Sei sulla pagina 1di 27

Micrologus

Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies

XXV

Ideas o f H arm ony


in Medieval Culture and Society

л- Ä . .

*I·.
■ T .* ■•.w*
M L P *

:
ЙР iV ii * 4 ' ~J f j
:··.-V: :· * .
··. · - j

SISM EL
E D I Z IO N I D E L G A L L U Z Z O 2017
M icrologus
J o u rn a l o f th e SISM E L
( S o c i e t à I n t e r n a z io n a le p e r lo S t u d io d e l M e d i o e v o L a tin o )

S c ien tific e d ito r: A g o s t in o P a r a v ic in i B a g lia n i (S I S M E L , F ir e n z e )

A D V IS O R Y B O A R D

B e r n a r d A n d e n m a tte n (L ausan ne ), J e a n -P a tr ic e B o u d e t (Paris), C h a rle s


B u r n e t t ( L o n d o n ), J a c q u e s C h if f o le a u ( A v ig n o n ) , C h ia r a C r is c ia n i ( P a via ),
P a o lo G a llu z z i (F ir e n z e ),T u llio G r e g o r y ( R o m a ), R u e d i Im b a c h (Lausanne),
D a n ie lle J a c q u a r t (Paris), M ic h a e l M c V a u g h ( C h a p e l H ill, N C , U S A ) , P ie r o
M o r p u r g o ( V ic e n z a ), M ic h e l P a sto u r e a u (Paris), M ic h e la P ereira ( S I S M E L ) ,
F r a n c e sc o S a n d ( C a s s in o ), J e a n - C la u d e S c h m itt (Paris), G ia c in ta S p in o sa
( R o m a ), G io r g io S ta b ile ( R o m a ), J e a n -Y v e s T illie t t e (G e n è v e ), B a u d o u in Van
d e n A b e e le ( B r u x e l l e s - L o u v a i n - l a - N e u v e ) , J e a n W ir t h (Maisons-Laffitte)

I S S N 1 1 2 3 -2 5 6 0

I S B N 9 7 8 -8 8 -8 4 5 0 -7 3 4 -1

M ic r o lo g u s is a p e e r - r e v ie w e d j o u r n a l
Micrologus
N a tu re , Sciences an d M e d ie v a l S ocieties

XXV · 2017 Ideas o f H arm ony


in M edieval Culture and Society

FIRENZE
SISMEL · E D IZ IO N I DEL G ALLUZZO
A ll m a n u sc r ip ts , b o o k s an d o f f-p r in t s s h o u ld b e m a ile d to th e
S IS M E L , V ia M o n t e b e llo 7 - 1-50123 F ir e n z e
te l. + 3 9 .0 5 5 .2 0 4 8 5 0 1 /2 0 4 9 7 4 9 - fa x + 3 9 .0 5 5 .2 3 0 2 8 3 2
-m ail: s e g r e te r ia .s is m e l@ s is m e lfir e n z e .it / a g o stin o .p a r a v ic in i@ u n il.c h
h t t p : //w w w .s is m e lf ir e n z e .it

L a y o u t : G io r g i o G r illo
E d i t i n g : S ilv ia A g n o l e t t i

O R D E R S A N D S U B S C R IP T IO N S
S IS M E L ' E D I Z I O N I D E L G A L L U Z Z O
c.p. 90 1-50023 Tavarnuzze-Firenze
ph one +39.055.237.45.37 · fax +39.055.237.34.54
galluzzo@ sism el.it · order@ sismel.it
w w w .sism el.it

All articles o f M icrologus are available online: w w w .m irabilew eb.it

E d i to r : A g o s t in o P a r a v ic in i B a g lia n i (F i r e n z e )

© 2017 - SISMEL - E D IZ IO N I DEL G A LLU ZZ O


A ll rig h ts rese rv e d . N o p a rt o f th is p u b lic a tio n m ay b e r e p r o d u c e d , sto re d in a re trie v a l sy stem
o r tra n s m itte d , in any f o rm o r by a n y m e a n s, e le c tro n ic , m e c h a n ic a l, p h o to c o p y in g , r e c o rd in g ,
o r o th e rw is e , w it h o u t th e p r io r p e rm is s io n o f th e p u b lis h e r
CONTENTS

ID E A S O F H A R M O N Y
IN M E D IE V A L C U L T U R E A N D S O C IE T Y

VII O l e g V o s k o b o y n ik o v , L e M o y e n A g e en qu ê te de l ’h a rm o n ie

3 C e c i l i a P a n t i, B o e th iu s a n d P t o l e m y on H a r m o n y , H a r m o n ic s a n d
H u m a n M usic

37 V arvara Z h a r k a y a , T h e c hallenged H a r m o n y B y z a n t i n e D i s p u t e ov er
the Form o f the U n iv e rse

47 V a le r y V. P e t r o f f , « A r m o n ia r e r u m » in J o h n S c o t t u s ’ A u la e s id e r e a e

67 J e a n - P a t r ic e B o u d e t , L ’harm onie du m on d e dans le D e ra d iis attribué


à al-K in d t

87 A n n a L it v in a - F j o d o r U s p e n s k i j , D y n a s t i e P o w e r a n d N a m e - g i v i n g
Principles in K i e v a n a n d M u s c o v i t e R u s ’ ( 1 0 ^ - 1 6 th C e n t u r ie s )

107 A g o s t in o P a r a v ic in i B a g lia n i, L a p a p a u t é m é d ié v a le et le concept


d ’h arm on ie

121 Ir e n e C a ia z z o , H a r m o n i e et m a th é m a tiq u e dans le cosmos du X I I e siècle

149 F r a n c e s c o S a n ti, H o w , w h e n a n d w h y the so -c a lle d C h i r p i n g o f B irds


p o i n t e d o u t the H a r m o n y o f the W o r ld

16 9 O l e g V o s k o b o y n ik o v , D e u x h arm on ies en c om paraison: M i c h e l Scot et


Grégo ire du M o n t Sacré

197 N i c o l a s W e ill- P a r o t , N a t u r e un ive rse lle et h a r m o n ie du m o n d e ( X I I I e-


X I V e siècle)

V
CONTENTS

223 J e a n W i r t h , L a n o tion m é d ié v a le d ’h a rm o n ie et ses ap p lic a tio n s a r tis ­


tiqu es

243 M a r ia S o r o k in a , L e ciel des e m p y ré es une f o n c t io n ha r m o n iq u e ? U n


d é b a t th é olo giqu e au X I I I e siècle

3°3 T iz ia n a S u a r e z - N a n i , L e s anges et les d e u x , f i g u r e s de l ’h arm on ie


universelle

321 M ik h a il K h o r k o v , H a r m o n y o f In tellect a n d D i s h a r m o n y o f S o u l in
G e r m a n M y s t i c a l T e x t s o f the L a t e M i d d l e A g e s

335 M ik h a il B o y t s o v , S e e k in g f o r H a r m o n y after C h a o s P o litic a l C e r e ­


m o n ies in the F irst « C e r e m o n ia l S e c tio n » o f the G o l d e n B u l l o f 1 3 5 6

355 D a n i e l l e J a c q u a r t, L ’h arm on ie des p a r t i e s du corps entre M o y e n A g e et


R e n a issa n c e

373 M ik h a il S h u m i l in , « A t u id e te q u a m concinne». C h a n g i n g A t t i t u d e s to
M e tr ic a l H a r m o n y in G i o v a n n i P o n t a n o ’s A c t iu s

391 G a lin a Z e le n i n a , H a r m o n i z i n g the S p a n i s h In q u i s i t io n in C a s t i l i a n


a n d S e p h a r d i H is to r ic a l Schem es a n d in M e s s ia n ic Scenarios

413 O lg a T o g o e v a , Sorcellerie com m e dish a r m o n ie d ans l ’un ivers de J e a n


Bodin

429 K a tr in B a u e r , H o w to im a g in e the H a r m o n y o f the W o r l d in the S e v ­


en tee n th C e n t u r y T h e H a r m o n ic e m u n d i b y J o h a n n e s K e p l e r

In d e x e s

451 I n d e x o f n am es a n d p laces, b y A g o s t in o P a r a v ic in i B a g lia n i a n d O l e g


V o s k o b o y n ik o v

461 I n d e x o f m a n u scripts, b y A g o s t in o P a r a v ic in i B a g lia n i

VI
V a le ry V . P e tr o ff

« A R M O N I A R E R U M » IN J O H N S C O T T U S ’ A U L A E S I D E R E A E

John S co ttu s’ p o e m A u la e sidereae («Starry tem p le/co u rt» , c. 869-


7 7 )1 was supposedly w ritten in response to Charles the B ald’s plans
to construct at C o m p ièg n e a n e w church w h ic h cou ld rival A ach en ’s
Palatine C hapel o f C harlem agne, his g loriou s grandfather2. It
describes real or im aginary C hristm as mass served by Charles the
Bald in an ideal tem ple. B y m eans o f sophisticated p oetical sym bol­
ism John Scottus proposes m ultilayer v isio n o f the harm onic universe
the hearth o f w h ic h constitutes an ideal tem ple. M o st probably, the
n ew church o f K ing Charles was still o n ly a project w h e n John S cot­
tus was co m p o sin g his p o em . T h is allow ed John Scottus the liberty to
propose a b u ilding program , his o w n ideas co n cern in g w hat a royal
tem ple sh ould be. T h e A u la e sidereae provided Charles the Bald w ith
a plan and design o f an im perial tem p le w h ich co m b in ed the features
o f B iblical tem p le o f S o lo m o n (as represented in the E z e k ie l’s
v isio n )3 and A a ch en ’s palatine church. M oreover, John Scottus m ade
this church a co rn er-sto n e o f the universe centered around the ideal
tem p le and its m ain figure — the w o u ld -b e em peror Charles.
A stronom y, arithm ology, the sacred history, and esch atology are
in terw oven in A u la e sidereae’s w orldview . T h e p o e m ’s p rologue
depicts cosm os and its ruler, the Sun, that travels through the cardi­
nal signs o f the zodiac in the course o f the year. O n a th eo lo g ica l
and m etaphysical level, these calendar m om en ts co in cid e w ith the

