2017-08-10

Tuning up the Tabula

Readers will know I have created a digital surrogate of the Tabula Peutingeriana, the only detailed chart of Latin antiquity to show the lands, cities and roads of the known world. I am now tuning it up with extra features. The newest is an animated and interactive means of showing how the archetype must have looked, comparing it to the error-ridden impression given by the sole surviving manuscript.

Here's an example of what you see: the normal picture is a clean schematic plot from the manuscript including obvious errors such as that below, which shows towns in Roman Africa as blue circles and a main road which I have colored green. Look carefully and you will see that the copyist has unaccountably shifted a section of the road upwards, closer to the sea (green area):

I want to show readers wordlessly how that defect can be repaired. In the picture below, you can see how the town and the section of road can be shifted downward and re-integrated into the route:

The coastal town that is moved here is Hadrumetum, now Sousse in Tunisia. The technique I have invented to highlight such changes is to show a gradual transition where the one disappears and the other gradually takes shape at the same time. Go to the website, http://piggin.net/plold.htm, and bring up the chart. If you hover your cursor over that pale yellow button at top right, the picture hereabouts begins to slowly change, as the following still picture, taken mid-way through the transition, shows:

You can see that a side road (to Cubin, an unidentified place) also shifts. So far I only have three of these transitions built into the chart. It took me a couple of days of tinkering with Javascript and cascading style sheets before I stumbled on a simple but effective technique involving the "hover" feature in CSS3, but it does take a while to write the code by hand for each case.

2017-08-05

My Missal

It's not often that we know so much about an 11th-century manuscript as we do with Borg.lat.211, a missal which has been intensely studied by Francis Newton and Hartmut Hoffmann and which has just been brought online by the Vatican Library. We can even follow how it was made and where it was used.

The manuscript detectives have established that the missal, which contains the Cassinese Calendar, was written at Monte Cassino in 1098-1099, under the direction of Leo of Ostia (Leo Ostiensis or Leo Marsicanus or Leone dei Conti di Marsi, born 1046), the first chronicler of this original Benedictine monastery. Leo's hand is seen in many corrections and his taste can be deduced from the illuminations:

Being a historian and librarian himself, Leo naturally fascinates historians today. He was a nobleman and Benedictine monk who ended up a cardinal and bishop of Velletri, where he died 1115 May 22, a date known from an entry on folio 6 (see p 91 of Lowe's The Beneventan Script) of this book. Lowe is able to point from such additions that the handwriting required in the scriptorium at Monte Cassino was never adopted at places like Velletri.

Read Newton's notes about the missal. The calendar at the front, with names and dates of death of key people, is an important source of the prosaic bits of monastic history not found in Leo's chronicle. Because this codex keeps on giving, expect new discoveries as new sleuths now keep looking at it in digital form. Because the parchment has got damp at some point and is badly foxed, the photography has been repeated at another wavelength to bring out the script.

Here is my list of the 43 latest DigiVatLib digitizations.
  1. Barb.or.89
  2. Borg.lat.211, missal above.
  3. Reg.lat.92
  4. Reg.lat.112
  5. Reg.lat.168
  6. Reg.lat.754
  7. Reg.lat.769
  8. Reg.lat.772
  9. Reg.lat.816
  10. Reg.lat.875
  11. Reg.lat.939
  12. Reg.lat.972
  13. Reg.lat.974
  14. Reg.lat.976
  15. Reg.lat.995
  16. Reg.lat.1240
  17. Vat.gr.748, a Byzantine Octateuch with catenae, 13th or 14th century, no 77 in list of Septuagint Bible sources
  18. Vat.lat.1385, a Renaissance copy of Bernardo Bottoni's law text (1266), Glossa ordinaria in Decretalium Gregorii PP.
  19. Vat.lat.1546 is an 11th or 12th century manuscript of the late antique writer Macrobius which has a place in the history of diagrams with its sketches of circumsolar motion. Bruce Eastwood, the expert on pre-medieval astronomical diagrams, explains that the following diagrams are by the glossators comparing two different theories of the orbits. HT to @LatinAristotle for this.
     
