Poggio Portrait

The great Poggio Bracciolini (1380-1459) is famed for rediscovering a large number of classical Latin manuscripts that were decaying in German, Swiss, and French monastic libraries. The latest bunch of uploads at Digita Vaticana, on October 21, 2015, includes a manuscript, Urb.lat.224, made in his lifetime (but not by his pen) of his literary work De varietate fortunae (1447).

This is a first-hand survey of the ruins of Rome which Poggio had plenty of time to write as the chief papal scribe (alas he  made no drawings or maps). This codex, apparently made about 1450, begins with an image of Poggio in his sixties, which is probably from a portrait from life. Poggio had waited until age 56 to marry, wedding a girl not yet 18, Selvaggia dei Buondelmonti. He was not handsome, but he was one of the great intellectuals of his day in Florence.

His most celebrated find (described in Stephen Greenblatt's much over-rated best-seller The Swerve) was De rerum natura, the only surviving work by Lucretius.

Between 1414 and 1418 Poggio also dug up (and probably stole) in Fulda, Germany the De re rustica of Columella, an ancient handbook of farming written in the first century CE: a manuscript of De re rusticaUrb.lat.260, featured on this blog a few weeks ago. Columella's work had only been known of indirectly at that point through the Ruralia commoda, the most celebrated medieval handbook of farming. The latter book had been completed some time between 1304 and 1309 by Pietro de' Crescenzi, who could only find fragments of the ancient work. I mention this, because a manuscript of the Ruralia, dated 1424, Urb.lat.266, is in the current batch of uploads below.

Also in the new batch is a book by Poggio's Florentine mentor, Coluccio Salutati (1331-1406), De fato, fortuna et casu (written 1396-1399), here in a presentation edition that is almost certainly posthumous. Coluccio is one of my great heroes, since he purchased and preserved the only accurate copy, Plut. 20.54, of the sole large abstract diagram known from antiquity, the Great Stemma.

The full list of uploads follows:
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.184, Gospels with a fine illumination of Matthew (below)
  2. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.201, Nicholas of Lyra, Postillae
  3. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.E.12, liturgical calendar
  4. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.E.21, De excidio urbis Hierosolymitanae (On the ruin of the city of Jerusalem) by Pseudo-Hegesippus (see the Roger Pearse summary on Pseudo-Hegesippus with rough translation)
  5. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.F.11.pt.B, the blackened flyleaf of liturgical codex Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.F.11 which contains music and prayers for votive and other masses
  6. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.I.6, 1781 catalogue
  7. Barb.lat.1396, a consilium of Baldus de Ubaldis
  8. Barb.lat.1808, collection of orations
  9. Borgh.286, Geoffrey of Trani, 1245? Summa super rubricis decretalium
  10. Borgh.295, Peter Lombard, Sententiae
  11. Borgh.296, theological and philosophical miscellany
  12. Borgh.336, Iacobus de Voragine, c.1229-1298, Sermones de sanctis, 16th century
  13. Borgh.378, 18th-century catalog of Borghesiani Library, Pars altera.
  14. Cappon.44, estates list? 1648
  15. Cappon.72,  notes from Avicenna
  16. Cappon.76, Italian translation of Quinto Curcio Rufo
  17. Cappon.237.pt.A, collection of 16th and 17th-century drawings and watercolours, including this sketch from 25v
  18. Chig.L.VI.212, Dante, Divine Comedy
  19. Ott.lat.2863, Dante, Divine Comedy
  20. Urb.lat.41, Ambrose of Milan, various, 15th century
  21. Urb.lat.82, Augustine, Prosperus, Vigilius, 15th century
  22. Urb.lat.86, Aymon of Halberstadt on Pauline Epistles, 15th century
  23. Urb.lat.124, Alexander of Ales, OFM, 15th century
  24. Urb.lat.128, Thomas Aquinas, 15th century
  25. Urb.lat.131, Thomas Aquinas, 15th century, copy owned by Pius VI
  26. Urb.lat.135, Thomas Aquinas, 15th century
  27. Urb.lat.138, Thomas Aquinas, dated 1474
  28. Urb.lat.141, Bonaventure, 15th century (Urb. lat. Catalog on Archive.org)
  29. Urb.lat.145, Antoninius of Florence, Summa, 15th century, copy owned by Alexander VII
  30. Urb.lat.153, Pelagius, dated 1482
  31. Urb.lat.201, Coluccio Salutati, De Fato, Fortuna et Casu, 15th century
  32. Urb.lat.216, Aristotle, Metaphysics, with commentary by Thomas Aquinas, 14th-15th century
  33. Urb.lat.217, ditto, 15th century
  34. Urb.lat.224, De varietate fortunae (1447) by Poggio Bracciolini (image above), a detailed first-hand survey of Rome's ruins, which was an exhibit in Rome Reborn. Also various orations by Poggio. See the detailed listing of the codex's contents at Saint Louis, plus the Latin Catalog on Archive.org. Apparently made about 1450.
  35. Urb.lat.235, Galenius and Thomas Aquinas, 16th century
  36. Urb.lat.255, technical handbook on brakes for horse-drawn vehicles, 17th century:
  37. Urb.lat.266, Pietro de' Crescenzi, a key medieval handbook on agriculture, Ruralia commoda, this copy dated 1424 lacks illuminations
  38. Vat.gr.2421, 1647, on paper, no entry yet in Pinakes
  39. Vat.lat.257, Ephrem the Syrian, 15th century
  40. Vat.lat.338, Venerable Bede on Esdras, Nehemiah, Tobit, 15th century
  41. Vat.lat.10678, Dante Divine Comedy with copious additions on margins of first 15 folios