1. C ritica l e d itio n s o f th e p o e m : Iohannis Scotti Eriugenae Carmina, ed . M . W.


H erren , D u b lin 1993, 116-20; Iohannis Scotti Carmina, ed . L. Traube, B e rlin 1896
(M o n u m e n ta G erm an iae H isto ric a . P o eta e L atini aevi C arolin i, 3), 550-52.
2. M . H er re n , «E riu gen a’s A ula e sidereae, th e C odex Aureus and th e P alatine
C h u rch o f St. M ary at C o m p iè g n e » , Studi Medievali, 28 (1987), 593-608; V.
P etroff, A ula e sidereae. T h e W orld b y E riu g en a , M . A . thesis d e fe n d e d at the
C en tral E u rop ean U n iv ersity , B u d a p est (1996).
3. E z 4 0 -4 2 .

«M icrologu s» X X V (2017), SISM E L E d iz io n i d el G allu zzo, 2017


ISSN 1123-2560 · ISBN 978-88-8450-734-1
VALERY V. PETR O FF

events o f the sacred history: the c o n c e p tio n and birth o f Jesus C hrist
and John the Precursor o ccu r under these zodiac signs. T h e cosm ic
harm ony is m anifest w h e n the order o f things sings along (concinit)
to w h at is told by Scripture ( mundus gestans sym bola C h risti). T h e
d ivin e deeds are h arm on ized by m eans o f the octaves (octonus numerus
divinos sym fonat a c tu s).T h e term octava to o has m ultiple m ean in g and
im p ortance in the A u la e sidereae (astronom ical, calendar, liturgical,
m usical, arithm ological): the universal co n cord sym b olized by the
harp o f K in g D avid ( nabla sonorum) to o is arranged by the octaves.

The harm ony o f H istory and the Bible

In the A u la e sidereae (v. 85-100) John Scottus deliberately draws


parallels b e tw e e n C harles’ church and the B iblical tem ple o f
S o lo m o n 4. A rchitectural or artistic details described in the p o e m are,
for m ost part, archetypical and refer to the descrip tion o f the tem ple
built in Jerusalem by S o lo m o n (as represented in i K ings 6 -7 , 2
C hron. 3-4, and E zek iel 40-4 3 ). B o th churches w ere houses o f G od
built by m ig h ty and w ise kings near their o w n p alaces5. Rem arkably,
«Solom on» was a w e ll-k n o w n ep ith et o f E riu gen a’s royal patron,
Charles the Bald.
T h ere are references to A ach en too. First, the A ach en basilica was
o f special im p ortan ce to the p o e m ’s addressee, Charles the B a ld 6. In
addition, the A achen chapel was the m ost p rom in en t o f the im perial
buildings, b e in g the sym bolic centre o f the C arolingian em pire,
w h ere the h igh throne o f C harlem agne was p la ce d 7. T h e exterior

4. Y. C h riste, «S ain te-M arie de C o m p iè g n e et le te m p le d ’H é z é c h ie l» , in


Jean Scot Érigène et l ’Histoire de la Philosophie, ed. R . R o q u e s , Paris 1977, 47 8 -7 9 .
For a broader c o n te x t see S .S .T u ell, «E zek iel 4 0 -4 2 as Verbal Icon », The Catholic
Biblical Quarterly, 5 8 /4 (1996), 64 9 -6 4 .
5. 2 Par 8:1: «aedificavit S a lo m o n d o m u m D o m in i et d o m u m suam»; 2 Par
7:11: « c o m p lev it S a lo m o n d o m u m D o m in i et d o m u m regis». S u ch an in te rp re ­
ta tio n su pp orts th e o p in io n that th e ch u rch in q u estio n w as to b e c o n str u c ted
at C o m p iè g n e in th e resid en ce o f K in g C harles.
6. P. E . D u tto n , E. Jeau n eau , «T h e Verses o f th e C odex Aureus o f Saint
E m m eran », Studi medievali, 2 4 /1 (1983), 115-20.
7. P. E . D u tto n , The Politics o f Dreaming in the Carolingian Empire, L o n d o n
1994, 53; Id ., Charlemagne’s Moustache and Other Cultural Clusters o f a Dark Age,
N e w York 2009, 121-22.

48
«A R M O N IA RERU M » IN JO H N SC O T T U S’ A U L A E SID E R E A E

and in terior design o f an ideal im perial church had, for C arolingian


intellectuals, b e c o m e inevitably associated w ith that o f A achen. Like
the church in the A u la e sidereae the A a ch en chapel was dedicated to
the h o n o r o f the V irgin; and like S o lo m o n ’s tem ple, w h ic h was lik e­
w ise located near the h ou se o f the king, the A achen «basilica» c o n ­
stituted a part o f C h arlem agn e’s im perial palace. T h e ch ap el’s core
was octagon al (w h ich m igh t also indicate its im perial character)8,
and the church in the p o e m also had πολύγωνος fle x u s (v. 88).
T here is probably o n e further, and h eretofore u n n o ticed , refer­
en ce to A ach en in the A u la e sidereae. Verse 94 o f the p o e m clearly
speaks about «sursum deorsum p op u los altaria circum », and this
extraordinary detail again alludes to A ix -la -C h a p elle, w h ere C harle­
m agne, from his throne in the tribune over the m ain portal, cou ld
w atch tw o liturgies b ein g served sim u ltaneously on tw o levels, on e
above the o th e r 9. It is w o rth m e n tio n in g that am on g the m odels
w h ic h John S cottus m ig h t fo llo w d escrib ing the church in terior are
B e d e ’s D e tabernaculo and D e tem plo, as also A lc u in ’s verse inscrip­
tions for the altars and churches ded icated to V irgin M a r y I0.
B e lo w I w ill observe the ways Joh n Scottus understands harm ony
in his p o e m w ith special em phasis o n his sources and predecessors.
Particularly, I am g o in g to indicate close affinity b etw ee n represen­
tations o f the Sun in A u la e sidereae’s astronom ical p rologu e and
p h ilosop h ical hym ns o f Late A ntiquity, p o in tin g ou t M artianus
C apella’s D e nuptiis as his direct source. It w ill be suggested that

8. O n e o f th e first d e sc r ip tio n s o f a C h ristian o c ta g o n a l ch u rch b u ilt b y th e


em p eror is fo u n d in th e third b o o k o f E u seb iu s’ Life o f Constantine. In ch . 50
E u seb iu s rep orts that in A n tio c h C o n sta n tin e c o n secra ted a ch u rch o f surpass­
in g size and b ea u ty w h ic h w as « o f an o c ta g o n a l fo r m (έν οκταέδρου μεν
συνεστώ τα σχήματι), and su rrou n d ed o n all sides b y m an y cham bers, cou rts, and
up p er and lo w e r apartm ents». S ee E u seb iu s, T h e Life o f C o n sta n tin e. B o o k III,
ch . 50. Trans. E. C . R ic h a r d so n , in: A Select Library o f Nicene and Post-Nicene
Fathers o f the Christian Church. S e c o n d S eries.V ol. I. G rand R ap id s 1979, 532-33.
9. T h e c o rr esp o n d in g d raw in g see in P. C le m e n , D ie romanische Monumental­
malerei in den Rheinlanden, D ü sse ld o r f 1916, 9, fig. 2 (rep rin ted in D u tto n , The
Politics o f Dreaming, fig. 12).
10. S eeV . PetrofF, «T he D e Templo o f B e d e as th e S o u rce o f an Ideal T em p le
D e sc r ip tio n in E r iu g e n a ’s Aulae Sidereae», Recherches de théologie et philosophie
médiévales, 65, 1 (1998), 97-106; Id ., «Эпилог Aulae sidereae Иоанна Скотта (vv.
72-101) и предшествующая поэтическая традиция», Д и ал ог со временем [«Epi­
lo g u e o f J o h n S c o ttu s’ A ula e sidereae (vv. 72-101) and th e Earlier P o etic Tradi­
tion», Dialogue with Time], (1999), 4 6 -5 9 .

49
VALERY V. PETR O FF

verses 82-92 o f the A u la e Sidereae m ay allude to L ucretius’ prologue


to the D e R erum N atu ra. I also discuss h o w arith m ological sym b ol­
ism o f the four and the eigh th is treated and en gaged by John S c o t-
tus in an attem pt to link harm on ic structures o f cosm os and history.

