Orosius: the Manuscripts of "Seven Books of History against the Pagans"

[Most of the items on these pages consist of a handful of manuscripts.  However some texts exist in considerably more copies.  This is one of them.  I'm not sure how anyone would gain from my interfering with this list, so I have felt it best to give it verbatim unless or until I acquire more detail on individual Mss.  I do this somewhat nervously, in view of copyright issues, but I hope the authors and copyright holders will not mind helping to educate the world. If anyone does have concerns, please email Roger Pearse]

A CHECK LIST OF MANUSCRIPTS OF OROSIUS " HISTORIARUM ADVERSUM PAGANOS LIBRI SEPTEM "

When the Spanish priest Paulus Orosius wrote in the early fifth century, at the request of his friend St. Augustine, his Seven books of History against the Pagans he presumably had no idea that he was producing a best-selling school and university text. His purpose was complementary to that of his colleague in writing the City of God, namely to refute the current accusation that the collapse of West Roman civilisation was to be attributed to the anger of the Gods of Olympus at the apostasy of their worshippers to Christianity. Orosius' method was simply to retell the history of the world in a brief form, laying special emphasis on the disasters and calamities of the past in order to show that things had been as bad under the old dispensation, and that contemporary misfortunes were to be attributed rather to the anger of the Christian God at the perennial folly and wickedness of man.

Conceived as a religious and political tract for the times the History against the Pagans came to enjoy a lasting and widespread popularity because, despite its ephemeral purpose, it contained all the essential facts of universal history in a brief and readable form, which saved the student much hunting in the numerous volumes of Livy or Pompeius Trogus; and at the same time its Christian philosophy of history was in accord with the medieval outlook. It became, therefore, the standard universal history text of the Middle Ages and no school, college or monastic library of any pretensions could afford to lack a copy. It will be seen from the check list here published that over two hundred manuscripts survived until before the last war. With the coming of the Renaissance the popularity of Orosius' work waned, like that of most secular or semi-secular works of the twilight period of the fall of the empire, before the greater respectability in humanist eyes of the historians of the classical age, and manuscripts become rarer. Despite this a steady demand for Orosius' book remained and at least twenty five editions were published before that of Sigebert Haverkamp (Leyden, 1738), the first critical edition and for long the best.

The compilation of this check list was first begun in a search for illustrated manuscripts of the work, when about one hundred and seventy manuscripts were investigated (1). The number has now been brought up to two hundred and forty - five (including fragments and extracts) with a view to the study of the relationship of King Alfred's Orosius with its Latin source, and a new edition of the Old English text (2). No new illustrated copies have come to light, so the article on that subject does not require to be supplemented.

(1) D. J. A. Ross, "Illustrated manuscripts of Orosius," Scriptorium IX, 1955, pp. 35-56 and plates 11-15.

(2) This study was made possible by the generosity of Birkbeck College and the University of London Central Research Fund., see also Janet BATELY, Alfred's Orosius and Les Empereors de Rome, Studies in Philology, LVII, 1960, pp. 567-586.

* is used to indicate MSS. destroyed during the last war, + to indicate extracts from Orosius (or attributed to him) included in manuscript collections, V = vellum; P = Paper,.

