New-Found Manuscript

Does a publication 10 years ago describing a new-found manuscript count as news? Not for a journalist. Nor ought it to be news when the author of the publication personally drew my attention to the article two years ago. But somehow I was too busy with other things, and only discovered today that the Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena, Italy possesses a previously unknown 11th-century manuscript of the Liber Genealogus. So it is news ... to me.

Readers may recall that I published online last year the ur-text of the Liber Genealogus of 427 (link). It is not a critical edition, but it is the first to present the archetypal text of the year 427 without clutter. Those who follow this blog will know that the Liber Genealogus is a strange chronological and genealogical tract which can only be understood if one realizes it was a learned commentary on a wondrous drawing: the Great Stemma.

In 2002, the eminent Italy-based historian-philologist Dr Michael Gorman published an article in the journal Scriptorium on 11th-century manuscripts from the monastery at Monte Amiato, a Benedictine community which was closed in 1782. He argued that three very similar codices had all been drafted in the scriptorium there in the 11th century. His article was re-published in Italian with some revisions in 2007.

The third of the manuscripts which he highlighted was one that had escaped the notice of Theodor Mommsen when he published his edition of the Liber Genealogus at the end of the 19th century. This manuscript at Cesena doubtless contains a copy of the F recension. Giuseppe Maria Muccioli writes in that library's printed catalogue that the text begins: Genealogia totius Sacra Scripturae, cum persecutionibus Christianorum, which echoes the Madrid incipit, Genealogiae totius bibliothecae ex omnibus libris veteris novique testamenti. I discussed the Madrid version in a post in February.

Here is a tabulation of the parallel contents of the three codices, based on the publications of Dr Gorman, Mommsen and Professor José Carlos Martín. The three columns at right represent the folio numbers in:
  • Plutei 20.54 
  • Conv. soppr. 364 
  • Cesena D.XXIV.I (Catalog)

Isidori Hispalensis Etymologiae (ed. Lindsay) lost 1- 100v 1- 183
Junilius Africanus De partibus divinae legis = Instituta regularia divinae legis (CPL 872) (Collins) 1ra - 8rb 100v- 107 183- 193v
Bede (thus identified by Gorman) Glose per totum alphabetum (Gorman reference: De ortographia, ed. CCSL 123A.7-57) 8rb – 15rb 107- 111v 193v- 201v
Anon Glossa super Octateuchum et Librum Regum (Glossa Rz: see Holtzmann) omit 111v- 116 202- 209v
Anon Divisiones temporum XIII (unpublished) 15rb – 21ra 116- 120 209v- 217
Isidori Hispalensis Ety. 6.3.2: ''Bibliothecam ... Esdras scriba ...." 21ra 120 217
Isidori Hispalensis Ety. 7.1.2-37 and 7.2.11-49  21ra – 22va 120- 121v 217- 219
Anon De litteris (grammatical tract on syllables, vowels, consonants: Qui primum interrogandum est his qui scientiam divinarum scripturarum scire desiderant...) 22va – 24ra 121v 219- 220v
Anon Liber Genealogus (CPL 2254) (ed. Mommsen MGH chron. min I, pp 160-196; ed. Piggin) 24ra – 30ra 122- 125v 220v- 228r
Isidori Hispalensis Chronographia, cum prologo; (ed. Martin) 30ra – 34ra lost lost
Anon Catalogus regum Langobardorum et Italicorum Lombardus  (ed. Waitz MGH scr. rer Lang.) ends with last Italian kings Lothair II and Berengar II and the crowning in 961 of Otto II as overlord of Italy  36va – 37ra lost lost
Anon Great Stemma (ed. Piggin) 38r – 45r lost lost
Pseudo-Julianus Ordo annorum mundi (ed. forthcoming, Martín) 45r lost lost

It will be obvious from this that the first three-quarters of the Plutei 20.54 manuscript has been lost, whereas the other two manuscripts are lacking their final quarter or third. The folios which we now see numbered 1-45 in the online digital version of Plutei 20.54 were numbered 143-187 when the codex was intact. Possessing all three codices allows us to reconstruct the lost model at Monte Amiato from which they must have been copied.

Gorman notes that the Divisiones temporum XIII above is a text with an annus praesens of 745 CE, matching the legendary date of foundation of the monastery, and argues that this, along with other formal criteria, establishes a clear link between this miscellany and the presumed 11th-century Monte Amiata scriptorium.

Gorman's article is also of interest for its discussion of a medieval diagram which is based on the Great Stemma but adds new content. It was probably made in the same scriptorium. This is found in another Florence manuscript, Cod. Amiatinus 3, ff 169-172v (not online). He notes that this diagram's list of popes finishes with Agapetus (papacy 946-955), and conjectures that this information was drawn from yet another extant manuscript that had been made and kept at Monte Amiata, plut. 65.35, f 3r. (online) which contains a Liber pontificalis.

Note added in 2013:  The latter manuscript is discussed in a later post.

Gorman, Michael. ‘Codici manoscritti dalla Badia amiatina nel secolo XI’. In La Tuscia nell’alto e pieno medioevo. Fonti e temi storiografici ‘territoriali’ e ‘generali’, edited by Mario Marrocchi and Carlo Prezzolini, 15–102. Florence: Sismel - Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2007.

------. ‘Manuscript Books at Monte Amiata in the Eleventh Century’. Scriptorium 56 (2002): 225–293: 268–271.

