Catholic Encyclopedia – Marianus Scotus the Chronicler

Article

Marianus Scotus the chronicler, whose Irish name was Maelbrigte, or “Servant of Brigid”; born, according to his own “Chronicle”, in Ireland in 1028; died at Mainz, 1082. From the same source we learn also that in 1052 he became a monk, assuming the name Marianus, and that in 1056 he went to Cologne, where he entered the Irish monastery of Saint Martin. Two years later, he tells us, he went to Fulda, visited Paderborn, and in 1059 was ordained priest at Würzburg. In 1060 he became a hermit, or recluse, at Fulda, whence in 1070 he moved to Mainz in obedience to an order from his former abbot, Siegfried, who was now archbishop of that see. His remains were interred in the monastery of Saint Martin at Mainz. The only work which can with certainty be ascribed to Marianus is the “Universal Chronicle” (the incipit has the title “Mariana Scoti cronica clara”), a history of the world, year by year, from the beginning of the Christian era down to 1082. It has been published in various editions, the best of which are the Waitz edition in the “Monumenta Germaniæ” and Migne’s. It exists in at least two eleventh-century manuscripts, one of which (Vatican, 830) has strong claims to be considered an autograph. The material which Marianus gathered together with a great deal of intelligent industry was used very freely by subsequent chroniclers, such as Florence of Worcester and Siegbert of Gembloux. The chronological system, however, which Marianus defended as preferable, and which was based on his contention that the date of Christ’s birth given by Dionysius Exiguus was twenty-two years too late, did not meet with general acceptance. He himself gives both systems. Besides the “Chronicle” several other works were ascribed to Marianus owing to a confusion of his name with that of his countryman, Marianus, Abbot of Saint Peter’s at Ratisbon.

MLA Citation

  • William Turner. “Marianus Scotus the Chronicler”. Catholic Encyclopedia, 1913. CatholicSaints.Info. 27 January 2014. Web. 21 October 2017. <>