Leonardo's Shadows

Leonardo da Vinci's art theory was compiled by a pupil, Franceso Melzi, in about 1540 into a celebrated Treatise on Painting, which explained perspective and shadows and numerous other techniques of art. It was widely read in later centuries. Digita Vaticana has just released a digitization of one of the manuscripts, Barb.lat.4304. Here is its explanation of the shadows seen on bodies at a distance:

Full background on the work and a comparison of the manuscripts can be found on the Treatise on Painting website at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia.

Digita Vaticana has been fairly busy as the Roman summer hots up, issuing a total of 204 items on July 14 and 23. Because of my own holiday in Sweden (more from that later), I am getting in arrears, so I beg pardon that the following list is not fully annotated. There are lots of art gems in this release. Here is a nativity scene from the beautiful Barberini Book of Hours:

Below is the full list of 204 items issued on July 14 and 23. The Digita Vaticana index and catalog server is now frequently out of service (more than 80 hours offline July 23-26), so in the following list, most of the links are to the digitizations themselves, where the servers tend to be more stable.
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.213,
  2. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.E.5,
  3. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.E.19,
  4. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.F.22,
  5. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.F.45,
  6. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.H.45,
  7. Barb.gr.10, Donatus Aelius, Ars Grammatica Minor: Pinakes
  8. Barb.gr.93, Homer's Odyssey (excerpts)
  9. Barb.gr.102, Manuel Moschopulus: Schedographia: Pinakes
  10. Barb.gr.176, Phrantzēs, Geōrgios, 1401-1477, Chronicon minus
  11. Barb.gr.184, Nicephorus Gregoras, 1295-1359/1360, Byzantina historia
  12. Barb.gr.192, Miscellanea de historia Byzantina
  13. Barb.gr.206, Poussines, Pierre, 1609-1686, Commentarii in Pachymerae Andronicum
  14. Barb.gr.212, Hippiatricorum corpus
  15. Barb.gr.269, Asclepius Trallianus (6th century):In Aristotelis Metaphysicorum libros
  16. Barb.gr.276, Emperor Maurice, Strategikon, and part of the Cesti of Julius Africanus; this is a section of a manuscript of which the other part is in Paris, BNF, gr. 2442
  17. Barb.lat.168, Livy's Roman history Ab Urbe Condita, from the famed Corvinius Library of Hungary, illuminated initials
  18. Barb.lat.370, Nicholas Trivet (Trevet), English writer and chronicler (c.1257 – c.1334),
    In Psalterium
  19. Barb.lat.443, incl. Francois de Meyronnes, Passus super universalia (Glorieux)
  20. Barb.lat.487, Barberini Book of Hours (use of Rouen): the reconstitution of another Rouen book of hours was a hot topic on the blogosphere this week with Lisa Fagin Davis. Read this online and savour the saving of 968 euros.
  21. Barb.lat.3942, Ariosto's Orlando Furioso
  22. Barb.lat.3984, Book of Virtues and Vices, illumination (examples below) by the Italian painter Master of the Dominican Effigies
  23. Barb.lat.4086,
  24. Barb.lat.4304,
  25. Barb.lat.4357, 1542 Venetian atlas of portolan maps which belonged to Henry VIII of England (articles by Francesco Solinas and Peter Soustal ... and they are legible!
