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Overview of new texts

As of June 2023, 151 new works have been added to the Library of Latin Texts (which since 2021 has brought together the former LLT-A and LLT-B). Furthermore, one text has been reorganized. Since December 2022, over 1.8 million words have been added to the database. Consequently, the LLT now contains a total of more than 155.5 million words. The current version of the LLT allows scholars to consult 11,765 works (among which 5,804 are diplomatic charters).

This update of the LLT marks the start of a programme to incorporate the sermons falsely attributed to Saint Augustine. For example, we have introduced the Sermo in cathedra Petri (CPL 369) – which could have been composed by a fifth-century Roman author – and various sermons whose attribution to Quodvultdeus or Optatus of Milevis is questionable.

The Quaestiones Veteris et Noui Testamenti, conventionally attributed to the so-called ‘Ambrosiaster’, have long been present in the database according to what the editor calls the recensio altera. The texts of the recensio prima (i.e. the ‘appendix’) not included in the recensio altera have now been integrated into the database. Thus, the entirety of the Quaestiones can now be consulted in the LLT.

As to the Middle Ages, we have started to introduce the works of the Dominican theologian Durandus of Saint-Pourçain (c. 1275–1334). These works have been published by the Thomas-Institut of the Philosophische Fakultät at the University of Cologne, under the direction of Andreas Speer. We would like to thank Peeters Publishers (Leuven, Belgium) for their agreement to include them in the LLT. In the current update, we are incorporating Durandus’ commentaries on the first book of Sentences by Peter Lombard, according to the redactio B.

We are furthering the integration of the works of Denis the Carthusian by now including the Elementatio philosophica, the Elementatio theologica, the De lumine Christianae theoriae, siue De diuina essentia, and, finally, the Sermones de sanctis tam ad saeculares quam ad religiosos.

With the current update of the LLT, we have begun the inclusion of the works by the Benedictine monk Renier (born between 1110 and 1120, and died after 1188), who was active in the Saint-Laurent Abbey of Liège. Renier is renowned for his theological, exegetical, historical, and biographical works, written both in prose and verse. Thus, we have incorporated, among other works, the Vita Wolbodonis episcopi Leodiensis, the In nouem antenatalitias antiphonas commentatio (whose authenticity is disputed), as well as the Lacrimarum libelli tres.

We are continuing to include new works by Honorius of Autun (c. 1080–after 1153), such as the In librum Ecclesiastes commentarius (formerly attributed to Rupert of Deutz), the De libero arbitrio libellus, and the small text known under the title Utrum sit peccatum nubere uel carnes comedere.

The De philosophia mundi has been published under the name of Honorius of Autun since the Basel edition of 1544. However, it is actually a work by William of Conches (c. 1090–after 1154). The work is considered one of the most important treatises on natural philosophy of the twelfth century. We have adopted the text printed by Migne but corrected the author’s name according to the status quaestionis.

Currently, the LLT includes a number of works written by Jan van Ruusbroec (1293–1381) and Gerard Groote (1340–1384). This time, we are incorporating the Latin translations made by Groote of works written by members of his circle, particularly those of Ruusbroec. This includes the Speculum aeternae salutis (the translation of Een spieghel der eeuwigher salicheit), a summary of the De septem clausuris (Ruusbroec’s Vanden seven sloten), and the De duodecim uirtutibus (the translation of Godfried Wevel’s Vanden twaelf dogheden).

There is currently no printed edition available of Gilbert of Poitiers’ (c. 1075–1154) Commentarium in sancti Pauli epistulas. Nevertheless, thanks to an agreement with Karlfried Froehlich, we are including the transcription of this important work that he made, based on the manuscript Zwettl, Zisterzienserstift, cod. 58 (which dates from the third or fourth quarter of the twelfth century).

The Cistercian Gunther of Pairis is primarily known for his Historia Constantinopolitana, which narrates the conquest of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, as well as his historical epics. This time, we are including his theological treatise De oratione, ieiunio et eleemosyna. Additionally, we have incorporated the prologue from the editio princeps of 1507, which was written by the learned Cistercian scholar Conrad of Leonberg (c. 1465–1511).

The Flores philosophorum et poetarum, dating from the end of the thirteenth century, are an anonymous anthology compiled from Books V and VI of Vincent of Beauvais’ Speculum doctrinale. We have included the edition published in 2020 by Irene Villarroel Fernández in the collection Textes et Études du Moyen Âge.

Volume 310 of the Continuatio Mediaeualis (edited by José Carlos Martín-Iglesias and his collaborators) contains twenty-two hagiographical texts of Spanish origin (from Aragon, Castile, and León), written between the ninth and the thirteenth centuries. All of these texts have been integrated into the LLT. They include hagiographical accounts of Saint Indalecius of Urci, Saint Zoilus of Cordoba, as well as Saint Votus and Saint Felix, among others.