Martín, José Carlos. Isidori Hispalensis Chronica. Turnhout: Brepols, 2003.*67
Mommsen, Theodor, ed. ‘[Liber Genealogus:] Additamentum II [to the] Chronographus anni CCCLIIII’. In Chronicorum minororum saec. IV. V. VI. VII. Vol. 1. Monumenta Germaniae Historica (MGH), Auctores Antiquissimi (AA) 9. Berlin: Weidmann, 1892.


Co-Owners of Isola

A remarkable infographic in the Vatican Library describes the co-ownership of nobles and Benedictine monks of the former Abbey of Isola near Siena in Tuscany, Italy. The document, which I first read about in Christiane Klapisch-Zuber's L'Ombre des Ancêtres, comprises a stemma of Hildebrand, whose widow Ava founded the monastery, along with a detailed scheme of property division. It was drawn up in or shortly after 1160.

I have created a digital sketch of the document (PNG below, zoomable detailed version on my website). The colours were arbitrarily chosen, since this version was made from black and white photographs. For a better idea of how Hildebrand and his two sons, Berizo and Teuzo, are supposed to have looked, see the original (link below, with caveat). The orange-bordered panels represent the ownership shares in six blocks of property:
  • the Castellum Montis Agutuli
  • the Turris de Strove (Strove is the next village)
  • the Villa de Scarna (just to the west)
  • the Castellum de Staia (the small town of Staggia to the north (map))
  • the Castellum de Leke (further north, at Lecchi (map))
  • the Castellem de Castillione

Hildebrand (Ildibrandus) was a Lombard, which explains the Germanic names of his ancestors and his descendants all the way through the document. The six semi-monastic properties (five of which are illustrated with a little sketch that probably summed up salient architectural features of the principal building) were progressively divided into half-shares, quarters and so on. The most extreme divisions are 1/32 of a whole. The rectangle area indicates the degree of division. The transcription is based on that published by the late Wilhelm Kurze, and I have preserved his fractions where space allows. There are of course no Arabic numbers or fractions on the document, but including them here makes the divisions more understandable.

The affinity of the stemma at the top of the document to the Great Stemma is unmistakeable: the roundels are all composed of two rings, and the names in them are generally written in the form Y filius X. The lines can either proceed left to right or top to bottom. An especially interesting feature here is the graphic separation of Adelheid, wife of Ugolinus, and of Sindiza, wife of Berizellus, from the rest of the stemma. They are not joined to it by the usual lines. The children of their second marriages were not connected by blood to Hildebrand, but did inherit property rights through the mothers. I have moved these into better alignment to make this aspect of the infographic clearer, but this reconstruction is as close as possible to the original in every other way.

Kurze gives the following manuscript reference: S. Eugenio - Rome, Bibl. Vat. Cod. Vat. Lat. 8052 (Galetti) Cop. saec. XVIII. In dorso: Descriptio et pictura fundatorum abbatie Insule et eorum descendentium que predia relinquerunt predicte Abbatie.

As far as I know, there is only one image of it online, on the Portale di Archeologia Medievale, but this is something of a disappointment. This image seems to have been digitally altered: not only are important areas at the edges cropped away, but the top three property blocks have been seamlessly edited out of the middle of it, without any explanation. (If you find a more faithful image of the document on the web, particularly one at higher resolution, please tell me by writing a comment below!)

Kurze mentions one facsimile edition. The document is reproduced in low-resolution black and white in Violante's article and at an even smaller scale in Klapisch-Zuber's book. In my view, text-only publications cannot adequately convey how the infographic works: a technical drawing is needed. Violante's crude sketch only adds to the confusion and from Klapisch-Zuber's account I mistakenly thought at first that a kind of treemap was in prospect. The property-division part of the infographic, which maps the legal concept of sharing onto two-dimensional space, is in fact a much simpler concept, but nevertheless quite clever. I do not know of any earlier documentary examples of the technique. Please comment if you can suggest any.

This is the only medieval document I have transcribed so far where the place of origin is absolutely clear. The monastic institution where this document was drawn up after 1160 no longer exists, but many of the buildings are still there and can be visited, a short drive away from Siena (tourist description, location, video). The structure depicted at the top of the chart, below Hildebrand's face, is the abbey itself, which was much rebuilt but partly survives. The castle of Staggia has a battlemented tower just like those in the document. I recommend you follow these links and enjoy the images which Google Panoramio pulls up.

Kurze, Wilhelm. “Der Adel und das Kloster San Salvatore all’Isola im 11. und 12. Jahrhundert.” Quellen und Forschungen aus Italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken 47 (1967): 446–573.
Violante, Cinzio. “Quelques Caractéristiques des Structures Familiales en Lombardie, Émilie et Toscane aux XIe et XIIe Siècles.” In Famille et Parenté dans l’occident médiéval, edited by Georges Duby and Jacques Le Goff, 87–148. Rome: École Française de Rome, 1977.
Klapisch-Zuber, Christiane. L’Ombre des Ancêtres. Paris: Fayard, 2000: 98-101.
Cammarosano, Paolo. “Gli Antenato di Paolo Diacono.” In Nobiltà e chiese nel medieoevo e altri saggi. Scritti in onore di Gerd D. Tellenbach, edited by Cinzio Violante, 37-45. Rome, 1993.