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About the manuscripts

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Martianus Capella's De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii was one of the late-antique texts that was studied with zeal by Carolingian scholars. There remain today around fifty ninth-century manuscripts with the entire text or part of it. Many of these are enriched with glosses and commentaries. At the centre of this study is the oldest gloss tradition, earlier attributed to Dunchad and to Martin of Laon, and now anonymous. It was written before the middle of the ninth century, and is transmitted in the margins of circa twenty manuscripts. In many of these sources the tradition of the oldest commentary is very incomplete, or mixed with later commentary traditions, such as those of John the Scot or Remigius of Auxerre. Four manuscripts contain the anonymous commentary in its most complete and "purest" form, and they are considered the most important sources for the Anonymous commentary: Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, Vossianus Latinus Folio 48, Besancon, Bibliotheque Municipale, Ms. 594, Leiden, Universiteitsbibliotheek, BPL 88, and Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1987. Of these four, the Leiden Vossianus manuscript is considered the most reliable source for the whole of the commentary. It is at the centre of this project, and part of its semi-diplomatic edition. In the folder Manuscript photos and edition a complete set of digital black and white photos of the entire manuscript is given, flanked by panels with the transcriptions of both the main text and the annotations in the margins and interlinear spaces. The transcriptions of the annotations have been checked against parallel readings in the three mentioned 'most important manuscripts', and in the modern editions of the commentaries of 'Dunchad', John the Scot and Remigius of Auxerre.
A full set of colour photos of the Leiden VLF 48 can also be consulted on the Digital Special Collections website of Leiden University Library. They also have a few (black and white) photos of other Martianus manuscripts on display: BPL 36, BPL 87 and BPL 88.

Bibliographical references:
C. Leonardi, I codici
J. Préaux, Les manuscrits principaux
C. Lutz, Catalogus Translationum et Commentatorium
M. Teeuwen, Harmony and the Music of the Spheres


Last modified: 09-03-2010 09:19