Leiden, Universitaire Bibliotheken, VLQ 79


Leiden Aratea

Aratea text: Germanicus, Aratea

Parchment — 95 folios fols. — 225 × 220 mm — Lotharingia — IX2/4

Support: I8(-1) (ff. 2-8, missing f.1), II8(-1) (ff. 9-16, missing f.13), III-VIII8 (ff.17-24, 25-32, 33-40, 41-48, 49-56, 57-64), IX8 (ff.65-72), X8(-1) (ff.73-80 missing f.74), XI10(+1) (ff.81-91, f. 81 singleton), XII8(-1) (ff.92-99, missing f.95). Schema accroding to Obbema (1989). Foliated 1-99 with pencil in the upper right corner (skipping n. 1, 13, 74 and 95 for the missing folios). Missing four folios (f.1, 13, 74 and 95), which were once replaced by paper leaves, and foliated. By the restoration of the manuscript in 1985-86 these paper leaves were removed. The carolingian scribe left the recto or verso side of folios with illustrations blank (3r, 6r, 8r, 10r, 12r, 16r, 18r, 20r, 22r, 23r, 24r, 26r, 28r, 30r, 32r, 34r, 36r, 38r, 40r, 42r, 44r, 46r, 48r, 50r, 52r, 54r, 56r, 58r, 60r, 62r, 64r, 66r, 68r, 70r, 72r, (now missing 74r was probably blank), 76r, 78r, 80r, 82r, 92v, 93r ). On some of these originally blank folios a later hand added the text in gothic minuscle (when the text was longer and could not be fit in the margins around the original text), so that at the present condition the MS has only 8r, 10r, 18r, 20r, 22r, 26r, 28r, 30r, 32r, 36r, 38r, 40r, 42r, 44r, 46r, 48r, 50r, 54r, 56r, 58r, 60r, 62r, 64r, 66r, 68r, 72r, 76r, 78r, 80r, and 82r blank.

Layout: 15 ruled long lines. The first letter of every verse is written in red (exception ff. 74v and 51r). Few red Initials (f. 83r).

Script: The poem is written in Capitalis rustica by several hands. Caroline minuscle used only on f. 93v for short texts in the diagram of planetary motion. Carolingian "a" together with open cc-a. "N" used rarely. "X" with second stroke extended down to the left. The lower lobe of "g" is wide open. & and st ligatures. Word-division almost complete. According to Bischoff this script is from s. IX2/4 in Lotharingia. In the s. XII2 the text of the poem was written again in black ink in gothic minuscule.

Few interlinear notations in Caroline minuscle on ff. 83r, 91r-v and 94r. Possibly from the same hand which wrote f. 93v.

Binding: Modern binding.

History: Written in the s. IX2/4, somewhere in Lotharingia (Aachen-Metz) by the request of the royal court of Louis the Pious (813-840) and his second wife Judith (819-843); compiler and coordinator of the pictures and text was presumably the Astronomus. Mütherich (1990) observed that the dedication "Vale fidens in domino Christi vestitus amore" suggests that this was a product made for a noble patron. — The MS was probably in St. Bertin around the year 1000 where it served as the exemplar for Boulogne-sur-mer 188. In thes. XVI2 the manuscript was in the possession of an artist in Flanders. Jacobus van Suys bought the manuscript in 1573 in Gent (see the inscription on the flyleaf "Sum Iacobi Danielis Filius Patris Nicolai Sussi. E pictoris pergula emptus mihi Gandaui Anno a Christo corporato MDLXXIII, Mense Ianuario "). Acquired by Hugo Grotius before the year 1600. After his death, in 1648, the manuscript became part of the collection of Queen Christina from Sweden (1626-1689) in Antwerpen. The librarian Isaac Vossius (1618-1689), who was responsible for the cathaloging of the collection, received the manuscript as a present from the queen. — After the death of Vossius, in 1690 Leiden University acquired the manuscript for its collection.

Selected bibliography:Bischoff, Katalog II, p. 60 — Bischoff, Kommentar. — Dekker, Elly. "Carolingian Planetary Observations: The Case of the Leiden Planetary Configuration." Journal for the history of astronomy 38 (2007): 77-90. — Eastwood (2002). — Mütherich (1989). — Obbema (1989). — Sternbilder des Mittelalters, pp. 292-298. — Köhler, Wilhelm, and Florentine Mütherich. Die karolingischen Miniaturen. Die Hofschule Kaiser Lothars. Einzelhandschriften aus Lotharingien. Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1971, pp. 79-83. — Mütherich, Florentine. “Book Illumination at the Court of Louis the Pious.” In Charlemagne’s Heir. New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious (814-840), edited by Peter Godman, 593–604. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990, pp.597-600. — Stückelberg, Alfred. "Sterngloben und Sternkarten. Zur wissenschaftlichen bedeutung des Leidener Aratus." Museum helveticum: schweizerusche Zeitschrift für klassische Altertumswissenschaft 47:2 (1990): 70-81.

Ir-v Blank with the exception of a later exlibris note.

Germanicus: ArateaZ family

Avienus: Aratea vv. 1740-1762, 1769-1770, 1773, 1870, 1877-1878 (prognostica). tempore tum proprio modulatur noctua carmen … — … Pluribus indiciis sollers fulcire memento. Vale fidens in domi no xpi uestitus amore.

Illustrations of the constellations on fols. 3v, 6v, 8v, 10v, 12v, 16v, 18v, 20v, 22v, 23v, 24v, 26v, 28v, 30v, 32v, 34v, 36v, 38v, 40v, 42v, 44v, 46v, 48v, 50v, 52v, 54v, 56v, 58v, 60v, 62v, 64v, 66v, 68v, 70v, 72v, 76v, 78v, 80v, 82v and 93v. See the iconographical analysis inSternbilder des Mittelalters, pp. 295-97 and Mütherich (1989).

Abreviated Literature:

Bischoff, Katalog IIKatalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts: (mit Ausnahme der wisigotischen)Bernhard BischoffWiesbaden 2. Laon - Paderborn Harrassowitz 2004
Bischoff, KommentarBischoff, Bernhard, ed. Kommentar zum Aratus des Germanicus Ms. Voss. Lat. Q. 79, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit Leiden. Luzern: Faksimile-Verl., 1989.
Eastwood (2002)Eastwood, Bruce Stansfield. “Origins and Contents of the Leiden Planetary Configuration (ms. Voss. Q.79, F. 93v): An Artistic Astronomical Schema of the Early Middle Ages.” In Eastwood, The Revival of Planetary Astronomy in Carolingian and Post-Carolingian Europe, 1–47, 2002.
Mütherich (1989)Mütherich, Florentine. “Die Bilder.” In Aratea. Faksimile Der Handschrift Ms. Voss. Lat. Q.79 Der Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, 2:31–78. Luzern: Faksimile-Verl., 1989.
Obbema (1989)Obbema, Pieter F. J. “Die Handschrift.” In Aratea. Faksimile Der Handschrift Ms. Voss. Lat. Q.79 Der Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, 2:9–29. Luzern: Faksimile-Verl., 1989.
Sternbilder des MittelaltersBlume, Dieter, Mechthild Haffner, and Wolfgang Metzger. Sternbilder des Mittelalters: der gemalte Himmel zwischen Wissenschaft und Phantasie. Vol. I, 1: Text und Katalog der Handschriften. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012.

(last change: 2018-05-31)
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