Marianus Scotus (DNB00)

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MARIANUS SCOTUS (1028–1082?), chronicler, was a native of Ireland, as his second name denotes, and was born in 1028. His true name was Moelbrigte, or servant of Bridget, and his teacher was Tigernach, no doubt the annalist of that name. He became a monk in 1052, and, leaving Ireland, entered the monastery of Irish monks at Cologne on Thursday, 1 Aug. 1056. On 12 April 1058 he left Cologne for Fulda, was ordained priest by Abbot Siegfried of Fulda on 13 March 1059 at Warzburg, and on 14 May following became a 'recluse' at Fulda. There he remained ten years, till on 3 April 1069 he left Fulda by command of Siegfried, now archbishop of Mentz, and on 10 July 1069 settled at Mentz still as a recluse, and there remained in the monastery of St. Alban the Martyr till his death, which is said to have taken place on 22 Dec. 1082, or 1083.

Marianus composed a universal chronicle, beginning from the Christian era, and coming down to 1082; it was continued by Dodechin, abbot of St. Disebod, near Treves, to 1200. Marianus thought that the Dionysian date of Christ's nativity was twenty-two years too late, and he therefore added to his chronicle a double chronology, (1) according to the gospel; (2) according to Dionysius, and appended tables and arguments in support of his theory; but even in his own time, says William of Malmesbury, he had but few supporters (Gesta Regum, p. 345, Rolls Ser.)

The chronicle contains some fifty or sixty references to Britain and Ireland. Down to 725 A.D. these are extracted from Bede; the later ones refer mostly to Marianus himself, or to Irish monks. In its earlier portion the chronicle is a compilation from various sources, and the part that relates to the writer's own time is very brief. Florence of Worcester adopted Marianus as the basis of his own chronicle, and through this source the work became familiar to English writers, who, indeed, often cite Florence under the name of Marianus. In Germany the chronicle of Marianus was not so widely known, though Siegfried of Gemblou made extensive use of it. The two best manuscripts of the chronicle are Cotton MS. Nero C. v., of the eleventh century, which was probably used by Florence of Worcester; and Vatican 830, which has many claims to be regarded as Marianus's own autograph; in any case the writing is that of an Irish monk, and it is also significant that in this copy a few short entries in Gaelic occur. The Vatican MS. was taken by Waitz for his text in the 'Monumenta Germanise Historica,' v. 495-562. The chronicle was printed at Basle in 1559 from a mutilated manuscript; this is followed in the editions of Pistorius, 1601, and of Struvius, 1726, so that Waitz might fairly claim for his edition the merit of an 'editio princeps.'

In addition to the chronicle, Marianus is also credited with a variety of scriptural commentaries, through confusion with his contemporary and namesake, Marianus Scotus, abbot of St. Peter's, Ratisbon (see below). Similarly his 'Concord of the Gospels' is simply the second book of the chronicle, and the various chronological treatises ascribed to him extracts from it.

Marianus Scotus (d. 1088), abbot of St. Peter's, Ratisbon, is to be carefully dis- tinguished from the historian. In an Irish gloss in MS. 1247 in the Imperial Library at Vienna he describes himself as ' Muiredach trog mace robartaig,' in Latin, 'Marianus miser filius Robartaci.' Muiredach is Latinised as Marianus or Pelagius, Robartaig is the modern Rafferty. Marianus came to Bamberg in 1067, and there, by the advice of Bishop Otto, became a Benedictine in the monastery of St. Michael. After Otto's death, Marianus and his companions set out for Rome, but, owing to a vision, joined Muricherodachus (i.e. Marchard or Morvog), an Irish recluse at Ratisbon, where they founded the monastery of St. Peter, outside the walls. Marianus became the first abbot, and after his death was regarded as a saint. He probably died in 1088; his day is given by Colgan as 17 April, by others as 4 July; the Bollandists prefer 9 Feb.

Marianus the abbot was famous for his caligraphy, and is said to have copied the Bible more than once. The Vienna MS. referred to above is a copy of the epistles of St. Paul, with a commentary in his handwriting. At Ratisbon there is a commentary on the Psalms, which Marianus says that he wrote in 1074, the seventh year of his pilgrimage. Dempster says that he wrote 'Regula ad fratres' and other works (Hist. Eccl. xii. 837). His life, written by an anonymous monk of Ratisbon, is printed in the 'Acta Sanctorum.'

[The details of Marianus's life are given in his Chronicle; see also preface to Florence of Worcester (Engl. Hist. Soc.); Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. pp. 511-12; Hardy's Descript. Cat. Brit. Hist. ii. 46; Pertz's Mon. Germ. Hist. v. 481-94; Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, xx. 378-9. For Marianus the abbot see Bolland's Acta Sanctorum, Feb. ii. 361-5; Revue Celtique, i. 262-4.]

C. L. K.