The astronomical prologue: harm ony o f the p o e m ’s sources

I’d like to p o in t o u t the remarkable affinity b etw een A u la e


sidereae's p rologu e and p h ilo so p h ica l hym ns o f Late A ntiquity. T h e
A u la e sidereae (v. 1-8) b egin s w ith the im age o f the T itan -S u n that
binds the circles o f the starry tem p le w ith his go ld en hair:

A u la e sid e r ea e p a r a lelo s u n d iq u e c ir c o s
C r in ib u s auratis n e c t it T ita n ia lam p as.
U m b r a m b is lu c i p a r ile m b is la n c e s ta te r a n s
S e se b is t r o p i c o s 11 a m b a r u m v e r tit in a u c tu s,
A c sic d is tin g e n s b in is b is m o tib u s a n n u m
R e g n a t t e t r a g o n u m p u lc r o d is c r im in e m u n d u m
S ig n is a m b itu m b is se n is lim ite c u r v o ,
Q u a e t o t id e m m e n s e s te r r e n is u sib u s ap tan t.

T h e la m p o f T ita n b in d s w it h its g o ld e n hair


T h e e v e r -p a r a lle l r in g s o f th e starry te m p le .
T w ic e it w e i g h s o u t o n its sc a le sh a d e an d n ig h t, t w ic e a y ea r e q u a l to
e a c h o th e r ,
A n d t w ic e it tu r n s b a c k at th e tr o p ic s t o th e in c r e a se o f e a c h .
T h u s d iv id in g t h e y ea r w it h its t w i c e - t w o m o t io n s
It r u les th e w o r ld , fo u r - f o ld in th is e x c e lle n t d iv is io n ,
G ir t w it h t w i c e - s i x sig n s, d istr ib u te d a lo n g c u r v e d [z o d ia ca l] p a th ,
W h ic h fu r n ish th e sa m e n u m b e r o f m o n th s fo r e a r th ly u s e 12.

Q u ite u n ex p ected ly for C arolingian poetry, these initial lines


seem to ech o the tradition o f G reek and Latin p h ilosop h ical and
astronom ical p oem s o f antiquity.

11. lohannis Scotti Annotationes in Marcianum, ed. C . L utz, C a m b rid g e, M A ,


I 9 3 9 > τ7 5 (4 3 7 . 24 D ic k ): «Tropicus id est c o n u ersib ilis. Ibi su n t d u o solstitia in
qu ibus c o n u e r titu r so l in a u ctu m d ie i u e l noctis».
12. I use tw o E n g lish translations (w ith m y co rrectio n s): J. J. O ’M eara, Eriu-
gena, O x fo r d 1988, 184-87; and lohannis Scotti Carmina, ed. M . H erren , D u b lin
199}, 117-21.


«A R M O N IA RE RU M » IN JO H N SC O T T U S’ A U L A E SID E R E A E

P r o c lu s. For instance, Proclus to o began his H y m n to H elios w ith


an in voca tio n to H elio s dep icted as the k in g o f the visible universe
p o u rin g d o w n the flo w o f harm on y in to the m aterial w orlds. H elio s
is presented as T itan b in d in g the planets w ith his g o ld -lik e radiance:

Κ λΰ θ ι, π υ ρ ά ς νοερ οί) β α σ ιλ εύ , χ ρ υ σ ή νιε Τ ιτά ν,


Κ λΰ θ ι, φ ά ο υ ς τα μ ία , ζ ω α ρ κ έ ο ς , ώ ά ν α , πηγής
α ύ τ ό ς ë x o v κ λ η ΐδ α κ α ί ύ λ α ίο ις έν ΐ κ ό σ μ ο ις
ύ ψ ό θ ε ν ά ρ μ ο ν ίη ς ρ ύ μ α π λ ο ύ σ ιο ν έξ ο χ ετ ε ύ ω ν .

H e a r k e n , k in g o f n o e r ic fire, T ita n h o ld in g th e g o ld e n b r id le ,
h e a r k e n , d isp e n se r o f lig h t, y o u , о lo r d , w h o h o ld y o u r s e lf
th e k e y to th e lif e - s u p p o r t in g so u r c e an d c h a n n e l o f f fr o m a b o v e
a r ic h stream o f h a r m o n y in t o th e m a te r ia l w o r l d s 13.

A cco rd in g to Proclus, H elio s is the father o f the Seasons w h o pro­


vides the h arm on ious ord ering o f the co sm os o f the heavenly bodies
(v. 8-12), o f the four universal elem ents (v. 13-4), o f m usic (v. 18-20)
and o f health (21-3). Proclus even m en tion s «the b rig h t-sh in in g
court o f the lo fty F ather»I4, the all-creating go d , o f w h o m H elio s is
an im age. T h is Father is the D em iu r g ic N o u s, to w h ic h all souls
shou ld ascend.
S y n e siu s. T h e p o etry o f Synesius, the bishop o f C yrene (с. 370-
4 1 2 /3 ), to o presents parallels to John S co ttu s’ A u la e sidereae. T here is
a short p o e m placed at the en d o f S ynesiu s’ L etter to Paeonius:

Σ κ έπ τεο τείρ εα π ά ν τ α π ρ ο ς ά ν τ υ γ α , τής έπι Τ ιτά ν


Ν ύ κ τ α τ α λ α ν τ ε ύ ε ι κ α ί φ ά ο ς ά ρ χό μ ενο ς·
Δ έ ξ ο ζω δ ια κ ο ύ λ ο ξ ώ σ ια ς, ο ύ δ έ σε λήσει
Κ λ εινά μ εσ η μ β ρ ινή ς κ έν τ ρ α σ υ νη λ ύ σ εω ς.

O b s e r v e all th e c o n s te lla tio n s n e a r c u r v a tu r e o f h o r iz o n , w h e r e o n


T h e r is in g T ita n w e i g h s o u t d a y a n d n ig h t .
L e a rn th e o b liq u ity o f th e Z o d ia c , n o r le t e sc a p e
T h o s e r e n o w n e d in te r s e c tio n s o f th e ir j o i n t a r r iv a l1 *.

13. Procli H ym n i, ed . E .V o g t, Klassische-Philologische Studien, W iesb a d e n 1957.


I use th e translation from : Proclus’ H ym ns: Essays, Translations, Commentary, ed.
R . M . van d e n B erg , L e id en 2001.
14. Ibid. I, 32: υψ ιτενούς πατρός πολυφ εγγέος αυλής.
15. S yn esiu s, Letter to Paeonius, P G 66, 1587A . I w ish to than k A n d rei R o s -
sius (In stitu te o f P h ilosop h y, M o sc o w ) w h o h e lp e d m e w ith translation o f this

51
VALERY V. PETR O FF

A n d another exam ple, from Syn esiu s’ H y m n IX:

τάν δ’ εύρυφαή κόμαν


Titàv έπετάσσατο
άρρητον νπ ϊχνιον,
εγνω δέ γόνον θεοΰ,
τον άριστοτέχναν νόον,
ίδίου πυρός άρχάν1^.

Titan spread out


his far-flaming hair
under the ineffable track,
and recognised the Offspring o f God,
Mind, the Artificer o f all that is best,
and the origin o f his [Titans] own flam e1·7.

S yn esius’ im age o f the rising T itan w h o w eigh s o u t (ταλαντεύει)


day and n igh t and the T itan w h o spread ou t his far-flam ing hair
(εύρυφαή κόμαν) is quite close to that o f the A u la e Sidereae. O b v i­
ously, Joh n Scottus had n o access to the p oem s o f Proclus and S yn e­
sius. B u t th ey seem to be surprisingly close to initial lines o f his o w n
p o em . M oreover, the A u la e sidereae’s hapax staterans (v. 3) that p u z­
zled scholars derives from the n o u n statera and was probably co in ed
by E riugena in im itation o f corresp on d in g G reek pair: το τάλαντον
(a scale, a d efin ite w eigh t) —ταλαντεύω (to balance, w eig h out). As w e
see, the verb ταλαντεύω appears in the same co n tex t in Synesius’
L etter to Paeonius.

A ld h e lm o f M a lm esb u ry . B u t the direct and indirect sources o f


A u la e sidereae’s p rologu e are n o t lim ited to G reek tradition only. T h e
form ula T itan ia lampas (v. 2) p oints to the Latin w est w h ere it had

a m b ig u o u s passage and p o in te d o u t that th e d u ration o f th e su n day and n ig h t


was calcu lated by o b serv a tio n o f th e h o r iz o n o n w h ic h th e S u n appears
to g e th e r w ith certain c o n ste lla tio n s that rise or set at th e sam e m o m e n t. See
c o rr esp o n d in g d iscu ssio n in A ratus, Phaenomena I, 559-68, to w h ic h S yn esiu s is
allu d in g h ere. A lso cf. T h e o c r itu s , Idyllia II, 166: άστέρες, εύκάλοιο κατ’ ä v tv y a
Ν υκτός οπαδοί, «the stars, attendants at silen t N ig h t ’s chariot».
16. Synèsios de Cyrène I Hym nes, ed. C h . L acom brade, Paris 1978, 96, v. 4 9 -5 4
(= P G 66, 1613).
17. Id ., H y m n IX , P G 66, 1613, transi. A . F itzgerald.

52
«A R M O N IA R E R U M » IN JO H N S C O T T U S’ A U L A E SID E R E A E

its history. A similar phrase Phoebea lampas was used o n ce by S en eca 18.
A n d the adjective T itan ia as such is also n o t rare in Latin poetry,
having b eco m e w idespread w ith the w orks o f V ergil19. It is w orth
m en tion in g, that Titaneus arotus occurs several tim es in the Hisperica
fam in a, w h ich has the insular o r ig in 20. I f titania or lampas occur rather
frequently, the set expression titania lampas is extrem ely rare. T h e only
titania lampas I found, exists in the A enigm ata o f A ldhelm o f M elm es-
bury (c. 639-709): «saecula dum lustrat lampas titania phoebi», «w hen
th eT ita n ia n lamp o f P hoebus brightens the w orld »21. T hus, it is quite
plausible that the set expression titania lampas m igh t have b een bor­
row ed by Joh n Scottus directly from A ld helm .

