Tractatus virtutum Boncompagni
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Here Begins the Treatise of Virtues.

[1] Having treated the Five tables of salutations, I consider it worthy to note down the virtues which are to be had in the art of prose composition, and the defects which should be avoided in that art, so that with the defects removed, virtues may take a principal place in any passage,1 and so that nothing defective should dare to appear on the page of the prudent dictator.

[2] It is a virtue to begin privileges, rhetorical orations, testaments and letters from a humble level of style2 and to invigorate the clauses, the meaning of the discourse and the beauty of the words all the way to the end, because the end of things has every crime and every honor. The prophets, evangelists, apostles and all the disciples of Christ have held to this doctrine, in the New as well as the Old Testament, by the instinct or the persuasion of the Holy Spirit. For the Mediator of God and of men3 Himself used simple beginnings while he abided in the mortality of our flesh.4 If however, John the Evangelist alone began his Gospel in an elevated style, we ought not take him as a model,5 because he slept on the Lord's chest and was taken up into heaven, and celestial secrets were revealed to him.6

[3] But the holy fathers used to begin in an humble style: Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, Leo the Great, Johannes Chrystomon.7 The Roman Church today imitates this doctrine, and all dictators of the emperor and of kings; the Greeks of today imitate this doctrine, from their founts spring the streams of the Latins. Humbly desiring to imitate the footsteps of such fathers and doctors, I confidently repudiate the judgement of the masters of Orleans, who say that more ornate words or authorities must always be placed in the beginning.8

[4] Sermons9 should indeed have a beginning from authorities, because there are some preachings which cannot be done without the suffrage of authorities. Authorities may be similarly cited in some penitential letters10 from the very beginning, but not in others. In letters which are given to those making penance for some great transgression,11 as for instance for those who have killed their father12 or mother, brother, or sister, or in or similar great transgressions, authorities can and should be cited, as well as preambles or a general maxims which invite men to remission of sins and to give alms. Indeed other penitential letters should begun similiarly.

[5] Authorities should be cited in those letters in which a certain remission of sins is contained or a simple prayer without remission is contained, as in letters given for building or recovering churches,13 for the redemption of captives,14 for Templars or Hospitallers15 and for those who are redeemed from the yoke of slavery,16 for the building bridges,17 for those who have fallen into the net of poverty,18 and when a letter is written singularly for a deceased soul, as for example when a group of clerics is invited to make prayers. Letters of this sort are like preaching,19 and one cannot preach unless he introduces authorities which lead the minds of his audiance to piety and mercy.

[6] But the prudent dictator should insert authorities in such a manner that the last suitably correspond with the first. Indeed I advise any dictator that he not ascend so to such an elevated style, that he collapses into the depths of simplicity in a way worthy of censure.20 For it is not praiseworthy to begin, unless the beginning can obtain congruent effect through the service of he who begins.21

[7] But I denounce you furtive plagiators, who indecently append another's purple stripe to the top of your own garmets.22 What does it profit you to scrape off the title of another's book,23 when it would behoove you to cover your genitals, <visible> in the view of many, with your own hairshirt?24 For a turtle put on the feathers of an eagle, and when he flew up high, he crashed irremediably,25 and so "another crow awoke laughter over it."26 For as Buchimenon testified in the eleventh Book of Themes: "The cicada dwells in the laurel tree, the cuckoo in the oliva tree, and the nightingale in the elm tree, but each one expresses its own genus. It makes no difference whether you place a sick person in a wooden or a golden bed, because he will always carry his sickness along with him."27

[8] It is a virtue to begin any treatise or letter from any simple or compound word, as it behoves the dictator according to the variety of themes, provided that the cursus of dictamen is not impeded; any words, that is, except for these: thence, in the manner, if indeed, truly, since, certainly, without doubt, to be sure, then, therefore, for that reason, for instance, but indeed, and the adverbial pair as much...as.

[9] 'But in truth' can <begin a letter or treatise>, but <not> 'in the meantime, further, nevertheless, yet at least, in other respects, really, however, for the rest, furthermore, and also, wherefore, for which sake, therefore, whereby, on which account, on that account, therefore, and one should in no way ever begin <a letter or a treatise> from all ultimate supines, and from these interrogatives 'Who, whose' and from similar ones, and from these words 'either, both, the other, one or the other,' and 'another', and from this pronoun 'thou' [tu] in the nominative case and from the syllabic pronouns ['meapte, tuapte'], and from all conjunctions of the suppositive order, and from interjections and all words whose meaning is obscure, such as ['nauci, extimplo']and the like, and from adverbs derived from proper nouns, like 'Tullianly, Ciceronianly', and from all these words, whether simple or compound, and from those having their meaning, and from many others which it would be tedious to enumerate, because such a beginning would seem to be impetuous, and some of these weaken a preceding sentence. One should note that beginnings of sentences can be made from nearly all the above-mentioned, except from these: 'enim, uero, autem, atque, nam,28 namque, tam,' et 'quam' aduerbium. These words can never be made the beginnings of sentences.

