Book Series Studia Traditionis Theologiae, vol. 18

Summaries, Divisions and Rubrics of the Latin Bible

Introductions by Pierre-Maurice Bogaert and Thomas O'Loughlin

Donatien De Bruyne

  • Pages: xxxviii + 602 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:1 col.
  • Language(s):English, Latin
  • Publication Year:2015

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-55533-1
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-56473-9
  • E-book
  • Available

The key to the most fundamental exegesis of the Scriptures in the Middle Ages.


“Ces deux volumes, difficilement accessibles, viennent d’être réédites à l’identique par les éditions Brepols, avec des introductions appropriées” (Jean-Marie Auwers, dans la Revue d’Histoire Ecclésiastique, 2016, p.350)

“Ma quello che conta e` che il volume nel suo complesso contribuisce senz’altro a documentare la produttivita` dell’oggetto di ricerca, mentre i singoli saggi, tutti di buon livello, si lasciano apprezzare anche sul versante metodologico, con un’analisi sempre fondata sull’interpretazione del testo e sulla lettura critica della bibliografia generale e specifica. Si tratta dunque di un’opera pregevole nell’assunto e nei risultati.” (Fabio Gasti, in Athenaeum, II, 2023, p. 649)


Donatien De Bruyne (1871-1935), a monk of the abbey of Maredsous (Belgium), worked from 1907 onward as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Vulgate. Visiting the European libraries he collected a great amount of material for the critical edition of the Vulgate, with a special attention to the Old Latin and also to 'parabiblical' texts such as summaries, divisions, and prefaces, a care uncommon at that time. His expertise in Latin palaeography and patristics was broadly recognised.


Dom Donatien De Bruyne's work of a century ago has been all but unobtainable since it was first published quasi-anonymously just before the outbreak of the Great War. Originally conceived as an instrumentum laboris to the great Benedictine project to produce a critical edition of the Vulgate, it now has a new life as a unique collection of the division systems that were used with the biblical books before the twelfth century. These constitute a primary interpretation of the text, anterior to, and more pervasive in influence than any work of formal biblical exegesis.

This collection makes available the raw material for a new chapter in the study of the Latin Bible and the study of its reception in the later patristic and medieval periods. Moreover, it may usher in a new chapter in the history of biblical exegesis.