MARIANUS SCOTUS. Mariani Scoti poetae, mathematici, philosophi & theologi eximii, Fuldensis, historici probatissimi, Chronica … Adjecimus Martini Poloni . . . Historiam. Edited by Johannes Herold. Two parts in one volume. Basel: Per Jacobum Parcum Expensis Joannis Oporinui, 1559. Folio. , 4-485 (double columns),  leaves, 251, , 14 (index); lacks the editor’s 5-leaf dedicatory letter to Queen Elizabeth I of England following the title. Later vellum boards, spine professionally rebacked, title in manuscript on upper cover; contents a trifle foxed, occasional browning and damp stains, old worming through blank gutter of opening leaves. Stamp of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary on title, accession number on next leaf; calligraphic title in ink on bottom edge. A very good copy.
COPAC locates the Oxford copy only. Potthast, pages 766, 771; Sarton I, 775, and II, 1111.
First editions of a world chronicle from the Creation to the author’s time by an 11th-century Irish Benedictine monk residing in Germany, and a parallel chronicle of popes and emperors by a 13th-century Dominican Bishop, an early source for the legend of Pope Joan.
Marianus Scotus [Máel-Brigte] (1028-1082 or 1083) Irish monk, philosopher, theologian, poet, mathematician and chronicler was probably a native of County Down. He entered the monastery of Mag Bile (Movilla, County Down) at the age of twenty-four, but was later expelled by the abbot, Tigernach Bairrchech, for some small offence and left Ireland in 1056, never to return. We next hear of him at the monastery of St Martin at Cologne, from where he travelled to Fulda. He was ordained a priest in 1059 at the church of St Kilian at Würzburg. In 1069 Siegfried, the former abbot of Fulda who had been appointed bishop of Mainz in 1060, transferred him to the abbey of St Martin in the diocese of Mainz, where he was again enclosed in a cell. He remained at St Martin till his death.
His chronicle offers a year-by-year history of the World from the commencement of the Christian era down to the year 1082. While he had problems with his early chronology, the work is of much value for the history of the Irish in Germany in the 10th and 11th centuries, an achievement all the more remarkable in that Marianus lived the life of “a walled in monk” in Fulda and Mainz. What is believed to be an autograph manuscript is to be found in the Vatican Library. The Chronicon was very popular during the Middle Ages, and in England was extensively used by John of Worcester and other writers.
Marianus Scotus must be distinguished from another Irishman, his namesake, Marianus Scotus of Regensburg, d. 1088, abbot of St Peter’s, Regensburg.