Who Was Carl Frick?

In the early stages of this study, I often used a compilation of Latin chronicles by Carl Frick, a German scholar. The standard bibliographic data as well as Franz Kössler's Personenlexikon indicate he was born in Schwerin in 1848. He published a series of books and articles, beginning with his 1872 doctoral thesis, De ephoris spartanis at the University of Goettingen, and then became interested in chronography.

Two of his articles listed in Grafton and de Jonge's 1993 Scaliger bibliography deal with the 8th-century chronicle in "barbarous" Latin, the Excerpta Latina Barbari.*

This was doubtless part of his preparations to publish volume 1 of Chronica Minora in 1892. Volume 2 never appeared and he seems to vanish from the record at the end of the 19th century. His involvement in publications for the König Wilhelm Gymnasium in Höxter, Germany makes it plain he was a secondary school teacher there, but I have not been able to find any account of his further academic career, or a date of death.

* Joseph Justus Scaliger und die Excerpta Latina Barbari, published in Rheinisches Museum, is online.

Late Add (2013-11-27): His Prussian personnel record with the last entry in 1893 is in the database Personaldaten von Lehrern und Lehrerinnen Preußens. There is a date, 1.4.10 on the front of this, which may indicate a 1910 death, but this is not certain. He is also mentioned in a history of the Höxter school library.


What Did Pelagius See?

Theodor Mommsen describes a paper manuscript which included the Liber Genealogus. Though he did not personally see it, he knew it was kept in the Escorial Library outside Madrid:
Ovetensis episcopus Pelagius (a. 1101 – 1129) corpori chronicorum suo, de quo in praefatione ad Isidoriana disputabimus, hunc librum inseruit inscriptum teste Ambrosio Morales (apud Florez – Risco Esp. sagr. vol. 38 p. 367): incipit genealogiae totius bibliothecae ex omnibus libris veteris novique testamenti. archetypum periit, extant apographa et in codice Matritensi bibl. nat. T 10 saec . XVII (Knust Archiv 8, 799) et in Escurialensi b I 9 chart. saec. XV teste Ewaldo (neues Archiv 6, 232), scilicet tractatus inscriptus ita: incipiunt genealogiae totius bibliothecae ex omnibus libris veteris novique testamenti descriptum; adnotatur: hic liber genealogiae fuit desumptus ex libro vetustissimo ecclesiae Ovetensis in membranis litteris goticis scripto et dicitur finire in Theodosio: videtur igitur similis fuisse nostri F.
The above is online at the digital MGH. It feels faintly irreverent to add hyperlinks to 19th-century Latin but I have done so, since the relevant page of Ambrosio Morales's account and tabulation in Espana Sagrada is online. Friedrich Heinrich Knust ( -1841) (biography) was a German scholar who visited archives in Spain, as did Ewald whose Reise nach Spanien im Winter von 1878 auf 1879 is also online.

As Mommsen says, the 12th-century original that was kept at Oviedo is gone for ever. Hardly any of the Escorial Library is online, so there is no point searching for images of this unique paper copy, but Antolín's catalogue is helpful.

This 12th-century copy of the Liber Genealogus seems to have been been inserted into Pelagius's Liber chronicorum. Rouse and McNelis think the final comment about "in membranis litteris goticis scripto" is by the 15th-century copyist in León, referring to Visigothic script. Or is it a note by Pelagius talking about a book that was old in his day?

It is not clear what manuscript is described in Knust's abstract ("einige Genealogien aus dem alten und neuen Testamente" in a 17th- or 18th-century codex at the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid with the former call number T10). I did not find the Liber Genealogus listed in the other manuscripts there containing Pelagius's chronological work. There seem to be at least five manuscripts containing elements of Pelagius's Liber chronicorum at the library, including one that is a roundup with his Libro de los Testamentos de la catedral de Oviedo in Ms. 6957 (catalogue entry, warning, large PDF!). But in each case, the content at practically every folio is described, making it unlikely that the Liber Genealogus is in any gap and somehow overlooked.

