Clement Scotus II (DNB00)

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CLEMENT Scotus II (fl. 820), grammarian, arrived, according to the old tradition, from Ireland on the coast of Gaul, in company with another scholar of his nation, about the time when Charles the Great 'began to reign alone in the west,' that is, after the death of Carloman in 771. The two men were warmly received at the Frankish court, and Clement was entrusted with the education of a number of pupils, apparently at the royal court. This appointment has been naturally connected with the foundation of the 'schola palatina,' which formed a characteristic feature in Charles's domestic organisation. The older French scholars, as du Boulay (Historia Universitatis Parisiensis, i. 568), assuming that the school was established at Paris, claimed Clement accordingly as one of the founders of the university of some four centuries later date. The account, however, of Clement's appearance in the Frankish realm rests solely upon the authority of the monk of St. Gall (Gesta Karoli Magni, i. 1, 3, in Jaffé, Bibliotheca Rerum Germanicarum, iv. 632, 633), who wrote towards the end of the ninth century, and whose narrative is admitted to contain a large element of fable. Yet some scholars who discredit the story still maintain that the unnamed Scot, or rather band of Scots, whose influence at the palace roused the opposition of Alcuin (Ep. xcviii. in Jaffeé's Bibliotheca, vi. 107 et seq.) and of Bishop Theodulf of Orleans (Carm. xxxv. in Dümmler's Poetæ Latini avi Carolini, i. 487 et seq. 1881), must necessarily designate Clement. This identification was merely suggested by Mabillon (Acta SS. Ord. S. Bened. sec. iv. pt. i. praef. p. cxxxi, 1677) as a plausible inference from the monk of St. Gall's narrative, the historical character of which he accepted; but it has in modern times been asserted more positively by M. Hauréau (Singularités Historiques et Littéraires, pp. 25, 26, 39, 1861) and Mr. Bass Mullinger (Schools of Charles the Great, pp. 121–4, 1877). It is, however, not the less an hypothesis.

The first tangible notice of Clement occurs in a 'Catalogue of the Abbots of Fulda' (Perte, Monumenta Germanice Historica, Scriptt. xiii. 272), where we read that Ratgar, who was abbot from 802 to 817, sent a certain Modestus and other monks to Clement the Scot for the purpose of learning grammar. Clement was, then or later, plainly resident at the Frankish court; for we have a poem by him addressed to Lothar as emperor (that is, after he had gained the imperial title in 817), from which it appears that the latter was his pupil (Poet. Lat. cevi Carol. ii. 670, 1884); and another poem, by Ermoldus Nigellus (Carm. iv. 403,404; ib. 69), describes Clement as active in the festivities at Ingelheim on the occasion of the baptism of the Danish king Harald in 826 (compare Simson, Jahrbücher des frankischen Reichs unter Ludwig dem Frommen, i. 260, 261 , 1874). The year of Clement's death is not known, but the day is given as 29 March ('Clementis presbiteri magistri palatini') in a necrology preserved in a Würzburg manuscript of the ninth century (printed by Dümmler in the Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte, vi. 116, 1866), whence it has been conjectured that he died at Würzburg (Simson, op. cit. ii. 259, 1876). His high character is celebrated in a poem by one Prudens, otherwise unknown, who ranks him first among the teachers in the palace school (Poet Lat. ævi Carol, i. 581).

Two grammatical works exist in manuscript bearing Clement's name; one is an 'Ars Grammatica' (also described as 'De Partibus Orationis'), the other, which is possibly only apart of the same, 'De Barbarismo' (H. Keil, Grammatici Latini, i. præf. pp. xx, xxi). Specimens have been printed by Sinner (Cat. Codd. MSS. Biblioth. Bern. i. 344-6, 1760), Hauréau (l.c. pp. 23, 24), and H. Hagen (Anecdota Helvetica — supplement to Keil — præf. xxxii-xxxiv, 1870). Clement's bibliography has, however, been largely extended by a twofold confusion; he has been identified first with the opponent of St. Boniface [see preceding article], and secondly with Claudius, bishop of Turin, who died about 839, and who has long been proved to have been not an Irishman but a Spaniard (see Mabillon, Annates Ord. S. Bened. xxviii. 33, vol. ii. 418, 419). In consequence of this confusion the two Clements and Claudius have been freauently called indifferently 'Clemens Claudius' or 'Claudius Clemens' (compare the notices of Lilius Gregorius Gyraldus, Opera, ii. 222, 1580; Bale, Scriptt. Brit. Cat xiv. 32, pt. ii. 203; Miræus, Biblioth. ecclesiast ccxlii, p. 228, 1639; Labbé, De scriptt. ecclesiast. i. 228, 1660; Du Boulay, l.c.; Tanner, Bibl. Brit. p. 184; Fabricius, Bibl. Lat med. et infim. Æt. i. 357, 358, ed. 1858 — which are all pervaded by this mistake in one form or another). The distinction between the three men is carefully examined by Nicolaus Antonius, 'Bibliotheca Hispana vetus,' i. 469-61 (Madrid, 1788), though this writer persists in calling both those surnamed Scotus by the double name of 'Clemens Claudius.'

[Sec especially Simson's Jahrbücher, as above, ii. 257-9.]

R. L. P.