Communal Cultures of Knowledge: The Practice and Performance of Editing in Visigothic Iberia (pdf)
(*En Portugués aquí; En Español aquí; En français ici)
Several writers in the Visigothic Kingdom composed prefatory letters which request editing and correction of their work, including Justus of Urgell, Isidore of Seville, Braulio of Zaragoza, and Julian of Toledo. The conspicuous advertisement of these requests at the head of major works indicates that the process of editing was meant to be noticed. In this essay, I argue that the practice and performance of editing during the Isidorian Renaissance represent a changing culture of authorship. Following broader late antique developments, authority was increasingly felt to derive from collective efforts and consensus. Christian authors wanted to emphasize, rather than conceal, the community of men involved in textual production. This communal culture of knowledge can be seen clearly in the discussion of editing, but also reaches more widely into the conciliar production of royal and ecclesiastical law, and especially into the greatest communal composition of the period: the liturgy.
“Priest of God, whomever you may be, even if our Martianus has trained you in the seven disciplines […] if in all this you are practiced so that our style will seem rude, even so I beg that you not read what I have written. But if anything in these books pleases you, I do not forbid your writing it in verse, provided my work is left safe.”
-Gregory of Tours, History of the Franks, 10.31.1
“And thus we offer these things to be debated and tested by your thought, that what hangs unintelligently in respect to words and senses, you might carefully emend. Indeed, my most beloved, I will consider myself excusable in the criticism of this work, for I did not preserve these by my own decision but committed them to you to be corrected by your judgement.”
-Isidore of Seville, Allegoriae, Preface.2
Gregory of Tours and Isidore of Seville provide markedly different guidance to the recipients of their work. On the one hand, Gregory presents his history as the final, inviolable, and authoritative product of his own labors, prohibiting any future alterations. While he humbly admits that the style may seem unsophisticated, it should nonetheless remain unchanged. An exception is made for those who might wish to versify it, provided the original is preserved intact. On the other hand, Isidore sends his manuscript to his fellow priest Orosius with explicit instruction to debate, test, emend, and correct its contents. In fact, Isidore goes so far as to eschew responsibility for errors preserved in the final redaction, as it will no longer be the product of his pen alone. Both writers display a keen awareness of the continued lives their texts will live after beginning circulation, but they bear witness to strongly divergent visions of the relationship between those afterlives and the original authors.
Textual afterlives in antiquity are a tricky business, and much scholarly effort is still expended trying to reconstruct the original versions of ancient and medieval sources. However, for Isidore, this endeavor would appear rather strange. I will argue that the same would be true for many of his contemporaries in Visigothic Iberia: Braulio, Ildefonsus, Eugenius, and Julian. In fact, the instances discussed in this essay suggest that 7th-century Iberian authors participated in a conspicuously, indeed performatively, communal culture of textual production, in which the urtext or autograph would have borne less authority than later recensions, because it had not yet been corrected by a community of readers. This phenomenon is most clearly displayed in the prefaces and letters which circulated alongside the major theological and literary documents of the Isidorian Renaissance, but it also permeated other areas of written culture – particularly the liturgy and law. Above all, it is manifest in the repeated reference made to the practice of editing.
Scholarly discussion of “scribal emendation” has a tendency to portray post-authorial editing as a challenge to be overcome in understanding the text and constructing stemmas. However, Visigothic discussions of editing portray the practice as essential to the production of knowledge, performed not by alternatively pedantic and sloppy scribes, but by learned friends whose collective efforts are integral to ensuring the veracity and orthodoxy of the resultant treatises, histories, law codes, and liturgies. The image that emerges from authors’ frequent requests for editing and correction is one of a textual culture in which authority derives, not from individual reliability, but from collaboration and consensus, guided by the Holy Spirit.
The present essay represents not a finished analysis of this phenomenon but rather a prolegomenon to an area of future work. It is my intention to present a series of interesting cases which have not been studied in relation to one another, and which may serve to illuminate a new model for the process of textual production in the particular circumstances of the Isidorian Renaissance. I hope to lay out my preliminary understanding of this model in its historical context, but also to follow the example of Isidore by opening it up for debate, examination, and comparison. If my initial impressions hold, they may reveal yet another sense in which Visigothic Spain serves as a valuable and underappreciated reference point in the broader fields of ancient, late antique, and medieval textual studies, with implications for our understanding of authorship, textual production, publication, circulation, and editing in the premodern world.
Authorship in Late Antiquity
The 7th century lies at a turning point on the road from late antique to early medieval authorial cultures, situated at the end of the highly polemical period of the Christological controversies and the ecumenical councils. Isidore and his successors can easily be considered either the last patristic or first medieval fathers. Although the seventh century is notoriously sparse in surviving texts from most of the rest of the Mediterranean world, it is our best attested century in the Visigothic realm, and saw a unique flourishing of literary culture. While there is much that is novel about the Isidorian Renaissance, its ideology of authorship was in many ways a natural development in an ongoing late antique evolution, perhaps best described by Mark Vessey in his 2002 essay “From Cursus to Ductus.”
Vessey describes two models of authorship that emerge among Christian writers after the career of the Latin secular author effectively came to a close at the end of the fourth century. The first is the “Augustinian cursive” and the second the “Hieronymian monumental.” The cursive (so named as the literary, spiritual equivalent of the Roman cursus honorum) was, in late antiquity, only to be found in the writings of Augustine of Hippo. Augustine, particularly in his Retractiones, presents the corpus of his writings as a narrative of his own spiritual development. As Leo Braudy had earlier put it, “the Augustinian sense of the individual as a voyager in the world and of the Christian in search of a home in heaven is […] imaged in the writer’s relation to his work, whose goal is […] to discover the soul, the true self” Augustine’s writings can be read chronologically as spiritual autobiography. It is thus fundamentally personal, even psychological. Augustine the late-life redactor of his own earlier work shows the intimate and necessary connection that existed, in his own estimation, between himself as author and his text.
