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Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus (Gesta Theodorici: Leiden, University Library, Ms. vul. 46, fol. 2r)
Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus (Gesta Theodorici: Leiden, University Library, Ms. vul. 46, fol. 2r)

Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus Senator (c. 485 – c. 585),[1] commonly known as Cassiodorus, was a Roman statesman, renowned scholar of antiquity, and writer serving in the administration of Theoderic the Great, king of the Ostrogoths. Senator was part of his surname, not his rank. He also founded a monastery, Vivarium, where he spent the last years of his life.

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  • Middle Ages (Lecture 4): "Latin Literature in the Ostrogothic Kingdom (493-553)"
  • About Cassiodorus2.avi
  • The Italian Campaign of Justinian (Part 2)
  • Appendix A: The Italian Campaign of Justinian (The Background)
  • Scythians the Mag-Isters / Szkíták a Mag-Ister-ek


Good evening, and welcome to the 4th short lecture on the history of the Italian civilization and literature! We've seen until now the decadence of the Western Roman Empire and the descent of the Italian peninsula into a spiral of wars and invasions. We have described the end of the long-distance commerce, the decay of the Roman roads and the decline of urban population. We have also examined the rise of new social structures that provided some security to the people of the Dark Ages: the castle and the monastery. After outlining the general framework, we can now take a closer look at the literature of the Dark Ages. In Italy, this remained a Latin literature for about 6 centuries after the fall of the Western Empire. We shall focus on few Latin authors, whose works are important for understandingt he Middle Ages in Italy. Two of them lived already during the Ostrogothic domination, and their lives were inextricably connected to the events of that age: Aurelius Cassiodorus and Severinus Boethius. Flavius Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus belonged to an eminent family of Scylletium (today called Squillace), in Calabria. His father had covered important positions under king Odoacer. He helped his son to start a career in the high administration under Theoderic the Great; and Cassiodorus climbed to the very top of that career by becoming a "magister officiorum", i.e. a superintendent of the highest state offices [NOTE: a sort of Prime Minister, albeit in a country where the king rules] We know not quite a lot of his political activity from his letters. Cassiodorus understood that a new age had started in Italy with the Ostrogothic domination, but he was equally aware of the cultural hegemony of the Latins, which implied also their dominance in the social life. He therefore stuck to the traditions of the best Roman aristocracy, by respecting Roman institutions and laws, and by treating the Roman senators as if they still had effective powers. He consistently pursued Theoderic's design to integrate the Ostrogoths in the country that they had conquered; a design that granted to Italy 30 years of peace. He was always loyal to the Ostrogoths. He also wrote a history of them, a work now lost: the "De Rebus Gestis Gothotum" [NOTE: "The History of the Goths"] which contained precious informations on the origins of the Ostrogoths and on the Amals, the ancient lineage, to which Theoderic belonged. Only a small portion of the information contained in the twenty volumes of senator Cassiodorus could be preserved in another work, written by another Ostrogoth, Jordanes, who had had the opportunity to read Cassiodorus' work a long time before. Cassiodorus' history of the Ostrogoths should be seen within the framework of the author's political design: to learn about their own remote past and traditions would have predisposed the Ostrogoths to the respect of the even more illustrious traditions of the country that they had conquered; it would have made them feel closer to the Romans and to the Ancient Greeks, rather than to the Huns, the Vandals and the Lombards. Another political goal of Cassiodorus was to present the kingdom of Theoderic as a sort restauration of the Augustean Principate, in which the authority of Theoderic was seen more as a charismatic primacy that didn't deprive the Senate of its dignity. Of course, by then, the perspective was no longer that of an Empire, but that of a Gothic-Roman country. To that country, each of the two peoples - each of them subject to a different set of laws - could contribute with their best qualities. the military valour of the Ostrogoths, and the superior civilization of the Latins. Cassiodorus hoped in a future, in which both peoples would be subject to a single set of laws, respected by everyone. It was a vision that Cassiodorus resumed in the concept of "civilitas", which implied the respect of the values of the Roman civilization. Theoderic, with his many years in power, and with the prestige created by his relationships with the Roman Senate, with the Pope and with Costantinople, was highly regarded by the kings of the other Germanic peoples, who had settled in the territories of the former Western Empire. Finally, the religious dimension also played a role in defining Theoderic's kingdom. The Ostrogoths were followers of of the teachings of Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria, who had lived two centuries before; teachings that the Church regarded as heretical. Under Theoderic, the Arians had their own churches and bishops in Italy, and the Ostrogoths were tolerant in all religious matters. So Theoderic hoped to mediate between the traditional values of the Roman patriciate and those of intransigent Christianism. However, all those delicate equilibria were eventually disrupted, when the Byzantine emperors decided to become the champions of the Christian orthodoxy. This brought the Pope closer to them, and Theoderic found himself politically isolated, in a county where the Ostrogoths were a very small minority. But before things deteriorated too much, Theoderic died, in 526. He had no sons, and, on his deathbed, he disposed that his grandson would succeed him. However, Atalaric was still a child, and his