Gallica’s latest treasure hunt — Feb. 2nd, 2015

Sixteen manuscripts from Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, «latin» and «NAL» collections, were released this morning on Gallica. All of them can now be seen with their full colors, zoomed in in high definition, downloaded in medium resolution.

For once, I’ll start with a list of those which are less interesting to the purpose of this note. There are eleven manuscripts later than the ninth century:

  • latin 902 — Evangeliarium
  • latin 3276 — Ars praedicandi
  • latin 3616Jacobus Palladini de Theramo, sive de Ancharano, Consolatio peccatorum, sive Liber Belial
  • latin 8896Epistolarium et Evangeliarium ad usum capellae regiae Versaliensis
  • latin 9187 — Coutumes de Toulouse
  • latin 13068 and latin 13069 — «Catalogues de mss., notes et extraits divers»: Bernard de Montfaucon’s documents and materials for his Bibliotheca bibliothecarum
  • latin 15705 and latin 15728Petrus Lombardus, Sententiarum libri IV (each of both)
  • NAL 1416Feuillet du livre d’heures peint par Jean Fouquet pour Étienne Chevalier
  • NAL 3197Horae ad usum Romanum, dictae Heures de Comeau

Now about the rest. In this sixteen manuscripts release, no less than five items date from the ninth century or prior. Except for Lowe’s CLA, I didn’t read the literature on such short notice and such diverse manuscripts, so the indications I give below either reflect the informations provided by Gallica (sometimes reliable, sometimes less), or are a result of my leafing through the manuscript after downloading it.

Paris latin 2718 is a fascinating ninth century manuscript from the Tours region in France, containing several texts mainly from the Fathers of the Church. Its shape is highly unusual, making it look like the personal notebook of a scholar more than a book copied for a library. In particular, several texts and pages are fully written in tironian notes. I mean, look at this:

Paris, BNF, latin 2718, f. 79r
Paris, BNF, latin 2718, f. 79r (click on the picture to have a better look at it on Gallica)

Going back in time we encounter Paris latin 12205 — CLA 5,633: «Uncial saec. VI–VII; Augustinus, Opera; Instituta Nili Monachi; Regula SS. Patrum; Regula Magistri; etc.». Marginal notes throughout the MS. most likely also date from the eighth century. Gorgeous titles in capitals, even full-page titles. I mean, look at this:

Paris, BNF, latin 12205, f. 28v
Paris, BNF, latin 12205, f. 28v

Let’s go back in time again to meet Paris latin 12214 — CLA 5,635: «half-uncial, saec. VI. Augustinus de Civitate Dei (I–IX)». It is very clear that this book was carefully read and used a lot during the ninth century, and probably already before. I mean, look at this:

Paris, BNF, latin 12214, f. 220v
Paris, BNF, latin 12214, f. 220v

Next, I’ll jump directly to the oldest of all, Paris latin 11326 — CLA 5,609: «Uncial, saec. VI–VII. Prosper, Epigrammata; Augustinus, Sermo CL». Simply beautiful. I mean, look at this:

Paris, BNF, latin 11326, f. 2r
Paris, BNF, latin 11326, f. 2r

Last but not least, I will not say much here on Paris latin 9550 — CLA 5,589: «Uncial, saec. VI–VII. Eucherius, Formulae spiritales, Passio Agaunensium Martyrum», because it interests my personal research directly and I would need another blog post. It belonged to Florus of Lyon and was annotated by him. I mean, look at this:

Paris, BNF, latin 9550, f. 24r
Paris, BNF, latin 9550, f. 24r

Pierre Chambert-Protat

Philologue. Assistant au département des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Apostolique Vaticane.

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