2018-06-25

Peek-a-Boo

We all like peek-a-boo pictures and this one from the 13th century is quite elegant. It shows a lady shyly peeking at a suitor (out of sight past the bird) and considering the weighty question of whether they are compatible without breaking the rules of incest.
It appears at fol. CCXIIr of Vat.lat.2671, a codex of law which has just been digitized at the Vatican Library. The book is the Summa super titulis decretalium of Goffred de Trano, compiled between 1241 and 1243 and this is a copy from just a generation later, scribed 1270/80, perhaps in Puglia, Italy. The image is part of an arbor, a scheme of forbidden in-law unions.

Goffred, according to Hermann Schadt passim, is the first to propose that this diagram is a tree: "Et quia in qualibet arbore, fructifera et naturali, quattuor, attendunt, truncus, rami, fructus et frondes. Et in hac arbore scripta eadem considerari oportet." Far fetched, as these matrices don't really look anything like trees, but the artist obediently paints a bird and a big frondy leaf.

On another page is the other model for the matrix, the placard-carrying man. Here is the head:
.. and here are the feet:
At first sight I thought that little face in the middle, like a joey in a kangaroo pouch, was the holder of the placard. In fact, look at for a while and you might even see a hang-glider here :-)  

 In all, 53 books were digitized last week, and here is the full list:
  1. Barb.gr.388,
  2. Barb.gr.392,
  3. Borg.ind.62,
  4. Chig.E.VIII.251 (Upgraded to HQ),
  5. Ott.lat.2048 (Upgraded to HQ),
  6. Ott.lat.3375,
  7. Vat.copt.111,
  8. Vat.lat.2247,
  9. Vat.lat.2253,
  10. Vat.lat.2285,
  11. Vat.lat.2289,
  12. Vat.lat.2290 (Upgraded to HQ),
  13. Vat.lat.2393,
  14. Vat.lat.2671 (above)
  15. Vat.lat.2804,
  16. Vat.lat.2818,
  17. Vat.lat.3175,
  18. Vat.lat.3185, the Ars Notoria, a book of magic, which was first mentioned by Michael Scot in 1236 and thus was written earlier. Lots of diagrams in this 14th or 15th century copy:
    See the eTK. The incipit, Ego Apollonius magister artium merito nuncupatus, apparently refers to the supposed (but most unlikely) author, Apollonius of Tyana
  19. Vat.lat.3239,
  20. Vat.lat.3243,
  21. Vat.lat.3250,
  22. Vat.lat.3268,
  23. Vat.lat.3335,
  24. Vat.lat.3338,
  25. Vat.lat.3339,
  26. Vat.lat.3343, Solinus, listed in: Milham, Mary E. 'A Handlist of the Manuscripts of C. Julius Solinus.' Scriptorium, 37 (1983), 128.
  27. Vat.lat.3346,
  28. Vat.lat.3348,
  29. Vat.lat.3349 (Upgraded to HQ),
  30. Vat.lat.3365,
  31. Vat.lat.3368 (Upgraded to HQ),
  32. Vat.lat.3371 (Upgraded to HQ),
  33. Vat.lat.3372 (Upgraded to HQ),
  34. Vat.lat.3376,
  35. Vat.lat.3377,
  36. Vat.lat.3379,
  37. Vat.lat.3381,
  38. Vat.lat.3382,
  39. Vat.lat.3385 (Upgraded to HQ),
  40. Vat.lat.3392,
  41. Vat.lat.3405,
  42. Vat.lat.3412,
  43. Vat.lat.3418,
  44. Vat.lat.3419 (Upgraded to HQ),
  45. Vat.lat.3426 (Upgraded to HQ), medical, eTK lists incipit: Ostendendum est diligenter quod humana corpora et animalium sunt;  mutabili et instabili (11th century)
  46. Vat.lat.3435,
  47. Vat.lat.3443,
  48. Vat.lat.3446,
  49. Vat.lat.3449,
  50. Vat.lat.3461,
  51. Vat.lat.3470,
  52. Vat.lat.11817,
  53. Vat.lat.13895,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 166. 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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