1.ABERDEEN, Univ. L., 214, ff. 1-148, P., 15th c.
2. ANGERS, Munic., + 283 (274), f. 23, V, 11 /12th c. "extracts from Orosius." 
3. AUXERRE, Munic., + 70 (67), f. 197, V, 12/13th c., "extracts from Orosius and other writers."
4. AVRANCHES, Munic., + 159, f. 3v, V, 12th c., "de historia Orosii."
5. BALTIMORE, Walters Art Gall., + 476, ff. 36v-39v, V, 12th c., "de situ orbis," probably from France.
6. BELLUNO, B. Lolliniana, 42, V, 13th c.
7. BERLIN, Staatsbibl. Lat. f. 223 (1026), V, 12th c., Now at Tübingen Univ.
8. BERNE, Stadtb. (Bongarsiana), 128, ff. 1-109, V, 9th c., gift of Bishop Werinharius to St. Mary's Strasbourg.
9.---- 160 ff. 1-86, V. 11th c., probably from Fleury.
10.---- 169, ff. 2-14v, V, 9th c., List of contents only; originally part of MS. 128.
11. ---- 576, ff. 1-49, P, 15th c., abbreviated.
12. BOLOGNA, B. Univ., 2200, V, 12th c.
13. ---- 2298, V, 14th c.,
14. ---- + 2788, P, 15th c., Bk. 1, ch. 2 only.
15. BOULOGNE-SUR-MER, Munic., 126, V, 11th c., From Monastery of St. Bertin, St. Omer.
16. BRUSSELS, B. Royale, 19609 (1346), V, End of 7th c. or beginning of 8th c. 2 folios from same MS. as London BM Addit. 24144, Paris BN Lat. 10399 and Brussels II 7478.
17. ---- II 7478, V, As Brussels 19609, cf. F. Masai "Nouveaux fragments du Paul Orose de Stavelot en écriture onciale," in Hommages à Leon Herrmann, Collection Latomus, vol. xliv, Bruxelles-Berchem, 1960.
18. BUDAPEST, Nat. Szechenyi L., Lat. 6, ff. 1-95v, V, 10th and 13th c.
19. CAMBRAI, Munic., 789 (697), V, 12th c.
20. CAMBRIDGE, Clare Coll., 18, ff. 1-45, V, 12th c., from Canterbury.
21. ---- Corpus Christi Coll., 23 pt. 2, V, 12th c., from Malmesbury.
22. ---- Pembroke Coll., + 87E, ff. 109-120, V, 13/Uth v., Excerpts; from Bury St. Edmunds.
23. ---- St. John's Coll., 98 (D23), ff. 1-82v, V, 15th v.
24. ---- Trinity Coll., 1264, ff. 1-100v, V, early 12th c., from Canterbury.
25. ---- Univ. L., Addit. 4218, V, 14th c.
26. CESENA, B. Malatestiana, Plut, xiv. cod. v., V, 15th c.
27. CHARTRES, Munic., * 9, V, 9th c., destroyed in 1944.
28. ---- * 97, ff. 14-228, V, 10th c., destroyed in 1944.
29. DIJON, Munic., + 561 (322), f. 175v, V, 12th c., "de situ antique Babilonis."
30. DOUAI, Munic., + 796, ff. 113-4, P, 15th c., "Chronica Orosii."
31. DRESDEN, Sachs. Landesbibl., J53, ff. 27-113v, V, 14th c., From the church at Oschatz; badly damaged in 1945.
32. DONAUESCHINGEN, Fursten-bergbibl., 18, V, 8th c., From Corbie area.
33. EINSIEDELN, Stiftsbibl., 351, V, 10th c.
34. ERLANGEN, Univ. Bibl., 405, ff. 1-60, V, 15th c.
35. ESCORIAL, + Lat. M. iii. 23, ff. 81-9, P, Early 15th c., Bk. 1, Ch. 2 only.
36. ETON, Eton Coll., BK. 1, ff. 1-84v, V, Early 13th c.
37. FLORENCE, B. Laur. Sta Croce, pl. 8 dext., Cod. 6, ff. 200-284, V, 13/14th c.
38.---- pl. 20 sin., Cod. 2, ff. 1-55v, V, 11/12th c.
39.---- pl. 65, Cod. 1, V, 6th c., from N. Italy, possibly Ravenna.
