Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Garland, John

GARLAND, JOHN (fl. 1230), grammarian and alchemist, was assigned by Bale and Pits to the eleventh century, and Dom Rivet, accepting this date, argued that he was also a native of France. They were not acquainted, however, with Garland's poem, 'De Triumphis Ecclesiæ.' Garland there describes himself as one whose mother was England and his nurse Gaul, and says that he had studied at Oxford under one John of London, a philosopher. From Oxford he went to Paris, and since he there studied under Alain de Lille [q. v.], who died in 1202, we may assume that he was born about 1180. When at the close of the Albigensian crusade in 1229, Count Raymond VII had to consent to the establishment of a university at Toulouse, Garland was one of the professors selected by the legate to assist. In his 'Dictionarius Scolasticus' he says that he saw at Toulouse, 'nondum sedato tumultu belli,' the engine by which Simon de Montfort was killed. Wright infers that he had already been at Toulouse some time between 1218 and 1229, but the expression would not be inappropriate to the latter year. At Toulouse Garland remained teaching and writing for three years; but after the death of Bishop Fulk in 1231, he says that the university began to decline, perhaps owing to the natural enmity of Fulk's Dominican successor Raymond for Parisian scholars. In any case Garland was among the first to leave, and after a variety of adventures made his way back to Paris in 1232 or 1233, and there he would appear to have spent the remainder of his life. The last event which he notices in the 'De Triumphis' is the preparation for the crusade by Ferdinand of Castile, which was prevented by his death in May 1252. Garland must have been now an old man, and as he does not mention Ferdinand's death we may conclude that he himself died in 1252 or shortly after.

Apparently Garland enjoyed a high reputation as a teacher. Roger Bacon says that he had heard him discourse on the orthography of ‘orichalcum’ (Opus Minus, c. vii., so Tanner; but the reference to Garland is not printed in Brewer's edition). His grammatical writings were much used in England, and were frequently printed at the end of the fifteenth century. Erasmus refers to him with some scorn as the chief source of instruction in an unenlightened age (Op., ed. 1703, i. 514 F., 892 F.). He was in turn a theologian, a chronologist, and an alchemist—above all a grammarian; but though a persistent versifier, not a poet (M. Le Clerc). He has been the subject of much confusion, and some have supposed that there was more than one writer of the name. He has certainly been confused with Gerlandus, a French writer early in the twelfth century, whence probably the mistake as to his date. John the grammarian, who is assigned by Warton (Hist. Engl. Poetry, i. 216) to the eleventh, and by Bale and Pits to the thirteenth century, is probably only Garland without his surname, and confused with John Philoponus and John Walleys (Guallensis), the latter of whom was also an Englishman (see Wright, Biog. Brit. Lit., ii. 48).

Garland's name is variously given as De Garlandia, Garlandius, Garlandus, or Gallandus. M. Le Clerc connects his name not with the noble French family, but to his having taught in the ‘Clos de Garlande’ or ‘Gallande,’ where was one of the most ancient schools of the university of Paris. Prince claims him in his ‘Worthies of Devon’ (ed. 1810, p. 400) for a family of the name resident at Garland by Chulmleigh in North Devon in the time of Henry III.

