The Classics in the Middle Ages: Transmission and Influence

I. Bibliographies

II. Surveys and Collections of Essays

III. Manuscript Transmission of Classical Authors

IV. Medieval Commentaries on Classical Authors

IV. Transmission, Translation, and Influence of Greek Literature in the West

I. Bibliographies

Of classical studies:

Brigitte Gullath, Wie finde Ich altertumswissenschaftliche Literatur? (Berlin, 1992).

F. W. Jenkins, Classical Studies: A Guide to the Reference Literature (Englewood, CO, 1996).

Graham Whitaker, A Bibliographical Guide to Classical Studies (Hildesheim, 1997- ). Nine volumes planned; vols. 1-2 cover authors from Accius to Fulgentius.

M. Van der Poel, Bibliographia Latina Selecta

Of reception and influence in the Middle Ages:

Michael Herren, “Classics in the Middle Ages,” Oxford Bibliographies. DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195396584-0110

Brill’s New Pauly Supplement 5: The Reception of Classical Literature, ed. Christine Walde, Christine, ed.  (Leiden, 2012).

Pierre Petitmengin and Birger Munk Olsen, “Bibliographie de la reception de la littérature classique du IXe au XVe siècle,” in The Classical Tradition in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. Claudio Leonardi and Birger Munk Olsen, Biblioteca di Medioevo Latino 15 (Spoleto, 1995), pp. 199-274.

Kirsten Friis-Jensen, Birger Munk Olsen, and Ole L. Smith, “Bibliography of Classical Scholarship in the Middle Ages and the Early Renaissance (9th the 15th Centuries),” in Medieval and Renaissance Scholarship, ed. Nicholas Mann and Birger Munk Olsen, Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 21 (Leiden, 1997), pp. 197-252. 

Viktor Pöschl, Bibliographie zur antiken Bildersprache (Heidelberg, 1964).

Medioevo Latino. Consult the section “Fortleben,” or search the Mirabile database.

L’année philologique

Fabio Troncarelli, Electronic Palaeography: Textual Setting

II. Surveys and Collections of Essays

Jan Ziolkowski, “The Middle Ages,” in A Companion to the Classical Tradition, ed. Craig Kallendorf (Malden, MA, 2007), pp. 17-29. 

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, vol. 2: The Middle Ages, ed. Alastair Minnis and Ian Johnson (Cambridge, 2005). Part II, The Study of Classical Authors: Winthrop Wetherbee, “From Late Antiquity to the Twelfth Century,” pp. 99-144; Vincent Gillespie, “From the Twelfth Century to c. 1450,” pp. 145-238. 

John Edwin Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship, I: From the Sixth Century B. C. to the End of the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1920). Chronological survey with chapter on survival of Latin classics. Dated but still useful.

Gilbert Highet, The Classical Tradition: Greek and Roman Influences on Western Literature (Oxford, 1949).

R. R. Bolgar, The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries from the Carolingian Age to the End of the Renaissance (Cambridge, 1954).

La cultura antica nell’Occidente latino dal VII all’XI secolo, 2 vols., Settimane di studio del Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo 22 (Spoleto, 1975).

Medieval and Renaissance Scholarship: Proceedings of the Second European Science Foundation Workshop on the Classical Tradition in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (London, Warburg Institute, 27-28 November 1992), ed. Nicholas Mann and Birger Munk Olsen (Leiden, 1997). 

The Classical Tradition in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance: Proceedings of the First European Science Foundation Workshop on “The Reception of Classical Texts” (Florence, Certosa del Galluzzo, 26-27 June 1992), ed. Claudio Leonardi and Birger Munk Olsen (Spoleto, 1995). Includes a “Bibliographie de la réception de la littérature classique du IXe au XVe siècle” by Pierre Petitmengin and Birger Munk Olsen

Juanita Feros Ruys, John O. Ward, and Melanie HeyworthThe Classics in the Medieval and Renaissance Classroom: The Role of Ancient Texts in the Arts Curriculum as Revealed by Surviving Manuscripts and Early Printed Books, Disputatio 20 (Turnhout, 2013). 

Willi Erzgräber, Kontinuität und Transformation der Antike im Mittelalter (Sigmaringen, 1989).

A. S. Bernardo and S. Levin, ed., The Classics in the Middle Ages, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies 69 (Binghamton, NY, 1990).

H. Hagendahl, Augustine and the Latin Classics (Göteborg, 1967).

Classical Literature and Learning in Medieval Ireland, ed. Ralph O’Connor (Cambridge, 2014). 

For additional references see Crosby et al., Medieval Studies: A Bibliographical Guide, pp. 643-49.

III. Manuscript Transmission of Classical Authors

François Dolbeau and Pierre Petitmengin, Indices librorum: Catalogues anciens et moderns de manuscrits médiévaux en écriture latine, 2 vols.: 1: Sept ans de bibliographie (1977-1983) (Paris, 1987); 2: Sept ans de bibliographie (1983-1990) et compléments pour 1977-1983) (Paris, 1995). The section “auteurs et thèmes” includes classical authors.