  20. Vat.lat.1791
  21. Vat.lat.1845
  22. Vat.lat.1851
  23. Vat.lat.1855
  24. Vat.lat.1872
  25. Vat.lat.1874
  26. Vat.lat.1876
  27. Vat.lat.1882
  28. Vat.lat.1900
  29. Vat.lat.1909
  30. Vat.lat.1915
  31. Vat.lat.1922
  32. Vat.lat.1925
  33. Vat.lat.1926
  34. Vat.lat.1929
  35. Vat.lat.1934
  36. Vat.lat.1949
  37. Vat.lat.1975
  38. Vat.lat.2004
  39. Vat.lat.3548 , one of the finely illuminated Ottonian sacramentaries from Fulda (copied around 1020), HT to @ParvaVox
  40. Vat.lat.3780, a lovely 15th century book of hours, thought to have been made in Lyon. Here is August in its calendar:
    ... and here is the Nativity illumination:
  41. Vat.lat.13948
  42. Vat.lat.13949
  43. Vat.lat.15294.pt.1, an album of wrapping slips from reliquaries. These were recycled from old documents in the papal offices around the period 1120-1140 and wrapped around votive objects placed in a very old altar in the pope's chapel. HT to @LatinAristotle who explained this to me and points to an article in 2000 by Bernard de Vregille on item 105, part of a letter from France.
    Curiously, the journal, Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes, complains bitterly it was not permitted to reproduce an image of the slip. Well, here it is.
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 125. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

2017-07-29

What's the Time?

If you lived in the age of Chaucer and asked an educated person, "What's the time?" they might have looked at the shadow they were casting, called to mind the month of the year and come up with a pretty accurate answer. Timepieces of any nature were rare. Learning to reckon time is the purpose of John Somer's Kalendarium of 1387, which tabulates time data for the whole year.

The Vatican Library digitized this week a manuscript containing this treasure of English learning, Reg.lat.144. From eTK (search) we know which of the calendaria it is (there were many), based on the prologue incipit, Ad honorem dei et virginis gloriose necnon sanctorum confessorum.


It contains a remarkable teaching diagram to learn the zodiac:


Being an expensive book, its calendar of upcoming solar eclipses for the next few years is made with real gold foil (sorry, but the #Eclipse2017 in August is not here; the list stops at 1462):


And of course the astronomical and astrological canon is beautifully tabulated. Here is July:


This codex contains:
  • fol. 2r ff: John Somers' Kalendarium
  • fol. 19r ff: The Metrificata Bibliae Capita, incipit: "A creat et tribus ordinat ...."
  • fol. 29r ff: The Summarium Biblie, a 13th-century nonsense mnemonic for remembering the books of the bible:
Sex prohibet peccant abel enoch archa fit intrant
egreditur dormit variantur turris it abram
loth reges credit fuga circumcisio risus
sulphur rex gerare parit offert sara rebecca
post geminos puteos benedicit scala sorores
virgas abscedit luctatur munera dina
benom gens esau vendunt thamar impia tres tres
preficitur veniunt redeunt post tristia norunt
omne genus quintam languet benedictio ioseph
For a translation, see an article by Lucie Dolezalova which offers a key. The codex may contain a Carolingian text too, since it is mentioned in Paolo Vaciago's Towards a Corpus of Carolingian Biblical Glossaries.

Unfortunately the library only released three items in the past week (barring its Pal.lat. catch-ups which I always reported to you from the quicker Heidelberg web portal).
  1. Reg.lat.131
  2. Reg.lat.155 (above)
  3. Reg.lat.952
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 124. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

2017-07-25

City of Ladies

Christine de Pizan (1364 - c.1430) is a celebrated Italian-born writer in Middle French who is seen by some modern critics as an early feminist because of her energetic attacks on literature that stereotyped or vulgarized women. She argued that women could play a more important role within society and has become a celebrity in Renaissance studies.

A codex of her celebrated Book of the City of Ladies at the Vatican Library, Pal. lat. 1966, was recently digitized and posted online. It is curious for its incomplete illustrations, which would be ideal material for the next international coloring-in festival in celebration of manuscripts.