  26. Barb.lat.5379, Confession of Pope Alexander VIII, purchaser of Queen Christina's library
  27. Barb.or.18,
  28. Barb.or.46 ,
  29. Barb.or.155, Hebrew alphabet, Arabic astronomy and astrology, in mixed manuscript
  30. Borg.cin.536,
  31. Borg.ebr.9, Isaac b. Jacob Alfasi's Code with glosses
  32. Borg.ill.12,
  33. Borgh.206,
  34. Borgh.220,
  35. Cappon.127,
  36. Cappon.163,
  37. Cappon.172,
  38. Cappon.176,
  39. Cappon.181,
  40. Cappon.186,
  41. Cappon.193,
  42. Cappon.195,
  43. Cappon.197,
  44. Cappon.200,
  45. Cappon.204,
  46. Cappon.207,
  47. Cappon.209,
  48. Cappon.210,
  49. Cappon.218,
  50. Cappon.219,
  51. Cappon.220,
  52. Cappon.221,
  53. Cappon.225,
  54. Cappon.228,
  55. Cappon.233.pt.1,
  56. Cappon.233.pt.2,
  57. Cappon.234,
  58. Cappon.235,
  59. Cappon.240,
  60. Cappon.243,
  61. Cappon.253,
  62. Cappon.255,
  63. Cappon.258,
  64. Cappon.259.pt.1,
  65. Cappon.259.pt.2,
  66. Cappon.260,
  67. Cappon.284,
  68. Cappon.287,
  69. Cappon.296,
  70. Cappon.313,
  71. Chig.A.VII.220,
  72. Chig.C.VI.163.pt.A,
  73. Chig.G.IV.113,
  74. Neofiti.3, Levi b. Gershom's Commentary on the Pentateuch
  75. Neofiti.12, Aba Mari ben Mosheh ben Yosef Astruḳ, Minḥat ḳenaʼot, about 1400
  76. Ott.gr.25, works of Nilus of Sinai
  77. Ott.gr.39, works of Theodoret
  78. Ott.gr.48.pt.1, works of Philo
  79. Ott.gr.48.pt.2, ditto
  80. Ott.gr.48.pt.3, ditto
  81. Ott.gr.59, poets, misc. works, item by Methodius
  82. Ott.gr.64, legal synopsis
  83. Ott.gr.67, theological, mainly Philocalia of Origen
  84. Ott.gr.69, speeches of Libanius
  85. Ott.gr.73, Euthymii Zigabeni Panoplia dogmatica
  86. Ott.gr.74, Theodori Heracleensis Commentarius in Psalmos
  87. Ott.gr.76, John Chrysostom
  88. Ott.gr.88, Lectionary
  89. Ott.gr.90, Dio Chrysostom, Pinakes
  90. Ott.gr.91, various authors, includes De laudibus Constantini
  91. Ott.gr.94, Clement of Alexandria
  92. Ott.gr.99, John of Cyprus, works
  93. Ott.gr.100, Explicatio quorundam Evangelii locorum ex diversis Patribus
  94. Ott.gr.107, John Chrysostom, homilies
  95. Ott.gr.109, philosophical: Pinakes
  96. Ott.gr.110, Almageste
  97. Ott.gr.111, Epitome Historiae Romanae Cassii Dionis
  98. Ott.gr.112, Tatian, Oratio Ad Graecos
  99. Ott.gr.121, In Aristotelis Metaphysica
  100. Ott.gr.124, Procopius Gazaeus, Catena In Canticum Canticorum
  101. Ott.gr.127, Oecumenius Catena in acta apostolorum; Justinian, Letters
  102. Ott.gr.128, Athanasius Alexandrinus
  103. Ott.gr.133, Catena In Lucam
  104. Ott.gr.134, ditto
  105. Ott.gr.142,
  106. Ott.gr.146,
  107. Ott.gr.153,
  108. Ott.gr.154,
  109. Ott.gr.157.pt.B,
  110. Ott.gr.158,
  111. Ott.gr.159.pt.1,
  112. Ott.gr.159.pt.2,
  113. Ott.gr.160,
  114. Ott.gr.161,
  115. Ott.gr.167,
  116. Ott.gr.170,
  117. Ott.gr.172,
  118. Ott.gr.173,
  119. Ott.gr.175,
  120. Ott.gr.176,
  121. Ott.gr.177,
  122. Ott.gr.178,
  123. Ott.gr.180,
  124. Ott.gr.182,
  125. Ott.gr.188,
  126. Ott.gr.192.pt.2,
  127. Ott.gr.195,
  128. Ott.gr.205,
  129. Ott.gr.206,
  130. Ott.gr.210,
  131. Ott.gr.211,
  132. Ott.gr.214,
  133. Ott.gr.221,
  134. Ott.gr.225,
  135. Ott.gr.228,
  136. Ott.gr.231,
  137. Ott.gr.239,
  138. Ott.gr.243,
  139. Ott.gr.250,
  140. Ott.gr.251,
  141. Ott.gr.262,
  142. Ott.gr.266,
  143. Ott.gr.267,
  144. Ott.gr.269,
  145. Ott.gr.273,