At the other end of the proposed spectrum, and far more influential in the immediately ensuing centuries, is the “Hieronymian monumental” of Jerome. In his De viris illustribus– continued in the 7th century, significantly, by Isidore and Ildefonsus –Jerome set out a Christian version of Suetonius’s collective bibliography. De viris illustribus is a collection of short biographies, mostly consisting of lists of titles and descriptions. Each author’s writing is presented, not as an independent spiritual journey, but as a contribution to the whole that is the corpus of Christian literature – a series of monuments to the common pursuit of God. Individual Christian authorship had been subsumed within the collective Christian explication of divine knowledge. Orthodox texts were thus primarily the possession of the Church at large, the collective deposit, and only secondarily of the individual author.
Vessey traces a final essential development in late antique notions of authorship – the author comes to be understood, not as the original source of his own ideas, but as the medium through which God reveals himself. The writer is, in a sense, not author but scribe, as “the content of the text […] is attributable to a source outside the mind of its ostensible producer.” This further step in the effacement of the author helped to entrench a Christian understanding of textual production as a collective process of unveiling divine truth. Each author was but one of many vehicles in a divine provision – not erased (the De viris illustribus tradition continues to list named men, of course, and attribution remains important) but no longer an independent source of authority in himself. This is precisely the model of authorship inherited by the Visigothic churchmen.
Editing and Correcting
Yet, before a text could become part of the Christian corpus or collective deposit, it had to be released from the writer’s hand and circulated amongst a broader reading public. The concept of publishing in late antiquity and the early middle ages has been little studied, but a useful introduction can be found in a short article by Paul Meyvaert on Charlemagne’s Libri Carolini. As he points out, the Latin term for what we would consider publication is transcribere. It is defined in the Ars de orthographia of Agroecius of Sens (later cited verbatim by Isidore in his Differentiae) as follows: “transcribereis when our right [over the text] passes to another.” Transcribere is to release a text from the writer’s exclusive control, when the text is transcribed into multiple copies for circulation. It is often difficult to tell whether this had formally occurred with an ancient text, and late antique authors are frequently found complaining that their work is being circulated before it is finished. However, Meyvaert presents two prefaces from late antique texts which make explicit reference to the author’s intention to have his work enter circulation.
The first is the preface of Vigilius of Thapsus’s Tractatus de fide Nicaena adversus Arianos. Vigilius was a 5th-century bishop of Thapsus, in Byzacena, one of the provinces of Roman North Africa. The strong connection between 6th-7th-century North Africa and Iberia, and the extensive literary influence of the former on the latter, is well attested. Interestingly, Meyvaert has argued elsewhere that the surviving version of this text derives from a Spanish transmission. In the preface, Vigilius claims that a friend wanted him to publish the book, but that Vigilius first wanted it to be read aloud to learned men so that they could emend it – the word used is emendo, which will prove significant in Visigothic requests for editing. Vigilius writes:
“Guided by love of the Catholic faith, I had some time ago produced a little book against the Arians, which, after I had given it over to a friend to read, because it pleased him, he believed should be published. Because of this I earnestly requested that he should in the meantime read it to learned and wise men, with the author concealed, so that if anything should move them, because either too much or too little might appear to be set there, it might be emended by the advice of many.”
Vigilius explicitly seeks corrections and edits to his work, and it is clear that he wanted this contribution to be recognized. It was an essential attribute of the text’s authorship, and worthy of prominent inclusion in the preface. In the passing out of Vigilius’s ius, the text was first passing through the careful review of his readers and was meant to bear their mark.
The second text mentioned by Meyvaert is Justus of Urgell’s commentary on the Song of Songs. Justus was an early sixth-century Iberian bishop in the Visigothic kingdom, whose work was known to Isidore – in his De viris illustribus, Isidore describes the commentary as “very concisely and clearly breaking apart [the Song of Songs] by the sense of allegory.” In a prefatory letter addressed to bishop Sergius of Tarragona, Justus writes:
“A little book […] which we have recently produced by the light of Christ, I decided to offer to you first […] which I request that you review again with that solicitude with which you abound in Christ, so that if you deem anything there to need correction, you might admonish me with full freedom, and so too you might offer it to be revised by other brothers in Christ, or, if perchance it might have pleased you, to be published.”
Here, Justus requests assessment (censeo), review (recenseo), correction (corrigo), admonition (commoneo), and revision (relego) before the work should be given up for publication (ad transcribendum). By placing this request at the beginning of the commentary, Sergius and his circle of readers are brought to bear in amplifying and sharing the authority of the text. Once again, circulation follows editing, and the process of editing is meant to be noticed. This 6th-century Visigothic example is precisely the one that would come to dominate in 7th-century Iberia.
It is logical that the right editor would serve to amplify the authority of a text. In a memorable 7th-century legend recorded by John Moschos, Pope Leo I was reputed to have placed his Tome on the tomb of St. Peter and requested that the founder of the Roman Church set any errors aright. Forty days later, Peter appeared to Leo and told him “‘I have read and corrected it.’ And, taking the letter from the tomb of holy Peter, he unfolded it and found it corrected by the hand of the apostle.” Naturally, the corrections of St. Peter would ensure the orthodoxy of any author’s work. But it is significant that both Vigilius and Justus want to highlight the contribution of competent but anonymous reviewers – the former his friend and the “learned and wise men,” the latter the “other brothers in Christ.” Clearly, for these authors, it is not just the specific weight added by a notable editor that matters, but the act of editing itself.
And yet, as we saw at the beginning of this essay, revision was not always desired. Gregory of Tours shows that an author could be very particular about not wanting his work changed. For Gregory, to edit his work would have been to “rend” it – the word he uses is avello– and the work must be kept salvus from such intervention. By the sixth century, the performance of requesting editing was a real possibility, but it was by no means a given. The triumph of this phenomenon and its ubiquity in Visigothic Iberia are owed to their deliberate adoption by Isidore of Seville and his successors.
Editing in 7th-Century Iberia
Few early medieval authors can be said to have had as long-lasting or wide-reaching an impact as Isidore of Seville, whose Etymologies alone survive in nearly a thousand manuscript copies. In the decades immediately following his death, his work had already circulated as widely as Ireland and it would play a major role in the transmission of classical knowledge to the medieval world. It is clear that medieval readers saw in Isidore as an auctoritas of great weight, which only makes more interesting the question of his own understanding of his authorship and its relationship to the other hands involved in crafting his work. Isidore was not only a writer: in his role as bishop of Seville he took an active part in the political life of the kingdom. At the Fourth Council of Toledo (633) he sought to elevate the educational standards of the Visigothic clergy and consolidate the Catholic identity of the realm. Part of his strategy involved cultivating a circle of Visigothic writers whose collective literary project has been termed the Isidorian Renaissance. The letters preserved from this period show a slice of the regular correspondence between these figures, which served to foster a common literary culture in Iberia. Editing played an important role in defining that culture and reinforcing its collective nature.