The codex is part of the Palatina collection which is being independently digitized and released by the university library in Heidelberg, Germany. Here is my full list of its recent releases. I will trust to my readers' ability to divine enough of the German to read each entry. Those marked eTK are referenced in the electronic Thorndike Kiber (passim):
  1. Pal. lat. 664 Nicolai Siculi: Nicolai Sciculi (l. Siculi) episcopi panormitani tractatus in secundum librum deeretalimn: scriptus anno 1461. Lectura de 2a parte 21 libri decretalium (15. Jh.)
  2. Pal. lat. 758 Codicis Iustiniani imp. libri IX (13.-14. Jh.)
  3. Pal. lat. 1157 Gerardus ; Johannes ; Mesue Minor: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (14. Jh.)
  4. Pal. lat. 1159 Constantinus : Pantegni siue Ars magna, nach Hali Abbas (13./14. Jh.)
  5. Pal. lat. 1168 Liber de natura rerum (14. Jh.)
  6. Pal. lat. 1169 Albertus : Sammelhandschrift (Heidelberg, 1436), eTK: Tempus autem est nunc consequenter de metallorum naturis
  7. Pal. lat. 1170 Ps.-Albertus ; Johannes Paulus; Averroes: Medizinsche Sammelhandschrift (Pavia, 1460-61); eTK: Ad lucidiorem notitiam sequentium habendam; Introduction to commentary on Albertus, De secretis mulierum
  8. Pal. lat. 1173 Petrus : Conciliator Pars II (Heidelberg, Mitte 15 Jh.), eTK: Quod crisis diei sit laudabilior ea questio noster (15c) (Petrus de Abano)
  9. Pal. lat. 1174 Bernardus : Sammelhandschrift (Südfrankreich?, 14. Jh.), eTK: Dilexi veritatis scientiam investigare credens nullum (Gordon, Bernard)
  10. Pal. lat. 1175 Arnoldus ; Rāzī, Muḥammad Ibn-Zakarīyā ar; Petrus ; Bartholomaeus ; Mundinus de Lenciis; Zacharias de Feltro; Gentilis ; Tura de Castello; Nicolaus : Medizinischer Sammelband (Handschrift mit Inkunabeldrucken) (Heidelberg, 1473-1486), eTK: Ad inveniendum dosim uniuscuiusque medicine composite
  11. Pal. lat. 1176 Palladius, Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus; Graecus, Marcus; Gentilis ; Arnaldus de Villanova: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Süddeutschland , Frankreich?, 14. Jh.), eTK, Alia species ignis qui comburit inimicos in montibus
  12. Pal. lat. 1177 Johannes ; Arnoldus ; Ps.-Raymundus Lullus; Godefridus Molendino; Avicenna; Johannes ; Jacoby, Johann; Johannes : Medizinisch-alchemistische Sammelhandschrift (Trier, 1447-48), eTK, Aloes est succus herbe et melius est ex eo (15c) (John de Sancto Amando)
  13. Pal. lat. 1178 Arnoldus : Breviarium (Deutschland, 15. Jh.)
  14. Pal. lat. 1179 Arnoldus ; Bernardus ; Bartholomaeus ; Lanfrancus ; Alcoatin: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Frankreich, 2. Hälfte 14. Jh.)
  15. Pal. lat. 1182 Arnoldus : Breviarium (Heidelberg, 1477)
  16. Pal. lat. 1184 Bernardus ; Galenus: Medizinischer Sammelband (Frankreich, 14. Jh.), eTK: Color cutis duobus modis fit aut enim habunt interiora (14c)
  17. Pal. lat. 1185 Bernardus : Lilium medicine I-VII (Heidelberg (?), 1443)
  18. Pal. lat. 1186 Bernardus : Lilium medicine I-VII (Süddeutschland, 1407)
  19. Pal. lat. 1187 Bernardus : Lilium medicine I-VII (Süddeutschland, 1412)
  20. Pal. lat. 1190 Liber medicinalis allegoricus respectu ecclesiae (Stuttgart, 1420), eTK: Homo secundum Isidorum est animal dei forme (1420); Homo quoniam sit secundum Ysidorum
  21. Pal. lat. 1191 Guilhelmus Corvi de Brescia: Practica seu aggregator Brixiensis (Italien, 15. Jh.), eTK: Oportet eum qui vult esse magister et artifex (15c) (Bartholomaeus Brixiensis)
  22. Pal. lat. 1192 Bartholomaeus ; Gualterus Agilon; Gerardus de Montepessulano: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Italien (?), 14. Jh.), eTK, Circa artem prognosticationis quatuor sunt notanda (15c) - Bartholomaeus (not de Bruges as in Wickersheimer 60)
  23. Pal. lat. 1193 Ambros Prechtl; Abraham Beuther: Sammelband (Amberg (I) , Sachsen (II), um 1575 ; 1586), eTK: Canones in febre pestilentiali sunt ordinatio diete (15c-16c)
  24. Pal. lat. 1195 Antonius Guainerius; Marcus de Senis; Nicolaus Falcutius; Christopherus de Honestis; Johannes de Tornamira: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift mit Inkunabeldruck (Heidelberg, 1474)
  25. Pal. lat. 1197 Ibn-Buṭlān, al-Muẖtār Ibn-al-Ḥasan (Eluchasem Elimitar); Galeatus de Sancta Sophia: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Heidelberg, Ende 15. Jh.)