M artian u s C a p e lla . M artianus’ D e nuptiis is another Latin source


o f A u la e sidereae's astronom ical prologue. D e nuptiis contains a verse
about the g leam in g T itan w h o «inflam ed his go ld en red orb»22, and
a passage exp lain in g that the heavenly spheres produce harm ony,
w h ile A p o llo , in the form o f the Sun, m odulates the spheres o f the
heavens. H e is called «Phoebus» and «the G olden-haired» (auricomus ),
since «the august head o f the sun, stream ing and surrounded w ith
flam ing rays, is like a g leam in g head o f g o ld en red hair»23.
T h ere is also a hym n praising the Sun in the D e n u p tiis 24 that pro­
vides parallels w ith the A u la e sidereae. It says that the circle o f aether

18. S en eca , Phoenissae, 86: « [ ...] n o c te m afferet / P h o e b e a lam pas, H esp eru s
fa ciet diem ».
19. J o h n S co ttu s h im s e lf q u o tes V erg il’s A e n e i d V l , 7 2 4 -6 in th e Periphyseon I,
47 6 C D : «H in c Poeta: P r in c ip io caelu m ac terram c a m p o sq u e liq u e n te s, /
L u c e n te m q u e g lo b u m L u n a e,T ita n ia q u e a stra,/ Sp iritus in tu s alit».
20. S e e Hesperica Famina, A —Text. E d. by M . W. H erren , T oron to 1974. For
in stan ce, cf. v. 11: « ti< ta > n e u s sidereis a m p lio ri r u tilo p r e ce llit arotus tedis»,
«the T ita n ia n fire e x ce ls th e torch es o f th e stars w ith fu ller g o ld e n red glow »; v.
303: »T itaneus o c c id u u m rutilat arotus p o n t u m ,/ roseos im a m curuat radios sub
speram», «the T ita n ia n fire red dens th e W estern Sea, / it b en d s its rosy rays
tow ard th e b o tto m o f th e sphere»; v. 364: «T itaneus diurnas rutilat o r io n m etas»,
«the T ita n ia n star illu m in a tes th e diu rn al bou nd aries».
21. A ld h elm , Aenigmata 97, 7.
22. M artianus, D e nuptiis V I, 585 W illis: «hinc n itid u s ru tilu m T ita n su c c e n ­
derat orbem ».
23. Ibid. I, 12-13: «in c a elo orbes [ ...] c o n c e n tu s ed ere [ ...] A p o llin is silva ita
rata m o d ific a tio n e c o n g r u e re t, c u m caeli q u o q u e orbes id e m D e liu s m o d u le tu r
in S o le , h in cq u e esse q u o d illic P h o e b u s et h ic v o c ite tu r A u rico m u s; n am Solis
augu stu m caput radiis p erfu su m circu m a ctu m q u e flam m antibus v e lu t auratam
caesariem ru tili v erticis im itatur».
24. Ibid. I, 184-97.

53
VALERY V. PETR O FF

obeys the Sun (cui circulus aethrae paret) w h ile he governs the celestial
b od ies great circuits ( imm ensis moderaris raptibus orbis), drives and
restrains the sacred constellation s o f the gods by im p o sin g laws u p on
the circuits (compellens atque coercens sidera sacra deum , cum legem
cursibus addis). T h e num ber 4, perfect in nature, m ay be approved as
b e lo n g in g to the Sun ( tibi perfecta numerus ratione probetur), and by
m eans o f this num ber the Sun bestow s u p o n the tw o tw in tetra-
chords a b e g in n in g (a principio gem inum tu das tetrachordon).
T h e Sun, called P h oeb u s, holds back the shadow s, reveals celestial
ligh t ( tenebras prohibens retegis quod caerula lucet), and annuls the
actions o f the n igh t ( dissolvis nocturna adm issa). M artianus says that
the num ber o f the Sun is 8 and 600 ( octo et sescentis numeris), w h ich
resem bles E riu gen a’s discussions c o n c e r n in g the m ean in g o f the
octaves in th e w orld.
T h ere are even lexical parallels b e tw e e n the tw o p oem s. For
instance, w h e n M artianus passes from the e u lo g y on num ber 4 to
praises o f num ber 6, th e corresp on d in g lines o f D e nuptiis find close
lexical parallel in E riu gen a’s p o e m (w h ich at this p o in t makes the
sam e transition from 4 to 6 ). T hus, M artianus says that the Su n ’s
«sacred head bears tw ice s i x beam s o f g o ld en light, because he makes
th e sa m e n um ber o f m on th s and the sam e num ber o f hours» ( radiisque
sacratum bis sen is perhibent caput aurea lu m in a ferre, qu od totidem
m enses, totidem quod conficis horas), and John Scottus says that the
w orld is «encom passed w ith tw ic e -s ix signs, distributed along curved
zodiacal path, w h ic h furnish th e sa m e n um ber o f m on th s for earthly
use» (v. 7-8: signis am bitum bis sen is lim ite curvo, qu ae to tid em m enses
terrenis usibus aptant).
T here are m in or parallels too:

D e nuptiis Aulae sidereae

192: te n o m in e c o n v o c a t orbis v. 83: te v o tis in cly ta t orbis

193: salve, vera d e u m facies 54: salve, sancta d o m u s

196-7: D a , p a te r ,... c o n s c e n d e r e ... 78-81: D a nostro regi K a r o lo ... sim u l


a str ig e r u m q u e ... ca elu m te c u m caelestis gaudia regn i

M artianus’ in flu en ce is m anifest in E riu gen a’s m e n tio n in g the


«parallel circles«. It is M artianus, w h o w rites that «the sun has 183
circles, w h ic h it describes as it goes back and forth from the sum m er
tropic to the w in ter tropic; it alternates its course over the same cir­

54
«A R M O N IA R E R U M » IN JO H N SC O T T U S’ A U L A E SID E R E A E

c le s ... T h ese circles are also referred to as parallels»2^ . In this passage


o f the D e nuptiis the «parallel circles» are the S u n ’s daily trajectories
around the visible sk y 26. Significantly, this passage b e lo n g to B o o k 8
o f the D e nuptiis, w h ic h discusses num bers and harm ony. B u t it is
also possible that the «parallel circles» are the 5 im aginary parallels
b e lo n g in g to the celestial sp here27. B esid es,Joh n Scottus o n ce speaks
about the firm am ent encom p assing the co n cen tric planetary spheres
(«aetherios cyclos am bibat stelliger orbis»), the revolutions o f w h ic h
p roduce sw eet tones («consona turm a errantum dulces edidit ipsa
to n o s» ).T h e harm ony o f the celestial sphere is m ade o f eigh t n otes,
seven intervals, and six tones («sex num ero septem spaciis m od u lan ­
tibus o c to caelestis sperae co n stitit arm onia»). A n d at the en d o f the
cosm os the heavenly K in g holds his court («extrem us rex m undi
aulam possessurus»)28.

The harm ony o f the fo u r

Joh n Scottus enjoys playing w ith num bers in the A u la e sidereae.


A cco rd in g to h im , the Sun divides the year by «tw ice tw o m otions»,

25. I b i d . V III, 856: «q u od si est, d u b iu m n o n est C L X X X I II circu los habere


S o le m , per q u os aut ab so lstitio in b ru m am red it, aut ab ea d em in so lstitia lem
lin ea m su b lev a tu r;p er easd em q u ip p e m u ta tio n e s c o m m e a t cir cu lo ru m [ ...] qui
paralleli etia m d ic ti su n t, circu m cu rrens».
26. H a lf o f th e year (182 o r 183 days) th e Su n, m o v in g a lo n g th e e clip tic,
ascends from th e w in te r trop ic to th e su m m er trop ic. E ach g iv e n day, th e S u n ’s
diu rn al m o tio n draws an im a g in a ry circle across th e sky. T h u s, 182 days o f th e
S u n ’s jo u r n e y a lo n g th e e c lip tic from th e w in te r so lstic e to th e su m m er so lstice
p ro d u ce 182 parallel circles o n th e celestia l sphere. T h e y are «bound» b e tw e e n
th e trop ics at w h ic h th e S u n turns back. T h is p ecu lia r astron om ical detail,
w h ic h g o e s back to G e m in u s’ « In tro d u ctio n to th e P h e n o m e n a » , is ab sen t from
p h ilo so p h ic a l hym n s. G em in u s speaks a b o u t 182 circles in his Elementa astrono-
miaeV, 12, ed . G. A ujac.
27. A c c o r d in g to G e m in u s’ Introduction to the Phenomena (5, 1-9) th ere are 5
m ajor parallels in th e sky: th e A rctic (άρκτικός) circle, th e su m m er tropic
(θερινός τροπικός), th e e q u in o c tia l (Ισημερινός) circle, th e w in te r tropic
(χειμερινός τροπ ικός), th e A n tarctic (άνταρκτικός) circle.
28. J o h n S cottu s, Carmina III, 15-22 H erren . C f. Id em ., Periphyseon III, 7 1 8B:
«perfecti n u m eri [ ...] senarius v id e lic e t et septenarius et octo n a riu s, in quibus
m axim a sy m p h on ia m u sicae naturaliter con stitu itu r, quae diapason vocatur!
H a b et e n im o c to so n o s, sep tem spatia, se x tonos»; «T he p erfect n u m bers, n am ely
6 and 7 and 8 b y nature c o n stitu te th e c h ie f sy m p h o n ic p r o p o r tio n o f m usic
w h ic h is called diapason. For this has e ig h t n o te s, seven intervals, and six tones».