mother - Theoderic's daughter Amalasuntha - held the power as a regent on his behalf. Amalasuntha continued to enjoy the loyal support of Cassiodorus. However, with the time, Amalasuntha lost the favour of several Ostrogothic chiefs and - to make matters worse - the designated heir of Theoderic, Atalaric, died. At a certain point, she must have felt in danger, if - as it is reported - she was planning to flee to Costantinople. Then, in a particularly difficult moment, her cousin, Theodahad, obtained from her to be associated in the regency. But then, he deposed and imprisoned Amalasuntha in the lake-island of Bolsena, where she was murdered a few months later. At this point, the Byzantine Emperor Justinian took her assassination as a pretext to claim back Italy, that had been entrusted to Theoderic fifty years before. Justinian had ascended to the throne in 527 after crushing a rebellion in Constantinople, and after engaging in a war against the Sassanid Empire. Justinian had set himself the goal of restoring the unity of the Empire. He first obtained the support of the Ostrogoths for his operations against the Vandals in Northern Africa. But once he conquered the Vandalic Kingdom and gained control of the entire North-African coast, Justinian turned against Italy, and sent his trusted general Belisarius to put an end to the Ostrogothic Kingdom. And this is how, in the year 535, the Gothic-Byzantine war started. Belisarius, a veteran of the Persian and Vandalic wars, sent his troops to the South of Italy first, where the Ostrogoths were less numerous. After conquering Sicily, his troops marched towards Rome along the Tyrrhenian coast. There was soon an ominous sign of things to come. Naples was the first city of the peninsula to close its gates to the invading army. So, it was besieged, and - after a few weeks - some Byzantine soldiers found in an ancient acqueduct a passage into the city. They reached the city unseen, and managed to open one of the gates, in front of which Belisarius' troops had been waiting. A mass slaughter of the population followed. This massacre made clear to the Ostrogoths in Rome what their fate was going to be. They deposed the cowardly Theodahad and proclaimed general Vitiges as their new king. He had gained years before on the battlefield his reputation of valour; and he was regarded as clean from the intrigues and from the cultural contamination of the Latin society. This was the end of the integration strategy pursued over many years by Cassiodorus. Under Vitiges' leadership, the Goths struck back and - a few months later - the Byzantines found themselves under siege in Rome, after Belisarius himself narrowly escaped death during the first battle under the city walls. I won't resume here the 18 years of a war, which ravaged Italy like no other before. Rome was taken five times: three times by the Byzantines and two by the Ostrogoths, frequently with great destruction and loss of lives. The metropolis that used to have over a million residents would end up with the population of a village: less than 10,000 people, at times. Other prosperous cities met a tragic fate, like Milan, in which all the male citizens were reportedly slain by the Ostrogoths. The astute and very experienced Belisarius eventually prevailed on Vitiges. But then the Ostrogoths regrouped under a young and valiant king,Totila. And when - after years of war - Totila fell in combat, they went on fighting under king Teia, also killed in the very last, desperate battle. Over those 18 years the fields of Italy had been laid waste and countless cities plundered. The misery of the country was increased by the 'Justinianic Plague', a pandemic similar to the 'Black Death', which would devastate Europe 800 years later. After the Ostrogoths were finally defeated, in 553, nothing of them remained; and Italy found itself deeply into the Dark Ages. But let's now come back to senator Cassiodorus! He saw the collapse of everything he had built over his prudent, industrious life. He was 50 when the war started, an age, in which the men of his time were already old. Yet, Cassiodorus managed to start a second life: he quit his career - not without making his letters public, where his statesman's work is documented. then he retreated in Vivarium, a monastery that he had founded in his native region. Cassiodorus made of Vivarium an oasis for the secular and religious culture. He organized the collection and the copy of the manuscripts that he had seen so many times being destroyed during fires and plunders. Vivarium became a shelter for all the cultivated persons of his age,everywhere oppressed and impoverished in those savage times. He also wrote a lot: the "Historia Ecclesiastica Tripartita", much appreciated during the Middle Ages; a "Chronica", stretching from Adam to the year 519 AD; then commentaries to the 'Psalms' and to other religious texts. And then the "Institutiones", in two parts: the first dedicated to Biblical and Christian knowledge, and the second dedicated to secular knowledge. We find in this work the the encyclopedical character typical of the works of the Dark Ages, dictated by the urgency to save a knowledge at risk of being lost. In Cassiodorus' work, we perceive the ideal of a community, in which different persons live in harmony, free to follow their intellectual interests, a situation that Cassiodorus describes as an anticipation of Paradise. We no longer know the exact location of Vivarium, but Cassiodorus, who had a very long life, and was defined "The Saviour of the Western Civilization", remains an example of resilient, indefatigable man of letters, constantly fighting against barbarity and war. Contemporary and colleague of Cassiodorus was another great intellectual: Anicius Manlius Torquatus Severinus Boethius was born in Rome in the year 480. He belonged to the an ancient patrician family, one the first to embrace Christianism. He also enjoyed the protection of the prominent senator Symmachus, of whom he married the daughter. Since his early youth, Boethius covered important institutional positions and enjoyed the personal favour of Theoderic. He became consul; then "magister officiorum"; even his two sons were made consuls simultaneously, in 522. He was immensely rich and