Vatican Mythographer

by Red Brick  |  10 years, 6 month(s) ago

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Vatican Mythographer

 Tags: Mythographer, Vatican



  1. zarnigar
    The Vatican Mythographer (Latin: Mythographus Vaticanus), a major source of Greek mythology, is any of three anonymous authors, of a manuscript in the Vatican Library and in other manuscripts. The pseudonym was given by Angelo Mai in 1831, when he published a first edition of the author whom he designated the Vatican Mythographer, who is in fact only connected with the Vatican through a single manuscript, ,in which his text is rendered in five mid-twelfth-century hands. Mai did not compare his text to any other manuscripts. Later readers separated out a Second and a Third Vatican Mythographer, whose texts were also represented in other manuscript traditions. Though no Classical authors were directly quoted, two main sources stand out: Servius and the scholiast on Statius; for the modern reader who is not a specialist, the interest lies mainly in sources that have been lost, for which Mythographus Vaticanus is the only testament. The Vatican Mythographers aimed to provide a pared-down "fact-book" of mythology, stripped of nuance, not unlike the Fabulae of Hyginus, who, however, had provided no Roman stories and so could not suffice. Taken together, the "Vatican Mythographers" provided a source-book for the myths of Greeks and Romans and their iconography through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; their texts were copied in manuscripts as late as the fifteenth century. The Vatican Mythographer provided texts that were parsed allegorically to provide Christianized moral and theological implications, "until in time the pagan divinities blossomed into full-fledged vices and virtues" . Their testimonia, sources and parallel passages provide central documents in tracing the transmission of Classical culture to the Medieval world, which is a major theme in the history of ideas in the West. The Second Vatican Mythographer and the Third Vatican Mythographer are distinguished by the fact that their texts, which appear in the Vatican manuscript published by Mai, also exist in other manuscripts, ten for the Second and more than forty for the Third Vatican Mythographer, who is the only writer of the three with a possible identity, one Alberic, perhaps working in London

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