55
VALERY V. PETR O FF

since w e have tw o solstices and tw o equ inoxes (v. 5 ).T hus, four z o d i­
acal signs stand out: C apricorn (D ecem b er), C ancer (June), A ries
(M arch), and Libra (Septem ber). T h e Sun rules the w orld, w h ic h is
«four-fold in this ex cellen t division» (v. 6: «regnat te tr a g o n u m p ul­
chro discrim ine m un du m »); and the seasons change in the above-
m en tio n ed articulations (v. 9: «talibus articulis, quos circum tem pora
currunt»). T h e form ula tetragonus m undus is o f special im portance
here. It goes back to the form ula mundus quadratus, w h ic h was an
ancient R o m a n set expression (R om a quadrata), later accepted by
C hristian authors w h o speculated about the form o f the earth29.
M u ndu s quadratus was un d erstood either as a four-sided (four-angled)
w orld or as a fo u r-fo ld (four-square) o n e, w h ich consist o f four
smaller squares as i f divided by a cross 3°. T here was also a m ystical
m ean in g to this, w h ich B ed e discussed in his D e tem plo, the text E ri-
ugena k n ew w ell. W h e n B ed e exam ines the m ystical m ean in g o f the
exact dim ensions o f the S o lo m o n ’s Tem ple, he associates the square­
ness o f the w orld and the C hurch (w h ich was to be assem bled from
the four cardinal directions o f the w orld) w ith the eternal life:
«quadratus vero est m undus in quo pro adquirenda eadem uita cer­
tamus. U n d e et psalmista: “ a solis ortu et occasu, ab aquilone et
m ari” (Ps 106: 2 -3 )» 3I. A co m p le te ly allegorical m ean in g can be
fou n d in B e d e ’s In E zra m et N eem iam in a description o f the m ind o f
the elite w h ic h stays im m utable, unaffected by the tu rm oil o f the
w orld, as i f sh o w in g its innate «square figure o f in vin cib le virtu e»32.
A n d o f course, m edieval reader in evitably linked quadratus w ith
the sign o f the cross. For instance, w h e n B ed e paraphrases Sedulius,
he depicts an im age o f a giant cross w h ic h o n c e bore the Lord and
n o w gathers all four corners o f the world: the m o rn in g star (Venus

29. T ertu llian, A d nationes 2, 4, 47, 17: «rotunda m u n d o p la to n ica form a:


quadratum a n gu latu m q u e c o m m e n tu m ab aliis»; A u g u stin e, Sermones 306B:
«quadratus et antea vocabatur»; M arius V ic to r in u s, Explanationes in Ciceronis
rhetoricam I, 6: «Quae sit mundi facies: m u lti e n im d ic u n t [...] quadrata».
30. F. A lth e im , in W. M ü ller, Kreis und K re u z , B e rlin , 1938, 6off. C f. A ld h elm ,
Aenigmata 79,7: «D ivid im u s m u n d u m c o m m u n i le g e q u a d r a tu m : / n o c tu r n o s
regim u s cursus et frena dierum »; and Aenigmata 95, 5: «N u lla m ih i con stat certi
substantia partus, / sed m o d o q u a d r a tu m c o m p le c to r caerula m u n d u m ».
31. B e d e , D e templo I, 1031-35.
32. B e d e , In E zram et Neemiam I, 1304: «Et e le c to r u m m en s d u m in te r u n i-
uersa m u n d i siu e aduersa seu prospera p erm a n serit im m o ta quasi quadratam
sibi in esse figuram uirtu tis in u ic ta e dem onstrat».

56
«A R M O N IA RERU M » IN JO H N SC O T T U S’ A U L A E SID E R E A E

or L u cifer)33 shines in the forehead o f the M aker; his feet reach the
H esperian constellation s, his right hand tou ch es the A rctic sky, his
left hand erects the central axis o f the w orld, and all nature «lives»
from his lim bs. C hrist rules the w orld w h ic h is b o u n d from every
quarter by the cross34. E riugena repeated this im age in his o w n
p o e m w ritten in 859: «Ecce crucis lign u m quadratum co n tin et
orbem / In quo pendebat sponte sua d o m in u s»35.
T h is resem bles the im age o f the m undum gestantem sym bola C h risti
(v. 21) discussed by E riugena in the first part o f the A u la e sidereae.
T h e exact w ord used by E riugena, nam ely the rare tetragonus, is also
n o t co n fin ed to g eo m etry only. In A m brose, for exam ple, it possesses
e th ic a l36 and a r ith m o lo g ic a l37 co n n o ta tio n s. It has m ystical sense in
the C o d e x A ureus o f St. E m m eram , m ade under E riu gen a’s in flu ­
e n c e 38. In astronom y it referred to the four zodiacal sig n s39.

33. Jean S c o t, Commentaire sur l ’évangile de Jean, ed. E . Jeau n eau , Paris 1972,
p. 144, 20 -2 2 (305B ).
34. B e d e , In Lucae euangelium expositio 6, 23, 1533: «n eu e quis ig n o r et sp e c ie m
c r u c is esse c o le n d a m qu ae d o m in u m p ortavit ouan s ration e p o te n ti q u attuor
in d e plagas q u a d r a ti c o llig it o r b is sp len d id u s au ctoris de u e r tic e fu lg e t eo u s
o c c id u o sacrae lam b u m tu r sidere plantae a r c to n dextra te n e t m e d iu m laeua
e r ig it axem cu n cta q u e de m em b ris u iu it natura creantis et cru ce c o m p le x u m
christus r e g it u n d iq u e m u n d u m » .
35. J o h n S co ttu s, Carmina I, 19-20. C f. ibid., 2, 1-12: «A spice praeclaru m
radiis solarib us o r b e m , / Q u o s c ru x salviflua spargit ab arce sua. / Terram N e p -
tu n u m q u e te n e t flatusq ue p o lo sq u e / E t siq u id supra creditur esse procul».
36. A m b rose, D e Abraham 2, 9, 65: «qui n u n c psalm u m canit u e lu t aptis n u ­
m eris u itam istius m u n d i transigit quasi tetragon u s et stabilis atque perfectus».
37. Ibid. 2, i i , 80: « id eo q u e n o n cy b o s g e o m e tr ia e n e c tetra g o n u m n u m er u m
p h ilo so p h ia e n e c c o n fe ssio n e m ut aiun t P y th a g o r ic a m [ ...] sed vera aperim u s
m ysteria, u n am salu tem esse C h risti resu rrection em ».
38. C f. th e tituli o f th e C odex aureus (E vang. o f St. E m m eram o f R a tisb o n n e ,
M ü n ic h , B ayerisch e S taatsb ib lioth ek , C lm 14000), ed. M G H , Poetae latini aevi
Carolini, III, p. 253, III, 1-4: «C hristus, vita h o m in u m , c a elo ru m gloria sum m a,
/ Librat tetra g o n u m m iro d isc r im in e m u n d u m . / O rd in e quadrato variis
d ep icta figuris / A g m in a san ctoru m gaudia m agna vident»; «C h rist, th e life o f
m e n , th e greatest g lo r y o f th e h eaven s, / W eigh s o u t th e fo u r -fo ld w o r ld w ith
its e x c e lle n t intervals. / T h e ranks o f th e saints arranged in quadrate p attern , as
sh o w n in th e variou s draw ings, b e h o ld great joys».
39. G em in u s, Introd. to the Phenomena II, 1 6 , 1-18, 2: «Κατά τετρ ά γω νον δέ έστι
Κ ριός Κ αρκίνος Ζ υ γός Αίγόκερω ς», «A ries, C an cer, Libra, and C a p ric o rn m ake
up th e quadrate». C f. M artianus C a p ella ’s o p in io n a c co r d in g to w h ic h th e
n u m b er fo u r is p e r fec t and is called quadratus, w ith w h ic h are associated th e
fo u r seasons o f th e year, th e r eg io n s o f h eaven , th e e le m en ts o f earth. It is its e lf
th e square o f tw o (bis binum), w ith in w h ic h th e m u sical h a rm o n ies (symphoniae)
are p ro d u ce d (D e nuptiis II, 106-107, Ρ· 4 4 > τ7~4 5 * З)·

57
VALERY V. PETR O FF

A n o th er term from the b e g in n in g o f the A u la e Sidereae, nam ely


articulae, was co m m o n in gram m atical, m ed ical, and com putus w orks.
T h e articulae temporum was a steady set expression w id e ly used by
A ugustin e, B ed e, and Hrabanus M au rus40. T h e articulae in the p o em
(v. 9) refer to the astronom ical term , used in discussions o n periods
and intervals o f astronom ical and historical tim e 41.

The harm ony o f the eight

H ow ever, the m ost c o m p le x co n c e p t is octava, w h ic h has various


m eanings in the poem : astrological, ecclesiastical, m usical, B iblical,
arith m ological, esch atological, and architectural. First, E riugena
associates octaves w ith the events o f sacred history ( tropea ) w h ich
occurred under particular zodiacal signs (v. 9-11):

T alib u s a r tic u lis, q u o s c ir c u m te m p o r a c u r r u n t,


P a r tib u s o c t a v is d ic o lib r a e q u e c r iu q u e
N e c n o n a e g o c e r i, c a n c r i p r a e fix a tr o p e a .

