Edizione di riferimento:
Magni Aurelii Cassiodori, Variarum Libri XII, cura et studio A.J. Frigh, Turnholti 1973
The fragment takes its name from Alfred Holder, who discovered it on the final page of a manuscript from Reichenau, datable to the 10th c., that contains a copy of the interpolated version of Institutiones 2 (codex Augiensis CLV, now at Karlsruhe, fol. 53v). Other testimonia for the fragment were subsequently found, but they offer no significant help for reconstructing the text, which presents various difficulties of interpretation. Hermann Usener was the first to publish it in 1877. The title of the work of Cassiodorus from which the excerptum comes must be Ordo generis Cassiodororum, as can be gleaned from the first line of the text following the introductory words that were probably written by the excerptor. This contained a list of individuals who were members of, or connected to, the author’s family and were distinguished for literary talents: the only two of these who are still extant, apart from Cassiodorus himself, are Quintus Aurelius Memmius Symmachus (cos. 485), identified as an orator and historian, and his son-in-law Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius [see card]. The original work must have been composed in AD 522, since it mentions the consulate of Boethius’ sons, which occurred in this year, but alludes neither to their fall from favor nor to the composition of the Consolatio philosophiae that was written two years later. The dedicatee of the small work, Rufinus Petronius Nicomachus, can be identified with Rufus Petronius Nicomachus Cethegus (cos. AD 504). The fragment, despite its schematic form and brevity, is full of interesting information: it is thanks to this in particular that 18th-century doubts about the attribution of the Opuscula sacra to the philosopher Boethius have been overcome, since it confirms with extreme clarity that Boethius wrote - besides works on dialectic and mathematics - the De sancta trinitate et capita quaedam dogmatica et librum contra Nestorium. [R. Tabacco; tr. C. L. Caterine].