Here is the evangelist Matthew at work from Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.184
This raises the posted number of manuscripts to 2,926, an increase of 41. As I noted recently, the presence of some digitized manuscripts is not declared in the Digita Vaticana index of postings, so the true total of digitizations is actually somewhat higher.

Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for more news. Post comments or correction in the box below this blog post.  [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 28.]


Imaginary Jerusalem

Elements of the medieval world were far geekier than even today's Lord of the Rings cosplayers, Twilight pilgrims or Star Wars obsessives. The imaginary Jerusalem of Nicholas of Lyra, with its maps and building plans of places that never existed, made the writer's commentary on Ezekiel immensely popular in its day.

A fine 15th-century manuscript of Nicholas's Postillae has just come online at Digita Vaticana and you can feast your eyes on all these drawings. The codex is Urb.lat.15 and among its elaborate drawings is the sanctuary with east and west entrances and the altare holocaust site in the temple at folio 201v:
There's a fine Renaissance palace imagined in Jerusalem at folio 198r
Look through the book and you will find all sorts of oddities. Here's Antiochus II, given the epithet Theos, and his successive wives Laodice and Berenice in a not entirely reliable family tree at folio 259r. Observe how this top-down stemma has got little roots growing at the bottom. Very odd.
The origins of the diagrams are discussed in a 2012 paper by Lesley Smith.

Also new online in the batch of just two items uploaded October 12, 2015 is Borg.copt.65.

As always, if you can add notes, use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for more news. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 27.]


Rome and Qing Fuse in a 1704 Diagram

Just after 1700 CE, Chinese experts accepted an extraordinary commission: to devise a poster-sized infographic to depict the ancestry of Jesus Christ. Their help had been sought by Carlo Orazio da Castorano (1673-1755), a Franciscan missionary in Shandong, a city 400 kilometres south of Beijing.

The only known copy of the poster that the unknown Shandong designer/engraver and printer (perhaps assisted by an editor) produced is now in the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome.

This fusion of Latin late antique ideas and creative Qing-period design has a special place in world cognitive history. The poster is about 125 centimetres high. Several weeks ago, the Digita Vaticana, the digitization programme at the BAV in Rome, brought Vat.estr.or.55 online, as I noted at the time.

