The paper treats a medieval text – Vita Donati grammatici (ed. Hagen, GL VIII, cclix-cclx), containing biographical information concerning Aelius Donatus, a Roman grammarian of late antiquity (4th century) and compiled by Carolingian scholar Flaccus Rebius (9th century). The history of the scholarship of this text, as well as its contents, possible reasons of creation, its genre, and some eccentric and parodical features.
Remigius of Auxerre’s commentary on Bede’s De arte metrica provides us with an intriguing look at how this seminal work on metrics was understood in the 9th century. Remigius’s commentary mainly consists of lexical glosses and etymological information. When it comes to the work’s scholarly content, Remigius does not contest even Bede’s most extravagant claims, implying that by his time they were universally accepted, including Bede’s artificial dichotomy of ‘Christian’ and ‘pagan’ metrics. Remigius’s modest attempts at correcting Bede are limited to minor prosodic and terminological issues, and even there he conscientiously avoids directly challenging Bede’s authority.
In modern histories of confession and penance, the impact of Irish influence is given much of the credit for moving the sacrament from the public sphere to the private, not only in the British Isles, but throughout Christendom. Unsurprisingly, the Irish interest in penance and in the type of literature called penitentials is easy to see in certain early Old English penitentials. While Irish practices had a huge impact on the Anglo-Saxon church in its first couple centuries, by at least the early 9th century, the English had come under the strong influence of the Carolingian Reform movement. Much of this movement focused on the strengthening of religious institutions and the rooting out of local idiosyncrasies through codifying proper practices and making them public. In this paper, I intend to look at the impact of laws emanating from Carolingian councils on the development of the Old English penitential. I intend to focus on five works: the Scriftboc, the Canons of Theodore, the Old English Penitential, the Old English Introduction, and the Old English Handbook. I will look for the influence of Carolingian legislation on how these penitentials tried to shape the practice of confession and penance, particularly in comparison to the influence of older Irish works. I plan to pay special attention to the Carolingian attempt to re-introduce public penance.