Codex Agobardinus :
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, Ms. Latin 1622

Images of pages : Folio 171 recto
Online at Gallica: here.

MS inspected 27th February 2002.  

INTRODUCTION

This is the oldest and most important manuscript of the collected works of Tertullian, and dates from the ninth century. It takes its name from its first owner, Bishop Agobard of Lyons (814-840 AD), who gave it to the Cathedral of St. Stephen at Lyons, where it remained throughout the Middle Ages until the second half of the 16th century (so Petitmengin, Fin, p.65). It is the only witness to much of what it contains; when it was complete, it contained texts now lost.  However the rear portion of it is gone.  The lost portion is known to us from a table of contents at the front.  Portions of the remainder are difficult to read because of water damage, and margins of some pages have had to be cut off, particularly in the second part of Ad Nationes II.  Some texts in it are preserved in other manuscripts of different families.  Comparison with these reveals a good text, but with some suspicion of minor revision by an intelligent editor in late antiquity or the dark ages. 

The manuscript currently resides in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, where it is classified as number 1622 of the Latin manuscripts (Codex Parisinus Latinus 1622). There used to be a poor-quality and misleading microfilm of it available, according to older scholarship.  However the Bibliotheque Nationale do not have this, which is fortunate since otherwise no-one would be allowed to handle the manuscript itself.  The manuscript is in excellent condition. 

The codex is on parchment, of quarto size, and contains 204 folios. It is written in minuscule letters with some elegant uncials. The lettering is clear and bright, but the black has faded to brown. There is some damage by damp, particularly in the margins.3

The codex breaks off in De carne Christi in chapter 10 after the words item cum proesumant non carnis sed animae nostrae. None of the following books are now included, nor anything of the last four in the first column.3

Waszink remarks that there are marginal numbers, N1, N2, etc, which seem to correspond approximately to the quaternion letters and folio numbers of the Paris edition.2 

There is also a marginalium mentioning the name of Jacob. Gothofredus, who edited the first edition of Ad Nationes.3

This is also the only manuscript which labels book one of De cultu feminarum by that title, all the others restricting that title to book two, and labelling book one as De habitu mulieri.

One possible source of corruptions that I noticed is that when a capital starts a line, it is placed in the margin, between two lines descending in parallel.  The text starts after the right line.  If the margin is damaged, there would be no sign of the missing capital.  This applies on both recto and verso.

The book is covered in a dirty light-grey cloth cover, which made it impossible for me to verify details of the binding.

There has recently been a very interesting article suggesting that the spurious work, De execrandis diis, is in fact a selection of quotations from one of the missing works, De superstitione saeculi.

THE TABLE OF CONTENTS

The manuscript contains a table of contents.  This is reproduced in facsimile in Klussmann, and there is apparently a photograph in Histoire des bibliothèques françaises, I. Les bibliothèques mediévales. Du VIe siècle à 1530. Paris (1989), p. 421.11

It contains a table of contents listing various works by Tertullian which are no longer extant. The following details are from Migne, whose text 3 contains errors, as may be seen from examining the online photograph.

In the second folio, beneath a title in a more recent hand, it reads:

LIBER OBLATUS AD ALTARE S.STEPHANI EX VOTO ACOBARDI EPI. (This book was given to the church of St. Stephen as a bequest by Bishop Agobard; the name is misspelled)

and then:

HIC SUNT TERTULLIANI LIB XXIIII (Here are 24 books of Tertullian : the last 'I' was illegible to me in person but the new online version shows that it is XXIIII)

Then follows this list in red ink (the arabic numerals are in black, and are clearly much later):