The poster published in 1704 shows a dual genealogy of Jesus, beginning as a single stream at Adam at top, dividing at David into the line of Nathan at left and the line of Solomon at right. The left loops comprise a genealogy according to the Gospel of Luke, and the right loops that in the Gospel of Matthew. The overall shape ends up looking something like a guitar. Jesus occupies the gap at the base. Here is a schematic summary of it. The white arrows show the direction of descent:
What the diagram achieves in cognitive terms is this: It visualizes the genealogy of Jesus as a combination of flow-chart and network. What began as mythic stories and oral history among Jews is here translated from the linguistic sphere of knowledge into the visual-spatial sphere, where the reader is invited to comprehend it with a different cognitive system of the mind. In addition, the chart re-imagines all this in a Chinese cultural mode.

Orazio, whose Italian surname is also spelled as Orazi and whose Chinese name was 康和子 (Kāng Hézi), was just 31 and had barely been four years in China when the Qing artists or craftsmen accepted his briefing to make this extraordinary graphic. (I rely on Michela Catto's account of him in the Dictionary of Italian National Biography, and also notes by Michael Mungello.)

Although only Kāng Hézi and none of the other creative contributors is named on the poster, a modicum of post-colonial common sense suggests that while the basic idea was the young Orazio's, the execution, probably by directly engraving a metal plate, required much Chinese artistic and technical talent. Where Orazio would have requested European-style roundels and connectors like this ...
... the designer/engraver must  have persuaded him to instead accept cells, oval in shape, fitted together in a broad band:

The cells make eminent sense in a Chinese context. Their shape makes them recognizable as analogues of ancestral tablets. Their organization into paths might have seemed a little strange to a Chinese readership. The paths make the chart akin to a map. The diagram is termed a "tú" (圖) or chart, with the full title Wúzhǔ Yēsū jí tiānxià wànmín lìdài zōngpài tú (吾主耶穌及天下萬民歷代宗派圖) (Dudink).

The advantage for Orazio and his partners in setting the cells flush was that this ensured enough space for the names to be legible, while not making the poster any bigger than the largest commercially available paper sheets for printing in China. The compression of the main lines of ancestry into such a circuitous shape assists the illusion of equality between the lines of Luke (left) and Matthew (right). These aspects too may have been the engraver/designer's own idea, not Orazio's. Considerable effort has also been applied to softening the lines by composing them of tiny brushwork and by feathering all the line ends.

It is interesting to compare this diagram with an ancestral scroll of uncertain date collected in Shandong only 200 years after the Orazio diagram was made (quoted by Cohen from Johnston). This visualizes family as tablets arranged in a top-down stemmatic fashion, suggesting the Orazio diagram would have been readily cognizable for a northern Chinese audience as a genealogy:

Both China and the West had long histories of experiments with visualizing abstract information of hierarchical form for genealogy. A type of stemmatic chart known as a sū shì zōng tú pǔ (蘇氏宗圖譜) was invented in the Northern Song (960-1279) state while another style known as a bǎo tǎ shì tú pǔ (寶塔式圖譜) was popular in the Southern Song state (Chao).

Europe's experiments with similar graphic layouts go back somewhat further. My own research has established the date of the oldest extant graphic genealogy as before 427 CE. Like the Tú, the Great Stemma also sets out a genealogy of Christ. You see a reconstruction of it on my website along with a link to the main publication about it.

The Orazio chart is likely to have been the first occasion when these separate traditions fused into a single creative work at the highest level of expertise.

Orazio may or may not have learned during his Franciscan formation in Teramo, Italy of the late antique Great Stemma. The Franciscans were a conservative order theologically, less intellectually adventurous than the Jesuits, but with a long-standing interest in graphics as a means to evangelize, so Orazio may well have remembered and kept an abiding impression in his mind of old posters and charts, even one based on work from 1,300 years earlier.

The central idea around which the Great Stemma is based is to show the Luke and Matthew genealogies as streams separating after David and then rejoining at Jesus, as follows:
The idea of presenting the two genealogies as streams or fila that part and then reunite at Christ is something so distinct, so inspired, and even so idiosyncratic that it is hard to avoid the impression that there is some kind of hidden chain of influence leading from the Great Stemma to the Tú.

