Book I
                translated by James W. and Barbara Halporn 


1.  When I realized there was such a zealous and eager pursuit of
secular learning, that the majority of mankind hope thereby to
obtain worldly wisdom, I was deeply grieved that Holy Scripture
lacked public teachers since secular authors certainly have a
powerful and widespread tradition.  Together with blessed
Agapetus, Pope of Rome, I made efforts to collect money for
expenses to enable Christian schools in the city of Rome to
employ learned teachers from whom the faithful might gain eternal
salvation for their souls and the adornment of fine, pure
eloquence for their speech.  They say that such a system existed
for a long time at Alexandria and that the Hebrews are now using
it enthusiastically in Nisibis, a city of Syria.  But since I
could not accomplish this task because of continual wars and
raging battles in the Kingdom of Italy--for peaceful endeavors
have no place in a time of unrest--I was moved by divine love to
devise for you, with God's help, these introductory books to take
the place of a teacher.  Through them, God willing, I believe
that the textual disposition of Holy Scripture and a compact
sketch of secular letters may be unfolded. These works may seem
unscholarly since in them you will find not fine eloquence but
basic description.  But they are of great use to anyone who seeks
to know the source both of worldly knowledge and of the salvation
of the soul.  I transmit in them not my own teaching, but the
words of earlier writers which we justly praise and gloriously
herald to later generations.  Any mention of the ancients in the
midst of praising the Lord is not considered tasteless boasting. 
Furthermore, you indicate your satisfaction with a serious
teacher if you question him often; even if you return many times
to these books, you will not be checked by any severity. 
2.  Therefore, beloved brothers, let us ascend without hesitation
to Holy Scripture through the praiseworthy commentaries of the
Fathers, as if on the ladder of Jacob's vision so that, lifted by
their thoughts, we may be worthy to arrive at contemplation of
the Lord.  For commentary on Scripture is, as it were, Jacob's
ladder, by which the angels ascend and descend (Gen. 28:12); on
which the Lord leans, stretching out his hand to those who are
weary, and supports the tired steps of those ascending by their
contemplation of Him. Therefore, we ought to keep this
arrangement of the readings, that after the recruits of Christ
have learned the Psalms, they may continuously practice the
reading of divine authority  until they understand the authority
thoroughly.  The books should be corrected to prevent scribal
errors from being fixed in untrained minds, because what is fixed
and rooted in the depths of memory is hard to remove. Happy
indeed is the mind that has stored such a mysterious treasure in
the depths of memory, with God's help; but much happier the mind
that knows the ways of understanding from its own energetic
investigation.  As a result, such a mind vigorously expels human
thoughts and is occupied to its salvation with divine eloquence. 
We recall that we have seen many men with powerful memories who,
asked about obscure passages, have solved the questions put to
them by examples drawn only from divine authority for a matter
stated obscurely in one place is set down more clearly in another
book.  An example of this is the Apostle Paul who to a large
extent in the letter written to the Hebrews elucidates the
writings of the Old Testament by their fulfillment in the time of
the New.  
3.  Therefore, dearest brothers, after the soldiers of Christ who
have filled themselves with divine study and, grown strong by
regular reading, begin to recognize selections in books cited as
circumstances dictate, then they may profit from the teachings of
this work. It is divided into two books, which include brief
annotations on works to be read and set out in proper order for
reading them; thus, the student learns where Latin commentators
explain each passage.  But if he finds something in these writers
discussed in a cursory fashion, then those who know Greek should
seek from Greek expositors those passages that reveal a path to
salvation.  In this way indifference and negligence may be
destroyed and vital knowledge sought by eager minds in the
training school of Christ. 
4.  They say that the Divine Scriptures of the Old and New
Testament from the beginning to the end were elucidated in Greek
by Clement of Alexandria surnamed "Stromateus," by Cyril, bishop
of the same city, by John Chrysostom, Gregory, and Basil as well
as other scholarly men whom eloquent Greece praises.  But we,
with the Lord's aid, rather seek Latin writers, for we are
writing for Italians and so we have appropriately pointed out
Roman commentators, for everyone accepts what is reported in his
native language more easily.  In them a matter may be treated by
earlier teachers that cannot be satisfactorily handled by those
of today.  Therefore we will point out the most learned
commentators; when you are sent to such writers you find the
proper and full measure of teaching.  It will also be better for
you not to be guided by striking novelty but to satisfy yourself
with the earlier source.  Consequently I may teach at my leisure
and instruct you with excusable confidence; and I think that this
type of instruction is profitable even to us, teaching others in
such a way that we most suitably avoid the snares of those who
misrepresent us. 
    5.  In the first book we have presented teachers of the former
ages who are always available and prepared to teach you, not so
much by their speech as through your eyes.  Therefore, learned
brothers, wisely moderate your desires, and in imitation of those
who desire to gain health of the body, learn what is to be read
in proper order.  For those who want to be cured ask the doctors
what foods they should take first, what refreshment they should
take next, so that an indiscriminate appetite does not tax rather
than restore the failing strength of their weakened limbs.  
    6. In the second book on the arts and disciplines of liberal
studies some few things ought to be deleted; and yet in this
material there is little harm to the person who slips, if he errs
while keeping his faith firm.  Whatever has been found in Divine
Scripture on such matters will be better understood if one has
prior acquaintance with them.  It is well-known that, at the
beginning of spiritual wisdom, information on these subjects was
sowed, as it were, which secular teachers afterwards cleverly
transferred to their own rules, as we have noted at suitable
places in our Psalm Commentary.
    7.  Therefore, pray to God, the source of all that is useful;
read constantly; go over the material diligently; for frequent
and intense meditation is the mother of understanding.  I have
not forgotten that the eloquent Cassian in his Conversations Book
5 related that a certain old and simple man had been asked about
the most obscure passages of Divine Scripture and that he, after
long prayer, with the help of heavenly light understood and
explained the most difficult matters to his questioners.  He had
suddenly gained by divine inspiration what he had not learned
before from human teachers.  St. Augustine tells a similar story
in his Christian Learning of an illiterate foreign servant who
through constant prayer suddenly read a book that was handed to
him as though he had been taught by long practice in school. 
Concerning this matter Augustine himself spoke later as follows:
although these miracles are surprising, and there is the
statement that "all things are possible to those who believe"
(Mark 9:22), we ought not to pray for such things often, but
rather stick to the practice of ordinary teaching so that we do
not rashly seek after those things which are beyond us and risk
testing the precept of the Lord who says in Deuteronomy: "You
shall not put the Lord your God to the test" (Deut. 6:16), and
again says in the Gospel, "an evil and adulterous generation
demands a sign," and so forth (Matthew 12:39).  Therefore let us
pray that those things which are now closed be opened to us and
that we never lose our zeal for reading; even David when he was
constantly occupied with the law of the Lord nevertheless cried
out to the Lord saying, "give me discernment that I may learn
your commands" (Psalms 118:73).  Such is the sweet gift of this
pursuit that the more one understands the more one seeks.  
    8.  Although all Divine Scripture shines with heavenly
brilliance and the excellence of the Holy Spirit appears clearly
in it, I have dedicated my greatest efforts to the Psalter, the
Prophets, and the Apostolic Letters, since they seem to me to
touch on deeper profundities, and to contain, as it were, both
the glorious height and depth of the whole Divine Scripture.  I
have read over carefully all nine sections containing the divine
authority as best as an old man could.  I collated against older
copies as my friends read aloud to me from these.  In this
pursuit I grant that I have struggled, God willing, to achieve a
harmonious eloquence without profaning the sacred books by taking
undue liberties.  
    9. We believe this also ought to be noted: St. Jerome, led by
consideration for the simple brothers, said in the preface to the
Prophets that he had arranged his translation as it is now read
today by cola and commata for the sake of those who had not
learned punctuation from teachers of secular learning.  Guided by
the authority of this great man, we have judged that his
procedure ought to be followed and that the other books  be supplied with these divisions.  St. Jerome's divisions
by cola and commata in place of punctuation provide sufficient
guidance for easy reading.  We do not, therefore, presume to
surpass the judgment of such a great man.  I have left the rest
of the books which were not arranged in such system of
punctuation to be examined and corrected by the scribes who are
responsible for this exacting task.  Although they cannot
altogether maintain the fine points of orthography, they will
hasten to complete at least the correction of the ancient books
in every way.  They understand their own critical marks which by
and large refer and call attention to this skill.  To eliminate
ingrained error from our midst, we have set down in a following
book on the rules of proper spelling a summary that is suited to
their intellectual capacity in order to eliminate transmission of
crude conjectures of hasty correctors for posterity to complain
of.  I have tried to locate as many of the earlier writers on
orthography as I could for use by the scribes, who can be if not
corrected in every respect, at least greatly improved.  Correct
spelling is usually set out without ambiguity by the Greeks;
among the Latin writers it has clearly been ignored because of
its difficulty and therefore even now it requires the serious
attention of the reader.  
    10.  After this explanatory introduction, it is now time for
us to approach the most spiritually healthful gift of religious
doctrine, the light of devout minds, a heavenly gift, and a joy
which will remain forever--which is briefly touched on in the two
books which follow. 

I. Octateuch 
II. Kings 
III. Prophets 
IV. Psalter 
V. Solomon 
VI. Hagiographa 
VII. Gospels 
VIII. Apostolic Letters 
IX. The Acts of the Apostles and The Apocalypse
X. The Types of Understanding 
XI. The Four Accepted Councils 
XII. The Division of Scripture According to St. Jerome 
XIII. The Division of Scripture According to St. Augustine 
XIV. The Division of Scripture According to the Septuagint 
XV. With What Care Heavenly Authority Ought to be Read 
XVI. The Excellence of Divine Scripture 
XVII. Christian Historians 
XVIII. St. Hilary 
XIX. St. Cyprian 
XX. St. Ambrose 
XXI. St. Jerome 
XXII. St. Augustine 
XXIII. Abbot Eugippius and Abbot Dionysius 
XXIV. General Summary; With What Zeal Holy Scripture is to be
XXV. The Geographers Monks Ought to Read 
XXVI. The Critical Notes to be Attached 
XXVII. Figures of Speech and Disciplines 
XXVIII. What Those Who Cannot Manage Texts of Logic Should Read 
XXIX. The Site of the Monastery of Vivarium or Castella 
XXX. On Scribes and Rules for Proper Spelling 
XXXI. Medical Writers 
XXXII. Advice to the Abbot and Congregation of Monks 
XXXIII. Prayer 


                            I.  The Octateuch 

    1.  The first section of Divine Scripture, the Octateuch,
begins our enlightenment with an historical account starting from
Genesis.  St. Basil expounded the beginning of this book in
Greek. Eustathius, a learned man, translated it into Latin so
successfully that his powerful eloquence seemed to equal the
genius of that most learned teacher.  Basil extended his nine
books up to the creation of man.  In them he explained the nature
of heaven and earth, of air and of waters, and also disclosed the
qualities of practically all created things.  Thus he teaches by
treating at length in clear detail what was passed over for the
sake of brevity in the authoritative text.  
    2.  Father Augustine, too, arguing in his two books against
the Manichees, explained the text of Genesis so thoroughly that
almost no question in it remains unclarified.  And so, the heresy
involuntarily offers the opportunity for careful instruction of
Catholics by the way it is refuted and boldly defeated.  We have
added these books in the copy of Basil with the intention of
making the text of Genesis more accessible to the reader.  
    3.  St. Ambrose, a lucid and pleasant teacher, wrote six books
on this subject in his usual eloquent style and called the work
The Six Days of Creation. 
    4.  St. Augustine, a learned and meticulous controversialist,
also wrote twelve books on the beginning of Genesis, which he
invested with the beauty of virtually every kind of  learning. 
He called the work Genesis Considered Word for Word.  Although
St. Basil and St. Ambrose gained universal praise for their
brilliant treatment of the same material, nevertheless,
Augustine, with God's bounty, advanced his work to yet another
height--a difficult accomplishment after such learned men.  He
also wrote thirty-three books against Faustus the Manichean in
which he vanquishes Faustus' wicked false belief by clear
reasoning and again discussed in a marvelous way the Book of
Genesis.  Likewise in Against the Enemy of the Law and the
Prophets, a work in two books, he unravelled many problems
involving questions of divine law.  He burned with such fierce
piety against these men that he wrote more intensively and more
vigorously against them than he argued against other heresies. 
In the final three books of his Confessions he also presents an
explanation of Genesis and thus he revealed the depth of a
subject which he treated repeatedly in his commentaries.  In
seven books he employed useful logical proofs to explain problems
in the sacred books which are obscure and difficult.  This
excellent teacher and man of incisive mind strove to leave
nothing which is granted for the salvation of souls ignored
through fatal oversight.  He also wrote seven other marvelous
books on the types of speech in which he set down the figures of
secular letters and many other expressions proper to Sacred
Scripture (i.e., which are not in common usage) with the thought
that the soul of the reader should not be disturbed and puzzled
by any difficulties when it finds novelties in the style.  At the
same time this outstanding teacher also showed that the common
expressions, i.e., the figures of speech of the grammarians and
rhetoricians, arose from Scripture and still Scripture retains a
unique quality which up to now no secular teacher has been able
to imitate.  He is also said to have written seven sermons on the
seven days of Genesis.  We are eagerly and diligently seeking and
passionately hope to find a copy of them. 
    5.  St. Ambrose also wrote seven books on the patriarchs which
disentangle passages of the Old Testament by the happy device of
set problems. 
    6.  St. Jerome, too, in one volume on the Book of Genesis
settled many points raised on matters of Hebrew which pass down
through the Divine Scriptures of both Testaments like a line
drawn by one pen with balanced perfection.  Catholics must read
through these works because the text is clear and intelligible
when these great problems have been resolved. To increase our
understanding he also compiled a one volume work that explains
Hebrew names and places found in the authority of older books
adding on his own Latin translations.  This industrious teacher
also wrote another book on the New Testament which disentangles
problems in Old Testament law. 
    7.  We ought also to read St. Prosper eagerly for he has
encompassed three books of the entire divine authority in 153
chapters which are like the fish the nets of the apostles drew
from the stormy depths of this world (John 21:11).  
    8.  There are also eloquent sermons of Origen on the Octateuch
in three books.  He is a man whom the opinion of many Fathers
marks as a heretic, but St. Jerome translated some of his short
works into elegant Latin.  Besides the attacks on him by the
authority of so many Fathers, he has been condemned again
recently by blessed Vigilius, Pope of Rome.  Theophilus, bishop
of Alexandria, has proved on the basis of Catholic doctrine that
thirty-five opinions of Origen are distorted by heretical errors. 
Epiphanius of Cyprus, bishop of the Church of Salamis, also
attacked Origen with great hostility.  By virtue of his episcopal
authority, Epiphanius sadly showed that Origen's statements were
all the more prejudicial because of his perverse cleverness.  But
St. Jerome in a praiseworthy way has shown in a letter written to
Tranquillinus how Origen is to be read.  He would not prevent
learned men from reading indispensable sections of his work, nor
yet hurl the unwary to ruin.  Some have properly said that Origen
ought to be treated like anise; for after he seasons the food of
sacred literature, he himself is to be cooked, extracted, and
thrown away.  It is said of him "where he writes well, no one
writes better; where he writes badly, no one writes worse."  We
must read him cautiously and judiciously to draw the healthful
juices from him while avoiding the poisons of his perverted faith
which are dangerous to our way of life.  The comment Vergil made
while he was reading Ennius is applicable also to Origen.  When
asked by someone what he was doing Vergil replied, "I am looking
for gold in a dung-heap."  And so, as often as I could in my
reading of the works of Origen, I marked the passages which
contained statements against the rules of the Fathers with the
sign of rejection, the achresimon . 
With such a mark on his perverted opinions he cannot deceive
those who must be warned.  Later writers say that he should be
shunned completely because he subtly deceives the innocent.  But
if, with the Lord's help, we take proper precaution, his poison
can do no harm.  
    9.  I have also left you, with the Lord's help, if you want to
read them, some sermons of Origen: sixteen on Genesis, twelve on
Exodus, sixteen on Leviticus, twenty-nine on Numbers, four on
Deuteronomy which contain a careful and subtle commentary,
twenty-six on Joshua, and nine on Judges.  But when I was not
able to find older commentaries on Ruth, I persuaded the priest
Bellator, a very religious man, to write a new one.  In two books
he has done much honor to the remarkable qualities of this woman
and of other women after her.  I have added these books to the
commentaries of Origen as was appropriate so that the
interpretation of the whole volume of the Octateuch might be full
and complete.  
    10.  To make the text of the Octateuch available to us in a
summarized version, we thought that the chapter-headings taken
from the entire sequence of readings should be set down at the
beginning of each book, chapter-headings which had been written
by our ancestors in the text as running heads.  The reader might
thus be usefully guided and made profitably attentive, for he
will easily find that everything he is looking for is briefly
marked out for him. 

                                II. Kings 

    1.  Since I could not find a commentary on the whole text of
the second part, that of Kings, I have woven together some
fragments from learned men into a single garment as it were, so
that what could not be found in a single body of text can be
known piece by piece in a unified collection. 
    2.  I did indeed find four sermons on I Kings by Origen. 
    3.  Blessed Augustine, writing to Simplicianus, bishop of
Milan, on this book, solved six problems which had been set to
him: 1.  On the passage in which it says: "And an evil spirit
from the Lord troubled Saul" (I Kings 16:14); 2.  What is the
meaning of "It repenteth me that I have made Saul king" (I Kings
15:11); 3.  Whether the unclean spirit which was in the witch
could have made Samuel visible to Saul so that he might speak
with him (I Kings 28:7ff.); 4.  On II Kings, where it says: "And
David went in, and sat before the Lord" (II Kings 7:18); 5.  On
III Kings, that Elijah says: "O Lord my God, has thou afflicted
the widow, with whom I am after a sort maintained, so as to kill
her son?" (III Kings 17:20); 6.  In the same book, on the lying
spirit by whom King Achab was deceived (III Kings 22:21ff.).  
    4.  We have found on the second book St. Augustine's one
sermon on Absalom who, because he coveted the kingdom, decided to
kill his father David. 
    5.  On the same work I have found three celebrated discussions
of blessed Augustine of which the first in importance is that on
I Kings, the passage in which David fights with Goliath (I Kings
17); 2.  On III Kings, the passage on Elijah and the widow of
Sarephta (III Kings 17:10ff.); 3.  IV Kings, the passage in which
Elisha blessed the deadly spring (IV Kings 2:19ff.). 
    6.  And blessed Jerome writing to Abundantius discussed three
other difficult problems: 1.  Why did David, who voluntarily went
to attack Saul along with Achis the King of the Allophyli, slay
the man who afterwards announced to him the death of same Saul
(II Kings 1); 2.  Why did David, as he was dying, order his son
Solomon to kill Joab, the general of his army (III Kings 2:5); 3. 
On Semei who shouted unbearable and injurious curses on the
fleeing David and threw stones at him (II Kings 16:5ff.).  
    7.  I have likewise discovered one sermon of Origen on the
second book of the same work. 
    8.  On the third book of the above-mentioned work, St.
Ambrose, bishop of Milan, has a sermon on the Judgment of Solomon
(III Kings 3:16ff.); St. Jerome, too, spoke on this passage in a
pleasant commentary in his usual manner; on this also we have
found that the learned St. Augustine published a sermon.  We
conclude that such a great miracle has been discussed by worthy
    9.  *In addition St. Jerome wrote concerning this book to
bishop Vitalis about the problem that Solomon and Achaz are said
to have begotten sons when they were in their eleventh year (;IV
Kings 16:2, 18:2), something not known to be common in nature. 
    10.  St. Augustine in The City of God, Book 17, titulus 4 in
his eloquent discussion of the period of the kings, among other
things, elucidates the Canticle of Anna (Luke 2:36ff.) line by
    11.  On II Paralipomenon we have found only one lengthy sermon
of Origen. 
    12.  I have collected all this material into one volume so
that you may read, with the Lord's help, matters about these
books in the place of separate commentaries.  I have also added
to this volume empty gatherings so that writings yet to be found
on the above work may be added to the explanations mentioned
    13.  The above-mentioned two books of Paralipomenon, whose
great utility is honored by the Fathers, are known to contain a
brief but full list of historical events.  Since I have not
discovered older chapter-headings like the chapter-headings
existing for the preceding books, I have, as I thought best,
added them in an orderly fashion to each passage so that the
quality of our devotion can be recognized whatever the humbleness
of my style of writing. 

                              III.  Prophets 

    1.   On the fifth section, that of the prophets, St. Jerome,
the first to write notes for beginners and the young, commented
suitably and briefly.  I have left you these glosses in a volume
of the Prophets in which these comments were recently added.  The
grape-cluster shapes of these glosses have been suitably entered
in this codex so that the vineyard of the Lord might seem filled
with a heavenly richness and to have produced the sweetest
fruits.  For the more experienced and those who are already
strengthened by some meditation, St. Jerome produced other full
and clear commentaries through the bounty of Christ the Lord. 
St. Jerome made the abstruse and shadowy statements of the
prophets understandable by offering various translations and
untying the knots of the obscure allegories.  Thus the holy
doctor revealed the great mystery of the Heavenly King to human
    2.  St. Jerome has marvelously expounded in eighteen books on
Isaiah who "ought to be called not so much a prophet as an
evangelist,"  because he clearly made reference to the mysteries
of Christ and of the Church.  
    3.  Origen, in forty-five sermons in Greek, has expounded
Jeremiah who "wept over the destruction of his city in a
four-fold alphabet"; and of those I have found fourteen in
translation which I have left to you.  St. Jerome is also said to
have written a commentary in twenty books on Jeremiah of which we
have been able to find only six but we are, with the Lord's aid,
looking for the rest. 
    4.   St. Jerome in fourteen books expounded Ezechiel whose
style in Hebrew "is neither completely mannered nor yet simple." 
In addition he discussed Daniel in three books.  Although Daniel
is not considered by the Hebrews in the group of prophets, he
was, nevertheless, counted among the writers of the Hagiographa. 