The first Visigothic mention of editing since Justus of Urgell is the prefatory letter to Isidore’s Allegoriae, addressed to a certain Orosius. The text is a series of 250 single-sentence allegorical interpretations of various figures from the Old and New Testaments, composed sometime between 612 and 615. The letter is short – five brief sentences – and half of it is devoted to the discussion of editing. As seen at the head of the present essay, Isidore writes:
“And thus we offer these things to be debated and tested by your thought, that what hangs unintelligently in respect to words and senses, you might carefully emend. Indeed, my most beloved, I will consider myself excusable in the criticism of this work, for I did not preserve these by my own decision but committed them to you to be corrected by your judgement.”
The language employed has echoes of both Vigilius (emendo) and Justus (corrigo). It also presents new terminology for the role an editor should play: he should debate (tracto) and test (probo) the text. With what particular aim in mind? The clarification of words and senses (verborum ac sensum). That is to say, for Isidore, the editor’s job is both mechanical and substantive, concerned with eliminating the ineruditus in both expression and content. Significantly, the great bishop was not simply requesting that Orosius check his grammar and orthography, but the whole sense of the text.
The question naturally emerges: what, then, was the actual contribution of Orosius to the text as we have it? This would be a difficult question to answer, and unfortunately not within the purview of the present essay. However, new methods in digital humanities and computational philology present exciting opportunities to attempt authorship assignments through machine learning, and perhaps these methods can be used in the future to disentangle the multiple hands at play in the creation of Visigothic texts. Of course, if a strong version of the hypothesis of this paper stands, it may be difficult to determine which texts represent a hypothetical “pure authorship” with which to train the algorithm, though certain documents (like letters) are unlikely to have been significantly altered. However, as interesting as it would be to know what Orosius’s interventions might have been, it is not actually necessary to establish that he made any changes at all in order to see that the performance of editing was important for Isidore. Whether or not the resultant text bears a strong mark of Orosius’s hand, Isidore wanted to advertise that Orosius shared in its creation (and shared in responsibility for criticism). Thus, the request for debate, testing, emendation, correction, and judgement features prominently in the preface and frames the way Isidore wanted his readers to engage with the text.
The Allegoriae is not the only text that Isidore sought to have edited. When he finally sent the Etymologiesto his friend Braulio of Zaragoza, he wrote the following letter:
“While on the road, I sent you a codex of the Etymologies, with other codices, and although it has not been emended on account of my health, I nevertheless decided to offer it to you immediately for emendation, if I had reached the place chosen for the council.”
While Isidore is less explicit about the nature of emendation he wants for his Etymologies, we know from Braulio’s own Renotatio at least one aspect of his contribution: Braulio organized and “divided it into twenty books.” Emendation, then, could take the form of reorganization and reframing, in addition to correction for “words and senses.” In fact, much of Braulio’s own editing work, particularly on the Visigothic law codes, took this form. By dividing a work into books, chapters, and headings, an editor could make it more easily navigable to readers – a trait particularly important for reference works such as encyclopedias and law codes.
Braulio’s contribution to the Liber Iudiciorum has been discussed in two essays in the first Visigothic Symposium. Ruth Miguel Franco demonstrates the role that Braulio played in the rearrangement of the code and “the division of the work in tituli and its edition using tables of contents (aeras).” She also points out that he made more substantive emendations to the text itself, complaining at first that “actually, it is so overwhelmed by the negligence of the scribes that hardly a sentence can be found which does not need to be emended, and thus it would have taken less time to write it anew than to emend it.” Braulio uses Isidore’s term (emendo) for what he actually did, though he would have liked the freedom to simply rewrite.
Braulio was not the only Hispano-Goth involved in the editing of the law code before it was put into circulation. As many studies have shown, the process of creating and revising law in the Visigothic Kingdom was intrinsically deliberative and communal. Paulo Pachá has studied this process in the production of the Liber Iudiciorum, discussing Braulio’s role as well as that of clerical and lay aristocracy at the Seventh and Eighth Councils of Toledo. As he puts it, “the production and the dissemination of law had an inherently collective character.” Rachel Stocking has studied the same concept in the wider context of the Catholic Councils of Toledo. One of the most remarkable aspects of the councils was the king’s presentation of a tomus, an initial formulation of positions which would then be debated, revised, and ultimately approved by the bishops and nobility – those referred to by Recceswinth as in regimine socios, associates in government. That is to say, the king himself was not above having his work publicly edited. Recceswinth requests “that which, in the sentences of the laws, is either corrupted or superfluously or unduly included, with the approval of our serenity, arrange so that only those things which are suited to genuine justice and sufficiency of affairs remain.” The performance and pageantry of building consensus was worth more than the authority of his “uncorrupted” word. I would argue that the legal and conciliar procedures are thus participating in the same communal culture of text production as the authors requesting editing. Of course, the direction of causality could be explored in greater depth, and there would undoubtedly have been influence in both directions.
In addition to the portrait we can draw of Braulio as an editor, of Isidore’s writings and the law codes, we also find Braulio requesting corrections for his own work. Other than his letters, Braulio’s major literary production was the Vita Sancti Aemiliani. In the preface to the saint’s life, he writes as follows:
“I have bound and sent it to you, my Lord, and taken care to place this letter of mine at its head, committing it to your judgement to be tested, so that, once it has been reviewed in detail, if in some respect it displeases you, you will either emend it or reject it. But if it pleases you, both you yourself may have it and you may allow it to be delivered to whom your will permits, and give thanks for me to our Creator, to whom all good things belong. But I ask one thing: that if you decide to change anything in it, it should be emended before it is published, lest before it is censured it should be found pleasing to someone. I also wish that, because the most holy man Citonatius the priest and Gerontius still endure in body, they should review beforehand everything that I have written in it and, if I have mistaken neither name nor event in sense, confirm it, winnowed by their examination.”
