Beauty Imagined

The noble ladies of the south of France were praised in song by male troubadours employed by the courts and themselves composed verse which was a full part of this woman-led courtly ritual.

No portraits of these women of celebrated intelligence and beauty survive, but a 13th-century Venetian miniaturist at least attempted to visualize one of the latter ladies, Maria de Ventadorn, long after her lifetime:

Her image appears in Vat.lat.3207, a manuscript of Provencal troubadour poetry just digitized by the Vatican Library, which depicts the trobairitz, the female poet. The arrival of this extraordinary codex online has already been noted by @DigitaVaticana (below).

The two images below represent Tibors de Sarenom (described on Wikipedia as the earliest attested trobairitz), and ...

... Iseut de Capio (according to @DigitaVaticana, relying on the scholarship, I can't find the names in the text at first glance):

The existence of the codex points to the high value set on women's poetry in medieval Italy. Read Francesca Gambino's review of Elizabeth Poe's study of the text of this codex for a feel of its uniqueness and importance. The fact that half a page of this codex was ripped out long ago suggests someone might have removed one image as a kind of pin-up, but perhaps it was simply careless treatment of what is now a priceless book.

Last week, 56 manuscripts arrived online in full color. My list:
  1. Barb.lat.4287,
  2. Ross.19,
  3. Ross.20,
  4. Ross.30,
  5. Ross.76, church music. Jeffrey Wasson drew on this manuscript to point out variations in a medieval chant used as a gradual
  6. Ross.114,
  7. Vat.lat.2342,
  8. Vat.lat.2348,
  9. Vat.lat.2349,
  10. Vat.lat.2378 (Upgraded to HQ), Galen in Latin translation, eTK-listed incipit: "Que namque optima compositio nostri ...", also one Hippocratic and one anonymous text
  11. Vat.lat.2444.pt.2,
  12. Vat.lat.2574,
  13. Vat.lat.2651, Johannes Calderinus, Consilia, listed by Brendan McManus, also a text by Antonio da Butrio
  14. Vat.lat.2698,
  15. Vat.lat.2722,
  16. Vat.lat.2734,
  17. Vat.lat.2759 (Upgraded to HQ),
  18. Vat.lat.2853 (Upgraded to HQ),
  19. Vat.lat.2953 (Upgraded to HQ),
  20. Vat.lat.3039 (Upgraded to HQ),
  21. Vat.lat.3207 (Upgraded to HQ), 13th-century manuscript of Provencal troubadour poetry (above)
  22. Vat.lat.3513,
  23. Vat.lat.3604,
  24. Vat.lat.3904,
  25. Vat.lat.3953 (Upgraded to HQ),
  26. Vat.lat.3956,
  27. Vat.lat.3961,
  28. Vat.lat.3987,
  29. Vat.lat.3990,
  30. Vat.lat.3994 (Upgraded to HQ),
  31. Vat.lat.3996,
  32. Vat.lat.3997,
  33. Vat.lat.4012 (Upgraded to HQ),
  34. Vat.lat.4013,
  35. Vat.lat.4015 (Upgraded to HQ),
  36. Vat.lat.4017,
  37. Vat.lat.4023,
  38. Vat.lat.4024,
  39. Vat.lat.4062,
  40. Vat.lat.4065 (Upgraded to HQ),
  41. Vat.lat.4070,
  42. Vat.lat.4089, an elaborate tabulation of Easter dates by Ricciardo Cervini 1454-1534: Tabulae annorum solarium pro inveniendo die Paschatis ad Clementem VII, see Jordanus 
  43. Vat.lat.4093,
  44. Vat.lat.4099,
  45. Vat.lat.4112.pt.1,
  46. Vat.lat.4113.pt.2,
  47. Vat.lat.4126,
  48. Vat.lat.4134,
  49. Vat.lat.4135,
  50. Vat.lat.4142,
  51. Vat.lat.4152,
  52. Vat.lat.4162, 12th-century codex compiling ecclesiology and penitentials, also includes Bede's Arithmetic, in Jordanus
  53. Vat.lat.4165,
  54. Vat.lat.4177,
  55. Vat.lat.4227 (Upgraded to HQ),
  56. Vat.lat.13721, a 1727 catalog of the manuscripts then present in the library/archive of Sassovivo Abbey in Umbria, a foundation from about 1070 which was more or less defunct by 1800
In addition, DigiVatLib has imported 19 manuscripts which have already been online for over a year at Heidelberg:
  1. Pal.lat.417,
  2. Pal.lat.580,
  3. Pal.lat.582 (Upgraded to HQ),
  4. Pal.lat.584 (Upgraded to HQ),
  5. Pal.lat.585,
  6. Pal.lat.586,
  7. Pal.lat.587 (Upgraded to HQ),
  8. Pal.lat.588,
  9. Pal.lat.589,
  10. Pal.lat.590,
  11. Pal.lat.591,
  12. Pal.lat.593,
  13. Pal.lat.594,
  14. Pal.lat.595,
  15. Pal.lat.596,
  16. Pal.lat.601,
  17. Pal.lat.602,
  18. Pal.lat.604 (Upgraded to HQ),
  19. Pal.lat.605,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 183. 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.


