Liber Genealogus

A 9,000-word study of the links between the Liber Genealogus and the Great Stemma more or less completes my detailed research into the oldest stemma diagram known. I have just placed this new article online. I do not pretend it offers any great amusement: it is rather dry stuff. But we need the detail to assemble the case that the Liber is the textual account of someone who had read the Stemma, or something like it. I don't think many people read the Liber Genealogus: it is difficult to see what use it ever was to any reader. Mommsen's edition of the Liber does not help the contemporary reader much either. It is not particularly easy to use, given that the composite Mommsen text overlays the original G recension with material from the Origo Humani Generis and a lot of Donatist disputation. It might have almost been easier for me to just read a manuscript. Unfortunately, the best and oldest one is not online. The excellent Swiss e-codices project has not yet digitized Cod. Sang. 133, which contains the G recension dating from the late 8th or early 9th century. That is quite impressive: this codex was penned less than 400 years after the Liber Genealogus was written in 427. In the absence of this much-needed digital work, one can only consult Plutei 20.54 in Florence, which contains the inferior F recension. This is in fact the same codex that contains the most primitive form of the Great Stemma.

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