[10] It is a virtue to know that conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions have the same role to play in the composition of prose, which steel nails and pitch have in the composition of a ship. For just as planks cannot be joined together by the hands of the shipwright without nails and pitch, so no treatise can possibly endure without conjunctions, adverbs and prepositions. Thus conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs are the ligaments in prose compositions, just like sinews in the human body, without whose help the limbs are not able to have harmonius action. For when the sinews are deficient, the limbs remain arid, and are deprived of all strength, and so prose without the aid of the aforesaid <conjunctions, prepositions and adverbs> remains wholly arid and bloodless.29

[11] For sometimes one conjunction draws to itself the whole sense of a discourse, sometimes by affirming, sometimes by doubting.

[12] By doubting, just as is had in letters of the lord pope, when it is said 'if the fact stands as such.'30 Does not this conjunction 'if' by doubting draw to itself the whole sense of a discourse? Certainly it does and it varies, because anything under such a conditional should be signified 'the fact can stand as such' to either <situation>. For 'if' is bit of yeast which spoils the whole loaf,31 and if we wish to carefully consider, it is seen that all doubt originates from this single conjuction 'if.' For nearly all glosses and solutions in civil and canon law are made by contingency of the word 'if'. For if it was obvious to the pope, emperor, or any presiding judge concerning a fact, the disagreement would be slight between the litigants, nor would it be fitting that other things be brought forward as proof. Whence I say that whatever is uttered under a condition is neither true nor false, but is an incertitude, about which no certainty can be had. No word except for the conjunction 'if' has incertitudes of this sort.

[13] It can principally make by affirming, as when it is said: "Since the truth of the case is obvious to us, we promulgate a definitive sentence." And note that this word 'since', or one having its meaning, sometimes is used affirmative in a discourse, sometimes negatively, sometimes uncertainly. Affirmatively, as was said above. Uncertainly, as this: "Since the truth of the matter is not obvious, we defer proceding in the trial." Negatively, as this: "Since we know our nephew is wicked and malicious, we are in no way required to heed your request for his acceptance." And note that this word 'since' or one having its meaning sometimes denotes causality, sometimes it denotes causality and likewise makes an ornament of expression, as when it is said: "But because we cannot nor should not leave a the crime of such presumption unpunished." An although the grammarians always thus resolve 'since' into 'because', yet sometimes, saving their grace, 'since' has something else to denote other than 'because'. For this word 'since' is better placed at the beginning of any treatise than 'because'.32 Furthermore, these words 'I make' and 'I do' seem to have the same meaning, yet it 'I do a gift' is not as well said as 'I make a gift'.

[14] Buchimenon says in the first Book of Transumptions that "There is no word which is so synonymous to another in meaning, that it does not have a mode of signification diverse from the synonym."33 Whence he did not admit any equals in rhetoric. For according to dialectitians, 'man' and 'capable of laughing' are equals, and they firmly declare that <when> one of these is removed by anyone, so is the other. But Buchimenon has said "He should be held in derision who substitutes 'capable of laughter' for 'man', or another term for both, or 'capacity for laughter' for 'humanity'. Whence Buchimenon inveighed much in the same book against Aristotle,34 about which nothing in particular shall be said at present.

[15] There are however some words which are sometimes resolved into 'because', yet they should not be placed at the beginning of any treatise, such as 'for' and 'indeed'. There are however some who say that when 'since' and 'because' are put at the beginning of any treatise, at the beginning of the second clause should be placed a corresponding 'therefore' or 'on that account', which opinion seems absurd to me, and utterly contrary to reason.35

[16] For although grammarians consider the properties of words according to the compositions of the fathers, yet by Buchimenon's witness rethoric should have a different understanding in nearly all <cases>. For it is said in the fifth Book of Themes: "If through empty chatter grammarians might be made rhetors, and dialectitians might be made orators, there would be no difference between parsing and oratory, between speaking and eloquence."36 Again in the same book: "The meaning of a discourse should not be considered from a word, but let the far-seeing dictator examine, from the combination of many words, a unique and moderate meaning which springs from the palm tree like a date."

[17] And because in such matters grammarians imitate Aristotelian doctrine, their grammar fades away and their dialectic will bring forth grief for them. Thus I say firmly that 'since' and 'because' can well be placed at the beginning of any treatise, and it is not required that 'therefore' or 'on that account' must be placed in the second clause, nor that the preceding causative be determined by a subsequent word. For these words are not so similar or correlative, that one cannot be used without the other and are thus inferred of necessity. If it should be placed, it would be faulty, nor do I debar that 'since' should not be used. For 'because' in verbs of the first and second person is understood as known to be certain and determinate and 'therefore' should not be put there. Nevertheless it is sometimes used for discretion or for denoting greater certainty.

[18] 'Although' and 'however' sometimes correspond to 'yet', sometimes not. It corresponds, as this: "Although I may have been impeded by many different events, yet I have warned my brother so that I will no longer deny to you deserved reverence with a gift." It does not correspond, as this: "G.<erardus>37 by the grace of God bishop of Bologna, although unworthy," where 'et' is not used, but it is inferred. And note the difference between 'although' and 'however'. For 'however' can be put at the beginning of any treatise, but 'although' is frequently used for the removal of an honor. For all prelates of churches say always 'although unworthy', but I believe this stems more from custom than from the nature of the word.