    5.  The twelve remaining prophets, whom common usage calls the
minor prophets because of the brevity of their books, have been
expounded by St. Jerome in twenty books: three books on Osee, one
book on Abdia, three books on Amos, one book on Joel, one book on
Jonah, one book on Nahum, two books on Habacuc, one book on
Sophonia, one book on Aggai, three books on Zacharia, two books
on Michea, one book on Malachia.  So that nothing may be left
unclear about them, he has shown in his most beautiful way how
their names are to be understood in Latin, by fashioning his own
etymologies.  Thus, the field of the Lord brought forth with the
Lord's bounty spiritual fruits for us, a field ploughed, as it
were, by some hard working hired men and watered by the dew of
    6.  It is said that St. Ambrose also wrote a commentary on the
prophets in his usual sweet and eloquent style, but I have up to
now been unable to find it.  I leave it to you to seek after it
zealously, so that an expanded discussion by scholars may
instruct you fully and reward you with the salvation of your

                               IV. Psalter 

    1.  The third section containing the Psalter, which was the
first commentary we worked on, has fourth place in the
arrangement of Biblical books.  Blessed Hilary, blessed Ambrose,
and blessed Jerome have treated some of the psalms, but St.
Augustine in a scholarly manner more fully treated all.  *Up to
now I have collected two decades of Augustine's commentary with
the Lord's help.  
    2.  And in my usual way, borrowing from him, so to speak,
light from light, I have written something about that book with
the Lord's bounty.  Consequently, the famous line of the bard of
Mantua is truly fulfilled in my case, "and I cackle as a goose
among the melodious swans" (Virgil, Ecl. 9.36).  In this work I
have not disturbed the psalm text under discussion by straying
from the subject, but in place of glosses I have stated briefly
on each passage what the nature of the text itself demands.  If
anyone perchance deigns to read this work after reading other
such commentators he will understand (as the other Fathers also
unassailably claimed) that Sacred Scripture is the source of what
the teachers of secular letters afterwards transferred to their
field.  I have (if I am not mistaken) shown these facts as the
passages brought them up to the best of my ability with the
Lord's aid. 
    3.  The short book of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, which
he sent to Marcellinus as a sweet refreshment after his illness
ought to be read.  It is called The Book of Psalms.  In it he
gives various kinds of advice and reveals the excellence of that
work in an edifying discussion which comfortingly mentions the
various misfortunes of mankind and their remedies.  The Psalter
appears like a heavenly sphere thick with twinkling stars and, so
to speak, like a beautiful peacock which is adorned with round
eyes and a rich and lovely variety of colors.  The Psalter is
indeed a paradise for souls, containing numberless fruits on
which the human soul is sweetly fed and fattened.  
    4.  I have decided that this entire corpus of Psalms ought to
be put in three volumes of fifty Psalms each so that the triple
number of the jubilee year might signify to you the gift of
remission desired from the Holy Trinity.  A single volume
containing all the psalms might prove too difficult for some
brothers.  With the Lord's aid many may find a shortened form of
the book beneficial to their salvation and may receive the hope
of precious salvation when the work is divided in such a way. 
Have in your library then one book of all the Psalms for
reference if perchance the text strikes you as erroneous.  But
the interest of the brothers may be served by the divided

                               V.  Solomon 

    1.  The fourth section is that of Solomon whose first book is
called Proverbs.  Since this section is divided into four parts,
I decided that something should be noted on these parts in the
prologue to this section so that such summaries may briefly
clarify the purpose of the work. 
    2.  We have found Didymus' Greek commentary on this book
carefully translated into Latin by our learned friend Epiphanius
with God's aid.  Didymus, though blind in the flesh, was, as
Antony, the Father of Monks justly remarked, one who saw with
prophetic light, since he had seen in his perceptive heart what
he could not see with ordinary sight.  For it is wonderful to
tell how learned in the sciences and arts he was simply by
hearing, since, deprived of carnal light, he was unable even to
look at the shapes of the letters.  This seemed to me almost
impossible, I confess, when I read of it, except that there
happened to come to us from Asia a man by the name of Eusebius
who said that he had been blind since the age of five.  His left
eye had been hollowed out and the deep socket showed; the right
sphere was obscured by a glassy appearance and turned in useless
movements without the power of seeing.  He had placed such great
authors and such great books in the library of his memory that he
laudably advised the reader in what part of the book a passage he
had mentioned could be found.  He kept in his mind all his
teachings and elucidated them by the clearest commentary.  He
also advised us that the tabernacle and temple of the Lord was
shaped like the celestial vault.  I have placed suitable pictures
of them, their proper contours carefully painted, in the Latin
Bible pandect in the larger format.  He also connected the great
mysteries of the Lord with the matter of priestly dress and
stated that nothing was placed on them without purpose or without
carrying a beautiful symbol of something else.  He also stated
that Josephus, Origen, and Jerome had made the same point in
their books.  What more?  He made the story of Didymus believable
by his own example.  Acting under his direction I also found many
ancient books which were unknown in my circle.  Yet he is still
held in the error of the Novatianist heresy.  With the support of
the mercy of the Lord we believe that he will be filled with the
light of the true faith so that the one who enabled him to learn
his scriptures by ear may bid him to become strong in the
wholeness of the Catholic faith.  
    3.  And the second book of Solomon which is called
Ecclesiastes was vigorously commented on by the blessed Jerome. 
He is called the "Preacher" in Latin because he speaks to the
people, and his discussion is directed not to anyone in
particular, but to all in general.  Our Ecclesiastes is the Lord
Christ "he it is who has made both one and has broken down the
intervening wall of the enclosure, the enmity in his flesh"
(Ephesians 2:14).  He says that the divine commandments are to be
followed above all, warning that all the things of this world are
the "vanity of the vain" (Ecclesiastes 1:2).  Victorinus, first a
rhetorician and then a bishop, wrote not a little on this book. 
    4.  St. Jerome, who enriched the Latin language remarkably,
also attended to our interests by his usual admirable translation
of the two sermons of Origen on the Canticle of Canticles.  And
this Rufinus, too, an eloquent translator, expounded more fully
in three books by adding some sections up to that precept "Catch
us the foxes, the little foxes that damage the vineyards" (Song
of Songs 2:15).  After those men, Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus,
treated the whole book in one brief volume in Greek.  We have had
this book and others translated into Latin with the Lord's aid by
our learned friend Epiphanius.  I have, therefore, included these
most careful commentators on this book in a single volume to
offer the reader all extant writers on this work in one place. 
St. Ambrose in the third book of his Patriarchs discusses
extensively the figure of Isaac in a beneficial and lucid way. 
    5.  Father Jerome also claimed that the Book of Wisdom is not
by Solomon as is commonly believed, but was written by a certain
learned Jew named Philo.  He designates this book as a
pseudepigraph because it usurps the name of another.  The priest
Bellator stated that he himself undertook a commentary on this
volume in eight books and we keep this work together with his
other shorter works.  Father Augustine and St. Ambrose have
written not a little in the form of sermons: it is a most sweet
text which truly reflects the worthiness of its name. 
    6.  St. Jerome also relates that the Book of Ecclesiasticus
was written by Jesus son of Sirach who is called in Latin the
"Assembler."  The Fathers have differentiated Ecclesiastes and
Ecclesiasticus by stating that Ecclesiastes alone refers to
Christ the Lord while Ecclesiasticus can be applied completely to
any just preacher who generally gathers in the Church of the Lord
by his most holy admonitions.  Clearly this is the effect of this
present book which Jerome called panaretus ("all- virtuous,"
i.e., filled with all the virtues) and the Latin is so clear that
the text seems to be a commentary on itself.  May it be fulfilled
in the nature of our actions as easily as it is quickly grasped
by our mind.  
    7.  With the Lord's aid we have taken care to mark chapter
headings on these books so that in such indispensable reading, as
we have often said, the inexperienced beginner may not be left in

                             VI.  Hagiographa 

    1.  The sixth section, that of the Hagiographa follows.  It
has eight books, containing first Job, an outstanding and
glorious model of patience.  As in many other cases, the labor of
blessed Jerome has given the Latin language a careful translation
and commentary.  Thus in Jerome's commentaries we learn that, as
the Lord himself deigned to bear witness of him, all Job's
complaints were blameless (Job 42:7). 
    2.  How many sweet verbal mysteries that book contains!  As
blessed Jerome says in the epistle he wrote to Paulinus: "Job
begins in prose, slips into verse, ends in unmetrical language,
and fixes everything by the laws of dialectic in major and minor
premise, corroboration, and conclusion."  But if this is
true--and it must be as the authority of so great a man sets it
down-- where are those who say that the art of dialectic did not
begin from most Holy Scripture?  "Individual words in it are
filled with allegories, with enigmas, and with holy problems,
and, to pass over everything else in silence, the book foretells
the resurrection of the flesh so well that no one seems to have
written anything on this subject more clearly or more carefully. 
For thus it says: 'I know that my Vindicator lives, and that he
will stand forth upon the dust whom I myself shall see, and not
another--and from my flesh I shall see God; this my hope is
placed in my bosom.'" (Job 19:25-27). 
    3.  St. Augustine also glossing the same book treated it with
his usual care for knowledge. There is a chapter-by-chapter
commentary on this book by an anonymous author whose style leads
us to believe that it is the work of blessed Hilary.  If you read
it attentively it can instruct you carefully.  Clearly the Book
of Job is a magnificent book written for the solace and benefit
of the human race since it shows a holy man enduring such great
sufferings that each sinner makes light of the sufferings he
himself experiences.  
    4.  The priest Bellator to the best of his ability composed in
Latin commentaries on the following: Tobit, five books; Esther,
six books; Judith, seven books; Maccabees, ten books. 
    5.  I have collected the chapter summaries of these books
since I think that the summary is equally a form of instruction
and concentrates in a few words information spread widely
throughout the books.  When the mind of the reader has been
instructed by these aids, it is stimulated and has beneficial
recourse to the order of scriptures.  Nevertheless, recognize
that these books, although they are historical and are based on a
clear narration have been written with regard to the most
excellent moral virtues to fill our minds properly with patience,
hope, charity, and (even for women) courage.  They also, place in
our minds a present life scorned for God and inform us of the
kinds of virtues which have flourished in those works with the
Lord's grace.  
    6.  I have found Origen's single expository sermons in Greek
on the two books of Esdras, which have been translated by that
devout man Bellator.  St. Ambrose in The Patriarchs, where he
speaks of Joseph, cites the second book of Maccabees as an
example.  He has interpreted by the sweet clearness of his
eloquence the greatest part of this book as praise of the virtue
of tolerance.  With the Lord's aid, our friend Bellator has put
together a painstaking commentary on the Books of the Maccabees
to provide a commentary for such a great text filled with so many
examples of manly behavior.  

                            VII.  The Gospels 

    1.  The seventh section of Divine Scripture, the first of the
New Testament, which gives us the holy beginning and active aid,
shines with the heavenly light of the four evangelists.  St.
Jerome who investigated what is what is peculiar to each, has
discussed these books with great attention and has included this
in one volume so that the reader's attention might not be
distracted by separate volumes.  St. Jerome again commented on
Matthew in four books, and St. Hilary also discussed it in one
book.  Victorinus, too, who became a bishop after being a
rhetorician, has written not a little on it.  St. Ambrose
marvelously expounded Luke.  Blessed Augustine elucidated John in
a full and outstanding commentary.  He also assembled four books
The Agreement of the Evangelists with a careful and critical
    2.  Eusebius of Caesarea also collected the Gospel canons in a
brief summary.  He has accurately distinguished those passages in
which the evangelists report the same things from those in which
they discuss matters peculiar to themselves.  In his work the
fullness of faith is great, so likewise does the marvelous
teaching of the different evangelists thrive.  

                         VIII.  Apostolic Letters 

    1.  The eighth section contains the canonical epistles of the
Apostles.  I found, at the beginnings of my reading, glosses
written on the thirteen epistles which are so widely known that
learned men have in their enthusiasm said that they were written
by St. Gelasius, the pope of Rome.  This sort of thing often
happens when men wish to protect faulty material by the authority
of an illustrious name.  After our earlier reading, careful
reconsideration showed us that these writings display subtle
concise language, but that the poison of the Pelagian error is
sowed in them; therefore, to keep this heretical error far from
you I have revised the first epistle (to the Romans) with every
possible care and I have left the rest written down in a papyrus
book to be emended by you.  This will be an easy matter since my
example sets a precedent for outright imitation.  
    2.  Deeply distressed amidst these troubles I found an
anonymous annotated codex given to us by divine foresight which
offers valuable glosses to the thirteen epistles of St. Paul. 
This book, if gone through carefully, will give you a second safe
commentary with the Lord's bounty.  
    3.  We have had Mutianus, a learned man, translate from Greek
into Latin the thirty-four sermons of John, bishop of
Constantinople, on the Epistle to the Hebrews so that the entire
sequence of the letters would not be broken off suddenly by a
clumsy conclusion. 
    4.  On the canonical epistles Clement of Alexandria, a priest
(also called Stromateus), has written some things in Greek--i.e.,
on I Peter, on I and II John, and on James.  In these works he
discusses many subjects carefully but others carelessly.  We have
had these translated into Latin and cleaned up by the removal of
some of their errors, so that his teaching can be drawn on more
    5.  St. Augustine also treated the letter of the apostle James
with his usual meticulous diligence.  I have left a copy of this
to you in a parchment book.  
    6.  When deep concern about the remaining canonical epistles
was troubling us, we suddenly obtained by the bounty of the Lord
a copy of Didymus, written in Greek containing a commentary on
the seven canonical epistles.  This has been translated with
divine aid by the scholar Epiphanius. 
    7.  St. Augustine has written much wonderful material on love
in the ten sermons on I John. 
    8.  I have found a third copy of the letters of St. Paul which
some say contains brief glosses of St. Jerome and I have also
left this to you through the bounty of Christ.  
    9.  After these three commentaries of equal value which I have
spoken about, I mention Peter, the abbot of the province of
Tripolis, who is said to have annotated the epistles of St. Paul
with examples from the short works of the blessed Augustine.  He
declares the secret of his own heart with the tongue of another
and he has fitted these examples so suitably to individual
passages that you might think that the whole had been
accomplished rather by the effort of blessed Augustine.  For it
is remarkable that one author has elucidated the text from
another commentator in such a way that he seems to have expressed
the desires of his own heart without using his own words.  This,
among other books, is to be sent to you, if Divine Grace so
grants, from the region of Africa.  
    10.  The whole arrangement of the canonical epistles, those of
St. Paul and of the other apostles, under the guidance of the
Lord, has been completed in this way.  It is reported also that
blessed Ambrose left an annotated version of all the epistles of
St. Paul filled with his own satisfying commentary; up to now,
however, I have not been able to find this work but I am looking
for it assiduously.  
    11.  We have spoken about the brief glosses on the Epistles
which some have written.  Now following our usual order, as we
did for the Prophets, let us speak of those who preferred to
treat of these letters generally.  Thus the first works listed
are suitable for beginners, what follows is designated for those
who are trained. 
    12.  The first of the letters of St. Paul and a rather
remarkable one is the letter to the Romans.  Origen discussed
this letter in twenty books in Greek.  Rufinus has reduced this
work to ten books, and fully translated it into Latin.  St.
Augustine attempted to write a commentary on the same letter.  He
mentions that he had completed one book on the salutation alone
and to use his words, "frightened by the greatness of the work
itself and by the toil, [he] turned to other easier tasks."  In
writing to Simplicianus, bishop of Milan, he also dealt with some
of the lofty and remarkable problems of the same epistle.  We
have decided to insert his discussion in the book I just spoke of
(viz. Origen-Rufinus) so that the reader trying to find another
commentary will not experience unprofitable delays.  
    13.  St. Augustine also interpreted the letter to the
Galatians more broadly and St. Jerome extended his commentary on
it to three books.  St. Jerome also carefully explained the
letter to the Ephesians in three other books.  He included in one
volume a commentary on Titus and he also explained Philemon in
one book. 
    14.  St. Jerome is said to have written commentaries on the
rest of the epistles of St. Paul--i.e., on I and II Corinthians,
on I and II Thessalonians, on Colossians, and on I and II
Timothy; from them a great deal of knowledge can be gained since
it is helpful for the ignorant to learn what they are seeking. 
We trust that by the mercy of the Lord we will shortly locate
these commentaries of Jerome in the various regions where we have
directed inquiry.  Thus we ought to preserve carefully what we
know has been handed down to us; and so, if any of you come on
them by chance before they arrive here, take care to have them
carefully transcribed and added to the aforesaid commentators. 
In this way, the library of your monastery will profit with the
Lord's aid and by your efforts; by his and your efforts great
results have come about.  But if before this work is completed,
my old age passes on, at the order of the Lord, to the desired
end, with remission of my sins (for which I ask that you pray),
some time in the future this material which we await will come to
you as I believe. 
    15.  I have left the commentary of John Chrysostom on the
abovementioned epistles in Greek in the eighth bookcase I spoke
of which houses the Greek books. If fuller Latin commentaries
cannot be found, translate from this commentary what can offer
the fullest knowledge.  In this way all seventy-one canonical
books (the number understood by the holy Father Augustine) may
have commentaries of the earlier writers through the Lord's
bounty, and there, like the spiritual fruits of Paradise, may be
offered for enjoyment at your banquets. 
    16.  But if on these matters I have spoken of, some passages
should be left in doubt and these doubts cannot be answered by
full commentaries, I do not at all forbid you the use of later
commentators.  You should, however, look carefully for Catholic
commentators, since in the passage of time the divine grace which
may have been hidden from the earlier teachers, has recently been
bestowed on many.  

               IX.  Acts of the Apostles and the Apocalypse 

    1.  Next comes the ninth section which contains the Acts of
the Apostles and the Apocalypse.  The Apocalypse, i.e.
Revelation, is also said to be the work of the apostle John.  We
have found commentaries in Greek on the Acts of the Apostles by
John, bishop of Constantinople.  Our friends, with the Lord's
aid, have translated these in two volumes of fifty-five sermons. 
    2.  The Apocalypse, which assiduously leads the reader to
heavenly contemplation, causes him to understand through the
mind's eye what makes the angels blessed through actual sight; it
becomes clear in the commentary of St. Jerome.  Victorinus, the
oft-mentioned bishop, has briefly treated some difficult passages
of this book also.  Vigilius, an African bishop, also discussed
fully and carefully the sense of the thousand years which is
mentioned in the Apocalypse and which is a great problem for
    3.  Tyconius the Donatist also added some unobjectionable
material on this book, but he contaminated it with the foul
teachings of his poisonous belief; where appropriate I have
affixed the chresimon ("useful") on the approved statements and
on all unacceptable statements I found in reading through it, I
have fixed the mark of disapproval, the achriston.  We urge you
to do likewise on suspect commentators so that the reader will
not be bewildered by the admixture of unacceptable teachings. 
    4.  St. Augustine in his City of God also elucidated many
matters concerning this book in an outstanding and careful
manner.  In our time also, the blessed Primasius, bishop of
Africa, has commented on the Apocalypse in five books with minute
and diligent attention.  To these he added one book of careful
discussion called What Makes a Heretic.  Let these books be
offered in the temple of the Lord as holy offerings on the sacred
    5.  But since we have spoken of the commentators--as many of
the earlier ones as we could find or those we have had translated
by our friends from the Greek or composed in the new tongue--let
us now say something about the six types of understanding that
enable us to avoid mortal errors more easily by reference to

                    X.  On the Types of Understanding 

    1.  Having read the teachings of this work, let us first turn
our attention to an examination of introductory manuals to Divine
Scripture by authors, whom we found afterwards, i.e., Tyconius
the Donatist, St. Augustine On Christian Learning, Adrian,
Eucherius, and Junillus.  I have acquired their works with great
care, and have united and gathered into one collection those
which have a similar purpose.  By arranging the rules of usage to
elucidate the text, and by comparisons of various examples, they
have clarified what was hitherto obscure. 
    2. But if writers of introductory works have ignored these
subjects, let us seek carefully for commentators on the books to
reveal to us insights that were hitherto obscure.  
    3.  Then let us read assiduously the Catholic teachers who
have solved the most difficult problems by enumerating proofs. 
    4.  Fifth, specific passages mentioned as illustrations in the
individual books and letters of the different Fathers ought to be
noted with great care.  This method offers the most useful
approach possible to reading the different Catholic Fathers since
they make a great deal of knowledge available to us by their
discussion of problems incidental to their main subjects.
    5.  Finally, seek frequent discussion with learned elders; for
in conversation with them we suddenly realize what we had not
even imagined while they transmit eagerly to us the knowledge
they have gained in their long years.  It is useful to go through
these six types of learning eagerly and willingly rather than
grow dull in irreligious torpor.  

                     XI.  The Four Accepted Councils 

    1.  Let us explain now how the universal and holy councils
have established the saving mysteries of our faith so that we may
avoid deadly errors by learning from them the hidden truths of
our religion.  We read that the Council of Nicaea was the first
convened, then the Council of Constantinople, third Ephesus I,
fourth, Chalcedon.  These are the councils which the Holy Church
approves with good reason.  These Councils brought such great
illumination to our faith that we, in our intellectual blindness,
ought not to crash against the rocks of any heresy, as long as we
are guarded by the care of the Lord.  At those councils the most
holy fathers, defending the truth faith from injury, preferred to
establish ecclesiastical rules and to strike down the stubborn
inventors of new heresies with the divine sword.  They decided
that no one on his own ought to introduce new problems, but
should rest content with the authority of the approved elders and
obey without malice or treachery the decrees promoting our
spiritual well-being.  For there are many who think that it is
praiseworthy to hold opinions contrary to those of the ancients
or to discover some new thing by which they may appear learned.  
    2.  The Codex Encyclius bears witness to the Council of
Chalcedon and praises the reverence of that council so highly
that it judges that the council ought to be compared to sacred
authority.  We have had the complete collection of letters
translated by the erudite scholar Epiphanius from Greek into
    3.  But now that we have collected the sacred documents, as
given with the Lord's help in nine codices together with the
introductory writers and with almost all Latin commentators, let
us see (with the Lord's aid) how holy law has been divided in
three different ways by the different Fathers.  The Church of all
regions accepts this law as a whole, nevertheless, in a
respectful and harmonious way. 

      XII.  The Division of Sacred Scripture According to St. Jerome 

    1.  The divine authority in two Testaments is divided
according to St. Jerome as follows: 
    In the Old Testament.  The Law: Genesis Exodus Leviticus
Numbers Deuteronomy.  Prophets: Josue Judges Ruth Samuel Isaia
Jeremia Ezechiel Books of Twelve Prophets.  Hagiographa: Job
David Solomon Proverbs Ecclesiasticus Canticle of Canticles
Chronicles (i.e. Paralipomenon) Esdras Esther. 
    In the New Testament.  Gospels: Matthew Mark Luke John. 
Apostolic Letters: Paul 14 Peter 2 John 3 James 1 Jude 1.  Acts
of the Apostles.  One book on the Apocalypse.  
    2.  It must be clearly understood that St. Jerome edited and
corrected the works of different translators because he saw that
they did not at all agree with the Hebrew authority.  As a result
he finally translated all the books of the Old Testament with
scrupulous care from Hebrew into Latin and properly arranged them
according to the twenty-two letters that stand in the Hebrew,
letters through which all wisdom is learned and the memory of
what was said has been preserved forever in written form.  There
are in addition twenty-seven books of the New Testament.  Taking
both Testaments together the total is forty-nine. Add to this sum
the omnipotent and indivisible Trinity (through which these deeds
were done and on account of which those prophecies were uttered),
and, indeed, you have the number fifty: like the jubilee year the
total cancels debts by the great goodness of its benefit and
takes away the sins of those who are truly penitent.  
    3.  Because of the large amount of text we have decided that
this full volume of the Latin Bible ought to be written in a
rather small script in fifty-three gatherings of six folios each
so that the close density of the writing might bring within a
short compass the fullness of the text.  
    4.  We ought to recall that Jerome arranged his translation of
the entire divine authority (as he himself bears witness) for the
simple brothers into cola and commata so that those who have
difficulty in understanding the punctuation of sacred letters
might, thus assisted, pronounce the holy text without error.  

     XIII.  The Division of Divine Scripture According to St.

    1.  Divine Scripture according to St. Augustine is divided
into two Testaments, i.e. the Old and the New. 
    The Old: History in 22 books 5 books of Moses Josue 1 Judges 1
Ruth 1 Kings 4 Paralipomenon 2 Job 1 Tobias 1 Esther 1 Judith 1
Esdras 1 Maccabees 2.  Prophets in 22 books: Psalter of David 1
Solomon 3 Sirach 2 Major Prophets 4 (i.e., Isaia Jeremia Daniel
Ezechiel) and Minor 12 (i.e., Osee Joel Amos Abdia Jona Michea
Nahum Habacuc Sophonia Zacharia Aggai Malachia). 
    The New: Gospels in 4 books (i.e., according to Matthew Mark
Luke John).  In Apostolic Letters: of Paul: Romans 1 Corinthians
2 Galatians 1 Ephesians 1 Philippians 1 Thessalonians 2
Colossians 1 Timothy 2 Titus 1 Philemon 1 Hebrews 1.  Peter 2
John 3 Jude 1 James 1.  Acts of the Apostles 1 On the Apocalypse
    2.  In On Christian Learning St. Augustine, therefore, using
the arrangement of the above-mentioned nine sections which the
holy Church devised, arranged the Divine Scriptures into
seventy-one books.  And when you have added the unity of the holy
Trinity to this number, there is a satisfactory and glorious
completeness to the whole. 