40. ---- pl. 65, Cod. 35, V, 10th c.
41. ---- pl. 65, Cod. 37, V, 14th c.
42. ---- pl. 89 sup., Cod. 21, V, 14th c.
43.---- B. Leop. Medic. Fesul. Cod. 63, V, 15th c.
44.---- B. Riccardiana, 627, V, 11th and 12th c.
45. GDANSK (Danzig), Marienkirchen Bibl., Mar. F 285, ff. 37-127, P 15th c.  [Now part of the Biblioteka Gdanska.]
46. ---- Mar. F. 311, V, Mid 14th c.
47. GENEVA, B. Publ. et Univ., 18, ff. 214-390, P, 15th c.
48. GENT, B. der Univ., 68, pp. 291-488, V, 1465.
49. ---- + 92, f. 166v, V, early 12th c. "Chronice Orosii... de principio orbis et urbis."
50.---- + 471, ff. 1-10v, P, 14th c., extract.
51. GRENOBLE, Munic., 376 (983), P, 15th c. from Library of Laurent Blumeneau, prior of the Grande Chartreuse
52. HOLKHAM, Holkham Hall, 370, V, 1370 from Padua.
53. KLAGENFURT, Bundesst. Studienb., Pap. Hs. 166, ff. 1-78r, P, 14th c.
54. LAON, Munic., 137, V, 8th c.
55. LEIDEN, Univ. L., Voss. Lat. f. 13, V, 12th c.
56. ---- Voss. Lat. f. 18, V, 13th c.
57. ---- B.P.L. 80, ff. 2-106v, V, 15th c.
58. ---- B.P.L. 110, ff. 1-138v, V, 14th c.
59. ---- B.P.L. 127, C, ff. 1-129, P, 1465.
60. ---- + B.P.L. 188, ff. 108-156v, V et P, 1464, "Excerpta ex Scriptoribus Historicis Romanorum imprimis Orosio."
61. ---- Perizon. F 7, ff. 95-183, P, 1486.
62. ---- Perizon. F22, V, First half 15th c. from Italy.
63. ---- + Voss. Lat. Q. 20, ff. 129-140v, V, 9th c., excerpts.
64. ---- + Voss. Lat. Q. 69, f. 32v, V, 8th c., Leiden Glossary; contains glosses "De Orosio."
65. ---- Inde Bet. 1, V, 15th c.
66. LEIPZIG, Stadtbibl., 155, V, 11th c.
67. ---- 156, P, 15th c.
68. LENINGRAD, Pub. L., F V. 1. No. 9. 9th c., from Corbie.
69. ---- F I 305, P, 15th c.
69 bis. F. L 343, f. 251-309, V, 15th c.
70. LINCOLN, Cath. L., 102 (A 4.10), V, 12th c.
71. LINZ, Studienb., 701, V, 13th c., Fragment, Book III, 23 only.
72. LONDON, Brit. Mus. Burney 214 V, 1434, written at Basel.
73. ---- Burney 215, V, Early 14th c.
74. ---- Burney 216, V, Early 13th c.
75. ---- Royal 6 c viii, V, End of 12th c., from Rievaulx.
76. ---- Royal 7 d xxv, ff. 7-44, V, Late 12th c.
77. ---- Royal 13 a xx, V, 13th c., written in England.
78. ---- Egerton 639, P, 15th c.
79. ---- Harley 2765, V, 15th c.
80. ---- + Addit. MS. 11898, ff. 12-15v, P, 15th c., Table only.
81. ---- Addit. MS. 24144, V, Beginning of 8th c., fragments from St. Remacle of Stavelot, cf. Brussels 19609 & Paris BN Lat. 10399.
82. ---- Addit. MS. 26623, ff. 1-111, P, Late 15th c.
83. LYON, Bibl. du Palais des Arts, 34, P, 15th c., now in Bibliothèque Municipale.
84. MADRID, BibL Nac., 8696, ff. 1-119v, V, 14th c.
85. ---- 8831, ff. 1-138, V, 12/13th c.
86. ---- 10152, V, 14th c.
87. METZ, Munic., MSS. destroyed in 1944.
88. ---- * 185, V, 11th c.
89. ---- * 186, V, End of 11th c.
90. ---- * 187, V, 9th c.
91. ---- * 362, V, 10th c.
92. MILAN, B. Ambrosiana, MS. A 43 sup., P, 15th c.
93. ---- C305 inf., V, 15th c.
