GKS 211 2°: Lucretius, De rerum natura





GKS 211 2°: Lucretius, De rerum natura

Parchment, 8 ff., ca. 27 × 20 cm; Northern Italy (? - maybe Bobbio), 850-900

GKS 211 2° is a fragment containing T. Lucretius Carus’ De rerum natura, lib. I & II, v. 1-456 (with omissions of some verses). It has been known and studied by scholars since the 17th century, for textual as well as for palaeographical reasons. It is one of the oldest classical manuscripts in the Royal Library

The fragment once formed part of a manuscript of which other parts are preserved in Ms. Lat. 107 of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna. Altogether 30 leaves of the original manuscript are still extant. Apart from further parts of Lucretius (from lib. II, III & VI) the leaves in Vienna contain a fragment of Avienus' Aratea and some of the Satires of Juvenal

The origin of the manuscript is not certain. Chatelain pointed out Corbie as a possibility. In Lehmann’s view it was produced in Bobbio. In 1974 Bischoff suggested that it had been copied in Southern Germany. Later he made a retractatio, returned to Lehmann’s opinion and pointed out Northern Italy, probably Bobbio, as the place of origin of the manuscript, a proposition followed, i.a., by Munk Olsen

The manuscript belonged to the library of Gottorp in Schleswig, whose manuscripts were transferred to Copenhagen in 1735. It was studied by scholars even while still in Gottorp Castle, and is often referred to as Schedae Gottorpienses or Fragmentum Gottorpiense (or Gottorpianum). In critical editions of Lucretius’ text the manuscript is quoted as siglum G

Bibl.: J. Erichsen, Udsigt over den gamle Manuscript-Samling i det store Kongelige Bibliothek, Copenhagen 1786, p. 32. - Émile Chatelain, Paléographie des classiques latins I, Paris 1884-1892, p. 16 (& planche LIX). - Ellen Jørgensen, Catalogus codicum Latinorum medii ævi Bibliothecæ Regiæ Hafniensis, Hafniæ 1926, p. 301f. - Paul Lehmann, Erforschung des Mittelalters. Ausgewählte Abhandlungen und Aufsätze, 3, Stuttgart 1960, p. 168. - L. D. Reynolds in: L. D. Reynolds (ed.), Text and Transmission. A Survey of the Latin Classics, Oxford 1983, p. 220. - Bernhard Bischoff, Lorsch im Spiegel seiner Handschriften, München 1974, p. 74 (note 30). - Birger Munk Olsen, L'Étude des auteurs classiques latins aux XIe et XIIe siècles, II, Paris 1985, p. 88f. (B 15); IV.1, 2009, p. 79; IV.2, 2014, p. 20, 119, 120, 230, 290. - Bernhard Bischoff, Katalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts (mit Ausnahme der wisigotischen). Teil I: Aachen - Lambach, ed. Birgit Ebersperger, Wiesbaden 1998, p. 411 nr. 1984

Erik Petersen