AD NATIONES LIBER I
20. IT AD NATIONES LIBER II
36. DE PRAESCRIPTIONE HERETICORUM LIBER I
52. DE SCORPIACE: (sic)
70. DE TESTIMONIO ANIMAE
76. DE CORONA
89. DE SPECTACULIS
105. DE IDOLATRIA (sic)
119. DE CENSU ANIMAE
166. DE ORATIONE
171. DE CULTU FEMINARU
173. IT DE CULTU FEMINARU
180. AD UXOREM
184. IT AD UXOREM
189. DE EXHORTATIONE CASTITATIS
DE SPE FIDELIUM
DE PARADYSO
DE VIRGINIB. VELANDIS
DE CARNE ET ANIMA

In the other column:

DE CARNE XPI
DE PATI|ENTIA
DE PAENI|TENTIA
DE ANIME SUMMIS|SIONE
DE SUPER|STITIO|NE SAE|CULI

LEGE | IN XPO | IHV.

The last entry of course being 'Read these in Christ Jesus'. Note the use of Greek-style abbreviations for 'Christ'. There are 24 books listed.

CATALOGUE ENTRY

From Catalogue général des manuscripts latins, tome 2, éd. Ph. Lauer. Paris (1940), pp.95-96 (I didn't copy the original text but a translation for the first part):

Lyon school.  Initials in colour.  Rubrics in capitals and uncials.  Some titles in capitals.  Notes and autograph corrections by Florus (f.120v etc).  Cf. Tafel, The Lyons script, in 'Paleogr. Lat.' by W.M.Lindsay, IV, 48+52.

Ff. 139 + 140 missing.

Ms. belonged to Jean de Tournes (+ 1615) and to Jacques Godefroy who gave it to the Bibliothèque Royale in 1625.   Cf. Tertullien, Spect. ed. Boulanger, p. 23.

On f.1v original letter of D. Carpentier returning the Ms. after borrowing it.

Parch. III & 204 ff. 270 x 195 mm. Rel. Mar. rouge à filets et fleurs de lis d'or; sur les plats, l'inscription: JACOB GOTHOFREDUS J.C., DOMO PARISIENSIS REGIAE PARISINORUM BIBLIOTHECAE || HOS TERTULLIANI LIBB. VETUSTATE NOBILES, NOVITATE FELICES D.D. A.D. MDC.XXV. Titre au dos; traces de fermoirs.

THE AGOBARDINUS AND FLORUS OF LYONS

There is an annotation by Florus of Lyons on the Agobardinus.  Charlier 7 gives the impression that portions are marked out, but this is not so.  

Florus only annotated the Agobardinus in one place, on f. 120v, in the margin of De anima IX, 4 (CCSL2, l.29-31).  Here he wrote "Nota Formam ueteris celebrationis".  Although there is no proof, it is possible that the Agobardinus was copied on his initiative, as he was active in Lyons during the episcopacy of Agobard, and so should have had access to the model or models for the MS.  I understand that, when he could, Florus preferred to use the older MSS (e.g. Eucherius, Augustine).  If he used the exemplar(s) rather than the copy which is our Agobardinus, it would explain why there is only the single note in the copy.8

There are other marks and annotations.  The copyist corrected himself in at least one place I noticed, on f.117v, where he placed a colon over the last letter of quam in quam honorem and placed :Ad in the margin.  There are capital N's in black ink, and arabic letters, against an S shaped line in the text marking some kind of division.  According to Hamman, these come from Godefroy and, in a blacker ink, from Salmasius.

WORKS AND PAGES

The following folio numbering has been checked by me against the MS itself.  Numbers are as on the pages.  Notes in brackets [] on which portions of the text are missing are partly from CCSL and partly from the 1940 catalogue of the MSS of the BNF9, except where indicated.