94. ---- D 23 sup., V, 7th c., probably written at Bobbio, Books I to II 13 only.
95. ---- D 274 inf., V, 14th c.
96. ---- G 114 inf., V, 15th c.
97. MONTPELLIER, Ecole de Médecine, 94, second text, V, 12th c.
98. MUNICH, Bayer. Staatsb., 396, V, 10th c., Book 1 Ch. 2 only.
99. ---- 492, P, 15th c. from Electoral Library.
100. ---- 6308, V, end of 8th c., from Freising.
101. ---- 6315, fly-leaves, V, 8th c., c. f. MS. 29022.
102. ---- 6380, V, 10/11th c., from Freising.
103. ---- 10292, ff. 1-142v, V, 11th c., from Mannheim.
104. ---- 13041, V, 12th c., from Ratisbon.
105. ---- + 14754, ff. 83 & 95, V, 9/10th c., excerpts & glosses.
106. ---- + 14895, P, 16th c., excerpts.
107. ---- 15143, P, 15th c., written 1463 at Rebdorf.
108. ---- 22025, ff. 1-201, V, 12th c., from St. Peter's Wessobrun.
109. ---- 26303, ff. 1-102, V, 13th c.
110. ---- 29022, V, 8th c., fragments of Book 1, Ch. 2, from N. Italy probably Bobbio.
111. NAPLES, B. Naz., IV C 50, P, 15th c.
112. ORLEANS, Munic., + 288, f. 85, P, 17th c., "Ex Paulo Orosio."
113. OXFORD, Bodleian L., Auct.. F 5.24, V, 13th c., written in England (?).
114. ---- T 1.23, V, 11th c., from Metz.
115. ---- + Bodl. 163, f. 226v, V, 12th c., "de situ Babylonis," from Peterborough.
116. ---- Can. Class. Lat. 256, V, 14th c.
117. ---- New Coll. 151, V, 12th c.
118. ---- Jesus Coll. 34, V, 13th c. from Cirencester
119. ---- Jesus Coll. 62, V, 12th c., from Cirencester.
120. ---- Laud Lat. 4, V, 13th c., from Malmesbury.
121. ---- Auct. Selden B. 16, V, 12th c., supposed to be written by William of Malmesbury.
122. ---- St. John's Coll., 95, V, 12th c., from Chichester.
123. ---- Magdalen Coll., 14, ff. 14-58v, V, 13th c., compilation.
124. ---- Balliol Coll., 125, ff. 96-206v, V, 15th c.
125. PADUA, B. Antoniana, Scaff. 1 No 15, V, 10/11th c.
126. ---- B. Univ., 909, P, 15th c.
127. PARIS, Arsenal + 720, f. 25, P, 15th c., "Ratio totius orbis vel provinciarum."
128. ---- + 585, f. 206, V, 12th c., "Relatio Horosii de Babilone."
129. ---- 982, ff. 1-42, V, 14th c., from the Coll. de Navarre.
130. ---- 983, V, 13th c., from Coll. Louis le Grand.
131. ---- 984, ff. 1-107, V, 12th c., Liber Sancte Marie de Fonteneto.
132. ---- + 1094, f. 155v, P, 15th c., extracts from a number of authors, including Orosius.
133. ---- B. Nat., Lat. 4871, ff. 1-98v, V, 11th c.
134. ---- 4872, V, 12th c.
135. ---- 4873, ff. 1-81v, V, 12th c.
136. ---- 4874, ff. 1-64, V, 13th c.
137. ---- 4875, V, 13th c.
138. ---- 4876, ff. 1-86, V, 13th c.
139. ---- 4877, ff. 1-95, V, 13th c.
140. ---- 4878, ff. 1-104v, V, 13th c.
141. ---- 4879, V, 14th c.
142. ---- 4880, ff. 1-48v, V, 14th c.
143. ---- 4881, V, 15th c.
144. ---- 4882, P, 15th c.
145. ---- 4883, ff. 1-3, V, 12/13th c., fragment only.
146. ---- 9665, V, 8th c. from Cluny.
147. ---- 9666, ff. 1-170v, V, 11th c.
148. ---- 9667, V, 14th c.
