Eusebius: the Manuscripts of the "Praeparatio Evangelica"

The Praeparatio Evangelica or Preparation for the Gospel, in 15 books, is an apology for the Christians.  It involves long verbatim or slightly paraphrased chunks of authors, many now lost, and so is very valuable to classicists.



Shelfmark & Notes

Date /

1st Family
Books 1-5 only
A Paris, Biblioth?ue Nationale Fran?is Codex Parisinus Graecus 451. Parchment.  The "Arethas" codex.
Written by Baanes for Arethas, then Archbishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia.
Contains books 1-5 on ff. 188r-322r.  A quaternion is missing, so the PE starts at I, 3, 5, and the end of Justin' Cohortatio and Tatian Discourse to the Greeks are missing.  A second quaternion has dropped out, creating another lacuna at II, 3, 12-6, 21. PE. bk. 2 starts on f. 213v; 3 on 231v; 4 on 259v; 5 on 289r.

Written in minuscule, very clear and beautifully.  The running titles in uncial or semi-uncial.  The MS was copied from an exemplar in uncials.

Arethas, the proprietor and corrector of the MS (A2), covered it with notes.  It also contains notes from many hands of the XIV and XVth centuries (A3).

Originally in the royal collection at Fontainbleu in the 16th century.  There are two old numbers on f.1r - 1169 and 2271. On the last page is the numeral '403'.  It consists of 59 quaternions and two extra leaves.  10 quaternions and a leaf have fallen out and been lost.  Cover: 25cm x 19 cm. Pages: 24.5cm x 18.5 cm. Written area: 14.5 cm ('bis' 15) x 11 cm. Margins: top=4cm, bottom=6cm, sides 6.5-7cm. 26 lines per page, 40 characters a line.

Contents: 1. Clement of Alexandria, Protrepicus; 2. Clement  of Alexandria, Paedagogus; 3. Justini epistulam ad Zenam; 4. Justin, Cohortatio ad gentiles; 5. Eusebius, P.E. bks 1-5; 6. Athenagoras, Apology for the Christians; 7. Athenagoras on the Resurrection; 8. Eusebius, Against Hierocles.

Subscriptio on f.401v in semi-uncial: e0gra&fh xeiri\ Baa&nouj notari/on 'Are/qa a0rxiepisko&pou Kaisarei/aj Kappadoki/aj: e1tei ko&smou SYKB.  (=6422, i.e. 914AD). and then underneath a price of 20 gold solidi (nomismata) for the writing of the codex, and 6 for the parchment.  The subscriptio is in the hand of Arethas himself.

H Venice, San Marco Library. Codex Marcianus Graecus 343.  Parchment. Contains books 1-5 on ff. 6-204r.  A copy of of A made before that MS' missing quaternions were lost, and so supplies the text of the lacunae in books 1 and 2.  Once the property of Cardinal Bessarion. Also contains Eusebius, Against Hierocles; and Tatian, Discourse to the Greeks (the latter was on the missing quaternion at the start of the PE in A).  280 folios.  On f.280v is the name Petros Karnabakas. Boards: 26cm x 19 cm. Pages: 19.5cm x 12 cm. 28 (sometimes 29) lines per page.  27-30 characters a line.  Written in minuscule by a single scribe, but the summaries at the start of each book are in semi-uncial. 11

2nd Family
B Paris, Biblioth?ue Nationale Fran?is Codex Parisinus Graecus 465.  Paper. 207 leaves. Written by a monk, Longinus, who gives his name in the subscriptio on f.207r (and who also, in 1272, wrote Cod. Par. Grae. 443, of Dionysius the Areopagite).  On fol. 207v is a notice which tells us that a certain Kaludas was in Constantinople in 1453, and transferred the MS to his brother-in-law when he died at 7am on the 5th October 1454 in the district of Ainos. 

Soon afterwards it came to Italy.  It was prepared for sale in the 16th century by the addition of a paper double-sheet glued on the front (since become detached), and a majuscule title added. In the 17th century, the MS belonged to the orientalist A. Galland, who gave it to the royal library ("olim Gallandianus" in the 1740 catalogue, t. 2, p. 65).

This MS is missing book 12, but full of errors.  Belongs to the group O(G)NDV.

I Venice, San Marco Library. Codex Marcianus Graecus 341. Paper. Contains book 12. 299 folios. Given to the monastery of St. Mark by Bessarion.  Two hands, both of the second-half of the 15th century.  The first two leaves are copied from B. Based on a manuscript of the first family, but influenced by the second. 

Size; Leaves: 28.5 x 20cm; written area 21 x 12.5 cm.  Scribe Ia wrote ff.1-265v, and 295-300; scribe Ib wrote ff.266-294.  

This MS has a distinctive feature in ff.295-300: an extract of the table of contents of book 15, followed by chapters 3, 16, 17, and 18, and then others in further disarray.