I have no knowledge of Chinese, so with the help of an excellent student of medicine and Chinese, Lennard Piggin, I transliterated the confluence section of the chart to pinyin so I could read it. I have not entered all the tone marks, as they are difficult to type, but you will get the idea:

This yielded something else that surprised me. The majority Catholic view of the two gospels holds that both Matthew and Luke set out an ancestry of Joseph (phoneticized Yuèsè in Chinese).

But here, both genealogies terminate at Yēsū (Jesus) and the name to the left of Jesus is Malíyá (Maria) and to the left of that is Yueyàjing (Joachim). Neither of the latter names is given in Luke 3:23.

The insertion of both names as a bridge can be traced back to an apocryphal second-century work, the Protevangelion of James. Along with the two gospels, the Protevangelion is the hidden, third documentary source on which the chart ultimately relies for its information. To find out more about the apocryphal figure of Joachim, read my Joachim article.

In this case too, the similarity of conception leading from the Great Stemma to the Tú is startling. The anonymous Great Stemma's main motivation appears to have been to propound the Joachimite theory. It was modified in later use to bring the chart into line with the orthodox Christian position.

But in the Tú, the Joachimite theory is revived. Dudink argues that there is an intermediate influence at work here:  the writings of the forger Gianni Nanni (1432-1502), better known as Annius of Viterbo. Orazio altered the Lucan names "Eli" and "Joseph", changing them to "Joachim" and "Maria" respectively, relying on a bogus claim by Annius to have "discovered" an ancient error in Luke.

There is a third similarity between the Great Stemma and the Tú. In the text section of the Tú, Orazio set out an age-of-the-world chronology drawn from the Chronological Canons of Eusebius of Caesarea, and thus from the Septuagint and Vetus Latina version of the Old Testament, not from the Masoretic and Vulgate version which was authoritative for Catholics in 1704.

The Great Stemma is similarly based on a Vetus Latina chronology. There is however a key difference between it and the Tú: the Great Stemma omits a patriarch known as the Second Cainan or Kenan, whereas the Tú includes Cainan II (嘉宜南). You can find a full list of the names used in the Great Stemma on my Luke page. The names in the Tú have been published in full by Dudink.

The three resemblances are very striking, but I think on reflection that it is unlikely that Orazio ever actually saw the Great Stemma, let alone consciously reproduced it in a Chinese version.

What Orazio took to China is more likely to have been an undefined mental "picture" of the Jesus genealogy picked up during his formation with the help of some kind of visual teaching materials.

He must have explained to his partners in Shandong what he had seen in Italy and how he envisaged recreating this in China. During their collaboration, almost everything for the chart had to be created again from scratch. Not even a phoneticization of the biblical names into Mandarin forms existed yet. All the conversions had to be devised by Orazio and his Chinese scholarly partners. In many cases they are unique, and were not adopted by later translations of the Christian Bible to Chinese.

The chart, when finally published was therefore a vast and complex creative effort mingling advanced epistemological and communications ideas from east and west. I have very little knowledge of stemmatic graphics in China and will leave it to others to draw conclusions about that, but this story of fusion does reveal something interesting about the western side of the interaction.

There is only one copy of the Great Stemma in unadulterated form left in Italy, Florence plut. 20.54. Two others seem to have existed, but have vanished. I do not know of any post-Renaissance graphics directly based on the Great Stemma. It does however seem that despite the paucity of graphic evidence, elements of the tradition of the Great Stemma remained alive among the 17th-century Franciscan teachers who formed Orazio in the Papal States.

The idea of teaching the ancestry of Jesus by visualizing it rather than just talking about it does seem to have persisted, even though the tradition of copying the Great Stemma had by then ceased and most of the extant copies of this late antique masterwork had vanished. That China, not the West, put to paper the last trace of the tradition is one of the more remarkable paradoxes of history.

