Codex Bembinus Online

Two of the most famous codices at the Vatican Library arrived online November 24. One, the Codex Bembinus, Vat.lat.3226, was made in late antiquity and still has a first owner's handwritten notes in the margins. It contains comedies of Terence, though, unlike the renowned Vatican Terence (see my post), it is not illustrated. It is certainly the oldest Terence in existence, as Jeremy Norman stresses, dating from roughly 400 CE.
The text at left above is rustic capitals, the cursive half-uncial at right is the script of an educated person jotting things fast in Latin in that era. It is named after a former owner, Bernardo Bembo.

The other prominent item is extraordinarily precious to eastern Europe and Russia: the illuminated 11th-century Codex Assemanius, Vat.slav.3, one of the the world's earliest surviving books in the Old Slavonic language, written in the round Glagolitic script. This is a major resource for those interested in the history of the Slavic languages of Europe and of the Slavs' conversion to Christianity.

See the codex's entry in Wikipedia; Glagolitic is the script that probably preceded Cyrillic as the conventional way to record Old Slavonic, but fell into disuse, apart from restricted use in some areas in liturgical books. This book contains readings for mass.

Assessing how many codices are new in this Vatican round is not so easy, since the new posted total has risen 55, yet my software shows 67 additions. I caught at least one case where a codex that was already online in 2013, Vat.lat.3852 (Florus of Lyon), had come back after being missing. My scan shows cases where past duplications have been eliminated, but it all seems rather intractable. Before we make this too complicated, I will offer you the fullest list and see later if there are any false novelties in here.
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.H.87
  2. Ott.lat.259
  3. Pal.lat.13
  4. Pal.lat.15
  5. Pal.lat.22
  6. Pal.lat.53
  7. Reg.lat.1097
  8. Reg.lat.1788
  9. Urb.lat.439
  10. Urb.lat.473
  11. Urb.lat.1076.pt.2
  12. Urb.lat.1399
  13. Urb.lat.1400
  14. Urb.lat.1404
  15. Urb.lat.1406
  16. Urb.lat.1412
  17. Urb.lat.1413
  18. Urb.lat.1417
  19. Urb.lat.1421
  20. Urb.lat.1426
  21. Urb.lat.1434
  22. Urb.lat.1435
  23. Urb.lat.1445
  24. Urb.lat.1446
  25. Urb.lat.1447
  26. Urb.lat.1451
  27. Urb.lat.1474
  28. Urb.lat.1484
  29. Urb.lat.1486
  30. Urb.lat.1488
  31. Urb.lat.1491
  32. Urb.lat.1493
  33. Urb.lat.1498
  34. Urb.lat.1502
  35. Urb.lat.1510
  36. Urb.lat.1526
  37. Urb.lat.1546
  38. Urb.lat.1557
  39. Urb.lat.1588
  40. Urb.lat.1634
  41. Urb.lat.1687
  42. Urb.lat.1707
  43. Urb.lat.1711
  44. Urb.lat.1712
  45. Urb.lat.1714
  46. Urb.lat.1730
  47. Vat.lat.220
  48. Vat.lat.486
  49. Vat.lat.495
  50. Vat.lat.887
  51. Vat.lat.1021
  52. Vat.lat.1051
  53. Vat.lat.1053
  54. Vat.lat.1067
  55. Vat.lat.1070
  56. Vat.lat.1074
  57. Vat.lat.1111
  58. Vat.lat.1129
  59. Vat.lat.1141
  60. Vat.lat.1152
  61. Vat.lat.1207
  62. Vat.lat.1212
  63. Vat.lat.3226, the Codex Bembinus (above), TM 66109 = Lowe, CLA 1 12
  64. Vat.lat.3314, Pomponius Porphyrio's 3rd-century Commentary on Horace, made in the 9th century. Michael Gorman has identified this as one of the lost codices from the Abbey of Monte Amiata (see my posts passim about that library and site), speculating it was removed when Pius II held court in the abbey in 1462. Dr Gorman points out its significance in showing the literary interests of the monks, noting how accurate its Greek writing was (long before the revival of Greek scholarship in Italy). It later passed into two famous humanist libraries, those of Agostino Patrizi (died 1496) and of Fulvio Orsini (died 1600), before ending up in Rome.
  65. Vat.lat.11506, from the same period, a witness of De inventione by Cicero, scribed when it had become rare in libraries, and Priscian's Periegesis; HT to @ParvaVox for pointing this out. Ippolito attributes it to the scriptorium at Wissenbourg at a later date. Preceded by a medieval epigram which credits Cicero with raising the banner of rhetoric along with the war-trumpets of Latium: Tullius erexit Romanae insignia linguae / rhetoricas Latio dum sonat ore tubas.

  66. Vat.lat.14614, small album of 19th-century correspondence, apparently detached from another album, Vat.lat.13391
  67. Vat.slav.3, the Codex Assemanius (above)
As noted in the past, the Pal.lat. items are not new to the internet, having been online before in Heidelberg. This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 83. 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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