[19] 'When' and 'while' are sometimes used indistinguishably, but there is a difference between then, because 'when' is more frequently put at the beginning of any treatise and is sometimes used for 'quando', and 'while' may be compounded, as when 'as long as' is said, but 'when' is never compounded.

[20] 'Therefore' or 'on that account' are synonymous, but 'on that account' extends its co-meaning more laxly to a previous clause, nor does it seem to make so great an effect on the meaning of a discourse as 'therefore', and 'therefore' may be compounded, as when 'ideoquam' is said, but 'on that account' may never be compounded.

[21] 'Not', 'and not', 'by no means', 'not at all', 'in no wise' and 'up to no point' are negative adverbs, yet they make negation in different ways. 'Not' has principally the function to make a negation, 'by no means' and 'not at all' secondarily. But 'by no means' and 'not at all' should not be put in any treatise except when a clause stands bare from a paucity of words. Although 'and not' is placed to make a negation, yet it always joins while negating and affirms while joining. 'In no wise'38 makes an ugly negation and, as it seems to me, should rarely be used in any treatise. 'Up to no point' [or 'to no extent'] does not make a general negation, instead it makes a negation with respect to certain pecifics. Whence it should not be used negatively, unless the things concerning which it makes a special negation are changed.39 Whence "I will up to no point go to Rome" is badly said. Indeed 'up to no point' just as 'up to some point' is like a temporal adverb and only denies and excludes time alone. And note that these negations which make an affirmation should be most sparingly used in any treatise, because they make the syntax ugly.40

[22] Note that every negative should always be removed from the end of any clause.41 Note also that this word 'nothing' should not be substituted for 'not' in letters privileges and sermons. In rhetorical speeches in can sometimes be well substituted for 'not'.

[23] 'Further' and 'moreover' are used to make transitions in the meaning of a discourse. For when a dictator wishes to discuss several different items, he should place 'further' and 'moreover' so that he might divide the meaning of the discourse. And note that if several different matters occurr to the dictator, he should first place 'further', and always place 'moreover' at the end, and it should never be used more than once in any treatise.42 Also note the difference between 'further' and 'moreover' because 'further' is sometimes used for the sake of an ornament, while 'moreover' is never.

[24] 'Just as', 'even as', 'just as if', 'as for instance', 'accordingly as', 'as' and 'so' are similitudes, yet they do not note the same likeness, because some are used in the beginning of a treatise, some are never, but are determinatives of a preceeding similitudes.

[25] It is a virtue to avoid an deformed tranposition of words, such as: "I wish to give thanks for your concerning many benefits conferred to me friendship." For an adjective should not be placed at such a distance from its noun, that the intervening words might seem to confuse it, or that the meaning of the discourse might be rendered obscure.

[26] It is a virtue to place an adjective in such a way that it might not seem to adhere to two different nouns.

[27] It is a virtue to divide clauses in such a way that the meaning of the discourse is not confounded by jamming clauses together.

[28] It is a virute to avoid frequent hiatus of vowels, as: ["omnia arma accepi."]

[29] All hiatus should be avoided, if it can be avoided, so long as the sense of an expression is not impeded, but it is more commendable to avoid a distorted meaning or a distorted sense of an expression than to avoid hiatus. It is a lesser evil to offend against the letter than against the sense of an expression. For when hiatus is made, only the letter offended. But if a distorted sense of an expression intervenes, the whole treatise is spoiled.

[30] Note that hiatus must not always be avoided, unless it is done frequently, if a comma intervenes between the two vowels. There are those who say that if a word ends in one letter, it should not begin with the same letter unless a comma intervenes.43 But I believe this would be true only of the letter 'r', but never true of other letters. There is thus a certain hiatus of syllables which should be avoided more than a hiatus of vowels, and it only procedes from these four letters 'r', 's', 'm', 't', such as 'tur tur', 'ra ra', 'ro ro', 'ster ster' and the like. Also 'fus fus' 'fis fis' and the like. Also 'mum mum' 'num num' and the like. Also 'nunc hunc', 'quo quo', 'adhoc hoc'. In suchlike <combinations> there is the worst hiatus, unless a comma intervenes.

[31] It is not a virtue but rather a heresy to conclude prose composition under dactyl feet.44 For 'prose' derives from 'protoi proson', which means in Latin 'long at first', just as 'protomartyr' means 'first martyr'.

[32] Thus the Greeks defined 'prose composition': "Prose composition is speech drawn out according to the will of the dictator and obligated to no laws of meter."45 For they had this definition from the Creator himself of all things, because when He commandted to Adam, that he should not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He spoke these words: "Eat from every tree of Paradise. But do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."46 Behold: God finished his clause with a dactyl foot.

[33] Moses, Aaron, David, the patriarchs, all the prophets, Josephus,47 the translators of the Septuagint, who were the most eloquent men, and that marvelous Solomon, who merited to be bound to God, that is to be joined to His wisdom, and Hippocrates, Galen, Socrates, Plato and Buchimenon, who was a source of all literature, the nurse of rhetoric and fecund beyond all mortals in the elegance of words,48 and all the philosophers who lived before the advent of Christ, these all did not maintain the dactyl law in prose composition.