  146. Ott.gr.284,
  147. Ott.gr.286,
  148. Ott.gr.288,
  149. Ott.gr.289,
  150. Ott.gr.292,
  151. Ott.gr.295,
  152. Ott.gr.299,
  153. Ott.gr.300,
  154. Ott.gr.308,
  155. Ott.gr.315,
  156. Ott.gr.325,
  157. Ott.gr.361,
  158. Ott.gr.471,
  159. Ott.lat.479,
  160. Reg.lat.87.pt.1,
  161. Reg.lat.267, uncial, probably from Fleury, includes work by Fulgentius (fl. late 5th century), Lowe CLA 1 104
  162. Reg.lat.615, Heriger's Vita Sancti Remacli, probably copied under Heriger's direction, with word spacing and punctuation discussed by Paul Saenger in his book on silent reading
  163. Reg.lat.960, Philip of France ...
  164. Reg.lat.1283.pt.C, Fragmenta Sallustiana
  165. Reg.lat.1858, Roman de la Rose
  166. Ross.358, Hebrew: Two works by Jedaiah b. Abraham Bedersi
  167. Ross.438, Hebrew: Maḥzor for the entire year, Roman rite
  168. Ross.499, Hebrew prayers through year including fast days, Yom Kippur, etc.
  169. Ross.532, Hebrew, work by Abraham Conat
  170. Ross.533, David Kimhi, commentary on former and latter prophets
  171. Ross.534, Mosheh ben Yaʿaḳov, Sefer mitsṿot gadol, about 1400
  172. Ross.1167, scrapbook of illuminations cut from (music) manuscripts
  173. Urb.lat.666, a fine Renaissance manuscript of the works of the late antique poet Prudentius, dated 1481 according to the catalog
  174. Vat.ebr.7, fol.105r begins Leviticus. All Hebrew. Impressive size, clear to read, notes @TuomasLevanen on Twitter
  175. Vat.ebr.117,
  176. Vat.ebr.121#Aramaic, part of the Babylonian Talmud (hat tip to @TuomasLevanen on Twitter)
  177. Vat.ebr.614,
  178. Vat.estr.or.58,
  179. Vat.gr.681,
  180. Vat.gr.1927, notable 12th-century Greek psalter with illuminations to most of the canticles
  181. Vat.gr.2026,
  182. Vat.lat.18, Vulgate Bible
  183. Vat.lat.22, Vulgate Bible, Bolognese?
  184. Vat.lat.25, Vulgate Bible
  185. Vat.lat.26, Vulgate Bible, fine initials
  186. Vat.lat.27, Vulgate Bible, 13th century, some initials
  187. Vat.lat.33, Vulgate Bible, 13th-14th century, some initials
  188. Vat.lat.35, Vulgate Bible, 14th century
  189. Vat.lat.38, New Testament, 13th century
  190. Vat.lat.44, Gospels, 12th century, with elegant version of canon tables
  191. Vat.lat.52, study edition of Genesis, 13th century, with both marginal and interlinear glosses
  192. Vat.lat.53, ditto
  193. Vat.lat.61, study edition of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, with glosses
  194. Vat.lat.67, study edition of Joshua, Judges, Ruth etc. with glosses
  195. Vat.lat.69, study edition of Kings, with glosses
  196. Vat.lat.77, study edition of Job and Isaiah with glosses, 14th century
  197. Vat.lat.86, Psalterium Galllicanum cum glossa ordinaria Walafridi Strabi et Anselmi Laudunensis glossa interlineari, 12th century 
  198. Vat.lat.87, study edition of Psalms, glossed, 12th century
  199. Vat.lat.99, study edition of Ecclesiasticus and parts of New Testament
  200. Vat.lat.100, ditto, Proverbs etc.
  201. Vat.lat.103, study edition of Isaiah, 12th century
  202. Vat.lat.105, study edition of Isaiah, 13th century
  203. Vat.lat.132, Gospel of Luke, study glosses
  204. Vat.lat.3970.pt.2, more of the catalogue by Cardinal Sirleto (1514-85) following a part digitized in February
To finish, here are Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and Noah's Ark from Barb.lat.3984:

As always, if you can contribute or correct information, please use the comment box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for more news on digitizations. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 20.]


Pirates, How to Deal With

A celebrated account of how Julius Caesar was held ransom by pirates has at least two endings. That by Livy maintains Caesar paid the ransom, then went back, seized the pirates and crucified them. The version by Polyaenus has it that Caesar, after borrowing a ransom from Miletus, organized a feast for the pirates:
In high spirits at the large sum they had received, they gave loose to their appetite, and drank freely of the drugged wine, which presently sent them to sleep.  In that state Caesar ordered them to be slain, and he immediately repaid the money to the Milesians.   (Book 8  Chapters 1-25: Romans)
Neither method was employed with the recent wave of piracy on the Somali coast. I leave it to readers to debate how best to deal with pirates. Polyaenus has a series of more than 800 recipes for dealing with all sorts of human pests.

Among the digitizations July 9 at Digita Vaticana is a Greek manuscript of these Strategemata, Barb. gr. 263. For the current state of thinking about Polyaenus, consult a review of recent conference papers on the book, where it is asserted that the most authoritative title of Polyaenus’ work is Strategika, not Stratagemata.  There is an English translation at Attalus.org.

This week saw 15 new items uploaded, bringing the total to 2,336. Here is a diagram on optics in Greek from Barb.gr.114

  1. Barb.gr.42, Proclus Atheniensis, 410-c. 485, In Platonis Cratylum
  2. Barb.gr.114, Damianus (4th century), Optica, in which sight is said to be an emanation from the eyes. See the Dictionary of Scientific Biography for more about this little work.
  3. Barb.gr.115, Plutarch, c.50-127, Quomodo adolescens poetas audire debeat, arguing that poetry is deceptive and particularly dangerous to young people
  4. Barb.gr.116, work by Psellus, Michael, 1018-1078
  5. Barb.gr.136, Aristotle: Physica
  6. Barb.gr.263, Polyaenus: Strategemata
  7. Barb.gr.270, collection of works of Plato: Platonis et Pseudo-Platonis opera nonnulla cum lectionibus variis atque indice
  8. Barb.or.44, Latin-Hebrew dictionary, 17th century
  9. Barb.or.53, a list of Hebrew books that were banned in church domains: Renato da Modena, O.F.M.Cap., m. 1628 [ספר זיקוק], Index expurgatorius. Index vanitatum multarum expurgandarum a libris Hebraeorum praecipue in tribus glosis nempe Chaldaica, Hierosolimitana ac Babilonica, nec non in omnibus commentariis Rabbinorum Collectus
  10. Borg.ebr.1, Yosippon with introduction by Judah Leon Mosconi
  11. Neofiti.2, Ibn ʿEzra, Avraham ben Meʾir, 1089-1164 [פירוש התורה לראב"ע], Abraham b. Meir ibn Ezra's commentary on the Torah; by one of the most celebrated medieval Jewish scholars of all; Wikipedia; this copy was made at Cataluyud in Spain in 1473 with some beautifully ornamented incipits and pericopes in filigrees of violet and red ink. One from 156r is shown below
  12. Ross.360, Maḥzor (Sephardic rite), with additional piyyutim and hoshanot and index of the piyyutim
  13. Ross.437, Maḥzor made at Lucca, Italy in 1448, for the entire year (Roman rite), including a list of twenty-two fast days, additional piyyutim, prayers, halakhic and other treatises with the index of the seliḥot; certain rubbings out (and perhaps the snips?) are by a censor. At the bottom of 411v you can read the censor's inscription: "Corretto p[er] me Gio[vanni] Dom[en]ico da Lodi neofito di comissione del fr. Ang[elu]s Capillus."
  14. Ross.925, Abravanel, Yitsḥaḳ ben Yehudah, 1437-1508 [פירוש ס' שמות לר"י אברבנאל]. Commentary on the Book of Exodus
  15. Vat.lat.12993, Richard Rufus of Cornwall: Scriptum super Metaphysicam

For descriptions of the Hebrew manuscripts, I am in indebted as always to Malachi Beit-Arié (2008). Mark any corrections in the comment boxes below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for more news. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 19.]