Cams, Mario. ‘Not Just a Jesuit Atlas of China: Qing Imperial Cartography and Its European Connections’. Imago Mundi 69, no. 2 (3 July 2017): 188–201. https://doi.org/10.1080/03085694.2017.1312114.
Chao, Sheau-yueh J. “Researching Your Asian Roots for Chinese-Americans.” Journal of East Asian Libraries 129, no. 1 (2003): 23–40.

Cohen, Myron L. “Lineage Organization in North China.” The Journal of Asian Studies 49, no. 03 (1990): 509–34.

Dudink, Ad. “Biblical Chronology and the Transmission of the Theory of Six ‘World Ages’ to China: Gezhi aolüe...(Outline of the Mystery [revealed Through] Natural Science; before 1723).” East Asian Science, Technology & Medicine 35 (2012): 89–138 (Online: paywall).

Johnston, Reginald F. Lion and Dragon in Northern China. New York: Dutton, 1910. Archive.org.


Vanity Shelfmark

The pope's personal vehicle has the number plate SCV 1 (the letters stand for Status Civitatis Vaticanae). It's one of the world's grandest vanity plates. By analogy, the "first" book in the Vatican Library, Vat.lat.1, ought to be a very special book. It belongs to the Vatican's own collection (not the ones which the pope purchased or captured in war or otherwise took over). It's in the Vatican's own  language (not Greek or Hebrew). And the Vat.lat series is for manuscript codices, not printed books.

Vat.lat.1 arrived online in digital form on October 2. Red leather binding, somewhat scuffed, and on the spine just about the poshest of all labels a library book could ever carry. These labels were printed postage-stamp style and torn off a sheet, so this label may even carry a bit of nineteenth-century DNA in the form of a holy lick on its back:

It's a Vulgate Bible, gloriously illuminated in some year between 1426 and 1475. Reader @TuomasLevanen points out this fine initial in Chronicles folio) showing teacher and student:

It would be nice to suppose this was the first book purchased from a bookseller when Pope Nicholas V set up a public library at the Vatican in 1451.

But that is not so. The early papal librarians sought order in the chaos by shelving like with like, and then attaching numbers serially to the codices, since they lacked anything sensible like the Dewey Decimal System which I assiduously learned in my youth. The bibles came first, so many of the books in the range 1-100 are study bibles.

This was not the personal bible used by popes, as far as I know. Nor is it the authoritative text of the bible, like the one-metre bar kept in Paris as the source of all measurement on the planet. The approved text of Jerome of Stridon's Latin, the Nova Vulgata (online), is a composite compiled from many far older manuscripts than this one.

But if you ever get elected pope and decide to read all the books in your library starting from number one, this is the volume to begin with. You'll need to be patient. As far as I know, there are more than 15,000 codices in the Vat.lat series alone.


Manuscripts Go Missing

Manuscripts have been going missing at the Digita Vaticana, the digitized manuscripts portal at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome. It's all very mysterious.

Look at the index pages and there is no sign, for example, of this glorious gold-leaf codex, a Catenae of the Psalms, shelfmark Vat.gr.752.pt.1, more details at Pinakes. Here is an illumination from folio 22r of a horseman:

It was previously listed on the Vat.gr page, but it has now vanished. It is not listed on the rollcall of the Polonsky Foundation Digitizations Project either. But if you are very ingenious, you can still hand-compose the correct URL, http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.gr.752.pt.1, and see the codex.

What this means is that there are now phantom manuscripts at Digita Vaticana that are neither indexed nor counted in the site total. Digita Vaticana had an index page as of October 4, 2015 that announced a total of 2,883 manuscripts were online. That was a rise of 139 from the previous release, but since the index had unaccountably delisted eight manuscripts on the same day, the true scale of new releases turned out to be 147 items.

I don't know how many phantoms are hiding in there, but I was able to trace six of the ghosts using comparison software:
Can you find any more?