  26. Pal. lat. 1199 Cancellarius Montispessulani; Magister Plauensis: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (2. Hälfte 14. Jh.), eTK: De capillis et primo de tinea decoquantur folia (14c-15c)
  27. Pal. lat. 1200 Petrus ; Johannes ; Paulinus; Arnoldus : Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Deutschland, um 1400)
  28. Pal. lat. 1201 Disputationshemen der Artisten 1537/1538 (Heidelberg, 1535-1538)
  29. Pal. lat. 1204 Hemmerlin, Felix; Johannes Egen alias Pleniger (senior): Zusammengesetzte Handschrift (Süddeutschland (I) , Heidelberg (II), um 1500 ; 16. Jh)
  30. Pal. lat. 1210 Bernardus ; Arnoldus ; Jacoby, Johann; Galenus: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Heidelberg, 2. Hälfte 15. Jh.), eTK: Ad honorem sancte et individue trinitatis et virginis gloriose et ad utilitatem; .Volo aliqua de pestilentia scribere
  31. Pal. lat. 1212 Guido ; Iordanus ; Johannes de Lineriis; Johannes ; Johannes Eschenden: Sammelhandschrift zum Quadrivium (Paris, 14. Jh. (um 1367)), eTK, Astrolabium dicitur quoddam instrumentum (15c); Compositio astrolabi. Gaps are left for miniatures that were never painted, and none of the astrolabes are drawn, but the simpler geometrical drawings were apparently within the ambit of the commissioned scribe, who left oblique margins around them:
  32. Pal. lat. 1213 Magninus ; Johannes Baccalaureus Bononiensis: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Deutschland, 1. Hälfte 15. Jh.), eTK, Aqua est corpus homogeneum ex materia et forma (15c)
  33. Pal. lat. 1214 Vindicianus; Antonius Guainerius: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Italien, Lombardei, 2. Hälfte 15. Jh.), eTK: Ad te principum ac ducum illustrissime (Guaineri, Antonio)
  34. Pal. lat. 1216 Vindicianus; Copho; Ps.-Hippocrates; Johannes ; Arnoldus ; Albich, Siegmund; Johannes : Miszellaneen-Sammelband (Schaffhausen (I) , Worms (II), Ende 14. Jh. (1389) ; 2. Hälfte 15. Jh.)
  35. Pal. lat. 1217 Petrus ; Antonius Guainerius: Medizinischer Sammelband (Italien, Mitte 15. Jh.)
  36. Pal. lat. 1219 Johannes Vischer: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Ingolstadt, 1554/1555)
  37. Pal. lat. 1220 Petrus Hispanus: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift: Collectanea Ambrosii Prechtl (Regensburg oder Freising, 16. Jh. (um 1565))
  38. Pal. lat. 1221 Avicenna; Antonius Guainerius; Bartholomaeus de Montagnana; Antonius Cermisonus; Galenus; Marsilius de Sancta Sophia: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Deutschland, 2. Hälfte 15. Jh.), eTK Quia amoris gratia mi Antoni Maglane ad hunc (Guaineri, Antonio)
  39. Pal. lat. 1222, Bd. 1 Galenus; Thomas del Garbo; Avicenna; Gentilis ; Albertus de Zancariis: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift in 2 Bänden (Norditalien (Bologna?), 1356)
  40. Pal. Lat. 1222, Bd. 2 Galenus; Thomas del Garbo; Avicenna; Gentilis ; Albertus de Zancariis: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift in 2 Bänden (Norditalien (Bologna?), 1356)
  41. Pal. lat. 1223 Rāzī, Muḥammad Ibn-Zakarīyā /ar-: Continens VIb-XVIIIa (Heidelberg, 2. Drittel 15. Jh.)
  42. Pal. lat. 1226 Aegidius Corbolensis; Gilbertus; Theophilus; Philaretus; Bernardus ; Alexander ; Bartholomaeus ; Ps.-Albertus; Ps.-Hippocrates: Medizinischer Sammelband (Rheinpfalz (Heidelberg?), 1424), eTK, Consequenter dicendum est de simplicibus speciebus; De contentis urinae
  43. Pal. lat. 1229 Rāzī, Muḥammad Ibn-Zakarīyā /ar-; Gerardus de Solo; Johannes ; Wilhelmus Gausberti; Jacoby, Johann; Arnoldus ; Aegidius Portugalensis; Bernardus ; Stephani, Johannes: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Montpellier oder Nordspanien, 2. Drittel 15. Jh.), eTK Ad honorem sancte et individue trinitatis et virginis gloriose et ad utilitatem (15c); Volo aliqua de pestilentia scribere
  44. Pal. lat. 1231 Isrāʾīlī, Isḥāq Ibn-Sulaimān /al-; Aegidius Corbolensis; Archimatthaeus; Gerardus; Hippocrates: Medizinischer Sammelband (Norddeutschland (II), 13. Jh. ; 14. Jh.)
  45. Pal. lat. 1233 Zahrāwī, Ḫalaf Ibn-Abbās /az-: Liber theoricae nec non practicae, Tractatus 1-2 (Heidelberg, 1450), eTK, Ait auctor in hoc libro congregavi modos ciborum (Alsaharavius)