Strange Beasts

The caladrius was an all-white bird, which, when placed on the bed of a sick person, supposedly foretold if they would live or die. If the person were not going to recover, the caladrius looked away from them, but if they were to live, the bird looked directly into their face and drew the sickness into itself.

Medieval bestiaries, of which the digitized Aberdeen Bestiary is a fine example from the 12th century, were based on the Physiologus, an anonymous Greek-language book dating back to perhaps the 2nd century. On June 30, the BAV in Rome digitized and published online a 17th-century Greek manuscript of it, Ott.gr.354. Here is its caladrius giving a bearded man his doom on folio 64r:

All of the images in the Ottoboniani Physiologus are of great interest. Here is one of the sirens, from folio 45r:

This early Christian compendium contains 48 stories about the nature of real and mythical animals, plants and stones. In its mixture of fact and fiction, it is no more reproachable than the infotainment and "science documentaries" with half-truths, portentous voices and dramatic music which air on daytime television.

A Physiologus for TV with similar self-important commentary would be a great satire. Imagine the stock film clips which could be dug up for the elephant (folio 13r), of which we are told it cannot bend its legs, rarely has the desire to mate and practices water birth.

The Physiologus was once as well known as any TV series is today. It was translated into Latin and had enormous influence in the medieval world. Translations and adaptations from the Latin introduced the Physiologus into most languages of western Europe. Its magnificently bogus science shows up in most European literatures including the works of Shakespeare.

