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Virgil the Grammarian and Bede: a preliminary study

  • Damian Bracken


The chapters in Bede's De temporum ratione begin with an etymology for the name of the subject to be examined. Sources and analogues for some have not hitherto been identified. This article shows that some of these etymologies of words for the divisions of time come ultimately, though perhaps not directly, from bk XI of Virgil the Grammarian's Epitomae. These accounts of the origins of calendrical and cosmological terms wound their way through early western computistical works and eventually into Bede's De temporum ratione. The article identifies examples of Virgil's influence on anonymous early medieval biblical commentaries and discusses their significance as pointers towards their place of composition.


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Anglo-Saxon England
  • ISSN: 0263-6751
  • EISSN: 1474-0532
  • URL: /core/journals/anglo-saxon-england
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