.@DigitaVaticana Some of your manuscripts are missing incl. this gold horseman. Full story http://t.co/wpDyhajHAW pic.twitter.com/WdJMPdKSl8
— Jean-Baptiste Piggin(@JBPiggin) October 5, 2015

Digita Vaticana duly responded:


French Picture Bible

One of the greatest graphic-arts innovations of medieval Europe is the Bible Moralisée, a thirteenth-century reconception of the Christian Bible as thousands of short "comic strips" that each compare one topic from the Old and the New Testament with an explanation in ordinary French.

The Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome possesses just one Bible Moralisée (BM), which was made in Paris in about 1410 and is a later evolution of this work with just 76 images (vastly fewer than the 5,112 of the greatest of them all, BNF fr. 167). The appearance online of the Vatican BM, Reg.lat.25, on October 2, 2015 is major news. It has many fine illuminations including this scene of  David in a running stream listening to the word of God:

A BM is not to be confused with a Biblia Pauperum (which I discussed a couple of years ago on this blog), nor is it the same as an Angevin Legendary (BAV released one online this year), although both those latter types are also bibles in pictures. The great expert on BMs, John Lowden, published an article in 2005 that explores the place of Reg.lat.25 in the BM tradition: "The Bible Moralisée in the Fifteenth Century and the Challenge of the Bible Historiale," Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 68 (2005) pp. 73-136 (click the link or go to Jstor to read it).