      XIV.  The Division of Holy Scripture According to the

    1.  The Holy Scripture according to the ancient translation is
divided into two Testaments, i.e. in the Old Testament: Genesis
Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy Josue Judges Ruth Kings (in
4 books) Chronicles (in 2 books) Psalter (in 5 books) Solomon (in
5 books: Proverbs Wisdom Ecclesiasticus Ecclesiastes Canticle of
Canticles).  Prophets: Isaia Jeremia Ezechiel Daniel Osee Amos
Michea Joel Abdia Jona Nahum Habacuc Sophonia Aggai Zacharia
Malachia (which is also the Messenger) Job Tobias Esther Judith
Esdras (in 2 books) Maccabees (in 2 books).  
    in the New Testament: 4 Gospels: Matthew Mark Luke John.  Acts
of the Apostles.  Epistles of Peter to the nations. Epistle of
James. Epistles of John to the Parthians.  Epistles of Paul: to
the Romans 1 to the Corinthians 2 to the Galatians 1 to the
Philippians 1 to the Colossians 1 to the Ephesians 1 to the
Thessalonians 2 to Timothy 2 to Titus 2 to Philemon 1. 
Apocalypse of John.  
    2.  This third division stands among the others in the larger
volume written in a clearer script.  It has ninety-five
gatherings of four folios each in which the translation of the
Old Testament by the seventy interpreters is included in
forty-four books; to this are added the twenty-six books of the
New Testament and the total comes out all together as seventy
books, symbolizing perhaps by this number the palm trees which
the Hebrew people found at the resting place of Elim (Exodus
    3.  The text is varied in the many translations (as Father
Jerome stated in the prologue of the Psalter) which he left
carefully emended and arranged, and we have judged that all three
types of divisions ought to be attached to this work so that when
these types are carefully treated they seem not to disagree but
rather explain one another.  As a result, although many
Fathers--St. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, and Rufinus, a priest of
Aquileia, and Epiphanius, bishop of Cyprus, and the Councils of
Nicaea and Chalcedon--have said things not contradictory to one
another but only different, all have, nevertheless, by their
divisions, fitted the sacred books to the appropriate mysteries,
as also happens in the harmonies of the Gospels where we regard
the events with one faith although they differ in the way they
are told.  
    4.  But since Father Augustine in the second book of Christian
Learning gives the following advice, "the Latin copies, i.e., of
the Old and the New Testament, if there is need, should be
corrected by the authority of the Greek from which all
translations have reached us after the Hebrew source," so I have
left you also a complete Greek Bible in seventy-five books which
contains ____ [number] of gatherings of four folios each in the
previously mentioned eighth bookcase where I have systematically
collected the various short works of other Greek writers. In this
way nothing that is essential to your instruction in sacred
matters will be missing.  And this number is made holy by two
miracles: for seventy-five souls entered the territory of the
Egyptians from the land of Canaan with the patriarch Jacob
(Genesis 46:27) and seventy-five were the years of Abraham when
he happily received the promise of the Lord (Genesis 12:4). 
    5.  Now it remains for us to say how we ought to correct
scribal errors in Holy Scripture.  What use is it to read through
many texts and not to know what should properly be corrected in

      XV.  How Carefully the Heavenly Authority Ought to be Corrected

    1.  You, therefore, who have a good knowledge of divine and
secular letters and the understanding to discover what is not in
harmony with common usage, read through sacred literature in the
following manner; for the few who are learned must prepare
material for the simple and less educated community. Therefore,
first read carefully and correct the errors of the writers in
such a way that you do not deserve criticism for trying to
correct others without due deliberation; this kind of correction
is, in my opinion, the most beautiful and glorious task of
learned men. 
    2.  First, do not impudently tamper with the idioms of Divine
Scripture lest you damage the purity of the heavenly works (God
forbid!) when you try to bring the text into harmony with common
understanding.  There are peculiar turns of phrasing:  idioms of
divine law which do not occur in common usage, such as: 
    "according to the innocence of my hands"  (Psalms 17:21, 25;
         7.9), or
    "let my judgment come from your face"-- (Psalms 16:2) 
    "to my tears be not deaf" (Psalms 38:13), and 
    "pour out your hearts before him"--  (Psalms 61:9) 
    "my soul clings fast after you"-- (Psalms 62:9) 
    "you have multiplied to enrich it"--  (Psalms 64:10) 
    "there we shall rejoice in that very thing"  (Psalms 65:6),
    "he poured from this into this"--  (Psalms 74:9) 
    "he sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had 
         chosen"-- (Psalms 104:26) 
    "my eyes have failed towards your praise"--  (Psalms 118:82) 
    "let your hand be to save me."  (Psalms 118:173).  
These and similar expressions are numerous, although common usage
avoids them.  Nevertheless one must not efface them, as that
authority which is certainly sacred approves them.  But if you
desire to understand these matters more fully, read the St.
Augustine's seven books on the Types of Speech, which he wrote on
the five books of Moses, on Josue, and on Judges, and then you
shall be fully satisfied on this subject.  You have the
opportunity to find afterwards in the scriptural authority many
similar examples. 
    3.  Do not alter certain Hebrew names of individuals and
places by declining them; let the pleasing simplicity of their
language be preserved.  Let us change only those letters that can
express the case of the word itself, since the interpretation of
the name of each of these is tied to a great mystery of some
sort, as Seth, Enoch, Lamech, Noe, Sem, Ham, Jafeth, Aaron,
David, and the like.  Let us treat with the same respect the
names of places such as Sion, Choreb, Goen, Hermon, and the like. 

    4.  Thirdly, words that are used in a good and bad sense must
not be tampered with at all, like mountain, lion, cedar, lion's
cub, shout, man, fruit, cup, calf, shepherd, treasure, worm, dog,
and the like.  And those terms which are set down in place of
other words also must not be changed.  For example: 
    Satan who departs from the straight path-- 
    to wash one's hands means not to take part in-- 
    that feet are set down for the act-- 
    that often expectation is used for hope-- 
    once expresses an unchangeable decision-- 
    to swear by God is stated instead of to assert. 
Let us hope that the commentators will explain these terms to us;
let us not mangle any of them with impious intent. 
    5.  Do not alter those words which from time to time appear to
be set down contrary to the human art of grammar, but which are
defended by the authority of many manuscripts, since words spoken
under the inspiration of the Lord cannot be corrupt.  For
    "we have not forgotten you" (Psalm 43:18) and the following
    "men of blood and deceit"-- (Psalms 54:24) 
    "the foundation of the temple was laid" (Zacharias 8:9) 
    "he shall shave his head" (Numbers 6:9) 
    "she will swell in her belly" for "her belly will swell"
(Numbers 5:27) 
    "if a man's wife goes astray" (Numbers 5:12) 
    "on this altar they shall put all the utensils with which it
is served on them"  (Number 4:14) 
    "the country in which they live in it" (Numbers 13:19) 
    "so they spread discouraging reports among the Israelites
         about the land they had scouted"-- (Numbers 13:33) 
    "my loneliness from the hand of the dog" (Psalms 21:21) 
    "the rivers shall clap their hands in them" (Psalms 97:8) 
    "then shall all the trees of the forest exult." (Psalms
    6.  And since sometimes the cases and genders of nouns and
verbs cannot fit human rules, and yet by agreement the Church
accepts their usage, let the authority of two or three old and
corrected codices copies be sought--for it is written, "a
judicial fact shall be established only on the testimony of two
or three witnesses," (Deuteronomy 19:15 et al.) --and do not be
bold on a matter supported by divine language as in Psalm 21, "to
a people yet to be born whom he has made," (Psalms 21:32) and the
following from the Gospel, "go, therefore, and make disciples of
all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit," (Matthew 28:19) and likewise in
Psalm 143, "happy the people whose God is the Lord," (Psalm
143:15) and the like. 
    7.  Do not, therefore, completely follow the rules of Latin
idioms, i.e. the Quadriga of Messius, when you are convinced by
the authority of old books; for sometimes it is right to pass
over the rules of human composition and instead to keep the
arrangement of divine speech.  In prose do not correct what
begins or ends in dactyls; do not presume to disapprove of five
longs or as many short syllables; let a praiseworthy oversight
hide a triple trochee.  Disregard the omissions of final -m and
the hiatus of vowels completely, since the rules that the
teachers of liberal letters regularly observe do not have a place
in these texts.  In human composition it is proper to guard
against this; in divine speech such spellings are in no way to be
criticized.  Let an expression which has pleased God stand
untouched everywhere so that it may shine in its own brightness
and not be subject to capricious human criticism.  For this kind
of expression sweetly teaches even the simple and delights the
learned in accordance with the extent of their reverence. 
    8.  After the division above, therefore, where we said that
idioms (or other matters which logically follow) of divine law
are not to be altered, at this point in the discussion it seems
essential for me to lay out this subdivision in the traditional
manner so that we may see our way more clearly to the
subsections. For how could Aristotle, that learned man, have been
able to make clear his On Interpretation if he had not treated
everything in an arrangement of divisions and subdivisions and
further subdivisions?  Therefore, following his example, we shall
speak of the letters in which the scribes' errors are to be
    9.  In words that are governed by a preposition taking the
accusative and ablative, distinguish carefully rest and motion
since scribes who do not know the art of grammar are particularly
prone to make mistakes here; for if you add or subtract the
letter -m improperly, the sense is completely disturbed.  Observe
carefully the cases of nouns (except for indeclinable ones) and
the conjugation of verbs which are not defective, and all the
parts of speech-- where sacred authority does not
oppose--consider carefully and keep items fitted in their proper
locations, that an ugly muddle does not take over completely (God
forbid!) when the idiomatic arrangement is thrown into confusion. 
Do not leave -b for -v, -v for -b, -o for -u, -n for -m, when
these letters have been set down incorrectly contrary to the
rules of proper spelling; take away a superfluous aspirate or
when suitable add one.  Carefully keep the cases of nouns and the
tenses of verbs where you are allowed to; for you will often find
forms in the authority that do not agree with common usage, and
these you are not allowed to alter.  In these follow the example
of the emended copies.  But correct others that are poorly
conceived.  Scribes in such cases cause damage when they do not
know how to keep in a regular way to the idiom of the Latin
language.  Do not leave -a in the ending of an adverb; but do not
take -a from the genitive case.  We do well to change many forms
also in respect of euphony because of the letters which follow,
such as illuminatio, irrisio, immutabilis, impius, improbus. 
Take away superfluous -r from narratio; for the form of this word
comes from gnarus, i.e. learned or skilled.  Write quod when it
is a pronoun, with -d and not -t; but when it is a numeral
adverb, it must be written with -t not -d.  Quicquam-- -c ought
to be placed in the first syllable rather than -d for the sake of
euphony, which we are advised to follow.  What more?  Look over
what is to be corrected according to the rules of writers on this
art, to prevent the lovely harmony of the spoken word from
becoming ugly and discordant by the addition of letters that do
not belong.  
    10.  Frequently reread the old writers on proper spelling. In
Chapter 30 below, in which scribes are discussed, I have
indicated which works ought to be excerpted as useful for
instructing the scribes.  Moreover I have given the title Proper
Spelling to this book separately.  Thus it is of value for the
scholar to read this book here, to learn what he must not violate
at all in Sacred Scripture and that book in which he can find a
fuller discussion of hasty errors which should be universally
    11.  If, nevertheless, some words which make no sense have
been set down, they must be courageously corrected either from
those books which blessed Jerome corrected in his edition of the
Septuagint or those which he translated himself from the Hebrew;
or, as blessed Augustine said, we should have recourse to the
complete Greek Bible, in which is brought together the whole
divine law; or, for scholars to whom this is possible, let them
not turn away from consulting Hebrew writings or teachers of
Hebrew, for it is only right that satisfactory correction come
also from the source of our redemptive translation.  For rightly
our fathers took great care that the tunic of the Lord the
Savior, which the fierce soldiers were not allowed to tear up
(John 19:23-24), should not be left to the mercy of unskilled
readers.  Let the Holy Spirit hear in its most pure form what it
has given, let it receive intact what it bestowed; then it knows
that we are faithful to it as we do not tear its words apart with
any preconceived opinion.  For how do we expect to be saved if
(unspeakable thought!) we, to gratify our own will, destroy the
aid that brings salvation? 
    12.  But so that we may add ornament to all this, place in
each chapter the punctuation marks which the Greeks calls
theseis, i.e., small round points-- except for the translation of
St. Jerome which he decided to mark by cola and commata (we have
already spoken about this in the preface)--since they make the
written text clear and bright when, as is explained below, they
are fitted in their place and shine forth.  How excellent it is
to pass unhindered through holy thought and to enter subtly into
the sound nature of its precepts; to set correctly one's own
limits for a measured speech and to divide the whole composition
in parts in such a way that it is beautiful when regarded in its
sections!  For if our body must be known through its limbs, why
does it seem right to leave reading confused in its arrangement? 
These positurae, or points, indeed, like paths for mind and
lights for the composition, make readers as teachable as if they
were indoctrinated by the clearest commentators.  The first is
the colon, the second, the comma, the third, the period; these
were invented by our ancestors to enable the voice tired out from
long speaking to regain its strength in the marked pauses.  If
you, as an eager reader, would like to know them, read Donatus,
who can accurately instruct you by his brief summary on this
subject.  We recall that we placed these punctuation marks in the
archetype of the Psalter.  With the Lord's support and such aids
we have been able to elucidate obscure passages in the Psalter to
a great extent.  
    13.  The number seven is so complete on both sides that it is,
to my mind, obvious and clear what changes we should refrain from
and what corrections we should make with the aid of authority. 
But if, nevertheless, this desire to make corrections can also be
aided in some other ways, let it be added to your pursuits so
that we may not seem, in human fashion, to have ignored some
indispensable matter. 
    14.  Now I must discuss on what grounds we ought to emend
other texts apart from authority.  Let each corrector read the
commentaries on divine law, the letters, the sermons, the works
of our predecessors with the intention of making their
corrections in accord with the teachers of secular letters. 
Wherever spelling errors are found in learned authors, he should
fearlessly correct the errors, since the writers surely wrote
their works so that they could be judged according to the rules
of grammar that they had learned.  Also, the letters of the
Fathers, the sermons and the books on various subjects as well as
homilies or disputes of the faithful with the heretics, since
they reveal various passages of Divine Scripture sweetly and
carefully, must be emended with great care so that the whole will
shine forth brightly and brilliantly with the Lord's support in
the Church of the Lord, as if some lamps were lighted.  If their
contents shed light on Divine Scripture do not hesitate to add
them to the volumes of Divine Scripture just as we have done with
the books of Kings.  For scholars discover many fuller statements
concerning these books by chance in commentaries on other books
and these may be properly attached to the sacred authority.  So I
pray that you, through your greater reading both from those books
that I have left and those which you will the good fortune to
find, will fill in the gaps in Christ's name in what we have been
able to explain on the basis of our limited reading. 
    15.  I pray also that you who presume, nevertheless, to emend,
make the letters you add so beautiful that they appear to have
been written by the scribes.  For it is wrong to find in that
beauty anything foul which afterwards may shock the eyes of
scholars.  Consider, therefore, the sort of case entrusted to
you, your service to Christians, the treasury of the Church, the
enlightenment of souls.  See carefully to it, therefore, that no
error is left in the truth, no falseness in the purity, and no
scribal mistakes in the corrected text.  
    16.  First, with the Lord's aid, we have listed the nine
volumes of the law and detailed the introductory writers with
their commentaries as carefully as we could.  Next we touched on
the three divisions of the whole divine law which our ancestors
have given us.  Then we included a section on the rules covering
emendation of texts of divine authority to prevent disruption as
well as the transmission of troublesome confusion in the text to
posterity because of excessive liberty with the text.  Now we
must discuss in all respects the excellence of divine reading so
that each passage may abound in its own sweetness.

                 XVI.  The Excellence of Divine Scripture 

    1.  Note, excellent friends, how marvelously and how
harmoniously the arrangement of words moves in Divine Scripture. 
There is an ever-increasing desire, a fullness without end, a
glorious hunger of the blessed where excess is not reproved but
constant desire is, instead, praised--and rightly so, since
Scripture teaches beneficial knowledge and offers eternal life to
those who believe and act on their belief.  The words of
Scripture describe the past without fiction and show the present
as more than what it seems, and tell of the future as if it had
already taken place.  Truth rules everywhere in it; everywhere
divine excellence shines forth; everywhere benefits to the human
race are revealed.  While the present situation exists on earth,
heavenly truth, in so far as we are able to grasp it, is revealed
by parables and mysteries, as God himself bears witness in the
seventy-seventh Psalm: "I will open my mouth in a parable, I will
utter mysteries from of old" (Psalms 77:2). For they pass on to
us, in order that we may discharge all duties, a knowledge of the
adored holy Trinity (which, over the great passage of time,
humanity, blind, sad, and enslaved to idols, has not known). 
They tell us that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one
God, creator and director of all created things does "all that he
wills in heaven and on earth" (Psalms 134:6). If you seek its
faithfulness, listen to the brief statement: "A stronghold for
the oppressed in times of distress" (Psalms 9:10); if you seek
power, hear: "Who can withstand you for the fury of your anger?"
(Psalms 75:8; Wisdom 11:22)); if justice, read: "He judges the
world with justice" (Psalms 9:99 and 95:13).  For Scripture
declares most obviously that God is everywhere; in the words of
the writers of the Psalms: "Where can I go from your spirit? 
from your presence where can I flee?  If I go up to the heavens,
you are there; if I sink to the nether world, you are present
there" (Psalms 138:7-8).  Scripture, furthermore, reveals other
facets of that majesty that the holy writings contain.  
    2.  Human reason indeed did not create these writings, but
heavenly virtue anointed holy men; we are then granted
understanding of these writings when in a spirit of dedication we
believe that these works preach something true and beneficial. 
For what usefulness and sweetness will you not find in those
writings, if you look with a clearly enlightened mind?  The
reading is full of virtues. No word falls idly (cf. III Kings
8:56), nor is there any delay in the fulfillment of the promise,
giving eternal salvation to those who obey and to inflict eternal
punishment on the proud.  We are advised not only to listen to
the words, but to fulfill them in holy works.  Sometimes
Scripture speaks of the love of God and of our neighbor;
sometimes it instructs us to despise the perishable things of
this world.  It inspires you to recall that land where you will
remain forever; it advises patience, gives hope, and praises
beneficial humility, always attacks a destructive pride and often
persuades us to perform acts of compassionate charity. With a
benevolence beyond all compassion, the Judge himself bears
witness that he has accepted repentance since the most generous
Redeemer forgives the words by which he is questioned; he
frightens that he may correct; he threatens punishment that he
may spare; and he orders us to live so that we deserve to be the
companions of the loyal angels and that eternal sweetness be
created in us "so that God may be all in all" (I Corinthians
15:28); then that "we may see him as he is" (I John 3:2), and
thus we may be filled with the abundance of his glory and not
worn out by any empty need.  Who would not strive to obey such
orders, except the man who is rushing in every way to eternal
destruction?  It is beyond all madness to neglect the commands of
one's Redeemer and to fulfill the wish of our cruelest enemy. 
There are as many rewards as there are words; as many punishments
as there are sentences.  Useful teaching does not fail, unless
the tongue fails to speak of mighty things.  O, if the tongue
would never cease from such teachings!  Surely the opportunity
for sin would disappear, if the restless minds of mortals had no
idle time.  
    3.  When these benefits have been granted by abundant
kindness, we also receive knowledge of the adored and revered
holy Trinity.  This kind of life is completely unknown to the
pagan who is dead because of his sins.  It remains now to recall
those who spoke reverently of the sacred Trinity in their books.
To strengthen our faith, therefore, and to guard against the
snares of the heretics, we should read blessed Hilary's profound
and learned treatise on the holy Trinity in thirteen books.  You
ought to read carefully and contemplate the lucid and charming
books which St. Ambrose composed and set down on this subject for
the emperor Gratian; then St. Augustine's wonderfully profound
work, The Trinity in fifteen books.  If anyone chooses to touch
on something in summary fashion concerning the Father, Son, and
Holy Spirit and prefers not to be worn out by long reading, he
should read the book which Bishop Nicetas wrote On the Faith. 
Filled thus with the illumination of heavenly doctrine, he will
be led by the appropriate brevity into contemplation of the
divine.  These works are joined to the books of St. Ambrose which
he sent to the emperor Gratian.  O inestimable kindness and
excellence of the creator! "The heavens are opened" (Matthew
3:16), the holy Trinity shines revealed to the hearts of the
faithful; paganism which had taken on an office which did not
belong to it was overturned by the true Lord and disappeared. 
    4.  Useful also for the teaching of the ecclesiastical rule
are the three honeyed books of St. Ambrose, Duties, as well as
St. Augustine's one book The True Religion and the four books
Christian Doctrine; his book The Christian Struggle is also
indispensable to those of you who have overcome the world and
labor in the Christian fight.  Likewise we ought also to read
with great attention his book dealing more or less with moral
philosophy which is a collection from divine authority for the
teaching and correction of moral behavior called The Mirror.  We
should also go through with tireless care the twenty-two books of
St. Augustine's The City of God in which he shows both the chaos
of Babylon, the city of the devil, and the brightness of
Jerusalem, the city of Christ the Lord, in human life in their
expected diversity.  He also wrote to the priest Honoratus about
five problems of the New Testament, and he worked out with
remarkable intelligence eighty-three other problems.  If anyone,
however, wishes to correct his writings by careful examination
and without erring through audacious presumption, let him read
through the two books of St. Augustine's Reconsiderations
thoughtfully.  From them the reader prepares himself by imitating
St. Augustine's method, and recognizes how great a supply of
wisdom divine forgiveness bestowed on the most blessed Father, so
that he whom no one perhaps could have reproved, corrects himself
by a thorough reconsideration.  It would take too long to mention
all the works of this author.  There is a fairly large volume
containing an index to his works that annotates his writings
briefly but still contains an extensive number of pages of


                       XVII.  Christian Historians 

    1.  Christian studies, in addition to various commentators,
include historians, influenced by serious Church affairs, who go
through the changing events and the transformations of kingdoms
with a bright but cautious splendor.  Since they make reference
to church affairs and describe changes occurring at different
times, they must always teach the minds of the readers of
heavenly matters.  These historians insist that nothing happens
by chance or because of the weak powers of the gods as the pagans
do; instead they truly strive to attribute all events to the
providential guidance of the Creator--as for example Josephus
(almost a second Livy) who composed his books of Jewish
Antiquities on a large scale.  Father Jerome writing to Lucinus
Betticus says that he cannot translate Josephus because of the
size of this prolix work.  We have had him translated into Latin
in twenty-two books by our friends, a task involving great labor
on their part since he is subtle and complex.  He also wrote
seven other marvelously clear books on the Jewish Captivity. Some
ascribe the translation of this work to Jerome, others to
Ambrose, still others to Rufinus.  This work, since it is
ascribed to such men, declares the special merits of its
composition.  After these one should read Eusebius' history in
ten volumes in Greek, translated with additions of subsequent
events by Rufinus, complete in eleven books. Socrates, Sozomen,
and Theodoret wrote of the events in the Greek world in the
period following the history of Eusebius; with God's aid we have
had these works translated by the learned Epiphanius in a
collection of twelve books so that eloquent Greece cannot boast
that it possesses an indispensable work which has not been
available to us.  Also available to you is Orosius, who compares
Christian and pagan history, if you wish to read him.  I have
also left you the work of Marcellinus in four books who discusses
the nature of the times and includes a laudable and accurate
account of the places he passed along the route of his journey. 
    2.  The chronicles which are also reflections of history and
the briefest memorials of the past were written in Greek by
Eusebius; Jerome translated this work into Latin and in excellent
fashion brought it down to his own time. Following Jerome, the
aforementioned Marcellinus of Illyria extended Eusebius' work,
with the Lord's aid, from the time of Emperor Theodosius up to
the start of the glorious rule of the Emperor Justinian. 
Marcellinus is said to have been once the secretary of the
patrician Justinian, but was raised to a higher civil position. 
In his earlier service he found favor and later appears very
favored during Emperor Justinian's rule.  St. Prosper also
brought his chronicle from the time of Adam to the time of
Genseric and the sack of the city.  You may perhaps also find
other later chroniclers, because there is no lack of historians
to chronicle the epochs as the centuries pass on and succeed one
another.  But when you have been filled with events of the past,
diligent reader, and your mind has been enlightened by divine
radiance, read the book of St. Jerome on Famous Men in which he
briefly does honor to and touches on the various Fathers and
their works; and then the second book of Gennadius of Marseilles
who confidently mentions writers on divine law whom he had sought
out zealously.  I have left you these writers gathered together
in one collection so that looking for the same subject in
different volumes does not cause additional delay.  
    3.  The authors of many venerable texts follow.  Now learned
men either write books by divine inspiration or console
themselves with the grace of letters, or describe people in sweet
language or do battle with the heretics in energetic polemic. 
Some of them enter on controversies with special hostility and do
battle in glorious debate in the midst of their judges.  Thus,
the faithful are strengthened when all the wicked are destroyed
with the Lord's aid.  Then you may choose for yourself among that
most holy and eloquent group of Fathers with whom you may most
pleasurably speak.  Furthermore, it is difficult to describe how,
when you consult them frequently, they ably reveal Holy Scripture
with the most relevant citations.  Therefore in passing you
suddenly learn what you realize you had passed over in your
carelessness.  These learned men are outstanding witnesses in
their varied excellence, and the Church shines with them as the
heaven with twinkling stars. 

