Mount Seir

I have completed one of the more obscure analyses of the Great Stemma: a tabulation of the passage dealing with the chieftains of Mount Seir. These are outland people mentioned in Genesis 36 and are not part of the stated ancestry of Christ. We cannot even begin to guess why they were included in the Great Stemma. Interesting sounding names? To fill a blank area of the page? To prove that the author had read Genesis exhaustively? We just don't know. Your guess is as good as mine. Zaluska thought it was of great importance, but never published her own tabulation. I have filled the gap.
In all honesty, this tabulation is not going to make history, but as a piece of utilitarian work, it positions us for further analysis. The passage is the key proposed by Zaluska to identifying the different recensions of the Great Stemma. It is also important in demonstrating that the Epsilon version (not studied by Zaluska) is the oldest and purest that we have got.


Intriguing Lead

This post has been superseded. Further investigation showed the intriguing lead led nowhere.
The Bibliotheca Belgica Manuscripta by Anton Sander, a listing of Belgian manuscripts sighted in or before 1640, contains an intriguing lead at page 215: in a codex which unites a variety of short genealogical works, there is one item described as a Genealogia ab Adam usque ad Christum, and another described as a Genealogia ab Adam usque ad Gedeonem. There is no note to say that these genealogies are in table form, but their owner must have had an interest in graphic stemmata, since another item in the volume is Boccaccio's Genealogia Deorum, which often contained Boccaccio's 14th century stemmata. *

What is particularly interesting about the second genealogy (Adam-Gedeon) is that Gedeon is neither a figure in Christ's ancestry, nor, as far I know, does he figure in the bogus medieval ancestries of the European nobility. What is he doing in a genealogy? A glance at the 10th page of Plutei 20.54 in Florence suggests a possible answer. Gedeon is the penultimate item on the fifth out of eight sheets. The Tournai codex, which seems to be a grab-bag of thieved and salvaged fragments, might have contained an incomplete Epsilon manuscript where the last three sheets that cover the period from David to Christ had been lost.

After 370 years, this codex probably no longer exists. Sander saw it in Tournai Cathedral Library.** It had been left to the library by Denis de Villers, who seems to have been chancellor of the diocese (I'm not fully clear about the ecclesiastical offices in this period).*** Tournai and its cultural treasures were bombed by the Luftwaffe in 1940, and much was lost (pictures).

How do we discover the fate of the genealogy codex? The Bibliothecae Cathedralis Ecclesiae Tornacensis now has a weblink, but this codex is not listed. I searched for "Genealogia ab Adam..." and a selection of the other partworks in In Principio, the Brepols database of incipits, but found no promising leads. Where else should I look? Has anybody analysed Sander's work and established, codex by codex, what happened to the various manuscripts?

* Sander's book was published by Insulis, Ex officina Tussani le Clercq, apparently a printer at Lille in France.
** Sander describes the legacy thus: codices Mss. qui sunt in bibliotheca reverendi Domini Hieronymi de Winghe canonici Tornacensis, nunc in bibliotheca publica eccelsiae cathedralis solerte studio et cura R.D. Ioannis Baptistae Stratii decani et donationibus clarissimorum viriorum Hieronymi Winghii, Dionysii Villerii, ac Claudii Dausqueii, eiusdem ecclesiae canonicorum inchoata et luculenta editorum voluminum supellectile instructa.
*** Samaran, Ch. 'La Chronique latine inédite', says Denis de Villers (1546-1620) was a literary man of Tournai, versed in genealogy and numismatics, who held a doctorate in canon law from Louvain University. He and canon Jerome van Winghe founded the cathedral library which is now the Tournai public library (catalog) (article in Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes (1926), 87,144, note 3). There is a more substantial 2004 article by Claude Sorgeloos on de Villers' book collecting here and note 9 says most of de Villers' books were destroyed in the bombardment in 1940. However some had been moved to Mons (catalog) and Courtrai (catalog) and were saved, and one of de Villers' books from Tournai later ended up in the hands of Sir Thomas Phillipps, so perhaps we should also check records of the Phillipps auctions.