[34] After the Christ's advent God himself, all the apostles, evangelists and holy fathers maintained the same form and did not pay attention to feet of this sort. But because sometimes it befits us to satisfy custom, , when the context shall allow, let us comply with that custom, which some are seen to imitate at the Roman curia and elsewhere.

[35] I, however, will not preach error, but I will not postpone to say whatever the 'dactyl masters' think about this matter. Some of these say that one should not begin or end a sentence with a trisillabic, whose penultimate syllable is short. They also say that in any sentence the final word of a clause should always be a trisyllabic or quadrasyllabic, whose penultimate syllable is long. They also say that if the final word is quadrasyllabic, the penultimate syllable of the penultimate word should be long, and the penultimate word itself should have four or more syllables. This heresy has in fact grown up a short time ago and those imitating it say many other things about it, which are tedious for me to enumerate.

[36] Furthermore they do not have a ground <for what they assert>,49 but they say that it it seems so to them.50

[37] It is a virtue to not use one trifling word and another heavy and unusual word in any passage, because the whole passage may be rendered obscure by one obscure and unusual word.

[38] It is a virtue not to use equivocal words, unless their meaning is specified by antecedants and subsequent words. It is a virtue not to use any verb which can have a double meaning.

[39] It is a virtue to speak rhetorically to rhetors, to speak wisely to wise persons and to speak with simple construction to simple persons.

[40] It is a virtue, that any dictator should first make a <simple grammatical> construction of words in any passage, he should make apposition of words second. Apposition is the artificial composition of words, which does not submit to the order of <grammatical> construction. Third, he should attend to the sense of the expression.

[41] It is a virtue to compose in such a manner that the composition, so long as it would be read correctly, can be understood in the first or second recitation, unless someone wished to speak specially to some special friend in a quite secret manner about certain secrets and the sender knew that the recipient had not doubt about this matter.

[42] It is not a virtue, but a custom--nay rather a vice--that one should speak about himself in the plural,51 as someone should similarly speak in the plural about one.52 For it would be corrupt if two or three or more persons spoke of themselves in the singular. It is similarly a vice if plural speech is made about one single person.

[43] Before the advent of Christ all persons spoke of themselves in the singular, but after the incarnation of our Lord, the man Jesus Christ used speech in the singular. His disciples maintained this standard, leaving an example for their posterity. But the chosen vessel, the apostle Paul, sometimes spoke of himself in the singular, sometimes in the plural, but he more rarely used the plural number and more frequently used the singular number.53 Whence Gallio said,54 that when Paul spoke in the plural, he includes his associates and disciples, who suffered many persecutions with him for the name of the Lord.

[44] But some say that the lord pope speaks of himself in the plural for the sake of humility, and that in his own mind he counts the cardinals, which could be true. But one should be amazed, why do not patriarchs, archbishops, bishops and other prelates of churches imitate that humility?. For if any cleric or layperson spoke of himself to the pope in the plural, he would account himself as haughty and would be made ridiculous in the Roman curia. Indeed for that reason, that the pope numbers the cardinals in his mind alone, any patriarch and archbishop could number his suffragens, and the same should be understood about other prelates of churches.

[45] And if we wish to carefully investigate, there would be no person so wretched, who could not use the plural number by some understanding. For two serfs can say 'We' of themselves, just as the pope and emperor do, because servile condition does not impose necessity on number. But if some serf wishes to believe or to think of or to number some person or persons in his speech, who can prohibit him? To wish to believe and to think are <characteristics> to all persons, just as is humanity and the ability to laugh. Indeed I know that this manner of speaking does not procede from reason, but from custom, nor does it have any foundation except in custom along.

[46] If it were true, that the cardinals were necessarily understood to be spoken of, when the pope says "our beloved nephew", would that one, about whom it was said, be in truth the nephew of all the cardinals? Similarly, when the pope makes some privilege, it should have been corroborated solely by the subscription of the pope, nor would it be fitting that any cardinal should make there his subscription.

[47] But if it is true that "a mandate expires on the death of the mandator",55 only the pope is understood to die, because letters, in which only the name of the pope is used, are null and void immediately after his death. But privileges, which are granted by the pope, do not expire "on the death of the mandator", if they have been corroborated by the subscription of the cardinals.56

[48] Thus I say firmly, that whoever speaks in the plural of himself or of another, he utters an idle word. An idle word is that which either renders meaning obscure or does not contain a speck of truth. We will be rendered accountable for such a word on the day of judgement. How can anyone lie more than to say 'Thou' of one person as if there are many persons? Would it not be ridiculous to say 'I; of many persons? Thus it is ridiculous to say 'We' of one person. For a false witness will not go unpunished before the Lord. And he who says a lie will not escape detection. But because the lord pope sustains this custom and approves it, we are required to imititate it.

[49] It is a virtue, that if anyone begins to speak in the plural in any passage, he should maintain the same manner up to the end, except when he might bring up some others along with himself within the passage. That which I have said concerning the singular should be understood about the plural.

[50] It is a virtue that a dictator would most diligently consider what, to whom, when, where and how he speaks. For it befits a dictator to conform himself to the customs of all, for this is <one custom> for the lord pope, another for clerics, another for laypersons, another for men, another for women, another for free persons, another for serfs. And what is more important, the prudent dictator should consider the virtues and vices of every person, if that can be done, because often that which pleases one person, the other person abhors, and some adjectives can be used for praise of one person, which would pertain to the blame of another, if they were used.