Braulio emphasizes that he has “taken care to put this letter of mine at its head,” indicating once again that the survival of the request is not an accident – it is marked for both readers and future copyists as an integral part of the text. In addition to the usual editing requested, which follows the language of Isidore (probo, emendo, corrigo), Braulio’s preface stands out for a very specific additional petition: that two old men, who may have known St. Aemilianus, should also read the text and serve as fact checkers, confirming the events and names included. By advertising the fact that the vita was reviewed by first-hand witnesses of the saint’s life, Braulio enhances the authority of his work significantly beyond that which his own hand could have provided.
The conspicuous performance of requesting editing continued to play a role in Visigothic literary culture through the end of the seventh century. Julian of Toledo’s preface to the Prognosticum futuri saeculi includes one of the most eloquent and extended Visigothic discussions of the joint origins of a text. He tells the story of how he and bishop Idalius of Barcelona had retreated together to study scripture while gathered in Toledo for Easter; they turned from reading to discussion, and began to enquire earnestly into the fate of deceased souls before the final resurrection; calling a scribe to join them, they recorded their questions and their initial theories, and then Idalius urged Julian to turn their notes into a book, augmenting their conversation with passages from scripture and the fathers. Delayed by the rebellion of dux Paulus, Julian finally composed the book and sent it to Idalius. At the end of this narration, Julian requests of Idalius as follows:
“And may it [the book] obtain before the mind of your holiness, that what the understanding of our weakness less learnedly formed, the help of your wisdom might correct, enlighten, and adorn […] Having brought to completion, therefore, those things that have been sent because of knowledge or memory, this I ask, this I desire, that this offered form of these books, whether pleasing or displeasing, should be put in a better cloth by the pen of your appraisal, and the outcome of your judgement be made public.”
Editing once again plays a role in cementing the text’s joint authorship. But here, the community of knowledge extends through a much longer process of discursive collaboration, stretching from the inception of the Prognosticum to its completion. For Julian, the text can only properly be read with a knowledge of this context, and so it is framed by the lengthy narration summarized above. By editing, Idalius corrects, as previous editors had, but also enlightens, adorns, and embellishes the work. While Julian does not say as much, it is clear that a reader would form the same impression Isidore wished to give in his Allegoriae – both Julian and Idalius share responsibility for the work. Both men are its authors.
Table: Terms Used in Requests for Editing
|Author and Citation||Text||Terms for Editing|
|John Moschos, Pratum spirituale PG 87:3013.||“Ἀνέγνων καὶ διορθωσάμην. Καὶ δὴ λαβὼν τὴν ἐπιστολὴν ἐκ τοῦ τάφου τοῦ ἁγίου Πέτρου, ἀνέπτυξεν καὶ εὗρεν χειρὶ τοῦ ἀποστόλουδιορθωθεῖσαν.”||διορθόω|
|Vigilius of Thapsus, Tractatus de fide Nicaena adversus Arianos, PL 62:466D.||“Amore catholicae fidei ductus, iampridem adversus Arianos libellum edideram, quem cum amico legendum dedissem, quia placuit, credidit transcribendum. A quo hoc ego magnopere postulavi, ut interim dissimulato auctore doctis viris et prudentibus legeret; ut si quem movisset, quod illic plus au minus positum videretur, posset plurimorum consilio emendari.”||emendo|
|Justus of Urgell, Epistola ad Sergium Papam, PL 67:962B-C.||“Libellum […] quem nuper Christo illuminante edidimus, tibi primum censuiofferendum … quem precor ut cum ea sollicitudine qua in Christo viges, saepe recenseas: ut si quid illic corrigendum persenseris, integra libertate commoneas. Et sic caeteris in Christo fratribus relegendum, vel si fortasse placuerit offeras transcribendum.”||censeo; recenseo;corrigo; commoneo;relego|
|Isidore of Seville, Allegoriae, Preface.2, PL 83:97.||“Haec itaque cognitioni tuae tractanda atque probanda offerimus, ut quod in ratione verborum ac sensuum inerudite dependet, emendandum sollicite cures. Ego enim, mihi charissime, in hujus operis reprehensione excusabilem meipsum aestimabo, quia haec non meo conservavi arbitrio, sed tuo commissi corrigenda judicio.”||tracto; probo; emendo; corrigo|
|Isidore of Seville, Letter 6 in Epistolario de San Braulio, ed. Luis Riesco, p. 74.||“Codicem Aetymologiarum cum aliis codicibus de itinere transmisi et licet inemendatum pre ualitudine, tamen tibi modo ad emendandum statueram offerre, si ad destinatum concilii locum peruenissem.”||emendo|
|Braulio of Zaragoza,
Vita Sancti Aemiliani, 2, ed. Luis Vazquez de Parga, p. 5.
|“Et tibi domino meo, destinatum misi et hanc ipsam epistolam meam capiti eius praeponere curaui, iudicioque tuo probandum committens, ut ad singula recognitum si in aliquo displicuerit aut emendes aut reprobes; si uero placuerit, et ipse habeas, et cui uoluntas permiserit dari concedas atque pro me creatori nostro, cuius sunt omnia bona, grates rependas. Sed unum quaeso; ut si corrigenda in eo aliqua censes, prius emendetur quam proferatur nec ante reprehendatur quam quod delectet inueniatur. Uolo autem, ut quia sanctissimus uir Citonatus presbyter atque Gerontius adhuc in corpore degent, omnia quae in eo scripsi ante recognoscant, et eorum discussione uentilata, si nec nominum nec rerum me fefellit sententia, habeantur confirmata.”||iudico; probo; emendo; reprobo; corrigo; reprehendo; recognosco; discutio; uentilio; confirmo|
|Braulio of Zaragoza, Letter 38 to Recceswinth in Epistolario de San Braulio, ed. Luis Riesco, p. 150.||“Nam tantis obrutus est negligentiis scribarum, ut uix repperiatur sententia que emendari non debeat, ac sic compendiosius fuerat demum scribi quam possit scribtus emendari.”||emendo; demum scribo|
|Recceswinth, Tomus of VIII Toledo, ed. José Vives, p. 264.||“In legum sententiis quae aut depravata consistunt aut ex superfluo vel indebito coniecta videntur, nostrae serenitatis adcomodante consensus, haec sola quae ad sinceram iustitiam et negotiorum sufficientiam convenient ordinetis.”||ordino|
|Julian of Toledo, Prognosticum futuri saeculi, Preface.98-100; 117-21, ed. Jocelyn Hillgarth, p. 14.||“Idque apud animos tuae sanctitatis obtineat, ut quod imbecillitatis nostrae sensus minus docte formauit, prudentiae tuae supplementum corrigat, elucidet et exornet […] His igitur peractis, quae dinoscentiae uel recordationis causa praemissa sunt, id precor, id expeto, ut librorum haec oblata formatio, siue placens siue sit displicens, aut censurae uestrae stilo meliorem subeat pallam, aut iudicii uestri debeat publicari sententia.”||corrigo; elucido; exorno; censura; iudico|
Continuators and Collaborators
The Visigothic “communal culture of knowledge” gains further salience when viewed in light of two additional literary phenomena. The first is the practice of writing continuations of earlier texts; the second is the liturgy.