                            XVIII.  St. Hilary 

    Among these is St. Hilary, bishop of Poitiers, subtle because
of his great depth, and a careful controversialist.  With God's
aid he reverently brings up the deep abysses of Divine Scripture
to make the obscurity of parables visible to the enlightened

                            XIX.  St. Cyprian 

    It is impossible to comprehend entirely the merit of blessed
Cyprian in comparison to that of other writers (except for his
views on the subject of repeated baptism which custom and
argument the Church has rejected).  As sweet as oil (cf. Psalms
132:2), in formal language he is an outstanding speaker and a
marvelous teacher.  How many men in doubt has he kept from
lapsing, how many backsliders has he supported and held by his
firm preaching, and how many confessors has he brought all the
way to martyrdom!  In order not to be less than his preaching, he
also was adorned with the crown of martyrdom with the Lord's aid. 
He left us, among other bright monuments of his eloquence, his
commentary on the Lord's Prayer.  He wrote this small book with a
declamatory charm and it, like an invincible shield, is always
set against deceptive views which creep in unseen. 

                             XX.  St. Ambrose 

    St. Ambrose was also a clear speaker, intensely serious, sweet
and calm in argument, whose teaching was equal to his life since
the grace of divinity favored him with no small miracles.... 

                             XXI.  St. Jerome 

    1.  Blessed Jerome also greatly enriched the Latin language. 
He has given to us in his translation of Divine Scripture so much
that we hardly need to go to the Hebrew original since his great
richness of eloquence satisfies us.  He blessed us with many
books and with the detailed letters he deigned to write with the
Lord's aid.  Clear, learned, sweet, and with a ready command of
language, in whatever direction he turned his genius.  Now he
sweetly charms the humble, now he breaks the necks of the proud;
now he turns back their unavoidable snappishness on his
detractors, now he preaches virginity, now he defends chaste
marriages, now he praises the glorious battles of the virtues,
now he reproves the lapses of priests and monks into wickedness. 
Nevertheless wherever a passage allowed him, he added the
sweetest variety of examples from pagan writers, explaining all,
adorning all, and always moving along learnedly and smoothly
through the various types of discussions.  For although some of
his books are extensive and rich, we do not long for the end of
his book because of the sweetness of his style.  I do not believe
that he lived in Bethlehem and was at leisure there for any
reason but that in the land of miracles his eloquence, like the
sun, might shine on us from the East. 
    2.  He wrote a marvelous letter to Paulinus, who was a senator
and then a priest, explaining how the Divine Scripture ought to
be read with care.  In the letter he points out briefly and
wonderfully the excellence of each book of the Old and New
Testament.  If I had found this earlier, I would perhaps have
yielded to his eloquence and been content to say nothing on the
same material; but since he wrote one thing and we another in the
work now completed with the Lord's blessing, I think that the
diligent reader will be profitably occupied by this brief book. 
He wrote to a reader inexperienced in the divine law, but
nevertheless so educated in secular literature, that he also had
written a shrewd and eloquent book about the Emperor Theodosius. 
At the time (as we are given to understand) he did not have many
writers on this material to recommend for systematic reading,
since at that time the soldiers of Christ were still toiling in a
healthful sweat in the gymnasium of the holy law, and later he
wrote many things in their company.  We had a different reason.
First we wrote to instruct simple and uneducated brothers so that
they might be filled with holy writings by the study of many
authors who have been elucidated in our time.  Thus, they might
laudably be instructed not so much by us who are poor men in this
matter as from the extensive writings of the ancient Fathers.  In
order to assure that those who did not partake of the pursuits of
this world do not lack anything, we think that they should be
instructed in the arts and disciplines of secular letters briefly
in the second book.  Thus the knowledge of worldly letters may
serve simple men, knowledge which came out of Divine Scripture
except for the additions of some learned men.  I hope that we are
not attacked and blamed for our novel boldness and may receive a
bit of gratitude for our small service. 

                           XXII.  St. Augustine 

    Blessed Augustine, that excellent teacher, warrior against the
heretics, defender of the faithful, and winner of the palm in
widely known contests, is in some books obscure because he is so
difficult; yet in others he is so clear that he is available even
to the little ones; his clear statements are sweet, but his
obscure words are rich and filled with great usefulness.  If
anyone wants to know the liveliness of his intelligence, he
should read the books of Augustine's Confessions in which he
mentions that he had learned all the mathematical sciences
without a teacher--a feat which others scarcely accomplish with
the aid of learned teachers.  He explains our creed too (the
surety of our faith, the witness of an upright heart and the
unfathomable guarantee of the promise) in many a commentary so
that we, by understanding more deeply what we profess to believe
may more carefully uphold our promises.  We should also read the
book in which he briefly summarizes the different heresies basing
himself on the work of bishop Epiphanius, since no one of sane
and intelligent mind would willingly crash on those rocks where
he knows another suffered shipwreck.  Indeed we ought to avoid in
every way the views of those whom the prescient Church has
condemned.  Any rash statement of that sort should be vigorously

           XXIII.  The Abbot Eugippius and the Abbot Dionysius 

    1.  It is also suitable for you to read the indispensable
works of the priest Eugippius whom we ourselves saw--a man indeed
not well educated in secular letters, but well read in Divine
Scripture.  For our relative Proba, a holy virgin, he excerpted
from the works of St. Augustine profound problems and opinions as
well as various other statements which he collected, compiled,
and organized into a collection of 338 chapters.  This book is
recommended reading, since this diligent scholar set down in one
collection what can scarcely be found in a great library.  
    2.  Even today the Catholic Church produces illustrious men
outstanding because of the beauty of their commendable teachings. 
Even in our time there was the monk Dionysius who was Scythian by
birth but thoroughly Roman in his manner of life.  Learned in
both languages, he embodied the justice which he had read of in
the books of the Lord in his actions.  He discussed Divine
Scripture and understood it so thoroughly that when he was
questioned on any point, he had a suitable answer immediately
ready.  He read dialectic with me.  By model of that glorious
teaching he passed the many years of his life with the Lord's
aid.  I am ashamed to describe qualities in my friend that I
cannot find in myself.  There was great simplicity joined with
wisdom, humility with learning, and brevity in his eloquence.  He
never set himself before any man, even the lowest servant, though
he was certainly worthy of conversations with kings.  May he who
was accustomed to pray with us and whose prayers in this world
supported us intervene for us so that his merits may now aid us. 
At the request of Stephen, bishop of Split, he translated with
brilliant eloquence from Greek models the ecclesiastical canons
which matched his own manner of life, for he was clear and
learned.  Today the Roman Church makes continual use of them. 
You ought to read them eagerly so that you do not remain through
your own fault ignorant of the salutary rules of the Church.  He
also translated from Greek many other works suitable for
ecclesiastical use.  He possessed such skill in Latin and Greek
that he translated into Latin without any difficulty any Greek
books he took up, translating Latin authors into Greek so
fluently and swiftly that you might think that the words he
poured forth had already been written down. 
    3.  It takes a long time to weave together all the qualities
of this man.  Among his other excellences he had this one in
particular, that although he had dedicated himself completely to
God, he did not reject dealings with laymen; he was chaste
although he saw the wives of others every day.  He was gentle
although he was battered by the mad whirl of angry men.  Moved by
remorse he poured forth his tears although he heard chattering
voices of ordinary pleasure.  He fasted without upbraiding those
who ate.  When invited he so gladly took part in company that in
the midst of the corporeal feasts he always when questioned
exhibited his spiritual riches.  But if occasionally he did eat,
he took little food and that the common fare.  So I think that
the highest type of patience is keeping the rule of abstinence in
the midst of human delights.  Thus we may enumerate the good
qualities of his mind with unreserved praise:  he was strictly
Catholic and completely and always attached to the regulations of
old.  Whatever question readers could raise concerning various
authors, he was reputed to shine in knowledge of it.  Evil men
try in a libelous way to attribute the works of others to his
melodious name to excuse their errors. But he, after leaving the
perversity of the world with the Lord's aid and being received
into the peace of the Church, we believe, has a place in the
company of the servants of God.  
    4.  I should perhaps still tell the rest about this holy man,
which we know with the truth of total factual knowledge.  But we
must carry out our plan instead, which requires us to fulfill one
promise by not dwelling too long on anther with importunate
loquacity.  To prevent deceit from hurting you in the rules of
faith, read what you have at hand--the Council of Ephesus and
Chalcedon as well as the encyclia, i.e. the letters of
confirmation of the council.  If you read them carefully the
clever tricks of wicked men will never prevail over you.  

  XXIV.  General Summary.  The Zeal with Which Holy Scripture
Ought to be Read 

    1.  And so after the introductory books, let us read carefully
through the scriptural text together with its commentators and
let us with pious zeal follow the ways of understanding that have
been given us by the labors of the Fathers; let us not look to
non-existent problems with greedy excess.  Let us believe that
what is found reasonably stated in the best of expositors is
surely divine.  If anything happens to be out of harmony and
discordant with the rules of the Fathers, let us consider it
something to be avoided.  The source of the worst kind of error
is to approve of everything in authors who are suspect and to
want to defend without judgment whatever you find there.  For it
is written, "test all things; hold fast that which is good" (I
Thessalonians 5:21). 
    2.  But to summarize the essential points: everything which
the ancient commentators have spoken of in a laudable way ought
to be grasped eagerly.  But those subjects which they did not
deal with should be scanned first to avoid being worn out by
fruitless toil, to discover their strongest points and to what
knowledge they may lead us and finally what we want to draw out
of them in our reading.  For although the text seems to be
perfectly clear and to reflect a literal meaning, nevertheless it
also urges justice or reproves impiety, either preaches tolerance
or attacks the vices of inconstancy, either condemns pride or
exalts the virtues of humility, either checks those who are not
at peace or consoles those who are most full of love, or tells
something that urges us to good conduct and turns us away from
evil thoughts by its respect for goodness.  For if God promised
rewards to the good only, his forgiveness would be ignored and
fade; and if he always threatened destruction to those who are
evil, despair of their salvation would drive them on to vice. 
Thus the Holy Redeemer for our salvation has ruled in such a way
that he both frightens the sinners with the punishment he
announces and promises worthy rewards to the good.  
    3.  Therefore let the mind be ever intent on the general
meanings of the books, and let us set our minds on that
contemplation which does not merely make a sound in the ears but
lights the interior eye.  Although the narrative seems to be
simple, Divine Scripture contains nothing empty, nothing idle. 
It always speaks to some purpose which the righteous may
profitably extract. When good actions are reported, we are
aroused immediately to imitation; when it tells of punishable
deeds, we fear to do them.  Thus it happens that we always obtain
something useful if we observe why these points are mentioned. 

                  XXV.  Geographers to be Read by Monks 

    1.  Not without good reason do we urge you to read through
geographical writings so that you know the location of each place
you read of in holy books.  It will certainly be to your benefit
if you hasten to read carefully the small book of Julius Orator
which I have left you.  He has included in four sections
information on the seas, islands, important mountains, provinces,
cities, rivers and peoples; almost nothing relevant to an
understanding of geography is lacking in the book.  Marcellinus
of whom I have already spoken should also be read with equal
care.  He described in minute detail the cities of Constantinople
and Jerusalem in four books. 
    2.  Then learn from Dionysius' briefly sketched Map where you
may almost see with your own eyes what you heard of in the book
mentioned above. Then if the noble desire for such knowledge
claims you, you have the book of Ptolemy who described every
place so clearly that you might almost think that he was an
inhabitant of all regions.  Thus, although you are in one place
(as monks ought to be) you may traverse mentally what others in
their travels have collected with a great deal of effort. 

              XXVI.  On Citation Marks to be Added to Texts 

    1.  We have also taken care to have the texts marked, that our
labor may instruct you and furnish your pursuit of sanctity with
some little gift.  With the Lord's aid I have (as far as an old
man worn out by his long pilgrimage could) been able to go over
some of the works of the Fathers.  In them I have set down on
specific passages critical marks which I consider suitable and
helpful.  Indicated in red, these serve as pointers in the
codices.  We have used the following marks for comments: on the
Octateuch, OCT; on Kings, REG; on the Psalter, PSL; on Solomon,
SAL; on Prophets, PROP; on the Hagiographa, AGI; on the Gospels,
EV; on the Letters of the Apostles, AP; on Acts and the
Apocalypse, AAA.  I have always written these at the beginning of
the works which I have been able to go through according to my
plan, so that you can clearly see them placed in the text if you
look over each page studiously.  
    2.  Then, if you like--those of you whose wide reading has
made you bold- -an easy imitation is available to you through the
most trustworthy commentators.  Thus it will come about that
another kind of commentary which is incisive and beautiful arises
from this, and that matters our ancestors may have scarcely
elucidated in their commentaries are found to be stated there at
some point.  The idioms of divine law, i.e., peculiar turns of
phrase, we also mark with the character PP wherever they are
found.  These phrases are not to be rashly altered. 

                    XXVII.  On Figures and Disciplines 

    1.  We offer the following advice: since both in sacred
letters and in the most learned commentaries we can learn a great
deal through figures of speech, through definitions, through
grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and
astronomy, it is not irrelevant to touch briefly in the second
book on the teachings of the secular teachers, i.e., the arts and
disciplines and their divisions.  In a brief compendium those who
have already studied these subjects will find short notes and
those who can scarcely read more widely may learn something of
these subjects in this form.  Knowledge of such matters is
certainly useful and (as our fathers believed) should not be
rejected since you find these subjects treated everywhere in
sacred letters, the origin, as it were, of universal and complete
wisdom.  For when these subjects have been set down and presented
to us they aid us in every way to understand.  
    2.  Let our subject, therefore, be the effort of writers of
previous generations--what they have set forth broadly in many
books let us present briefly in the collection contained in the
second book mentioned above.  We in laudable devotion may call
back to the service of truth the achievements they attained from
the exercise of their cleverness.  In this way what was removed
from them secretly may be turned honestly to the service of
correct understanding.  It is a central and demanding task, I
think, to include in two books the full sources of divine and
human letters; on this point those famous verses of Sedulius
might be cited: 
    "I demand great prizes, but you know how to give great prizes,

    and he offends more, who grows cool in expectation." 
                        (Sedulius Carmen paschale 1.359-350)

     XXVIII.  What Those Who Cannot Read Learned Literary Texts Ought
to Read 

    1.  But if some simple brothers cannot learn what has been
anthologized in the following book because almost all brevity is
obscure, let it suffice for them to grasp the divisions of these
matters, their uses and their excellences, so that they may be
drawn to the knowledge of divine law by strong motivation.  They
will find in the various holy Fathers the source from which they
can fulfill their desires with the greatest richness, provided
they have a sincere desire for reading and a clear wish to
understand.  Even the man who was frightened at first glance by
the difficult reading material will become learned through dogged
    2.  Let us learn that knowledge is not found in letters alone,
but that God gives complete wisdom "to everyone according as he
will" (I Corinthians 12:11).  For if the knowledge of good things
were only in letters, those who do not know letters obviously
would not have righteous wisdom.  But since many illiterate men
come to true knowledge and grasp the right faith which has down
heavenly inspiration, God surely gives pure and devout minds what
he judges to be useful to them.  For it is written:  "Happy the
man whom You instruct, O Lord, whom by your law You teach"
(Psalms 93:12).  We should, therefore, seek in good actions and
continual prayer to reach, in the companionship of the Lord, true
faith and holy works in which is our life eternal.  For it is
written:  "Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain
who build it" (Psalms 126:1).
    3.  But the holy Fathers have not decreed that the study of
secular letters should be rejected either, since to a
considerable degree we learn  to understand Sacred Scripture from
this source.  But if, with the support of divine grace, we seek
knowledge of these matters seriously and reasonably, they
indicated not that we may find in secular letters hope of
advancement, but that passing through them we should be eager to
gain useful and redemptive wisdom from the "Father of Lights"
(James 1:17).  For how many philosophers choosing only this
knowledge are unable to reach the source of wisdom and without
the true light have been submerged in the blindness of ignorance. 
As someone has said, whatever is not sought for in its own way
cannot be completely tracked down.  
    4.  Many of our fathers, schooled in secular learning and
abiding in the law of the Lord, reached true wisdom,  as blessed
Augustine recalls in his book Christian Learning with the words
"haven't we seen Cyprian that sweet teacher and holy martyr come
out of Egypt heavily laden with gold and silver and clothing, and
with similar burdens Lactantius, Optatus, and Hilary?"  We add
Ambrose, Augustine himself, Jerome and many others "of the
innumerable Greeks."  We add also "the very faithful servant of
God, Moses himself, did this, of whom it is written that he was
"learned in all the wisdoms of the Egyptians" (Acts 7:22).  And
let us imitate these men, carefully but without hesitation and
hastening to read both kinds of teaching if we can--for who would
dare to hesitate with the example of so many such men before
us?--with the full knowledge, as has often been said already,
that the Lord can give good and true wisdom.  As the Book of
Wisdom says:  "All wisdom comes from the Lord and with Him it
remains forever" (Ecclesiasticus 1:1).  
    5.  Therefore with all effort, with all toil, and with every
desire, let us seek to deserve the attainment of such a great
gift with the Lord's blessing.  For this is a salutary,
profitable, glorious, and eternal attainment for us from which
death, inconstancy, and forgetfulness cannot separate us but will
make us rejoice in that sweet land with the Lord in eternal
exultation.  But if in some of the brothers, as Vergil reminds
us, "cold blood stands around their hearts" (Vergil, Georgics
2.484) so that they cannot be completely educated in either human
or divine letters, let them be supported by a certain simple kind
of knowledge and choose clearly what follows:  "Let the
countryside and running streams please me in the vales" (Vergil,
Georgics 2.485).  It is not alien for monks to cultivate gardens,
to plow fields, and to rejoice in the harvest of fruits.  For it
says in Psalm 127:  "You will eat hard-earned bread, you are
blessed and it will be well for you" (Psalms 127:2). 
    6.  If you are looking for authors on this subject, Gargilius
Martialis has written most beautifully on gardens and also
carefully described fertilizers for vegetables and their
properties.  By reading from his commentary, each with the Lord's
aid can be fed and kept healthy.  I have left this book to you
among others.  Columella and Aemilianus among others are equally
praiseworthy writers on the cultivation of fields, the raising of
doves, bees, and fish.  Columella, an eloquent and charming
writer, discusses various types of agriculture in sixteen books,
more suitable for the learned than for the untaught; scholars of
this work are treated not only to garden variety information, but
also to a most satisfying banquet.  Aemilianus, an eloquent
commentator, has discussed in twelve clear and explanatory books
gardens and flocks and other matters.  I have left these with the
Lord's aid among others to you to be read.  
    7.  When these things are prepared for pilgrims and for the
sick they become heavenly although they appear to be earthly. 
What a wonderful thing it is to refresh the weary either with
sweet fruit or with the little baby doves or to feed them with
fish or delight them with sweet honey.  Since the Lord commanded
us to give "even cold water in His name" (Matthew 10:42; Mark
9:40) to the poor man, how much more pleasing will it be to give
the sweetest food to all the needy in return for which you can
receive on the day of judgment the resultant reward multiplied. 
One must not neglect whatever activities can profitably aid man. 

         XXVIIII.  On the Location of the Monastery of Vivarium or

    1.  The location of the monastery of Vivarium encourages us to
prepare many things for pilgrims and the needy from the irrigated
gardens and the fish-filled stream of Pellena which flows nearby. 
The stream is neither dangerous from big waves nor negligible
because of slight flow.  Directed skillfully it flows wherever
you consider it necessary and provides enough water for your
gardens and mills.  It is available when needed and when it has
satisfied your needs it recedes to a distance; when turned to a
specific purpose, its sudden appearance does not frighten nor
does it fail to appear when it is required.  The sea also lies
before you for various kinds of fishing and the captured fish can
be closed up in fish ponds when you wish.  For with God's aid we
have constructed pleasant pools here in which many fish meander
safely in pens.  It is so like a mountain cave that the fish does
not realize that it is held captive since it has freedom both to
get is food and to hide in hollows as usual.  We have also had
baths constructed to benefit the afflictions of the body.  Clear
streams, known to be pleasant for drinking and washing, flow
nicely into the baths.  So your monastery is sought by outsiders,
rather than that you should have any reason to long for other
places.  But these things, as you well know, are the pleasures of
this present world, not the future hope of the faithful; for the
former will pass, the latter will remain without end.  Although
we are settled here we should transfer our desires to those
things which will enable us to reign with Christ.  
    2.  Read devotedly and gladly what Cassian the priest wrote
about the instruction of faithful monks.  He says at the
beginning of his holy treatise that there are eight cardinal
vices to be avoided at the outset of a holy vocation.  He
comprehends the dangerous movements of minds so well that he
almost makes a man see and avoid the excesses which his dark
confusion had hidden from him.  Cassian has been justly
criticized by blessed Prosper on the question of free will.  On
this account we are warned to read him with some care because he
has gone beyond the mark in such matters.  Victor of Maktar, an
African bishop, with the Lord's aid has corrected his writings
and has added what little was missing so that he deserves credit
for these words.  We believe you ought to search for his work,
among others from the region of Africa immediately.  Cassian does
violently attack other sects of monks, but you, dear brothers,
with God's aid should choose that role which Cassian has praised
    3.  But if, as we trust, the monastic way of life in the
monastery of Vivarium has properly trained you with the aid of
divine grace, and if your purified minds happen to desire
something higher, you have the pleasant retreat of Mount
Castellum where you can live happily like anchorites with the
Lord's aid.  The place there is as secluded as a desert since it
is entirely enclosed by ancient walls.  It will be proper for
those of you who have already been trained and tested to choose
this dwelling place if you have prepared the ascent in your heart
first.  As a result of reading you know which of the two states
you can desire or endure.  It is a great thing that one who
cannot teach others by his words may instruct them obviously by
the sanctity of his ways when he has preserved rectitude in his
way of life.  