Preacher Book

Bernardino Albizeschi was Italy's great public preacher of the 15th century, a kind of Billy Graham who travelled the country, working up the crowds to repent. This year the Vatican Library announced it had obtained his long-lost journey book, awarding it its newest shelf-number, Vat.lat.15495.

This codex, still with its old clasps, has just been digitized.

Bernardino of Siena (1380-1444), as he was known after his canonization, lingered long in folk memory, which explains why his personal planner in his own handwriting was judged so precious by its private Italian owners.

It later went abroad. The latest Vatican Newsletter says the book, evidently not recognized as a saintly relic, changed hands multiple times at Sotheby's sales and was finally recognized for what it is by Sophie Delmas and Francesco Siri of the Institut de Recherche et d’Histoire des Textes in France.

The Vatican Library then bought it with the help of a large donation of money.

The full list of 39 new digitizations:
  1. Pal.lat.321,
  2. Pal.lat.524.pt.1,
  3. Pal.lat.524.pt.2,
  4. Pal.lat.567,
  5. Pal.lat.576,
  6. Pal.lat.579 (Upgraded to HQ),
  7. Pal.lat.581,
  8. Vat.lat.2380 (Upgraded to HQ), a 14th-century collection of medical works by Galen, translated into Latin by Niccolò da Reggio. See eTK, incipits: "Sicut animalium singulum unum esse dicitur" and "Quia liber Galieni de utilitate"
  9. Vat.lat.3156,
  10. Vat.lat.3157, noted already by DigitaVaticana:
  11. Vat.lat.3524.pt.1,
  12. Vat.lat.3837, Letters of Ivo of Chartres (1040-1116)
  13. Vat.lat.3959,
  14. Vat.lat.3965 (Upgraded to HQ),
  15. Vat.lat.3971 (Upgraded to HQ),
  16. Vat.lat.3972 (Upgraded to HQ),
  17. Vat.lat.3973 (Upgraded to HQ), in Beneventan script, datable to shortly after 1178: Romualdus Salernitanus, Chronicon. Listed by Lowe.
  18. Vat.lat.3980,
  19. Vat.lat.3985,
  20. Vat.lat.3998,
  21. Vat.lat.3999 (Upgraded to HQ),
  22. Vat.lat.4001 (Upgraded to HQ),
  23. Vat.lat.4003,
  24. Vat.lat.4032,
  25. Vat.lat.4053,
  26. Vat.lat.4056,
  27. Vat.lat.4063 (Upgraded to HQ),
  28. Vat.lat.4066 (Upgraded to HQ),
  29. Vat.lat.4067,
  30. Vat.lat.4081,
  31. Vat.lat.4087, Jordanus lists 22 scientific works in this codex datable to 1320.
    One is the short text, apparently of Arabic origin, listed by Ptolemaeus, and dealing with the projection of rays, 31r-31v. Note also the six entries (under "Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana 4087") in eTK.
  32. Vat.lat.4092, Roger Bacon, see Jordanus
  33. Vat.lat.4109 (Upgraded to HQ),
  34. Vat.lat.4111,
  35. Vat.lat.4120,
  36. Vat.lat.4132,
  37. Vat.lat.4143,
  38. Vat.lat.4145,
  39. Vat.lat.15495, Bernardino of Siena, new acquisition (above)
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 182. 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.