powerful, and immensely respected for his great culture and for his many works. He had a deep knowledge of Greek, by then rare in Rome, and he knew the works of the Greek philosophers. He was an expert of the disciplines of the Trivium and the Quadrivium. He wrote books on arithmetic, music, astronomy, geometry, and commentaries to Aristotheles, of whom he translated several works. He also translated and commented Porphyry. He had a special interest for logic, which he communicated to the Middle Ages, so that he was later regarded as "The Father of Scholasticism". He wrote treaties on sillogisms and on theology, which lead us to think that he was a Christian, although his faith is not evident. Boethius wished to bring the Greek philosophy into the Latin world. By approaching the Neoplatonics, and Porphyry in particular, he was trying to harmonize Plato and Aristotheles, and to show their substantial agreement. He had understood that the millenarian intellectual exchange between Italy and Greece was about to end, and he wanted to provide his compatriots with the tools of the Greek thought, before the distance with Greece became unbridgeable. For many years Boethius' project harmonized with the political situation in Italy ... ... until a new Byzantine dynasty started to pursue the reunification of Christianism by getting rid of the heresies. In the year 523, emperor Justin issued an edict against Arianism, ordering the surrendering of Arian churches to the Christians. Theodoric felt betrayed by the Pope and the Roman aristocracy. When a Roman senator, who had written letters to Justin, was accused of high treason, Boethius, who had spoken courageous words in his defense, was also accused. He was submitted to an unfair trial, quickly followed by a death verdict. After that, he was imprisoned near Pavia, where he wrote his most famous book: "The Consolation of Philosophy" ["De Consolatione Philosophiae"]. The book is written in a Latin still similar to that of the classical prose. It is divided in five parts, each one introduced by a hymn in verses. It is the spiritual testament of Boethius, who didn't try to display the serenity of Socrates in the face of his imminent death. Boethius used to have everything he could have wished for in his life: he has now lost everything: his family, his friends, his wealth, his library, his social role. A barbaric execution awaits him. The brutality of what lies ahead is not mitigated by the self-deceit that it will be a passport to Heaven. This is one of the reasons why this is one of the great spiritual texts of all times. The book is in dialogic form: Boethius imagines to talk to a woman, who visits him in a dream. She is the personification of Philosophy. The word 'philosophy' had then a wider meaning than today: it meant 'enquiry', i.e. our personal search for the meaning of what happens to us, and around us. The woman wipes Boethius' tears away and comforts him with her reasonings, among which mainly two: that all great men had to endure suffering; and that suffering is necessary to life, because it enables us to understand it and to love it. The book has a Platonic character: God has created and governs the world. It might appear to us that Evil is prevailing in this world: our lives lead us to this conclusion, sometimes. But our earthly existences are short, and we cannot base our judgment on the world on them. What might appear as bad today might later turn out to be good, to be necessary for the realization of Good, in accordance to laws that elude us. In order to understand the world, which is eternal, we should [be able to] look at it "sub specie aeternitatis" i.e. 'from the point of view of an eternal being: God Therefore, we shouldn't complain about the presence of evil and sorrow in this world. Since our souls are immortal, they should - in this life - tend to the true and eternal goods. Our rationality can help us to detach ourselves from inauthentic goods, which can anytime vanish by the play of Fortune: wealth, glory, fame, etc. The initial sorrow recedes, the tone of the book becomes more elevated and serene, without any bitterness at all. There isn't any trace of superstition, no obsession with sin, no repudiation of life. Boethius explains how wicked people are the most unlucky of men, because they are not sharing Good, which is the element that establishes our community with God, who is the supreme good. Because of the age of decadence, in which it was conceived; and because of the dramatic circumstances, in which it was written, Boethius' work fills us with admiration. As Bertrand Russell wrote in his "History of Western Philosophy": << During the two centuries before his time and the ten centuries after it, we can't think of any European man of learning so free from superstition and fanaticism. >> Boethius had an immense influence on the Middle Ages, until the age of Francesco Petrarca in Italy and of Geoffrey Chaucer in Britain. The Church made a saint of Boethius, although Boethius doesn't mention the Gospel in the 'Consolation'. The grey-eyed woman, who is the personification of Philosophy is described as Athena, the Greek goddess of knowledge. And in fact the inspiration source of the "Consolation" is Stoicism, rather than Christianism. Boethius had strived to bring the classical thought to Italy, exactly in the time, when Justinian closed the Academy founded by Plato in Athens about one thousand years before (and thereby Justinian ended the Classical Age). Boethius represents therefore the point of junction between classical Stoicism (that of Cicero and of Marcus Aurelius), and the Middle Ages, which learned from Boethius the Aristothelian logic. Furthermore, Boethius transfered many other ideas to the Middle Ages: among them, the taste for allegorical representations and the powerful image of the wheel of Fortune, ubiquitous during the Middle Ages. This, and other powerful images and ideas can be found in this strange, unique book of senator Boethius, the first of the medieval Scholastics, and the last of the Ancient Romans. In the next short lecture, we will examine an equally obscure and little known period of the history of Italy; we will examine the Lombard, or Langobardic Kingdom. Thank you very much and ... see you soon!