              XXX.  On Scribes and Advice on Proper Spelling

    1.  Despite what can be accomplished by physical work, I have
to admit that what pleases me most (not perhaps unjustifiably) is
the work of the scribes if they write correctly.  By reading
through Scripture they instruct their minds and by writing they
spread the beneficial teachings of the Lord far and wide.  A
happy purpose, a praiseworthy zeal, to preach to men with the
hand, to set free tongues with one's fingers and in silence to
give mankind salvation and to fight with pen and ink against the
unlawful snares of the devil.  For Satan receive as many wounds
as the scribe writes words of the Lord.  Thus, while he remains
in one place, he travels through different regions by the
dissemination of his work; his work is read in holy places; the
people hear how they may turn from evil purposes and serve the
Lord purely; he does his work apart from his work.  I can state
that he can grasp the recompense from so many good works,
provided he does them not at the urging of desire but in a
virtuous pursuit.  A man multiplies the heavenly words and, if I
may speak in a comparative sense, he writes with three fingers
what the excellence of the holy Trinity speaks.  O sight most
glorious to those who consider it well!  With moving pen he
writes the heavenly words and transforms the reed with which the
devil struck at the Lord's head during the passion into an
instrument to destroy his guile.  It also adds to their glory
that they seem to imitate the action of the Lord who wrote his
law (though this is only stated figuratively) by the movement of
his omnipotent finger (Exodus 31:18 etc).  Many things indeed can
be said of this outstanding art, but it is enough to say that
they are called scribes who serve the balance and justice of the
    2.  But to avoid mixing the great good with faulty words by
altering letters or lest the uneducated corrector not know how to
correct errors, the scribes should read the ancient
orthographers, i.e. Velius Longus, Curtius Valerianus,
Papirianus, and Adamantius Martyrius on V and B, also on the
initial, medial, and final syllables, and also on the letter B
set in three places in a word, and Eutyches on aspiration, also
Focas on the distinctions in gender.   I have collected as many
of these writers as I could with assiduous care.  To avoid
leaving ambiguity in any of the above-mentioned works which would
create confusion because of the bewildering mixture of ancient
inflections found in the books, I have gone to great pains to see
that the excerpted rules come down to you in a separate
compilation called Proper Spelling.   When questions are resolved
in this way the mind freely approaches a means of emendation.  We
have found that Diomedes and Theoctistus have written something
on this technique; if the works are found you also ought to
excerpt and collect them.  Perhaps you will also find others by
whom your knowledge may be improved.  But those I mentioned will
reward your close reading by removing all your dark ignorance and
you will become familiar with matters which at this point you
know nothing of.  
    3.  We have also brought in men who are skilled in bookbinding
with the object of covering the loveliness of sacred letters with
external beauty.  In this we imitate to some extent that example
of the parable of the lord who dressed in wedding garments those
whom he thought he should invite to dinner in the glory of the
heavenly banquet (Matthew 22:11).  If I am not mistaken we have
displayed many types and patterns of bindings for books in one
useful codex so that the interested reader himself can choose the
form of cover he prefers.  
    4.  We have also had self-fueling mechanical lights made for
study at night which maintain their bright flames.  They fully
maintain a copious abundance of bright rich light without human
attention.  In them the rich oil does not fail, although they
burn continuously with a bright flame.  
    5.  We have not allowed you to be ignorant in any way of the
measurement of time which was invented for the great use of the
human race.  I have, therefore, provided a clock for you which
the light of the sun marks, and another, a water clock which
continually indicates the number of the hours by day and night,
because on those days when the brightness of the sun is missing,
the water traces marvelously on earth the course that the fiery
power of the sun runs on its path above.  Thus, things which are
divided in nature, men's art has made to run together; in these
devices the trustworthiness of events stands with such truth that
their harmonious function seems to be arranged by messengers. 
These things have been furnished so that the soldiers of Christ,
reminded by certain signs, may be called to carry on the divine
work as though by the sound of trumpets.  

                              XXXI.  Doctors 

    1.  But I address you, distinguished brothers, who vigilantly
attend to the health of the human body.  You carry out the duties
of blessed compassion for those who seek refuge at holy places. 
You are sad at the suffering of others, sorrowful for those in
danger, grieved at the pain of those who are taken in, and are
always distressed at the misfortunes of others afflicted with
their own sorrow.  As you serve the sick with genuine devotion in
accordance with the teachings of your art, you will receive your
reward from him who can repay temporal deeds with eternal
rewards.  Learn, therefore, the properties of herbs and study the
mixtures of drugs carefully; but do not put your hope in
medicines and do not seek health in human counsels.  For although
the Lord is said to have invented medicine, it is he himself who
certainly grants life, cures the sick (Ecclesiasticus 38:1ff.). 
For it is written: "Whatever you do in word or in work, do all in
the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father
through Him" (Colossians 3:17).  
    2.  Even if you do not have eloquent knowledge of Greek
literature, you have first the Herbal of Dioscorides who
discusses and sketches accurately the herbs of the fields.  After
this read Hippocrates and Galen translated into Latin, i.e. the
Therapeutics of Galen addressed to the philosopher Glaucus and a
certain anonymous work which has been collected from various
authors; then Caelius Aurelius Medicine and Hippocrates Herbs and
Cures and various other works written on the art of medicine
which, with the Lord's aid, we have left to you in the recesses
of our library. 

           XXXII.  Advice to the Abbot and Congregation of Monks

    1.  Therefore, all who are enclosed within the monastery
walls, keep the rules of the Fathers and the commandments of your
own director.  Gladly carry out what you have been ordered to do
for your own good, because there is a valuable reward for obeying
redemptive rules without complaint.  I urge you, Abbots
Chalcedonius and Gerontius, most holy men, to arrange everything
in such a way that you can bring the flock entrusted to you, with
God's aid, to the gift of blessedness.  Above all, receive the
stranger, give alms, dress the naked, break "bread for the
hungry" (Isaiah 58:7), since that man will be truly comforted who
comforts the wretched. 
    2.  Educate also the peasants who belong to your monastery in
good moral behavior; do not weigh them down with the burden of
increased exactions.  For it is written: "For my yoke is easy,
and my burden light" (Matthew 11:30).  Let them not know of
stealing and let them particularly not know of the worship of
groves--practices which are known to be familiar to peasants. 
Let them live in innocent community with happy simplicity.  Let
there be a second rank ordained for them in the monastic life. 
Have them come often to the holy monasteries so that they may be
ashamed to be called yours and not to be known as part of your
institution.  Let them know that God worthily gives fertility to
their fields if they are accustomed to call upon him faithfully. 
    3.  You have received a city of your own, pious citizens, in
which, if you pass your life harmoniously and religiously with
the Lord's aid, you will rejoice in this prefiguration of the
heavenly land.  Do not love sloth, which you know is hateful to
the Lord.  The instructive materials of Holy Scripture together
with its commentators are available to you, commentators who are
indeed flowery fields, the sweet fruits of the heavenly paradise,
from which the faithful souls are instructed to their salvation
and your tongues are trained not with perishable, but fertile
eloquence.  Therefore read eagerly of the mysteries of the Lord
so that you can show the way to those who follow.  It is a
shameful burden to have something to read and not to know what to
    4.  Therefore, with a thought toward future blessedness,
always read the lives of the Fathers, the confessions of the
faithful, the passions of the martyrs, which, among other things,
you will certainly find in the letter sent by St. Jerome to
Chromatius and Heliodora. These readings have been famous
throughout the whole world and, as a result, a holy desire for
imitation will stir you and lead you to the kingdom of heaven. 
You know that crowns are given not only for the struggles of
blood and for the virginity of the flesh.  All who with God's aid
overcome the sins of their bodies and believe rightly, receive
the palm of sacred reward.  So that you may more easily with
God's aid overcome the death-dealing delights (as it is stated)
and evil enticements of the world and be pilgrims in this world
(cf. Hebrews 11:13), as is said of the blessed, hasten to that
redemptive cure of the first Psalm that you "may meditate on the
law of God day and night" (Psalms 1:2).  Then the shameless enemy
will not find a place since Christ occupies the entire mind.  St.
Jerome has also expressed it well, saying: "Love the knowledge of
Scripture and you will not love the sins of the flesh."
    5.  Tell me, prudent men, what greater blessing is there than
to have the favor of him whose wrath we cannot escape?  For if
the voice of the herald announces the prefect, if we know that
his wagon is passing by the groaning of its wheels, do we not
throw off all the delights of the heart when we fear his presence
and his respect?  God thunders through the vault of heaven, he
shows his lightning in the clouds and often he shakes the
foundations of the earth (cf. Psalms 17:13ff.) and (alas) his
presence is not feared although he is everywhere entire and
omnipotent.  Therefore let us not believe that the judge is
absent, and we shall not come as defendants to his judgment seat. 
Let him who sins less give thanks that he has not been deserted
by God's mercy and thus fallen headlong into sin; let the man who
has committed many sins pray without ceasing.  Let no one turn to
lying excuses and tricky wishes.  Let us confess that we are
defendants who have sinned in every respect.  Nothing is more
foolish than to want to lie to him who cannot be fooled.  For
mercy is granted when it is sought with a pure spirit.  No case
is worse in the sight of a compassionate judge than when the
defendant neglects his own salvation. 
    6.  Let us pray, therefore, dearest brothers, that he who has
given such blessings to the human race that he deigned to carry
the lost sheep on his shoulders and break the chains of sin by
taking on flesh disclose the mysteries of the faith to those who
are ignorant and estranged from them, give baptism, grant
martyrdom, persuade the offering of alms and cleanse us by the
holy teaching of the prayer that tells us to forgive the sins of
our brother so that he also may likewise remit our debts (Matthew
6:12); that we may convert the wanderer so that the bonds of our
error be loosened; that we may seek penitence with the greatest
zeal; that we have abundant love towards God and our neighbor. 
    7. Besides these things the most merciful Redeemer has granted
us the communion of his body and his blood so that in this way
the generosity of the Creator can best be understood.  For by his
great kindness he grants us absolution if we seek him with a pure
heart.  May he now add also increase to his gifts; let him
enlighten our minds, let him purify our hearts so that we deserve
to learn his Holy Scripture with a pure mind, and with his grace
aiding us carry out his commands. 

                             XXXIII.  Prayer 

    1.  Give, Lord, advancement to those who read, remission of
all sins to who seek to learn your law so that we who greatly
desire to come to the light of your Scriptures may not be blinded
by darkening sin.  By this power of your omnipotence draw us to
you; do not leave "those whom you have redeemed with your
precious blood" (Te Deum 20) to wander at their own free will; do
not allow your image in us to be obscured.  If it is protected by
your aid it always stands out.  Let not your gifts be overturned
by the devil or by us, because everything is weak which strives
to oppose you.  Hear us, pious King, in spite of our sins and
first take them from us before you can condemn us rightly for
them in your deliberation. 
    2.  Why does our evil lay a trap for us?  Why do our sins
fight against us?  Why do sins desire to overturn your creation
even though they have no firm substance?  Let the devil tell for
certain why he pursues us with insatiable desire.  It surely was
not we who advised him that he should be proud before you, the
Lord, and fall from the blessedness that he had received, when
through you he possessed the marks of such great excellence.  Let
it be enough that he struck us down in Adam.  Why does the wicked
false accuser attack us with daily deceits?  Why does he also
seek to separate us from grace as he through his own fault fell
from your grace? 
    3.  Grant us, O Lord, the kindly aid of your defense against
this most cruel enemy so that although he does not cease to
attack our weakness, he will nevertheless depart confounded by
your power.  Do not allow, good king, the most savage enemy to
fulfill his desires on us.  Why does he, who chose to offend you
seriously, "as a roaring lion go about?" (I Peter 5:8).  What
does he hasten to devour?  Once we renounced him in sacred
baptism, once we confessed that we believed in you, O Lord. 
Grant us, good creator, protection by your defense to enable us
to remain as pure as you conceded at the time of baptism.  Let
those of us who have begun to be yours not recognize another
master.  Let us who have been redeemed by your grace, carry out
the commandments you have given us.  If you leave us, the
slippery fiend attacks us.  Tireless and shameless he is always
present counting human destruction as his gain.  He flatters to
deceive; he stirs up to destroy.  He deceives our soul in
particular through our body and slipping in thus he spreads
throughout human desires so that he is not perceived by foresight
or plan.  It takes a long time to mention everything.  Who can
oppose such a one unless you, O Lord, had decided to oppose him? 
What could he do with us if he dared to tempt you with crafty
designs when you were in our body?  Hear us, O guardian of men. 
Here by your indulgence free us from him who wants to drag us to
Gehenna.  Let us not cast our lot with him that we may cast our
lot with you, O Lord.  Protect your creation from him who
destroys it.  Let him who has condemned himself not bring about
the damnation of others but let him who hastens to destroy all
perish with his own. 
    4.  Quickly now, O dear brothers, hasten to advance in Sacred
Scripture, since you know that I have gathered so many great and
varied works for you to increase your learning with the aid of
the Lord's grace.  Grant, as you read, in exchange your continual
prayers for me to the Lord, since it is written "pray for one
another that you may be saved" (James 5:16).  O inestimable
compassion and excellence of the creator.  He promises that it is
beneficial for us to pray in common for one another to the
merciful Lord. 

                     Cassiodorus Institutiones Book II


    1.  {The preceding book, completed with the Lord's aid,
contains an introduction to divine readings.  Its 33 chapters
correspond in number to the age of the Lord when he gave eternal
life to a world dead from sin and granted everlasting rewards to
believers.  Now it is time for us to go through the text of the
present book which has been arranged according to the seven
divisions of secular letters; and this number revolves constantly
as week succeeds week and stretches to the end of time. 
    2.  It must be clearly understood that often Sacred Scripture
uses the number seven to mean continuous and perpetual.  Thus
David says, "Seven times a day I praise you," although elsewhere
he says, "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall be
ever in my mouth," and Solomon, "Wisdom has built her house, she
has set up her seven columns."  In Exodus also the Lord says to
Moses, "You shall then make seven lamps for it and so set up the
lamps that they shed their light on the space in front of the
lampstand."  And the Apocalypse in every way repeats this number
in various contexts.  This number brings us to that eternal time
because it has no end; truly therefore it is always used there
where perpetual time is to be understood. 
    3.  Thus we highly commend the study of arithmetic, since the
Lord, maker of things, arranged the universe by number, weight
and measure, as Solomon says:  "You have disposed all things by
measure and number and weight."  The creature of God indeed has
thus been made with number, since he himself says in the Gospel,
"But as for you, the very hairs of your head are all numbered." 
The creature of God also is made with measure, as he himself says
in the Gospel, "But which of you by being anxious about it can
add to his stature a single cubit?"  Also the prophet Isaia says: 
"Who marked off the heavens with a span, and who has held in a
measure the dust of the earth?" Finally, the creature of God has
been made with weight as he says in the proverbs of Solomon, "And
he marked out the vault over the face of the deep," and a little
after, "When he fixed fast the foundations of the earth, I was
beside him."  Therefore each wonderful work of God is bounded by
an indispensable limit.  Since we believe that God created
everything, we may to a certain extent judge how things are made. 
We are given to understand that the evil works of the devil are
not defined by weight, measure and number, since the result of
injustice is always the opposite of justice, as the thirteenth
Psalm reminds us, "Contrition and unhappiness is in their ways,
and they do not know the way of peace."  Isaia also says:  "They
have left the Lord of Hosts and walk upon crooked ways."  Truly
God is wonderful and most wise to set off all his creations by a
particular arrangement, so that they are not marred by confusion. 
Father Augustine has a detailed discussion of this subject in the
fourth book of Genesis Taken Word for Word.} 

4.   It  is our intention and desire to write down some material
briefly on the art of grammar or rhetoric or on the disciplines. 
We must start with the principles of these matters, and must
speak first of the treatment of definitions.  In this book we
must first speak about the art of grammar, which is clearly the
origin and basis of the liberal letters.  Book is named from
liber, that is, from the bark cut off and removed from the tree,
on which the ancients wrote their poems before the invention
[there was a full supply] of papyrus.  {In this derivation is our
license to make books short or long; just as bark covers both
shrubs and encloses large trees, so we may limit the length of
books according to the nature of the subjects.}  We ought to
know, as Varro says, that all arts initially came into being for
some useful purpose. Art arises from the constraints (artet) and
checks its rules impose on us. Others say that the word was drawn
from the Greeks apo tes aretes, that is, from excellence , which learned men call the knowledge of each 
thing.  Second, we will discuss the art of rhetoric, which we
consider entirely indispensable and honorable particularly in
civil cases because of its brilliance and eloquence.  Third,
logic, which is called dialectic.  This discipline, to the extent
that the secular teachers speak of it, separates truth from
falsity by subtle and concise discussion.  Fourth, mathematics,
which includes four disciplines:  arithmetic, geometry, music,
and astronomy [the astronomical art].  In Latin indeed we can
call [And we can call] the mathematical art [in Latin]
"theoretical." Although we can call all teaching theoretical
(doctrinale), this term, common to all the disciplines, applies
particularly to mathematics because of its excellence.  

Likewise the Poet means Vergil, the     Likewise among the Greeks
Orator means Cicero,                    the Poet means Homer,
among the Latins, Vergil;              the Orator  among  the
                                            Greeks means Demosthenes, 
                                            among Latin speakers,

            although  there are many orators and poets 

in Latin; eloquent Greece offers                 in each language.   
this honor to Homer and Demosthenes.

Mathematics is the science which considers quantity in the
abstract; by definition an abstract quantity is what we treat by
reckoning alone after we have mentally separated it from matter
or other accidentals. 
    5.  Thus of the whole book, as promised, a certain
arrangement.  Now with the Lord's support, let us show through
divisions and definitions how each of them has been promised
[they have been promised]. There are two ways of teaching
something, since both the written line carefully instructs the
sight and afterwards the hearing of the ears now prepared enters
in.  And we will not pass over in silence those authors, both
Greek and Latin, who have been important in explaining the
matters we have been talking about.  All who are [Anyone who is
eager] to read may, with the guidance of this summary, understand
the words of the earlier writers more clearly.

{1. Grammar                            4. Arithmetic
2. Rhetoric                            5. Music
3. Dialectic                           6. Geometry
                                            7. Astronomy}

I.  Grammar


II.  Rhetoric

    1.  Rhetoric is said to derive from apo tu rhetoreuin, that
is, the facility for artistic speech.  The art of rhetoric, as
the teachers of secular letters teach, is the technique of
speaking effectively in civil cases.  Therefore the orator is, as
has been said, "a good man skilled in speaking" in civil cases. 
The task of the orator is to speak in such a way as to persuade;
his goal is to persuade by his manner of speaking, insofar as the
nature of the circumstances and the individuals involved seems to
allow.  Let us therefore take up some matters briefly so that we
may virtually understand the sum total and excellence of the
entire art by a survey of some of its divisions.  According to
Fortunatianus, a recent writer on the art, civil cases are
defined as those" which the ordinary mind can understand, i.e.,
which anyone can understand since they deal with equity." 
    2.  The elements of rhetoric are: 
    Discovery is the organization of matters true or plausible to
make the case convincing. 
    Arrangement is the attractive distribution in the proper
arrangement of the matter devised. 
    Style is the selection of words proper to the matter devised. 
    Memory is a firm retention in the mind of the subject matter
and the words. 
    Delivery is the pleasing control of voice and body suited to
the worth of the subject matter and the words. 
    3.  There are three main kinds of cases: 
    epideictic                  deliberative             judicial

    The epideictic type is seen when we point to some subject in
which there is praise or censure.      The deliberative type contains
persuasion and dissuasion. 
    The judicial type contains accusation and defense, or suit for
or denial of an award or penalty. 
    4.  The issue is the matter in dispute; it consists of
accusation and reply.  The issues of cases are either those
 involving reasoning, or legal
. Cases which
involve reasoning as it relates to general cases are four in
number:  conjecture--request for pardon--acknowledgement--
justification.  But, as Cicero himself says by way of correction
in On the Orator, transference must be counted among the legal
issues, for also Fortunatianus says:  "We understand transference
only as legal.  Why so?  Because no transference, i.e. no
assignment, can exist without a law." 
    There are five legal issues: 
    letter and spirit 
    conflicting laws 
     analogy or deduction 
    legal definition. 
    5.  An issue is conjectural when a fact charged by one side is
denied by the opposition.  An issue is definitive when we
maintain that the fact is not that which is charged, but show
what it is by the use of definitions. Character 
arises when the situation demands to know of what sort the case
is.  Because the matter in dispute deals with the meaning and the
type of an act, it is called the general issue.  [It is called a
transferred issue] When in a case the one who seems to be
bringing the case is not the proper man  or not before the proper court or at the
proper time or according to the proper law or with the proper
charge or with the proper penalty it is called a transferred
issue [a transference is added (it is added to transference)]
because it seems to require transference and alteration.  An
issue of equity arises when the nature of right and equity or
motive for punishment is sought.  The customary issue arises when
there is consideration of what justice there is in accordance
with civil custom and equity.  The absolute issue is one which in
itself raises the question of justice and injury.  The assumptive
issue is one which has no foundation of its own for refutation
but takes up some external defense.  Acknowledgement, as we have
shown [will show], relates to penitents.  It occurs when the
defendant does not make a defense of the action but pleads for
pardon.  Rejection of the charge occurs when the defendant tries
to shift the charge from himself and his responsibility to
another by the force of argument or influence. 
Counter-accusation occurs when one argues that an act was just
because someone was unjustly injured [has unjustly injured]
beforehand. Comparison is used in arguing that the defendant did
some other honorable and worthy deed which also brought about the
commission of the act charged. Exculpation arises when the deed
is in fact admitted, but blame set aside. The plea for
exculpation has three subdivisions:  ignorance, accident,
necessity.  The plea for mercy arises when the defendant
confesses the crime and premeditation, and yet seeks pardon; this
type can rarely occur. 
    6.  The issue of the letter and spirit of the law comes up
when the words themselves seem to be at variance with the
intention of the writer of the law. The issue of conflicting laws
arises when two or more law disagree with one another.  Ambiguity
arises when the text seems to have two or more meanings.
Inference, which is also called reasoning by analogy, arises when
something is understood from the text {which has not been written
there}.  Legal definition arises when the meaning of the word, as
it were, in the definitive issue in which it is placed is brought
into question.   Therefore some number the rational and legal
issues definitively as 18.  But according to the rhetorical
writings of Cicero there are 19, because he set transference
among the major rational issues.  As a result Cicero, as stated
above, correcting himself, added transference to his legal
    7.  Every controversy, as Cicero says, is either simple or
complex, and if it is complex, we must consider whether it
involves several questions or some comparison.  A simple case is
one which consists of one intrinsic question, such as:  shall we
declare war on Corinth or not?  A complex case is made up of
several questions in which there are several inquiries, in the
following manner:  whether Carthage should be destroyed, or given
back to the Carthaginians, or should a colony be sent there?  A
case involving comparison arises when the question concerns what
is more or most desirable in the following way:  should an army
be sent to Macedonia against Philip to aid our allies or kept in
Italy so that the greatest force possible may oppose Hannibal? 
    8.  There are five types of cases:  honorable, difficult,
petty, ambiguous, obscure.  An honorable case is one which
immediately wins the mind of the listener without delivery of any
speech.  The difficult case is one which has alienated the minds
of those who are about to hear it.  The petty case is one which
is disregarded by the listener and seems one he need not attend
to.  An ambiguous case {is} one in which the point of the
judicial examination is doubtful or the case partakes of both the
honorable and the discreditable so that it receives both good
will and disfavor.  The obscure case is one in which either the
listeners are slow to understand or the case is judged to involve
[involves] matters which are difficult to grasp. 
    9.  There are six parts in a rhetorical speech:  
introduction, statement of the facts, division, proof,
refutation, conclusion.  The introduction is speech that suitably
prepares the mind of the listener for the rest of the discourse. 
The statement of the facts sets forth the events that have
occurred or might have occurred.  The division is that part of a
speech which, if it is correctly handled, makes the whole speech
clear and apparent.  Proof is that part which sets out the
arguments and gives credit, authority, and a foundation to our
case.  Refutation is the section in which our opponents' proof is
weakened or damaged by the presentation of arguments.  The
conclusion ends and closes the entire speech sometimes with a
tearful recapitulation of the chief points. 
    10.  Although Cicero, the chief light of Latin eloquence, set
these matters out fully and carefully in various books, and
included them in his two books On the Art of Rhetoric (and I
believe that I left you a commentary by Marius Victorinus on
these from [in] my library), nevertheless [also] Quintilian, an
outstanding teacher even after the breadth of Ciceronian
learning, very ably expanded Cicero's teaching. Quintilian begins 
the education of the "good man skilled in speaking" at an early
age. He has shown that the orator must be educated in all the
noble arts and disciplines of letters if he is to be the right
choice of the entire state for its defense. We have decided
therefore to join the two books of Cicero On the Art of Rhetoric
and the twelve of Quintilian's Institutes so that the codex will
not be too large and so that both of these indispensable works
are always ready and at hand.  We have fashioned [are fashioning]
the detailed and exact three volume work on the subject by the
recent teacher Fortunatianus into a suitable handsized book, to
take away the reader's aversion and still introduce him to what
he needs.  Let those who like brevity read him; for although he
did not expand his work into many books, his discussions of most
subjects are sharp and penetrating.  You will find these books
together with their preface in one collection. 
    11.  Rhetorical argumentation is treated {as follows}:

                   either by induction whose parts are:

    proposition              inference                    
                        which is also called 

                   or through deduction

through the enthymeme                   through the epichirema
which is an incomplete                which is a rhetorical and 
and rhetorical syllogism,           more extensive syllogism
which, as Fortunatianus                which becomes
says, is explained under       either tripartite or quadripartite
five types:                                or quinquepartite

    1.  inference from what is logically certain; 
    2.  inference from demonstration; 
    3.  inference from general statement; 
    4.  inference from comparison; 
    5.  inference from collection of arguments.

