Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Dungal of Saint Denis

  • Paul L. Butzer
  • Walter Oberschelp
  • Kerstin Springsfeld
Reference work entry

BornProbably Ireland, 2nd half of eighth century

DiedPossibly Bobbio, Italy, after 827 and possibly 834

Dungal was a monk in deacon’s orders, poet, theologian, teacher, and the foremost expert on astronomy in Carolingian circles after the death of Alcuin in 804. He styles himself “exul, pauper et peregrinus.” Although some historians doubt whether the Dungal of St. Denis, of Pavia, and of Bobbio, in a putative time of four decades, are one person, the prevalent opinion is (Garrison 101) that they are one and the same (but not the same person as “Hibernicus exul”).

Dungal, whose writings show him to have been a man of unusual attainments and perhaps a son of a wealthy Scotch-Irish family, presumably left his home about 784 or somewhat later, since we find him as a recluse in St. Denis in 801. Despite his geographical and social separation from Charlemagne’s court, one may still consider him as a member (Garrison 110–112) and as a favorite of Charlemagne. He enjoyed a reputation as a...
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Selected References

  1. Butzer, Paul L., Kerner, Max and Oberschelp, Walter (eds.) (1997), [BKO], Charlemagne and his Heritage, 1200 Years of Civilization and Science in Europe, Vol. I, Brepols.Google Scholar
  2. Dungal: Migne (ed.) (1864), Dungali Reclusi epistulae de duplici solis eclipse anno 810, Patrologia Latina vol. 105: col. 447–458. Also in Dümmler (ed.), (1895), MGH, Epistolae 4, 570–578 (Reprint 1994).Google Scholar
  3. Eastwood, Bruce (1994), The astronomy of Macrobius in Carolingian Europe: Dungal’s letter of 811 to Charles the Great. Early medieval Europe 3, 117–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Eastwood, Bruce, Graßhoff, Gerd (2004), Planetary diagrams for Roman astronomy, in Medieval Europe, Trans. American Philos. Soc. 94, Pt. 3.Google Scholar
  5. Eastwood, Bruce (2007), Ordering the Heavens – Roman Astronomy and Cosmology in the Carolingian Renaissance. History of Science and Medicine Library, Vol. 4, Series Medieval and Early Modern Science.Google Scholar
  6. Ferrari, Mirella, (1993), Dungal, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Vol. 42.Google Scholar
  7. Garrison, Mary (1997), The English and the Irish at the court of Charlemagne, in BKO, 97–123.Google Scholar
  8. NASA, Five Millennium Catalog of Solar Eclipses (Fred Espenak), http// Scholar
  9. Newton, Robert R. (1972), Medieval chronicles and the rotation of the earth, The John Hopkins Univ. Press (Reprint 1990).Google Scholar
  10. Schowe, Justin (1984), Chronology of eclipses and comets AD 1–1000, The Boydell Press.Google Scholar
  11. Springsfeld, Kerstin (2002), Alkuins Einfluss auf die Komputistik zur Zeit Karls des Großen, Franz Steiner Verlag.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul L. Butzer
    • 1
  • Walter Oberschelp
    • 2
  • Kerstin Springsfeld
    • 3
  1. 1.RWTH AachenAachenGermany
  2. 2.RWTH Aachen, Lehrstuhl Informatik VIIAachenGermany
  3. 3.AachenGermany