More than Roman Salt: Sallust, Caesar and Cato in Twelfth- and Early Thirteenth- Century Moral Thought

Philippa Byrne

Abstract


This paper examines one of the ways in which the classical historian Sallust was read in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and what this reveals about medieval moral thought. In this period, Sallust’s discussion of the character and virtues of Julius Caesar and Cato the Younger became a focus for annotation and commentary. Caesar and Cato were read as the embodiment of contrasting, even opposed, ideas of moral virtue — one liberal and forgiving, the other just and unbending. As medieval commentators recognised, both men embodied Roman virtue, but neither could be straightforwardly imitated. Medieval authors who considered the deeds of these two great Romans were obliged to address how the exercise of virtue was conditioned by circumstance and emphasised the importance of heeding counsel and engaging in debate before taking action. As a result, moral thought in this period can be seen as more contingent and pragmatic and less absolutist than it is sometimes supposed to have been.

Keywords


Sallust; julius Caesar; Cato the Younger; virtue; morality

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bernard of Utrecht. Accessus ad auctores. Ed. R. B. C. Huygens. Leiden: Brill, 1970.

Boje Mortensen, Lars. ‘The Texts and Contexts of Ancient Roman History in Twelfth-Century Western Scholarship’. In Perceptions of the Past in Twelfth-Century Europe. Ed. Paul Magdalino, 99–116. London: Hambledon Press, 1992.

Bouchard, Constance. “Every Valley Shall Be Exalted”: The Discourse of Opposites in Twelfth-Century Thought. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003.

Byrne, Philippa. Justice and Mercy: Moral Theology and the Exercise of Law in Twelfth-Century England. Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2018.

Cardelle de Hartmann, Carmen. ‘Sallust im St. Emmeram: Handschriften und Kommentaire in der Bibliothek des Klosters St. Emmeram (Regensburg)’. Journal of Medieval Latin 18 (2008): 1–23.

Cicero. De officiis. Trans. Walter Miller. London: Heinemann, 1913.

Copeland, Rita. ‘The Curricular Classics in the Middle Ages’. In The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, Volume 1, 800–1558. Ed. Rita Copeland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Cosmas of Prague. The Chronicle of the Czechs. Trans. Lisa Wolverton.Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2009.

Delhaye, Philippe. ‘Une adaptation du “De officiis” au XIIe siècle: Le “Moralium dogma philosophorum”’. Recherches de théologie ancienne et médiévale 16 (1949): 227–58.

Diceto, Ralph. Abbrevationes chronicorum, Rolls Series 58. Ed. W. Stubbs. London: Longmans, 1876.

Franks, Christopher A. ‘Aristotelian Doctrines in Aquinas’s Treatment of Justice’. In Aristotle in Aquinas's Theology. Ed. Gilles Emery and Matthew Levering, 139–66. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.

Gerald of Wales. The Conquest of Ireland. Ed. A. B. Scott and Francis X. Martin. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1978.

Gianferrari, Filippo. ‘Pro patria mori: From the Disticha Catonis to Dante's Cato’. Dante Studies 135 (2017): 1–30.

Gillingham, John. The English in the Twelfth Century. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2000.

Hamacher, Johannes. Florilegium Gallicum. Bern: Herbert Lang, 1975.

Hazelton, Richard. ‘The Christianization of “Cato”: the Disticha Catonis in the Light of Late Medieval Commentaries’. Mediaeval Studies 19 (1957): 157–73/

John of Salisbury. Policraticus. Ed. K. S. B. Keats-Rohan. Turnholt: Brepols, 1993.

Malaterra, Geoffrey. De rebus gestis Rogerii. Ed. Ernesto Pontieri. Bologna: N. Zanichelli, 1927–8.

Minnis, Alistair. Medieval Theory of Authorship. London: Scolar Press, 1984.

Minnis, Alastair, and A. B. Scott. Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism c. 1100–c. 1375. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991.

Munk Olsen, Birger. ‘Les classiques latins dans les florilèges médiévaux antérieurs au XIIIe siècle’. Revue d'histoire des textes 9 (1979): 47–121.

——— ‘La diffusion et l'étude des historiens antiques au XIIe siècle’. In Mediaeval Antiquity. Ed. Andries Welkenhuysen et al., 21–43. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 1995.