  46. Pal. lat. 1234 Mundinus; Bernardus ; Stephanus Arlandi; Serapio ; Andromachus; Joannitius; Wilhelmus de Varignana: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Deutschland, um 1400), eTK, Ad inveniendam dosim uniuscuiusque medicine composite
  47. Pal. lat. 1235 Bernardus ; Avicenna: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Böhmen, 1. Hälfte 15. Jh.)
  48. Pal. lat. 1236 Alexander ; Christianus de Sancto Trudone; Theodulus ; Cato: Zusammengesetzte Handschrift (Deutschland, 13. und 14. Jh.)
  49. Pal. lat. 1237 Fries, Lorenz: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Amberg, 1560-1570), eTK Quoniam vero isti duodecim lapides (16c ?)
  50. Pal. lat. 1238 Medizinische Sammelhandschrift: Articella (Italien, 2. Hälfte 13. Jh. ; 14. Jh.)
  51. Pal. lat. 1239 Medizinische Sammelhandschrift: Articella (Deutschland, 15. Jh.)
  52. Pal. lat. 1240 Hugo de Siena; Jacoby, Johann; Arnoldus ; Qusṭā Ibn-Lūqā; Thaddaeus ; Guilhelmus de Brescia; Marsilius de Sancta Sophia: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Wien, 1463/1464), eTK, Alia sequitur practica desideratissime benedicteque artis (15c); De alchimia
  53. Pal. lat. 1241 Ambrosius Prechtl: Collectanea medica (Regensburg, 1559-1565)
  54. Pal. lat. 1243 Matthaeus ; Rāzī, Muḥammad Ibn-Zakarīyā /ar-; Jordanus de Turre; Christianus; Avicenna; Theophilus; Gerardus de Solo; Gerardus de Monte Pessulano; Guilhelmus de Saliceto: Medizinischer Sammelband (Mitteldeutschland, 1. Hälfte 15. Jh.)
  55. Pal. lat. 1244 Galenus: Ars parva seu Tegni cum commento (Heidelberg, 2. Hälfte 15. Jh. (um 1460))
  56. Pal. lat. 1245 Arnoldus ; Johannes de Toleto; Johannes ; Michael ; Hippocrates; Rāzī, Muḥammad Ibn-Zakarīyā /ar-; u.a.: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Süddeutschland, 2. Hälfte 14. Jh.)
  57. Pal. lat. 1248 Bartholomaeus Mettlinger; Thomas ; Rāzī, Muḥammad Ibn-Zakarīyā /ar-; Hippocrates; Albertus Magnus; Sidrach: Medizinisches Sammelhandschrift (Augsburg , Nördlingen, 1470-1511), eTK: Generaliter primo dicendum est de arboribus quibus quidem (15c) 
  58. Pal. lat. 1251 Philippus de Aretio; Guido ; Antonius Cermisonus; Petrus Hispanus; Matthaeus de Verona; Petrus ; Nazari, Giovanni Battista; Leonardus de Bertipaglia; u.a.: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Padua, 1463/1464), eTK: Ad tres aquas que extracte sunt ex dictis Raymundi
  59. Pal. lat. 1257 Sigismund Albicus; Ps.-Hildegardis; Bernardus : Zusammengesetzte Handschrift ; Meisterlieder (Bayern (I) , Breslau (II), 16. Jh. ; 1422), eTK: Rogatu fratrum tractatulum ad utilitatem; De plantatione arborum. Sadly this is without any illustrations.
  60. Pal. lat. 1258 Caesar Optatus; Lucius Bellantius: Medizinisch-astrologische Sammelhandschrift (Deutschland, 2. Hälfte 16. Jh.), eTK Ad tempus precisum canonice facte interrogationis (16c); .a Bellantius, Lucius
  61. Pal. lat. 1259 Alphita; Nicolaus; Arnoldus ; Johannes ; Petrus Hispanus; Gerardus de Montepessulano; u.a.: Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Süddeutschland, Anfang 14. Jh. (1315))
  62. Pal. lat. 1268 Petrus ; Arnoldus ; Galeatus de Sancta Sophia; Johannes ; Rāzī, Muḥammad Ibn-Zakarīyā /ar-; Albuzali; Marsilius de Sancta Sophia; Benevenutus : Medizinische Sammelhandschrift (Wien, 15. Jh. (1434)), eTK Assalia fatui accidit pueris et forte accidit in facie (15c) / Assahaphati accidit pueris et forte
  63. Pal. lat. 1271 Antidotarius (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1467)
  64. Pal. lat. 1272 Meister Bartholomaeus; Johannes ; Arnoldus ; u.a.: Medizinisch-alchemistische Sammelhandschrift (Westdeutschland/ Rheinland, Ende 15. Jh.)
  65. Pal. lat. 1275 Collectanea alchemica (Südwestdeutschland, 2. Hälfte 16. Jh.)
  66. Pal. lat. 1531 Cicero, Marcus Tullius: Sammelhandschrift (Italien, 12. Jh. ; 15. Jh.)
  67. Pal. lat. 1565 Palladius, Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus: Opus agriculturae (Deutschland, Ende 14. Jh.)
  68. Pal. lat. 1671 Seneca, Lucius Annaeus : Tragoediae (Italien, 14. Jh.)
  69. Pal. lat. 1966, Christine (de Pizan): La cité des dames (15. Jh.) (above)
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 123. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

