Old Vellum and Bookselling

A learned article by Richard Rouse and Charles McNelis appeared a decade ago. North African literary activity is subtitled "A Cyprian fragment, the stichometric lists and a Donatist compendium" and incredibly it rounds up four utterly diverse topics in one discussion: the unlikely discovery of a very worn piece of old vellum in a codex binding, Late Antique bookselling, a North African Christian sect and how 19th-century philologists could not see the wood for the trees. The article comes to the conclusion that a lot of the Late Antique bible-handbook and chronographic material we now have was saved for posterity in a single compendium.
Rouse, who is now emeritus professor at UCLA, and McNelis, now associate professor at Georgetown University, suggest a way by which the Great Stemma (that is not of course their name for it) might derive from the Liber Genealogus. It would be nice if this fitted the facts, but we have three signal differences between these works:
  • they use different versions of the Table of Nations from Genesis 10
  • they use different chronologies of the kings of Rome
  • the Great Stemma has none of the Liber's etymological content
Of course the overall structure of the documents is similar, and both evince a fascination with the Twelve Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. It looks as if the latter topic is going to need some further research...

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