In s u c h a r tic u la tio n s, in w h ic h th e se a so n s c h a n g e ,
T h a t is, in o c ta v e s, th o s e o f L ibra a n d A r ie s
A n d C a p r ic o r n an d C a n c e r , is v ic t o r y o r d a in e d .

O bviously, J. O ’M eara’s translation o f verse 10 is err o n eo u s42, that


o f M . H e r r e n 43 to o is n o t precise. In his French translation M ich el
Foussard44 correctly m akes reference to the sim ilar passage in E riu -

40. A u g u stin e, Epistulae 139, v o l. 44, 3, 152, 16: «in articulis te m p o r u m c o n ­


stituta»; B e d e , H omeliarum euangelii libri II, Н от . I, 11, 149: «Sex e te n im su nt
h u iu s sa ecu li aetates n o tissim is te m p o r u m d istin ctae articulis»; В ed e, D e tem po­
rum ratione liber 42, 21: «que articulis te m p o r u m u e l caeli clim atib u s celebratur»;
H rabanus M aurus, D e computo prol. 18: « C o m p o su i q u id e m e x n u m ero et te m ­
p o r u m articulis q u en d a m d ialogum ».
41. A u g u stin e, D e G enesi contra Manichaeos I, 183, 39.
42. J. J. O ’M eara, Eriugena. O x fo r d 1988, 185: «W ith su ch d iv isio n s, around
w h ic h th e seasons run, / I celeb rate th e trop h ies o f Libra, A ries, C an cer, and
C a p ric o rn , / P la c ed o u t b efo re th e o th e r eigh th».
43. Iohannis Scotti Carm ina, ed. M . H er re n , D u b lin 1993, 117: « T h rou gh su ch
d iv isio n s, ro u n d w h ic h th e seasons cou rse, / T h a t is, b y m eans o f octaves, th o se
o f Libra and A r ie s / A n d C a p ric o rn and C an cer, is v ic to r y ordained».
44. M . Foussard, «Aulae Siderae: vers de Jean S c o t au R o i C harles», Cahiers
archéologiques, 21 (1971), 85: «Telles les a rticu lation s le lo n g d esq u elles les tem p s
d é p lo ie n t leu r cou rse, / Je ch an te les trop h ées é le v és au h u itiè m e d eg ré / E t de
la B alan ce et du B élier, n o n m o in s q u e du C a p ric o rn e et du C ancer».

58
VALERY V. PETR O FF

L u c is p r a e c u r so r n a sc e n s in v e r tic e c a n c r i,
L ibra c o n c e p t u s , c e r n is p raefata t r o p e a .

Y o u , о R a m , m a y c e le b r a te th e tr iu m p h o f C h r is t ’s c o n c e p t io n ,
L e t C a p r ic o r n c la im th e jo y s o f th e b ir th o f th e W o r d .
T h e p r e c u r so r o f th e L ig h t w a s b o r n at C a n c e r ’s z e n ith ,
C o n c e iv e d u n d e r Libra: n o w y o u s e e th e tr iu m p h s th a t w e r e fo r e to ld .

T h e «trophies» fixed in octaves o f the correspondent zodiacal


signs in trodu ce an im portant co n tex t. H avin g lost their historical
and geographical co n n o ta tio n s, tropea b ecam e in the M id d le A ges
«universal, abstract sym bols o f im perial v ic to r y » 48. T h ey w ere always
associated w ith the v icto ry celeb ra tio n s49. P oem s o f the ninth c e n ­
tury co m m em o ra tin g a k in g ’s epiphanies in his tow ns and m onaster­
ies had, as the m ost prevalent th em e, that o f royal victory. To enjoy
trophies was the p rivilege o f the C hristian hero, a martyr or an apos­
t le 50, or the e m p ero r51. Im perial and C hristian traditions were
u n ited in C hrist, w h o was the first to gain the tropea crucis 52 and was
the o n ly eternal em peror. H is N ativity, o n c e and forever, has m ade
the K alends o f January «(proto)typicab (v. 31-32):

H a e c o c ta v a tib i b ifr o n tis r ite K a le n d a s


In sin u a t ty p ic a s, d u m v in c it lu c e te n e b r a s.

T h is o c t a v e 53 p r e se n ts to y o u , in a c c o r d a n c e w it h a r ite , p r o to ty p ic a l
k a le n d s
o f th e t w o - f a c e d g o d [Janus], as it c o n q u e r s th e d ark n ess w it h lig h t.

48. M . M c C o r m ic k , Eternal Victory: Trium phal Rulership in L ate A n tiq u ity,


B yza n tiu m , and the Early M edieval W est, C a m b rid g e, Paris 1986, 26; see also G.
S. P icard, Les trophées romains. Contribution à l ’histoire de la religion et de l ’art tri­
omphal de R om e, Paris 1957, 469fr.
49. Isid ore o f S ev ille, Etym ologiae 18, 2, 4 and 3, ed. W. M . Lindsay, II, O x fo rd
1911; S erviu s, Com m entarii in Vergilii carmina, ad A eneidem 10, 775, ed. G. T h ilo -
H . H a g en , II, L eip zig , 1883-1884, 446, 2 8 -4 6 7 , 3. C f.J . F on tain e, Isidore de Seville
et la culture classique dans l ’Espagne wisigothique, II, Paris 1959, 749.
50. H ie r o n y m u s, E pistulae 46, v o l. LIV, 12, 342, 4: «tropea a p o sto lo r u m et
m artyrum »; S ed u liu s S co ttu s, Collectaneum in A postolum prologus, p. 109, 51: « u ic-
toriae suae tropea retulit».
51. S ed u liu s S co ttu s, Carm ina 2, 12 (Traube 180, 5); 2, 15 (Traube 183, 9, 14
and 27); 2, 25 (Traube 190, 4 and 9 -1 0 , 191, 39-40).
52. A m b rose, D e ß d e IV, 1, 24.
53. T h e im p o r ta n c e o f this haec can hardly b e overestim ated . For a lo n g tim e
it w as c o m m o n ly a c ce p te d that th e A u lae Siderae celeb ra ted th e d e d ic a tio n o f
St M a ry ’ o f C o m p iè g n e ch u rch o n M ay 5, 877. T h is particular date also d e fin e d

60
«A R M O N IA RE RU M » IN JO H N SC O T T U S’ A U L A E SID E R E A E

T h e earthly life o f C hrist passed under octaves: C hrist was born


on the eigh th day b efore the K alends o f January, was c o n ceiv ed on
the eigh th day before the kalends o f A pril, his resurrection happened
on the eigh th day o f the w eek , he was circum cised on the eigh th day
after his birth. T h e w orld itse lf w ill end in the eigh th age (v. 33-37):

O c t o n u s n u m e r u s d iv in o s sy m fo n a t actus;
N a m d o m in u s n o ste r , q u e m te m p u s fo r m u lâ t o m n e ,
O c ta v is n a tu s, c o n c e p tu s , m o r te reversu s,
O c ta v is v e te r is su b iit sig n a c u la le g is ,
M u n d u s in o c ta v a fin e m d a b it o m n ib u s u n u m .

T h e n u m b e r e ig h t h a r m o n ise s th e d iv in e d eed s:
F or o u r L ord , w h o m e v e r y tim e fo r m u la te s,
In o c ta v e s w as b o r n , c o n c e iv e d , r e tu r n e d fr o m d e a th ,
In o c ta v e s h e s u b m itte d h im s e lf to th e seals o f th e a n c ie n t law,
O n th e o c ta v e th e w o r ld w ill b r in g o n e e n d to all.

As was sh o w n , in em ph asizin g the im p ortance o f the octaves, E ri-


ugena was n o t original; this was a lo n g and elaborated tradition. T h e
n ew elem en t introd u ced by h im was the n o tio n o f universal har­
m o n y that unites spirit and history, heaven and earth, sacral and pro­
fane, etern ity and tim e (v. 45-49):

H a e c su n t, q u a e ta c ite n o s tr is in c o r d ib u s in tu s
O c t o n i n u m e r i m o d u la tu r n ab la s o n o r u m ,
S p ir itu s in te r io r c la m a t n e c d e s in it u n q u a m
S e m p e r c o n c r e p ita n s , q u ic q u id s e m e l in to n a t ann us;
H a e c sc r ip tu r a d o c e t , c u i r e r u m c o n c in it o r d o .

the terminus ad quem o f E r iu g e n a ’s life. H o w e v er , in th e article p u b lish ed in 1987


(«E riu gen a’s A u lae Siderae. . .»), M ic h a e l H er re n argued that th e haec octava
m ean t that th e p o e m w as c o m p o se d to celeb rate th e feast o f C h ristm as (p. 601).
A n d it m ig h t b e o n ly C h ristm as D a y o f 869, celeb ra ted in th e palace ch ap el o f
A a c h e n , w ith C harles th e B ald really seated o n th e h ig h th ron e o f C h arlem agn e
(p. 603). H e r r e n ’s d isc o v e ry ch a n g e d th e p e rsp ectiv e o f th e p o e m , it also so lv ed
th e p u zzle o f th e c o rr esp o n d e n c e b e tw e e n th e p o e m ’s verses and th e tituli o f
th e C odex aureus, fin ish ed in 870. M oreover, it e lim in a te d th e o n ly e v id e n c e
that J o h n S co ttu s h im s e lf w as still alive after 869. H o w e v er , I th in k w e sh o u ld
b e m ore ca u tio u s w ith dates and places: th e b u ild in g d escrib ed in th e p o e m
lo o k s rather as an id eal te m p le than a real ch u rch , a lth o u g h su g g estio n that ref­
eren ce is m ad e to St M a ry ’ o f C o m p iè g n e ch u rch seem s q u ite plau sible, and
a lth o u g h A u lae sidereae seem s to b e w r itte n to celeb rate C h ristm as Day, th e year
o f th e p o e m ’s c o m p o sitio n still rem ains un certain ».

