Online Medieval Sources Bibliography

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

Source Details

Brearley, Denis, ed., Commentum Sedulii Scotti in Maiorem Donatum Grammaticum (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies)

Text name(s): Commentum in Maiorem Donatum Grammaticum; Commentary on the Ars Maior of Donatus

Number of pages of primary source text: 254


Dates: 848 - 859

Archival Reference: The codices consulted in the production of this edition are: London, British Museum Arundel 43, saec. XIII; Munich, Codex Latinus Monacensis 14488; Vatican City, Vat. Palat. Lat. 1754.

Original Language(s): 

  • Latin


  • Original language included.

Translation Comments: 

Geopolitical Region(s): 

  • Europe
  • France


Record Types: 

  • Commentary / Gloss / Exegesis

Subject Headings: 

  • Carolingians
  • Education / Universities
  • Grammar / Rhetoric
  • Classics / Humanism


  • Index
  • Bibliography
  • Introduction


Sedulius Scottus was an Irish scholar and teacher active in the Frankish intellectual circles of the mid-ninth century. Leaving his homeland because of escalating Viking incursions and welcomed by the Franks in Liège, Sedulius became a conspicuous figure in the so-called Carolingian Renaissance, and is now most well known for his Scriptural commentaries and grammatical works. His extensive commentary on the influential Ars Maior of the fourth-century Roman grammarian Aelius Donatus covers the topics of the elements of language (letters, syllables, etc.), the eight traditional partes orationis (parts of speech), barbarism and other vices of speech, and rhetorical devices. It demonstrates Sedulius’ vast erudition and provides insights into the state and concerns of learning for the third generation of Carolingians. This edition contains indices of quotations, sources, Greek terms, orthographic idiosyncrasies, and topics and technical terms, but only the text of the secunda editio of the commentary, which deals with the parts of speech. As such, it has largely been superseded by the edition of Löfstedt (Turnhout: Brepols, 1977), which includes the entire commentary.

Introduction Summary: 

The short introduction (10 pp.; in English) focuses purely on the textual transmission of the work and describes the editorial principles employed here.

Cataloger: WLL