Marcellini V. C. Comitis chronicon ad a. DXVIII continuatum ad a. DXXXIV, cum additamento ad a. DXLVIII, edidit Theodor Mommsen, Chronica Minora II, Unveränderter Nachdruck der 1894 bei der Weidmannschen Verlagsbuchhandlung, Berlin, erschienenen Ausgabe, München 1981, pp. 37-104 (Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Auctores Antiquissimi 11)
In the preface to his Chronicon, Marcellinus refers to his predecessors Eusebius of Caesarea and Jerome - whom calls noster - before declaring his desire to produce a continuation of their works. This continuation begins with the consulate of Ausonius and Olybrius in AD 379, when Thedosius was named emperor, and proceeds through the consulate of Magnus in AD 518; he adds sixteen years, however, from the first consulate of Justin Augustus through to his fourth in AD 534 (Continuatio editionis secundae), producing a narrative that totals 156 years. The auctarium, comprising AD 535-48, is generally not considered to be a work of Marcellinus, since it was not known to Cassiodorus and, most of all, since it is not mentioned in his preface. The work is divided into chapters, each of which narrates events of a given year, preceded by an indication of the indictio and by the names of the consuls in office. The narration, although generally concise, sometimes extends to describing notices about literature (e.g. ad a. 392.2, concerning Jerome), religion (e.g. ad a. 453, concerning the discovery of the relics of John the Baptist), local history (e.g. ad a. 518.3, concerning the foundation of the city of Daras). Marcellinus Comes utilized various sources: Orosius (whom he often copies ad verbum for events through 414); Jerome’s De viris illustribus (but only in one passage concerning the year 380), to which he envisions his own work as a continuation; and Gennadius of Marseilles (through 486). In addition to these works, the author drew on the Consularia Constantinopolitana written in Latin, the Consularia Italica, and the Laterculus pontificum Romanorum, as well as a few lesser works of a religious nature (one work on the discovery of the relics of the protomartyr Saint Stephen, one life of John Chrysostom, etc.). For the final years of the chronicle Marcellinus probably based his account on personal knowledge, as he seems to indicate with an expression used in his preface (Orientalem tantum secutus imperium): indeed, after the beginning of Theoderic’s reign in 489, the only events reported come from the eastern empire. Jordanes drew on Marcellinus’ Chronicon liberally (Mommsen, p. 53: “usurpavit autem”), but also utilized other chronica that were very similar to and even fuller than this one: indeed, one quite often finds additions among the excerpta of Marcellinus that are not present in the original text, but that are woven together with them in such a way that the two are hard to separate (e.g. ad a. 529). Abandoning the two hypotheses that Jordanes did not draw on Marcellinus directly, but instead utilized more complete chronica that were derived from the work of Marcellinus, and that the version of Marcellinus’ work that has come down to us is actually abbreviated (on the grounds that the two archetypes of the Chronicon mostly agree and that T is close to the author), Mommsen is inclined to believe that Jordanes - in addition to using Marcellinus - made use of the same chronica on which Marcellinus depends, and has in many cases sewn together parts he discovered in them. This phenomenon is proved especially in the continuation - which Marcellinus did not write - related to the years following 534, where one finds ad verbum similarities with Jordanes (e.g. in the narration related to the year 536): in these cases Jordanes surely did not utilize the auctarium of Marcellinus, but rather the same source containing the year-by-year account of the Gothic war; the author of the auctarium made use of them more heavily than Jordanes, who nevertheless reports in some cases notices that were omitted by the former author (Mommsen cites the years 378-9). After the 6th c., the Venerable Bede and Paul the Deacon made use of Marcellinus, but the Chronicon was rarely employed in subsequent ages (with the exception of Lambert of Saint-Omer, who must have had at his disposal the copy of the work that was preserved in that library). [S. Rota; tr. C. L. Caterine].