Writing continuations has the effect of blending the authorship of subsequent generations in producing a text or a textual tradition. Three writers who were also continuators stand out for their important contributions to the Visigothic corpus. The first is Isidore himself. Isidore’s De viris illustribus builds upon a tradition going back to Jerome, discussed in the first section of this essay. Jerome’s De viris illustribus had already been continued in the fifth century by Gennadius of Marseille, and was particularly suited to being built upon – the text is a descriptive list of Christian authors and their works, seeking to demonstrate the breadth of Christian learning. Subsequent generations could expand and update the list to show the continued scope and growth of Christian knowledge and literary production, and in so doing help to reinforce the “Hieronymian monumental” model of Christian authorship. In his continuation of this tradition, Isidore specifically emphasizes the importance of North African and Iberian churchmen. He emphasizes the community of writers (and also the community of readers) that lend their authority to the Visigothic Church. Thus, Isidore’s continuation doubly reinforces the vision of a community of knowledge: firstly, Christian texts are shown to be communal products, and the De viris illustribus can have Jerome, Gennadius, and Isidore each as contributors and continuators; secondly, the text itself serves, in an enumerative manner, to illustrate the community of authors who collectively compose the orthodox corpus. Both of these functions are reinforced yet again by Ildefonsus of Toledo writing his own continuation of Isidore’s De viris illustribus, taking the list into the mid-seventh century.
The third major Visigothic continuator is Eugenius II of Toledo, who according to Ildefonsus’s De viris illustribus, both edited and expanded the Hexameron of Dracontius. In fact, both Eugenius’s edited version and Dracontius’s original survive, and serve as a valuable source for studying how a Visigothic author reworked an earlier text. The continuation takes the form of a seventh book; Dractonius’s poem had narrated the first six days of creation, and Eugenius added the seventh day. Here again, we see the blending of authorship, reworking of texts, and continuation, all contributing to a new sense of what authorship meant in seventh-century Iberia.
The seventh century was an especially productive period for the growth of the Visigothic liturgy. The conversion of Reccared from Arianism to Chalcedonian Christianity paved the way for significant innovation in increasingly elaborate public ritual. In fact, while chronically understudied, the liturgy may be one of the largest literary products of the period. As Manuel Díaz y Díaz has argued, it also presented its authors with a considerable degree of freedom: “The sections of the Hispanic liturgy […] gave, to a much greater extent than did the Gallican liturgy, a free rein to the creative talents of the author of each office: there were practically no norms or conventions to limit him.” This made the liturgy a particularly important sphere for individual authors to contribute to a communal literary possession, and one that had greater public visibility than any other genre. Liturgical compositions are primarily anonymous, and so manifest the blending of authorship discussed above. Certainly, this is how they would have been heard by the faithful in worship. However, the Visigothic liturgy contains many more attributed texts than contemporary liturgies from other regions: “since the seventh century procedures were applied to it which were normally used for excerpta or consarcinationes: the names of the authors of the compositions were added as marginal notes.” It is interesting, then, to imagine the experience of a priest officiating a liturgy with such an annotated text, seamlessly moving from author to author in the performance of a single rite, witnessing the collective nature of its composition. What could more poignantly embody the communal culture of Visigothic modes of knowledge?
As we have seen, Visigothic authors made a point of emphasizing the multiple hands that came together to compose a text. One of the most striking ways in which this was done was through the inclusion of requests for emendation in the circulated manuscripts of texts, particularly those of Isidore, Braulio, and Julian. The kinds of editing that were requested included the correction of errors (both mechanical and substantial), the improvement of stylistic features, the reorganization of whole texts, and the checking of factual contents. Sometimes the need for editing was purely practical, as in the case of Braulio’s work on Recceswinth’s law code, in its shoddy, error-ridden, inherited recension. But, in the examples I have found, editing seems to be playing a larger role. The practice itself, but perhaps more importantly the performance and advertising of the practice, served to build a sense of a shared community responsible for texts. The Christian Visigothic corpus was not conceived of as the collected, personal, spiritual inquiries of great men, like Augustine. Nor was it the inviolable work of authorities like Gregory of Tours, who could stand no tampering. It was a communal endeavor to discover, articulate, and share divine truths. The communal nature of this endeavor reached beyond literary composition and into the spheres of law and liturgy. Within literary compositions, it could also take the form of a continuation of earlier writers. This conception of authorship had roots in earlier late antiquity, but found an unprecedented ubiquity in the Visigothic kingdom. It may in fact have implications for a new, early medieval epistemology, in which consensus played a heightened role. It may also have served to reinforce collective identity, forging a Visigothic “republic of letters” to parallel the new patriotism advocated in post-III Toledo sources like Isidore’s Historia Gothorum and the Laus Spaniae.
A particularly direct articulation of the communal nature of knowledge is found in Braulio’s plea for Isidore to send him a copy of the Etymologies. Braulio reminds Isidore that his talents are meant to be shared, not hoarded. The gift of learning must serve the Christian community: “Or do you consider the gift bestowed upon you to be given for you alone? It is both yours and mine; it is communal, not private. And who, even insane, would presume to say that you rejoice in your private possession, who know only to rejoice blamelessly in communal possession?”