Cassiodorus was born at Scylletium, near Catanzaro in Calabria, Italy. His ancestry included some of the most prominent ministers of the state extending back several generations.[2] His great-grandfather held a command in the defense of the coasts of southern Italy from Vandal sea-raiders in the middle of the fifth century; his grandfather appears in a Roman embassy to Attila the Hun, and his father served as Count of the sacred largesses and count of the private estates to Odovacer[2] before transferring his allegiance to Theoderic. Under the latter, Cassiodorus' father (who bore the same name), rose to an even higher position, achieving the office of Praetorian Prefect, which held, under the Gothic kings, the same influence that it had previously in the court of Rome.

Cassiodorus began his career under the auspices of his father, about in his twentieth year, when the latter made him his consiliarius upon his own appointment to the Praetorian Prefecture. In the judicial capacity of the prefect, he held absolute right of appeal over any magistrate in the empire (or Gothic kingdom, later) and the consiliarius served as a sort of legal advisor in cases of more complexity. Evidently, therefore, Cassiodorus had received some education in the law. [3] During his working life he worked as quaestor sacri palatii c. 507–511, as a consul in 514, then as magister officiorum under Theoderic, and later under the regency for Theoderic's young successor, Athalaric. Cassiodorus kept copious records and letterbooks concerning public affairs. At the Gothic court his literary skill, which seems mannered and rhetorical to modern readers, was so esteemed that when in Ravenna he was often entrusted with drafting significant public documents. His culminating appointment was as praetorian prefect for Italy, effectively the prime ministership of the Ostrogothic civil government[4] and a high honor to finish any career. Cassiodorus also collaborated with Pope Agapetus I in establishing a library of Greek and Latin texts which were intended to support a Christian school in Rome.