Garland's works are—I. Poetry: 1. ‘De Triumphis Ecclesiæ,’ his most important poem, and the source of nearly all we know as to his life, consists of 4,614 elegiac lines, divided into eight books. It has for its main theme the celebration of the crusades. The first books begin from the passage of the Red Sea, and treat of early British legends, French Merovingian history, the third crusade, and the wars of John. Books iv. v. and vi. contain an account of the Albigensian crusade, valuable on account of the author's peculiar opportunities for obtaining information. There are some useful details as to mediæval siege operations. Book viii., called by the author the ninth, something having perhaps been lost, treats of the crusade of Louis IX. The poem is ambitious, pedantic, and discursive. It is full of conceits, leonine verses, retrograde verses, and the like, but has the merit of frequently giving dates. There is only one known manuscript, viz. Cott. Claud. A. x. in British Museum. It has been edited by Thomas Wright for the Roxburghe Club. A full analysis will be found in ‘Hist. Lit. de la France,’ xxii. 2. ‘Epithalamium Beatæ Mariæ Virginis.’ In the ‘De Triumphis’ Garland says that at Toulouse he had written a poem upon this subject. In MS. Cott. Claud. A. x. there is a poem under the same title ascribed to Garland. The same poem is contained in Bodleian MS. Digby 65, where it has not previously been identified with Garland. The latter manuscript contains a prose prologue wanting in the Cotton. MS., which clearly connects the writer with the university of Paris, and thus corroborates Garland's claim to be the author. This poem contains about six thousand lines, divided into ten books. 3. ‘De Miraculis Virginis’ (Brit. Mus. MS. Bibl. Reg. 8 C. iv. 3). It contains nearly a thousand lines in a short rhyming metre, and is accompanied by a commentary. On f. 22 the author refers to himself as Johannes de Garlandia. 4. ‘De Mysteriis Ecclesiæ,’ or ‘Libellus Mysteriorum,’ a mystical explanation, in 659 hexameter lines, of the rites and vestments of the church. Written at the request of Fulk Basset, bishop of London [q. v.], in 1245, shortly after the death of Alexander of Hales, as is stated by the author. Printed in ‘Comment. Crit. Codd. Biblioth. Gessensis,’ pp. 86, 131–51, by F. Otto, who describes it as most useful for a knowledge of mediæval theology. Unfortunately, Otto used only two manuscripts, and those not of the best. There are many manuscripts, e.g. Cott. Claud. A. viii., Caius Coll. Cambr. 385, Bodl. Auct. F. 5, 6 f. 150 (incomplete, only lines 1–366 and 417–63). The last two contain commentaries in later and various hands. 5. ‘Tractatus de Penitencia.’ Frequently printed: Antoine Caillaut, Paris, n. d.; H. Quentell, Cologne, 1491, 1492, 1493, 1495. Other editions in sixteenth century. Bibliothèque MS. 8259, Bodl. MS. Digby 100, f. 171. 6. ‘Facetus,’ a poem on the duties of man to God, his neighbour, and himself. Ascribed to Garland in MS. Bibliothèque de S. Victor (Montfaucon, p. 1372), and accepted by Dom Rivet. But if, as he says (Hist. Lit. viii. p. xvi), it was used by Uguitio of Pisa, who wrote about 1194, it can scarcely be by Garland. 7. ‘De Contemptu Mundi.’ Usually, though wrongly, ascribed to St. Bernard, and printed in Mabillon's edition of his works (ii. 894–6) as ‘Carmen Paræneticum.’ The other printed copies are longer. Ascribed to Garland in Leyden MS. 360 (see Hist. Lit. viii. 89). 8. ‘Floretus,’ 1,166 leonine verses on the catholic faith and Christian morality. A scholiast, followed by Dom Rivet, ascribes it to the same author as the preceding. These last three poems are printed in the collection known as ‘Auctores Octo,’ Angoulême, 1491, Lyons, 1488, 1489, 1490. They were also frequently printed separately in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 9. ‘Satyricum Opus.’ The first words are given by Pits, but nothing further is known. 10. ‘Versus Proverbiales.’ In Bodl. MS. Rawl. C. 496, along with 12, 15, 17, and ‘Expositiones Vocabulorum,’ which are perhaps by Garland. See also Bodl. MS. Laud. Misc. 707. 11. ‘Aurea Gemma’ (Pits). Perhaps identical with one of the former.