i Recto blank.  Paper letter stuck to verso.
ii Blank.  Followed by a bunch of stubs of parchment sticking from the binding.
iiiR Top right has a number, 3970.  [Comparison with 1623 suggests this is the old Bibliotheque Royale number].
Left:Text in Carolingian minuscule, same colour as ink of main text:  Tertullian de exortatione castitatis. de spe fideliu. | de paradiso. de virginib; velandis. de carne & anima.  I was unsure whether this text was by the copyist himself.  Beneath this:
LIBER OBLATUS AD ALTARE SCI STEPHANI | EX UOTO ACOBARDI EPI.  There was some text below which I could not make out.
iiiV The table of contents.  This is laid out exactly, and in the same colours, and with as far as I could remember the same typeface as Klussmann's reproduction.
1R - 36R Ad Nationes, I & II
36R - 52V De Praescriptione Haereticorum [incomplete: there is a lacuna from 39,13 to just before the end.  Adv. Omn. Haer is NOT in this MS, nor attached to the end of this work]
52V - 70V Scorpiace
70V - 76R De Testimonio Animae
76R - 89R De Corona
89R - 105R De Spectaculis
105V - 118V De idololatria [incomplete, ch1,1 - 18,9 only].  Runs on without division into De Anima.  A later marginal note indicates the break.  The running headings continue until f.120v, when the text changes to 'De Censu Animae'.
118V - 166R De Anima [incomplete: first portion missing.  Starts at ch 6,7]
166V - 171R De Oratione [ends at 21,1]
171R -179V De cultu feminarum  [starts at 5,2.  See plate]
179V - 188V Ad uxorem
188V - 196V De exhortatione castitatis
196V - 204V De carne Christi [breaks off in chapter 10 after 2 paragraphs]6

SUBTITLES

In De Spectaculis, subtitles are listed for some of the chapters, which has occasionally misled cataloguers. This information from CCSL.

Chapter Title Found in which MSS/edition
6 DE TITVLIS (+ in an ancient hand : LVG/DVN/VM) A,B
7 DE APPARATIBVS A,B
8 DE LOCO A,B
9 DE ARTE CIRCI A,B
10 DE THEATRO A,B
11 DE AGONIBVS A
12 DE MVNERE A,B, Codex Corbiensis (Oehler I, pxvii)

REFERENCES

1. M. KLUSSMAN, Curarum Tertullianearum, (Diss. Halle, 1881), 3ff. In Latin. Good description of the contents page. I've got a copy of this, but haven't translated it all yet.

2. J.H.WASZINK & J.C.M.VAN WINDEN, Tertullianus De Idololatria, E.J.Brill, Leiden/New York 1987, (in series Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, Volume I.), pp7-8, contains a fair bit on the manuscript and its ancestry.

3. J-P. MIGNE, Patrologia Latina, Paris 1844, vol I, column 33. Quite a bit on the manuscript.  But not always accurate, as may be seen in the photo online.

4. Charles MUNIER, Tertullien : A son épouse, Sources Chretiennes 273 (1980), p64ff. French critical edition, introduction, translation. Checked.

5. Paul MATTEI, Tertullien : Le Mariage Unique, Sources Chretiennes 343 (1988), p102ff. French critical edition, introduction, translation. Checked.

6. Jean-Pierre MAHE, Tertullien : La Chair du Christ, Sources Chretiennes 216 (1975), p171. French critical edition, introduction, translation. Checked.

7. C. CHARLIER, Melanges E. Podechard, Lyon, 1945, p.83.  Checked. (Also referred to in CTC 1997, §11).

8. My thanks to Dr. Anne-Marie TURCAN-VERKERK for these details and ideas.  I have now seen the annotation myself.  I didn't see any others.

9. Ph. LAUER, Catalogue Général des manuscrits latins, t. 2, Paris (1940), pp. 95-96.  Checked.

10. A.-G. HAMMAN, L'Épopée du livre, Paris (1985), p. 202-3.  Checked.

11. Pierre PETITMENGIN, Tertullien entre la fin du XIIe et le début du XVIe siècle, in M. CORTESI (ed), Padri Greci e Latini a confronto: Atti del Convegno di studi della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino.  Firenze: SISMEL (2004).  pp. 63-88.  Checked.

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