The early days of writing in Europe had shown a preference for singular authorship over multiple authorship, hence the community of oral poets in Greece became condensed into the figure of Homer. In late antiquity, the figure of the singular author clearly persists, but the Visigothic model also presents something of a reaction – a move back towards encouraging and cultivating collective authorship. It may be profitable to trace the long-term implications of this move. Certainly, a century after Isidore, Bede made a virtue of emphasizing the sources of his work, and sent his Ecclesiastical History to Abbot Albinus of Canterbury for comment. Similar requests for editing can be found in the prefaces of Defensor, Rabanus Maurus, Anastasius Bibliothecarius, Petrus Alfonsi, and Bernard of Cluny. What other ripples this aspect of the Isidorian Renaissance might have had in the Middle Ages remain to be seen. But it seems to me that the practice and performance of editing in Visigothic Spain present valuable insight into the kingdom’s new modes of authorship – which may reveal a rather communal culture of knowledge.
Special thanks are due to those who have read through this essay and provided valuable feedback: Stephan Sveshnikov, Eleanor Handler, Nicholas Thyr, Omar Abdel-Ghaffar, the editors of the Visigothic Symposia, and my advisor, Professor Michael McCormick.
 Gregory of Tours, Historiarum libri X, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptorum rerum Merovingicarum 1.1, ed. Bruno Krusch and Wilhelm Levison (Hanover: Impensis Bibliopolis Hahniani, 1951), 536: “Quod si te, o sacerdos Dei, quicumque es, Martianus noster septem disciplinis erudiit […] si in his omnibus ita fueris exercitatus, ut tibi stilus noster sit rusticus, nec sic quoque, deprecor, ut avellas quae scripsi. Sed si tibi in his quiddam placuerit, salvo opere nostro, te scribere versu non abnuo.” All translations are my own, unless otherwise noted.
 Isidore of Seville, Allegoriae, Preface.2. Patrologia Latina cols. 83:97: “Haec itaque cognitioni tuae tractanda atque probanda offerimus, ut quod in ratione verborum ac sensuum inerudite dependet, emendandum sollicite cures. Ego enim, mihi charissime, in hujus operis reprehensione excusabilem meipsum aestimabo, quia haec non meo conservavi arbitrio, sed tuo commissi corrigenda judicio.” A modern critical edition of Isidore’s Allegoriaeexists in an unpublished thesis: Dominique Poirel, “Les Allegoriaed ’Isidore de Séville. Édition critique, traduction et commentaire. Thèse pour l’obtention du diplôme d ’archiviste-paléographe (PhD diss., École Nationale des Chartes, 1986). Unfortunately, I could not access this during the 2020-2021 pandemic.
 An exculpation that may rankle modern authors so accustomed to the trope of academic prefaces, “all remaining errors are my own…”
 Mark Vessey, “From Cursus to Ductus: Figures of Writing in Western Late Antiquity,” in European Literary Careers: The Author from Antiquity to the Renaissance, ed. Patrick Cheney and Frederick A. de Armas (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002), 47-103.
 Ausonius (d. 395) and Claudianus (d. 404), deceased at either end of the decade surrounding the year 400, make the close of the fourth century a particularly symbolic moment in the declining viability of the secular Latin poet’s career, for which see Vessey, “From Cursus to Ductus,” 50-51.
 Leo Braudy, The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 171.
 Vessey, “From Cursus to Ductus,” 53-59.
 Ibid., 61.
 Paul Meyvaert, “Medieval Notions of Publication: The ‘Unpublished’ Opus Caroli regis contra synodum and the Council of Frankfort (794),” The Journal of Medieval Latin 12 (2002): 78-89.
 Agroecius, De orthographia, ed. Mariarosaria Pugliarello (Milan: Marzorati, 1978), 61. In context: “CONSCRIBERE est multa simul scribere; EXSCRIBERE quod alibi scriptum sit transferre; TRANSCRIBERE cum ius nostrum in alium transit; INSCRIBERE accusationis est; AD SCRIBERE adsignationis; DESCRIBERE dictionis vel ordinationis.” Also, Isidore of Seville, De differentiis verborum, ed. Carmen Codoñer (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1992), 196.
 For instance, the preface of Augustine of Hippo, De trinitate libri XV, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 50, ed. William J. Mountain and François Glorie (Turnhout: Brepols, 1968), 25-26, or Braulio’s letter to Isidore complaining that an early unfinished version of the Etymologies is already in illicit circulation, Epistolario de Braulio de Zaragoza. Introducción, edición crítica y traducción, ed. Luis Riesco (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, 1975), 72.
 For the North African influence in Iberia, see Roger Collins, Visigothic Spain 409-711 (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), 147-61.
 Opus Caroli regis contra synodum, ed. Ann Freeman and Paul Meyvaert (Hanover: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1998), 66-67.
 Vigilius of Thapsus, Tractatus de fide Nicaena adversus Arianos, Patrologia Latina 62, col. 466D: “Amore catholicae fidei ductus, iampridem adversus Arianos libellum edideram, quem cum amico legendum dedissem, quia placuit, credidit transcribendum. A quo hoc ego magnopere postulavi, ut interim dissimulato auctore doctis viris et prudentibus legeret; ut si quem movisset, quod illic plus au minus positum videretur, posset plurimorum consilio emendari.”
 For the significance of prefaces in framing late antique practices of reading, see Aaron Pelttari, The Space that Remains: Reading of Latin Poetry in Late Antiquity (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014), 45-72, and Tore Janson, Latin Prose Prefaces: Studies in Literary Conventions(Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1964).
 Isidore, De viris illustribus, 21, ed. Carmen Codoñer Merino, El “De viris illustribus” de Isidoro de Sevilla (Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, 1964), 145: “Iustus Orgellitanae […] edidit labellum expositionis in Canticis Canticorum, totum ualde breuiter atque aperte per allegoriarum sensum discutiens.”
 Justus of Urgell, Epistola ad Sergium Papam, Patrologia Latina 67, cols. 962B-C: “Libellum[…] quem nuper Christo illuminante edidimus, tibi primum censui offerendum […] quem precor ut cum ea sollicitudine qua in Christo viges, saepe recenseas: ut si quid illic corrigendum persenseris, integra libertate commoneas. Et sic caeteris in Christo fratribus relegendum, vel si fortasse placuerit offeras transcribendum.”
