Earth Day

Around 1340, an artist in the Kingdom of Naples visualized God creating the world: first a shapeless lump of rock floating in space, then its greening. That image in the Bible of Gaulle, also known as the the Bible of Robert of Taranto, is a surprisingly modern take on the world that we should maybe dig out again next Earth Day.

The Vatican has just digitized this bible, shelfmark Vat.lat.14430, which is now bound in two volumes, A and B. The Genesis sequence is painted in a cartoon-like series that surprisingly is meant to be read from right to left. Here is the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden:

Smaller scenes later in this bible are also fascinating. Note these two ladies chatting in the front row while Jesus preaches (as always, click on my screen grab to go straight to the manuscript page):

The digitizations of 64 manuscripts by Digita Vaticana on April 22 came only a day after 33 were uploaded (see my earlier post). Here is the latest list:
  1. Reg.lat.1527, Giovanni Pontano's Lyra, the autograph, in a high, narrow codex
  2. Vat.gr.103,
  3. Vat.gr.109,
  4. Vat.gr.184,
  5. Vat.gr.1170,
  6. Vat.gr.1374,
  7. Vat.gr.1843,
  8. Vat.gr.1876,
  9. Vat.gr.1882,
  10. Vat.gr.2079,
  11. Vat.gr.2591,
  12. Vat.gr.2615.pt.B,
  13. Vat.lat.21,
  14. Vat.lat.47,
  15. Vat.lat.68,
  16. Vat.lat.118,
  17. Vat.lat.129,
  18. Vat.lat.139,
  19. Vat.lat.176,
  20. Vat.lat.177,
  21. Vat.lat.178,
  22. Vat.lat.179,
  23. Vat.lat.187,
  24. Vat.lat.190,
  25. Vat.lat.193,
  26. Vat.lat.224,
  27. Vat.lat.244,
  28. Vat.lat.266,
  29. Vat.lat.274,
  30. Vat.lat.292,
  31. Vat.lat.305,
  32. Vat.lat.322,
  33. Vat.lat.327,
  34. Vat.lat.330,
  35. Vat.lat.337,
  36. Vat.lat.340, an 8th or 9th century manuscript from Corbie with Jerome's Commentaries on Epistles. Lowe says (CLA 1 4 or 5 4, Trismegistos) the front flyleaf is from another Corbie codex, the same as  fragments in Paris (lat. 17177). Nifty how the Vatican librarian has popped an ownership stamp under the snake's chin:
  37. Vat.lat.341,
  38. Vat.lat.343,
  39. Vat.lat.545,
  40. Vat.lat.555,
  41. Vat.lat.556,
  42. Vat.lat.584,
  43. Vat.lat.600, a life of Gregory the Great and other materials, 14th century
  44. Vat.lat.604,
  45. Vat.lat.610,
  46. Vat.lat.679,
  47. Vat.lat.1322, Latin translation of the Acts of Chalcedon. Probably from Verona, late 6th or early 7th century. Lowe CLA 1 8, Trismegistos. See a discussion by Nicholas Everett who notes marginal comments in a 9th-century hand.
  48. Vat.lat.1342, Lowe CLA 1 9, Trismegistos, 8th century. On Twitter GiorgiaV, notes its record of the excommunication of Anastasius Bibliothecarius in 853 by a Roman synod, while NSCM notes some playful descenders by a scribe with space to spare. If they give you the space, enjoy it.
  49. Vat.lat.1391,
  50. Vat.lat.1801, the first-ever translation to Latin of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War by Lorenzo Valla. This is Valla's archetypus. Jeremy Norman has a long page discussing this manuscript and its special history.
  51. Vat.lat.1991,
  52. Vat.lat.1993,
  53. Vat.lat.1996,
  54. Vat.lat.2113,
  55. Vat.lat.3361, work of Sannazzaro
  56. Vat.lat.5642,
  57. Vat.lat.7225, Gospels, GiorgiaV noticed on Twitter a fine pairing of Luke with calf and John with eagle on the openings 
  58. Vat.lat.7794,
  59. Vat.lat.8892,
  60. Vat.lat.9495, a book of hours, with St Laurence (right, and holding his grate) in conversation, probably with St Stephen (holding stones)
  61. Vat.lat.10405, the 12th-century Todi Bible, closely related to another giant bible from Rome, the Pantheon Bible. The frontispiece to the Acts of the Apostles shows an ascended Christ, and at the bottom is this a bearded apostle trying to adjust his halo:
  62. Vat.lat.14430.pt.A, the Bible of Robert of Taranto, also known as Bible of Gaulle (above), second quarter of the 14th century.
  63. Vat.lat.14430.pt.B, ditto
  64. Vat.turc.73,

This is Piggin's Unoffficial List Number 47. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to Digita Vaticana.

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