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CATHOLICENCYCLOPEDIA:CodexVaticanus

CodexVaticanus
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(CODEXB),aGreekmanuscript,themostimportantofallthemanuscriptsofHoly
Scripture.ItissocalledbecauseitbelongstotheVaticanLibrary(CodexVaticanus,
1209).
Thiscodexisaquartovolumewritteninunciallettersofthefourthcentury,onfoliosof
fineparchmentboundinquinterns.Eachpageisdividedintothreecolumnsoffortylines
each,withfromsixteentoeighteenletterstoaline,exceptinthepoeticalbooks,where,
owingtothestichometricdivisionofthelines,therearebuttwocolumnstoapage.There
arenocapitalletters,butattimesthefirstletterofasectionextendsoverthemargin.
Severalhandsworkedatthemanuscriptthefirstwriterinsertedneitherpausesnor
accents,andmadeusebutrarelyofasimplepunctuation.Unfortunately,thecodexis
mutilatedatalaterdatethemissingfolioswerereplacedbyothers.Thus,thefirsttwenty
originalfoliosaremissingapartoffolio178,andtenfoliosafterfol.348alsothefinal
quinterns,whosenumberitisimpossibletoestablish.Thereareextantinall759original
folios.
TheOldTestament(SeptuagintVersion,exceptDaniel,whichistakenfromtheversionof
Theodotion)takesup617folios.Onaccountoftheaforementionedlacunae,theOld
Testamenttextlacksthefollowingpassages:Genesis146:282Samuel2:57,1013Pss.
cv,27cxxxvii,6.TheorderofthebooksoftheOldTestamentisasfollows:Genesisto
SecondParalipomenon,FirstandsecondEsdras,Psalms,Proverbs,Ecclesiastes,Canticle
ofCanticles,Job,Wisdom,Ecclesiasticus,Esther,Judith,Tobias,theMinorProphets
fromOseetoMalachi,Isaias,Jeremias,Baruch,LamentationsandEpistleofJeremias,
Ezechiel,DanieltheVaticanCodexdoesnotcontainthePrayerofManassesortheBooks
ofMachabees.TheNewTestamentbeginsatfol.618.Owingtothelossofthefinal
quinterns,aportionofthePaulineEpistlesismissing:Hebrews9:1413:25,thePastoral
Letters,EpistletoPhilemonalsotheApocalypse.Itispossiblethattheremayalsobe
someextracanonicalwritingsmissing,liketheEpistleofClement.TheorderoftheNew
Testamentbooksisasfollows:Gospels,ActsoftheApostles,CatholicEpistles,St.Paul
totheRomans,Corinthians(III),Galatians,Ephesians,Philippians,Thessalonians(III),
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Hebrews.
IntheVaticanCodexwefindneithertheAmmonianSectionsnortheEusebianCanons.It
is,however,dividedintosections,afteramannerthatiscommontoitwiththeCodex
Zacynthius(Cod."Zeta"),aneighthcenturyScripturalmanuscriptofSt.Luke.TheActs
oftheApostlesexhibitsaspecialdivisionintothirtysixchapters.TheCatholicEpistles
beartracesofadoubledivision,inthefirstandearlierofwhichsomebelievethatthe
SecondEpistleofPeterwaswanting.ThedivisionofthePaulineEpistlesisquitepeculiar:
theyaretreatedasonebook,andnumberedcontinuously.Itisclearfromthisenumeration
thatinthecopyoftheScripturesreproducedbytheVaticanCodextheEpistletothe
HebrewswasplacedbetweentheEpistletotheGalatiansandtheEpistletotheEphesians.
TheVaticanCodex,inspiteoftheviewsofTischendorf,whoheldforthepriorityofthe
CodexSinaiticus,discoveredbyhim,isrightlyconsideredtobetheoldestextantcopyof
theBible.LiketheCodexSinaiticusitrepresentswhatWestcottandHortcalla"neutral
text",i.e.atextthatantedatesthemodificationsfoundinalllatermanuscripts,notonlythe
modificationsfoundinthelessancientAntiochenerecensions,butalsothosemetwithin
theEasternandAlexandrinerecensions.ItmaybesaidthattheVaticanCodex,writtenin
thefirsthalfofthefourthcentury,representsthetextofoneofthoserecensionsofthe
Biblewhichwerecurrentinthethirdcentury,andthatitbelongstothefamilyof
manuscriptsmadeuseofbyOrigeninthecompositionofhisHexapla.
TheoriginalhomeoftheVaticanCodexisuncertain.HortthinksitwaswrittenatRome
RendelHarris,ArmitageRobinson,andothersattributeittoAsiaMinor.Amorecommon
opinionmaintainsthatitwaswritteninEgypt.ArmitageRobinsonbelievesthatboththe
VaticanusandtheSinaiticuswereoriginallytogetherinsomeancientlibrary.Hisopinion
isbasedonthefactthatinthemarginsofbothmanuscriptsisfoundthesamespecial
systemofchaptersfortheActsoftheApostles,takenfromthedivisionofEuthalius,and
foundintwootherimportantcodices(AmiatinusandFuldensis)oftheLatinVulgate.