Claudine A. Chavannes-Mazel and Margaret Smith, ed., Medieval Manuscripts of the Latin Classics: Production and Use (Los Altos Hills, CA, 1996).

L. D. Reynolds and N. G. Wilson, Scribes and Scholars: A Guide to the Transmission of Greek and Latin Literature, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1991).

L. D. Reynolds, ed., Texts and Transmission: A Survey of the Latin Classics (Oxford, 1983).

Herbert Hunger, Geschichte der Textüberlieferung der antiken und mittelalterlichen Literatur, 2 vols. (Zurich, 1961-64).

Bernhard Bischoff, “Palaeography and the Transmission of Classical Texts in the Early Middle Ages”; “Benedictine Monasteries and the Survival of Classical Literature,” in Manuscripts and Libraries in the Age of Charlemagne, trans. Michael Gorman (Cambridge, 1994), pp. 115-60. 

Oronzo Pecere and Michael D. Reeve, Formative Stages of Classical Traditions: Latin Texts from Antiquity to the Renaissance (Spoleto, 1995).

Max Manitius, Handschriften antiker autoren in mittelalterlichen Bibliotekskatalogen (Leipzig, 1935).

Birger Munk Olsen, L’étude des auteurs classiques latins aux XIe et XIIe siècles, 4 vols. (Paris 1982-2014).

Birger Munk Olsen, “Les classiques latins dans les florilèges médiévaux antérieurs au XIIIe siècle,” Revue d’histoire des textes 9 (1979), 47-121. 

Birger Munk Olsen, “Chronique des manuscrits classiques latins (IXe-XIIe siecles),” Revue d’histoire des textes 21 (1991), 37-76; 24 (1994), 199-249; 32 (2002). 

James Clark, “Monastic Manuscripts and the Transmission of the Classics Late Medieval England,” in Vehicles of Transmission, Translation, and Transformation in Medieval Textual Culture, ed. Robert Wisnovsky et al. Cursor Mundi 4 (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 335-52.

R. Sabbadini, Le scoperte dei codici latini e greci nel secoli XIV e XV, ed. E. Garin (Florence 1967).

Elisabeth Pellegrin et al., Les manuscrits classiques latins de la Bibliothèque Vaticane, 4 vols. (Paris, 1975-91). 

Lisardo Rubio Fernández, Catálogo de los manuscritos clásicos latinos existentes en España (Madrid, n.d.).

Collete Jeudy and Yves-François Riou, Les manuscrits classiques latins des bibliothèques de France (Paris, 1989- ).

James G. Clark, “Monastic Manuscripts and the Transmission of the Classics in Late Medieval England,” Vehicles of Transmission, Translation, and Transformation in Medieval Textual Culture, ed. Robert Wisnovsky et al. (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 335-52. 

Michael Reeve, “Lucretius in the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance: Transmission and Scholarship,” in The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius, ed. Stuart Gillespie and Philip Hardie (Cambridge, 2010), pp. 205-13. 

IV. Medieval Commentaries on Classical Authors

The basic work is Paul Oskar Kristeller, ed., Catalogus translationum et commentariorum: Mediaeval and Renaissance Latin Translations and Commentaries. Annotated Lists and Guide, 8 vols. Washington, D. C., 1960- ). 

The bibliographies of Petitmengin and Friis-Jensen and Olsen (see section I above) list both Greek and Latin commentaries on classical authors. See also Kaske, Medieval Christian Literary Imagery, pp. 116-31, for medieval commentaries on Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, Statius, Juvenal, Claudian, Martianus Capella, and Plato (Timaeus).

E. A. Quain, “The Medieval accessus ad auctores,” Traditio 3 (1945), 215-64. 

Alastair Minnis and A. B. Scott, trans., Medieval Literary Theory and Criticism, c. 1100-1375: The Commentary Tradition, rev. ed. (Oxford, 1992). 

Martianus Capella:

M. Teeuwen, Harmony and the Music of the Spheres: The “‘Ars Musica” in Ninth-Century Commentaries on Martianus Capella, Mittellateinische Studien und Texte 30 (Leiden, 2002), pp. 27-56. 

Glossae aevi Carolini in libros I-II Martiani Capellae De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, ed. Sinéad O’Sullivan, CCCM 237 (Turnhout, 2010). 


Virgil in Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance: An Online Bibliography.


See Kaske, Medieval Christian Literary Imagery. 


Bibliographie zum Nachleben des antiken Mythos

The Reception of Myth and Mythology, ed. Maria Moog-Grünewald, Brill’s New Pauly Supplements 4 (Leiden, 2010).

Jane Chance, The Mythographic Art: Classical Fable and the Rise of the Vernacular in Early France and England (Gainesville, 1990).

Jane Chance, Medieval Mythography from Roman North Africa to the School of Chartres, A.D. 433-1177 (Gainesville, 1994).