149. ---- 10399, f. 3, V, Beginning of 8th c., 1 folio from same MS. as Brussels 19609 and London BM. Addit. 24144.
150. ---- 12495, V, Beginning 11th c., from St. Germain des Près.
151. ---- 12496, V, 14th c.
152. ---- 15007, V, 11th c. from St. Victor
153. ---- 16011, V, 11th c.
154. ---- 16012, V, 14th c. from the library of the Sorbonne.
155. ---- 16013, 15th c., apparently a copy of the preceding.
156. ---- 17543, ff. l-102v, V, 12th c., from the Coll. de Navarre.
157. ---- 17567, V, 11th c. from the Coll. de Navarre.
158. ---- + 18104, ff. 108-183v, excerpts only.
159. ---- n.a. Lat. 310, ff. 1-27v, 12th c., from St. Victor.
160. ---- + n.a. Lat. 405, V, 9th c., one leaf only, written by Adelbaldus of St. Martin, Tours.
161. ---- n.a. Lat. 1602, ff. 1-128, V, 12th c., from the Grande Chartreuse.
162. ---- n.a. Lat. 1703, P, 15th c., copied from a printed edition.
163. ---- Mazarine, + 672, V, 12th c., one folio contains "extracts from Orosius."
164. ---- 1637, V, 14/15th c.
165. ---- Ste-Geneviève 1825, V, 13th c.
166. PFORTA, Heimoberschule Pforte, 15, V, 13th c., from the Benedictine monastery of Bosau near Zeitz.
167. POITIERS, Bibl. de la Ville, + 215 (179), f. 38v and 92, V, 15th c. extracts from Orosius and other authors.
168. PRAGUE, Univ. L., + VIII H 30, ff. 58v-69, P, 15th c., Book 1, Ch. 2 only.
169. ---- Metropolitan Chapter L., + O.18 (1602), ff. 29-40v, P, 15th c., excerpts; now administered by the archives of Prague Castle.
170. ROME, B. Angelica, 1410, P, 15th c.
171. ---- 1767, P, 15th c.
172. ST. GALLEN, Stiftsb. 547, pp. 3-93, V, 12/13th c. apparently a copy of the MS. 621.
173. ---- 621, pp. 1-337, V, 9th c.
174. ---- + 878, pp. 378-391, V, 11th c., excerpts from Orosius.
175. SAINT-OMER, Munic., 717, V, 11th c., from the Chapitre de St. Orner.
176. SHREWSBURY, Shrewsbury School, + 36 (27), P., 15th c., extracts.
177. STUTTGART, Wurtemberg B., HB v19, ff. 1-148, P, loth c., from Weingarten.
178. ---- HB 410, V, 12th c., from Kloster Zwiefalten.
179. TOURNAI, B. de la Ville, +* 135, f. 94v, V, 13th c., fragments, destroyed in 1940.
180. TOURS, Munic., 973, V, 14/15th c., from St. Gatien.
181. TRIER, Stadtbibl., 1094, ff. 1-108, V, 11th c., from St. Maximin, Trier.
182. ---- 1095, V, 12th c. from St. Matthias Trier
183. ---- 1096, V, 10th c., from Tholey.
184. ---- 1097, ff. 163-256, P, 16th c., written at Trier 1520 : prov. St. Matthias, apparently a copy, incorporating the corrections in its exemplar, of MS. 1094.
185. TROYES, Munic., 2265, V, 12 c., from Clairvaux.
186. TURIN, B. Naz. 1208 (H.ii.28), P, 15th c.
187. VALENCIENNES, Munic. 545 (499), V, 9th c.
188. VATICAN, + Lat. 682, f. 159v, V, 13th c., Book 1. Ch. xxi only.
189. ---- + Lat. 1253, f. 148v, V, 13/14th c., excerpts.
190. ---- + Lat. 1469, f. 168v, V, 10/11th c., founding of Babylon.
191. ---- + Lat. 1869, f. 91, V, 12th c., excerpt
192. ---- + Lat. 1883, ff. 67-72, V, 15th c., excerpts.