Argumentation is said, as it were, to be the statement of a
clever mind; it is the statement itself in which we
 seek a {demonstrable} proof. Induction is a
statement which by [from] unassailable facts gains assent of the
one from whom it began, whether among philosophers or
rhetoricians or discussants in general.  The major premise of an
induction necessarily points to similarities with one or more
matters which have been granted.  The minor premise of an
induction which is also called the assumption takes up the matter
in dispute for which the similarities have been presented.  The
conclusion of the induction either proves the admission of the
minor premise or demonstrates what is constructed from it. 
    12.  Deduction is a statement by which we prove that which is
at issue. An enthymeme (Latin:  mental intention) is what writers
in the art usually call an incomplete syllogism.  This form of
proof is made up of two parts.  It employs the means of gaining
credence by passing over the rules of the syllogism, as the
following:  "if we are to avoid the storm, you must not sail." 
It is complete in a major premise  and thus is
judged more suitable to orators than logicians.  We shall speak
of the logical syllogism in its proper place. 
    13.  An enthymeme involving logical certainty is one that
persuades by clear reasons, as Cicero makes use of it in his
speech For Milo;  "And so you sit in this court as avengers of
his death whose life you would be unwilling to restore even if
you believed you could."  The enthymeme involving an inference by
demonstration is exemplified in Cicero's speech Against Catiline:
"Yet he lives.  Lives?  In fact he actually comes into the
senate."  The enthymeme involving an inference from a general
statement is exemplified by this proverbial statement in Terence: 
"Yielding gains friends, truth hatred." An enthymeme involving a
comparison suggests a similar outcome by a comparison with
another example, as Cicero in his Philippics :  "I am
surprised, Antony, that you do not fear the end of those whose
model you imitate."  An enthymeme which involves a collection of
arguments arises  the available arguments are brought
together, as Cicero says in his speech For Milo:  "Did he then
desire, when some people were sure to protest, to do what he
refused to do when all would have been delighted?  He did not
venture to slay Clodius when he might have done so lawfully,
advantageously, opportunely, with impunity; and did he have no
hesitation in slaying him unlawfully, disadvantageously,
inopportunely, and at the risk of his own life?" 
    14.  Furthermore, there is a second definition of the
enthymeme according to Victorinus.  As has already been stated,
it is made up of one major premise in the following manner:  "If
you are to avoid the storm, we should not attempt to sail."  Of a
minor premise alone, for example:  "There are those who say that
the world proceeds without divine governance."  Of a conclusion
alone, for example, "A divine judgment is therefore true."  Of a
major and a minor premise as:  "If he is my enemy, he dies; he is
an enemy."  And because it lacks a conclusion it is called an
    15.  The epichirema follows.  As we said earlier, the
epichirema is a more extensive working out of the rhetorical
syllogism derived from deduction, differing in extent and length
of statement from the logical syllogism.  It is accordingly given
over to the rhetoricians.  A tripartite epichirematic syllogism
is made up of three parts:  major premise, minor premise,
conclusion.  The quadripartite type has four parts:  major
premise, minor premise, a demonstration attached to the major or
minor premise, and a conclusion.  The quinquepartite type has
five parts:  major premise with {its} demonstration, minor
premise with {its} demonstration, and a conclusion. Cicero used
it in the following way in his Art of Rhetoric:  "If deliberative
and epideictic are types (genera) of arguments, they cannot
properly be regarded as species of some type (genus) of argument;
for the same object can be the type of one thing and species of
another, but cannot be genus and species in the same thing;" and
so on to the extent that the parts of this syllogism are
included.  But I shall see  for [in] other species the
reader can exercise his own talent. 
    16.  Fortunatianus, who was previously mentioned, in his third
book discusses the orator's memory, delivery, and vocal quality. 
A monk derives from this book however a certain profit, when he
acquires for himself the techniques these men have used in
carrying out their discussions.  Taking the proper precautions he
will continue to memorize divine scripture since he learned of
its power and nature in the aforementioned book; he will grasp
the art of delivery in reciting the divine law; he gains control
of vocal quality in the chanting [repeated reciting] of the
Psalter.  Although he has occupied himself with secular works
{for some time}, the monk returns instructed by them, to holy
    17.  In accordance with our plan, let us now take up logic or
dialectic as it is sometimes called.  Some prefer to call this a
discipline, others an art, saying that since it deals in some
degree with apodeictic, i.e. true, [probable] discussions, it
ought to be called a discipline; since {, however,} it treats of
likelihood {and probability} ,
it should be called an art.  Thus it earns each name by virtue of
its subject matter.  {Father Augustine, guided, I believe, by
this kind of reasoning, called grammar and rhetoric disciplines,
following Varro; Capella also entitled his work The Seven
Disciplines.  It is called a discipline since it is fully
learned; and it is rightly called by such a name since the rule
of unchangeable truth always serves these things.}

                              III.  Dialectic

    1.  The first philosophers gave a place to dialectic in their
teachings, [in the proofs of their own statements] but did not
know how to reduce it to the technique of an art.  After them,
Aristotle, who was a careful student [commentator] on all
disciplines, systematized the methods of this field which
previously had not been subject to definite directions.  By
writing outstanding works he [this man] brought great praise to
the school of Greece.  And since we can no longer allow him to be
a stranger, we have introduced him to Roman eloquence in an
annotated translation. 
    2.  Varro in his nine books of Disciplines defined dialectic
and rhetoric by the following simile:  "Dialectic and rhetoric
are like the clenched fist and open palm in a man's hand," 
the former narrows its words, the latter expands them. Dialectic
is indeed a keener instrument for discussing issues; rhetoric,
more eloquent in purposeful teaching.   The former resides in the
schools, the latter always goes out to the law courts and
assemblies.  The former has need of a few scholars, the latter
seeks crowds of people. 
    3.  But before we speak of syllogisms, which display the whole
usefulness and excellence of dialectic, we must discuss briefly
its starting-points, as it were, certain elements, so that the
direction of our discussion will take the same course as that
followed by our predecessors. Thus it is the custom of teachers
of philosophy, before they begin to comment on the Isagoge, to
touch briefly on the branches of philosophy.  We will also
maintain these divisions and believe that they should be
mentioned at this point. 4.  Philosophy is divided