TischendorfbelievedthatthreehandshadworkedatthetranscriptionoftheVatican
Codex.Heidentified(?)thefirsthand(B1),ortranscriber,oftheOldTestamentwiththe
transcriberofapartoftheOldTestamentandsomefoliosoftheNewTestamentinthe
CodexSinaiticus.Thisprimitivetextwasrevised,shortlyafteritsoriginaltranscription,
withtheaidofanewmanuscript,byacorrector(B2FortheOldTestamentB2is
quotedbySweteasBa).Sixcenturiesafter(accordingtosome),athirdhand(B3,Bb)
retracedthefadedletters,leavingbutverylittleoftheoriginaluntouched.Accordingto
Fabiani,however,thisretracingwasdoneearlyinthefifteenthcenturybythemonk
Clemens(quisaeculoXVineuntefloruissevidetur).Inmoderntimes(fifteenthsixteenth
century)themissingfolioswereaddedtothecodex,inorder,asTregellesconjectures,to
prepareitforuseintheVaticanLibrary.Oldcataloguesshowthatitwasthereinthe
fifteenthcentury.TheadditiontotheNewTestamentwaslistedbyScrivenerasCod.263
(inGregory,293)fortheEpistletotheHebrews,andCod.91fortheApocalypse.
NapoleonIhadthecodexbroughttoParis(whereHugwasenabledtostudyit),butitwas
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afterwardsreturnedtotheHolySee,withsomeotherremnantsofRomanbooty,and
replacedintheVaticanLibrary.Therearevariouscollations,editions,andstudiesofthe
VaticanCodex.Thecollationsare:
thatofBartolocci(GiuliodiS.Anastasia),formerlylibrarianoftheVaticanitwas
donein1669andispreservedinmanuscriptGr.Suppl.53oftheBibliothque
NationaleatParis(quotedunderthesigla:Blc)
thatofBirch(Bch)publishedatCopenhagenin1798fortheActsoftheApostlesand
theEpistles,in1800fortheApocalypse,in1801fortheGospels
thatexecutedforBentley(Btly)bytheAbbateMicoabout1720onthemarginofa
copyoftheGreekNewTestamentwhichwaspublishedatStrasburg,1524,by
CephalaeusthiscopyisamongBentley'sbooksinthelibraryofTrinityCollege,
CambridgethecollationitselfwaspublishedinFord'sappendixtoWoide'sedition
oftheCodexAlexandrinusin1799
alistofthealterationsexecutedbytheoriginalcopyistorbyhiscorrectors,editedat
therequestofBentleybytheAbbateRulottawiththeaidoftheAbbatedeStosch
(Rlt)thislistwassupposedtohaveperished,butitisextantamongtheBentley
papersinthelibraryofTrinityCollege,Cambridge,underthesigla:B.17.20
in1860Alford,andin1862Cure,examinedaselectnumberofthereadingsofthe
VaticanCodex,andpublishedtheresultsoftheirlaboursinthefirstvolumeof
Alford'sGreekTestament.
Manyotherscholarshavemadespecialcollationsfortheirownpurposese.g.Tregelles,
Tischendorf,Alford,etc.AmongtheworkswrittenontheVaticanCodexwemay
indicate:Bourgon,LettersfromRome"(London,1861).Inthesecondvolumeofthe
CatalogueofVaticanGreekmanuscripts,executedaccordingtothemodernscientific
methodforthecataloguingoftheVaticanLibrary,thereisadescriptionoftheCodex
Vaticanus.
Astotheeditionsofthiscodex,theRomaneditionoftheSeptuagint(1587)wasbasedon
theVaticanus.Similarly,theCambridgeeditionofSwetefollowsitregularlyandmakes
useoftheSinaiticusandtheAlexandrinusonlyfortheportionsthatarelackinginthe
Vaticanus.ThefirstRomaneditionappearedin1858,underthenamesofMaiand
Vercellone,and,underthesamenames,asecondRomaneditionin1859.Botheditions
wereseverelycriticizedbyTischendorfintheeditionhebroughtoutatLeipzigin1867,
"NovumTestamentumVaticanum,postA.Maiialiorumqueimperfectoslaboresexipso
codiceeditum",withanappendix(1869).ThethirdRomanedition(Verc.)appearedunder
thenamesofVercellone(died1869)andCozzaLuzi(died1905)in186881itwas
accompaniedbyaphotographicreproductionofthetext:"BibliorumSS.GraecorumCod.
Vat.1209,Cod.B,denouphototypiceexpressus,jussuetcurapraesidumBibliothecae
Vaticanae"(Milan,19046).Thiseditioncontainsamasterlyanonymousintroduction(by
GiovanniMercati),inwhichthewritercorrectsmanyinexactstatementsmadeby
previouswriters.Untilrecentlytheprivilegeofconsultingthisancientmanuscriptquite
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freelyandfullywasnotgrantedtoallwhosoughtit.ThematerialconditionoftheVatican
Codexisbetter,generallyspeaking,thanthatofitscontemporariesitisforeseen,
however,thatwithinacenturyitwillhavefallentopiecesunlessanefficaciousremedy,
whichisbeingearnestlysoughtfor,shallbediscovered.

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Aboutthispage
APAcitation.Benigni,U.(1908).CodexVaticanus.InTheCatholicEncyclopedia.New
York:RobertAppletonCompany.RetrievedJune6,2015fromNewAdvent:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04086a.htm
MLAcitation.Benigni,Umberto."CodexVaticanus."TheCatholicEncyclopedia.Vol.
4.NewYork:RobertAppletonCompany,1908.6Jun.2015
<http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04086a.htm>.
Transcription.ThisarticlewastranscribedforNewAdventbySeanHyland.
Ecclesiasticalapprobation.NihilObstat.RemyLafort,Censor.Imprimatur.+JohnM.
Farley,ArchbishopofNewYork.
Contactinformation.TheeditorofNewAdventisKevinKnight.Myemailaddressis
webmasteratnewadvent.org.Regrettably,Ican'treplytoeveryletter,butIgreatly
appreciateyourfeedbackespeciallynotificationsabouttypographicalerrorsand
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