A commentum (from comminiscor) is, according to the Elementary Latin Dictionary:

an invention, fabrication, pretence, fiction, falsehood

At some point, a commentarium (and, I presume, its cognate forms) came to mean something much more similar to English "commentary/comment," e.g. Aquinas's In Aristotelis De Anima Commentarium.

How (and when) did commentum adopt this much more neutral meaning?

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The Oxford English Dictionary entry for the English word comment says that Isidore's Etymologies (c. 600) uses commentum in the sense "a comment or interpretation".

I think it's necessary to distinguish between the word commentum and the word commentarium/commentarius when discussing the meaning and how it changed over time. I can't find any indication that commentarius in Classical Latin had any implication of deliberate falsehood or fiction: it seems to have just referred to a notebook or notes, as in Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico.

I would guess that the usage of commentum in later texts like Isidore's was influenced by the meaning of commentarium and the verb commento(r).

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