Lectio Brevior

It's a modest little drawing at the bottom right corner of a page, yet it's a key to the history of visualization. Last week I blogged about the little T-O map attached in late antiquity to the Jugurthine War by Sallust, but could only offer you a much padded example with lots of medieval additions.

This week, the Vatican Library has digitized a purer example, one of the oldest surviving. It dates from the 10th century, is quite simple, and must be much closer to what a late-antique grammarian doodled on a Sallust text to assist students: a circle marked east at top, with half its surface marked Asia and the rest divided between Europe and Africa:

It appears in Vat.lat.3326, a Sallust codex containing the Bellum Catilinae, the Bellum Iugurthinum, and the spurious Epistulae ad Caesarem senem (Letters to Caesar in his Later Years), and as you can see, this week's diagram is less wordy than that of last week in Vat.lat.3328 (dated to the late 10th or early 11th century):

Text scholars generally apply a rule, lectio brevior praeferenda, whereby the less wordy of two versions is assumed to be the older one. Scribes and editors tended to augment texts, not to cut them.

Here is the full list of new digitizations:
  1. Chig.E.VII.215 (Upgraded to HQ), book of recovered manuscript fragments
  2. Ott.lat.3372,
  3. Ott.lat.3379,
  4. Vat.ind.39,
  5. Vat.lat.2245,
  6. Vat.lat.2264,
  7. Vat.lat.2283,
  8. Vat.lat.2284,
  9. Vat.lat.2303,
  10. Vat.lat.2785,
  11. Vat.lat.2917 (Upgraded to HQ),
  12. Vat.lat.2934.pt.2 (Upgraded to HQ),
  13. Vat.lat.3190 (Upgraded to HQ),
  14. Vat.lat.3223 (Upgraded to HQ),
  15. Vat.lat.3235,
  16. Vat.lat.3248,
  17. Vat.lat.3263 (Upgraded to HQ),
  18. Vat.lat.3270 (Upgraded to HQ),
  19. Vat.lat.3303,
  20. Vat.lat.3315,
  21. Vat.lat.3316,
  22. Vat.lat.3320, a ninth century manuscript, considered one of the Beneventan script examples by Lowe. Mainly glossaries, tabulated.
  23. Vat.lat.3325,
  24. Vat.lat.3326, (above). DigiVatLib scooped me:
  25. Vat.lat.3327 (Upgraded to HQ), yet another Sallust with Bellum Catilinae, Bellum Iugurthinum, this from the 12th or 13th century. Also seen as Beneventan by Lowe.
  26. Vat.lat.3329,
  27. Vat.lat.3330,
  28. Vat.lat.3332,
  29. Vat.lat.3334 (Upgraded to HQ),
  30. Vat.lat.3337,
  31. Vat.lat.3351 (Upgraded to HQ),
  32. Vat.lat.3352 (Upgraded to HQ),
  33. Vat.lat.3373,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 164. Thanks to @gundormr for harvesting. 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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