II. Grammatical: 12. ‘Dictionarius Scolasticus.’ A dictionary of phrases necessary for scholars. The author reviews the trades of Paris, and makes many allusions to that city. According to a note in MS. Bibliothèque Suppl. 294, it was printed at Caen in 1508 by L. Hastingue, but no copy is known to exist. Printed by Wright in ‘Library of National Antiquities,’ vol. i., and M. Geraud in ‘Documents Inédits sur l'Histoire de France—Paris sous Philippe le Bel,’ p. 580. 13. ‘Dictionarius cum Commento.’ Treats chiefly of sacred vestments and ornaments, MS. Caius College, Cambridge, 385. 14. ‘Dictionarius ad res explicandas’ (Pits). Probably identical with ‘Commentarius Curialium,’ which is contained in Caius College MS. 385, together with other works by John Garland, in whose style and manner it is written. At the end it is stated to have been written at Paris in 1240. 15. ‘Cornutus’ or ‘Distigium’ or ‘Scolarium Morale.’ Verses of advice to young students. Several of the numerous manuscripts give Garland as the author of the verses, not of the accompanying commentary. Printed Zwoll, 1481, Haguenau, 1489, and is the first part of the vocabulary printed by Wright in ‘Library of National Antiquities,’ i. 175. See Caius MS. 136. Dom Rivet suggests that the title of this work points to Garland as the scholiast on Juvenal and Persius who is called Cornutus; but this is only a conjecture. 16. ‘Compendium Grammatice,’ ascribed to Garland, Caius MS. 385. In verse, printed without date or place, and at Deventer, 1489. There is a key to this compendium in Caius Coll. MS. 136. 17. ‘Accentarius sive de Accentibus,’ ascribed to Garland, Caius MS. 385. Also in MS. Rawlinson, C. 496, as ‘Ars lectoria Ecclesie.’ In verse and with a commentary. 18. ‘Synonyma’ and 19. ‘Equivoca,’ both in hexameter verse. These two works were frequently printed with the commentary of Geoffrey the Grammarian [q. v.] by R. Pynson and W. de Worde, also by Hopyl, Paris, 1494, &c. The ‘Synonyma’ and a few lines of the ‘Equivoca’ were printed by Leyser and in Migne, cl. No doubt they were revised from time to time by teachers, and in their existing form may be by Matthew of Vendôme, to whom they are ascribed in some manuscripts. But see ‘Hist. Lit.’ xxii. 948–950. 20. ‘Liber de Orthographia,’ MS. Wolfenbüttel. Opening verses in Leyser and Migne, cl. 21. ‘Liber Metricus de Verbis Deponentialibus,’ printed Antwerp, 1486, Deventer, R. Paffroed, 1498, &c. 22. ‘Merarius,’ a short tract in Caius Coll. MSS. 136 and 385. Perhaps by Garland; used in ‘Promptorium Parvulorum.’ See Mr. Way's preface, p. xxxi. 23. ‘Nomina et Verba Defectiva’ printed. 24. ‘Duodecim Decades,’ printed as Garland's with ‘Synonyma Britonis,’ Paris, F. Baligault, 1496, (see HAIN, i. 554). 25. ‘Libellus de Verborum Compositis,’ Rouen, L. Hastingue, n. d. See Brunet. 26. ‘Unum Omnium,’ Pits. M. Gatien Arnault shows some reasons for supposing that this was a work on logic. Pits and others ascribe to John the Grammarian, along with the ‘Compendium Grammatice,’ (27) ‘Super Ovidii Metamorphosin,’ Bodl. MS. Digby 104—probably by John Walleys, under whose name it was printed, Paris, 1569—and (28) ‘De Arte Metrica.’ In Cambridge MS. More 121, as ‘Poetria Magna Johannis Anglici.’ Begins with panegyric on the university of Paris. In prose and verse.

III. Alchemical: 29. ‘Compendium Alchymiæ cum Dictionario ejusdem Artis,’ printed, Bâle 1560 and 1571, Strasburg 1566. According to Dom Rivet there are two distinct works—a compendium printed 1571, and an abridgment printed 1560; he also adds (30) ‘A Key to the Abridgment and the Mysteries which it contains,’ extant only in manuscript at abbey of Dunes. 31. ‘Liber de Mineralibus,’ printed, Bâle, 1560, after an edition of the ‘Synonyma,’ and along with (32) ‘Libellus de Præparatione Elixir.’ Fabricius suggests that the alchemist Joannes Garlandius should be distinguished from Joannes de Garlandia the grammarian and poet. Mansi, however, dissents. The commentary of Arnold de Villeneuve, which accompanies the 1560 edition, proves the celebrity of these writings. Pits ascribes to Garland a work entitled ‘Hortulanus;’ but this seems to be only a name used by him as an alchemist. In Ashmolean MS. 1478, iv. 1, which contains a translation of all these works and of Villeneuve's commentary, the author is called ‘Jhone Garland or Hortulanus.’ See also Bodl. MSS. Ashmolean 1416 and 1487, and Digby 119.