 John Moschos, Pratum spirituale, Patrologia Graeca 87, col. 3013: “Ἀνέγνων καὶ διορθωσάμην. Καὶ δὴ λαβὼν τὴν ἐπιστολὴν ἐκ τοῦ τάφου τοῦ ἁγίου Πέτρου, ἀνέπτυξεν καὶ εὗρεν χειρὶ τοῦ ἀποστόλου διορθωθεῖσαν.”
These anonymous readers had initially tempted me to title this essay “Early Medieval Peer Review.”
 Stephen A. Barney, W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, and Oliver Berghof, trans., The “Etymologies”of Isidore of Seville (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), 24.
 For the Irish transmission of Isidore, see Michael Herren, “On the Earliest Irish Acquaintance with Isidore of Seville,” in Visigothic Spain: New Approaches, ed. Edward James (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 243-50.
 Jamie Wood, The Politics of Identity in Visigothic Spain: Religion and Power in the Histories of Isidore of Seville (Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2012), 142-47.
 Dominique Poirel argues that Orosius should in fact be read as Aurasius, the Archbishop of Toledo at the time of the text’s composition, mentioned in Ildefonsus’s De viris illustribus. Dominique Poirel, “Un Manuel d’exégèse spirituelle au service des prédicateurs: Les Allegoriaed’Isidore de Séville,” Recherches augustiniennes 33 (2003): 95-107, at 99.
 Ibid., 98.
 Isidore of Seville, Allegoriae, Preface.2. Patrologia Latina, cols. 83:97: “Haec itaque cognitioni tuae tractanda atque probanda offerimus, ut quod in ratione verborum ac sensuum inerudite dependet, emendandum sollicite cures. Ego enim, mihi charissime, in hujus operis reprehensione excusabilem meipsum aestimabo, quia haec non meo conservavi arbitrio, sed tuo commissi corrigenda judicio.”
 To compare the language employed by the various authors when discussing editing, see the table at the end of this section.
 For a discussion of these methods and their history, see Jakub Kabala, “Computational Authorship Attribution in Medieval Latin Corpora: the Case of the Monk of Lido (ca. 1101–08) and Gallus Anonymous (ca. 1113–17),” Language Resources and Evaluation 54 (2020): 25-56, at 28-33.
 I could not check how frequently the preface accompanies the text in the 45 manuscripts reported by Manuel C. Díaz y Díaz, Index scriptorum Latinorum Medii Aevi Hispanorum (Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, 1958), 33.
 I write “finally” intentionally: Braulio had requested the manuscript multiple times from Isidore, his final request dripping with exasperation after seven years of delay. Braulio would make an excellent candidate for patron saint of students with unresponsive teachers, an intercessor I have been blessed not to require. For a translation of this correspondence, see Barney, et al., trans., The “Etymologies” of Isidore of Seville, 409-13.
 Isidore, Letter 6 in Braulio of Zaragoza,Epistolario de Braulio de Zaragoza. Introducción, edición crítica y traducción,ed. Luís Riesco (Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, 1975), 74: “Codicem Aetymologiarum cum aliis codicibus de itinere transmisi et licet inemendatum pre ualitudine, tamen tibi modo ad emendandum statueram offerre, si ad destinatum concilii locum peruenissem.”
 Braulio, La renotatio librorum domini Isidori de Braulio de Zaragoza: introducción, edición crítica y traducción, ed. José Carlos Martín (Logroño: Cilengua, 2002), 262: “Etymologiarum codicem nimiae magnitudinis distinctum ab eo titulis,non libris, quem quia rogatu meo fecit, quamuis inperfectum ipse reliquerit, ego in uiginti libros diuisi.”
 Ruth Miguel Franco, “Sub Titulis Misi, in Libros Diuisi: Braulio of Zaragoza and His Arrangement of Materials,” Visigothic Symposia 1(2016-2017): 131-49, at 131.
 Braulio, Epistolario de Braulio de Zaragoza,ed. Riesco, 150: “Nam tantis obrutus est negligentiis scribarum, ut uix repperiatur sententia que emendari non debeat, ac sic compendiosius fuerat demum scribi quam possit scribtus emendari.”
 Paulo Pachá, “Law, Networks of Power and Integration: The Production Process of the Liber Iudiciorum,” Visigothic Symposia 1 (2016-2017): 169-93.
 Ibid., 172.
 Rachel Stocking, Bishops, Councils, and Consensus in the Visigothic Kingdom, 589–633 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001).
 Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos, ed. José Vives (Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto Enrique Flórez, 1963), 265.
 Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos, 264: “In legum sententiis quae aut depravata consistunt aut ex superfluo vel indebito coniecta videntur, nostrae serenitatis adcomodante consensus, haec sola quae ad sinceram iustitiam et negotiorum sufficientiam convenient ordinetis.”
 Braulio, Vita Sancti Aemiliani, ed. Luís Vazquez de Parga (Madrid: Instituto Jerónimo Zurita, 1943), 5: “Et tibi domino meo, destinatum misi et hanc ipsam epistolam meam capiti eius praeponere curaui, iudicioque tuo probandum committens, ut ad singula recognitum si in aliquo displicuerit aut emendes aut reprobes; si uero placuerit, et ipse habeas, et cui uoluntas permiserit dari concedas atque pro me creatori nostro, cuius sunt omnia bona, grates rependas. Sed unum quaeso; ut si corrigenda in eo aliqua censes, prius emendetur quam proferatur nec ante reprehendatur quam quod delectet inueniatur. Uolo autem, ut quia sanctissimus uir Citonatus presbyter atque Gerontius adhuc in corpore degent, omnia quae in eo scripsi ante recognoscant, et eorum discussione uentilata, si nec nominum nec rerum me fefellit sententia, habeantur confirmata.”
 Julian of Toledo, Prognosticum futuri saeculi, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 115, ed. Jocelyn Hillgarth (Turnhout: Brepols, 1976), 14: “Idque apud animos tuae sanctitatis obtineat, ut quod imbecillitatis nostrae sensus minus docte formauit, prudentiae tuae supplementum corrigat, elucidet et exornet […] His igitur peractis, quae dinoscentiae uel recordationis causa praemissa sunt, id precor, id expeto, ut librorum haec oblata formatio, siue placens siue sit displicens, aut censurae uestrae stilo meliorem subeat pallam, aut iudicii uestri debeat publicari sententia.”
