Le manuscrit Cod. 53b (rot) de la Benediktinerstift de Göttweig est une copie du XIIème siècle des Consuetudines Fructuarienses provenant de de l'abbaye bénédictine de Lambach et contient une hymne neumée et quelques éléments de théorie musicale.

1r Exorta Bethsaida duo suscepit lumina (Andreae) [AH 52, n° 98]

83v roue de solmisation

84r Main guidonienne suivie de l'échelle guidonienne avec la correspondance de l'ambitus selon les ages de la vie. (A ma connaissance cette correspondance n'existe dans aucun autre traité) :

Vox senilis, Vox virilis, Vox iuvenilis, Vox puerilis, Vox infantilis

86v Extrait de Jacques de Liège : Quamvis mille modis cantus varientur in odis. Octo modis tantum sit continuatio vocum.

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  • Got it!
    Sorry, haha.
  • Hello

    It is really interesting, of course!

    A question: Is there any way to consult the actual manuscript?



  • Don't worry, for me an argument is nothing bad (I am aware of the negative English connotation, but the German way to exchange is probably very different with respect to anglophone habits).

    My interest is a Southern Italian one, since important protagonist like Euclid and Archytas were usually based at Crotone and Taranto, so they belong to the very rich Western provinces of Magna Grecia (you find material at the Beneventan group). An urban, but not democratic culture organised among the Italian Poleis, before they were conquested by the Romans.

    The Neo-Pythagorean revival was about the time of Cicero, but already Aristoxenos mentioned the "Harmonikoi", and with Ptolemy it became definitely a programme of science, which was taught at universities through the Middle Ages.

    During the time of Boethius, Cassiodorus, and later authors this knowledge became rather clandestine and hermetic in a rural monastic sense, which is the period of Byzantine Italy, when anachoretes were hiding before slave-trading Berbers. But without slave-trade, even a church father like John of Damascus could not have learnt Greek, which he learnt from the Calabrian monk Kosmas who was bought as house slave by his father!

  • I do not wish to argue. But I would be very interested to know the evidentiary, i.e., textual, basis of your claim that either of the phrases you mention denoted "the education programme of the Pythagorean sect, and later of the Harmonikoi." As I suspect you're aware, the adjective enkuklios in this phrase seems to have been used as much with the meaning "that which recurs in the daily round," hence "regular," as with the meaning "cyclical" or "forming a cycle or circle." And I have never seen anything linking the phrase enkuklos paideia specifically either to the Pythagoreans (much less the Harmonikoi!) or to mathematical studies in particular.

    I would also be very interested to see a textual citation for the phrase enkuklia mathemata (I apologize for lacking the ability to use Greek characters): I was unaware that that adjective was ever linked with that noun. Where does that happen? 

    In the interests of accuracy I feel obliged to point out that the first phrase is enkuklios,not enkuklia, paideia: the adjective is either of two endings (i.e., it uses the "-os" ending for feminine nouns, as here) or, if it does use a feminine ending, it is eta, not alpha, according to Liddell-Scott-Jones. But I have only ever seen it as enkuklios paideia.

    Finally, I must remind you that the invocation of later authors, and also of much later loanwords such as "encyclical" and "encyclopaedia," proves nothing in regard to the question of the original meaning of the phrase at issue and whether it was proper to the Pythagorean sect and the Harmonikoi, as you assert. It may be that one or more later, perhaps self-styled "Pythagorean," writers do use the phrase to denote the mathematical sciences in particular, and if that is the case I would be eager and grateful to know who they are and what they say, but even if that is the case, it does not affect the question of the original meaning and context of the phrase. My understanding of the matter is that enkuklios paideia is Hellenistic rather than Classical (to say nothing of Pythagorean in the sense of the original sect) and that its meaning at that time was not restricted to only the mathematical sciences but included the usual language-oriented studies as well (probably in most cases primarily). 

  • Since we already argue in such an etymological way...

    It was the education programme of the Pythagorean sect, and later of the Harmonikoi, and the difference is just the one between general education of knowledge (ἐγκύκλια παιδεία), referred to young people, or encyclical exercises (ἐγκύκλια μαθήματα). Both expressions did exist and I fear that is, where our expression "mathematics" and its more specific connotation originally came from, the emphasise on the representation of knowledge was due to the later rhetoric movement and its ideological fights (just take Libanius' disappointment about his alumnus John Chrysostom as an example). I apologise for my poor English, but "encyclical" as well as "encyclopædia" at least do exist as loanwords, and do mean less basic than all-round or universal knowledge.

    It is evident that the liberal arts were already no longer enough during the 6th and 7th century—just a few chapters, if we look at John of Damascus' "Fount of knowledge" or Isidore's "Origins" or "Etymologies". It was not supposed to be something special, but it already was during Carolingian times...

  • I assume that by "cyclical exercises" you have in mind the Greek expression "enkuklios paideia." But this term is not Pythagorean and means simply "general education," i.e., it does not refer specifically or exclusively to mathematical subjects. See Henri Marrou, Histoire de l'education dans l'antiquite' (s.v. enkuklios paideia in the index).

    Thank you for the information about the availability online of the complete Etymologiae (Lindsay's edition) on Bill Thayer's website. That is good to know!

  • PS.

    By the way, the whole 1911 edition was copied by Bill Thayer:


    The title of chapt. 3 "De mathematica" is close to the Pythagorean title who simply called mathematics "cyclical exercises". Please announce him, if you find typos.

    You can check the edition here:


  • I agree.

    It is a little bit a handicap that TML has just this little extract of Lindsay's edition which is an edition of the whole Etymologiae, the whole seven liberal arts from a ethymological point of view. It is probably a little bit myopic to believe that it is enough just because we are musicologists...

    The chapter in question is indeed worth to be discussed in the melos groupe (since there is an ethymology for melos as well), and there are so many sources published online now which should be considered. So I am grateful anyway that you seduced me to look at Jerome's treatise in order to find Isidorus of Sevilla. Though I was somehow misled, I could discover something very interesting.

  • You're very welcome! Looking back I see that in my earlier post my citation of the chapter in Isidore in which this passage on the different kinds of voices occurs was incomplete: it is, of course, chapter 20 of Book III (on the quadrivium) of the Etymologies. The passage in question starts about halfway through that chapter, while the section on music in Book III comprises chaps. 15-23. So this passage lies more or less in the middle of the section cited as "De Musica" in TML. Of the two editions of the text available there, the one taken from the edition of the Etymologiae by Lindsay ("ISIDEMU") is much to be preferred.

  • Ah, I see!

    Thank you for enlightening me, in fact this is quite a long passage taken from the beginning of Isidorus, and Jerome quotes it explicitely as chapter 4 (De tribus partibus musicae secundum Isidorum Etymologiarum), only "est vox lenis" (sometimes "levis") was probably added or caused by a source used by Jerome or the sribe who copied Jerome.

    In that case the association of ages with tetrachords, so that the voice becomes younger going up, has nothing to with it.

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