Carpeted with Notes

Yet another late-antique parchment book has emerged from its dark archive as an internet treasure for all to read this week: the 6th-century Codex Marchalianus, Vat.gr.2125 at the Vatican Library.

This is a 416-folio scholars' edition in Greek of part of the Bible. Its welter of annotations, mainly marginal but also interlinear, give an idea of the wealth of books available to a researcher to quote even back then in text-critical studies. These learned monkly annotations kept on being added until the 9th century, carpeting much of the thick volume.

See the Wikipedia entry, which emphasizes the importance of the Codex Marchalianus in reconstructing the Greek-language Bible used by western Jews in antiquity.

 In Septuagint studies, this codex, written in Egypt in a Greek uncial with no spaces at all between the words, has the siglum Q and is a resource in reconstructing the Hexapla, Origen's renowned six-column comparative edition of the Tanakh. In that sense, it is one of our indirect links to the famous lost library at Caesarea in Palestine which is the subject of Anthony Grafton's and Megan Hale Williams' Christianity and the Transformation of the Book.

Digitizing the codex was clearly a huge Vatican effort, with every page imaged at two wavelengths for 1,636 images. There are also 36 ancillary pages of documentation.

Here is the list of 12 items placed online November 17, for a posted total of 6,179.
  1. Chig.L.VIII.296,
  2. Pal.lat.6, Biblia: Testamentum vetus, usque ad librum Iob, French, 15th century
  3. Vat.gr.2125, the Codex Marchalianus (above)
  4. Vat.lat.210,
  5. Vat.lat.485,
  6. Vat.lat.1010,
  7. Vat.lat.1095,
  8. Vat.lat.1185,
  9. Vat.lat.1188 ,
  10. Vat.lat.1615, Statius: Argumentum dodecastichon Thebaidos, in a 14th- or 15th century codex with fine illumination
  11. Vat.lat.4958, Martyrologium (Desiderian) in Beneventan script dateable to 1087 (Lowe).
  12. Vat.lat.14175, four Vetus Latina Bible fragments from bindings. Folios 1-3 date from the 5th century and contain Isaiah 1,18-23; 26-31; 5,24-27. This is CLA S / 1767; Trismegistos 67900; more detail at ELMSS.The fourth folio, inexplicably marked 3r/3v, is an (11th-century?) Italian hand containing 2 Par 7-9. This little album has two Beuron numbers, 192 and 118 (see my list).
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 80. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

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