2017-07-22

Strange and Wonderful

Of all the strange and wonderful books from the past, one of the quirkiest is the Kyranides, a book in vernacular Greek that describes in alphabetical order the magical healing powers of plants, animals, stones and their secret relationships. Also entitled The Book of the physical virtues, diseases and treatments or Liber medicinalis, the work is made up of two sections (the Kyranis of the Persian king Kyranus and the Liber therapeutikos of Harpokration of Alexandria), compiled by a Byzantine author only datable to somewhere from the 5th to the 8th century.


The first Kyranis, carved in Syriac characters on an iron pillar, was supposedly given by Hermes Trismegistos to men so that they could be educated on the virtues of 24 stones, plants, fish and birds. The book contains hints on alchemy and tons of lore about amulets and their powers.

Reg.lat.773 contains one of the most reliable Latin translations of the Kyranides, attributed to one Paschalis Romanus, a clergyman working in about 1169 in Constantinople. For a survey of all the manuscripts, see Mirabile.

This codex, which starts off with a "Liber Provinciale," also contains other unexpected items, such as a manual of French court procedure beginning, Li prevoz de Paris tendra cette forme a ses plaiz. Se aucuns meut question devant ... There's an image of these procedures too:


In the past week, 73 new items have arrived online in the Vatican Library's digitization program, bringing the total to date to 14,506. This does not count Pal.lat. items which I track separately. New in color (formerly only in black and white) is Vat.lat.1573, which is one of Lowe's examples of Beneventan script. This is an 11th-century book of Vergil, containing the Bucolics, Georgics, Aeneid.
  1. Reg.lat.64
  2. Reg.lat.82
  3. Reg.lat.85
  4. Reg.lat.95
  5. Reg.lat.98
  6. Reg.lat.100
  7. Reg.lat.649
  8. Reg.lat.726
  9. Reg.lat.773, Liber Provinciale, Kyranides, Li Prevoz de Paris (above).
  10. Reg.lat.794
  11. Reg.lat.797
  12. Reg.lat.814
  13. Reg.lat.815
  14. Reg.lat.841
  15. Reg.lat.874
  16. Reg.lat.876
  17. Reg.lat.878
  18. Reg.lat.879
  19. Reg.lat.884
  20. Reg.lat.885
  21. Reg.lat.887, Relatione dello Stato dell'Imperio, e della Germania per tutto l'anno 1628, on paper
  22. Reg.lat.899
  23. Reg.lat.903
  24. Reg.lat.906, Pedemontanus commentary of 1567 on 60 speeches of Tacitus, see Persee.
  25. Reg.lat.907
  26. Reg.lat.950
  27. Reg.lat.958
  28. Reg.lat.963
  29. Reg.lat.1065, French synod documents dated 1284
  30. Vat.ar.924
  31. Vat.lat.1305, Arnaldus de Vilanova
  32. Vat.lat.1414
  33. Vat.lat.1423
  34. Vat.lat.1499
  35. Vat.lat.1583
  36. Vat.lat.1637
  37. Vat.lat.1666
  38. Vat.lat.1729
  39. Vat.lat.1780
  40. Vat.lat.1797
  41. Vat.lat.1807
  42. Vat.lat.1808
  43. Vat.lat.1809
  44. Vat.lat.1813, Poggio Braccolini, 15th century ms.
  45. Vat.lat.1814
  46. Vat.lat.1817
  47. Vat.lat.1822
  48. Vat.lat.1823
  49. Vat.lat.1825
  50. Vat.lat.1830
  51. Vat.lat.1835, Bellum Catilinae, Bellum Iugurthinum (Histories) by Sallust in a luxury Renaissance manuscript. See Rome Reborn
  52. Vat.lat.1838
  53. Vat.lat.1839
  54. Vat.lat.1840
  55. Vat.lat.1849
  56. Vat.lat.1854
  57. Vat.lat.1856
  58. Vat.lat.1862
  59. Vat.lat.1864
  60. Vat.lat.1865
  61. Vat.lat.1866, Gestis Alexandri Magni, by Curtius Rufus
  62. Vat.lat.1868
  63. Vat.lat.1871
  64. Vat.lat.1879
  65. Vat.lat.1883
  66. Vat.lat.1885
  67. Vat.lat.1888
  68. Vat.lat.1892, translation by Ambrogio Traversari of Diogenes Laertius, De vitis philosophorum
  69. Vat.lat.1905
  70. Vat.lat.1906, Suetonius, The Twelve Caesars
  71. Vat.lat.1916
  72. Vat.lat.1930
  73. Vat.lat.4075, astronomy in Latin translation: Ptolemy of Alexandria and Abū Maʻšar
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 122. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

