Cicero, De Oratore

Description

This volume contains De Oratore (On the Orator), a rhetorical treatise by the Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero (b. 106 BC, d. 43 BC). His speeches and works of rhetoric were the cornerstone of Latin education throughout the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance. More manuscripts of Cicero’s work survive than of any classical Latin author.

Classical works were frequently borrowed from monasteries in England and on the Continent in order to make copies of texts. This book was produced between 830 and 836 by the Benedictine monk Lupus of Ferrières (b. c. 805, d. c. 862) in the abbey of Fulda, in modern-day Germany or in Ferrières Abbey, in Central France.

Surviving letter collections show that while studying in Fulda, Lupus wrote to Einhard (b. c. 775, d. 840), a renowned Frankish scholar and the biographer of Emperor Charlemagne (r.768–814) asking for permission to copy De Oratore and several other texts. Lupus probably received this permission, as his copy of the work still survives.

This manuscript was digitised with the support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Full title:
Cicero, De Oratore
Created:
2nd quarter of the 9th century, Fulda, Germany or Ferrières-en-Gâtinais, France
Format:
Manuscript
Creator:
Cicero
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Harley MS 2736

Full catalogue details

Related articles

The classical past

Article by:
Cillian O’Hogan
Themes:
History and learning, Science and nature

Cillian O’Hogan offers an introduction to the range of classical works that shaped medieval thought on literature and scientific learning.

Medieval monastic libraries

Article by:
Alison Ray
Themes:
Christian religion and belief, Making manuscripts, History and learning

Through the evidence of surviving manuscripts, Alison Ray explores the collections of medieval libraries and how these libraries grew and changed over time.