There were 147 new releases on October 2. Here is the full list:
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.179,
  2. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.188,
  3. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.191,
  4. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.195,
  5. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.196,
  6. Barb.lat.4030,
  7. Barb.lat.4037,
  8. Barb.lat.4092,
  9. Barb.lat.4113,
  10. Barb.lat.5695 ,
  11. Borg.copt.109.cass.VII.fasc.23,
  12. Borg.copt.109.cass.VII.fasc.65.2,
  13. Borg.copt.109.cass.VIII.fasc.26,
  14. Borg.copt.109.cass.VIII.fasc.27,
  15. Borg.copt.109.cass.VIII.fasc.28,
  16. Borg.copt.109.cass.X.fasc.31,
  17. Borg.copt.109.cass.X.fasc.32,
  18. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.33,
  19. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.34,
  20. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.36,
  21. Borg.copt.109.cass.XI.fasc.37, Gospel of Matthew, chapters 10-12 (thanks @TuomasLevanen)
  22. Borg.lat.384, Antonio Pucci, various works
  23. Borgh.236, Aristotle, Metaphysics and Physics
  24. Borgh.248, Rottfried: civil law, canon law
  25. Borgh.321, Bonaventure
  26. Borgh.347, Henry of Ghent, Quaestiones
  27. Cappon.86,
  28. Cappon.106,
  29. Cappon.194,
  30. Cappon.252.pt.A,
  31. Cappon.252.pt.C,
  32. Cappon.288,
  33. Cappon.309,
  34. Chig.G.VIII.222,
  35. Chig.L.VIII.294,
  36. Ferr.698,
  37. Ott.gr.472,
  38. Ott.lat.2229,
  39. Ott.lat.2373,
  40. Ott.lat.2865, Dante, Divine Comedy
  41. Patetta.1769,
  42. Reg.lat.25, 15th-century Bible Moralisée, a French-language commentary on the bible (discussed above)
  43. Reg.lat.352, a collection of miscellaneous orations, notes on historical antiquities of Rome and medical prescriptions
  44. Reg.lat.1945, Livy, Ab Urbe Condita
  45. Ross.487, Dante, with this fine opening illumination:
  46. Ross.711, many fine pageantry/heraldry images in the German-language Stamm- und Turnierbuch aus der Kraichgauer Ritterschaft um 1615:
    This is Heinrich of Saxony:
  47. Sbath.723,
  48. Urb.lat.3, Four Gospels, 10th century (catalog)
  49. Urb.lat.9, Psalter (Vulgate)
  50. Urb.lat.12, Job, Catholic Epistles, etc, glossed by Walafried Strabo and Anselm of Laon
  51. Urb.lat.23, Thomas Aquinas, On Job
  52. Urb.lat.25, Thomas Aquinas, On Isaiah and On Matthew
  53. Urb.lat.28, Thomas Aquinas, On Luke
  54. Urb.lat.30, Origen of Alexandria, various in Rufinus's Latin
  55. Urb.lat.32, John Chrysostom, some Basil the Great (catalog)
  56. Urb.lat.36, John Chrysostom, Damasus
  57. Urb.lat.37, Hilary of Poitiers
  58. Urb.lat.38, ditto
  59. Urb.lat.40, Ambrose of Milan, letters, other works
  60. Urb.lat.49, Martyrdom of Jerome and of Adonis (catalog)
  61. Urb.lat.54, Pseudo-Jerome, Breviarium in Psalmos
  62. Urb.lat.58, Lactantius and Pseudo-Lactantius, 15th century
  63. Urb.lat.60, Gregory of Nazianz, John Chrysostom
  64. Urb.lat.62, Pseudo-Dionysius and John of Damascus
  65. Urb.lat.63, Cyprian, Letters, and Pontius (catalog)
  66. Urb.lat.64, Tertullian
  67. Urb.lat.66, Augustine, Vigilius
  68. Urb.lat.68, Augustine on Gospel of John
  69. Urb.lat.70, Augustine, Vigilius
  70. Urb.lat.71, Augustine
  71. Urb.lat.72, Augustine
  72. Urb.lat.74, Augustine on Psalms
  73. Urb.lat.75, ditto
  74. Urb.lat.79, Augustine, De Trinitate, etc
  75. Urb.lat.80, Augustine, Letters, Pelagius
  76. Urb.lat.83, Augustine, Contra Faustum Manichaem
  77. Urb.lat.84, Augustine, Cyprian, Alcuin, Pope Innocent I
  78. Urb.lat.88, Haymo of Halberstadt, Bede, Hugh of Folieto, etc. (catalog)
  79. Urb.lat.91, Bernard of Clairvaux, various
  80. Urb.lat.95, Peter Damian, Peter Chrysologus
  81. Urb.lat.98, Gregory the Great, Ambrose
  82. Urb.lat.100, Bede, Leo the Great
  83. Urb.lat.104, Birgitta, Revelations (catalog)
  84. Urb.lat.106, Hugh on heresy, Isidore
  85. Urb.lat.107, Hugh of St Victor, Anselm, John of Damascus
  86. Urb.lat.108, Hugh of St Victor and others, sermons, etc
  87. Urb.lat.111, Franciscan Breviarium Romanum
  88. Urb.lat.113, William Durant, Rationale of the Divine Offices (Rationale divinorum officiorum) (1286), an exhaustive interpretation of the symbolism of ecclesiastical liturgy and architecture