Nederman, Cary J. ‘Beyond Stoicism and Aristotelianism: John of Salisbury’s Skepticism and Twelfth-Century Moral Philosophy’. In Virtue and Ethics in the Twelfth Century. Ed. István Bejczy and Richard Newhauser, 175–95. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

Osmond, Patricia J. ‘“Princeps Historiae Romanae”: Sallust in Renaissance Political Thought’. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome (1995): 101–43.

——— ‘Catiline in Fiesole and Florence: The After-Life of a Roman Conspirator’. International Journal of the Classical Tradition 7 (2000): 3–38.

Osmond, Patricia J., and Robert W. Ulery. ‘Sallustius’. In Catalogus translationum et commentariorum: Medieval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries, 8, 183–326. Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2003.

Rahewin of Freising. Ottonis Et Rahewini Gesta Friderici I. Imperatoris. Ed. G. Waitz. Hannover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1884.

Ray, Roger D. ‘Orderic Vitalis and William of Poitiers: A Monastic Reinterpretation of William the Conqueror’. Revue belge de Philologie et d’Histoire 50 (1972): 1116–27.

Rolfe, J. C., ed. Catiline. London: Heinemann, 1931.

Rouse, Richard H. “‘Florilegia’ and Latin Classical Authors in Twelfth and Thirteenth Century Orléans’. Viator 10 (1979): 131–160.

Schmidt, Paul G. ‘The Commentator Knows Better than the Author’. Journal of Medieval Latin 18 (2009): 117–29.

Schneider, Robert J. ‘Vincent of Beauvais, Dominican Author: From Compilatio to Tractatus’. In Lector et compilator: Vincent de Beauvais, frère prêcheur, un intellectuel et son milieu au XIIIe siècle. Ed. by Marie-Christine Duchenne et al., 97–111. Grâne: Editions Créaphis, 1997.

Schuler, Stefan. ‘Exerptoris morum genere. Zur Kompilation und Rezeption klassich-lateinischer Dichter im Speculum historiale des Vinzenz von Beauvais’. Frühmittelalterliche Studien 29 (1995): 312–48.

Smalley, Beryl. ‘Sallust in the Middle Ages’. In Classical Influences on European Culture A.D. 500 to 1500. Ed. R. R. Bolgar, 165–76. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971.

Suerbaum, Almut. ‘The Middle Ages’. In A Companion to Julius Caesar. Ed. Miriam Griffin. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.

Turner, Andrew J. ‘Reading Sallust in Twelfth-Century Flanders’. International Journal of the Classical Tradition 21 (2014): 198–222.

Ullmann, B. L. ‘Classical Authors in Certain Medieval Florilegia’. Classical Philology 27 (1932): 1–42.

Vincent of Beauvais. Speculum quadruplex, sive, Speculum maius: naturale, doctrinale, morale, historiale, 4 vols. Duaci: ex officina typographica Baltazaris Belleri, 1964-65.

Whitbread, Leslie G. ‘Conrad of Hirsau as Literary Critic’. Speculum 47 (1972): 234–45.

William of Conches. Das Moralium dogma philosophorum des Guillaume de Conches, lateinisch, altfranzösich und mittelniederfränkisch, herausgegeben. Ed. John Holmberg. Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells boktryckeri, 1929.

William of Poitiers. The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers. Trans. R. H. C. Davis. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998.

Williams, John R. ‘The Quest for the Author of the Moralium Dogma Philosophorum, 1931–1956’. Speculum 32 (1957): 736–47.

Willoughby, James. ‘The Transmission and Circulation of Classical Literature’. In The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature, Volume 1, 800–1558. Ed. Rita Copeland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Winkler, Emily A. ‘The Norman Conquest of the Classical Past: William of Poitiers, Language and History’. Journal of Medieval History 42 (2016): 456–78.

Winterbottom, Michael. ‘The Gesta regum of William of Malmesbury’. Journal of Medieval Latin 5 (1995): 158–73.

Wipo. Gesta Chonradi II. Imperatoris, in Wiponis Opera, ed. by H. Bresslau. Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1915.

Wolverton, Lisa. Cosmas of Prague: Narrative, Classicism, Politics. Washington DC: Catholic University of America Press, 2015.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


All articles and reviews published by Ceræ: An Australasian Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies are published under a CC BY-NC-ND license, unless otherwise specified.