2017-07-16

The Unknown Pacian

I discovered a few weeks back that I had overlooked a whole block of Vatican Library digitization releases in late May. I know that many of my readers rely on this blog for news of releases. I trust in a combination of apps, memory and eyesight to catch new arrivals. And being human and worn, I fear occasionally one of those three breaks down.

The 47 skipped items come from the Reg.lat. series, the fabled library bought from the heirs of Christina Vasa, Queen of Sweden. The omission was gently brought to my attention by Pierre Chambert-Protat (@chaprot on Twitter), who had been lying in wait for a key codex among the 47. He was in delight to finally see online a 9th-century French book of theology extracts from Augustine of Hippo and other authors. It is the working copy used by Florus of Lyon (he left his notes all over the margins):

The example above is from 14v. Notice the big difference of the two (contemporary) hands. The codex is also celebrated as the sole mediator of the writings of Pacian of Barcelona, and here I will let Pierre explain:
Pacian lived in the 4th century. But his works didn’t spread, it seems, in the five next centuries, since we preserve no manuscripts from that time, nor later copies that would descend from those older copies. Only in the 9th century the Lyonnais clerics ran into some of Pacian’s works, and they took a copy for themselves: our Reg. lat. 331. This situation explains another strange little fact: when he quotes Pacian, Florus feels obligated to say that Jerome spoke about him in good terms. He never does that for any other author — but he knew Pacian’s authority wouldn’t be acknowledged just like that, simply because no-one actually knew Pacian at the time. Lyon’s cathedral library rediscovered him, saved him from oblivion, and they were very much aware about it.
You may have heard that Pierre is one of the people working to reconstitute Florus's library virtually, using links to the different libraries that own and have digitized Florus books. Read Pierre's blog (from which I have just quoted) for the full story about this treasure, which also happens to have a key place in the history of text.

Here is my list of the shelfmarks of the missing Reginenses codices, with my apologies for the delay:
  1. Reg.lat.13, Psalterium Romanum with the Book of Canticles (psalms 1 to 26 missing). Beuron number 354, late 11th century from near Naples or Benevento. This text is the pre-Vulgate one, traditionally considered a light revision by Jerome of Stridon before he did a heavy reworking that is termed the Psalterium Gallicanum.
  2. Reg.lat.14, 10th-century evangeliary transmitting an Old Latin prologue to John's Gospel, attributed to his legendary pupil Papias of Hierapolis (HT to @ParvaVox)
  3. Reg.lat.30,
  4. Reg.lat.33,
  5. Reg.lat.34,
  6. Reg.lat.36,
  7. Reg.lat.53,
  8. Reg.lat.54, a 10th-century manuscript containing Bede's De schematibus, Cassiodorus' De Anima and Jesus' legendary letter to King Abgar (HT to @ParvaVox)
  9. Reg.lat.55,
  10. Reg.lat.127,
  11. Reg.lat.146,
  12. Reg.lat.238,
  13. Reg.lat.252, the BAV note gives only Augustine of Hippo and John Chrysostom as authors in this 10th or 11th-century (the fine initial below is rather traditional for the date), whereas the eTK points to a 13th-century incipit on folio 45v of the same shelfmark: Quia sancta evangelia dicunt factas tenebras a vi hora usque ix ..." I cannot find that. Is the latter note miscopied or mistaken?
  14. Reg.lat.254,
  15. Reg.lat.268,
  16. Reg.lat.302, if you are interested in the strange monogram in this, check out a tweet series by @ParvaVox!
  17. Reg.lat.312, HT to @LatinAristotle who points out this is the Liber de exemplis sacrae scripturae of Nicolas de Hanaps. Jean Destrez examined this in a celebrated 1958 study to distinguish datings of codices by authorial, exemplar and scribal dates, so this codex is particularly interesting as a type, on account of its note in red pointing out that the exemplar was defective.
  18. Reg.lat.325,
  19. Reg.lat.331, the 9th-century theology codex from Lyons which Pierre Chambert-Protat was waiting for
  20. Reg.lat.334, liturgical music, 11th or 12th century, from southern Italy. Admire the notation for the chant. This is one of Lowe's examples of Beneventan script: 
  21. Reg.lat.349,
  22. Reg.lat.366,
  23. Reg.lat.375,
  24. Reg.lat.390,
  25. Reg.lat.396,
  26. Reg.lat.400,
  27. Reg.lat.402,
  28. Reg.lat.406,
  29. Reg.lat.408,
  30. Reg.lat.411,
  31. Reg.lat.413.pt.1,
  32. Reg.lat.413.pt.2,
  33. Reg.lat.417, a 10th-century copy from Reims of the Carolingian Collectio Ansegisi bound with a number of capitularies issued at Worms (a. 829) (HT to @ParvaVox)
  34. Reg.lat.423,
  35. Reg.lat.425, Collectio Dacheriana, a canon-law collection, in a 10th-century manuscript (HT to @ParvaVox)
  36. Reg.lat.427,
  37. Reg.lat.433,
  38. Reg.lat.436,
  39. Reg.lat.443,
  40. Reg.lat.454,
  41. Reg.lat.460,
  42. Reg.lat.464,
  43. Reg.lat.476,
  44. Reg.lat.603,
  45. Reg.lat.622,
  46. Reg.lat.656,
  47. Reg.lat.663, Gerardi de Fracheto O.P.
Meanwhile it looks like it's Roman Holiday time in the Vatican Library's digitization workshop, with only 13 items that I can find brought online in the past week.
  1. Barb.gr.461
  2. Barb.or.7
  3. Reg.lat.71
  4. Reg.lat.109
  5. Reg.lat.702
  6. Reg.lat.724
  7. Reg.lat.783
  8. Reg.lat.872
  9. Reg.lat.1000.pt.B
  10. Reg.lat.1032
  11. Vat.gr.1973
  12. Vat.lat.1405
  13. Vat.lat.1413 
The readers are already being turned away at the gates. Look at all these empty seats in the reading room in this tweet:
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 121. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