The interest of the matter to me is of course: what else was lodged in the now-lost cathedral library at Oviedo in the days when Pelagius was in charge? We know the library contained the now-lost Gospel Book of Justus because Ambrosio de Morales saw it there. But did the library also contain a copy of the Great Stemma?


Calahorra Bible

A first-ever online image of the Great Stemma in the Calahorra bible has finally shown up: it contains the opening spread only, but the polychrome array of colours is very impressive, despite the battered state of the codex. The image is for sale on Artflakes, but you'll have to click through yourself because I don't want to breach the photographer's copyright. The online sample is not in a good enough resolution to read the script, but I will be linking to it from my catalogue page. The photographer says the image also appears in a book published last December, Historia de Calahorra (Ed. Amigos de la Historia de Calahorra. December 2011. ISBN 978-84-939155-06). The 12th-century Biblia de Calahorra is kept in the Archivo Catedralicio y Diocesano de Calahorra. It's battered and it looks like it has suffered some water damage, but it's still there, a wonderful treasure. The Amigos (Facebook page) deserve all the help they can get to preserve the town's history, and of course every tourist visiting Spain helps in the economic recovery.


Peter's Compendium

So far this blog has not directed much attention to the Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi, a 12th-century work by Peter of Poitiers which presents a completely new stemmatic diagram. Peter was a believer in the Trinubium, the three marriages of St Anne, and his vast genealogical infographic went into wide circulation in medieval Europe. There is no evidence the Compendium is adapted from the Great Stemma, though it seems plausible that Peter would have known of the Great Stemma and would have been inspired by it to design his own diagram ab initio.

In his 1943 article in Estudios Biblicos on the Great Stemma, Teófilo Ayuso claims that one of the codices where it is reproduced is a 14th- or 15th-century bible at the University of Barcelona, which his 1943 article terms Barc1, though it later becomes Barc3 in his peculiar numbering. This is online: I found a digital version yesterday. Its call number is Sig. Ms. 762. (There is another fine Barcelona University bible online, Sig. Ms. 856, but this does not contain any stemmata.) Sig. Ms. 762 is described at volume 2, page 308 of Miquel Rosell's printed catalog as follows: Ff. 2-7. Genealogias. Inc.: De Cain. Cain agricola dolens ... Expl.: De Tiberio ..., sub quo Dominus est passus. It also contains an Interpretationes Hebraicorum Nominum.

It is clear from only superficial examination that including this bible in the Great Stemma camp is another of Ayuso's blunders. The Barcelona bible very clearly contains the Compendium diagram, not the Great Stemma.

This can be readily seen by comparing it to other codices. There are several good online presentations of the Compendium. An impressive one is Ms Typ 216 at the Houghton Library of Harvard University, a roll-manuscript (probably intended for use as a wall-chart). It can be viewed in sections here.

There is a finely drawn 12th-century (?) version in codex form in the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in Florence, spread over 10 pages in an anonymous seven-folio document, Plut.20.56 (5v is the final page of the diagram). An early 13th-century manuscript from England now in Paris, Lat. 15254, contains the same chart. I expect there are many others, but this is what some searching today turned up. [An excellent starting point is Nathaniel Taylor's survey, and I see the Met Museum also has a damaged scroll which is online in low resolution.]

As far as I know, there has been no printed version since the rather inaccurate editio princeps of the Compendium published by Zwingli in 1592, which differs in signal ways from the manuscripts above. MDZ offers it digitized. I have not done a bibliography on the Compendium yet, but it is discussed at length by Christiane Klapisch-Zuber in chapter 6 of L'Ombre des Ancêtres and there are some articles mentioned in a footnote by Stork.


Editio Princeps

As far as I know, the editio princeps of the Liber Genealogus is the edition of the Codex Taurinensis published at Paris by Christoph Pfaff in 1712. It can found on Google Books. The full title is Firmiani Lactantii Epitome Institutionum Divinarum ad Pentadium fratrem. For a German note about Pfaff, see Wikipedia.