Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

An Annotated Bibliography of Printed and Online Primary Sources for the Middle Ages

Source Details

Matter, E. Ann, ed., De Partu Virginis (Turnhout: Brepols Series)

Text name(s): De Partu Virginis

Number of pages of primary source text: 47


Dates: 844 - 846

Archival Reference: 

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Europe

County/Region: France

Record Types: 

  • Treatise - Instruction/Advice
  • Theology - Doctrine

Subject Headings: 

  • Clergy - Monks, Nuns, Friars
  • Theology - Sacramental
  • Philosophy / Theology
  • Theology - Mariology


  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


A key figure in the history of the theological revival during the reign of Charles the Bald, Radbertus wrote De Partu Virginis (on the birth by the Virgin) in which he defends the perpetual virginity of Mary at the moment of the birth of Jesus Christ. Comprising two books, the treatise is dedicated to the nuns of Soissons. Reflecting a contemporary theological controversy over the virginity of Mary, the treatise invites comparison with another one written around the same time by his rival theologian (Ratramus). Radbertus’ treatment of the virginity of Mary can best be understood in light of his Eucharistic thought (specifically, as it pertains to the nature of Real Presence in the elements of the Eucharistic sacrament). In the work, Radbertus draws upon a biblical and patristic sources in a number of ways: from casual allusion to a detailed citation of passages relevant to his argument.

Introduction Summary: 

Consisting of seven parts, the Introduction opens with a sketch of Radbertus’ life and thought. The editor then focuses on the treatise in relation to his more famous and controversial work on the Eucharist (De corpore et sanguine Domini/ “Concerning the body and blood of the Lord”). Conveying insight into Radbertus’ sources, the editor discusses the treatise’s manuscript history. He also comments on the treatise’s textual transmission and its printed editions, concluding with notes on the orthography used in the present edition.

Cataloger: AT