A "Tree" of Genealogy

The quest for the first "family tree" has been one of my scholarly interests for years. Readers of this blog will know by now that stemmata, ramifying diagrams with ancestors at the top, were invented in antiquity (provedly before 427 CE). The inversion of those diagrams into family trees with ancestors as the roots and their descendants as boughs and leaves was a slow transformation that took well over a thousand years.

One of the most interesting way-stations in that process is the invention of the term "family tree," where "tree" in its medieval sense simply meant a diagram that could be scaled up at will (just as a tree or a crystal grows) without specifically denoting that the diagram must visually resemble a natural tree.

Christine Klapisch-Zuber in her major work, L'Ombre des Ancêtres, fixes the first fusion of "genealogical" and "tree" in Latin in 1312 by Bernard Gui, a Dominican inquisitor and bishop in the south of France, who wrote a history of the French kings.That means that in the latest wave of Vatican digitizations, special interest attaches to a 1369 translation of this work into French by Jean Golein.

This forms the second part of the codex Reg.lat.697, which can now be consulted online. La Généalogie des Roys de France commences at folio CXIIr. Note the flowers and tendrils which indicate that the idea of arbre is already playing on the minds of the artists. As one sees in the example below, the main line of kings is at centre-page, descending page by page through the book, and little roundel-link stemmata of each king's non-monarchical relatives are set off to one side.

This is not Golein's autograph of course. That, according to Delisle, is in the parliamentary library in Paris. The first part of the Vatican codex contains Golein's French rendering of the Flores chronicorum, also by Bernard Gui, which is a history since the time of Jesus of the popes and Roman emperors. Reg.lat.697 is wonderfully illuminated and offers us this notable conclave of cardinals:

The full list of digitizations this week (lacking 25 extra items that slipped online on Friday morning as I was finishing) follows:
  1. Borg.copt.67,
  2. Borg.sir.16,
  3. Chig.C.VIII.230, with fine initials and miniatures including this Annunciation (though I could have sworn this angel has a horn!)
  4. Ott.lat.1302,
  5. Reg.lat.652,
  6. Reg.lat.653,
  7. Reg.lat.654,
  8. Reg.lat.659,
  9. Reg.lat.660,
  10. Reg.lat.664,
  11. Reg.lat.676,
  12. Reg.lat.678,
  13. Reg.lat.691,
  14. Reg.lat.697, translation into French by Jean Golein of the Flores chronicorum of Bernard Gui (above)
  15. Reg.lat.707,
  16. Reg.lat.709,
  17. Reg.lat.725,
  18. Reg.lat.731,
  19. Reg.lat.735,
  20. Reg.lat.737,
  21. Reg.lat.740,
  22. Reg.lat.746,
  23. Reg.lat.759,
  24. Reg.lat.761,
  25. Reg.lat.766,
  26. Reg.lat.770,
  27. Reg.lat.803,
  28. Reg.lat.864,
  29. Reg.lat.880,
  30. Reg.lat.882,
  31. Reg.lat.888,
  32. Reg.lat.891,
  33. Reg.lat.913,
  34. Reg.lat.935, Reuilion
  35. Sbath.251,
  36. Urb.lat.843.pt.1,
  37. Urb.lat.843.pt.2,
  38. Vat.gr.1312.pt.1,
  39. Vat.gr.1312.pt.2,
  40. Vat.lat.1299, Expositio in Iohannem, anon.
  41. Vat.lat.1302,
  42. Vat.lat.1310,
  43. Vat.lat.1317,
  44. Vat.lat.1325,
  45. Vat.lat.1382, Bottoni, Glossa Ordinaria, with some fine arbor juris diagrams, one of which has this interesting detail in the bottom panel:  
  46. Vat.lat.1384,
  47. Vat.lat.1389,
  48. Vat.lat.1430,
  49. Vat.lat.1436,
  50. Vat.lat.1445,
  51. Vat.lat.1451,
  52. Vat.lat.1453,
  53. Vat.lat.1455,
  54. Vat.lat.1481, Priscian
  55. Vat.lat.1483, Priscian
  56. Vat.lat.1543, Macrobius
  57. Vat.lat.1547, Macrobius, commentary on Dream of Scipio
  58. Vat.lat.1567, Homer, Iliad, in Lorenzo Valla translation to Latin
  59. Vat.lat.1587, Horace, works, 12th century
  60. Vat.lat.1591, Horace, poetry
  61. Vat.lat.1599, Ovid
  62. Vat.lat.1604, Ovid, Fasti, 12th century
  63. Vat.lat.1605, Ovid, 15C
  64. Vat.lat.1618, Statius, Achilleidis
  65. Vat.lat.1623, Lucan, Civil Wars
  66. Vat.lat.1642, Seneca, tragedies
  67. Vat.lat.1643, Seneca, tragedies
  68. Vat.lat.1654,
  69. Vat.lat.1681, Boninius Mombrizio
  70. Vat.lat.1687, Cicero, letters
  71. Vat.lat.1690, Cicero, letters, dated 1462
  72. Vat.lat.1692, Cicero, letters, 15C
  73. Vat.lat.1693, Cicero, rhetorical works
  74. Vat.lat.1702, Cicero, rhetorical works
  75. Vat.lat.1712, Cicero, rhetorical works
  76. Vat.lat.1714, Ad Herennium
  77. Vat.lat.1718, Ad Herennium
  78. Vat.lat.1724, Cicero, De finibus bonorum et malorum
  79. Vat.lat.1726, Cicero, De finibus bonorum et malorum
  80. Vat.lat.1727, Cicero, De finibus bonorum et malorum
  81. Vat.lat.1728, Cicero, Tusculan Disputations
  82. Vat.lat.1733, Cicero, Tusculan Disputations
  83. Vat.lat.1734, Cicero, De Officiis
  84. Vat.lat.1739, Cicero, philosophy
  85. Vat.lat.1740, Cicero, philosophy
  86. Vat.lat.1741, Cicero, Scipio's Dream, plus anonymous works bound in back
  87. Vat.lat.1744, Cicero, speeches
  88. Vat.lat.1745, Cicero, speeches
  89. Vat.lat.1748, Cicero, speeches
  90. Vat.lat.1751, Cicero, speeches, dated 1452
  91. Vat.lat.1753, Cicero, speeches
  92. Vat.lat.1755, Cicero, speeches
  93. Vat.lat.1756, Cicero, speeches
  94. Vat.lat.1758, Cicero, philosophical works, 15C
  95. Vat.lat.1759, Cicero, philosophical works, 15C
  96. Vat.lat.1760, Cicero On Laws, Plutarch Lives in Brutus translation
  97. Vat.lat.1761, Quintilian
  98. Vat.lat.1763, Quintilian
  99. Vat.lat.1764, Quintilian
  100. Vat.lat.1765, Quintilian
  101. Vat.lat.1768, Quintilian
  102. Vat.lat.1771, Quintilian speeches, dated 1459
  103. Vat.lat.1774, Quintilian speeches, dated 1455
  104. Vat.lat.1776, Latin panegyrics
  105. Vat.lat.1777, Pliny the Younger, Letters, 15C
  106. Vat.lat.1779, Josephus in Rufinus Latin translation
  107. Vat.lat.1782, Phalaridis et Bruti epistulae
  108. Vat.lat.1784, Poggio Braccolini: De varietate fortunae (On the Vicissitudes of Fortune, 1447)
  109. Vat.lat.1786, Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pius II), many key writings
  110. Vat.lat.1789, Epistulae 1-119 of Marsilio Ficino, as later published - Rome Reborn
  111. Vat.lat.1799, Thucydides, Peloponnesian Wars, Lorenz Valla's Latin translation; dated 1452
  112. Vat.lat.1800, ditto
  113. Vat.lat.1810, Polybius, 15C
  114. Vat.lat.1826,
  115. Vat.lat.1829, Aulus Hirtius, Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War, 15C
  116. Vat.lat.6719,
  117. Vat.lat.13619,
  118. Vat.lat.14749,

This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 119. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

Delisle, L. "Notice sur les manuscrits de Bernard Gui," in Notices et extraits des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque nationale et autres bibliothèques, XXVII, 2 (1879), 169-455. https://archive.org/
Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane. L’ombre des ancêtres. Paris: Fayard, 2000.

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