Abstract: The Commentary on the Psalms is the least studied of Cassiodorus's sixth-century works. Close knowledge of it significantly alters our understanding of the Introduction to Divine and Human Readings, with which it should be paired. The Commentary serves to establish the Bible as the source for all the liberal arts and a model for rhetorical imitation. This essay examines the eloquence Cassiodorus discovers in the Psalter, focussing in particular on those passages which he marked with the marginal notation for Rhetoric: RT. Cassiodorus finds examples of deliberative, demonstrative, and judicial oration in the Psalter. His elucidation of them does not simply preserve classical lore, but rather presents a sophisticated alternative to pagan theory and practice. A fuller understanding of Cassiodorus's view helps us to grasp his formative influence on medieval culture, rhetoric, and poetics.
- Copyright 1999, The International Society for the History of Rhetoric