The earliest Latin Commentary on the Gospels, lost for over 1500 years, has been rediscovered and made available in English for the first time.
The work, which was written by a bishop in North Italy, Fortunatianus of Aquileia, dates back to the middle of the fourth century. Despite references to it in other ancient works, no copy was known to survive until a researcher from the University of Salzburg identified the commentary in an anonymous manuscript copied around the year 800 and held in Cologne Cathedral Library.
This commentary tended to allegorise scripture in order to explain it. If you thought the Watchtower made too much of types and antitypes in the time of Fred Franz, this chap takes it to another level.
In the Introduction (p.xix) it says :
The principal characteristic of Fortunatianus’ exegesis is a figurative approach, relying on a set of concepts associated with key terms in order to create an allegorical decoding of the text... Some of the associations are obvious, while others are more creative: bodies, mountains, towns, boats, sheep and hens are figures of the Church, as are a number of female characters including Eve, the Queen of Sheba, the girl raised by Jesus in Matthew 9, the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15 and Abraham’s wife Sarah (as well as her son Isaac); towers, pleasant fragrances and the sixtyfold crop of corn in Matthew 13 are identified as virgins; eyes are associated with bishops, while hands represent presbyters and feet deacons; the sea is the world; references to darkness, the desert, sterility, disease or misunderstanding are taken to indicate Judaism, and so on. The manifold figures of Christ include the spring of water in Eden, a rock, the sun, a lion, both lambs and chickens offered as sacrifices, the flower on Aaron’s staff, the character of Samson and the cockerel that crows after Peter’s denial. While some of Fortunatianus’ figurative equations may be his own inventions, most of them are firmly rooted in the ancient tradition of Christian exegesis and go back at least to the time of Origen if not before.