The Tractatus contra Graecos, written in 1252 by an anonymous Dominican, is a key work in the Latin theological controversy of the thirteenth century. It holds significant importance not only concerning the theological dispute between the Latins and the Greeks during the thirteenth century but also with regard to the early history of the Dominican Order in the East. The importance of this work cannot be overstated. We have included the edition published in 2020 by Andrea Riedl in the Continuatio Mediaeualis.

As has become customary in recent years, we are again introducing into the database newly published Latin texts from the journal Sacris Erudiri. Included in the current update are the Carmina in solo cod. Winchester College MS 48 seruata (SE 58, edited by Anne Bagnall Yardley and Jesse D. Mann), the Carmen ‘Claruit imperio Gretie Grecorum’ (an epitome of Walter of Châtillon’s Alexandreis, SE 53, edited by Carsten Wollin), and the Annotationes in Augustini De Genesi ad litteram libros duodecim (SE 55, edited by Jesse Keskiaho).

Regarding the Recentior Latinitas, it is worth mentioning the epic poem Plus ultra, composed by Aloysius Mickl (1711–1767). Mickl’s Plus ultra is the latest among a series of epic poems dedicated to Christopher Columbus (which includes Ubertino Carrara’s Columbus, carmen epicum, integrated into the LLT in 2012). The title of Mickl’s epic alludes to Plus ultra, the motto of Emperor Charles V, and to the presumed inscription Non plus ultra on the Columns of Hercules (Gibraltar). Mickl wrote this poem during his studies, before entering the Cistercian Order. He conceived it as an ‘Anti-Virgil’, while composing the verses on the Virgilian model. The Plus ultra was not printed during the author’s lifetime. We are using the text from the first edition, which was produced by Father Rudolf Schmidtmayer in 1902. The editor includes at the end of his introduction, as a conclusion, the beautiful ode Christophorus Columbus et Leo XIII P. M., Anno MDCCCXCII, composed by the Jesuit Ottavio Cagnacci (1837–1902). This latter poem, which comes from the collection of Cagnacci’s Odae, has been included in the database alongside Mickl’s epic.

Ludvig Holberg (1684–1754), who is often considered “the first great writer of the Nordic countries in modern times”, authored numerous scientific, historical, and literary works. However, today he is primarily known internationally for his utopian novel Nicolai Klimii iter subterraneum, published in Latin in 1741. This novel depicts a journey to the center of the Earth, combining imaginative fantasy, satire, and Enlightenment thinking. As early as 1742, the novel was translated into Danish and several European languages. We have included the critical edition published in 1866 by Carolus Guil. Elberling.

Last but not least, we must mention a very particular group of texts from the twentieth century. Thanks to an agreement with the University of Oslo, a significant corpus of Latin texts on subjects related to Italian fascism, written during the fascist period (the Ventennio fascista, 1922–1943), has been integrated into the LLT. These texts have been published online under the direction of Han Lamers and Bettina Reitz-Joosse in Fascist Latin Texts (FLT; accessible at https://flt.hf.uio.no/). The inclusion of these texts began in 2022. With the current 2023 update, we have included no fewer than 63 works. Among the authors covered, there are some notable figures such as the Jesuit Vittorio Genovesi (with poems that he did not include in his collection of Carmina published in 1959) and Ippolito Galante (known for his epic Saniucta from 1957, also available in the LLT). It is worth noting the number of Latin translations of speeches by Benito Mussolini (we have included twelve), which clearly demonstrate, as do many other texts included, the importance that the fascist regime attributed to Latin. “Mussolini encouraged and praised the use of Latin as an instrument of fascism. […] The Latin language was not only considered particularly close to Italian but was also presented as particularly close to the fascist spirit” (J. Luggen, 2020). “Mussolini, with his ideologues and cultural bureaucrats, made ancient Rome the backbone of fascist ideology and propaganda” (Han Lamers in his introduction to Mussolini in FLT). It should be noted that many of the included texts were taken from textbooks.

Among the authors represented by the highest number of contributions, we can mention Francesco Lo Parco, Paolino Menna, and Giovanni Napoleone. We have also included texts mentioned in FLT but that have not yet been integrated into the Oslo database, such as Anacleto Trazzi’s Vergilius redux seu de uita recentiore.

For more details about this update of the LLT (that unites the former Series A and B of the Library of Latin Texts in one database), we invite our users to consult the lists of authors and titles in the “About” section of the database (“New titles 2023” and “All titles”).