[51] It is a virtue to rarely use rhetorical colors in the epistolary style, because many think to color their compositions, who imprudently discolor them. For when the indiscreet artist does not know the temper of colors, he renders the whole image murky. And thus those who do not have a natural intellect cannot have colors, except those apparent in the construction. How will a discolored person thus color? How does fruit or sap come from a dry tree? How will a turtle fly? How will an ass play the lute? He is like a blind person, who does not known the road which he enters. But many are today called 'rhetoricians' in name only, who fill both cheeks glorying in the sole garrulity of words, wrongly calling themselves 'rhetoricians'.

[52] For among dogs, he is held to be the better dog who can bark louder. If he were hoarse and could not emit his bark, what would that rhetorician do? I believe he will be silent, until he purges the tracheal arteries with a squill flavoured oxymel and expells a harmful frost with bites of hot food. He could annoint his weakened chest with butter and dialterea, so that by this unction and rubbing the pores would be opened and from this a naturally warm strength would return. According to Constantine the African,57 a vigorous rubbing releases warmth. So thus do many rhetoriticians declaim, and they will recuperate rhetoric they had lost to a supervening chill.

[53] There are some who say "We would well have the rhetorical art, but impeded by many affairs, we are not able to have practice <of rhetoric>, although we will be able to have it whenever we might wish." Hear me, hear me, O sons of the old Adam, O weak vessels,58 O soluble clay, O skins of mortality, dry tongues and infertile plants: Shall not the tree by known by its fruits?59 and does not the effect of a work impose a name on it?60 Tell me O lump of asphalt, when will the Messiah come? If you preach rhetoric, you either know rhetoric or you do not. And you do not, because you have no effect. For if you preach that you are a good painter, why have you drawn your likeness with a hook nose, why did you make your hands crooked and your eyes torturous? The painting speaks its painter in truth and the work commends its maker.61 For you say that you are able to have this rhetoric. Indeed an empty purse will be able to receive gold, but afterwards nothing shall have been allowed in to the purse. From this simile I say that the rhetorical art cannot be had by custom or by practice.

[54] For Buchimenon said in the first Book of petitions: "God sent a goddess of the <three> Graces62 among mortals and he made this kind of eloquence procede from nature alone."63 Again in the same book: "This is a gift of God and the highest Secret of Secrets, in which custom is of no use, practice withers away; because it is a fated gift and divinely conferred."64

[55] It is a virtue to avoid all rhythm and all species of rhythm in a prose composition. Rhythm is the congruent and harmonious arrangement of words, pronounced with equality of syllables.

[56] It is a virtue to not place any verse in a prose composition, for prose has no affinity with verse. If however, it is necessary that you include the idea of a verse, you might be able to imitate a verse in prose, in this manner: "More than civil war, we sing of war throughout the Amathian plains."65

[57] It is a virtue not to use the same word two times in same clause, or in a neighboring clause, if it can be done <otherwise>, because it generates tedium and tramples the meaning of speech. These words offer themselves indecently and unsuitably to the dictator: 'that, so that, to me, to thou, to us, to you, ours, to your, to our, your, thine, my, I, thou, for, certainly, in truth, indeed, namely, that is' and 'for which sake'. The dictator should exercize foresight and substitute 'the contents for the containers', because their unsuitability makes for an ugly repetition, or because the entire treatise might be corrupted.

[58] It is a virtue to suitable separate clauses with the aid of punctuation, which sometimes should be made as commas, sometimes as periods. For a whole treatise is corrupted by one false punctuation mark. And if we wish to look into this subtly, sometimes the whole sense of speech is varied in a single punctuation mark.66 Punctuation marks are sometimes used as a copulative, as when it is said: "To the beloved friends M, Y, and C and Io." And note that when punctuation marks are used as a copulative, they should always be written erect, because an erect rising staff [comma] denotes an incomplete meaning of speech. For punctuations are like boundary marks, because just as a boundary mark divides one field from another, so punctuation marks divide one clause from another, and they make each clause remain content within its own boundaries. The punctuation mark should be written as a simple period when the meaning of a sentence has been properly completed.

[59] It is a virtue that you should ornament each clause in your treatise in such a way that it is neither denuded by an excessive paucity of verbiage nor that the sense of speech be confounded by a multitude of words.

Here Ends the Treatise of Virtues


1 In the works of Boncompagno, tractatus can either mean a treatise, that is: 1) a whole piece of writing with a distinct beginning and end; or a discussion, that is: 2) an oral discussion, or 3) a section within a written work. Following this last meaning, Palma cc. 33-49 is referred to at Oliva 8b.10 as the Tractatus punctorum. Boncompagno says the book titled Oliva contains a tractatus de privilegiis (Oliva cc. 2-38) and a tractatus de confirmationibus (Oliva cc. 39-60). However, the tractatus de privilegiis itself also contains several distinct treatises, including one on privileges granted by ecclesiastical prelates (Oliva cc. 6-18) and one on privileges granted by emperors and kings (Oliva cc. 19-35). For another discussion of tractatus, see Oliva 1.10, note 27.

