Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Thursday 05 August |
The Commemoration of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Mary Major
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Earliest Latin commentary on the Gospels has been rediscovered after 1,500 years

FORTUNATIANUS

Courtesy Cologne Cathedral Library

Daniel Esparza - published on 08/29/17

It’s even older than the Vulgate.

In his Lives of Famous Men, which he wrote by the end of the 4th century, St. Jerome (the saint who was responsible for the revision of the Gospels and the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into Latin), mentions the Bishop of Aquileia, Fortunatianus. Jerome explains that the cleric had written a commentary on the Gospels, which the saint described as “a pearl without price.” In fact, when writing his commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Jerome used Fortunatianus’, the earliest Latin commentary on the Gospels registered in history.

This commentary was lost for more than 1,500 years. Until now.

Even though there are plenty of references to Fortunatianus’ text in other ancient works, as Hugh Houghton explains in this post published by The Conversation, “no copy was known to survive until Dr Lukas Dorfbauer, a researcher from the University of Salzburg, identified Fortunatianus’ text in an anonymous manuscript copied around the year 800 and held in Cologne Cathedral Library.” The manuscript found in the Cathedral indeed preserves the original form of Fortunatianus’ commentary on the Gospels.

You can read the whole article, by Hugh Houghton, here. And you can read Fortunatianus’ work, in English, here.

Tags:
ArchaeologyBibleChurch History
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
2
Philip Kosloski
Most priests can’t absolve these sins
3
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
4
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
5
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
6
AMERICA'S GOT TALENT
Cerith Gardiner
Nightbirde’s beautiful message as she drops out of TV show
7
Gianmarco Tamberi AND Mutaz Essa Barshim
Cerith Gardiner
This Olympic event captures the true meaning of the Games
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.