Map of War

One of the more mysterious of ancient diagrams is a T-O "map" found in medieval manuscripts of the Jugurthine War by Sallust. Who drew it? I've been gathering information about this in the last few weeks, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the diagram pop up in this week's list of Vatican Library digitizations:
This version in Vat.lat.3328 which is dated to the end of the 10th or start of the 11th century is perhaps of German provenance. Curiously the codex has been rebound at some stage using strips of parchment from a newer manuscript in 13th-century Beneventan writing to strengthen the binding (noted by Lowe of both this codex and Vat.lat.3262.)

Asia, and thus the direction east, is at the top in this version of the diagram, which has been much "improved" by the scribes with extra toponyms. Other recensions of the graphic are rather bare.

Where does it come from? I would be highly sceptical of the claim that Sallust himself drafted the diagram while writing his history of a war in North Africa, since visualizations of this sort were not a part of the literary man's repertoire in the classical period. So the diagram may well be an addition by a late antique grammaticus.

Patrick Gautier Dalché has written a series of splendid syntheses about such diagrams where he argues that their models arose in education in the 4th to 6th century (see below). Whether any scholar has yet collated the Jugurtha's World diagram and constructed a stemma of its development I simply don't know yet.

Recently I added a couple of mappamundi to my Library of Latin Diagrams, and the Jugurtha T-O will join the collection later, once I have figured out what the prior recension is.

Before proceeding to the full list of 42 new items of the past week on the Vatican portal, I must recommend a series of more than 100 tweets with the tag #PolonskyProject posted on May 30 by participants at a one-day conference at the Vatican about the future of manuscript digitization. I wasn't present unfortunately, but am grateful that someone in the audience asked why the Library puts an ugly ownership watermark on its online images:
So now we know.
  1. Barb.gr.301 (Upgraded to HQ),
  2. Barb.gr.304,
  3. Barb.lat.41,
  4. Bonc.E.1,
  5. Borg.turc.5,
  6. Ott.lat.3377,
  7. Reg.lat.1686 (Upgraded to HQ),
  8. Vat.gr.1157,
  9. Vat.lat.2362,
  10. Vat.lat.2856 (Upgraded to HQ),
  11. Vat.lat.2868 (Upgraded to HQ),
  12. Vat.lat.2889,
  13. Vat.lat.2973 (Upgraded to HQ),
  14. Vat.lat.2993,
  15. Vat.lat.3023,
  16. Vat.lat.3078,
  17. Vat.lat.3091,
  18. Vat.lat.3098, a 14th- or 15th-century science compilation with works by Levi ben Gershom (Astronomia), Campano da Novara and Muḥammad ibn Ǧābir Battānī. Note the care with which this geometrical diagram is drawn:
  19. Vat.lat.3123 (Upgraded to HQ), a beautiful little handbook of arithmetic, computus, calendars and trick with an abacus, including diagrams, either 12th or 13th century. eTK lists incipit: "Ars ista vocatur abacus hoc nomen vero Arabicum"
  20. Vat.lat.3161,
  21. Vat.lat.3218,
  22. Vat.lat.3222 (Upgraded to HQ),
  23. Vat.lat.3233 (Upgraded to HQ),
  24. Vat.lat.3236,
  25. Vat.lat.3259,
  26. Vat.lat.3266 (Upgraded to HQ),
  27. Vat.lat.3267,
  28. Vat.lat.3269 (Upgraded to HQ),
  29. Vat.lat.3280,
  30. Vat.lat.3282,
  31. Vat.lat.3283,
  32. Vat.lat.3287,
  33. Vat.lat.3289,
  34. Vat.lat.3290,
  35. Vat.lat.3297,
  36. Vat.lat.3298 (Upgraded to HQ),
  37. Vat.lat.3300,
  38. Vat.lat.3301,
  39. Vat.lat.3311 (Upgraded to HQ), Working Notebook by Pomponio Leto. See the Rome Reborn note by Anthony Grafton: "These fragments of what seems to have been Leto's field notebook contain his notes on an inscription including an ancient Roman calendar on stone. This calendar depicted the signs of the zodiac through which the sun passed, gave the lengths of days and nights, listed the agricultural tasks and religious festivals appropriate to each month, and provided other important information, like the dates of the solstices and equinoxes."
  40. Vat.lat.3319,
  41. Vat.lat.3323 (Upgraded to HQ),
  42. Vat.lat.3328, Bellum Jugurthinum of Sallust (above).
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 163. 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.

Gautier-Dalché, Patrick. 2002. ‘Les diagrammes topographiques dans les manuscrits des classiques latins (Lucain, Solin, Salluste)’. In La tradition vive. Mélanges d’histoire des textes en l’honneur de Louis Holtz, 291–306. https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00008331.

-------. 2014. ‘L’enseignement de la géographie dans l’antiquité tardive’. Klio 96 (1), 144–182. https://doi.org/10.1515/klio-2014-0006.

No comments :

Post a Comment