentioned in the library catalogue of Lincoln Cathedral (Librum Prouerbiorum Graecorum inutilem).
p. 61  
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Clm 14096/ff. 1-101 
context: Testimonia divinae scripturae et patrum   incl. Proverbia Grecorum   Ed. from this manuscript and one in Verona, by Albert Lehner, Florilegia: florilegium Frisingense (Clm 6433); Testimonia divinae scripturae (et patrum) (1987). Incl., on f. 63v, 4 statements from the Proverbia Grecorum.
in section: f. 63r–f. 99v
Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, MS Clm 14096/ff. 1-101 
context: Testimonia divinae scripturae et patrum   rubric: Scriptum est in Prouerbiis Gregorum   4 statements.
f. 63v  
Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS 572 
context: De raris fabulis   incipit: Facies sapientis manifestat ignota uel obscura   1 quotation in De raris fabulis.
Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Hatton 42/part 1 (ff. 1r-142r) 
context: Collectio canonum Hibernensis   rubric: In Prouerbiis Grecorum leguntur   6 statements.
f. 42r  
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 2777 
context: Letter from Cathwulf to Charlemagne   incipit: Sunt autem octo columne regis iusti propriae   1 statement on the eight columns of kingship.
Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 3182 
context:    rubric: De causa qua viri mulieribus precellunt. Augustinus   incl. Synodus II S. Patricii, Proverbia Grecorum, Synodus Hibernensis   Collection of excerpts from the Bible, patristic literature, Isidore, Orosius, etc., mostly on the subject of marriage and adoption. Other excerpts incl.: on pp. 305-306, a second, abridged text of the Synodus Hibernensis, beg. Sanguinem episcopi (see the fuller text on p. 302); Synodus II S. Patricii; Proverbia Grecorum.
in section: p. 302–p. 306


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.] Simpson, Dean, “The Proverbia Grecorum”, Traditio 43 (1987): 1–22.
[ed.] Simpson, Dean, Sedulii Scotti collectaneum miscellaneum, Corpus Christianorum, Continuatio Mediaevalis, 67, Turnhout: Brepols, 1988.
[ed.] Bischoff, Bernhard, “Nachlese zu den Proverbia Graecorum (6. Jh.?)”, in: Bernhard Bischoff (ed.), Anecdota novissima: Texte des vierten bis sechzehnten Jahrhunderts, 7, Stuttgart: Karl W. Hiersemann, 1984. 98–100.
Gives the text of Munich Clm 14096.
[ed] Hellmann, Siegmund, Sedulius Scottus, Quellen und Untersuchungen zur lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters, Munich, 1906.
Internet Archive: <link>, <link>
121–135 [‘Proverbia Grecorum’] direct link

Secondary sources (select)

Wright, Charles, “The Prouerbia Grecorum, the Norman Anonymous, and the early medieval ideology of kingship: some new manuscript evidence”, in: Gernot R. Wieland, Carin Ruff, and Ross G. Arthur (eds), Insignis sophiae arcator: essays in honour of Michael W. Herren on his 65th birthday, 6, Turnhout: Brepols, 2006. 193–215.
Lapidge, Michael, The Anglo-Saxon library, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Anton, Hans Hubert, “Königsvorstellungen bei Iren und Franken im Vergleich”, in: Franz-Reiner Erkens (ed.), Das frühmittelalterliche Königtum: ideelle und religiöse Grundlagen, 49, Berlin, New York: De Gruyter, 2005. 270–330.
Lapidge, Michael, “Asser’s reading”, in: Timothy Reuter (ed.), Alfred the Great: papers from the Eleventh-Centenary Conferences, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2003. 27–48.
On the quotations in Asser and De raris fabulis and the notion that the Proverbia may have been part of Latin education in Wales, or at least at St David's (rudimenta Sancti Degui).
Scharer, Anton, “The writing of history at King Alfred’s court”, Early Medieval Europe 5:2 (1996): 177–206.
195 Identifies the source of Asser's quotation as the Collectaneum of Sedulius Scottus (cf. Lapidge above).
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.
98 [id. 344.]
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.
566 [id. 374.]
Williams, George H., The Norman anonymous of 1100 A.D.: toward the identification and evaluation of the so-called Anonymous of York, Harvard Theological Studies, 18, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1951.