Is Salonius’ Commentary on Ecclesiastes accessible?

A commentary on Ecclesiastes attributed to Salonius of Geneva does exist in English, I find.  This Google Books page tell us that a certain William Pollard in 1615 produced a translation under the title, A misticall exposition of doctor Salonius, borne at Vienna and bishopp of Fraunce, upon the Ecclesiastes of Salomon, in manner of a dialogue.  The book is 182 pages, although probably small ones.  But the book itself is not at the link.

Does anyone have a copy?  It must exist in one of the repositories of early English books, I would have thought.

The Latin text of the commentary itself, according to this link, is to be found in PL 53, col. 967-1012.  A quotation suggests the interlocutors in the dialogue are Salonius himself and his younger brother Veranus.  Veranus mentions that “there is a time to laugh and a time to weep”, and Salonius suggests that, far from describing our present life, it means that we weep now but will laugh and rejoice in the new Jerusalem.

But I believe that the commentary is spurious, and not in fact by Salonius himself.  The same text is also transmitted under the name of Honorius of Autun (PL 172, 311-348).

UPDATE: The Latin text is here in the PL 53 volume.


14 thoughts on “Is Salonius’ Commentary on Ecclesiastes accessible?

  1. There’s a copy in the University of Leeds’ Brotherton Library, access unrestricted according to Worldcat:

    Publication information: 1615.
    1 volume (91 ff.), manuscript.
    Written in a single neat early seventeenth-century English hand, using both italic and Secretary scripts, with each page ruled in red around the text, and with many flourishes in the italic hand. Bound in contemporary English sheepskin, somewhat worn, with the spine repaired and gilt-embossed with labels added later and reading (incorrectly) ‘MYSTICAL EXPOSITION OF CANTICLES’ and ‘MS. 1615’. On f.91v there is an ownership inscription ‘Step. Mitchell, 1687, and on the front inside cover the nineteenth-century armorial bookplate of Robert, Marquess of Crewe.

    William Pollard (fl. 1615) was incarcerated in a London prison at the time that he wrote this work. He is otherwise unknown. The work is dedicated to Alexander Baker, ‘principall Churgion to the Kinges moste excellent Maiestye’, possibly in the hope that he would help to secure the author’s release from prison.

    Contains an English translation of Salonius, bishop of Geneva’s Latin commentary on Ecclesiastes.

  2. Apparently this is the same copy that got sold as part of a lot at Christie’s, because the bookplate’s the same; and because the poor guy wrote it up by hand in prison.

  3. It’s in: Brotherton Special Collections. The call number is Manuscripts: Brotherton Collection MS Gen 5.

    There’s also a 1964 Latin critical edition of both of Salonius’ books on Brotherton West floor 2, with the call number: Latin F-85 SAL.

    Leeds seems to be digitizing stuff and putting it under Creative Commons – No Commercial Use license. They haven’t done Pollard’s Salonius yet. There are prices for digitizing, but maybe you can just use sweet reason to get them to prioritize him. (“You have the only copy in all the world! Written up by a guy in prison! Digitize it before disaster strikes!”)

  4. Actually, it seems that a lot of scholars take it that Honorius is the one who glommed it “almost word for word” from Salonius.

    I will hand you some popcorn for your better enjoyment when you read the academic fights….

  5. Ooh, and the names of the interlocutors were added by this Brassicanus guy in the 1500’s. Man, nothing like a messy text history.

  6. That’s very interesting – thank you. Yes, it might well be worth a note to Leeds.

    Can I ask where you found your info on the authorship and interlocutors of the commentary? I found something a week ago, but then couldn’t find it again.

  7. Frede/Gryson under Ps-Salo (post 800) list C. Curti, Salonii… Comm. in Parabolas Salomonis et in Ecclesiasten, Catania 1964.
    For Eccles Ps-Salo depends mostly on Jerome.

  8. Re: authorship, I just was searching for Salonius and stuff showed up, and more showed up when I used both Salonius and Honorius as search terms. Possibly there’s some kind of consensus now, as most of the stuff I was coming across was either really old, or from before the Seventies.

    Roger Gryson’s that French guy who’s editing practically everything for the CCSL, including my man Beatus and all his Tyconius-using buddies.

    He also wrote a controversial book on women in the early Church back in the Seventies, where he apparently said he thought women did get ordained, which apparently made the other French guy write his deaconess book about how women weren’t ordained…. But that’s so far back in the past that it didn’t even show up in my searches, before today.

    But his CCSL editing seems pretty vanilla and normal, except for the boldness of attempting a Tyconius reconstruction and then using his reconstruction as a citation source in Beatus! (But he doesn’t scuttle the rest; the Tyconius book is fully notated on where he grabs his reconstruction wording.)

  9. Thank you for this! It looks as if a consensus developed after Curti – at least according to the 1989 thesis by Wolters, which I quote in my next post.

    I hadn’t heard of Gryson. The controversies of yesterday are quickly forgotten, aren’t they? What an odd view for him to take, tho.

  10. Frede did the Verzeichnis/List of Latin texts – with latest editions – for the Vetus Latina project. In its latest edition (2007) it was edited by R.Gryson, and changed title to Repertoire General… (with accents!).

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