The Ripoll Bible

The fabulous Ripoll Bible, made in Spain just after the turn of the millennium, is online at last. It's no secret that this is the digitization by the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana which I have been waiting for the most eagerly. Last year I got so impatient that I sent off to Rome for eight print-offs from the murky, out-of-focus black-and-white microfilm of it. The bill, still on my desk: 36 euros. Ouch.

There is something for everyone in this bible. It is full of colourful, slightly naive art, such as this sketch of the wise virgins who wait indoors at folio 369v

or this coloured sketch of the women arriving to embalm the dead Jesus being told by an angel he is not there:

I prize it as a source of information about the Great Stemma beginning at folio 359r (see my Ripoll Bible page) and for an ingenious system of markup that enabled graphic files to be compressed (see my earlier blog post on that topic). Here is the start of that remarkable section:

Pierre Chambert-Protat points out on Twitter it's a key manuscript for Florus of Lyon. It is also a kind of calibrating bible for other codices and historical developments in Catalonia.

The bible also has curious place in scholarship, having been supposed to be an Italian codex from Farfa until clever codicological detectives led by Josep Pijoan a century ago established that it had in fact been designed by the monk Gualterus of the Monastery of Ripoll, Catalonia (c.1015-1020).

There is a very fine article online by Manuel Antonio Castiñeiras that reviews this codice's story and its art.

It is one of three big bibles believed made at Ripoll early in the 11th century: the other two are Paris BNF Lat. 6 and the lost Bible of Fluvià which only survives in dispersed fragments. This Ripoll Bible was listed in an inventory at Ripoll at the death in 1047 of Abbot Oliba and later went travelling, first to France and then entered the papal library in Rome between 1612 and 1618, where it has been  held ever since, now at shelfmark Vat.lat.5729.

The following list of 65 new items was first issued without notes, and was later revised after the BAV had actually connected these items to the internet.
  1. Barb.gr.13,
  2. Barb.gr.15,
  3. Barb.gr.29,
  4. Barb.gr.30,
  5. Barb.lat.77, Manilius, Commentarius in Aratum with tons of great astronomical drawings. Here is the star chart for Cassiopeia at fol. 17v:
  6. Borg.ebr.18,
  7. Borg.sir.137,
  8. S.Maria.in.Via.Lata.I.45.pt.A,
  9. Vat.ar.1, Pentateuch in Arabic
  10. Vat.ar.165,
  11. Vat.ar.448,
  12. Vat.ar.782.pt.1,
  13. Vat.ar.782.pt.2,
  14. Vat.ebr.15,
  15. Vat.ebr.138,
  16. Vat.ebr.139,
  17. Vat.ebr.145,
  18. Vat.ebr.147,
  19. Vat.ebr.160,
  20. Vat.ebr.161,
  21. Vat.ebr.162,
  22. Vat.ebr.163,
  23. Vat.ebr.165,
  24. Vat.ebr.176,
  25. Vat.ebr.178,
  26. Vat.ebr.180,
  27. Vat.ebr.192,
  28. Vat.ebr.217,
  29. Vat.ebr.243, a collection of magical charms:
    HT to the Bodleian for this.
  30. Vat.ebr.245,
  31. Vat.ebr.246,
  32. Vat.ebr.248,
  33. Vat.ebr.253,
  34. Vat.ebr.255,
  35. Vat.ebr.256,
  36. Vat.ebr.291,
  37. Vat.gr.221,
  38. Vat.gr.2440,
  39. Vat.lat.362,
  40. Vat.lat.474,
  41. Vat.lat.543,
  42. Vat.lat.567,
  43. Vat.lat.597,
  44. Vat.lat.598,
  45. Vat.lat.611,
  46. Vat.lat.637,
  47. Vat.lat.672,
  48. Vat.lat.673,
  49. Vat.lat.675,
  50. Vat.lat.686,
  51. Vat.lat.693,
  52. Vat.lat.694,
  53. Vat.lat.703,
  54. Vat.lat.711,
  55. Vat.lat.716,
  56. Vat.lat.719,
  57. Vat.lat.721,
  58. Vat.lat.723,
  59. Vat.lat.726,
  60. Vat.lat.729,
  61. Vat.lat.739,
  62. Vat.lat.741,
  63. Vat.lat.748,
  64. Vat.lat.754,
  65. Vat.lat.759,
  66. Vat.lat.767,
  67. Vat.lat.772,
  68. Vat.lat.781,
  69. Vat.lat.792,
  70. Vat.lat.807,
  71. Vat.lat.5729, Ripoll Bible (above)
  72. Vat.lat.10476,
  73. Vat.lat.12895.pt.A,
  74. Vat.lat.14742,
  75. Vat.lat.14746,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 53. 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.

[Note: when first published, this blog post pointed to the long delay in putting the items online:
I would show you some pictures of this treasure if it were not for the fact that the Vatican servers are still in a mess, one month after beginning a migration. Vat.lat.5729 showed up late on June 13 on the index of work completed, bringing the posted total to 4,610, but only 4,383 of those items are actually accessible, having gained only 77 new items on June 13.In other words, items are only appearing on the main public server with a delay of three or more weeks after their digitization has been completed.]

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