There were two Irish scholars of this name who attained distinction in the eleventh century. Both spent the greater part of their lives in Germany.
(1) MARIANUS SCOTUS, the chronicler, whose Irish name was
Servant of Brigid, born, according to his own
Ireland in 1028; died at Mainz, 1082. From the same source we learn also that in
1052 he became a monk, assuming the name Marianus, and that in 1056 he went to
Cologne, where he entered the Irish monastery of St. Martin. Two years later, he
tells us, he went to Fulda, visited Paderborn, and in 1059 was ordained priest
at Würzburg. In 1060 he became a hermit, or recluse, at Fulda, whence in 1070 he
moved to Mainz in obedience to an order from his former abbot, Siegfried, who
was now archbishop of that see. His remains were interred in the monastery of St.
Martin at Mainz. The only work which can with certainty be ascribed to Marianus
Universal Chronicle (the incipit has the title
Mariana Scoti cronica
clara), a history of the world, year by year, from the beginning of the
Christian era down to 1082. It has been published in various editions, the best
of which are the Waitz edition in the
Monumenta Germaniæ (V, 481 sqq.) and
Migne's (P. L., CLXVII, 623 sqq.). It exists in at least two eleventh-century
manuscripts, one of which (Vatican, 830) has strong claims to be considered an
autograph. The material which Marianus gathered together with a great deal of
intelligent industry was used very freely by subsequent chroniclers, such as
Florence of Worcester and Siegbert of Gembloux. The chronological system,
however, which Marianus defended as preferable, and which was based on his
contention that the date of Christ's birth given by Dionysius Exiguus was
twenty-two years too late, did not meet with general acceptance. He himself
gives both systems. Besides the
Chronicle several other works were ascribed to
Marianus owing to a confusion of his name with that of his countryman, Marianus,
Abbot of St. Peter's at Ratisbon.
(2) MARIANUS SCOTUS, Abbot of St. Peter's at Ratisbon, born
in Ireland before the middle of the eleventh century; died at Ratisbon towards
the end of the eleventh century, probably in 1088. In 1067 he left his native
country, intending to make a pilgrimage to Rome. Like many of his countrymen,
however, who visited the Continent, he decided to settle in Germany, and did not
return to Ireland. At Bamberg he became a Benedictine monk, and thence he went
with some companions to Ratisbon (or Regensburg), where he founded the monastery
of St. Peter and became its first abbot. After his death he was honoured as a
saint, his feast being observed on 17 April, 4 July, or, according to the
Bollandists, on 9 February. Marianus devoted himself to transcribing and
glossing the text of the Scriptures. His success as a scribe, and the
exceptional beauty of his calligraphy may be judged by a specimen of his work
which has come down to us. This is Codex 1247 of the Imperial Library of Vienna
containing the Epistles of St. Paul with glosses, some of which are in Latin and
others in Irish. The latter were collected and published by Zeuss in his
Grammatica Celtica (p. xxiv). The manuscript ends with the words
individuæ trinitatis Marianus Scotus scripsit hunc librum suis fratribus
peregrinis … (the date given is 16 May, 1078). Over the words 'Marianus
Scotus is the gloss:
Muirdach trog macc robartaig, i. e. Marianus miser filius
Robartaci. The Irish form of his name was, therefore, Muirdach (from the root
muir; hence, instead of the Latin form Marianus, there sometimes occurs
Pelagius), and his family name was Robartaig, or Rafferty.
(1) P. L., CXLVII, 602 sqq.; Mon. Germ. Hist.: Script., V, 481 sqq.; HAUSSEN, Diss. critica de antiquiss. cod. chronici Mar. Scoti (Frankfort, 1782); WATTENBACH, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen. II (Berlin, 1874), 83 sqq.
(2) Acta SS., Feb., II, 361 sqq.; Revue celtique, I (1870), 262 sqq.; Proceed., Royal Irish Acad., VII, 290 sqq.; Verhandl. hist. Ver. Oberpfalz-Regensburg (1879), XXVI.
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