O Bologna, University Library Codex Bononiensis University 3643. Bombazin paper. Contains book 12. 244 folios. Written by two different hands at the end of the 13th century.  I and O are the most important representatives of the second family.  The last page has the numeral '244' on it.  Boards: 34cm x 25 cm; leaves: 33cm x 24 cm; writing area: 26 bis 27 cm x 18 bis 20 cm.  One of the writers was a monk named Nicephorus (mentioned on fol. 244v).  The old top and bottom margins have been cut off.  Given to the library in the 18th century (an inventory of 1720 lists 3643 and 3644 - the DE - on p.16 no. XIV) as part of a collection by Count Aloysius Ferdinandus Marsilius (Count Alois Ferdinand Marsigli), who was a general of Emperor Leopold I and had campaigned against the Turks in Hungary and Turkey, and, according to a letter preserved at the library, acquired the MSS as booty whenever a town was sacked.  MS belongs with BN(D)V 13 (end)
N Naples, Bibliotheca Nazionale Codex Neapolitanus graecus II A 16. Paper. Contains book 12. 401 folios. 17/18 century binding of the Farnese, so the MS came to Naples from Rome. Binding: 31cm x 23 cm; Pages: 29cm x 21 cm; Written area: 20 cm x 14.5 cm, 30 lines per page ff.1-338r, on from there 31 per page, 45-52 letters per line.  Written by a single scribe.  Red running titles and initials.  No scholia, only some brief notes in the margins.  Corrections by the original scribe, and a second writer. A third hand is visible at a few places.  Not directly related to any other MS - rather an independent member of the BOV-class. Text is closer to O in books 1-9, 14-15.  Closer to B for the rest.  15
D Paris, Biblioth?ue Nationale Fran?is Codex Parisinus Graecus 467. Paper. Contains book 12. Written by the Cretan, Michael Damascene; part written by a second hand.  386 folios.  Related to N. Original binding of the period of king Francis II.  The 9th book - by the other hand - is a copy of I or j.  The rest is a brother of N. There are no scholia.   16
G Florence, Medicean-Laurentian library Codex Laurentianus VI 9.  Paper.  A copy of O, for which it can supplement passages unreadable or lost.   Listed in Bandini's catalogue of the library in 1764.  329 folios. Boards (s.XVI): 31.5 cm x 22 cm; pages: 30.5cm x 22 cm; written area: 21.5 cm x 15 cm. 30 lines a page, around 50 letters per line.  Written by a single scribe.  Date appears on f.328v, 6852 of the world (=1344AD).  1344
V Mount Athos, Vatopedi Monastery Codex Batopedianus 180.  Illustrated MS.  382 folios.  A good representative of the second family (BON), but has only one good reading itself.  MRAS had only photographs. Supposedly 382 pages, 28cm x 21 cm. 31 lines per page, 47-52 letters per line.  No scholia.  Belonged to the imperial library in Constantinople, according to the catalogue of the MSS at Vatopedi.   Very ornamented in a way unlike the other MSS. 1335
j Venice, San Marco Library Codex Marcianus 342. Parchment. Copy of I.  Fol. 242v says it was finished on 1st December 1470.  Written by the monk Kosmas in Rome.   Contains the same excerpt as in I from the table of contents of book 15 and the same chapters in the same sequence as in I. 1470
E Paris, Biblioth?ue Nationale Fran?is Codex Parisinus Graecus 468.  Paper. Copied from j.  Likewise has the same chapter orders and excerpt from the summary as I. 16
F Florence, Medicean-Laurentian library Codex Laurentianus Plut. VI 6. Parchment. Direct copy of G 15
C Paris, Biblioth?ue Nationale Fran?is Codex Parisinus Graecus 466. Parchment.  Direct copy of G. Once known as the Codex. Rich. Montacutii, used by Vigerus. 15/16
Naples, Bibliotheca Nazionale Codex Neapolitanus II AA 15. Books 1-8 copied from N. Books 9-15 from I or j. [unspecified]
Rome, Vatican Library   Codex Ottobonianus 265. Copied from the above, with readings from I or j in the margin. [unspecified]
Rome, Vatican Library   Codex Ottobonianus 366. Copied from I or j. [unspecified]
Oxford, St. John's College [Shelfmark unknown]. A late copy of D. [unspecified]
Rome, Vatican Library   Codex Urbinas 6.  A copy of N. [unspecified]
Rome, Vatican Library   Codex Vaticanus 1303.  An apograph of N. 15, second half
Leiden, Bibliotheek der Rijksuniversiteit Codex Vossianus 197. Contains only book 9.  Related to EI and corrected from the Stephanus edition. [unspecified]

There are also substantial citations in Theodoret, Gr?arum affectionum curatio (Remedy for the diseases of the Greeks).  These vary between the two families.

George Trapezuntios made a Latin translation.  The earliest known edition is from Venice in 1470 via Nicolaus Jenson.  This seems to be based on I or j

Details of Bryn Mawr 9 (once Goodhart 79), s.XV are online.

D and E were the basis of the Robert Stephanus edition of 1544.  The page numbers and letters of this edition have been used for all subsequent editions as a reference point.

There are thus two classes of manuscript: A, supplemented by H; and on the other hand BOVND, with B transitional.

Summaries/Tables of Contents/Chapter divisions and titles

There is a summary at the start of each book, in the form of a table of contents in all the MSS.  In most MSS (but not D) portions of the summary have been copied by the medieval scribes as chapter titles at the head of each chapter.   However in the MRAS edition, these do not line up entirely; e.g. in book 1, there are four numbered lines of entries in the table of contents, the first of which is chapter 9, and the fourth chapter 10.  Also there is no entry for chapter 6. [NB: Comparison of the table of contents at the start of book 1 of Gifford's English version with that in MRAS and SIRINELLI shows that Gifford did not bother to translate the text exactly - much is untranslated, or paraphrased, or assigned to other chapters.]


K. MRAS, Eusebius Werke: Achter Band. Die Praeparatio Evangelica. Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller 21. Berlin (1954).  Very detailed lists of MSS, including lists of books containing facsimiles of the pages.
J. SIRINELLI and ? des PLACES, Eus?e du C?ar?: La Pr?aration ?ang?ique. Sources Chr?iennes 206. Paris: ?itions du Cerf, (1974).

Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger Pearse.

Written 24th May 2002.

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