Marylène Possamaï-Pérez, L’Ovide moralisé: essai d’interprétation (Paris, 2006).

Timothy Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources (Baltimore, MD, 1993).

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae (LIMC) (Zurich and Munich, 1981–).

Jane Davidson ReidThe Oxford Guide to Classical Mythology in the Arts, 1300-1990s 2 vols. (Oxford, 1993). Alphabetical by subject and name; lists Classical sources, followed by chronological list of allusions in primary sources with bibliographical references. Index of artists includes authors.

Lexikon der antiken Gestalten in den deutschen Texten des Mittelalters, ed. Manfred Kern and Alfred Ebenbauer in collaboration with Silvia Krämer-Seifert (Berlin, 2003).  Includes a survey, “Antikerezeption im Mittelalter und in der deutschen Literatur” as well as a bibliography; indices of entries by authors and works and variants of names.

V. Transmission, Translation, and Influence of Greek Literature in the West

Charles H. Lohr, Traditio Classicorum: The Fortuna of Classical Authors to the Year 1650

Transmission of Classical Literature. Warburg Institute Library thematic catalogue, wide-ranging.

For Latin translations of Greek authors, see:

Kristeller, Catalogus translationum.

J. T. Muckle, “Greek Works Translated Directly into Latin before 1350,” Mediaeval Studies 4 (1942), 33-42; 5 (1943), 102-14. 

Pierre CourcelleLate Latin Writers and their Greek Sources. , trans. Harry E. Wedeck (Cambridge MA, 1969).

Walter Berschin, Greek Letters and the Latin Middle Ages, rev. ed., trans. J. C. Frakes (Washington D.C., 1988).

B. M. Kaczynski, Greek in the Carolingian Age (Cambridge MA, 1988).

Berlioz, Identifier sources et citations, pp. 47-75; Friis-Jensen and Olsen, pp. 249-59.

Transmission et réception des Pères grecs dans l’Occident, de l’Antiquité tardive à la Renaissance. Entre philologie, herméneutique et théologie. Actes du colloque international organisé du 26 au 28 novembre 2014 à l’Université de Strasbourg, Collection des Études Augustiniennes, Série Moyen Âge et Temps modernes, 53, ed. Emanuela Prinzivalli, Françoise Vinel, and Michele Cutino (Turnhout, 2016). 

An Odyssey of Knowledge: Medieval and Manuscripts and Early Printed Books from the National Library of Medicine

For the transmission of Greek texts in the Latin Middle Ages:

Albert Siegmund, Die Überlieferung der griechischen christlichen Literatur in der lateinischen Kirche bis zum zwölften Jahrhundert (Munich-Pasing, 1949).

For the use of Greek in Latin texts:

Aaron Pelttari, “Approaches to the Writing of Greek in Late Antique Latin Texts,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 51 (2011), 461-82.

General Studies:

Bernhard Bischoff, “Das griechische Element in der abendländischen Bildung des Mittelalters,” in his Mittelalterliche Studien, 3 vols. (Stuttgart, 1966-81) II, 246-75. 

Pierre Courcelle, Late Latin Writers and Their Greek Sources (Cambridge, MA, 1969).

Walter Berschin, Greek Letters and the Latin Middle Ages: From Jerome to Nicholas of Cusa, rev. ed. trans. J. C. Frakes (Washington, D.C., 1988).

Michael W. Herren, ed., The Sacred Nectar of the Greeks: The Study of Greek in the West in the Early Middle Ages, King’s College London Medieval Studies 2 (London, 1988).

Bernice M. Kaczynski, Greek in the Carolingian Age: The St. Gall Manuscripts (Boston, 1988).

For translations of classical texts into medieval vernaculars, see “The Translations of Greek and Roman Classics before 1600,” Appendix I in Bolgar, The Classical Heritage, pp. 506-41.

On Hebrew:

Matthias Thiel, “Grundlagen und Gestalt der Hebräischkenntnisse des frühen Mittelalters,” Studi Medievali (1969), 4-212. 

On Arabic:

F. Wüstenfeld, “Die Übersetzungen arabischer Werke ins lateinische seit dem XI. Jahrhundert,” Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften in Göttingen 22 (1877).

Wissen über Grenzen: Arabisches Wissen und lateinisches Mittelalter, ed. Andreas Speer und Lydia Wegen (Berlin, 2006). 

Aspects of the Islamic Influence on Science and Learning in the Christian West (12th-13th Century). Includes a bibliography of over 100 items.

The Reception of Islamic Philosophy in the Latin West: Texts and Studies, ed. Fuat Sezgin, Carl Ehrig-Eggert, and Eckhard Neubauer (Frankfurt, 2007).

The Introduction of Arabic Philosophy into Europe, ed. Charles E. Butterworth and Blake Andrée Kessel (Leiden, 1998).

Charles Burnett, The Arabic-Latin Translators (list of his publications).

Charles D. Wright:

Last modified 9/16