Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator, born c. 490, d. c. 585, was by turns statesman and monk, leaving behind a substantial and varied body of literary work. The standard treatment of his life and work is James J. O'Donnell, Cassiodorus (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979). The full text is now available on this server. The most important publication by far since 1979 was the Atti della settimana di studi su Flavio Magno Aurelio Cassiodoro (Cosenza-Squillace 19-24 settembre 1983), a cura di S. Leanza (Soveria Mannelli Rubbettino Ed., 1986).

The image here is from the Codex Amiatinus, created in Britain in the eighth century but probably imitating a large Bible produced at Cassiodorus' Vivarium monastery on the Ionian Sea two hundred years earlier. This portrait expressly depicts the scribe Ezra, he who restored the Law to the Jewish people after the Babylonian captivity, but the arrangement of books on the bookshelves and labels visible on their spines when closely examined suggest the disposition of texts of scripture known from Cassiodorus' own library through his work the Institutiones. Accordingly, many scholars take this image to be a thinly-veiled portrait of the aged Cassiodorus himself.

In the original manuscripts of Cassiodorus' Institutiones, there were illustrations, not all of which are preserved in later versions. From an eighth-century Bamberg manuscript, click on this thumbnail to see a larger version of the best representation of Cassiodorus' monastery at Vivarium. Notice the fish in the vivaria at the bottom of the image. (The first page of a twelfth-century Austrian manuscript of the Institutiones shows a more restrained later presentation of the text.)

This site includes the Latin text of Cassiodorus' de anima (ed. J.W. Halporn) and the Latin text of Cassiodorus' Institutiones: Book 1 and Book 2. The web also supplies Mommsen's text of the Variae (now complete).

See also the associated page for Junillus.

Jordanes "The Origin and Deeds of the Goths" (= Latin Getica, an abridgement of Cassiodorus' Gothic History). Also at another site.

A 1990 essay on Cassiodorus published, apparently, only on the WWW: Christian Gizewski, "Die Konversion Cassiodors als Typus politischen Handelns"

TLS published this poem.

Page maintained by James J. O'Donnell, University of Pennsylvania