James O'Donnell notes:

[I]t is almost indisputable that he accepted advancement in 523 as the immediate successor of Boethius, who was then falling from grace after less than a year as magister officiorum, and who was sent to prison and later executed. In addition, Boethius' father-in-law (and step-father) Symmachus, by this time a distinguished elder statesman, followed Boethius to the block within a year. All this was a result of the worsening split between the ancient senatorial aristocracy centered in Rome and the adherents of Gothic rule at Ravenna. But to read Cassiodorus' Variae one would never suspect such goings-on.[5]

There is no mention in Cassiodorus' selection of official correspondence of the death of Boethius.

Athalaric died in early 534, and the remainder of Cassiodorus' public career was dominated by the Byzantine reconquest and dynastic intrigue among the Ostrogoths. His last letters were drafted in the name of Vitiges. Around 537–38, he left Italy for Constantinople, from where his successor was appointed, where he remained for almost two decades, concentrating on religious questions. He notably met Junillus, the quaestor of Justinian I there. His Constantinopolitan journey contributed to the improvement of his religious knowledge.

Cassiodorus spent his career trying to bridge the 6th-century cultural divides: between East and West, Greek culture and Latin, Roman and Goth, and between an Orthodox people and their Arian rulers. He speaks fondly in his Institutiones of Dionysius Exiguus, the calculator of the Anno Domini era.

In his retirement, he founded the monastery of Vivarium[2] on his family estates on the shores of the Ionian Sea, and his writings turned to religion.

Monastery at Vivarium

Vivarium from the Bamberg manuscript of the Institutiones Patr. 61, fol. 29v
Vivarium from the Bamberg manuscript of the Institutiones Patr. 61, fol. 29v

Cassiodorus' Vivarium "monastery school"[6] was composed of two main buildings: a coenobitic monastery and a retreat, for those who desired a more solitary life. Both were located on the site of the modern Santa Maria de Vetere near Squillace. The twin structure of Vivarium was to permit coenobitic monks and hermits to coexist. The Vivarium appears not to have been governed by a strict monastic rule, such as that of the Benedictine Order. Rather Cassiodorus' work Institutiones was written to guide the monks' studies. To this end, the Institutiones focus largely on texts assumed to have been available in Vivarium's library. The Institutiones seem to have been composed over a lengthy period of time, from the 530s into the 550s, with redactions up to the time of Cassiodorus' death. Cassiodorus composed the Institutiones as a guide for introductory learning of both "divine" and "secular" writings, in place of his formerly planned Christian school in Rome:

I was moved by divine love to devise for you, with God's help, these introductory books to take the place of a teacher. Through them I believe that both the textual sequence of Holy Scripture and also a compact account of secular letters may, with God's grace, be revealed. [7]

The first section of the Institutiones deals with Christian texts, and was intended to be used in combination with the Expositio Psalmorum. The order of subjects in the second book of the Institutiones reflected what would become the Trivium and Quadrivium of medieval liberal arts: grammar, rhetoric, dialectic, arithmetic, music, geometry, and astronomy. While he encouraged study of secular subjects, Cassiodorus clearly considered them useful primarily as aids to the study of divinity, much in the same manner as St. Augustine. Cassiodorus' Institutiones thus attempted to provide what Cassiodorus saw as a well-rounded education necessary for a learned Christian, all in uno corpore, as Cassiodorus put it.[8]

The library at Vivarium was still active c. 630, when the monks brought the relics of Saint Agathius from Constantinople, dedicating to him a spring-fed fountain shrine that still exists.[9] However, its books were later dispersed, the Codex Grandior of the Bible being purchased by the Anglo-Saxon Ceolfrith when he was in Italy in 679–80, and taken by him to Wearmouth Jarrow, where it served as the source for the copying of the Codex Amiatinus, which was then brought back to Italy by the now aged Ceolfrith.[10] Despite the demise of the Vivarium, Cassiodorus' work in compiling classical sources and presenting a sort of bibliography of resources would prove extremely influential in Late Antique Western Europe.[11]

