Cassiodorus Digital

Since I first published several years ago a hyperlinked listing of the 37 diagrams "made up" by Cassiodorus for his Institutiones, two key sources have become available digitally: the great 8th-century codex from Monte Cassino now at Bamberg, Msc. Patr. 61, which contains the complete set, probably in the final form approved by Cassiodorus for publication, and Mazarine 660, which contains some peculiar variations in the motifs used in the diagrams. The tabulated listing now includes links to all these images, making it an excellent tool for comparing their evolution in the first millennium. The drawings from Mazarine 660 are to be found on the Liber Floridus illuminations site.

It is remarkable how much has changed in the 13 years since the definitive article on the Cassiodorus diagrams by Michael Gorman was published and included this comment:
Today it is relatively cheap and easy to buy a microfilm of a manuscript and print it out on paper, but in the 1930s this was a luxury that could probably not even be imagined ... I hope this note is sufficient to stimulate interest in preparing a facsimile of the Bamberg manuscript ... (pages 39, 41)
Since that was written, another unimaginable barrier has been breached and it has become possible for anyone to see these manuscripts at no charge via the internet, making facsimiles less necessary.

This update is one of three data upgrades to the Macro-Typography website that have been accomplished in the past month. The collation of the Great Stemma now contains a properly checked fifth and last set of text variations, from the Gamma manuscripts. This was previously bodged together from Fischer's Genesis edition and my transcription of the Urgell Beatus. The Gamma text is now based on a sounder manuscript, that in the San Juan Bible, with the Urgell Beatus only required to fill gaps. This data entry was a lot of work at an unwelcome time, but means that I can now close off the transcription phase with a good conscience.

The third of the upgrades has been some supplementing of the Petrus Pictaviensis table on my website. The major new find there has been a digitization (by Heidelberg) of one of the manuscripts in the Vatican Library. I have also restored the Walters digitization which for some inexplicable reason I had deleted from the list. This means there is an even wider range of quality digitizations -- 22 -- of the Compendium available for comparison.

In addition to these, I continue to keep an eye out for any more additions to the Stemma of Boethius tabulation I completed in the late spring.

Gorman, Michael. “The Diagrams in the Oldest Manuscript of Cassiodor’s Institutiones.” Revue Bénédictine no. 110 (2000): 27–41.

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