Vatican Palimpsests Digital Recovery of Erased Identities [by A. Németh]


The scribe of the upper text of Vat. gr. 984, the collection of all the works of Flavius Josephus, used fragments from three recycled manuscripts, two of which are important. The bulk of the manuscript was recopied with a very massive systematic collection of Saints’ Lives arranged according to their feast days from the ninth century, resulting in two volumes for each month. This is the largest collection of the genre that survives and precedes the systematization project accomplished by Symeon Metaphrastes in the tenth century. The recycled volume contained the Lives of Saints whose feasts are celebrated from 1 to 17 June. The elegant miniscule script, the quality of the parchment and the deluxe layout of the page (cf. ff. 169r + 169av) suggest that the patron was rich. It is unlikely that the entire collection was multiplied to produce several copies. Although the undersigning of the scribe does not indicate the place of his activity, the genre of the recycled texts in this manuscript makes it most likely that it was in a big city, perhaps Constantinople.

Vat. gr. 984, f. 279av

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