2 Boncompagno employs several different meanings of stilus in his writings. See the `Index Rhetorice' in my Repertorium of the artes dictaminis of Boncompagno (forthcoming)

3 This epithet for Christ, often used by Boncompagno, was coined in I Tim. 2.5 and theologically elaborated in Augustine Enarratio in Psalmum 29.2-3. Boncompagno also applies it to the priestly office in Boncompagnus 5.20.1 §4; to the pope in Boncompagnus 3.1.6, 5.23.1.§5,§6 and Rhetorica novissima 5.3.1.2.

4 Boncompagno's Christological-biblical treatment of the stilus humilis corroborates the theory of ERICH AUERBACH, expressed in "Figura" Archivum Romanicum 22 (1938) "436-489, tr. RALPH MANNHEIM in Scenes from the Drama of European Literature (1959) 11-76; "Sermo humilis" Romanistische Forschungen 64 (1952) 304-64 tr. RALPH MANNHEIM in Literary Language and its Public in Late Latin Antiquity and in the Middle Ages (Princeton 1965) 27-66. This theory was most influentially argued in Mimesis: Dargestellte Wirklichkeit in der abendländische Literatur (Bern 1946) tr. WILLARD TRASK (Princeton 1953). AUERBACH found patristic theoretical support for his thesis, chiefly Augustine, but he does not cite corroborating evidence from a medieval literary theorist. It is not clear whether later scholarship has sought such evidence. On the doctrine of styles: FRANZ QUADLBAUER Die antike Theorie der genera dicendi im lateinische Mittelalter österreichische Adademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Kl., SB vol 241-2 (Vienna 1962). See also <De vitiis evitandis et cursibus servandis in dictamine> 1.1.

5 Boncompagno himself began the Oliva in an elevated manner, like John the Evangelist drawing on the power and imagery inherent in Genesis.

6 Ioh. 13.23.

7 For the twelfth-century translation of Johannes Chrysostom's homilies on Matthew into Latin, see PETER CLASSEN Burgundio von Pisa: Richter, Gesandter, Uebersetzer SB Heidelberg Philos.-Hist. Kl. 1974 no. 4. Translations from the fifth, sixth and ninth centuries are discussed in JEAN-PAUL BOUHOUT "Les traductions latines de Jean Chrysostome du ve aux xvie siecle" in GENEVIEVE CONTAMINE ed. Traduction et traducteurs au moyen age : actes du colloque international du CNRS, organise a Paris, Institut de recherche et d'histoire des textes, les 26-28 mai 1986 (Paris, Presses du CNRS, 1989) 31-39 at 32-35. On patristic Greek available to Boncompagno: ALBERT SIEGMUND Die Ueberlieferung der griechischen christlichen Literatur in der lateinischen Kirche bis zum zwoelften Jahrhundert Veroeffentlichung des Byzantinischen Instituts Scheyern (Muenchen-Pasing: Filser-Verlag, 1949) Bayerische Benediktinerakademie. Abhandlungen Bd. 5

8 In Palma 26.4 Boncompagno quotes Jesus Christ to make criticism of the Orleans dicatators' use of the initial proverbium. Although Boncompagno occasionally used 'proverb' as 'folk saying' (De obsidione Ancone, Cedrus 6.27) he more often understood it as a pithy saying containing an obscure meaning. Making a distinction between sententia and proverbs, he was opposed to initial proverbs because of their obscurity. But he allowed that obscurity was contextual and relative: a initial proverb which might seem obscure to others could be well understood by a particular addressee (for example: Boncompagnus 6.10.17, <De vitiis evitandis et cursibus servandis in dictamine> 2.8). Boncompagno taught that preambles must be composed to correspond closely to narrations and he stressed clarity of communication. The French masters said his criticism of proverbs and obscurity demonstrated that he lacked litterature (Boncompagnus 1.18.1). --- More or less general sententiae might be appropriately used in preambles, but quoted authorities--with the likely exception of the Bible and possible exception of canon and civil law--were unlikely to fit the narrations and were not original. His championing of originality is tested in Rhetorica novissima prol. On authorities: Boncompagnus 5.20.1 §10, 5.22.4 §1, <De vitiis evitandis et cursibus servandis in dictamine> 2.8, Rhetorica novissima prol. 2, 5, 2.2.2, 2.3.1-2 (but see Oliva 1.1).

9 For the twelfth-century ars praedicandi, see XXX; for Boncompagno's mentions of sermons Palma 7, Boncompagnus XXXXX.

10 Quinque tabule salutationum 4.26-27, Isagoge 3.80, Mirra 5.3.

11 Boncompagnus 3.19. 2

12 Boncompagnus 3.19.4, 5.11.3.

13 Isagoge 3.80, Boncompagnus 3.7.2, 5.10.11-13 .

14 Boncompagnus 3.20.29, 5.10.20; see also 4.7.1-2, 6.5.7-20.

15 Boncompagnus 5.8.8, 5.10.1-4, 5.10.8, 5.10.9, 5.10.15.

16 Boncompagnus 3.20.32.

17 Boncompagnus 3.20.28, 5.10.16-18.

18 Boncompagnus 3.20.31, cf. 3.15.3.

19 Oliva 9.12; Boncompagnus 5.9.8.

20 See below, note 25.

21 See the speech of Ugolinus Gosia in De obsidione Ancone (ZIMOLA ed. XXX). The distinction between the agent and action (speaker and spoken, question and questioner etc.) is common in Boncompagno's writings, especially considering the fact that this distinction underlies most of his etymological discussions.