Educational philosophy

Cassiodorus devoted much of his life to supporting education within the Christian community at large. When his proposed theological university in Rome was denied, he was forced to re-examine his entire approach to how material was learned and interpreted.[12] His Variae show that, like Augustine of Hippo, Cassiodorus viewed reading as a transformative act for the reader. It is with this in mind that he designed and mandated the course of studies at the Vivarium, which demanded an intense regimen of reading and meditation. By assigning a specific order of texts to be read, Cassiodorus hoped to create the discipline necessary within the reader to become a successful monk. The first work in this succession of texts would be the Psalms, which the untrained reader would need to begin with because of its appeal to emotion and temporal goods.[13] By examining the rate at which copies of his Psalmic commentaries were issued, it is fair to assess that as the first work in his series, Cassiodorus's educational agenda had been implemented to some degree of success.[13]

Beyond demanding the pursuit of discipline among his students, Cassiodorus encouraged the study of the liberal arts. He believed these arts were part of the content of the Bible, and some mastery of them—especially grammar and rhetoric—necessary for a complete understanding of it.[13] These arts were divided into trivium (which included rhetoric, idioms, vocabulary and etymology) and quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy.

Classical connections

Cassiodorus is rivalled only by Boethius in his drive to preserve and explore classical literature during the 6th century AD.[14][15] He found the writings of the Greeks and Romans valuable for their expression of higher truths where other arts failed.[13] Though he saw these texts as vastly inferior to the perfect word of Scripture, the truths presented in them played to Cassiodorus' educational principles. Thus he is unafraid to cite Cicero alongside sacred text, and acknowledge the classical ideal of good being part of the practice of rhetoric.[13]

His love for classical thought also influenced his administration of Vivarium. Cassiodorus connected deeply with Christian neoplatonism, which saw beauty as concomitant with the Good. This inspired him to adjust his educational program to support the aesthetic enhancement of manuscripts within the monastery, something which had been practiced before, but not in the universality that he suggests.[16]

Classical learning would by no means replace the role of scripture within the monastery; it was intended to augment the education already under way. It is also worth noting that all Greek and Roman works were heavily screened to ensure only proper exposure to text, fitting with the rest of the structured learning.[17]

Lasting impact

Cassiodorus' legacy is quietly profound. Before the founding of Vivarium, the copying of manuscripts had been a task reserved for either inexperienced or physically infirm devotees, and was performed at the whim of literate monks. Through the influence of Cassiodorus, the monastic system adopted a more vigorous, widespread, and regular approach to reproducing documents within the monastery.[18] This approach to the development of the monastic lifestyle was perpetuated especially through German religious institutions.[18]

This change in daily life also became associated with a higher purpose: the process was not merely associated with disciplinary habit, but also with the preservation of history.[19] During Cassiodorus' lifetime, theological study was on the decline and classical writings were disappearing. Even as the victorious Ostrogoth armies remained in the countryside, they continued to pillage and destroy religious relics in Italy.[14] Cassiodorus' programme helped ensure that both classical and sacred literature were preserved through the Middle Ages.

Despite his contributions to monastic order, literature, and education, Cassiodorus' labors were not well acknowledged. After his death he was only partially recognized by historians of the age, including Bede, as an obscure supporter of the Church. In their descriptions of Cassiodorus, medieval scholars have been documented to change his name, profession, place of residence, and even his religion.[14] Some chapters from his works have been copied into other texts, suggesting that he may have been read, but not generally known.[17]


The works not assigned as a part of Cassiodorus' educational program must be examined critically. Because he had been working under the newly dominant power of the Ostrogoths, the writer demonstrably alters the narrative of history for the sake of protecting himself. The same could easily be said about his ideas, which were presented as non-threatening in their approach to peaceful meditation and its institutional isolationism.[20]


  • Laudes (very fragmentary published panegyrics on public occasions)
  • Chronica, (ending at 519) uniting all world history in one sequence of rulers, a union of Goth and Roman antecedents, flattering Goth sensibilities as the sequence neared the date of composition
  • Gothic History (526–533), a lengthy and multi-volume work, survives only in Jordanes' abridgment Getica, which must be considered a separate work and is the only surviving ancient work about the Goths' early history
  • Variae epistolae (537), Theoderic's state papers. Editio princeps by M. Accurius (1533). English translations by Thomas Hodgkin The Letters of Cassiodorus (1886); S.J.B. Barnish Cassiodorus: Variae (Liverpool: University Press, 1992) ISBN 0-85323-436-1
  • Expositio psalmorum (Exposition of the Psalms)
  • De anima ("On the Soul") (540)
  • Institutiones divinarum et saecularium litterarum (543–555)
  • De artibus ac disciplinis liberalium litterarum ("On the Liberal Arts")
  • Codex Grandior (a version of the Bible)


