Corpus agrimensorum Romanorum recensuit Carolus Thulin, vol. I fasc. I Opuscula agrimensorum ueterum, Lipsiae in aedibus B. G. Teubneri, 1913.
The Commentum de controuersiis, like the Commentum de agrorum qualitate, is a commentary on a text by Iulius Frontinus on land-surveying. The Commentum de agrorum qualitate is transmitted in the Palatine collection (π) of the Corpus Agrimensorum Romanorum. Their author was a Christian who worked as a teacher of land-surveying, Both commentaries were wrongly attributed to Agennius Vrbicus; for this reason their author is conventionally indicated as Pseudo-Agennius Urbicus.
Both comments can be dated to the mid-sixth century AD on the basis of their inclusion in the Palatine collection and of the presence of jurisprudential material from the Codex Theodosianus in the first of the two comments. The Palatine collection includes a series of legal excerpta which were added after 533; these include the text from the Codex Theodosianus used by the commentator.
The Commentum de controuersiis offers an exegesis of Frontinus’ treatise De controuersiis, aiming at making it easier for students of the quadrivium to learn the principles expounded in that texts.
Two facts show that the two commentaries are not completely autonomous. Firstly, the Commentum de controuersiis lacks a proper preface, and, as it were, refers back to the preface to the Commentum de agrorum qualitate, making use of a short turn of phrase that is dependent, for its style and lexicon, on the first preface. Secondly, both commentaries are followed by the liber diazografus, a sort of appendix where the author collects all the images that, in his view, can help students to understand the meaning of the theoretical explanations included in the two commentaries. The manuscript tradition treats the two commentaries as two autonomous texts, dividing them by means of explicit and incipt. In fact they are two complementary textual units, conceived as sections of a hierarchically higher textual structure which included also the liber diazografus. [D. Paniagua; translation L. Battezzato]