New Eusebius Tables Coming Out This Year

Roger Pearse mentioned yesterday how "F. Mone" discovered in Austria in 1853 a key palimpsest containing books 11-15 of Pliny the Elder's Natural History. Roger links to a digitization where you can experience for yourself the frustration of trying to read a lower level of writing on an overwritten page.

I think this must be Fridegar Mone (1829-1900), since that is the name on the edition of 1855.  I wondered for a while if it was not the father, Franz Mone (1796-1871). Both men had fascinating, conflict-dogged lives. The elder was a religious controversialist who received manuscript-research commissions. The younger was essentially a manuscript hunter and dealer who was sacked at age 50 and had his "private" manuscript collection (which did not of course include the Pliny palimpsest) seized by the government from his Karlsruhe home in 1886.

Similar discoveries during the 21st century of miraculously surviving manuscripts of lost or semi-lost Latin or Greek works of Antiquity are likely to be the rarest events. The archives of Europe and the Middle East have been scoured so many times by so many generations of scholars that the pickings are now slim.

More likely is the reconnection of unlabelled manuscripts to their Antique authors, such as the discovery a year ago that an anonymous Greek-script manuscript in Munich contains Origen's Homilies on the Psalms, or my own proof that the "medieval" graphic genealogies in Spanish bibles are in fact a 5th-century Latin work.

I mentioned in a previous post that Martin Wallraff's paper revealing his attribution of a section of an Oxford manuscript to Eusebius would soon appear in print. The article will lay bare an Antique work, the Canon Tables of the Psalms, which no one had known about for the past 1,000 years. Professor Wallraff made his remarkable discovery public at the Oxford Patristics Conference in 2011.

Harvard University Press has now announced a publication date for this editio princeps. It will appear as an article in the next issue of the Dumbarton Oaks Papers. This ground-breaking paper will be available from December 16 this year and will be entitled "The Canon Tables of the Psalms: An Unknown Work of Eusebius of Caesarea", the announcement says. Presumably it will be on open access from 2024 under the periodical's web release policy.

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