  1. ^ O'Donnell, James J. (1995). "Chronology". Cassiodorus.
  2. ^ a b c Frassetto 2003, p. 103.
  3. ^ Thomas Hodgkin, Letters Of Cassiodorus, (Oxford, 1886), introduction
  4. ^ Cf., e.g., F. Denis de Sainte-Marthe: La vie de Cassiodore, chancelier et premier ministre de Theoderic le Grand. Paris 1694 (online, in French)
  5. ^ "Cassiodorus:  Chapter 1, Backgrounds and Some Dates". Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  6. ^ Jean Leclerq, The Love of Learning and the Desire for God, 2nd revised edition (New York: Fordham, Fordham University Press, 1977) 25.
  7. ^ Institutions, trans. James W. Halporn and Mark Vessey, Cassiodorus: Institutions of Divine and Secular Learning and On the Soul, TTH 42 (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2004)I.1, 105.
  8. ^ Halporn and Vessey, Cassiodorus: Institutions, 68.
  9. ^ Select Abstracts
  10. ^ Maria Makepeace,
  11. ^ Halporn and Vessey, Cassiodorus: Institutions, 66.
  12. ^ Wand, JWC. A History of the Early Church. Methuen & Co. Ltd. (Norwich: 1937)
  13. ^ a b c d e Astell, Ann W. (1999). "Cassiodorus's "Commentary on the Psalms" as an "Ars Rhetorica"". Rhetorica. XVII (Winter, 1999): 37–73. doi:10.1525/rh.1999.17.1.37.
  14. ^ a b c Jones, Leslie W. (1945). "The Influence of Cassiodorus on Medieval Culture". Speculum. XX (October, 1945): 433–442. doi:10.2307/2856740. JSTOR 2856740.
  15. ^ General Audience of Pope Benedict XVI, Boethius and Cassiodorus. Internet. Available from "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-28. Retrieved 2008-04-30.; accessed June 21, 2011.
  16. ^ "Cassiodorus' Institutes and Christian Book Selection". The Journal of Library History. I (April, 1966): 89–100.
  17. ^ a b "The Value and Influence of Cassiodorus's Ecclesiastical History". The Harvard Theological Review. XLI (January, 1948): 51–67.
  18. ^ a b Rand, E. K. (1938). "The New Cassiodorus by EK Rand". Speculum. XIII (October, 1938): 433–447. doi:10.2307/2849664. JSTOR 2849664.
  19. ^ Pergoli Campanelli, Alessandro (2013). Cassiodoro alle origini dell'idea di restauro. Milano: Jaca Book. p. 140. ISBN 978-88-16-41207-1.
  20. ^ "Cassiodorus as Patricius and ex Patricio". Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte. XLI (1990): 499–503.


  • Barnish, S.J. Roman Responses to an Unstable World: Cassiodorus' Variae in Context in: Vivarium in Context 7–22 (Centre Leonard Boyle: Vicenza 2008). ISBN 978-88-902035-2-7
  • Cassiodorus, Flavius Magnus Aurelius (780). "Institutiones divinarum et saecularium litterarum". Bamberg, Staatsbibliothek, Msc.Patr. 61, fol. 1v-67v. Southern Italy. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  • Cassiodorus, Flavius Magnus Aurelius (1167). "Gesta Theodorici". Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Ms. vul. 46. Fulda. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  • Frassetto, Michael (2003). Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe: Society in Transformation. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-57607-263-9.
  • O'Donnell, James J. (1969). Cassiodorus University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  • O'Donnell, James J. (1979). Cassiodorus (Berkeley: University of California Press). On-line e-text.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Flavius Probus,
Flavius Taurus Clementinus Armonius Clementinus
Consul of the Roman Empire
Succeeded by
Flavius Florentius,
Procopius Anthemius
This page was last edited on 22 October 2018, at 09:23
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