Vat.gr.984 <inf.1> – Vat.gr.1882 <inf.2>
The Vatican Library has more than half a millennium of life. Its holdings were rearranged and reclassified a couple of times and these changes have left their mark on the collection. When the ancient collection of the Vatican Library was organized in the late 16th century, Vat. gr. 984 was classified together with philosophical and rhetorical and historical texts that were considered as secondary, and were thus stored in a box. Many manuscripts were considered as old objects already in the 16th century and were not in good shape. Some of their pages could easily have been separated from the original books as it happened with a section of Vat. gr. 984. Subsequent reorganization assembled these manuscript fragments and assigned a new shelfmark to it. Vat. gr. 1882 includes several such items and one of them is a fragment consisting of twelve folios (ff. 89-92, 97-104) that derive from Vat. gr. 984. When Mons. Paul Canart, a scriptor graecus of the Vatican Library, described the composite volume, he identified its origin. The same recycled texts are featured in both manuscripts. It took four centuries for these fragments to be linked with their original manuscript and now they can be studied together digitally.
Vat. gr. 984, ff. 169r + 169av
The scribe of the upper text of Vat. gr. 984, the collection of all the works of Flavius Josephus, used fragments of three palimpsests, of which two are important. The bulk of the manuscript was copied on a very large systematic collection of Saints’ Lives arranged by feast days, dating from the ninth century. The collection of Saints’ Lives dedicated two volumes per month. This is the largest collection of the genre that has survived and precedes the organizational project accomplished by Symeon Metaphrastes in the tenth century. The recycled volume contained texts of the Lives from June 1 to 17. It sometimes contains the Lives of more than one Saint on the same day. For example, June 11 describes both the transfer of the body of Saint Bartholomew of Armenia to Lipari and Benevento and another text, the encomium of Saint Barnaba by the monk Leontius.
The scribe of Vat. gr. 984 finished this text in 1354 (f. 344v). Although the undersigning of the scribe does not localize the place of his activity, the nature or the recycled texts makes it most likely that it was in a big city, perhaps Constantinople.
Vat. gr. 1882, ff. 98v + 103r
The elegant miniscule script, the quality of the parchment and the deluxe layout of the page (cf. ff. 169r + 169av) hint at a rich commissioner. It is unlikely that the entire collection was multiplied in several copies.
Vat. gr. 984, ff. 169r + 169av and Vat. gr. 1882, ff. 98v + 103r
Vat. gr. 1613, p. 7. Perlschrift