  89. Urb.lat.117, Duns Scotus and Peter Lombard (catalog)
  90. Urb.lat.121, Francis of Mayron
  91. Urb.lat.127, Thomas Aquinas
  92. Urb.lat.130, ditto
  93. Urb.lat.132, ditto, from Summa
  94. Urb.lat.134, ditto, De Veritate
  95. Urb.lat.137, Thomas Aquinas
  96. Urb.lat.139, ditto
  97. Urb.lat.152, Alvarius Pelagius
  98. Urb.lat.154, Giannozzo Manetti (1396-1459), Italian hebraist who collected many of the Hebrew manuscripts now at the Vatican, Against the Jews. See the Jewish Encyclopaedia.
  99. Urb.lat.179, letters etc of Pseudo-Isidore (and the real Isidore?)
  100. Urb.lat.188, philosophical commentaries of Boethius, a 14th-15th century manuscript. Sadly, the Commentary on the Isagogue of Porphyry seems to lack the famous arbor porphyriana diagram. I had this manuscript listed on my arbor page as a potential source of the diagram, but will now have to scratch it from the list.
  101. Urb.lat.199, Apuleius, fine Renaissance manuscript with floral illuminated initials
  102. Vat.ebr.110, three tracts of Talmud B (thanks @TuomasLevanen)
  103. Vat.ebr.122,
  104. Vat.et.260,
  105. Vat.gr.316, with Septuagint text, Rahlfs 667, 10th century, reportedly containing material from prophets and Ezekiel (thanks to Rick Brannan (his blog) for these notes)
  106. Vat.gr.2066,
  107. Vat.gr.2442,
  108. Vat.lat.1, a 15th-century Vulgate Latin bible
  109. Vat.lat.20, the Bologna Bible, one of the major illuminated bibles. Here is a detail from the Letter to the Colossians:
  110. Vat.lat.31, a 16th-century Latin bible
  111. Vat.lat.71, Glosses on Paralipomenon (Chronicles)
  112. Vat.lat.73, Glosses on Tobias, Esther, Judith, Ruth
  113. Vat.lat.81, a 12th-century graeco-latin Psalter Gallicanum with Canticles, Beuron number 264 on account of this text containing many Vetus Latina elements. In Septuagint studies, this is Rahlfs 1297, notes Rick Brannan (his blog)  
  114. Vat.lat.89, commentary on psalms Gilbert of Poitiers, palimpsest layer Pliny the Younger
  115. Vat.lat.98, Augustine of Hippo on psalms
  116. Vat.lat.109, Anselm of Laon, commentary on Jeremiah and Daniel. Particularly interesting is the appended biblical chronicle manuscript, from fol. 218v onwards
  117. Vat.lat.161, Nicholas of Lyra on Job, Proverbs, etc.
  118. Vat.lat.170, Dionysius Areopagita, Epistulae etc, 15th-century manuscript
  119. Vat.lat.209, Origen of Alexandria, homilies on Leviticus, Rufinus translation, 12th century, fine figural initials including this:
  120. Vat.lat.229, Eusebius of Caesarea, Praeparatio Evangelica
  121. Vat.lat.264, Ambrose of Milan, c.340-397, on Luke, plus sermons
  122. Vat.lat.271, Ambrose of Milan, On Hexaemeron (creation)
  123. Vat.lat.272, ditto
  124. Vat.lat.280, Ambrose of Milan, 83 letters
  125. Vat.lat.282, Ambrose of Milan, various essays
  126. Vat.lat.283, Ambrosiaster commentary, plus Augustine letters
  127. Vat.lat.285, Ambrose of Milan, letters
  128. Vat.lat.289, Ambrose of Milan, letters, essays, homilies
  129. Vat.lat.290, Ambrose of Milan, various
  130. Vat.lat.294, Ambrose of Milan, De officiis ministrorum libri I-III
  131. Vat.lat.297, Ambrose of Milan, De excessu fratris sui Satyri
  132. Vat.lat.301, Basil the Great, On Hexaemeron
  133. Vat.lat.302, ditto
  134. Vat.lat.304, Basil the Great, various
  135. Vat.lat.306, John Chrysostom
  136. Vat.lat.307, Gregory of Nazianz, in Rufinus translation
  137. Vat.lat.313, John of Damascus, On Orthodox Faith
  138. Vat.lat.314, Ambrose of Milan, diverse
  139. Vat.lat.319, Jerome of Stridon, letter to Eustochium on Isaiah
  140. Vat.lat.320, Jerome, Commentationum in Isaiam, libri I-XVIII, with fine opening illumination of Jerome with stigmata (spoiled by the watermark: will that go away some day?)
  141. Vat.lat.321, Jerome, exposition on Isaiah
  142. Vat.lat.336, Rabanus Maurus (and Jerome?) on epistles
  143. Vat.lat.2835, poetry by Antonius Thebaldeus 1463-1537
  144. Vat.lat.3205, troubador songs, from Provence
  145. Vat.lat.3214, Dante
  146. Vat.lat.3389, autograph, poetry by Antonius Thebaldeus 1463-1537
  147. Vat.slav.8, psalms, canticles, Marian hymns
As always, if you can add or correct details, use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for more news on digitizations. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 26.]