2017-07-10

Book of Hell Complete

Sandro Botticelli's famed image of a crater where the spiral paths lead downward into hell was originally bound into a Vatican Library codex, Reg.lat.1896A. The Botticelli illustration has been online for some time, but the rest of the codex, Reg.lat.1896, containing the text only of sections of Dante's Divine Comedy, was not initially digitized. It has finally arrived in the Vatican digital library.

Albinia de la Mare has attributed some or all of the scripts to Nicolaus Mangona. 

Here is my full list of the novelties. As of July 10, the DigiVatLib index totalled 14,420 items.
  1. Barb.or.9
  2. Borg.et.9
  3. Comb.O.24
  4. Pap.Vat.lat.1, a 9th-century papal privilege for Ravenna on papyrus with the signature "Bene Valete" and still with the original lead seal. HT to @ParvaVox
  5. Pap.Vat.lat.2, papal document on recycled papyrus, written over a private document, HT to @ParvaVox
  6. Pap.Vat.lat.3: this papyrus has a tabulated list in columns:
  7. Reg.lat.72, this is a fine 12th-century compilation of texts, scientific and philosophical, by authors including Boethius and Honorius of Autun. Listed on eTK:
  8. Reg.lat.662
  9. Reg.lat.680
  10. Reg.lat.688
  11. Reg.lat.715
  12. Reg.lat.779
  13. Reg.lat.831
  14. Reg.lat.942
  15. Reg.lat.947
  16. Reg.lat.1896, Dante's Divine Comedy, above
  17. Urb.lat.608
  18. Urb.lat.627
  19. Urb.lat.1618
  20. Vat.gr.1760
  21. Vat.lat.1324
  22. Vat.lat.1329
  23. Vat.lat.1388
  24. Vat.lat.1447
  25. Vat.lat.1449
  26. Vat.lat.1454
  27. Vat.lat.1572
  28. Vat.lat.1722
  29. Vat.lat.1723
  30. Vat.lat.1737
  31. Vat.lat.1743
  32. Vat.lat.1750
  33. Vat.lat.1757
  34. Vat.lat.1772
  35. Vat.lat.1767
  36. Vat.lat.1781
  37. Vat.lat.1793
  38. Vat.lat.1794
  39. Vat.lat.1820
  40. Vat.lat.1827
  41. Vat.lat.1828
  42. Vat.lat.1831
  43. Vat.lat.1832
  44. Vat.lat.1833
  45. Vat.lat.1834
  46. Vat.lat.1836
  47. Vat.lat.1842
  48. Vat.lat.1843
  49. Vat.lat.1846
  50. Vat.lat.1847
  51. Vat.lat.2055, Almagest, by Ptolemy of Alexandria, a Latin translation by cardinal George Trebizond and made pretty with many-coloured inks: this was shown in the Rome Reborn exhibition
  52. Vat.lat.2971
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 120. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.