         into theoretical                           into practical

       and this divides into                    which divides into

natural     mathematical   divine          ethical   economic  

        music     astronomy 
     arithmetic   geometry

    5.  Philosophy is the demonstrable (insofar as it is humanly
possible) knowledge of divine and human matters.  On the one
hand, philosophy is the art of arts and discipline of
disciplines.  On the other, philosophy is a preparation for
dying, which is better fitted to Christians who trample down the
lusts of this world and live a life of principle in a likeness of
the homeland to come, as the Apostle says:  "For though we walk
in the flesh, we do not make war according to the flesh;" and
elsewhere, " Our citizenship is in heaven." 
    6.  Theoretical philosophy is that by which we go beyond the
visible world to contemplate something of the divine and
heavenly, and which we see only with the mind, since we have gone
beyond corporeal sight.  Natural philosophy is the investigation
of the nature of each thing.  Without the cooperation of nature
[against the wishes of nature] nothing comes into being, but each
thing is destined to those uses for which the creator limited
[produced] it, unless perhaps by God's will some miracle occurs. 
Mathematical science by definition deals with quantity in the
abstract.  An abstract quantity is that which we deal with by
calculation alone.  We thus treat equals, unequals, and other
things of this sort by mentally separating these quantities from
matter or other accidents.  Divine philosophy arises when we
discuss the ineffable nature of God or spiritual creations
partaking in some degree of a most profound nature. Arithmetic is
the study of quantity (that which can be counted) in itself. 
Music is the study that discusses numbers which have a
relationship to those which are found in tones.  Geometry is the
study of stationary magnitudes and shapes.  Astronomy is the
study of the movements of the stars in heaven.  It considers and
investigates by reason all configurations and movements of the
stars in relation to one another and to the earth. 
    7.  Practical philosophy attempts to explain proposed matters
on the basis of their effects.  Ethical philosophy through which
a proper way is sought is the establishment of principles aiming
at virtue.  Economic philosophy is the theory of the wisely
ordered disposition of private affairs.  Political philosophy is
the theory for the effective governance of the entire state. 
    8.  Now that we have dealt with the inclusive divisions and
definitions of philosophy, let us turn to Porphyry's book
entitled the Isagoge.  The Isagoge of Porphyry deals with five
predictables:  genus, species, differentiating characteristic,
property, and accident.  Genus is a class of things that contains
things related in essence but differing in species, for example
animal.  The genus animal is predicated and defined through
individual species, i.e. of man, ox, horse.  Species is what is
predicated in respect of essence of several things differing in
number.  Man is predicated of Socrates, Plato,  Cicero.  A
differentiating characteristic is predicated in respect of
quality from several objects differing in species, as, for
example, rational and mortal are predicated as qualities of man. 
A property is that in respect of which each species or person is
marked by definite addition and in respect of which it is
separated from every class (communio), as laughter in a man and
neighing in a horse.  Accident is what is added or subtracted
without change in the subject or those things so added that are
not subtracted at all.  Anyone who wants to know more of these
matters should read the introductory work of Porphyry.  Although
he states that he is writing to make another's work useful, he
nevertheless gained praise for himself for having fashioned such
    9.  The categories or predicates of Aristotle follow, in which
all discourse is wondrously contained in various meanings.  Its
instruments or terms are three in number.  The terms or
instruments of categories or predications are three:  equivocal,
univocal, denominative.  Equivocal are defined as those which
only have a common name, but in the name have a different sense
of substance.  For example, both an actual man and a man in a
painting are animal.  Univocal are defined as those which have a
common name and do not differ in the name but have the same sense
of substance; e.g., both a man and an ox are animal. 
Denominative, i.e. derivative, is whatever gets an appellation in
a name;  it differs from that name only in suffixes, for example
grammarian from grammar and brave from bravery. 
    10.  The categories or predications of Aristotle are ten in
number: substance, quantity, relation, quality, action,
emotion/passion, place, time, position, state.  Substance is that
which is defined properly and primarily and particularly, which
is neither predicated of a subject nor present in a subject, as
some particular man or some particular horse.  Second substances
are defined as those species in which what are called first
substances are present and included, as Cicero is in the species
of man.  Quantity is of two sorts:  (1) it is discrete and has
separate parts that do not share some common end, for example
number and uttered speech; (2) it is continuous, and has parts
that are joined to one another for some common end, such as line,
surface, body, place,  time.  Relation defines one thing
in relation to another, like greater, double, condition,
placement, knowledge, sense, location.  Quality is that by which
we are said to be of some sort, as good, bad.  Action is, e.g.,
cutting or burning, i.e., doing something.  Passion is, e.g.,
being cutting or being burned.  Place is, e.g.  one stands, sits,
lies.  Time is  yesterday or tomorrow.  Position is as in
Asia, in Europe, in Libya. State is, e.g., to have shoes on or to
have armor on.  We must read this work of Aristotle carefully
since, as has been said, whatever men speak of is inevitably
found among these ten predications.  It is useful indeed to
understand books that deal either with rhetoric or dialectic. 
    11.  The next book to be considered is the Perihermenias.  It
is a subtle and careful study, filled with different forms and
repetitions.  They say of it that "Aristotle, when he was
composing the Perihermenias, dipped his pen in his mind."  In the
Perihermenias, i.e., On Interpretation, the philosopher dealt
with the following:  noun, verb, sentence, declaration,
affirmation, denial, contradiction.  A noun is a sound that
derives significance from convention, without time reference,
whose parts have no significance separately, e.g., Socrates.  A
verb is that which marks the time, of which a part signifies
nothing more, and always indicates some time that refers to other
things, as " thinks," "discusses."  A sentence is a
significant portion of speech whose parts are separately
significant, e.g., "Socrates discusses." An assertion is a
significant portion of speech [about] something that is or is
not, as "Socrates exists," "Socrates does not exist."  An
affirmation is an assertion of something about something, as
"Socrates exists;" a denial is  of
something about something, as "Socrates does not exist."  A
contradiction is the opposing of affirmation and denial, as
"Socrates discusses, Socrates does not discuss." All these
matters are treated in great detail by division and sub-division
in the book.  It should suffice to mention briefly [those things]
the definitions of these matters, since the book itself presents
a suitable explanation. Furthermore a commentary on it in six
books by the patrician Boethius has been left to you among the
other books. 
    12.  Now we come to the types and figures of syllogisms in
which the intellect of noble philosophers is continuously
trained.  The figures of the categorical, i.e. predicative,
syllogisms are three:  in the first figure there are nine moods,
in the second figure, four moods, in the third 
, six. The nine moods of the first figure are: (1) that conclusion which infers a universal affirmative from a universal affirmative directly as: "Everything just is honorable; everything honorable is just; therefore, everything just is good;" (2) that which concludes a negative universal from affirmative and negative universals: "Everything just is honorable; nothing honorable is base; therefore, nothing just is base;" (3) that which concludes a particular affirmation from a particular and a universal affirmation: "Something just is honorable; everything honorable is useful; therefore, something just is useful;" (4) that which concludes a particular negation from a particular affirmation and a universal negation : "Something just is honorable; nothing honorable is base; therefore, something just is not base;" (5) that which concludes from universal affirmations a particular affirmation by conversion: " Everything just is honorable; everything honorable is good; therefore, something good is just;" (6) that which concludes from a universal affirmation and a universal negation a universal negation by conversion: "Everything just is honorable; nothing honorable is base; therefore, nothing base is just;" (7) that which concludes from {a particular and} a universal affirmation a particular affirmation by conversion: "Something just is honorable; everything honorable is useful; therefore, something useful is just;" (8) that which concludes from a negative and affirmative universal a particular negation by conversion: "Nothing base is honorable; everything honorable is just; therefore, something just is not base;" (9) that which concludes from a universal negation a particular negation by conversion: "Nothing base is honorable; something honorable is just; therefore, something just is not base." The four moods of the second figure are: (1) that which concludes a universal negation directly from a universal affirmation and universal negation: "Everything just is honorable; nothing base is honorable; therefore, nothing base is just [just is base];" (2) that which concludes a universal negation directly from a universal negation and a universal affirmation: "Nothing base is honorable; everything just is honorable; therefore, nothing base is just;" (3) that which concludes a particular negation directly from a particular affirmation and a universal negation: "Something just is honorable; nothing base is honorable; therefore, something just is not base;" (4) that which concludes a particular negation directly from a particular negation and a universal affirmation: "Something just is not base; everything evil is base; therefore, something just is not evil." The six moods of the third figure are: (1) that which concludes from universal affirmations a particular affirmation both directly and by conversion: "Everything just is honorable; {everything honorable is just;} everything just is good; therefore, something honorable is good and something good is honorable;" (2) that which concludes from a particular and a universal affirmation a particular affirmation directly: "Something just is honorable; everything just is good; therefore, something honorable is good;" (3) that which concludes a particular affirmation directly from a universal and a particular affirmation: "Everything just is honorable; something just is good; therefore, something honorable is good;" (4) that which concludes a particular negation directly from a universal affirmation and a universal negation: "Everything just is honorable; nothing just is evil; therefore, something honorable is not evil;" (5) that which concludes a particular negation directly from a particular affirmation and a universal negation: "Something just is honorable; {nothing just is evil;} therefore, something honorable is not evil;" (6) that which concludes a particular negation directly from a universal affirmation and a particular negation: "Everything just is honorable; something just is not evil; therefore, something honorable is not evil." Whoever wants to know fully these figures of the categorical syllogism should read the book of Apuleius entitled Perihermenias where he will discover a more subtle treatment. Let us not be overcome with boredom because of the repetition of words, for once we distinguish and meditate on them with the Lord's aid they bring us on the broad path of understanding. Now in running order let us take up the hypothetical syllogisms. 13. There are seven moods of the hypothetical syllogism that come about as the result of some set of contingencies. 1. If it is day, it is light; it is day; therefore it is light. 2. If it is day, it is light; it is not light; therefore it is not day. 3. It is not both day and without light; it is day; therefore it is light. 4. It is either day or night; it is day; {therefore it is not night.} 5. It is either day or night; it is not night; therefore it is day. 6. It is not both day and without light; it is day; therefore it is not night. 7. It is not both day and night; it is not night; therefore it is day. If anyone wishes to know more about the moods of the hypothetical syllogism, he should read the book of Marius Victorinus called On the Hypothetical Syllogism. You should also know that Tullius Marcellus of Carthage dealt with categorical and hypothetical syllogisms, a matter discussed too broadly by various philosophers carefully [briefly] and subtly in seven books. In the first book he discussed the rule, as he himself says, of the dialectical art of syllogisms. He explained briefly in the second and third books what Aristotle published [discussed] on the categorical syllogism in many books; in his fourth and fifth books he brings together what the Stoics had discussed in numerous volumes on the hypothetical syllogisms; in the sixth book he discussed mixed [mystical sic] syllogisms, in the seventh, composite syllogisms. I have left this book for you to read. 14. Let us proceed from this to the most pleasant types of definitions which are so prominent that they can be called the obvious manifestations [greatest glory] of statements and some distinguishing marks [bright lights] of speech. The definition of definition is a brief statement including in its own signification the nature of each thing separated from the general class. This is accomplished in many ways and by many rules. The divisions of definitions: ousiotes, i.e. essential -- ennoematice, i.e., notional -- poeotes, i.e. qualitative -- hypographice, i.e. descriptional -- cata antilexin, i.e., substitutional -- cata diaphoran, i.e., differential -- cata metaphoran, i.e. by comparison -- cat' apheresin tou enantiou, i.e., by negation of the contrary -- cata typosin, i.e., by a particular image -- os typos, i.e., likeness -- cata ellipes olocleru homogenous, i.e., by lack of fullness of the same genus -- cata epaenon, i.e., by praise -- cata analogian, i.e., proportional -- cata to pros ti, i.e., relational -- cata aetiologian, i.e., causational. Definitions: 1. ousiotes (essential) which is truly and properly definition, as "Man is a mortal rational animal capable of understanding and learning." This definition passing down through species and differentia arrives at what is essential and delineates what man is. 2. ennoematice (inferential) which we can call notional [notion], using a common, not a proper, term. This is always fashioned in the following way: "Man is a creature that is superior to other animals in the grasp and exercise of reason;" it does not tell what a man is, but what he does, as if some sign for knowledge had been set down. In this definition and in the rest, the notion of the thing presented is not an essential one, as is stated in that first definition. Because the first kind of definition is essential, it holds first place among all definitions. 3. poeotes (qualitative). This definition, by telling what the quality is, clearly shows what the thing is, e.g., "A man is one who has a strong mind, an ability in arts, and by knowledge of matters chooses what he ought to do or by censure rejects what is not beneficial." A man is described and defined by these qualities. 4. hypographice (descriptional). This type, by the addition of circumlocutions concerning words and deeds, declares what a thing is by description. If we want to define "luxurious," we say: "Luxurious means seeking an unessential, expensive, and burdensome way of life, overabundant in delights [in regard to delights], inclined to lust." This type of definition is more suited to orators than dialecticians because of its breadth. This likeness is set down [This is set down] in matters good and evil. 5. cata antilexin (substitutional). This definitions defines the word whose meaning is sought, by another simple and particular word. In some degree it states by one word the meaning set down in another, {as} "to grow quiet is to be silent." Likewise when we say a "boundary" is an "end" or define "destroyed" as "pillaged." 6. cata diaphoran (differential). When the difference between a king and a tyrant is in question, the assertion of difference defines each of them: "A king is moderate and temperate, a tyrant wicked and cruel." 7. cata metaphoran (by comparison). As Cicero says in the Topics, "The shore is where the wave ceases." This can be treated in several ways; to move, as in "The head is the citadel of the body;" for blame, "Riches: a deep purse for a brief life;" for praise, "Youth is the flower of life." 8. cata apheresin tou enantiou (by negation of the opposite of what is defined). "The good is what is not evil; the just is what is not unjust" and the like; these are so naturally tied together that one gains a logical understanding for the one by grasping the other. We should, however, use this type of definition when the opposite is known, for no one proves the known from the unknown. Belonging to this type are these definitions: "Substance is what is neither quality, quantity or other accidental." God can be defined by this type of definition. For although we cannot grasp in any way what God is, the subtraction of all existing things (what the Greeks call onta) supplies a knowledge of God to us by cutting off and removing things known, as if we were to say: "God is what is neither body nor any element nor animal nor mind nor sense nor intellect nor anything that can be grasped out of these." By subtracting these and the like as well we can define what God is. 9. cata typosin (by some image). "Aeneas is the son of Venus and Anchises." This is always used for individual items which the Greeks call atoma; it also appears in the following kind of statement in which one is ashamed or afraid to name something, as Cicero's "When those cutthroats obviously are describing me." 10. os typos (Latin, "like" "for example"). If one were to ask what an "animal" is and the answer would be "man." It is clearly not stated that man is the only animal, since there are countless others, but when "man" is stated, it defines "animal" by the example of "man," although many other creatures are set down under this term. The example quoted stated the matter under discussion, as a definition by its nature must. 11. cata ellipes ococlerou homogenous (by what is lacking of fullness of the same genus). If one asks what a "quarter" ["third"] is, he receives the reply, "That which lacks three-quarters of being a whole as." 12. cata epaenon (by praise). Cicero in the speech For Cluentius says, "The law is the mind and soul and counsel and decision of the state," and elsewhere, "Peace is quiet liberty." It appears in statements of blame which the Greeks call psogon, "Slavery is the worst of all evils, to be driven off not only by war but also by death." 13. cata analogian (proportional). This type occurs when a lesser thing is defined with a term for the greater thing. "Man is a lesser world." Cicero uses this type of definition in "They say an edict is a law that is in force for a year." 14. cata ton pros ti (relational). "A father is one who has a son, as a master is one who has a slave." Cicero says in the Rhetorica, "A genus is that which includes several species;" also, "A species is what is a sub= category of genus." 15. cata etiologion (causational). "Day is the sun above the earth, night the sun beneath the earth." We should know that the above-mentioned types of definitions are properly tied to commonplaces, since they are placed within certain arguments and in some works are discussed among commonplaces. Now let us come to commonplaces [the art of the commonplace] which are the bases of discussions, the sources of statements of opinion, {and} the starting points of modes of expression. {15. The division of commonplaces or of passages from which arguments are drawn: some are inherent in the subject under discussion -- some are said to be connected and are known to derive to some degree from other subjects -- others are regarded as extrinsic. Arguments which were in the subject under discussion -- from the whole -- from its parts -- from meaning. Argument from the whole: when a definition is attached to the matter in question, as Cicero says, "Glory is the praise of deeds well done and a reputation for great merits in the republic." An argument from parts: when the defendant either denies the deed or says it was justly done. An argument from meaning: when some proof is drawn out from the meaning of a term, as Cicero says, "I was looking for, I said, a consul, a consul whom I could not find in this eunuch." Arguments closely connected are those known to be drawn to some degree from other subjects: conjugate -- from genus -- from species -- likeness, difference, contraries, adjuncts, antecedents, consequents, contradictions, cause, effect, comparison of greater to lesser, of lesser to greater, of equal to equal. Argument from conjugates: when there is a change from noun to verb as Cicero says of Verres that "He swept (everrisse) the province," or noun from verb as "robber" from "rob" -- a noun from noun, as Terence says, "The undertaking of madmen (amentium), not lovers (amantium)" -- if the end of one term differs by being fashioned in another type of word formation. Argument from genus: when a statement is drawn from the same genus, as Vergil says, "A woman is always a shifty and changeable thing." Argument from species: when the species gives credence to the general point, "Not thus did the Phrygian shepherd enter Lacedaemon." Argument from likeness: when matters like others are brought out, as Vergil says, "Supply me with weapons: none shall fly from my right hand in vain against the Rutuli which were fixed in Greeks' bodies on the plains of Troy." Argument from differences: when some things are separated by differences, as Vergil says, "You do not see the horses of Diomedes and the chariot of Achilles." Argument from contraries: when contrary matters are contrasted to one another, as Vergil says, "Is it right that ships made by mortal hands have immortality and Aeneas in his certainty wander through uncertain perils?" Argument from consequents: when something inevitably follows the stated circumstance, as Vergil says, "Not this violence in our hearts, not such great pride in the conquered." Argument from antecedents: when something is proved from known events, as Cicero says in For Milo, "Since he did not hesitate to disclose what he thought, can you doubt what he did?" Argument from contradictions: when the objection raised is removed by some contradiction, as Cicero says, "Therefore he who had wanted to kill you at home is not only freed from such danger, but marked out with highest honor." Argument from like notions: when it is shown by a comparison what will take place from each event; "If they drive us out, they think nothing will be able to prevent them from putting all the West completely beneath their yoke." Argument from causes: when each circumstance is treated according to common practice, as Terence says, "I have long feared you, Davus, that you would do what the common run of slaves often does, that you might fool me with tricks." Argument from effects: when something is approved as a result of past actions, as Vergil says, "Fear proves ignoble souls." Argument from comparison: when by comparison of persons or causes the reason for a decision is fashioned by implication, as Vergil says, "You can draw Aeneas out from under the hands of the Greeks; is it unlawful that we give some aid in turn to the Rutuli?" 16. Arguments drawn from removed circumstances are called by the Greeks atechnos, i.e., lacking skill: like evidence. Evidence arises from: persons the authority of nature the authority of circumstances, which has eight modes: talents, resources, age, luck, skill, experience, necessity, and the meeting of chance circumstance the words and actions of our ancestors torture. Evidence is everything that is drawn from some external source to gain credence. A person who has a weight of evidence to gain credence is not just anyone, but must be praiseworthy because of the decency of his moral character. Natural authority comprises the greatest excellence. There are many kind of evidence that carry authority: talent, riches, age, luck, skill, experience, necessity, the meeting of fortuitous circumstances. Credence is sought from the words and actions of our ancestors by recalling the words and deeds of the ancients. Credence is provided by torture, after which we believe that no one would lie. The matters treated under circumstances do not need definitions because they are obvious from their names.} 17. Remember that commonplaces indeed offer arguments commonly to orators, dialecticians, poets, and lawyers. When they prove something in particular they are of use to rhetoricians, poets, lawyers, but when they discuss matters in general they serve philosophers [dialecticians]. This marvelous compendium encompasses the versatility and variety the human intellect displays in its search for meaning. This kind of work envelopes the free and voluntary intellect, for wherever the intellect turns, whatever it considers, it must fall upon some of these commonplaces which have been discussed. 18. We think that it will be useful to summarize by whose labor these matters can be spoken of in Latin, so that these authors will not fail to achieve their fame and so that the task will be recognized by us and grant the authors their due. Victorinus the orator translated the Isagoge; Boethius, that outstanding man, published a commentary on it in five books. Victorinus also translated the Categories and wrote a commentary on it in eight books. Victorinus also translated the Perihermenias into Latin; the patrician Boethius wrote a point by point commentary on it in six books. [In place of "Victorinus ... six books," a offers: The patrician Boethius translated the Isagoge, leaving also twin commentaries on it. The same patrician Boethius translated the Categories, and he fashioned a commentary on it in three books. The above-mentioned patrician Boethius translated the Perihermenias into Latin; his two commentaries on it treat the text with a most detailed discussion.] Apuleius of Madaura <> wrote about the hypothetical syllogism; [In place of "Apuleius ... hypothetical syllogism," a offers: Apuleius of Madaura briefly explained the categorical syllogisms; the above mentioned patrician Boethius treated most clearly the hypothetical syllogisms.] {Marius Victorinus also carefully distinguished fifteen types of definitions.} Cicero translated Aristotle's Topics into Latin. Victorinus, who loved and studied Latin authors, wrote a commentary on Cicero's translation in four books. [In place of "Cicero translated ... four books, a offers: Cicero translated the Topics of Aristotle into Latin in one book; the patrician Boethius, who watches over and loves Latin authors ( omits this clause), set out a commentary on this translation in eight books. As a matter of fact the previously mentioned patrician ("the previously ... patrician" is omitted by ) Boethius also translated these same Topics of Aristotle into Latin eloquence in eight books.] {I thought it appropriate to collect these authoritative books not unsuitably into one manuscript so that whatever pertains to dialectic my be included in one codex. We have had the many commentaries on the different texts, since they are lengthy, written down in separate books and we have left them to you with the Lord's aid in one collection. 19. We have surveyed the liberal arts, insofar as we have judged them useful to beginners, to enable them to reach the entrance of the disciplines through open doors as it were. Although it is difficult to enter and learn these disciplines, the toil of the study of elements persists until one sees what sweetness they have; but when scholars have reached the stage of mature competence, each one regards it as delightful to have endured the troubles of his endeavor. We now turn to the illustrious divisions of these arts in which Greece is correctly thought to surpass the Latin language. We will try not so much to explain these briefly as to sketch them. For why should what is found clear and plain in the original authors be discussed as it were more distinctively and fully?} 20. We must now consider, however, since we have arrived at this point, what we touched on in the rhetorical section, namely, the difference between an art and a discipline, so that difference in the terms in their confusion not confound the reader. Plato and Aristotle, worthy teachers of secular letters, considered the difference between and art and a discipline in the following way: an art involves working in an accustomed state with things that have the possibility of being other than they are; a discipline, however, is concerned with those things that cannot turn out differently or other than they are. {We assume that this means matters concerning worldly learning, since only divine letters cannot deceive, for they hold the unmovable personal authority of truth. We have heard that Felix Capella wrote a kind of anthology on the disciplines to enable the uneducated brothers to become acquainted with such literature. Nevertheless, up to now we have been able to acquire all but a small amount. But it is better for you that those selections not disappear at some time and that these remaining, although not many, be soon available to those who are interested.} Now let us begin with mathematics. Mathematics 21. Mathematics is a science that we can call in Latin theoretical since it considers quantities in the abstract. We define as abstract a quantity that is separated mentally from matter or other accidents, for example, equal and unequal or other things of this sort treated by calculation alone [or other things which are treated by calculation alone). This science of mathematics is divided as follows: arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy. Arithmetic is the study of quantity (that which can be counted) in itself. Music is the study that discusses numbers which have a relationship to those which are found in tones. Geometry is the study of stationary magnitudes and shapes. Astronomy is the study of the movements of the stars in heaven. It considers and investigates by reason all configurations and movements of the stars in relation to one another and to the earth. We will discuss [expatiate on] these subjects a little more fully in their turn to display their excellence. 22. Now let us discuss the expression "disciplines." Disciplines are those pursuits that are independent of opinion and therefore never deceive; they are called disciplines because they are obliged to observe their own rules. Our attention to these disciplines neither nor are they diminished . They do not undergo any [other] changes, but remain strong in themselves and preserve their rules with unchangeable firmness. Frequent reflection on the disciplines sharpens our understanding, clears the darkness of ignorance, and leads, with the Lord's help and soundness of mind, to theoretical speculation. Josephus, the most learned of the Hebrews, in the first book of his Antiquities, chapter nine, says that Abraham first brought arithmetic and astronomy to the Egyptians. The Egyptians, a people of sharp intellect, took up the seeds from him, and widely cultivated the other disciplines for themselves. Our holy Fathers properly persuaded men of a scholarly disposition to read these sciences since they turn our appetite from carnal things and make us desire what with the Lord's aid we can see with the heart alone. It is, therefore, time to discuss these disciplines individually and briefly. IIII. Arithmetic 1. Secular writers maintain that arithmetic is the first mathematical discipline because arithmetic is essential to explain the excellences of music, geometry, and astronomy. For example, the relation of the single to the double that music involves needs arithmetic; astronomy also requires arithmetic since it considers the numbers of positions in the movement of the stars. Arithmetic, however, can exist without music, geometry, or astronomy. Arithmetic is the source and mother of these other disciplines. Pythagoras regarded this science so highly that he remarked that everything created by God has number and measure. He said that some things were fashioned in motion and other things in place in such a way however that only those disciplines of which we have spoken received substance. I believe this, and take my start as many philosophers have done from that statement of the prophet, that God arranged everything according to number, measure, and weight. 2. This section deals with discrete quantity which produces the types of numbers joined to one another by no common boundary. For 5 is not tied to 10 by any mutual union through any common boundary nor 6 to 4 and 7 to 3. Arithmetic receives its name because its special subject is number. Number is a multitude made up of units, as 3, 5, 10, 20, and so forth. The goal of arithmetic is to teach us the nature of number in the abstract and those things that are accidental to it; for example evenness, oddness, and so forth. 3. Number however is divided in even numbers even times even even times odd odd times even and odd prime and simple secondary and composite third intermediate which in some way is prime and not composite and in another way is secondary and composite. [In a this table appears partly here, partly at "11, etc." below, partly after "go further," below.] An even number is one that can be divided into two equal parts, as 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, etc. An odd number is one that cannot be divided into two equal parts as 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, etc. A multiple of an even number can be divided into two equal parts as far as the unit, for example, 64 are [is] divided in 32, 32 into 16, 16 into 8, 8 into 4, 4 into 2, 2 into 1 and 1. An even multiple of an odd number can be equally divided only once into two equal parts, as <<10 into 5>>, 14 into 7, 18 into 9, and the like. A multiple of an odd and an even number can be divided in several ways according to the quality of the parts; not, however, that it may reach unity: for example, 24 into 2 times 12, 12 into 2 times 6, 6 into 2 times 3, and one cannot go further. {Among the odd numbers,} a prime and simple number is one that can have unity as its only divisor; for example, 3, 5, 7, 11, <<13,>> 17, and the like. A secondary and composite number is one that not only takes unity as a divisor but also another number, for example, 9, 15, 21, and the like. An intermediate number is one that in some way seems to be prime <> simple and in another way secondary and composite, for example 9 when it is compared to 25 is prime and simple because it does not have a number in common except unity; if it is compared to 15 it is secondary and composite since there is a common factor for it beyond unity, that is the number 3 which measures 9 as 3 times and 15 and as 5 times 3. 4. Another division of even and odd numbers. either even or odd or overperfect deficient perfect An overperfect number is one that derives from even numbers. Although it is even, it seems to have extra divisions in its quantity; half of 12 are [is] 6, a sixth 2, a quarter 3, a third 4, a twelfth 1; all in sum [summed up] are 16. A deficient number is also even but the sum of its amount is less than its factors; e.g., half of 8 is 4, a quarter 2, an eighth 1; and these factors together equal 7. A perfect number also derives from the even numbers. All its factors added together are equal to itself; as half of 6 is 3, a third 2, a sixth 1, and all these factors taken together make the same number 6. 5. A third division of numbers as a whole. Every number is either considered in itself or in relation to another some are equal some are unequal some are greater some are less (greater): multiples, superparticulars, superpartients, multiple superpartients; (lesser): submultiples, subsuperparticulars, subsuperpartients, submultiple superparticulars, submultiple superpartients. A number considered in itself is said to be without any relation as 3, 4, 5, 6, and others like them. A number is considered relatively, i.e. in relation to others, for example 4 to 2 is said to be double and multiple and so 6 to 3 and 8 to 4 and 10 to 5; also 3 to 1 is triple, 6 to 2, 9 to 3, etc. Numbers are said to be equal that are equal in quantity, for example, 2 to 2, 3 to 3, 10 to 10, 100 to 100, etc. Unequal numbers are those that when compared to one another show inequality as 3 to 2, 4 to 3, 5 to 4, 10 to 6; and in general it is called unequal when greater is compared to less or less to greater. A greater number is one that contains both the lesser number to which it is compared and something more, for example the number 5 is greater than the number 3, because the number 5 contains the number 3 as well as 2 other parts in addition. <> A multiple number is one that contains the lesser number 2, 3, 4 or more times, for example 2 compared to 1 is double, 3 to 1 triple, 4 to 1 quadruple, etc. On the other hand a submultiple number is one that is contained within a multiple number 2, 3, 4, or multiple times, for example 1 is contained twice in 2, three times in 3, four times in 4, five times in 5, and many times in other numbers. A superparticular number is a larger number that contains within [below] itself the lesser number with which it is compared, as well as one unit of it, for example 3 compared to 2 contains in itself 2 and another 1, which is the half of 2; and 4 when compared to 3, contains in itself 3 and another 1, which is a third of 3; also 5 compared to 4 has in itself 4 and another 1, which is a fourth part of 4, etc. A subsuperparticular number is a lesser number that is contained in the larger number with another unit either half, third, fourth, or fifth, for example 2 to 3, {3 to 4,} 4 to 5, etc. A superpartient number is one that contains in itself the entire lesser number and in addition two other units or three or four or five more, for example 5 compared to 3 has in itself 3 and besides two other units; 7 compared to 4 has in itself 4 and three other units; 9 compared to 5 has in itself 5 and another 4 units. A subsuperpartient number is one that is contained in the superpartient number with 2, 3 or more other units, for example 3 is contained in 5 with two other units; <4 is contained in 7 with three additional units;> 5 in 9 with four units. A multiple superparticular number is one that when compared to a number less than itself contains in itself the entire lesser number in a multiple with an additional unit, for example 5 compared to 2 contains in itself twice 2 with [and] one unit; 9 compared to 4 contains in itself twice 4 and an additional unit. A submultiple superparticular number is one that when it is compared to a number larger than itself is contained by the larger in a multiple with one additional unit, for example 2 compared to 5 is contained in it twice with one unit left over. A multiple superpartient number is one that when compared with a number less than itself contains it as a multiple with some parts left over, for example 8 compared to 3 contains in itself twice 3 with a remainder of 2, and 14 compared to 6 contains in itself twice 6 with a remainder of 2; 16 compared to 7 contains it twice with a remainder of 2; 18 compared to 8 contains in itself twice 8 and a remainder of 2. A submultiple superpartient number is one that when it is compared with a number larger than itself, is contained by it in a multiple with some additional units, for example 3 compared to 8 is contained twice with a remainder of 2; 4 compared to 15 is contained <3 times> with a remainder of 3. 