Bamberg Cassiodorus

The State Library at Bamberg has recently digitized the stemma diagrams from its splendid codex Staatsbibliothek Bamberg Msc.Patr.61 and placed them online. The quality is excellent and this is very welcome. The library deserves to be congratulated.
The page of references to written documentation dealing with the codex includes the URLs of my catalog of Cassiodorus stemmata and my reconstruction of how Cassiodorus may have originally conceived the diagrams. There are several recent articles mentioned there which I did not know about: now to order and read them.


Translation Finished

Another marker passed: the translation of the Great Stemma into English is complete. Bar a few unintelligible passages where I may have messed up the transcription, the publication is now fully bilingual. Seumas Macdonald of Sydney took charge of putting 30 of the most difficult passages into English. With the text getting so long, I have now split the collation into four sections:
  1. The Genealogy of Christ
  2. Other Genealogies
  3. The Timeline
  4. The Interpolations
The latter section emerged as a separate entity during the recent research into where the many glosses had come from. It turns out that most are almost verbatim quotes from works of Isidore of Seville or from Jerome's Vulgate text. The only text where a clear attribution is not possible is the apocalyptic prediction about the defeat of evil and the coming of the Seventh Age which has been inserted into the Plutei manuscript. For the time being I am leaving out the mappamundi text, since its separate history remains unclear.


Decoding the San Millán Manuscript

A tricky decoding job with the San Millán stemma seems almost complete, thanks to Brepols and their Library of Latin Texts (LLTA), an online database of Latin. Here is an image of the text:
My first transcription of this gloss about the secular city built by Cain turned out to be nonsense, but I was fortunate to find that the bulk of the text was simply borrowed from a theological exposition by Isidore of Seville, the Mysticorum expositiones sacramentorum seu Quaestiones in Uetus Testamentum. This is easily found in the LLTA: Quid ergo sibi per figuram vult, quod impiorum progenies civitatem in ipsa mundi origine construxit? nisi quod noveris impios in hac vita esse fundatos, sanctos vero hospites esse et peregrinos. Unde et Abel tanquam peregrinus in terris, id est, populus Christianus non condidit civitatem. Superna enim est sanctorum civitas (In Genesim, 6).
That allows us to transcribe the script as follows: Primus ante diluvium Cain civitatem Enoch nomine filii sui in India condidit quam urbem ex sola sua posteritate in plevit, quod sibi vult, quod impiorum progenies civitatem in ipsa mundi origine construxit? nisi quod noveris impios in hac vita esse fundatos, sanctos vero hospites esse et peregrinos. Unde et Abel tamquam peregrinus in terra populus Christianus non condidit civitatem; superna enim est sanctorum civitas.
As a result we can draft the following abbreviations key, which is useful for decoding the entire manuscript, including the Ordo Annorum:
2id = quid
s with a spike over it = sibi?
qd+ = quod
p with a downwards hook at the left = pro
9 = con
n with a rightwards hook above it = nisi
nov+is = noveris
ee with a downwards hook above = esse
sc+os = sanctos
u with a circle over it = vero
p with a straight stroke through the descender = per, with e = pere
g with a top right cantilever and a rightwards hook above = gri (cf. nisi)
vn with a line over the n = unde
qm with a kind of W over and between them = quam
9 on the shoulder at the right = -us
t+ra = terra
ppls = populus
xianus = Christianus
e with a line over it = est
LLTA also indicates that Isidore lifted the latter part of the text from Augustine, De Civitate Dei 15.1: scriptum est itaque de Cain, quod condiderit ciuitatem; Abel autem tamquam peregrinus non condidit; superna est enim sanctorum ciuitas.
In other parts of the same codex we have seen:
c with a spike over it = cri
p with a spike over it = pri
scdam where d ascender has a stroke throught it = secundam