193. ---- Lat. 1974, ff. 1-103, V, 10/11 th c.
194. ---- Lat. 1975, V, 15th c.
195. ---- Lat. 1976, ff. 1-131v, V, 12/13th
196. ---- Lat. 1977, ff. 1-133, V, 10/11th c.
197. ---- Lat. 3339, V, 11/12th c.
198. ---- Lat. 3340, V, 12th c.
199. ---- Lat. 3852, excerpts.
200. ---- + Lat. 7190, ff. 124-47, 148-153v, 15th c., excerpts.
201. ---- Lat. 7318, V, 12th c.
202. ---- Lat. 11564, ff. 25v-182v, P, 15th c.
203. ---- Pal. Lat. 827, V, 13/14th c.
204. ---- Pal. Lat. 828, ff. 89v-170 and f. 173, V, 11th c.
205. ---- Pal. Lat. 829, ff. 1-112, V, 9th c., from Lorsch.
206. ---- Pal. Lat. 1357. V.
207. ---- Reg. Lat. 296, V, 9th c., with Breton glosses.
208. ---- Reg. Lat. 342, ff. 104-128v, V, 9th c.? epitome.
209. ---- Reg. Lat. 471, ff. 17-64, V, 12th c., much abbrev., possibly from Pomerania.
210. ---- Reg. Lat. 632, V, 12th c.
211. ---- Reg. Lat. 691, V, 12th c.
212. ---- Reg. Lat. 772, V, 11/12th c.
213. ---- Ottobon. 68, V, 12th c.
214. ---- Ottobon. 2091, ff. 87-87v 14th. c. epitome.
215. ---- Barberini 543, V, 13th c.
216. ---- Rossian. 344, V, 15th c.
217. ---- + Rossian. 349, V, 12th c., extract, founding of Babylon.
218. ---- Urb. Lat. 483, V, 15th c.
219. ---- Archivio di San Pietro 23 E, V, 15th c.
220. VENDÔME, Munic., 99, V, 11th c.
221. VENICE, Marciana, 194, P, 15th c.
222. ---- 349, V, 11th c., Breton glosses.
223. ---- 350, V, 12th c.
224. VERCELLI, Cathedral L., 159, V, 9th c.
225. VIENNA, Nat. Bibl. 41, V, 15th c.
226. ---- 366, V, 9/10th c.
227. ---- 381, V, 14th c., from the Library of St. Dorothy, Vienna.
228. ---- 480, ff. 67v-32v, V, 13th c.
229. ---- 2165, V, 10th c., Book 1 only.
230. ---- 3088, P, 15th c.
231. ---- 3127, P, 15th c.
232. ---- 3149, ff. 89-186v, P, 15th c.
233. ---- 15318, V, 9th c., fragments of Book 1 only.
234. ---- WASHINGTON, L. of Congress, 95, V, Late 14th c., 2 folios only, probably written in Italy.
235. ---- Folger Shakespeare L., + SM 6, V, 1480; contains Orosius "De Situ regionum."
236. WOLFENBÜTTEL, Herzog August B., Gud. Lat. 32 (4337), V, 15th c.
237. ---- Gud. Lat. 80 (4384), V, 11th c.
238. ---- Guelf. 4.10 Aug. in-4°, V, 13th c., from Leitzkau.
239. ---- Guelf. 82.10 Aug. in-12°, lv-97v, V, 11th.
240. WROCLAW (Breslau), Stadtb., MSS. destroyed in 1945.
241. ---- * R106, P, 15th c.
242 ---- * R107, V, Before 850 AD.
243. ---- *R108, ff. 2-148, V, 9/10th c.
244. ---- * R239, ff. 75-144b, V, 14th c.
245. Additional MS : see 69bis.

 

J. M. BATELY and D. J. A. Ross.
London W. C., Birkbeck College, Malet Street. 1961

Bibliography

J.M. BATELY & D.J.A. ROSS, A Check List of Manuscripts of Orosius "Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri Septem", Scriptorium 15.2 (1961) pp.329-334.  Source of this information.

Constructive feedback is welcomed to Roger Pearse. Corrections and additions are very welcome.

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