Thursday, 22 September 2011

Beatus of Liébana: Commentary on the Apocalypse

click images to enlarge

Commentary on the Apocalypse (Commentaria In Apocalypsin) was originally an eighth century work by the Spanish monk and theologian Beatus of Liébana. Today, it refers to any of the extant manuscript copies of this work, especially any of the 26 illuminated copies that have survived. It is often referred to simply as the Beatus. The historical significance of the Commentary is made even more pronounced since it included a world map, which offers a rare insight into the geographical understanding of the post-Roman world. Well-known copies include the Morgan, the Saint-Sever, the Gerona, the Osma and the Facundus.

Considered together, the Beatus codices are among the most important Spanish medieval manuscripts and have been the subject of extensive scholarly and antiquarian enquiry.

Watching "The Name of the Rose" last night i noticed this is one of the manuscripts Adso is looking through when he and William first enter the forbidden library.

I've not been able to find PDFs of any of the manuscripts but here are a collection of hi-res color scans from various editions, links and a PDF commentary on the codices.

(Above images from, Facundus Beatus, 1047)

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