 Ildefonsus of Toledo, De viris illustribus, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 114A, ed. Carmen Codoñer Merino (Turnhout: Brepols, 2007), 615.
 Manuel C. Díaz y Díaz, “Literary Aspects of the Visigothic Liturgy,” in Visigothic Spain: New Approaches, ed. Edward James (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 61-76, at 62.
 Ibid., 73.
 Cf. Jamie Wood, The Politics of Identity in Visigothic Spain: Religion and Power in the Histories of Isidore of Seville(Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2012).
 Braulio, Epistolario de Braulio de Zaragoza, ed. Riesco, 68.
 For the extent of Bede’s indebtedness to Isidore, see my unpublished MPhil dissertation, Bede and Isidore: A Relationship Revisited (MPhil diss., University of Cambridge, 2018). https://www.academia.edu/38133091/Bede_and_Isidore_A_Relationship_Revisited
 Tore Janson, Latin Prose Prefaces: Studies in Literary Conventions (Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1964), 143.
Agroecius. De orthographia. Edited by Mariarosaria Pugliarello. Milan: Marzorati, 1978.
Augustine of Hippo. De trinitate libri XV. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 50. Edited by William J. Mountain and François Glorie. Turnhout: Brepols, 1968.
Braulio of Zaragoza. Epistolario de Braulio de Zaragoza. Introducción, edición crítica y traducción. Edited by Luís Riesco. Seville: Universidad de Sevilla, 1975.
Braulio of Zaragoza. La renotatio librorum domini Isidori de Braulio de Zaragoza: introducción, edición crítica y traducción. Edited by José Carlos Martín. Logroño: Cilengua, 2002.
Braulio of Zaragoza. Vita Sancti Aemiliani. Edited by Luís Vazquez de Parga. Madrid: Instituto Jerónimo Zurita, 1943.
Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos. Edited by José Vives. Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto Enrique Flórez, 1963.
Ildefonsus of Toledo. De viris illustribus, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 114A. Edited by Carmen Codoñer Merino. Turnhout: Brepols, 2007.
Isidore of Seville. Allegoriae. Patrologia Latina 83, columns 0097-0130B; Dominique Poirel, ed. “Les Allegoriaed ’Isidore de Séville. Edition critique, traduction et commentaire. Thèse pour l’obtention du diplôme d ’archiviste-paléographe.” PhD diss., École Nationale des Chartes, 1986.
Isidore of Seville. De differentiis verborum. Edited by Carmen Codoñer. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1992.
Isidore of Seville. El “De viris illustribus” de Isidoro de Sevilla. Edited by Carmen Codoñer Merino. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, 1964.
Isidore of Seville. The Letters of Isidore of Seville. Edited and translated by Gordon B. Ford, Jr. Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert, 1970.
John Moschos. Pratum spirituale. Patrologia Graeca 87, columns 2852-3112.
Julian of Toledo. Prognosticum futuri saeculi. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 115. Edited by Jocelyn Hillgarth. Turnhout: Brepols, 1976.
Justus of Urgell. Epistola ad Sergium Papam. Patrologia Latina 67, columns 0961-0962D.
Gregory of Tours. Historiarum libri X. Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptorum rerum Merovingicarum 1.1. Edited by Bruno Krusch and Wilhelm Levison. Hanover: Impensis Bibliopolis Hahniani, 1951.
Vigilius of Thapsus. Tractatus de fide Nicaena adversus Arianos. Patrologia Latina 62, columns 0466B-0472B.
Barney, Stephen A., W. J. Lewis, J. A. Beach, and Oliver Berghof, trans. The “Etymologies”of Isidore of Seville. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Braudy, Leo. The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Collins, Roger. Visigothic Spain 409-711. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
Díaz y Díaz, Manuel C. Index scriptorum Latinorum Medii Aevi Hispanorum. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca, 1958.
Díaz y Díaz, Manuel C. “Literary Aspects of the Visigothic Liturgy.” In Visigothic Spain: New Approaches, edited by Edward James, 61-76. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.
Freeman, Ann, and Paul Meyvaert. Opus Caroli regis contra synodum. Hanover: Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 1998.
Herren, Michael. “On the Earliest Irish Acquaintance with Isidore of Seville.” In Visigothic Spain: New Approaches, edited by Edward James, 243-50. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.
Janson, Tore. Latin Prose Prefaces: Studies in Literary Conventions. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell, 1964.
Kabala, Jakub. “Computational Authorship Attribution in Medieval Latin Corpora: the Case of the Monk of Lido (ca. 1101–08) and Gallus Anonymous (ca. 1113–17).” Language Resources and Evaluation 54 (2020): 25-56.
Meyvaert, Paul. “Medieval Notions of Publication: The ‘Unpublished’ Opus Caroli regis contra synodumand the Council of Frankfort (794).” The Journal of Medieval Latin 12 (2002): 78-89.
Miguel Franco, Ruth. “Sub Titulis Misi, in Libros Diuisi: Braulio of Zaragoza and His Arrangement of Materials.” Visigothic Symposia 1 (2016-2017): 131-49.
Morgan, Reed Johnston. “Bede and Isidore: A Relationship Revisited.” MPhil diss., University of Cambridge, 2018. https://www.academia.edu/38133091/Bede_and_Isidore_A_Relationship_Revisited.
Pachá, Paulo. “Law, Networks of Power and Integration: The Production Process of the Liber Iudiciorum.” Visigothic Symposia 1(2016-2017): 169-93.
Pelttari, Aaron. The Space that Remains: Reading of Latin Poetry in Late Antiquity. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014.
Poirel, Dominique. “Un Manuel d’exégèse spirituelle au service des prédicateurs: Les Allegoriaed’Isidore de Séville.” Recherches augustiniennes 33 (2003): 95-107.
Stocking, Rachel. Bishops, Councils, and Consensus in the Visigothic Kingdom, 589–633. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2001.
Vessey, Mark. “From Cursus to Ductus: Figures of Writing in Western Late Antiquity.” In European Literary Careers: The Author from Antiquity to the Renaissance, edited by Patrick Cheney and Frederick A. de Armas, 47-103. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002.
Wood, Jamie. The Politics of Identity in Visigothic Spain: Religion and Power in the Histories of Isidore of Seville. Boston and Leiden: Brill, 2012.