Galen and Age

Galen, the leading writer on medicine in antiquity, produced a theoretical work, De Marasmus, which sets out his theory that old age and death are the result of withering like an old stick.

It begins in the translation by Theoharides:
Marasmus is the corruption of the human body due to dryness. There are two ways of using the word corruption, one being the process of corruption, while the other is the state of being corrupt ... https://doi.org/10.1093/jhmas/XXVI.4.369
The Vatican Library has just digitized a key Latin translation of this work, Vat.lat.2381. Here is where the same passage begins. (Tabes est corruptio viventis corporis ex siccitate. Duplex autem corruptio dicitur, hec quidem in fieri, hec autem in facto esse; sed primum quidem significatum audire oportet appellationem. Sic autem et ipsa tabes, hec quidem in esse tabidum utique, alia vero in tabescere, de qua nunc sermo existit. (240v))

Here's a section break in De Crisi, one of the other works making up the codex.

Over the past week, 47 manuscripts were digitized. The full list:
  1. Pal.lat.1509,
  2. Pal.lat.1515 (Upgraded to HQ),
  3. Pal.lat.518,
  4. Ross.7,
  5. Ross.16, part of which would seem, from the bibliography, to contain the Sentences of Pseudo-Phocylides
  6. Ross.17,
  7. Ross.38,
  8. Ross.41,
  9. Vat.lat.2305,
  10. Vat.lat.2381 (Upgraded to HQ), Galen and Hippocrates in Latin translation, full list of content at NLM (above)
  11. Vat.lat.2411, Aries vetat non tangetur capud; 2411 (flyleaf). See eTK
  12. Vat.lat.2445.pt.1,
  13. Vat.lat.2724,
  14. Vat.lat.2863 (Upgraded to HQ),
  15. Vat.lat.2978 (Upgraded to HQ),
  16. Vat.lat.3139,
  17. Vat.lat.3203,
  18. Vat.lat.3208,
  19. Vat.lat.3514,
  20. Vat.lat.3657,
  21. Vat.lat.3878,
  22. Vat.lat.3880,
  23. Vat.lat.3889,
  24. Vat.lat.3911,
  25. Vat.lat.3922 (Upgraded to HQ), science, in Jordanus
  26. Vat.lat.3934,
  27. Vat.lat.3938,
  28. Vat.lat.3942,
  29. Vat.lat.3945 (Upgraded to HQ),
  30. Vat.lat.3950 (Upgraded to HQ),
  31. Vat.lat.3963,
  32. Vat.lat.3974,
  33. Vat.lat.3983,
  34. Vat.lat.3991,
  35. Vat.lat.4009 (Upgraded to HQ),
  36. Vat.lat.4011 (Upgraded to HQ),
  37. Vat.lat.4033,
  38. Vat.lat.4034 (Upgraded to HQ),
  39. Vat.lat.4037.pt.2 (Upgraded to HQ), science in Jordanus
  40. Vat.lat.4060,
  41. Vat.lat.4061,
  42. Vat.lat.4064,
  43. Vat.lat.4100,
  44. Vat.lat.4102,
  45. Vat.lat.4124 (Upgraded to HQ),
  46. Vat.lat.4125,
  47. Vat.lat.4136,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 181. 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.


Magic Manuscript

Magic fascinates. The Vatican Library has just digitized a manuscript, Vat.lat.4085, which rounds up many of the key astral magic works circulating in the late 15th century. David Juste's summary lists authors including Andalò di Negro, Haly, Sagid ibn Umail, Ali ibn al-Hatim and others including the nameless somebody denominated Pseudo Hippocrates.
There are also handy lists of astral ascent for different cities in northern Italy, which is a clue to where the manuscript was made.

A 1988 article by Kristen Lippencott notes that it is a unique source for part of an ibn al-Hatim text. See also the listing in Jordanus.

