Virgilius Maro Grammaticus - Biographical


It is unknown exactly when or where he was active: in the eleventh and twelfth centuries he was known to Abbo of Fleury and others as Virgil of Toulouse, and subsequent scholars have tried to attribute him to Spain, the Basque Country and Gaul. Apparent traces of Hebrew have also prompted suggestions that he may have been Jewish. Supposed knowledge of some Old Irish vocabulary and verse has led to the most recent attribution to Ireland, and there is good evidence that his writings were well known to early medieval Irish scholars. However, the Irish evidence is not watertight, and Virgil's origins remain undetermined.

However, Virgil can be dated with some confidence to the seventh century: he knew some parts of the Etymologiae by Isidore of Seville finished around 636; and was quoted before 709/10 by Aldhelm of Malmesbury. Quotations from Virgil in certain Irish computistical texts may place him in the first half of the seventh century, specifically before 658.

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