22 Cf. Juv. 7.135

23 See Palma prol. 1 (Rogo igitur illos, ad quorum manus hic liber pervenerit, quatinus ipsum dare non velint meis emulis, qui raso titulo me Quinque salutationum tabulas non composuisse dicebant...) and Oliva 1.11 (Coniuro per Omnipotentem furtiuos depilatores, ne abrasis titulis ipsos excorient, sicut quidam meos alios libros turpiter excoriarunt.) For comparisons: De amicitia 38, Boncompagnus 4.4.22, 6.2.33.

24 Cf. Peter of Blois Ep. 27 (PL 93C): ...prurientes carnalis insolentie motus... cilicio... cohibere.

25 Alexander Neckam In Ecclesiasten 1.11 v. Eccl. 2.2 (Cambridge, Trinity College, R.16.4, fol. 141va): Et ut ad parva descendam, quanto amplius a facie terre elongata est testudo beneficio aquile evecta ad superiora, tanto casum timuit graviorem. Multi enim tolluntur in altum [cf. Psal. 67.19], ut lapsu graviore ruant. See Alexander Neckam Novus Esopus 2 (ed. XXXXX), which gives three different versions of the fable of the eagle and the tortoise, though based on the ordinary Romulus. G. THIELE Der lateinische Aesop des Romulus und die Prosafassung des Phaedrus (Heidelberg 1910) and L. HERVIEUX Les fabulistes Latins depuis le siecle d'Auguste (21892). See Rota veneris 9.2, Prooemium ad Summam Institutionum Azonis; echos of this passage at Boncompagnus 1.18.14, 1.23.2 §4, 5.20.1 §2, 6.7.4, and in Thomas of Capua Summa dictaminis prol. I. (ed. EMMY HELLER 10): Sed ve illis, qui dicunt bonum malum...docentes quod non primario didicerunt, volare volentes, antequam pennas idoneas produxerint ad volandum... The fable originated in Aesop and was translated to Latin in Phaedrus Liber Fabularum 2.6.4.

26 Horace Epist. I.3.19-20. Cf. Isagoge prol. 1; echos of this passage at Boncompagnus 1.18.9, 1.18.12.

27 Cf. Disticha Catonis 4.5 (ed. BOAS, Amsterdam 1952) 199: Eger dives habet nummos, se non habet ipsum.

28 If this reading is correct, the inclusion of 'nam' in the list of (primarily postpositive) words which should not begin clauses is puzzling, because in Boncompagno's writings 'nam' almost always begins a sentence. Some exceptions are: 1) as a postpositive (Oliva 17.5, . In the Isagoge 'nam' is listed among conjuctions of pre\postpositive order, which should never begin a letter or treatise.

29 See <De vitiis evitandis et cursibus servandis in dictamine> 1.2.

30 For similar forms, see: Boncompagnus 3.10.3 (si res parit odium); 5.6.2 (si res postulat); 1.18.6, 1.23.3, 6.10.18, Rota veneris 16.1 (se habere).

31 I Cor. 5.6, Gal. 5.9. Cf. Boncompagnus 1.13.4, 1.23.2 §2, 1.25.11 §1, 5.22.4 §2, Epistola mandativa ad comites pallatinos §15.

32 See below, Tractatus virtutum §15 and §17.

33 Repeated in De malo senectutis et senii 2.6

34 For another invective against Aristotle, see Rhetorica novissima XXX.

35 See above, §13, which says that 'quoniam' may better be placed at the beginning of any treatise than 'quia'. The contradiction is resolved below, §17.

36 For the difference between construction and apposition, see Boncompagnus XXXX.

37 Gerardus Scambecchi, bishop of Bologna (1187-1198). See Oliva 49.1.

38 Apart from here (Tractatus virtutum §21), this word does not appear elsewhere in Boncompagno's works.

39 On the rhetorical figure permutatio: Rhetorica ad Herennium 4.34,46; see also Bene da Firenze Candelabrum 2.47, ed. ALESSIO 67.

40 Aside from Boncompagno's opinion that 'nullatenus' is close in meaning to 'numquam' but incompletely negative, this passage is unclear. In his own writings their are instances of 'nullatenus' which seem to have no temporal meaning (De amicitia 3 etc.), and indeed in other MSS besides the base MS (P3) it is not 'nullatenus', but rather 'nullomodo' which is likened to 'numquam', which accords much better with usage in the entire opera Boncompagni. However in these MSS this passage is quite corrupt.

41 The negative 'non' should not be understood as included here, because it is given as an example of a single word clause in Palma 36 and it ends these clauses: Quinque tabule salutationum 4.5, 5.27, Tractatus virtutum §53, Palma 8, Oliva 5.5, Isagoge 1.37, 2.31, Boncompagnus 1.14.1, 6.10.2 and these sentences: Quinque tabule salutationum 4.7, Tractatus virtutum §4, §18, §53, Palma 5.4, Oliva 18.33, Boncompagnus 1.23.13 rubr. Boncompagno maintained this precept in his writings, with a single exception (Rota veneris 1: Sub scabellum vero pedum ipsius universas ab ipsius universas ab istis inferius constituo, quia in eis turpissima est voluptas et iocundatio nulla.)