It's one of 29 manuscripts digitized in the past week, with another major arrival the Codex Ursianus (see DigiVatLib's tweet below), an amazing book of sketches by Pirro Ligorio of the stonework surviving in 16th century Rome. The full list:
  1. Patetta.839,
  2. Ross.14,
  3. Ross.27,
  4. Ross.29,
  5. Ross.31, Italian
  6. Ross.36 (Upgraded to HQ),
  7. Vat.lat.2624,
  8. Vat.lat.3147,
  9. Vat.lat.3151 (Upgraded to HQ),
  10. Vat.lat.3439, mid-16th-century Codex Ursinianus, an album of sketches of different dates, also referred to as the Sylloge of Inscriptions by Pirro Ligorio. Among its vital records are sketches of the Severan Marble Plan of Rome. See this summary (PDF). It featured in the Rome Reborn exhibition. Anthony Grafton notes of the following: Ligorio took details from surviving classical reliefs and worked them up into a comprehensive, imaginative picture of a pagan sacrifice, consistently classical in both its style of representation and the clothing and objects shown.
  11. Vat.lat.3742 (Upgraded to HQ),
  12. Vat.lat.3748,
  13. Vat.lat.3779,
  14. Vat.lat.3849,
  15. Vat.lat.3854,
  16. Vat.lat.3855,
  17. Vat.lat.3856,
  18. Vat.lat.3882,
  19. Vat.lat.3902, arithmetrical works by Johannes de Sacrobosco and Gisbertus, see Jordanus
  20. Vat.lat.3906 (Upgraded to HQ), works by Varro, Pliny, Gellius, and others. See Jordanus. From the library of Angelo Colocci?
  21. Vat.lat.3914,
  22. Vat.lat.3925,
  23. Vat.lat.3927,
  24. Vat.lat.3940,
  25. Vat.lat.3957,
  26. Vat.lat.3995 (Upgraded to HQ),
  27. Vat.lat.4055,
  28. Vat.lat.4085 (Upgraded to HQ), Astral magic (see above). See eTK.
  29. Vat.lat.4088,
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 180. 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.


Baum: An Early Family Tree

The search for the earliest use of "Baum" in German to describe a stemma continues. Currently the honour seems to reside with Heinrich Steinhöwel of Ulm who is thought to have used the term in his dedication of a book printed 1475 when introducing the following woodcut:

The male ancestor at the root, right, is designated Albrecht Hapsburg, landgrave of Alsace, Lord of Sassenburg. The main body of the book is a German translation of the Speculum Vitae Humanae of Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo (1404-1470). Steinhöwel's German title is Der Spiegel des Menschlichen Lebens.

It is online as BSB incunable 2 Inc.s.a. 1264 digitized here (seek image 18), also at the LOC and in Heidelberg. ISTC: ir00231000.

The text preceding the woodcut says: "darumb will ich ... alleyn desletszen hauses österreich auff wachssen eynen bom beczeichnen ale er hie ynne mit bilden ist geformieret. Und vince ds anfang von eynem lantgraffen aus dem Elses dessun in die graffschafft ze habspurg komen ist als dr in nachgenter geschrifft v[o]n in dem bom mit geleich-en büchstabben wirt ausgezeichnet. (That's why I wish to draw all of the latter house of Austria on a full-grown tree. Each is shown by pictures. And those counts of Hapsburg arising from this landgrave of Alsace are each marked in the tree with the same letter (of the alphabet) as is used in the subsequent list.)

This praise of the Hapsburgs is not part of the original Speculum Vitae Humanae itself (see the Latin version at Gallica), but an appeal for patronage from the Hapsburgs. Given that aristocrats were the principal customers for books in Steinhöwel's time, the genealogy was a crude but entirely normal attempt to secure sales.

No date or place of printing for the incunable is given, but it seems from the type-face to be settled that the printer was Günther Zainer of Augsburg, and that the year was most likely 1475. The translator's manuscript (which still exists) was completed March 19, 1474 and an entry in the genealogy on folio 10v mentions the baptism of Prince Maximilian in Augsburg "this Easter" on Maundy Thursday of 1475. It is to be assumed the printing was completed later that year. The book is overlooked by Klapisch-Zuber, who opens L'Ombre with a family tree of 1491 (see below), the earliest she could discover.