6. There follows a fourth divisions of number as a whole--Numbers are either discrete or continuous linear plane solid A discrete number is one that consists of separate units for example 3 as distinct from 4, 5 from 6 and so forth. A continuous number is one that is contained by joined units, for example 3, if it is considered in a magnitude, i.e. in a line or a plane or a solid is called continuous; likewise 4 and 5. A linear number is one that starting from unity is written in a line up to infinity, for which reasons alpha is set down to describe lines because this letter signifies 1 among the Greeks--aaa. A plane number is one that is bounded not only by length but also by height [breadth], as a triangular number, a square number, a pentagonal number, a circular, number, and others that are always enclosed in a plane. A triangular number is as follows: a a a a a a A square number: a a a a a a a a a. A pentagonal number as follows: a a a a a. A circular number is one that when it is multiplied by itself, beginning from itself turns back to itself, for example 5 times 5 is 25 as the diagram indicates: So also in the number 6 it turns out the 6 times 6 is 36 and 6 times 36 is 216. A solid number is one that has the dimensions length, breadth and height, like pyramids which rise like flames, as --cubes, like dice spheres, which are equally round in every direction: --a spherical number is one that multiplied by a circular number starting from itself returns to itself, for example 5 times 5 is 25; this circular number when it is multiplied by itself, makes a sphere, . 5 time 25 is 125. 7. Remember that this discipline is superior to the others because, as we said before, it needs none of the other disciplines. The disciplines that follow require the discipline of arithmetic for their existence, as the excellence of arithmetic demonstrates. Among the Greeks Nicomachus diligently explained this subject. His work was previously [first] translated into Latin by Apuleius of Madaura and was again translated into Latin by the patrician Boethius for the Roman reader. Anyone who uses these works often will most certainly be filled with the light of reason insofar as mankind has the capacity for it. To a large extent this discipline dominates our lives, since we learn the hours from it, we reckon the course of the months by it, we recognize the course of the returning year, we are saved from confusion by number. Take away calculation from the age and everything is plunged into blind disorder. A man who does not understand reckoning does not differ from the other animals. This is as [so] glorious a subject as it is necessary for our lives; for through it [through this very thing] we clearly learn what we possess and, after proper accountings [accounting], we know how much our expenditures are. Number gives order to all things; through number we learn what we must do first and what we must do second. {8. If you look carefully for the basis of great matters even the miracles of the Lord become susceptible to numerical explanation. The first number pertains to the one God, as we read in the Pentateuch: "Hear O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone!" The second number refers to the two Testaments, as it says in the Book of Kings: "And he made in the oracle two cherubim of olive tree, of ten cubits in height." Finally, the sweet reward of all our hope rests in the holy Trinity, not because it is subject to number, but because shows the power of its majesty displays the usefulness of number. Indeed, unity is understood to be in the essence of the divine, but Trinity is in the persons. For it says in the Epistle of John: "There are three things that bear witness: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood." Concerning the four evangelists we also read in Ezechiel: "Within it were figures resembling four living creatures." The fifth number refers to the five books of Moses, as it says in Paul: "In the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding." On the sixth day God made man, in His own image and likeness. Indeed we call it the Holy Spirit itself and believe that it is sevenfold; number is necessary to enable us to understand the highest and most omnipotent matters.} Now we will take up music which is sweetness in its name and in its particular excellence. {V. Music} 1. A certain Gaudentius writing on music said that Pythagoras discovered the elements of this subject from the sound of hammers and by the striking of taut strings. That very learned man, Mutianus, translated this work into Latin. The quality of the work undertaken indicates his talent. Clement of Alexandria, a priest, in his book Against the Pagans, said that music took its beginning from the Muses and explains carefully why the Muses were invented. For [And] the Muses themselves are named apo tu maso, i.e., from seeking, since through them, as the ancients believed, the power of song and the harmony of voice derived. Censorinus in a work presented to Quintus Cerellius (On his Birthday) discussed the discipline of music; nor should his section on mathematics be neglected either. It is useful to enable the depth of the mind to store this information by frequent consideration. 2. The discipline of music therefore extends through all acts of our life in the following way. First, if we obey the commands of the Creator, and we keep with pure minds the rules set out by him, our speech and the pulse of our veins express the excellences of harmony through musical rhythms. Music indeed is the discipline of proper harmony; if we live properly we are always associated with such a discipline. When we are wicked, we do not have music. Furthermore, the heaven, the earth and everything that takes place in it according to divine economy, do not lack the discipline of music. For [And] Pythagoras bears witness that this world was founded through music and can be given order by it. 3. Religion itself is tied to music, for example {there is} the decachord of the Ten Commandments, the twang of the harp, the drums, the melody of the organ, and the sound of cymbals. The Psalter itself also is certainly named like [for its likeness] to the musical instrument, because it contains the sweet and pleasing harmony of heavenly excellence. 4. Now let us consider [discuss] the divisions of music, as they have been handed down from our ancestors. Music is a discipline that deals with numbers, which relate to qualities which are found in sounds, as double, triple, quadruple and the like indicate the relationship of one thing to another. 5. Music has three parts: harmonics--rhythmics--metrics. Harmonics is the musical discipline that distinguishes high and low pitch in sounds. Rhythmics is the discipline that considers the coming together of words [in the joining of words] whether sounds fit together well or badly. Metrics is that discipline which discovers the measurement [measurements] of the different meters, such as the heroic, the iambic, and the elegiac, etc. 6. There are three kinds of musical instruments: percussion--strings-- wind. Percussion instruments include bronze and silver hand-bells, and other types that give forth sweet tinkling sound when struck by a rigid piece of metal. Stringed instruments are those that have skillfully tied strings which {will} sweetly delight the ears when struck with a(n) {applied} plectrum. Among these are different kinds of harps. Wind instruments are those which are set in motion to create the sound when filled with breath. Among these are trumpets, reeds, organ, bagpipes, etc. 7. It now remains for us to speak about harmonies. A harmony is the modulation of a low pitch to a high pitch or of a high pitch to a low pitch, creating euphony in a voice or in a wind instrument or in percussion [or in percussion or in a wind instrument]. There are six harmonies: (1) the diatessaron; (2) the diapente; (3) the diapason; (4) the diapason and diatessaron; (5) the diapeson and diapente; (6) the disdiapason. 1. A diatessaron is a harmony that consists of a 4:3 ratio and is made up of four sounds from which it receives its name. 2. The diapente is a harmony that consists of a 3:2 ratio and is made up of five sounds . 3. The diapason is a harmony that is also called the octave; it is made up of a 2:1 ratio, i.e. double, and consists of eight sounds from which it receives its name either octave or diapason because among the ancients the harp consisted of eight strings; therefore it is called the diapason, consisting as it were of all sounds. 4. The diapason and diatessaron is a harmony that consists of a ratio 24:8; it is made up of eleven sounds. 5. The diapason and diapente is a harmony that consists of a ratio 3:1; it is made up of twelve sounds. 6. The disdiapason, i.e. the double diapason, is a harmony that is in a ratio of 4:1; it is made up of fifteen sounds. 8. The tone, which consists of the pitch or dominant tone quality of the voice, is a distinguishing characteristic and quantity of the whole aggregate of sounds. There are fifteen tones: hypodorian, hypoiastian, hypophrygian, hypoaeolian, hypolydian, dorian, iastian, phrygian, aeolian, lydian, hyperdorian, hyperiastian, hyperphrygian, hyperaeolian, hyperlydian. (1) The hypodorian tone is the lowest of all in pitch; therefore it is also called the bottom tone. (2) The hypoiastian is a half tone higher than the hypodorian. (3) The hypophrygian is a half tone higher than the hypoiastian, and a full tone higher than the hypodorian. (4) The hypoaeolian is a half tone higher than the hypophrygian, a full tone higher than the hypoiastian, and a tone and a half higher than the hypodorian. (5) The hypolydian is a half tone higher than the hypoaeolian, a tone higher than the hypophrygian, and a tone and a half higher than the hypoiastian, and two tones higher than the hypodorian. (6) The dorian is a half tone higher than the hypolydian, a tone higher than the hypoaeolian, a tone and a half higher than the hypophrygian, two tones higher than the hypoiastian, two and a half tones higher than the hypodorian, i.e., the interval of the diatessaron. (7) The iastian is a half tone higher than the dorian, a tone higher than the hypolydian, a tone and a half higher than the hypoaeolian, two tones higher than the hypophrygian, two and a half {tones} higher than the hypoiastian, i.e., the interval of the diatessaron, and three tones higher than the hypodorian. (8) The phrygian is a half tone higher than the iastian, a tone higher than the dorian, one and a half tones higher than the hypolydian, two tones higher than the hypoaeolian, two and a half tones higher than the hypophrygian, i.e. the interval of the diatessaron, three tones higher than the hypoiastian, three and a half tones higher than the hypodorian, i.e. the interval of the diapente. (9) The aeolian is a half tone higher than the phrygian, one tone higher than the iastian, one and a half tones higher than the dorian, {two tones} higher than the hypolydian, two and a half {tones} higher than {the hypoaeolian,} i.e. the interval of the diatessaron, three tones higher than the hypophrygian, three and a half {tones} higher than the hypoiastian, i.e. the interval of the diapente, four tones higher than the hypodorian. (10) The lydian is a half tone higher than the aeolian, one tone higher than the phrygian, one and a half tones higher than the iastian, two tones higher than the dorian, two and a half tones higher than the hypolydian, i.e. the interval of the diatessaron, three tones higher than the hypoaeolian, three and a half tones higher than the hypophrygian, i.e. the interval of the diapente, four tones higher than the hypoiastian, four and a half <> higher than the hypodorian. (11) The hyperdorian is a half tone higher than the lydian, one tone higher than the aeolian, one and a half tones higher than the phrygian, two tones higher than the iastian, two and a half {tones} higher than the dorian, i.e., the interval of the diatessaron, three tones higher than the hypolydian, three and a half tones higher than the hypoaeolian, i.e. the interval of the diapente, four tones higher than the hypophrygian, four and a half tones higher than the hypoiastian, five {tones} higher than the hypodorian. (12) The hyperiastian is a half tone higher than the hyperdorian, one tone higher than the lydian, one and a half tones higher than the aeolian, two tones higher than the phrygian, two and a half tones higher than the iastian, i.e. the interval of the diatessaron, three tones higher than the dorian, three and a half tones higher than the hypolydian, i.e. the interval of the diapente, four tones higher than the hypoaeolian, four and a half tones higher than the hypophrygian, five tones higher than the hyperiastian, five and half tones higher than the hypodorian. (13) The hyperphrygian is a half tone higher than the hyperiastian, one tone higher than the hyperdorian, one and a half tones higher than the lydian, two tones higher than the aeolian, two and a half tones higher than the phrygian, i.e. the interval of the diatessaron, three tones higher than the iastian, three and a half tones higher than the dorian, i.e. the interval of the diapente, four tones higher than the hypolydian, four and a half tones higher than the hypoaeolian, five tones higher than the hypophrygian, {five and} a half tones higher {than the hypoiastian,} six tones higher than the hypodorian, i.e. the interval of the diapason. (14) The hyperaeolian is a half tone higher than the hyperphrygian, one tone higher than the hyperiastian, one and a half tones higher than the hyperdorian, two tones higher than the lydian, two and a half tones higher than the aeolian, i.e. the interval of the diatessaron, four tones higher than the dorian, four and a half tones higher than the hypolydian, five tones higher than the hypoaeolian five and a half tones higher than the hypophrygian, six tones higher than the hypoiastian, i.e. the interval of the diapason, six and a half tones higher than the hypodorian. (15) The hyperlydian is the last and highest of all. It is a half tone higher than the hyperaeolian, one tone higher than the hyperphrygian, two tones higher than the hyperdorian, two and a half tones higher than the lydian, i.e. the interval of the diatessaron, three tones higher than the aeolian, three and a half tones higher than the phrygian, i.e. the interval of the diapente, four tones higher than the iastian, four and a half tones higher than the dorian, five tones higher than the hypolydian, five and a half higher than the hypoaeolian, six tones higher than the hyperphrygian, i.e. the interval of the diapason, six and a half tones higher than the hypoiastian, seven tones higher than the hypodorian. It is clear from this that the hyperlydian is the highest of all tones and is seven tones higher than the hypodorian, the lowest of all. As Varro reminds us, their excellence is useful to calm the aroused spirits; they also attract beasts as well as serpents, birds and dolphins to hear their harmony. 9. Leaving aside as fictions the lyre of Orpheus and the song of the Sirens, what shall we say of David? By the knowledge of the most salutary harmonies he drew unclean spirits from Saul and in a novel way through his hearing restored sanity, an achievement the doctors were unable to accomplish with herbal cures. They say that Aesclepiades, whom the ancients considered a very skilled doctor, restored a certain madman to his former sanity [to his own nature] through harmony. Many miracles among sick men are {said to be} accomplished by this discipline. As we mentioned above, the heaven itself is said to revolve in sweet harmony. In short, according to the economy of the Creator, all heavenly and earthly events are subject to this discipline. 10. This pleasing and useful knowledge raises our understanding to the heights and pleases our ear {with sweet harmony}. Alypius, Euclid, and Ptolemy among the Greeks as well as others have produced laudable instruction on this subject. Among the Latin writers Albinus wrote a book on this subject with summary brevity. I recall that we had this book in our library at Rome and read it eagerly. If by chance this work has been destroyed by the barbarian invasion, you have Gaudentius, and if you {should} read him with careful attention he {will} open(s) the doors to this discipline for you. Apuleius of Madaura wrote in Latin on the elements of this subject. Father Augustine also wrote six books On Music in which he showed that the human voice can have naturally rhythmical sounds and harmony {capable of} modulation [modulated] in long and short syllables. Censorinus also has a careful discussion on accents which are {very} important to our voice; [saying] he said these accents belong to the discipline of music. I have left you his work transcribed among other works. 11. Next is geometry, the theoretical description of figures, and also the physical means by which philosophers teach; they, to praise this method of teaching, testify that their Jove used geometry in his own works. I do not know whether this should be considered as praise or blame, since they say in their lies that Jove draws in the heavens what they draw on colored sand. But if for our salvation we associate this idea with the Creator and omnipotent Lord, it is possible for this thought [from this thought] to agree with the truth, for the holy Trinity uses geometry [is geometry], since, if we may express it thus, it [divinity] has endowed the creatures [that which] it has brought [brings] into being with various species and shapes, and with awesome power it assigns the movements of the stars and makes to move in their assigned orbits the stars that move and established those which are fixed in place. The essence of this discipline is organization and perfection. VI. Geometry 1. Geometry in Latin refers to the measurement of the earth; some say it is so named because Egypt was divided among its own lords by various forms of this discipline. In earlier times the teachers of this discipline were called measurers. But Varro, the most learned of the Latin writers, offers the following reason for the name. First the measurement of the earth gave useful peace to wandering peoples {who disagreed} by setting down boundary stones. Then the circle of the whole year was apportioned out by the measurement of the months. As a result, the months themselves were so named because they measure the years. But after these things were discovered, scholars were moved to study intangible phenomena, and began to ask how far the moon was from the earth and the sun from the moon and how far it was to the top of the heavens. He reports that the most learned geometricians arrived at the measurements of these distances. Then he also relates that the measurement of the whole earth was arrived at by a praiseworthy reasoning; thus it came about that the discipline received the name geometry [of geometry] that it bears over the course of the ages. In the book that he wrote to Quintus Cerellius, Censorinus describes with careful accuracy the size of the heavens and the extent of the earth according to the number of stades. Anyone who studies this book will learn many of the mysteries of philosophy in a brief reading. 2. Geometry is the discipline of unmoved magnitudes and figures. Geometry is divided into plane figures--numerable magnitudes--rational and irrational magnitudes--and solid figures. Plane figures are those that are enclosed by length and breadth. A numerable magnitude is one that can be divided by arithmetic numbers. There are rational <> the measurement of <> magnitudes can be known; the measurement of irrational magnitudes is not known. Solid figures are figures enclosed with length, breadth and height. 3. This discussion deals with the discipline of geometry as a whole and in its parts, and the multiplicity of figures that exist on earth or in the heavens. There are fine Greek writers on this subject, including Euclid, Apollonius, Archimedes, and others. Boethius, an outstanding man, published [presented] a Latin translation of Euclid. A diligent and careful reading of this work will make the information [facts] presented above available in a clear and distinct manner. 4. There remains astronomy. If we seek after the knowledge of astronomy with a pure and moderate mind, it enlightens [fills] our understanding, as the ancients say, with great clarity. It is such a wonderful thing to approach the heavens mentally and to examine that entire celestial structure using rational investigation, and by theoretical speculation explore great hidden mysteries. The universe itself according to some is joined together in a spherical form in such a way that its circumference encloses the different forms of objects. Seneca wrote a book with a discussion suitable to philosophers whose title is On the Shape of the World. And we have left [are leaving] this same book for you to read. VII. Astronomy 1. Astronomy means the law of the stars. They can neither remain at rest or move except in the way in which their Creator arranged them, unless they are changed by divine will when some miracle occurs, as Joshua is said to have ordered [asked] the sun to stand still in Gabaon and a star was shown to the wise men which announced to the world the coming of the Lord bringing salvation; also in the passion of the Lord Christ the sun was made dark for three hours and the like. These events are called miracles because wondrous things happen against the usual rules of circumstance. For, as the geometers say, those which are fixed in the heaven are borne along; the planets, that is the wanderers, move, but confine their movements by definite rule. 2. Astronomy is, as we have already said, the study of the movements of the heavenly stars and their configurations. It investigates the regular motions of the stars in relation to each other and in relation to the earth. <> spherical position, spherical motion, eastern direction, western direction, northern direction, southern direction, the hemisphere that is above the earth, the hemisphere reported beneath the earth, circular number [the number of revolution], the precession or forward movement of the stars, the retrogression or backward movement of the stars, the pause of the stars, the correction of computed paths by addition or subtraction, the size of the sun, moon, and earth, eclipse and other phases that occur among these bodies. Spherical position is the position of a heavenly body on the celestial sphere. Spherical motion is that by which a sphere moves spherically [the sphere properly moves]. Eastern direction is that direction from which some stars rise. Western direction is that direction in which some stars set in our view. Northern direction is that direction which the sun reaches when the days are longer. Southern direction is that direction which the sun reaches when the nights are longer. The hemisphere that is above the earth is that [the] part of the sky which we can see completely. The hemisphere under the earth, as they say, cannot be seen as long as it is under the earth. The orbital number [number of the orbits] of the stars indicates how much time each star requires to complete its orbit whether in its right ascension or its declination. The precession or forward movement of the stars is what the Greeks call propadismon, i.e. when a star seems to carry [drive] its regular motion and goes somewhat beyond its usual path. The backward motion or regression of the stars is what the Greek call hypopadismon or anapodismon, i.e. when the star in carrying out its motion seems to be moving backward at the same time. The Greeks call the pause of the stars stirigmon because stars, although always in motion, yet [nevertheless] at certain places seem to stand still. Varro {in} the book that he wrote On Astrology says stars are named from standing still. The correction of a computation by addition occurs whenever astronomers add a calculation to a calculation according to the rules of astronomy. The correction of a computation by subtraction occurs when astronomers make a calculation according to the rules of astronomy and judge that a calculation must be subtracted from the computation. The size of the sun, moon and earth is dealt with to show that the sun is larger than the earth and the earth larger than the moon by a certain amount. An eclipse of the sun occurs as often as the moon itself appears to us on the thirtieth day and the sun is hidden from us by it, and an eclipse of the moon occurs whenever the moon comes into the shadow of the earth. 3. Men have written books in both languages on the discipline of astronomy; among them Ptolemy is regarded as preeminent among the Greeks. He published two books on the subject, the one of which he called the Lesser, the other the Greater Astronomy. He also set up the canons in which the movements of the stars are found. It seems to me useful to know the latitudes, to understand distance time, and the movement of the moon, to indicate their value in determining the date of Easter and the eclipses of the sun. Now these latitudes are like seven lines drawn east to west. In the regions these lines mark off where a variety of human and animal life appears. These latitudes are named for some famous places: (1) Meroe; (2) Syene; (3) Catachora, i.e. Africa; (4) Rhodes; (5) Hellespont; (6) Mesopontum; (7) Borysthenes. Sundials also which {yet} reckon by the brightness of the sun are set up according to certain rules that depend on the various latitudes. Earlier writers -- Ptolemy in particular -- usefully investigated this matter. 4. An additional benefit we should not overlook is the useful information this discipline provides about the right time for sailing, for plowing, the dog-star of summer, and the dangerous rains of autumn. The Lord gave some excellence to each of his creations which [so that] we may recognize [it may be recognized] without spiritual harm from its own nature. But other things that are connected with the knowledge of the stars, i.e. knowledge of the future, certainly run contrary to our belief and should be ignored as if they had never been written. On this subject the learned Father Basil in the sixth book {of those} he called the Hexameron dealt with these matters cautiously and diligently, and removed cares of this sort from the minds of men by holy argument. We recommended this work highly at the beginning of our discussion the Octateuch. Father Augustine in Book 2 of On Christian Learning also reminds us that this belief is related to the dangerous error of those who {foolishly} weave spells of the fates [foolish facts]. Consequently, if such a popular belief is not understood, it receives just and proper contempt. Varro, a careful writer, in his volume on Geometry compared the shape of the world to an elongated sphere, making its form like that of the egg which is round in its latitude but oblong in its length. However [But] it will be sufficient for us to know as much of this part [art] as Holy Scripture contains, because it is foolish to follow human reason in this matter on which we know and have as much divine teaching as is useful to us. {Now that we have completed the discussion of secular teaching, it is clear that these disciplines bring considerable usefulness to our understanding of divine law, as some of the holy Fathers also point out. Conclusion 1. I believe that with the Lord's aid we have fulfilled our promises to the best of our ability. Let us consider why this arrangement of the disciplines led up to the stars. The obvious purpose was to direct our mind, which has been dedicated to secular wisdom and cleansed by the exercise of the disciplines, from earthly things and to place it in a praiseworthy fashion in the divine structure. 2. Some have been led astray by the beauty and brilliance of the shining stars, and eagerly seek reasons for their own destruction. In their mental blindness they tripped over the motions of the stars and through dangerous calculations which are called astrology (mathesis) they were sure that they could foresee the course of events. Not only men of our own times, but also Plato, Aristotle, and other men of high intelligence, who are motivated by the truth in these particular matters, condemned, in full agreement, astrologers, saying that the only result of such a belief would be confusion. If the human race were forced by its birth to actions, why would good behavior gain praise or evil behavior come under the punishment of laws? And although these men were not dedicated to heavenly wisdom, they nevertheless, to bear witness to the truth, rightly attacked errors of those of whom the Apostle says: "You are observing days and months; I fear for you lest perhaps I have labored among you in vain." The Lord gives fuller command on this subject in Deuteronomy: "Let there not be found among you anyone who immolates his son or daughter in the fire nor a fortune teller, soothsayer, charmer, diviner, or caster of spells, nor one who consults ghosts or seeks oracles from the dead. Anyone who does such things is an abomination to the Lord your God." 3. Let us who truly desire to reach the heavens by the use of our mental faculties believe that God has arranged everything according to his will. Let us reject and condemn the vanities of this world. Let us, as we stated in the first book, look through the books of Divine Scripture, keeping a strict order. For by referring everything to the glory of the Creator, we may usefully bring to the mysteries on high that understanding those men have vainly sought in trying to gain human praise. As blessed Augustine and other most learned Fathers say, secular writings should not be rejected. It is right however, as Divine Scripture says, to "meditate on the law day and night," because from time to time we gain from secular letters commendable knowledge of some matters, but from divine letters we gain eternal life. 4. Anyone fired with love for heaven and stripped of earthly desires, who wishes to look at the excellences on high should read the Apocalypse of St. John. Fixed in contemplation of it, he will know the Lord Christ who by his providence conceived so many marvelous works, arranged them rationally, completed them with his excellence, and supports them now with the divine spirit, frightens them by his power, controls them by his faithfulness; incomprehensible, ineffable, and known more fully to no one else than to himself. He will also recognize that the Lord sits on his majestic throne, advises the churches through his holy angels, threatens the evil with punishment, promises rewards to the good, and is reverently worshipped with the greatest awe by all the elders, the archangels and the army of the entire heavenly host; and it is their particular and specific duty to sing in harmony with eternal unwearied reference the glory of the holy Trinity. He also knows this world is ruled by the Lord's sway, and, at the end of the world, when the Lord wishes, it will be changed for the better. The dead will rise when the angels sound their trumpets, and the human race which has been buried in long infirmity will be restored in a new life. He is terrible and fearsome; after destroying the son of iniquity he will come with thunder and lightning before him to judge the world. He will reveal his powers which in his first coming he did not show everywhere because of his future plan. The reader will know afterwards that the Church, freed from such great labors and calamities, will rejoice forever with the Lord whose justice will condemn those who followed the devil's justice. Truly he will be filled with great exultation since he will be perfected by a vision of these things. After these events there will be, as is written, "a new heaven and a new earth"; if only we believe this firmly and securely, we will arrive at the sight of that glory by the grace of Christ. 5. But if in this world we wish to be filled with a greater light so that even while we are here we can taste the sweetness of the life to come, let us consider, with as much awe and admiration as human mind is capable of, how the holy Trinity distinct in persons but inseparably connected and consubstantial in nature operates within the universe its creation and is everywhere entire; second, how it does not cease to be present although it is absent in evil; third, that the divine substance is beyond all light and its brightness is specific and cannot as it now is be fully grasped by any of its creations. As the Apostle says, "We shall see him just as he is"; fourth, the nature of compassion that is in Christ the king; that the Lord of angels did not disdain to assume the human condition, but, the life of all, chose to undergo the punishment of the cross. To enable the human race to conquer death, he, who cannot die, deigned to die in the flesh he had assumed -- there are other things which various Fathers, filled with divine spirit, have written truly on this subject. 6. On these and like matters indeed all wonder fails, all human investigation surrenders. These are the delights of Christians; this is the great consolation of the sorrowful, since we drive from us the devil and his works by the single-minded consideration of these matters with the Lord's aid. Nevertheless, these things must be regarded with such awe that they are believed continually and without doubt; we must admit that these matters are beyond us, so that in every way they remain fixed in our minds. For although our minds may depart from such considerations, our Father must not in any way be in doubt. When in his generosity we shall see him, we shall be granted what we cannot achieve here. We shall know without doubt to the best of our ability; we shall see by his kindness insofar as he has granted us the capacity. As the Apostle says: "We now see through a mirror in an obscure manner, but then face to face." 7. What is the meaning of this statement that the face of God is promised to the blessed, although He is shaped by no difference in parts? Certainly the face of God is the knowledge of his excellence which we must adore, the holy statement of the divine light, the particular greatness of his omnipotence, such great purity of justice, that all other justice compared to his is trivial, unchangeable in the strength of truth, the balanced harmony of patience, the infinite fullness of goodness, the amazing order of his plan, his marvelous glory and exceptional benevolence. O great joy of the faithful, to whom it is promised to see the Lord "as he is"; since they believe most reverently in him, they are already filled with the great hope of blessedness. What will the sight we believe in add when he has already given such great things? Indeed it is a gift beyond value to see the Creator, from whom everything that has life gains its life, from whom everything that exists has its knowledge, from whom everything that has been created is directed, from whom whatever has been restored to the better rises and is repaired, from whom whatever is sought for salvation comes, from whom the virtues proceed by which the world itself is overcome. Although he gives support, and as pious judge governs all things in a way we cannot tell of, these will be the sweetest gifts when the merciful Redeemer deigns to appear to us. Such things as these that can be thought about that majesty are what the Apostle calls the face of God. 8. Grant we ask, O Lord, the most glorious holiness of this vision, so that you do not allow those in whom you have stirred up such great desire to be deprived of this goodness. Grant us sight of you who live forever, who deigned to die for us; let us see the glory of your majesty, you who wished to appear humble in our flesh. For to this world was granted that you looked kindly on your servants; but this world did not receive the ability to look fully and clearly on your countenance. Be sure, O Lord, to confer these things on those who believe in you, on whom you have bestowed all benefits. 9. On this subject, most beloved brothers, Father Augustine is as usual helpful to the faithful. He presented a full and wonderful discussion of it in the book that he wrote to Paulina On Seeing God. At the end of it he discussed clearly and briefly how God is seen. Let us not, therefore, put blind faith in our merits but in the grace of the Lord, and continually ask that sight of him be given to us. He generously made a three-fold promise to his people when he says: "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you." From that, most dear brothers, it turns out that we truly deserve to come to heaven rather by the Lord's generosity than by the way in which the pagans falsely believed they could raise themselves to the structure on high. We may perhaps have exceeded the measure of the book; but in comparison with Genesis and Exodus and other books, these books, which we consider long, are short.} [After the standard explicit MS B adds: "The archetype codex according to whose exemplars the rest of the codices are to be corrected." And then, "Since the two books of the Institutiones which briefly considered divine and human readings have been assembled, as far as I thought, and carefully treated, it is time that we now should read the edifying rules of the ancients, i.e. the introductory codex, which serves as a noble and beneficial introduction to sacred readings."]