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Correctories are the text-forms of the Latin Vulgate resulting from the critical emendation as practised during the course of the thirteenth century. Owing to the carelessness of transcribers, the conjectural corrections of critics, the insertion of glosses and paraphrases, and especially to the preference for readings found in the earlier Latin versions, the text of St. Jerome was corrupted at an early date. About 550 Cassiodorus made an attempt at restoring the purity of the Latin text. Charlemagne entrusted the same labour to Alcuin, who presented his royal patron with a corrected copy in 801. Similar attempts were repeated by Theodulphus Bishop of Orleans [787(?)- 821], Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury (1070-1089), Stephen Harding, Abbot of Cîteaux (1109-1134), and Deacon Nicolaus Maniacoria (about the beginning of the thirteenth century). At this period the need of a revised Latin text of the Vulgate became more imperative than ever. When, towards the end of the twelfth century, the schools of Paris were organized into the university and its various faculties adopted the same reference texts, the faculty of theology, too, adhered to a uniform text of the Latin Bible. It cannot be ascertained at present whether this adoption was owing to the chance prevalence of a certain manuscript or to the critical work of theologians, whether it was the effect of an official choice of the university or of a prevailing custom; at any rate, the almost general adoption of this text threw into oblivion a great number of genuine readings which had been current in the preceding centuries, and perpetuated a text, uniform, indeed, but very corrupt. This is the so-called "Biblia Parisiensis", or Paris Bible; no copy is known to exist in our days. The thirteenth century reacted against this evil by a series of correctories. Father Denifle enumerates as many as thirteen groups, but it is more convenient to reduce then to three classes: the Dominican, the Franciscan, and the allied correctories.

Dominican Correctories

The general chapter of the Dominicans held in 1236 connects a corrected text of the Latin Bible with the members of the province of France; it ordained that all Bibles should be conformed to this. Little more is known of this work but the following correctories are more noted:

Franciscan Correctories

The great Franciscan writer, Roger Bacon, was the first to formulate the true principles which ought to guide the correction of the Latin Vulgate; his religious brethren endeavoured to apply them, though not always successfully.

Allied Correctories

Mangenot mentions six other groups of correctories which have not been fully investigated as yet. Two of them are allied to the Dominican correctory of the convent of Saint-Jacques; one is represented by the Manuscript lat. 15,554, fol. 1-146, National Library, Paris; the other by Cod. Laurent., Plut., XXV, sin., cod. 4, fol. 101-107 (Florence), and by Manuscript 131, fol. 1, Arsenal, Paris. Two other groups are allied to the Franciscan correctories; one, represented by Cod. 141, lat. class. I, fol. 121-390, Marciana (Venice), depends on William de Mara and Gérard de Huy; the other, found in Manuscript 82, Borges. (Rome), depends on Gérard de Huy. Finally two very brief correctories are to be found in Manuscript 492, Antoniana, Padua, and in Manuscript Cent. I, 47, fol. 127, Nürenberg.

MANGENOT in VIG., Dict. de la Bible, s. v. Correctoires; DENIFLE, Die Handschriften der Bibel-Correctorien des 13. Jahrhunderts in Archiv für Literatur und Kirchengeschichte des Mittelalters (Freiburg, 1888), IV, 263-311, 471-601; SAMUEL BERGER, Histoire de la Vulgate pendant les premiers siècles du moyen âge (Paris, 1893); IDEM, Quam notitiam linguœ hebraicœ habuerint Christiani medii œvi temporibus in Gallia (Paris, 1893); DÖDERLEIN, Von Correctoriis biblicis in Literarisches Musœum (Altdorf, 1778), I. 1; II, 177; III, 344; VERCELLONE, Dissertazioni academiche (Rome, 1864); KAULEN, Geschichte der Vulgata (Mainz, 1868), 244-278; GREGORY, Prolegomena (Leipzig, 1904), III, 973.

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume IV
Nihil Obstat. Remy Lafort, Censor
Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York