Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Capella, Martianus (Felix) Mineus

  • Eugene F. Milone
Reference work entry

Alternate Names

 Capella, Martianus (Felix) Minneius;  Capella, Martianus (Felix) Minneus

FlourishedCarthage, (Tunisia), Fifth century

Martianus Capella was an author of late Antiquity about whose life little is known, and all conjectures about dates in which he lived have arisen from possible clues within his one known work. As a consequence, scholars disagree as to whether he worked in the early or latter end of the century. Some sources state that Capella was born in Madaura, a town 150 miles southwest of Carthage, and the home of Apuleius (of “Golden Ass” fame), but W. H. Stahl argues that there is no evidence for this. Capella tends to use legal terms and language, but Stahl states that a Roman legal expert suggests that a layman could have used such terms. In short, there is no consensus on Capella’s birth place, dates of birth and death, or his occupation.

Capella compiled what is often referred to as the “Satiricon” (or “Satyricon”), a kind of encyclopedia, which was widely...

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Selected References

  1. Dick, Adolf, ed. Martianus Capella. Stuttgart: Teubner, 1925, 1969. (See later editions edited by Jean Preaux: Teubner 1978; James Willis. Leipzig: Teubner, 1983.)Google Scholar
  2. Eastwood, B. S. (1982). “The Chaster Path of Venus “(Orbis Veneris Castior) in ”Astronomy of Martianus Capella,” Archives Internationales d’Histoire des Sciences, 109: 145–158.Google Scholar
  3. John the Scot (Joannes Scotus Eriugena) (1939). Annotationes in Marcianum, edited by Cora E. Lutz. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Mediaeval Academy of America.Google Scholar
  4. Martianus Capella (1599). Martiani Capellae de nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii, edited by H. Grotius. Leiden. (Minei Felicis Capellae Carthaginiensis viri proconsularis Satyricon, in quo denuptiis Philologiae & Mercurij libri duo, …/Omnes, & emendati, … Hug. Grotii illustrate.)Google Scholar
  5. Sarton, George (1959). A History of Science. Vol. 2, Hellenistic Science and Culture in the Last Three Centuries B.C. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Reprint, New York: W. W. Norton and Co., 1970.)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  6. Shanzer, Danuta (1986). A Philosophical and Literary Commentary on Martianus Capella’s De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii Book 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  7. Stahl, William Harris (1971). Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts. Vol. 1, The Quadrivium of Martianus Capella: Latin Traditions in the Mathematical Sciences, 50B.C.-A.D. 1250. With a Study of the Allegory and the Verbal Disciplines by Richard Johnson and E. L. Burge. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Stahl, William Harris, Richard Johnson, with E. L. Burge (trans.) (1977). Martianus Capella and the Seven Liberal Arts. Vol. 2, The Marriage of Philology and Mercury. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Tommasi, Chiara Ombretta (2012). The Bee-Orchid. Religione e cultura in Marziano Capella. Napoli: M. D'Auria Editore.Google Scholar
  10. Westra, Haijo J. (ed.) (1986). The Commentary on Martianus Capella’s De Nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii attributed to Bernardus Silvestris. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene F. Milone
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada