Library Crime

Among the codices lately digitized and issued online by the Vatican Library is a volume, Reg.lat.716, that has been defaced. The rascal ought to be identifiable, since he seems to have left his thumbprints in the damaged opening initial:

This codex contains two works of the Late Antique theologian Lactantius, the Divine Institutions, incipit "Suscepto igitur illustrande veritatis officio...", and De Opificio Dei, inscribed to Demetrianus.

It is hardly likely the scribe, Nicolò de’ Ricci, is the culprit, since he would not have been paid if he delivered work like this. (We know Nicoló was the copyist because he entered "Riccius scripsit" on the final page.) So could the culprit have been an uncouth owner? Or an unruly child? Investigators, to work!

He is my latest list, with more additions in the pipeline this week.

  1. Borg.arm.18
  2. Reg.lat.44
  3. Reg.lat.456, on Saint Benedict, an 11th-century manuscript
  4. Reg.lat.461
  5. Reg.lat.465, lives of half a dozen French saints, 11th century
  6. Reg.lat.468
  7. Reg.lat.474
  8. Reg.lat.475
  9. Reg.lat.483, Life of St Dunstan, etc, 12th century
  10. Reg.lat.485, compendium (for the writing of sermons?), fully illuminated
  11. Reg.lat.491
  12. Reg.lat.492
  13. Reg.lat.573, Life of Saint Wandregisel (French: Wandrille) (c. 605–668), Frankish courtier, mon, abbot
  14. Reg.lat.574
  15. Reg.lat.609, annals
  16. Reg.lat.617, the remaining 68 folios of a 9th-century set of Frankish annals
  17. Reg.lat.618, Rudolf Glaber and Adoman
  18. Reg.lat.627, Johannes Rufus, History
  19. Reg.lat.629
  20. Reg.lat.632
  21. Reg.lat.634, church history compilation
  22. Reg.lat.643
  23. Reg.lat.645, lives of bishops Honorat and Hilarius
  24. Reg.lat.646, life of St Dunstan
  25. Reg.lat.650
  26. Reg.lat.655
  27. Reg.lat.682
  28. Reg.lat.684, Placido Raggazoni, 1574
  29. Reg.lat.716, Lactantius (above) with thumbprints.
  30. Reg.lat.718
  31. Reg.lat.723
  32. Reg.lat.732
  33. Reg.lat.747, eTK: Propter quid homines Homerus temporicanos vocavit (15c); .Alexander of Aphrodisias
  34. Reg.lat.748
  35. Reg.lat.786, eTK: Fabrica est continuata rerum trita (15c); Vitruvius
  36. Reg.lat.800
  37. Reg.lat.848
  38. Reg.lat.883
  39. Ross.847
  40. Sbath.144
  41. Urb.lat.1420
  42. Urb.lat.1427
  43. Urb.lat.1428; eTK. Cum inter seculi sapientes antiquitus (14c); also: Cum inter seculi sapientes antiquitates
  44. Urb.lat.1442
  45. Urb.lat.1455
  46. Urb.lat.1457
  47. Urb.lat.1458
  48. Urb.lat.1459
  49. Urb.lat.1462
  50. Urb.lat.1465
  51. Urb.lat.1470
  52. Urb.lat.1472
  53. Urb.lat.1473
  54. Urb.lat.1475
  55. Urb.lat.1477
  56. Urb.lat.1479
  57. Urb.lat.1483
  58. Urb.lat.1497
  59. Vat.ebr.612
  60. Vat.lat.1410; Justinian, Digest
  61. Vat.lat.1448
  62. Vat.lat.1632; Plautus compendium
  63. Vat.lat.1651; Pliny, Letters, a 15th-century manuscript
  64. Vat.lat.1689
  65. Vat.lat.1695, Cicero, De inventione
  66. Vat.lat.1698
  67. Vat.lat.1705
  68. Vat.lat.1709
  69. Vat.lat.1716
  70. Vat.lat.1717
  71. Vat.lat.1725
  72. Vat.lat.1732
  73. Vat.lat.1749
  74. Vat.lat.1770, eTK: Cum natura sublimis qui omnibus tribuit esse (15c); De mirabilibus mundi
  75. Vat.lat.1803, Poggio's Latin translation of Xenophon
  76. Vat.lat.1804
  77. Vat.lat.1841, Livy, Ab Urbe Condita
  78. Vat.lat.4651
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 116. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.



A kind of 11th-century comic book, with cartoon-style drawings showing successive scenes in the history of the church, such as the Ascension and the first six Councils, is a highlight of the newest batch of digitizations by the Vatican Library. 
Page through these outline drawings, which are economically colored by simple ink washes. The depictions of the councils place the Roman emperor and his retinue at the top, groups of clerics at center, and images of fallen heretics below, like this:

This codex contains the canon-law Collection in Five Books and other materials. At fol 303r is a remarkable arbor juris in the form of a rota:
The latest round of digitizations brings the online total to 14,128 items. Here are some of the novelties.
  1. Barb.lat.2182
  2. Ott.lat.2531 , HT to ParvaVox who notices this is another #Carolingian codex: the Annales Necrologici of Fulda kept and updated from 779 to 1065.
  3. Reg.lat.28
  4. Reg.lat.39
  5. Reg.lat.40
  6. Reg.lat.57
  7. Reg.lat.58
  8. Reg.lat.60
  9. Reg.lat.62
  10. Reg.lat.65
  11. Reg.lat.97
  12. Reg.lat.115
  13. Reg.lat.119
  14. Reg.lat.121
  15. Reg.lat.208, an 11th-century book for school use, with the Fabulae of Avian, popular for elementary Latin lessons and for classes in grammar as part of liberal arts courses. eTK lists the section beginning: "Electuarium ad omnia vitia stomachi quo utebatur Karolus rex."
  16. Reg.lat.228
  17. Reg.lat.231
  18. Reg.lat.240 , HT to @ParvaVox who notes the content of this #Carolingian treasure: the treatise by Florus of Lyons in which he attacked vs John Scotus Eriugena. @chaprot (Pierre Chambert-Protat, the expert on Florus) notes: Reg.lat.240 is a special one though because although we don't know where it comes from, it contains a letter of transmittal: 240 is the one and only witness of this letter, but it has lost the rubrica. We don't know to whom Florus wrote it! Thanks to @DigitaVaticana, every relevant witness of this work is now digitized and fully accessible on the internet.
  19. Reg.lat.242
  20. Reg.lat.249
  21. Reg.lat.259
  22. Reg.lat.262
  23. Reg.lat.264, 14th century. eTK lists section beginning, "A febribus Beneventanis que aut citissime." Fols 169r-186r contain Augustine, De opere monachorum
  24. Reg.lat.265
  25. Reg.lat.270
  26. Reg.lat.275
  27. Reg.lat.298
  28. Reg.lat.305
  29. Reg.lat.313
  30. Reg.lat.322
  31. Reg.lat.340
  32. Reg.lat.345
  33. Reg.lat.347
  34. Reg.lat.350
  35. Reg.lat.351
  36. Reg.lat.355
  37. Reg.lat.356 . HT to @ParvaVox on Twitter who recognized this is as beautiful 9th-10th-century glossed copy of Walahfrid Strabo's Visio Wettini from St Gall. HT @JBPiggin pic.twitter.com/1h2yNP0fkj
  38. Reg.lat.361
  39. Reg.lat.365
  40. Reg.lat.367
  41. Reg.lat.370
  42. Reg.lat.383
  43. Reg.lat.389
  44. Reg.lat.391
  45. Reg.lat.392, binding of several 15th century copies of philosophical works, the main one of which is Duns Scotus writing on John Sharpe, Quaestiones quodlibetales, probably in Advent 1306 or Lent 1307. eTK lists a section beginning, "Aliqui dicunt quod natura materialis se ipsa individuatur."
  46. Reg.lat.397, eTK lists a section beginning, "Cum animadverterem quamplurimos medicorum non solum iuniores."
  47. Reg.lat.401
  48. Reg.lat.403
  49. Reg.lat.409
  50. Reg.lat.414.pt.1
  51. Reg.lat.414.pt.2
  52. Reg.lat.415
  53. Reg.lat.420
  54. Reg.lat.428
  55. Reg.lat.429
  56. Reg.lat.437
  57. Reg.lat.431, 15th century, a mixed codex with penitentials, an order of the mass, some Augustine and other materials. eTK lists a section beginning, "Post naturam corpoream et incorpoream." Also: De animali
  58. Reg.lat.440
  59. Reg.lat.441
  60. Reg.lat.444
  61. Reg.lat.447
  62. Reg.lat.449
  63. Reg.lat.450
  64. Reg.lat.451
  65. Reg.lat.452
  66. Reg.lat.459
  67. Reg.lat.487
  68. Reg.lat.575
  69. Reg.lat.583
  70. Reg.lat.584
  71. Reg.lat.591
  72. Reg.lat.602
  73. Reg.lat.623
  74. Reg.lat.651
  75. Reg.lat.677
  76. Reg.lat.683
  77. Reg.lat.690
  78. Reg.lat.710
  79. Reg.lat.728
  80. Reg.lat.733
  81. Reg.lat.793
  82. Urb.lat.1007
  83. Urb.lat.1296
  84. Urb.lat.1302
  85. Urb.lat.1482
  86. Urb.lat.1679
  87. Urb.lat.1738
  88. Urb.lat.1752
  89. Urb.lat.1756
  90. Vat.lat.1301
  91. Vat.lat.1312
  92. Vat.lat.1319
  93. Vat.lat.1339, a rich 11th-century collectio canonum (see above)
  94. Vat.lat.1434
  95. Vat.lat.1441
  96. Vat.lat.1450
  97. Vat.lat.1555
  98. Vat.lat.1582
  99. Vat.lat.1584
  100. Vat.lat.1585
  101. Vat.lat.1601
  102. Vat.lat.1602
  103. Vat.lat.1603
  104. Vat.lat.1606
  105. Vat.lat.1607
  106. Vat.lat.1614
  107. Vat.lat.1616
  108. Vat.lat.1620
  109. Vat.lat.1624
  110. Vat.lat.1625
  111. Vat.lat.1629
  112. Vat.lat.1630
  113. Vat.lat.1633
  114. Vat.lat.1634
  115. Vat.lat.1635
  116. Vat.lat.1636
  117. Vat.lat.1638
  118. Vat.lat.1646
  119. Vat.lat.1648
  120. Vat.lat.1649
  121. Vat.lat.1652
  122. Vat.lat.1655
  123. Vat.lat.1656
  124. Vat.lat.1657
  125. Vat.lat.1684
  126. Vat.lat.1699
  127. Vat.lat.1700: HT to @gundormr who notes: 1700 is a nice 12th century copy (of Cicero) with some glosses. It looks as if the 1700 series below is mostly Cicero.
  128. Vat.lat.1708
  129. Vat.lat.1710
  130. Vat.lat.1711
  131. Vat.lat.1713
  132. Vat.lat.1719
  133. Vat.lat.1731
  134. Vat.lat.1736
  135. Vat.lat.1752
  136. Vat.lat.1754
  137. Vat.lat.13102
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 115. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.


Matteo's Grotesques

Matteo da Milano was a talented Italian illuminator working in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Originally from Milan, he did most of his work in Rome and Ferrara for the Estes, the Medicis, the Orsini and the della Rovere families. His specialty was illustrating for the wealthy clerics from these ranking families and was noted for the borders which he decorated with grotesques, jewels, cameos and other all'antica features, carefully drawn flora and fauna (see article by Andreina Contessa).

You can see the style in S.Maria.Magg.12, a lovely music manuscript for use by the choir from Advent to Lent, made for Santa Maria Maggiore of Rome and now in the Vatican Library.

It is one of the latest codices digitized in color by the Vatican Library. My full list:
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.H.3.pt.bis, collection of materials on Shroud of Veronica. Curious because title page is got up like that of a printed book, indicating how dominant print style had become by 1616.
  2. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.H.62, biographies. Paolo Vian has added a 2014 note at the front saying the catalog item dealing with this codex seems to be partly duff.
  3. Borg.ar.265
  4. Borgh.216
  5. Ott.lat.2862
  6. Reg.lat.243, miscellany with Augustine at ff. 1-53 (11th century)
  7. Reg.lat.261, 15th-century miscellany of Alcuin, Chrysostom and others
  8. Reg.lat.279
  9. Reg.lat.281, HT to @ParvaVox who recognizes this as a beautiful 9th-century manuscript of De vita contemplativa by Julianus Pomerius, copied by Agambaldus, monk and scribe.
  10. Reg.lat.299
  11. Reg.lat.328
  12. Reg.lat.339 : another HT to @ParvaVox who noticed a remarkable Carolingian stemma at fol. 7r in this 9th-century codex showing a funny-looking, cartoon-style Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. I will have to do some more digging to figure out where this belongs in stemma history: it's not a history book as such, but mainly a theology compilation.
  13. Reg.lat.346
  14. Reg.lat.372
  15. Reg.lat.435, Martyrologium, plus an interesting legal glossary at ff 41r-44v: Summula seu definitiones de legalibus verbis; 12th or 13th century French.
  16. S.Maria.Magg.12, magnificent 15th-century music codex (above)
  17. Urb.gr.120
  18. Urb.lat.320
  19. Urb.lat.859
  20. Urb.lat.1065.pt.1
  21. Urb.lat.1072.pt.2
  22. Urb.lat.1123
  23. Urb.lat.1225
  24. Urb.lat.1229
  25. Urb.lat.1230
  26. Urb.lat.1238
  27. Urb.lat.1222
  28. Urb.lat.1234
  29. Urb.lat.1239
  30. Urb.lat.1240
  31. Urb.lat.1246
  32. Urb.lat.1248
  33. Urb.lat.1256
  34. Urb.lat.1262
  35. Urb.lat.1772
  36. Vat.gr.86, black and white microfilm only
  37. Vat.gr.1702,
  38. Vat.lat.1040, eTK index of science manuscripts lists incipits Utrum de corpore mobili ad formam and Circa initium primi libri de generatione
  39. Vat.lat.1438, legal Bartholomew of Brixen and Bernardo Bottoni
  40. Vat.lat.2151, eTK index of science manuscripts lists incipit Prohemium huius libri continet duas of late medieval logician and metaphysician Walter Burley
  41. Vat.lat.6767
  42. Vat.sir.343
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 114. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.


Moovel Mash-up

A little over a year ago, the remarkable Roads to Rome map of Europe was published by researchers at Germany-based Moovel Labs. It's an algorithm-generated grey-and-white diagram which assembles the shortest land routes from every point in Europe (including Turkey and European Russia) to Rome.
The map (which you can zoom into and explore on an interactive viewer) won global interest because of its dendritic simplicity. It has a soothing balance about it, calling to mind blood vessels in a living organism or the veins in an outlandishly shaped leaf. And yet it is quite packed with data. You can see at a glance where any two Europeans' paths will meet up if they both set out for Rome.

Somewhere, either on your local roads, or speeding long-distance towards Italy by motorway, your two ways will merge, and the fat trunk lines mark the routes where the great throng will pour towards Rome's Seven Hills.

It turned out I was not alone in wondering if this was somehow long ago foreshadowed by the Tabula Peutingeriana, a 12th-century parchment copy of a late-antique visualization of travel itineraries of the Roman and Persian worlds where Rome is depicted as the very middle of a spider-like web.

Moovel Labs' spokesman told me others had mused about this too. It seems however I was the only person who took that question so seriously as to eventually overlay Moovel's Roads-to-Rome data on the Peutinger with a view to publishing the outcome.

The principal obstacle, it turned out, was a practical one: no compact, high-resolution digital surrogate of the Peutinger Diagram yet existed. The current standard mapping, Richard Talbert's Peutinger Map A, was only available in a server-side viewer.

The work to create a better surrogate was detailed in an earlier blog post. I have now marked by hand on this surrogate the roads picked out by the Moovel algorithm. This overlay is a 370-KB SVG file that should open in most browsers. The trunk route northwards out of Rome to Florence has been widened to 28 pixels and there is a descending hierarchy of ramifying routes down to the smallest breadth, 2 pixels, where you can clearly see each Peutinger chicane, or zigzag marking a rest stop.

None of the beauty of the Moovel diagram carries over to the elongated Peutinger layout, which looks like nothing so much as a tangle of utility cables in a muddy trench. The adaptation is in no way limpid, which underlines how the design of any diagram is not a neutral thing, but closely bound to its purpose. The Peutinger designer had very different intentions from the Moovel team's purpose.

Despite this, three informative conclusions can be drawn from the exercise.

First of all, the Peutinger Diagram ostentatiously shows 12 roads that terminate at Rome, but this spider's-web presentation is a conceit. Most of these roads peter out in central Italy. The Moovel map emphasizes just one northbound (leftwards) and one southbound (rightwards) route, and a moment of reflection recalls to us that even mighty Rome itself is really no more than a stop along a peninsular trunk road.

Secondly, there may be no motorways on the Peutinger Diagram, but roads then and now follow the same lie of the land and connect the same main population centres, so many of the ancient routes live on as multi-lane highways and can be easily found among the Moovel trunk and branches. However many lesser shortcuts and even some main ancient roads were evidently unknown to the Peutinger designer.

A road north from Florence over the Apennines to Bologna seems from Pelagios to have existed then, and is followed today by Italy's trunk autostrada, yet the Peutinger designer simply ignores its existence as an irrelevance. Throughout the pre-medieval era, northbound travellers from Rome mostly preferred another, longer route, the Via Flaminia, then the Via Aemilia, as Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen very accessibly explained some years ago.

All these missing routes are denoted in my mash-up by dotted lines. Also missing is the route from Bologna to the Venice shore (Altino) and on to Aquileia.

The Moovel map guides traffic through the claustrophobic Fréjus, Mont Blanc and St Gotthard road tunnels under the Alps, ignoring old busy routes like the Via Francigena. Back in the day, the traveller had to huff and puff through the thin air of the Montgenèvre, Little St Bernard, Great St Bernard and Spluegen Passes over the Alps (named in the Peutinger "In Alpe Cottia," "In Alpe Graia," "In Summo Pennino" and "Cunuaureu": see René Voorburg's magnificent Omnes Viae to find these). Only the Brenner Pass crossing shown on the Peutinger Diagram remains a main road today.

Thirdly, the Peutinger Diagram is entirely unknowing about northern Europe. Three of the Moovel's fat trunk routes to the far north thus fall off the top edge of the Peutinger Diagram, which finishes at the Netherlands and southern Germany and has no cognizance of the Baltic countries or Russia. However latitudinally, the scope of these two diagrams is very similar, stretching from Britain to eastern Turkey.

Overlaying the Moovel data on the Peutinger emphasizes how cramped (and unmaplike) the late antique project is. Where the roads fan out on the Moovel chart, the Peutinger Diagram crams them together like stiff fingers on an arthritic hand, in effect classifying the routes into regional blocks as sets of local itineraries.

My experiments with the Peutinger Diagram will continue. Don't forget to check my project page on ResearchGate to monitor progress. Collaborators and followers are very welcome to announce themselves.

Bekker-Nielsen, Tønnes. ‘Terra Incognita: The Subjective Geography of the Roman Empire’. In Studies in Ancient History and Numismatics: Eds Aksel Amsgaard-Madsen, Erik Christiansen and Erik Hallager, 148–61. Aarhus: Aarhus UP, 1988. Online.
Talbert, Richard J. A. Rome’s World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2010.


Bell Towers

St Peter's Basilica in Rome was not built in a day. Its bell towers are additions. Pope Urban VIII decided in 1636 to adopt the architect Bernini's scheme. This can now be examined online in a book of planning drawings, Vat.lat.13442.pt.1, including a curious little lift-the-flap page with design alternatives:
Many of the drawings are overlays on an engraving by Matthias Greuter. This was printed as a kind of master drawing for the project, which lasted many years. A start was made on the south tower, but due to technical problems the work was suspended. The completed parts of Bernini's structure were dismantled in 1646.

The portfolio is one of the manuscripts placed online in the last few days by the Vatican Apostolic Library. My list:
  1. Carte.dAbbadie.18 (black and white, low-res)
  2. Carte.dAbbadie.19 (black and white, low-res), translation from Arabic by Antoine Thomson d'Abbadie, the 19th-century Franco-Irish explorer
  3. Pages.1, Codex Leidradi (HT to @ParvaVox and @LatinAristotle who point out Bishop Leidrad of Lyons' autograph ex-libris in this very early (8th century) copy of Aristotle's Organon.)  Here is the inscription as transcribed by @LatinAristotle:
    The codex begins with
    Porphyry's Isagoge in the Latin translation (early 6th century CE) of Boethius. Check it out on ELMSS. @ParvaVox adds the reference CLA IV 417. Note the diagrams including this one:
  4. Reg.lat.458, a Lives of the Saints compilation (from cathedral priory of St Andrew, Rochester, Kent?) including a life of St Pol de Léon
  5. Vat.gr.463
  6. Vat.gr.758 ,
  7. Vat.lat.518.pt.1
  8. Vat.lat.752, philosophical: Bonaventura, Aquinas
  9. Vat.lat.1300
  10. Vat.lat.1439
  11. Vat.lat.1440, Pope Innocent: Apparatus in Decretalium Gregorii, with this opening initial:
  12. Vat.lat.1444
  13. Vat.lat.1452
  14. Vat.lat.1457
  15. Vat.lat.1463
  16. Vat.lat.1501, Notabilia of Johannes de Soncino
  17. Vat.lat.1509
  18. Vat.lat.1529 , Pietro de Crescenzi, Ruralia commoda, 14th century
  19. Vat.lat.1535
  20. Vat.lat.1544
  21. Vat.lat.1545, Macrobius, Commentary on Cicero's Scipio's Dream, 15th century
  22. Vat.lat.1549
  23. Vat.lat.1550
  24. Vat.lat.1551
  25. Vat.lat.1553, De verborum significatu, by the 2nd-century lexicographer Festus, epitome by Paulus. Incipit: Augustus, locus sanctus, ab avium gestu. Edition: De verborum significatu quae supersunt cum Pauli epitome, ed. Wallace M. Lindsay, Leipzig: Teubner 1913.
  26. Vat.lat.1557
  27. Vat.lat.1559
  28. Vat.lat.1561, Leonardo Bruni, De Militia
  29. Vat.lat.1562
  30. Vat.lat.1563
  31. Vat.lat.1564
  32. Vat.lat.1566
  33. Vat.lat.1576
  34. Vat.lat.1578
  35. Vat.lat.1581
  36. Vat.lat.1588
  37. Vat.lat.1617
  38. Vat.lat.1619
  39. Vat.lat.1627
  40. Vat.lat.1639
  41. Vat.lat.1658
  42. Vat.lat.1665
  43. Vat.lat.1667
  44. Vat.lat.1670
  45. Vat.lat.1674
  46. Vat.lat.1676
  47. Vat.lat.1677
  48. Vat.lat.1680
  49. Vat.lat.1685, Cicero, Letters, a Renaissance manuscript
  50. Vat.lat.1691
  51. Vat.lat.1701
  52. Vat.lat.13442.pt.1, drawings of Bernini's facade for the Basilica of St Peter in Rome (above)
  53. Vat.lat.15414

Also worthy of note is the arrival online, in colour and hi-res, of Vat.lat.1528, formerly only available in black and white. This is a 14th-century copy of De Balneis Puteolanis, the medical poem on the healing benefits of thermal baths by Petrus of Eboli. This copy lacks the racy illustrations. It is listed in Thorndike-Kibre only under the prologue, Inter opes rerum deus est. See Ballester

At Heidelberg, 15 new manuscripts have arrived online, most of them scientific. Those indexed by Thorndike-Kibre are marked eTK below:
  1. Pal. lat. 1171 Petrus : Medizinsche Sammelhandschrift (Italien, 14. Jh. (nach 1310))
  2. Pal. lat. 1172 Petrus : Conciliator Pars I (Heidelberg, Mitte 15 Jh.), eTK: Quod necessarium non sit medico ceteras speculationis scientias (15c); Also: Unum in ternario ac omne
  3. Pal. lat. 1180 Arnoldus ; Gentilis ; Bacon, Rogerus: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Heidelberg, 2. Drittel 15. Jh.), eTK: Ad investigationem ergo scientie de gradibus medicinarum
  4. Pal. lat. 1188 Avicenna; Hippocrates; Copho; Arnoldus ; Leopoldus ; Hermes; Ps.-Vergilius; Augustinus Bathus Senensis; Antonius de Haneron: Miscellaneenband (Sachsen, Ende 15. Jh.), eTK: Debes considerare planetas hora revolutionis (15c)
  5. Pal. lat. 1196 Isaac : Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Frankreich, 13./14. Jh.), eTK: Cum in primis coegit antiquos disputare (15c)
  6. Pal. lat. 1198 Liber medcinalis (Regensburg oder Freising, 1565)
  7. Pal. lat. 1203 Kommentare zu den Aphorismen des Hippokrates (2. Drittel 15. Jh.), eTK: Intentio Hippocratis fuit componere librum pauci (15c)
  8. Pal. lat. 1205 Arnoldus praepositus Sancti Jacobi; Arnoldus ; Maimonides, Moses; Jacoby, Johann; Gentilis ; Costofferus; Auicenna; Bernardus ; Magninus : Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Deutschland, 2. Hälfte 15. Jh), eTK: Accidit interdum aeri qui est hic apud nos (15c)
  9. Pal. lat. 1419 Ptolemaeus, Claudius: Opus quadripartitum (Deutschland, 2. Drittel 15. Jh.)
  10. Pal. lat. 1420 Ptolemaeus, Claudius; Johannes ; Albertus ; Johannes ; Bradwardine, Thomas; Simon ; Johannes : Sammelband mit Quadriviumstexten (Italien (I) , Italien und Köln (II), Ende 13. Jh. (I) ; 14. Jh. (II))
  11. Pal. lat. 1423 Pruckner, Nicolaus; Leowitz, Cyprian: Nativitäten ; Astrologische Urteile (Heidelberg, 2. Hälfte 16. Jh.)
  12. Pal. lat. 1425 Leowitz, Cyprian: Tomus tertius nativitatum (Augsburg, Mitte 16. Jh.)
  13. Pal. lat. 1436 Leopoldus ; Johannes ; Prophatius Judaeus: Astronomisch-astrologische Sammelhandschrift (Belgien, Mitte 15. Jh. (1447))
  14. Pal. lat. 1439 Peuerbach, Georg /von; Regiomontanus, Johannes; Albertus ; Johannes ; Głogowczyk, Jan; Ps.-Hippokrates; Prosdocimus ; Hermes: Astronomisch-astrologische Sammelhandschrift (Krakau, Leipzig, 1487-1493), eTK: Aries facit calorem temperatum (15c)
  15. Pal. lat. 1446 Abū-Maʿšar Ǧaʿfar Ibn-Muḥammad; Qabīṣī, Abu-'ṣ-Ṣaqr ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Ibn-ʿUṯmān /al-; Māšā'allāh Ibn-Aṯarī: Astrologischer Sammelband (Deutschland, Mitte 15. Jh. (I) , letztes Drittel 14. Jh. (II)), eTK: Accipiat nomen suum
Finally, the Vatican Library is playing catch-up, having just posted some manuscripts already familiar from the Heidelberg site:
  1. Pal.lat.1357, eTK: India ulterior finitur ab oriente oceano (14c)
  2. Pal.lat.27
  3. Pal.lat.33
  4. Pal.lat.37
  5. Pal.lat.38
  6. Pal.lat.44
  7. Pal.lat.48
  8. Pal.lat.49
  9. Pal.lat.54
  10. Pal.lat.61
  11. Pal.lat.62
  12. Pal.lat.63
  13. Pal.lat.64
  14. Pal.lat.66
  15. Pal.lat.69
  16. Pal.lat.70
  17. Pal.lat.71
  18. Pal.lat.101
  19. Pal.lat.130
  20. Pal.lat.131
  21. Pal.lat.203
  22. Pal.lat.205
  23. Pal.lat.312
  24. Pal.lat.395
  25. Pal.lat.397
  26. Pal.lat.399
  27. Pal.lat.711
  28. Pal.lat.1089, eTK: Somnus corporis of Galen
  29. Pal.lat.1930
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 113. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.


Law Professor

Take a trip on Google Street View to Bologna, Italy, where one of the greatest law professors, Accursius, c. 1182-1263, is entombed with his son in a curious elevated sarcophagus at the side of a busy street. The Tombe dei Glossatori is a pretty little green-roofed shrine.

Accursius senior, c. 1182-1263, was a professor in Bologna whose work became a definitive textbook through the medieval period. He is thought to have built up and revised his 2 million words of commentary on the Institutions, Code, Digest and Novels of Justinian over a lifetime of research and writing.

Consider now how law students for hundreds of years consulted this man's law commentaries, and take a look at a 14th-century manuscript of his Apparatus dealing with the Digest from book 39 onwards. The Vatican Library has just digitized Vat.lat.1426 and you will see that not only does the Digest occupy the centre space with the margins full of glosses, but there are also glosses on the glosses. This may not be the oldest manuscript, but Robert Figueira notes that no archetypal manuscript has ever been identified.

The Vatican copy is interesting for its idiosyncratic illuminations, which would be delightful subjects for Make Up the Caption competitions. What are they saying here about the faceless bricklayer at right?[The true answer, by the way, is that this is the section De operis novi nuntiatione, illustrated by a king giving orders for a building campaign. HT to @Glossaeluris.]

The whimsical artist also shows us a comical curule chair below with the carved arms shaped like heads of surprised hounds emerging from one body. The gaze directions of the humans seem to suggest something odd is happening off-stage at right. But what?

Here is my full list of digitizations recorded in the past week, whereby I will exceptionally include Palatina items that were previously online at Heidelberg:
  1. Borg.et.23
  2. Pal.lat.8
  3. Pal.lat.26
  4. Pal.lat.28
  5. Pal.lat.29
  6. Pal.lat.30, Diurnale Benedictinum with Psalter Romanum, 13th century, Tuscany or perhaps Piedmont, Beuron number 370. Original online release at Heidelberg has more details.
  7. Pal.lat.31
  8. Pal.lat.32
  9. Pal.lat.34
  10. Pal.lat.35
  11. Pal.lat.1908
  12. Pal.lat.1917
  13. Pal.lat.1939
  14. Pal.lat.1940
  15. Pal.lat.1941
  16. Pal.lat.1962
  17. Pal.lat.1975
  18. Pal.lat.1986, the strange Bellifortis (c. 1405) of Konrad Kyeser (1366 – after 1405), a German military engineer. Listed on eTK (a service kindly provided by Medieval Academy of America).
    Zsombor Jékely kindly invites us to compare this to a fragmentary Bellifortis in Hungary here: http://real-ms.mtak.hu/90/
  19. Pal.lat.1990
  20. Pal.lat.1994
  21. Pal.lat.1995
  22. Vat.lat.1426, Accursius (above)
  23. Vat.lat.1538, Macrobius, Saturnalia
  24. Vat.lat.1540, an unfinished copy of Macrobius, Saturnalia, in an Italian humanistic cursive hand. Gaps left for miniatures, opening line, "[M]ultas variasque res in hac vita nobis," lacks planned illuminated M, and start of book 8, "[P]rimus mensis post epulas non remoti," (folio 165r) lacks P. A scholar has instead obtained this codex at a discount and used it to collect glosses in the margins.
  25. Vat.lat.1672
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 112. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.


King's Breviary

Among the world's greatest treasures of book art is the series of lavishly illuminated religious books ordered by King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1458-1490) to enhance his magnificent Renaissance library. What remains of this one-time royal library at Buda, estimated by Csaba Csapodi to have numbered 2,000 to 2,500 books, is now scattered round the world, but thanks to Zsombor Jékely you can browse many surviving volumes in the virtual Bibliotheca Corviniana Online, a directory of links to digitized manuscripts.

The Vatican Library owns one of the most prized items, the Breviary of Matthias Corvinus, Urb.lat.112, and has just digitized it. This volume is attributed to the Florentine master illuminator Attavante dei Attavanti, of whom Csapodi (article digitized by Roger Pearse) writes:
The work of this master and his school is easily recognizable by the delicate pattern of the classical floral design in the border decoration and its moderate use, and by the figural representations inserted into this ornamental frame. Some of these figures seem to be lifeless and conventional, but in many cases they may be portraits of contemporaries gazing at the reader from the leaves of the book.

Indeed. You would not have dared to paint a false smirk or scowl on the face of any eminent courtier in the administration of the martial Matthias. Or of any court lady in the ascendant:

For more on the Corvinian manuscripts, see my blog post two years ago, Hungary's Week, discussing Urb. lat. 110 (Missale Romanum or the Missal of Matthias Corvinus). Browse too to Rossiana 1164 (Missal of the Friars Minor); Barb.lat.168 (Livius: Historiarum decas I); and Ott.lat.501 (Pontificale).

Here is the full list of novelties from the past week or so:
  1. Barb.gr.438
  2. Barb.lat.4021
  3. Chig.P.VII.9.pt.B, part of an album of architectural drawings by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), with some designs by Carlo Fontana or Felice Della Greca (St Louis catalog). This section contains designs for the two-tiered altar at St. John Lateran (HT to @gundormr)
  4. Pal.lat.59
  5. Pal.lat.1747
  6. Pal.lat.1827
  7. Pal.lat.1916
  8. Pal.lat.1918
  9. Pal.lat.1920
  10. Pal.lat.1921
  11. Urb.lat.112
  12. Vat.et.208
  13. Vat.lat.518.pt.2
  14. Vat.lat.535.pt.1
  15. Vat.lat.535.pt.2
  16. Vat.lat.535.pt.3
  17. Vat.lat.1146
  18. Vat.lat.1156
  19. Vat.lat.1160
  20. Vat.lat.1243
  21. Vat.lat.1248
  22. Vat.lat.1256
  23. Vat.lat.1289
  24. Vat.lat.1355, Decretum Burchard, 11th century, notable for an arbor juris at 151v: do you think the top face in this totem looks vaguely like the young Karl Marx?
  25. Vat.lat.1363
  26. Vat.lat.1368
  27. Vat.lat.1369
  28. Vat.lat.1372
  29. Vat.lat.1376
  30. Vat.lat.1379
  31. Vat.lat.1393
  32. Vat.lat.1398
  33. Vat.lat.1407
  34. Vat.lat.1409
  35. Vat.lat.1421
  36. Vat.lat.1424
  37. Vat.lat.1425
  38. Vat.lat.1442
  39. Vat.lat.1461
  40. Vat.lat.1472
  41. Vat.lat.1475
  42. Vat.lat.1477
  43. Vat.lat.1488
  44. Vat.lat.1489
  45. Vat.lat.1493
  46. Vat.lat.1494
  47. Vat.lat.1497
  48. Vat.lat.1498
  49. Vat.lat.1500
  50. Vat.lat.1504
  51. Vat.lat.1507
  52. Vat.lat.1520
  53. Vat.lat.1524
  54. Vat.lat.1526
  55. Vat.lat.1533
  56. Vat.lat.1534
  57. Vat.lat.1536
  58. Vat.lat.1537
  59. Vat.lat.1539
  60. Vat.lat.1552
  61. Vat.lat.1556
  62. Vat.lat.1569, a copy of De rerum natura by Lucretius exhibited in Rome Reborn, where the catalog notes: This elegant manuscript of Lucretius's philosophical poem is an example of the interest in ancient accounts of nature taken by the Renaissance curia. The work, written in the first century B.C., contains one of the principal accounts of ancient atomism. This is one of numerous copies made at that time. The coat of arms of (Pope) Sixtus IV appears on it.
  63. Vat.lat.1571
  64. Vat.lat.1659
  65. Vat.lat.1682, Prognostichon Hierosolymitanum by Giovanni Michele Nagonio. The Rome Reborn catalog by Anthony Grafton notes: Nagonio, a papal functionary who wrote celebratory verses like these for many European monarchs, celebrates the triumphal entry of Julius II into Rome after his victory over the Bolognese.

    On the facing page one sees a self-satisfied pontiff, ringed by short celebratory texts. Nagonio's poems, which fill the rest of the book, reach a self-parodic level of flattery.
  66. Vat.lat.1686
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 111. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.