Secular Commentary

Medieval Institute Publications at Western Michigan University publishes the Secular Commentary series for TEAMS: Teaching Association for Medieval Studies.

Series introduction

The Secular Commentary Series provides modern English translations of medieval texts that analyze, annotate and explicate classical and vernacular works. Dating from the fourth through the sixteenth century, these texts represent various traditions (grammatical, allegorical, exegetical, academic and humanistic). The works they elucidate include poetry, fiction, history, philosophy and scientific treatises. Each volume of the series contains a critical introduction and select bibliography, a clear prose translation and notes designed to gloss difficult passages. The aim of the series is to support teaching in the broadest sense: the volumes are suitable for the classroom and serve as an aid for scholars and generalist readers across the full range of the humanities.

Series editorial board

Proposals or completed manuscripts to be considered for publication by Medieval Institute Publications should be sent to Tyler Cloherty, acquisitions editor for the series, or the series editor, Robert R. Edwards, Pennsylvania State University.


Cover image of John of Garland, Integumenta Ovidii: a manuscript image of several women beating a man with clubs, the title in blue on a yellow background.

Integumenta Ovidii

Edited and translated by Kyle Gervais      

The renowned scholar-poet John of Garland wrote the Integumenta Ovidii (“Allegories on Ovid”) in early thirteenth-century Paris at a time of renewed interest in Classical Latin literature. In this short poem, John offers a series of dense, highly allusive allegories on various Greek and Roman myths in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The text is here edited and translated for the first time in 90 years, drawing on the evidence of over two dozen manuscripts. Comprehensive explanatory notes help readers to understand John’s condensed allegories in their medieval context. Textual notes discuss the various difficulties in the transmitted text of the poem, and offer several improvements on the texts of the older editions.

ISBN 978-1-58044-526-9 (paperback), 978-1-58044-527-6 (hardback), 978-1-58044-528-3 (PDF) © 2022

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Cover image of Brunetto Latini, "La rettorica," edited and translated by Stefania D’Agata D’Ottavi

Brunetto Latini, La rettorica

Edited and translated by Stefania D’Agata D’Ottavi

Brunetto Latini's "La rettorica" is the first Italian translation of Cicero's early and widely influential work "De inventione," and this volume is a translation of Latini's translation and includes both Cicero's work and Brunetto's commentary.

ISBN 978-1-58044-209-1 (paperback) © 2016

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Cover image of Accessus ad auctores: Medieval Introductions to the Authors (Codex latinus monacensis 19475), edited and translated by Stephen M. Wheeler

Accessus ad auctores: Medieval Introductions to the Authors (Codex latinus monacensis 19475)

Edited and translated by Stephen M. Wheeler

Medieval commentaries typically included an "accessus," a standard type of introduction to the author or book. In the twelfth-century these introductions began to be excerpted and collected in anthologies, referred to by modern scholars as "accessus ad auctores" ("introductions to the authors").

ISBN 978-1-58044-189-6 (paperback) © 2015

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"Cover image of The Vulgate Commentary on Ovid's \"Metamorphoses,\" Book 1, edited and translated by Frank T. Coulson"

The Vulgate Commentary on Ovid's "Metamorphoses," Book 1

Edited and translated by Frank T. Coulson

Composed around 1250 by an unknown author in the region of Orleans, the Vulgate Commentary on Ovid's "Metamorphoses" is the most widely disseminated and reproduced medieval work on Ovid's epic compendium of classical mythology and materialist philosophy. This volume presents translations of both book one of Ovid's "Metamorphosis" and the complete Vulgate Commentary.

ISBN 978-1-58044-202-2 (paperback) © 2015

Buy The Vulgate Commentary on Ovid's "Metamorphoses," Book 1 at ISD