The book is prefaced by (1) a foreword and overview, (2) a dedication to Duke Siegmund of Tyrol, (3) a one-paragraph explanation of the family tree, (4) the full-page engraving, and (5) a tabular listing of the genealogy keyed to the sketch. (4) and (5) appear to be the work of Ladislaus Sunthaym (ca. 1440 – 1512).

Walther Borvitz is dismissive of (2) as fawning hack-work, which perhaps leads him to his peculiar view that (3) is a boiler-plate insertion originating with Sunthaym. Perplexingly, he refused to transcribe (3) in his edition (Archive.org) although it continues in the same first person (ich) as the paragraphs above and is almost certainly of a unity with them. It is hard to follow Borvitz's justification for this omission, since his contention that the text of (3) appears at col 1004 of Scriptores Rerum Austriacarum Veteres ac Genuini, vol 1, by Hieronymus Pez does not seem to be correct. The Latin text there is by Pez and makes no claim at all about the Steinhöwel book of 1475:
Harum Tabularum Clauftro Neoburgensium praecipuus Auctor est Ladislaus Sunthaim seu Sundheimius, Ravensburgio Sueviæ oppido oriundus, Dioecesis Constantiensis Presbyter. Quod mirum est in laudatarum Tabularum editione fuisse dissimulatum: cum in MS Claustro-Neoburgensi quod nos coram inspeximus, diserte Sunthaimii nomen, patria conditioque habeantur. Porro eas Sunthaimius condidit sub annum 1491, quo ipso Basileæ typis excusæ fuerunt in majori forma, quam vocant. Ad cuius editionis fidem & hanc nostram adornavimus, cum sæpe memoratæ Tabulæ manuscriptae vix commodum Mellicium perferri potuerint, & nos, dum in lustranda Claustro-Neoburgensi Bibliotheca versaremur, ab ipsis integris describendis angustia temporis exclusi fuerimus. In vulgatis Tabulis ad calcem, Reverendissimus Dominus Jacobus Praepositus Clastro-Neoburgensis ad eas concinnandas symbolam contulisse memoratur, qui ab anno 1485 usque ad annum 1509 Claustro-Neoburgensem praefecturam gessisse dicitur apud Adamum Scharrerum in Vita S. Leopoldi Auftriæ Marchionis. Cæterum Ladislaus Sunthaimius is præterea fuit, qui Historiam de Guelfis sub annum 1511 composuit, quam ex Caesarea Bibliotheca fecum communicatam Cl. Leibnitius Tom. I Script. Brunswic. a pag 800 ad pag 806 publico exposuit. Ex qua etiam intelligimus, Sunthaimium postea Viennensis Canonici dignitate fuissse auctum. Sed de his fatis. En ipsas Tabulas Claustro Neoburgenses.
There is thus no reason to attribute (3) to Sunthaym, and every good reason to regard Steinhöwel as the writer who chose the word "bom". Barbara Weinmayer offers a very different perspective on the section (3), seeing the dedication as a valuable source of Steinhöwel's genuine views about the science of translation, although she makes no comment on the content of our disputed final paragraph (3) and its bom.

For the time being it seems best to leave the authorship of (3) with Steinhöwel. Perhaps an expert on Renaissance German style could ponder the issue.

The woodcut employed at Basel in or after 1491 for the printing of Der löblichen Fürsten und des Landes Österreich Altherkommen und Regierung (full text on Wikisource) of Sunthaym is not the same as this one, though it is similar. Sunthaym is often treated in the literature as father of the royal "tree", but it would seem that the "tree" was already part of the vocabulary of man one generation older.

Borvitz, Walther. Die Übersetzungstechnik Heinrich Steinhöwels: dargestellt auf Grund seiner Verdeutschung des ‘Speculum vitae humanae’. Hermaea 13. Halle: Niemeyer, 1914.
Dicke, Gerd. ‘Steinhöwel, Heinrich’. Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters. Verfasserlexikon, 1995. vol 9, cols 269ff. http://www.mgh-bibliothek.de/cgi-bin/mgh/allegro.pl?db=opac.
Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane. L’ombre des ancêtres. Paris: Fayard, 2000.
Weinmayer, Barbara. Studien zur Gebrauchssituation früher deutscher Druckprosa. Literarische Öffentlichkeit in Vorreden zu Augsburger Frühdrucken. Munich: Artemis, 1982.