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  • Alcuin as a PoetRhetoric and Belief in his Latin Verse
  • Peter Dale Scott (bio)
Peter Dale Scott

Assistant Professor, Department of Speech, University of California at Berkeley


1. Cf. R. R. Bolgar, The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries (Cambridge, 1954): “To be viable, a system of educational training must possess a certain internal harmony. The student must not be troubled by being taught contradictory notions of the world, mutually exclusive values, or incompatible tastes. That type of harmony the Anglo-Saxon schools certainly achieved” (102). Cf. 103: “What they did was to simplify the teaching of grammar and versification so as to bring these subjects within the grasp of students who had needed to start Latin from the beginning.”

2. Roger Hinks, in Carolingian Art (London, 1935) refers to a “sudden and successful resuscitation of the antique style about the year 800 both in book-painting and ivory-carving” (110). It is Hinks’s thesis that “the history of medieval art in western Europe starts as an organic growth from the Carolingian Renascence at the end of the eighth century. Until that date the Christian narrative and didactic art of the Mediterranean world had never fused completely with the ornamental and non-representational art of the Celtic and Germanic north. This process took place during the ninth century in the workshops attached to the court of Charles the Great” (ix).

3. George Boas, Essays on Primitivista and Related Ideas in the Middle Ages (Baltimore, 1948), 63.

4. Edited by Dümmler, Neues Archiv XI (Hanover, 1886) 773–91 (90). I have slightly augmented his notes: 92; Calp. Ecl. I, 42, Aurea secura cum pace rcnascitur aetas. 97: Verg. Geo. IV, 184; Omnibus una quies operum. 98: Aen. X, 209, caerula… freta (Ov. Ep. XV. 65); cp. Ecl. I, 136, alnos… sensere cavaras; Aen. III, 191, cava trabe. 99: Ov. Ep. 1, 59, peregrinam littora puppim Ov. Met. I, 96, Nullaque mortales praeter sua litora norant. 100: Ov. Met. VI, 396, Fertilis… terra; Verg. Geo. III, 225, Ov. Ep. IX, 155, ignotis… in oris. 101: Ecl. IV, 39, Mutabit merces, omnis feret omnia tellus (Ov. Met. I, 102). 102: Aen. VIII, 67, ima petens (Ov. Met. II, 265); Ov. Met. I, 150, terras reliquit. 104: Alcuin LVIII, 32, Divitias cumulat. 105–6: Ov. Fast. II, 295, Nullus anhelabat sub adunco vomere taurus; Ex P. III, 7, 15, taurus… Subtrahit et duro colla… iugo; Met. IX, 186, validi pressistis cornua tauri; Art. I, 414, Rem. 172, vomer aduncus, Drac. II, 433, Vomere non terram proscinderet, cp. Theod. XXVIII, 61, vomer… uncus. 107: Ov. Met. I, 109, Mox etiam fruges tellus inarata ferebat. 108: Verg. Geo. I, 96, Ov. Am. III, 10.3, Flava Ceres; Verg. Geo. I, 348, Ov. Fast. V, 357, maturis albescit… aristis.

5. Alcuin Carm. XXIII, ed. Dümmler, Poetarum Latinarum Medii Aevi Tom. I (henceforward MGH Poetae I) (Berlin, 1881) 243–4. Notes: 1: Alc. XXXIV. 3, O mea cara domus, habitado dulcis, amata. 2: Alc. XII. 4, Semper in aeternum, Lucia virgo, vale!; XXXVII. 2, Semper in aeternum, dulcis Homere, vale; XXV. 11, Semper in aeternum domino miserante valete; cf. e.g. XXIV.1, XXVII.2, 13, XXVII.9–10, IX.240, XV.1, XXVIII.25. 3: Georg. II. 81, ramis felicibus arbos; Beda de die Iud. 2, resonantibus undique ramis; cf. 1, florígeras… herbas; Aen. V. 287–8, undique… cingebaut silvae; Fort. VI. i. 18, undique cinxerunt cf. Angilbert (?) II.98, Undique cingantur; Aedilvulf XXII.28, cingentes undique; Ov. Tr. III.1.40, Fast. VII.1.4; cingit… arbor. 5: Fort. III.ix.12, prata virent herbis. 6: Aen. X.395, dextera quaerit; Fort. V.xvii.6, Dagulf (MGH Poetae I 93) Alc. XLIII.8, LXXVI.ii.12, Salutis ope. 10: Drac. Epith. VI.8, Fort. II. ix. 24. Paulin VI.1.108, Aq. 1.60, lilia mixta rosis; Aen. VI.708–9, Drac. 1.68, candida… lilia. 11: Beda VSC XLIV.12, matutinas… laudes. 12: Alc. XXXIV. 6, In te discatur sophia sacra patrum. 14: Alc. XXI.30, Sacro… ore. 15: Ov. Rem. 189, temporibus certis. 18: Alc. IX.191 (cf. IX.13), Plango tuos casus; LVII.37, Plange tuos casus. 21...


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