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Johannes de Garlandia or John of Garland was a philologist and university teacher. His dates of birth and death are unknown, but he probably lived from about 1190 to about 1270. Of English origin, he studied at Oxford and then at the medieval University of Paris, where he was teaching by 1220; he lived and taught on the Left Bank at the Clos de Garlande (whose name survived till recently in the Rue Galande); this is the origin of the name by which he is usually known. The main facts of his life are stated in his long poem De triumphis ecclesiae ("On the triumphs of the Church").

In 1229, he was one of the first Masters of the new University of Toulouse. His poem Epithalamium Beatae Mariae Virginis was presented in 1230 to the Papal legate Romanus de Sancto Angelo, one of the founders of the university. He was in Toulouse during the turbulent events of 1229-1231, which he describes in De Triumphis. After the death of bishop Foulques of Toulouse in 1231, the Cathars regained influence at Toulouse, university teachers ceased to be paid, and many considered it too dangerous to remain in the city. Johannes de Garlandia was one of those who escaped, disguising himself as a serf or slave.

He returned to Paris, where Roger Bacon heard him lecture. He was still there in 1245, writing his poem De triumphis ecclesiae; he finished it in 1252. He was probably still alive in 1270.

Garland's grammatical works were much used in England, and were often printed by Richard Pynson and Wynkyn de Worde. He was also a voluminous Latin poet. The best known of his poems beside the De Triumphis Ecclesiae is Epithalamium beatae Mariae Virginis, contained in the same manuscript, not yet published. Among his other works are his Dictionarius, a Latin vocabulary; Compendium totius grammatices printed at Deventer in 1489; and two metrical treatises, entitled Synonyma and Equivoca, frequently printed at the close of the 15th century.

A treatise on alchemy, Compendium alchimiae, often printed under his name, was by a 14th-century writer named Martin Ortolan, or Lortholain. The 11th century writings on computus by Garlandus have occasionally been attributed to Johannes de Garlandia.


  • Ars lectoria ecclesiae, sive Accentarium (c. 1248)
  • Commentaria in Doctrinali Alexandri de Villa-Dei
  • Commentarius (1246)
  • Compendium grammaticae; Clavis compendii (c. 1234)
  • Composita verborum
  • De mysteriis ecclesiae (1245)
  • De orthographia
  • De triumphis ecclesiae (1252)
  • Dictionarius (c. 1220) [1]
  • Dictionarius metricus
  • Distigium, sive Cornutus
  • Epithalamium beatae Mariae virginis (1230)
  • Equivoca
  • Exempla honestae vitae
  • Integumenta super Ovidii Metamorphosin (c. 1234)
  • Liber de constructionibus
  • Miracula beatae Mariae virginis, sive Stella maris, sive Liber metricus (c. 1248)
  • Morale scolarium, sive Opus satiricum (1241)
  • Nomina et verba defectiva
  • Parisiana poetria de arte prosaica, metrica et rhythmica (c. 1234)
  • Synonyma
  • Unum omnium
  • Verba deponentalia

Lost works

  • Assertiones fidei (c. 1230)
  • Conductum de Tholosa (c. 1230)
  • Georgica spiritualia (c. 1230)
  • Gesta apostolica (c. 1230)
  • Memoriale (c. 1234)


  • F. Ghisalberti, editor, Integumenta Ovidii. Messina, Milan, 1933.
  • A. GRONDEUX, E. MARGUIN, 'L’œuvre grammaticale de Jean de Garlande (ca 1195-1272 ?), auteur, réviseur et glosateur: un bilan' in Histoire Epistémologie Langage vol. 21 (1999) pp. 133-163.
  • Tony Hunt, ‘Les gloses en langue vulgaire dans les mss. de l’Unum Omnium de Jean de Garlande’ in Revue de linguistique romane vol. 43 (1979) pp. 162-78.
  • Elsa Marguin-Hamon, L’Ars lectoria Ecclesie de Jean de Garlande. Une grammaire versifiée du xiiie siècle et ses gloses. Turnhout, Brepols, 2003 (Studia Artistarum : Subsidia, 2)
  • Two Medieval Satires on the University of Paris: La Bataille des VII Ars of Henri d'Andeli and the Morale Scolarium of John of Garland ed. Louis John Paetow. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1927. [Latin and English, with biobibliography]
  • F. J. E. Raby, A History of Christian-Latin Poetry (1927) p. 386 ff.
  • E. F. Wilson, "The Georgica Spiritualia of John of Garland" in Speculum vol. 8 (1933) p. 358 ff.
  • Wright, Thomas, editor (1856), written at London, Johannis de Garlandia De triumphis ecclesiae, Nichols

[From Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911:] For further bibliographical information see the British Museum catalogue; J. A. Fabricius, Bibliotheca Latina mediae et infimae aetatis vol. iii. (1754); G. Brunet, Manuel du libraire. See also Histoire litt. de la France, vols. viii., xxi., xxiii. and xxx.; P. Meyer, La Chanson de la croisade contre les Albigeois, vol. ii. pp. xxi-xxiii. (Paris, 1875); A. Scheler, Lexicographie latine du XII et du XIII siecles (Leipzig, 1867); the article by C. L. Kingsford in the Dict. Nat. Biog., giving a list also of the works on alchemy, mathematics and music, rightly or wrongly ascribed to him; and Sandys, Hist. of Class. Schol. i. (1906) 549. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.


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