Below is the full list of 44 digitizations on June 30. For the Ottoboniani group, you can consult Pinakes or the old printed catalog at Archive.org for more details.
  1. Barb.gr.105, Aesop's Fables, 6th century, Pinakes
  2. Barb.gr.109, Epitome logica, Pinakes
  3. Barb.gr.113, Manuel Chrysoloras, Pinakes
  4. Ott.gr.174, Narrationes monachorum,
  5. Ott.gr.219, Gregorius, etc: homiliae, apologia, etc., 
  6. Ott.gr.223, Athanasius: vita, epistulae, etc. 
  7. Ott.gr.242, Michaelis Glycae Capita Theologica ad varios directa, praemisso indice, 
  8. Ott.gr.268, Miscellanea praesertim Patrum Graecorum incl. Gregorii Nazianzeni, 
  9. Ott.gr.279, Alexandri Aphrodisiensis In Aristotelis Meteorologica, 
  10. Ott.gr.281, Miscellanea homiletica, incl. Gregorii Nysseni, 
  11. Ott.gr.282, Ioanis Tzetzi, 
  12. Ott.gr.283, Andreae Caesariensis Commentarius in Apocalypsin, 
  13. Ott.gr.296, Speculum beatitudinis humanae of 1581, 
  14. Ott.gr.302, Porphyrii In Aristotelis Categorias Commentarium, 
  15. Ott.gr.305, Miscellanea praesertim Patrum Graecorum, incl. Eusebii Pamphili in Cantica Canticorum, 
  16. Ott.gr.320, Anatomia hominis, a.k.a. De partibus hominis, anon., 
  17. Ott.gr.327, Pindari Odae / Carmina, 
  18. Ott.gr.329, Arrianus super Epictetum, 
  19. Ott.gr.331, Theodori Gazae Grammatica
  20. Ott.gr.332, Platonis operae, plus Basilius Caesarensis, ad juvenes, 
  21. Ott.gr.333, Miscellanea praesertim Patrum Graecorum, incl. Gregrorii Nysseni, etc, 
  22. Ott.gr.334, Theoremata in Odyssaeam Homeri (on Homer), 
  23. Ott.gr.337, Opuscula varia diversorum, 
  24. Ott.gr.339, Miscellanea, 
  25. Ott.gr.341, Isidori Pelusiotae, letters, 
  26. Ott.gr.342, Homeri Ilias,  
  27. Ott.gr.345, Maximi Planudi, notationes variae, 
  28. Ott.gr.346, Miscellanea poetarum scaenicorum Graecorum, incl. Aristophanes, 
  29. Ott.gr.347, Theodori Gazae introductionis grammaticae libri quattuor, 
  30. Ott.gr.348, Ignatii et Polycarpi epistolae, 
  31. Ott.gr.349, Didymi Alexandrini De Trinitate, 
  32. Ott.gr.350, Niconis canones et decreta et constitutiones ad monachos spectantes 22, incl. Basilii canones poenitentiales, 
  33. Ott.gr.351, Euripidis opera, 
  34. Ott.gr.353, Gemini introductio in meteora, 
  35. Ott.gr.354, the Physiologus, an Alexandrian work of Christian allegory attributed to Epiphanius; this is one of the H manuscripts in Sbordone's edition. I haven't yet recognized the unicorn in this manuscript. (Who can help me?)
  36. Ott.gr.355, Miscellanea, incl. Aristophanes, 
  37. Ott.gr.357, Expositio in III librum Regnorum et in loca quaedam biblica, incl. catena, 
  38. Ott.gr.358, Miscellanea praesertim hagiographica, incl. Vita d. Theodori Studitae, 
  39. Ott.gr.364, Polyaeni militaria, 
  40. Ott.gr.368, Basilius in Isaiam, 
  41. Ott.gr.369, Isaaci Tzetzae opera (poetry), 
  42. Ott.gr.383, Isidori epistularum, 
  43. Ott.gr.386, Aristotelis Analytica priora, 
  44. Vat.ebr.16, a Targum Onkelos of the early 14th century, the translation of the Bible to Babylonian Aramaic (many thanks to Tuomas Levänen for pointing this out). This manuscript was used for variants in A. Berliner's edition of Targum Onkelos (Berlin 1884).
Below is a second rush of material digitized and placed online on July 1, which I will not blog about separately. The posted total on the Digita Vatica portal now stands at 2,321 items.
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.H.57,
  2. Barb.gr.443,
  3. Barb.gr.449, four gospels, 12th century, probably Cypriot, includes the dog and rooster at 5r (below) (Pinakes)
  4. Barb.gr.475, New Testament?
  5. Barb.lat.366, Jacobus de Cessolis (hat tip to Tuomas Levänen for pointing this out): The Book of Chess (Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium ac popularium super ludo scacchorum) was a Renaissance best-seller with its discussion of chess moves combined with moral commentary. A thesis by Alexander Bataller (big PDF) lists the main manuscripts at page 100 ff. This BAV manuscript in Latin (where some Philistine has sliced out all the miniatures) seems to date from 1418. There's also a translation to Italian online (Cappon.52) (see the earlier release). Wikipedia notes: The work was the basis for William Caxton's The Game and Playe of the Chesse (1474), one of the first books printed in English. Check Google Books for an 1879 German edition. Link here to a blogger on Spanish versions.
  6. Barb.lat.663, includes material on Four Articles of Prague, relevant to current commemorations of Jan Hus and Bohemian wars 600 years ago
  7. Borgh.219,14th-century Collationes sanctorales
  8. Cappon.80, Italian poetry (catalog)
  9. Cappon.144, on papal elections (catalog)
  10. Cappon.160,
  11. Cappon.217,
  12. Cappon.244,
  13. Cappon.248, burchiello poems (see catalog for numbered list)

If you can correct any of these entries, tell me via the comments box below. This is not an official or expert list and I simply copy what I can find online about these manuscripts. I do so as a public service. The best way to thank me is to follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin), where I will keep providing news of manuscript digitizations. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 18.]