61
VALERY V. PETR O FF

T h is is w h a t th e harp o f th e to n e s o f th e n u m b e r e ig h t
M o d u la te s in s ile n c e in sid e o u r so u ls.
T h e in n e r sp ir it p r o c la im s n o r e v e r c ea ses,
A lw a y s s o u n d in g w h a t o n c e th e y ea r in to n e s .
A ll th is th e S c r ip tu r e te a c h e s, an d w it h it th e o r d e r o f th in g s sin g s a lo n g .

W ith these words the p o em com es full circle: from astronom y (v.
10), calendar (v. 31), and arithm ology (v. 33), through C hristology (w .
35-6) and esch atology (v. 37), w e cam e to harm ony (v. 46) and the
B ib le (v. 49). A harp was an attribute o f the B iblical D avid, regis
psalm idici, genitoris origine C hristi (v. 53). H ow ever, for a C arolingian
reader there was another David: from about 794, this was a constant
pseud onym for Charlem agne. As Peter G odm an w rites, w h ile exam ­
in in g Carolingian poetry, «harps... m attered — symbolically, artistically,
and therefore p olitically»54. T h e nam e o f D avid was associated w ith
artistic inspiration and ideal kingship. E u lo g izin g the king as a w ise
m an, learned in arts, was a strong tradition under the C arolingians.

The harm ony o f literary traditions

Taking in to con sideration the interest o f C arolingian scholars to


the classical tradition, it ’s n o t surprising that verses 82-92 o f the
A u la e sidereae seem to allude to L ucretius’ p rologu e to the D e rerum
natura. In d eed , Joh n Scottus calls o n the M o th er o f G od to be the
patroness and p rotector o f K in g C harles, w h o builds a w onderful
tem p le in her h on or. A fter this appeal to the V irgin Mary, he pro­
vides a detailed descrip tion o f the chapel:

M a g n a d e i g e n it r ix , te r fe lix san cta M a ria —


T e la u d a n t c a e li, te v o tis in c ly ta t o r b is — :
P r o x im a sis K a r o lo tu tr ix , m u n im e n e t a ltu m ,
Q u i tib i m ir ific e p ra ecla ra m fa b r ica t a e d e m ...

54. P. G o d m a n , Poets and Emperors: Frankish Politics and Carolingian Poetry,


N e w York 1987, 6 5. O n relig io u s and p o litic a l c o n n o ta tio n s o f D a v id ic k in gsh ip
see: E . K a n to r o w icz , Laudes Regiae: A S tu dy in Acclamations and Medieval Ruler
Worship, B erk eley, LA , 1946, 5 5ff.

62
«A R M O N IA R E R U M » IN JO H N S C O T T U S’ A U L A E SID E R E A E

T urres, lu r ic u la s, la q u e a r ia , d aed ala te c ta ,


O b liq u a s ty r id a s, ia lin i* * lu m in is h a u s tu s ...

In vocabulary and m eter this passage is quite close to the initial


lines (v. 1-9 and 21) o f L ucretius’ p o e m in w h ic h Venus is praised:

A e n e a d u m g e n e t r ix , h o m in u m d iv u m q u e v o lu p ta s ,
alm a V e n u s, c a e li su b te r la b e n tia sig n a
q u a e m are n a v ig e r u m , q u a e terras fr u g ife r e n tis
c o n c e le b r a s , p e r te q u o n ia m g e n u s o m n e a n im a n tu m
c o n c ip itu r v is itq u e e x o r t u m lu m in a so lis
te, d e a , te f u g iu n t v e n t i, te n u b ila c a e li
a d v e n tu m q u e tu u m , tib i su avis d aed ala te llu s
s u m m ittit flo r e s, tib i r id e n t a e q u o r a p o n t i
p la c a tu m q u e n it e t d iffu s o lu m in e c a e lu m .

q u a e q u o n ia m r e r u m n a tu ra m so la g u b e r n a s

Let us specifically n o te the lex ica l correspondences o f these tw o


passages. E picurean p h ilo so p h er Lucretius eu lo g izes fruitful (alma)
Venus, gen etrix o f the R o m a n s, w h o b eco m es fortunate (felix)
M o th er o f G o d (dei gen itrix) and lo fty bulwark ( m unim en et altum ) in
E riugena. To Venus the sky gleam s w ith the lu m in ou s ligh t (lum ine
caelum), the variegated earth ( daedala tellus ) supplies flow ers, and the
sea surface (aequora) sm iles. T h e sam e w ords are applied by John
Scottus to Mary, w h o m the w orld glorifies w ith its vow s. T h e w o n ­
derful, sh in in g tem p le dedicated to her possesses a skillfully crafted
r o o f ( daedala tecta) and p an eled ceilin gs ( laequaria ). Lucretian tradi­
tional d ivision o f the w orld, caeli ... mare ... terras ... corresponds to
E riugen ian caeli ... orbis, ... and altum (the latter bears con n otation s
o f the sea and, in general, o f the vertical ex ten sion .)
H ere, besides the setting, w e have direct correspondences in m eter
(hexam eter), and in w ords gen itrix — gen etrix, caeli — caeli, lum inis —
lumine; here is a slightly changed but easily recognizable coin age o f
Lucretius, daedala tecta, w h ic h , according to m y k n o w led g e, before

55. T h is w o rd J o h n S co ttu s w o u ld have k n o w n th r o u g h his stu d ies o f the


lib eral arts. H e m ig h t have e n c o u n te r e d it in M artianu s C a p ella ’s D e nuptiis
31,14: vestis (h)yalina. T h e G reek ύ ά λινος m eans «m ade o f glass». E riu g en a , w h o
c o m p o se d a c o m m e n ta r y o n th e D e nuptiis, w rote: «ialina - p rop ter c o lo r e m
aeris», see: É . Jeau n eau , Quatre thèmes érigéniens, M o n trea l 1978, 155, 20.

63
VALERY V. PETR O FF

E riu g en a ’s usage was repeated o n ly o n ce, by V irgil; here are c o n so ­


nant pairs: alta — altum , laequaria — aequora. W e have the sam e setting
in b o th passages. T h e subject is identical: a p o et sin gin g to the g o d ­
dess. T h e co n seq u en ce o f ex p o sitio n is similar: the first lin e is a
direct appeal to the d eity o n b e h a lf o f the p o et him self, n ext follow s
the d escrip tion o f the w orld as a w h o le g lo rifyin g her: caeli, orbis —
caeli signa, mare, lum ina solis. T h e n the author describes particular
beauties o f the tem p le (as E riugena) or o f the sum m er earth, sea, and
sky (as Lucretius). T h e characteristic feature o f b oth passages is an
atm osphere o f a n e w w orld freshly b orn , o f light, shining, and jo y in
the presence o f the goddess.
T h ere is another argum ent in favor o f E riugenian first-hand
k n o w led g e o f the D e R erum N atu ra. Prof. Edouard Jeauneau, w ith
w h o m I had a chance to discuss th e A u la e sidereae m any years ago,
had m e n tio n e d the o p in io n , according to w h ic h verses 82-101 cou ld
have b een a separate p o e m initially. T h e fact that the lin e M agna dei
g en itrix w o u ld be an incipit, m akes the entire p o e m typical in its
genre and strengthens the claim to regard Lucretian Prologue as a
prototype.
H o w co u ld John Scottus k n o w Lucretius? T h o u g h attem pts have
b een m ade to investigate traces o f L ucretius’ p o e m in E riu gen a’s
w o r k s56, there has b e e n no definite p r o o f until now. H ow ever, tw o
n in th -cen tu ry Lucretian co d ices are extant. O n e o f th em bears mar­
ginal notes m ade by an «insular» hand. T his is the fam ous «oblongus»
m anuscript o f L ucretius’ D e R erum N atu ra, co p ied at Tours in the 9th
century, w h ic h has m ore than sixty n otes o f this k in d 57.T h is c o d ex
b e lo n g e d to the library o f Laon w h ere the Irish co m m u n ity was
loca ted at that tim e. T h e m aster o f L aon ’s sch o o l was the friend o f
E riugena, M artin Scottus. Taking in to a ccou n t all o f the above, w e
m ay adm it E riu gen a’s possible acquaintance w ith that co d ex.
W h atever the probability o f particular sources can be, the sum o f
direct and indirect sources observed, togeth er w ith parallels and

56. J. Savage, «Two N o te s o n Joh an n es Scotus», Scriptorium, 12 (1958), 228-37.


G en eral o v e r v ie w see M . R e e v e , «Lucretius in th e M id d le A g es and Early R e n ­
aissance: T ransm ission and Scholarship », in The Cambridge Companion to
Lucretius, eds. S. G illesp ie, P. R . H ard ie, C a m b rid g e 2007, 205-13.
57. L e id en , B ib lio th e e k der R ijk su n iv e rsite it, Voss. lat. F. 30 (o b lo n g u s), see
Lucretius. C odex Vossianus oblongus phototypice editus, ed. E . C h atelain , L eyd en
1908.