42 Cf. Isagoge XXXX.

43 See below, Tractatus virtutum §58, Notule auree 12, 17, Palma 34, 36-37, 42, 44, Isagoge 2.36, 2.42, 2.50.

44 RONALD WITT "Bene of Florence..."

45 Not identified. The same definition of prose dictamen is given in Palma 6.2-3.

46 Gen. 2.16-17. This verse is again used in Rhetorica novissima 9.2.5, to show that God invented the rhetorical figure transumptio, using lignum in place of fructus.

47 In his De obsidione Ancone (ZIMOLO ed. XXX), Boncompagnus names Flavius Josephus among his model historians and used the Bellum Judaicum.

48 For Buchimenon, see Palma 1.2; he is quoted above Tractatus virtutum §7, §14, §16, and below §54. Ovid may also have used a pseudonym (Lygdamus): see GEORG LUCK, in The Cambridge History of Classical Literature 2.3 The Age of Augustus ed. E.J. KENNEY (Cambridge 1982) 116.

49 For a similar construction, see below, Tractatus virtutum §45.

50 For a similar construction, see Boncompagnus 4.6.7.

51 This passage and the following arguments against the majestic plural (Tractatus virtutum §42-§49) are discussed by FRANZ LEBSANFT "Kontinuität und Diskontinuität antiker Anrede- und Grussformen im Romanischen Mittelalter: Aspekte der Sprach- und Gesellschaftskritik" in Kontinuität und Transformation der Antike im Mittelalter ed. WILLI ERZGRäBER (Sigmaringen 1989) 285-299 at 292-3.

52 For Cicero's usage: CONWAY "The Use of the singular NOS in Cicero's letters" Transactions of the Cambridge Philological Society 5 (1889) 1-79; IDEM New Studies of great Inheritance (1921) 1.17.

53 For another contemporary argument against the majestic plural, see ELIZABETH REVELL The Later Letters of Peter of Blois no. 51 (ca. 1200-1211) 230-234. Peter limits his argument to documenting the fact and reason why God is usually addressed in the singular, unless the Trinity is specifically meant. Peter's sources are the Bible and the doctors of the church.

54 Not identified. Perhaps Lucius Anneus Gallio, the brother of the philosopher Seneca, and proconsul of Achaea in 52, where he refused to consider a case brought before him by some Jews against Paul (Acts 18.12).

55 For imperial mandates, see Oliva c. 35; for other legal maxims, see Isagoge 2.39.

56 On the subscription of cardinals, see WERNER MALECZEK Papst und Kardinalskolleg von 1191 bis 1216 (Wien 1984) 320-324.

57 Literature on Constantine the African: HEINRICH SCHIPPERGES Die Assimilation der arabischen Medizin durch das lateinische Mittelalter Beiheft 3 of Sudhoffs Archiv (Wiesbaden 1964) 17-54; HERBERT BLOCH Monte Cassino in the Middle Ages (Rome-Cambridge Mass., 19XX) 1.98-110, 1.125-134; art. by VERA VON FALKHAUSEN in DBI; MARIE-THERESE D'ALVERNY "Translations and Translators" in Renaissance and Renewal in the Twelfth Century edds. R.L. BENSON and GILES CONSTABLE (Cambridge Mass. 1982) 421-462 at 422-426; DANIELLE JACQUART "Aristotelian Thought in Salerno" in PETER DRONKE ed. A History of Twelfth-Century Western Philosophy (Cambridge 1988) 407-428 at 411-416.

58 Sap. 15.13.

59 Luc 6.44.

60 For this phrase, see also Liber .X. tabularum prol.

61 Cf. Horace De arte poetica 1-8.

62 Euriale, the second of the three Graces, or perhaps Peitho (lat. Suada, see Cicero Brut. 59), the goddess of persuasion, sometimes accounted as a Grace. Cf. Martianus Capella De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii 2.132 and Myth. Vat. Tert. 229.19-25, 252.37-253.3; Pasithea, Euriale, Euprosimne (Euphrosyne),

63 For other types of eloquence, see Rhetorica novissima XXXX.

64 Cf. Plato Phaedrus 245. For the Secretum secretorum of Pseudo-Aristotle, see LYNN THORNDYKE "The Latin Pseudo-Aristotle and Medieval Occult Science" Journal of English and Germanic Philology 21 (1922) 229-258; Pseudo-Aristotle, the Secret of secrets: sources and influences W.F. RYAN and CHARLES B. SCHMITT edds. (London: Warburg Institute, University of London, 1982). For Boncompagno's interest in the occult sciences, see Boncompagnus 1.18.14. This epithet may also suggest he planned the book to appeal to medical students. Cf. Boncompagnus 1.16.2.

65 Lucan De Bello civili 1.1-2: Bella per Emathios plus quam civilia campos, Iusque datum sceleri canimus... For another example of verse translated to prose, see Isagoge 2.39.

66 For an example, see Rhetorica novissima XXXX.

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© Steven M. Wight, Los Angeles 1998

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