IV. Mathematical. In numerous manuscripts the two following chronological works are ascribed to John de Garlandia: (33) ‘Computum’ and (34) ‘Tabula Principalis, contra Tabula de Festis Mobilibus et Tabula terminorum Paschalium.’ But Gerlandus, canon of Besançon in the twelfth century, certainly wrote such works, and twelfth century manuscripts of them are extant (see Analecta Juris Pontificii, p. xii). There may also have been another Gerland in the eleventh century. See MSS. Digby, 40, and Ashmolean, 341. Garland may possibly have written such works. In the ‘De Triumphis’ he says that he gave the people of Toulouse rules how to find Easter, and there are also astronomical allusions in various works of his.

V. Musical: 35. ‘De Musica Mensurabili Positio.’ Jerome of Moravia, who wrote about 1265, used such a treatise, which he ascribes to Johannes de Garlandia, and this same treatise, though without any ascription, and with considerable variations, exists in a Vatican manuscript. Printed by Coussemaker, i. 175. 36. The author of the foregoing says that he had written ‘Tractatus de Cantu Plano.’ 37. ‘Optima Introductio in Contrapunctum.’ Assigned to Garland in manuscripts at Pisa and Einsiedeln, and in both he is described as a Parisian scholar. Printed by Coussemaker, iii. 12. 38. ‘Introductio Musicæ Planæ et etiam Musicæ Mensurabilis.’ Assigned to Garland in manuscript in Public Library at S. Die. Printed as before, i. 157. 39. Robert Handlo and John Hanboys, English writers on music in the fifteenth century, give some excerpts from a work of Garland. Here also there is possibly some confusion with Gerland the canon; M. Coussemaker, however, holds that some at least of these works belong to our writer, although he considers that Nos. 37 and 39 are of later date than Philip de Vitry (ob. 1361), who himself quotes John Garland. This list is possibly incomplete. Some of the short tracts in such manuscripts as Caius Coll. 136 and 385, and Digby 100 may be by Garland; and he himself says that he wrote poems at Toulouse on Faith and Hope, on the Acts of the Apostles, &c. Whether or not he is the author of all that is extant under his name, the allusions in his undoubted works show that he might quite possibly have written on any of the subjects assigned to him.

[Bale, ii. 48; Pits, p. 184; Tanner, p. 309; Hist. Lit. de la France, viii. pp. xvi, 83–98, xxi. 369–72, xxii. 11–13, 77–103, 948–950 (the articles in vols. xxi. and xxii. are by M. Le Clerc); P. Leyser, Hist. Poetarum Medii Ævi; Mr. T. Wright's prefaces to De Triumphis and Library of National Antiquities; M. Geraud's preface to Dictionary; Mr. Way's Preface to Promptorium Parvulorum, vol. iii. (Camden Soc.) for grammatical works; Prof. Mayor's Latin-English and English-Latin Lexicography in Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, vol. iv.; Coussemaker, Script. de Musica Medii Ævi, vols. i. and iii.; article by M. Gatien Arnault in Revue de Toulouse, xxiii. 117; Catalogues of Bodl. MSS.; Rev. J. J. Smith's Cat. of MSS. in Caius College Library. For fuller information as to the bibliography see the works of Fabricius (ed. 1858), Hain, Panzer, Graesse, Brunet's Manuel du Libraire (ed. 1860), Chevalier's Répertoire des Sources Historiques du Moyen Age, Bibliographie, and Dibdin's Typ. Ant.]

C. L. K.

Dictionary of National Biography, Errata (1904), p.131
N.B.— f.e. stands for from end and l.l. for last line

Page Col. Line  
437 i 17 f.e. Garland, John: after Henry III. insert The name Garland was familiar in London. One John Garland was prebendary of St. Paul's in 1200 (Le Neve, ii. 417); another was sheriff of London in 1212.