Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 02 March |
Saint of the Day: St. Chad
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
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
2
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
3
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
4
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
6
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
7
Frei Giuseppe Ungaro
Aleteia
The 100-year-old Franciscan who knew 6 saints in person
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.