With no contemporary criticism surviving, apart from the Liber Genealogus series, it remains difficult to gauge the impact of the Great Stemma in late antiquity, although we discern an early interest in giving the diagram a chronographic makeover. The addition of an Ordo Romanorum Regnum in Psi, along with the dating of the death of Cyrus of the Achaemenids (in anno quo Cirus defunctus est anni CCXX, 105,6) shows how early readers had begun comparing the data with the Chronological Canons of Eusebius of Caesarea.

An additional chronological alteration which probably dates to this early period is an editor's response to the Methusaleh aporia, the life-span which would have permitted Methusaleh to survive the Great Flood outside the Ark. The Great Stemma gains a gloss: ante octuagesimo sexto anno dilubii Matusalam mortuus est [9,0], which shifts the patriarch's death to 86 years before the Great Rain.

A more thorough overhaul then takes place with the composition of the Ordo Annorum Mundi, a handlist of Eusebian time-spans which is so often found in company with the Great Stemma that it is hard not to wonder if it did not originate as a cheat-sheet to explain the graphic. In the Visigothic period the OAM dispersed into a wide variety of history-focussed books, the exhaustive collation of Martín shows. [*]Editio princeps: José Carlos Martín Iglesias, and Valeriano Yarza Urquiola. Opera II: Elogium Ildefonsi, Vita Iuliani (auctore Felice Toletano), Antikeimena, Fragmenta, Ordo annorum mundi. Corpus Christianorum Series Latina (CCSL) 115A. Turnhout: Brepols, 2014.

In translation, the core part of the OAM reads:

A calculation of the years of the world in brief. From Adam to the Flood: 2,242 years; from the Flood to Abraham: 942 years; from Abraham to Moses: 505 years; from the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt until their entry into the Promised Land: 40 years; from the entry into the Promised Land until Saul, the first king of Israel, there were 355 years; Saul ruled for 40 years; from David until the start of construction of the Temple: 43 years; from the start of construction of the Temple until the deportation to Babylon, kings ruled for 443 years; the captivity of the people and the desolation of the Temple lasted 70 years; the restoration by Zerubabbel took 4 years; after the restoration, until the incarnation of Christ: 515 years; added together, the entire time from Adam until Christ totals 5,199 years.

The OAM is found in close company with the Great Stemma in P, Ma, Ro, Le and Le2, and more distantly, integrated into Book 4 of the Commentary on the Apocalypse in all the Beatuses.

In addition, it appears in fragmentary form stirred into the graphic in nine manuscripts. [*]To the list below left may be added the same legend recorded by José Maria Eguren from a further, now lost León bible, which is in turn quoted by Williams (1965): Contiene este códice, como el anterior [Bible of 960], la genealogia de Jesucristo desde Adam, y en dos espacios circulares de noticia de la época en que empezaron a profetizar los profetas mayores y menores; concluye la genealogia de Jesucristo, y al fin de la misma hay una miniatura que representa Anunciación, y dentro de un círculo se lee: colligitur omne tempus ab Adam usque ad Christum VCXCVIIII (5199)...

These contain the chronology abbreviated to the formula Colligitur omne tempus ab Adam usque ad Christum anni V.CXC.VIIII (the wording in León 1) and/or a version of the brief biography of Christ which had accreted to the OAM and began Maria de qua Iesus Christus dei filius. The latter tends be reshaped to make it a quasi-gloss to the Mary roundel. Both these summaries appear on the final or Incarnation page of the diagram (which usually contains a nativity scene). A complete list of the extant Incarnation pages, with links to digital versions where available:

α Roda (Ro) Coll. x
α Gerona (G) x dei filius
α Cardeña (Pc) x dei filius
α Rylands (R) x dei filius
α Las Huelgas (H) Coll dei filius
α Turin (Tu) Coll? dei filius?
β León (Le) Coll. dei filius
β Facundus (J) Coll. dei filius
σ Saint-Sever (S) x dei filius
γ Urgell (U) x x

Since Las Huelgas is thought to be a copy of Turin, it is likely that the Turin stemma (non vidi) also contains the elements of the OAM. An x means no fragment was found. The table would be longer but for the fact that several extant Beatus manuscripts now lack the Incarnation page of the Great Stemma.

Fragments from the OAM sometimes appear on other pages of the diagram:

A final Iberian stage of chronographic interest in the Great Stemma is evident in three late glosses about eras which have their roots in Augustine's theory of the six ages as mediated by Isidore:

As to sightings of the Great Stemma outside the world of scholarship, we know that one Justus, a notary and scribe who died in 772, unwittingly copied a fragment of the Great Stemma when he commenced his own copy of the Four Gospels which was later to be bound into the Codex Ovetense. [*]Teófilo Ayuso Marazuela, 1943, 161: Justo's Gospel text began, Sicut Luchas evangelista..., a text found on the last page of the Great Stemma. The Gospels manuscript can be dated because Justo entered his name in a closing prayer at the end, and a later hand added the precise date of Justo's death. Unfortunately these pages of the codex are now lost and we must trust long-dead readers for the information..

Shortly thereafter, Beatus or his editors chose the Great Stemma as a frontispiece to the Commentary on the Apocalypse, which was completed in 776. That decision, undoubtedly stimulated a burst of interest lasting centuries in Visigothic Iberia in the old graphic and led to it becoming a stock item in illustration programs for bibles as well. [*]For the date, see: Roger Gryson and Beatus of Liébana, Tractatus de Apocalipsin, 2 vols., Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 107C (Turnhout: Brepols, 2012), xliv.

One indication of how anchored the Great Stemma became in Iberian Christian discourse was the addition to it of anthropological characterizations that are clearly related to the conflict that began with the Umayyad Islamic invasion of Visigothic Iberia in 711. These characterizations vary so much among the different recensions that it would be hard to argue they are not additions by later editors. In Ro, for example, Magog is described as the ancestor of the Moors (a quo leviunde est mauritunie filiibus futh dicitur / de isto natus mauri) while Gomer is described as ancestor of the Goths (de isto natus gothi).

The illuminations added to the Great Stemma in the medieval period are of two types. The first comprises figurative images of Adam, Noah and Abraham sacrificing Isaac, and sometimes other patriarchs, as well as figurative scenes of the Nativity, usually polychrome. The second comprises elaborate borders, both at the top and bottom of the page in place of the fila and in the arrangement, often in the form of arches; to this group must be added the Constantinian knot which often encloses the Ordo Romanorum Regnum.[*]For studies of these illuminations and what inspired them, see the works by Peter K Klein and John Williams in the Bibliography.

Throughout the medieval period, the graphic is so riddled with errors that we may deduce it was rarely or never consulted as a source of information, but instead admired as a lens offering a vision of the complexity of God's ways with humankind. The need for a comprehensive infographic of bible lore was instead met from about 1180 on by the Compendium, a vertically laid-out roll by Peter of Poitiers, a Paris university professor. It does not seem to have been influenced by the Great Stemma, but took over many of the late antique document's functions.

When modern collectors and art history institutions began acquiring Beatuses in the late nineteenth century, a glow of fresh attention fell on the Great Stemma. Wilhelm Neuss and Henry Sanders in the 1930s recognized the genealogy-of-Christ content as separate from the work of Beatus but saw no way to date or trace it. Ayuso rounded out the picture, but it was not until the work of Załuska in the 1980s that the Great Stemma, still not given any name of its own, was subjected to a more exacting gaze.

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