64
«A R M O N IA RE RU M » IN JO H N SC O T T U S ’ A IJLAE SID E R E A E

co m m o n topoi b e tw e e n the A u la e sidereae and the previous tradition,


dem onstrates that the tem plum (aedes, dom us), dedicated to the
M other o f G o d (dei g en itrix ) and consecrated o n C hristm as Day,
b ecom es in John S co ttu s’ p o etica l m asterpiece a sym b ol and im age
o f harm onically structured universe and em blem atizes at o n c e the
starry tem p le o f the Sun (aula sidera), the transcendent H o u se o f the
W isd om o f G o d (aula superna, remota dom us), the B e th le e m ’s m anger
(sancta dom us), and the H eaven ly Jerusalem as visio p a d s.
B ein g a project o f an ideal tem p le, it nevertheless reflects its
author’s personality in the insular traits o f vocabulary, in his affinity
to G reek, and in his allusions to historical circum stances. T h e histor­
ical d im en sio n is en gaged also by m eans o f the portrait o f E m peror
Charles seated o n his lo fty throne and p resented as an ideal ruler and
a p erson ification o f the visible Sun, K ings D avid and S o lo m o n ,
Christ, and C harlem agne *8.

A bstract

T h e p a p er e x a m in e s J o h n S c o ttu s ’ p o e m « T h e S tarry T e m p le» (c. 8 6 9 /7 7 ),


su p p o se d ly w r it te n in r e s p o n s e to C h a rle s th e B a ld ’s p lan s to c o n s tr u c t at
C o m p iè g n e a n e w c h u r c h w h ic h c o u ld rival A a c h e n ’s P a la tin e C h a p e l. B y
m ea n s o f s o p h is tic a te d p o e t ic a l im a g e r y J o h n S c o ttu s p r o p o s e s m u ltila y e r
v is io n o f th e h a r m o n ic u n iv e r se th e h e a r th o f w h ic h c o n s titu te s an id e a l
te m p le . It is s h o w n th a t a r ith m o lo g y , th e sacred h isto r y , an d e s c h a to lo g y are
in t e r w o v e n in A u l a e sidereae’s w o r ld v ie w . T h e p o e m ’s so u r c e s are u n d e r
c o n s id e r a tio n . It is sta te d th a t J o h n S c o ttu s d e lib e r a te ly draw s p arallels
b e t w e e n C h a r le s’ c h u r c h an d th e B ib lic a l t e m p le o f S o lo m o n . A m o n g h is
so u rc e s are B e d e ’s D e tabernaculo an d D e templo, as also A l c u i n ’s v e rse
in s c r ip tio n s fo r th e altars a n d c h u r c h e s d e d ic a te d to V ir g in M ary. A ffin ity
b e t w e e n A u l a e sidereae's p r o lo g u e an d p h ilo s o p h ic a l h y m n s o f L ate A n t iq ­
u ity is in d ic a te d : P r o c lu s ’ H y m n to H elios, S y n e s iu s ’ L etter to Paeonius an d
H y m n I X are o b s e r v e d h e r e. In su lar traits o f E r iu g e n a ’s v o c a b u la r y ap p ear

58. T h e titu li o f th e C odex aureus state that C harles th e B ald is alto g eth er
C h arlem agn e, D a v id , and S o lo m o n : «H ic n o m e n m a g n i K aroli de n o m in e
sum psit; / N u m e n et in d ic iu m sceptra te n e n d o sua. / H ic D a v id vario fu lg escit
ste m m a te regis / A tq u e S a lo m o n ic a iu ra d o c e n tis h a b et» . «T h e k in g y o u see
receiv ed his n am e from C harles th e Great: / th e p ow er, regalia, and sceptres he
h old s are his o w n . / T h is D a v id is radiant in his m a n ifo ld royal cro w n / and
claim s th e r ig h ts o f a S o lo m o n to teach» (M G H , P o eta e latin i aevi C arolin i,
t. I ll, p. 252, IV, i , 7 -8 ).

65
VALERY V. PETR O FF

in a set expression titania lampas, which might have been borrowed from
Aldhelm o f Malmesbury. Close lexical parallels between A u l a e sidereae’s
astronomical prologue and Martianus Capella’s D e nuptiis are poined out. It
is suggested also that verses 82-92 o f the A u l a e Sidereae may allude to
Lucretius’ prologue to the D e R e ru m Na tura .
Am ong topics discussed is the cosmic harmony manifest in the order o f
things, which sings along (concinit ) to what is told by Scripture (m un dus g e s­
tans sym bola Christi)·, as also the harmony o f the octaves (octonus numerus d ivi­
nos sym fonat actus) which is symbolized by the harp o f King David (nabla
sonorum). It is argued that the tem plum (aedes, domus), dedicated to the
Mother o f God (dei genitrix) and consecrated on Christmas Day, becomes
in John Scottus’ poetical masterpiece a symbol and image o f harmonically
structured universe and emblematizes at once the starry temple o f the Sun
(aula sidera), the transcendent House o f the W isdom o f God (aula superna,
remota domus), the Bethleem ’s manger (sancta domus), and the Heavenly
Jerusalem as visio p a d s . The figure o f King Charles seated on his lofty
throne is loaded with symbolism too: he is presented as an ideal ruler and
a personification o f the visible Sun, Kings David and Solomon, Christ, and
Charlemagne.
Valery V. P etroff
Institute o f Philosophy o f the
Russian Academy o f Sciences
CAMPaS.IPh@gmail.com

66
F inito di stampare nel dicem bre 2016
E d izion i G rafiche M anfredi
V ia G aetano M azzoni 3 9 /a — 00166 R o m a
M ic r o l o g u s . Nature, Sciences and Medieval Societies
w w w . m ir a b ile w e b . it

I · 1993: Discourses o f the Body XVI · 2008: Knowledge at the Courts


II · 1994: Sciences at the Court o f Frederick II X V II · 2009: The M other
III ■ 1995: The Crisis o f Alchem y X V III · 2010: Silence
IV · 1996: The Theatre o f Nature X IX · 2011: Measuring
V ■ 1997: View and Vision in the M iddle XX · 2012: Extremities and
Ages ■I Excrescences o f the Body
VI -1 9 9 8 : View and Vision in the M iddle XXI · 2013: The Medieval Legends
Ages ■I I o f Philosophers and Scholars
V II · 1999: The Corpse X X II · 2014: Le Corps du Prince
V III, 1-2 · 2000: The World o f A nim als X X III · 2015: ’Ά γ γ ε λ ο ς - Angelus
IX · 2001: The Jews and the Sciences From the Antiquity to the Middle Ages
X · 2002: The Five Senses X X IV · 2016: The Impact o f Arabic Sciences
in Europe and Asia
XI · 2003: The Heart
X X V · 2017: Ideas o f Harmony
X II · 2004: The Su n and the M oon
in M edieval Culture and Society
X III · 2005: The H um an Skin
X IV · 2006: The Secret * Indexes: M ic ro lo g u s (voll. 1-20) a n d
X V · 2007: The Body and its A dornm ent M ic ro lo g u s L ib rary (voll. 1-45) 2012

M ic r o l o g u s L ib r a r y

66 ■ Petrus Alfonsi and his D ialogus. Background, Context, Reception, e d ite d by C . C ardelle
d e H a rtm a n n a n d P. R o e lli, 2014
67 ■ Parfums et odeurs au M oyen Age. Science, usage, symboles, textes ré u n is p a r A . P ara-
v icin i B agliani, 2015
68 · Passions et pulsions à la cour (M oyen A ge - Temps modernes), tex tes ré u n is p a r B.
A n d e n m a tte n , A. Ja m m e , L. M o u lin ie r-B ro g i e t M . N ic o u d , 2015
69 · Le cheval dans la culture médiévale, tex tes ré u n is p a r B. A n d e n m a tte n , A . Paravicini
B agliani e t E. P ib iri, 2015
70 · C . C a sa g ran d e — S. V ecchio, Passioni dell’anima. Teorie e usi degli affetti nella cultura
medievale, 2015
71 · Penser avec les démons. Démonologues et démonologies ( X IIIe- X V I I e siècles), textes
ré u n is p a r M . O s to re ro et J. V éronèse, 2015
72 · F. M e rcie r — M . O sto rero , L ’énigme de la Vauderie de Lyon. Enquête sur l’essor de la
chasse aux sorcières entre France et Empire (1430-1480), 2015
73 · F. C h a v e -M a h ir — J. V éro n èse, R ituel d ’exorcisme ou manuel de magie? Le manuscrit
C lm 1008} de la Bayerische Staatsbibliothek de M unich (début du X V e siècle), 2015
74 · A . R o d o lfi, «Cognitio obumbrata». Lo statuto epistemologico della profezia nel secolo
X III, 2016
75 ■J. M a rtin e z G â zq u ez, The A ttitu d e o f the M edieval Latin Translators Towards the
Arabic Sciences, 2016
76 · S. M o u re a u , Le D e an im a alchimique du pseudo-Avicenne. Vol. I. E tu d e ; Vol. II. E d i­
tio n c ritiq u e et tra d u c tio n a n n o té e , 2016
77 · S. Lazaris, Le Physiologus grec. Volume I. La réécriture de l’histoire naturelle antique, 2016

ISSN 1123-2560

IS B N 978-88-8450-734-1