The Groups of Manuscripts


We now emerge from the shadowy world of the hyparchetypes, the virtual recensions we situate in the fifth to the ninth centuries, and commence typing those manuscripts which physically survive. None of these dates from earlier than the tenth century. The sigla chosen by Załuska for the type-groups are: α, β, δ and σ. The only manuscripts which do not belong to one or other of these four types are the two diagrams preserved in Florence which point back to the ε hyparchetype and the five great bibles which enable us to reconstruct the ζ and ι hyparchetypes.

The α (Alpha) group clusters around Ro (Roda), which we have already introduced as a witness to certain of the Upsilon features, and extends to six other manuscripts with the sigla T, G, Tu, R, Pc, and H.[*]The siglum α was set by Załuska. Neuss variously describes the Beatus manuscripts of this selection as the "IIb" group, or sometimes terms it G-R.

The Alpha group is not a pure descendant of Upsilon. Its creator evidently also consulted a manuscript descending from Epsilon to better understand his Upsilon model and ended up importing a fairly grave error, the miswiring of the family of Saul. As a consequence, children are connected to their uncles, not to their fathers. On the plus side, Saul gained a wife with the roundel Acinna uxor Saul, a feature which is not found in the Omega and Psi archetypes. The editor was luckier in taking over Epsilon's graphic arrangement of the sons of Ham and of Rachel: here the results proved coherent and better structured than what Upsilon must have offered. The arrangement of the Judges in the Alpha group may also owe something to Epsilon's influence.

Textually, the Alpha group also has entries which are traceable to an Epsilon manuscript's influence. These include:

Three old glosses at the top margin, none of which is found in the Liber Genealogus, are almost certainly attributable to Epsilon as well:

In the sum, however, we see that Alpha is a work of illustration intended for meditation, making it visibly different from the Epsilon charts which preserve the older idea of visualizing history. Certain differences within the ranks of the Alpha group should also be noted. Whereas Roda has many of its glosses simply written in blank spaces between the roundels, either unenclosed or in simple rings, the other six have these glosses enclosed in elaborate arches or text-hugging borders. The latter six add more origins to their tables of nations, designating forefathers for the Thracians, African-Phoenicians and the ten tribes of Canaanites, while at the same time reducing the T-O map to roundel size at the side of the Loth page and dispensing with the full Isidorian explanation of how to read it. Among the many other features marking the fully evolved Alpha group and differentiating it from Roda:

The next type to consider is Załuska's β (Beta) recensions, which needs to be differentiated into two sub-types, the ten-page (manuscripts Le and Le2) and the fourteen-page (manuscripts M, J, Fi) versions. It is conceivable that the Ávila Bible tabulation of the Stemma text is also connected to these five.[*]Recension β transmise par deux Beatus de la branche IIa (M et J), par la Bible de 960 (sigle Le), très certainement par celle de 1162 et par les fragments Fi; texte corrigé d'après la Vulgate, néanmoins dans l'ensemble assez corrompu, et fortement interpolé, en grande partie, semble-t-il, à l'aide des Etymologies d'Isidore; peut être commodément désigné comme une recension longue. Ce texte a été disposé sur quatorze tables en M, en J et sans doute en Fi (dans ce dernier manuscrit de façon différente que dans les deux premiers), et sur dix tables en Le. M et J sont pratiquement identiques; Le est très proche; Fi accumule plusieurs omissions (Załuska, Feuillets, 241).

The steady characteristic which identifies this recension is the Fischer Backsplay Error, a space-saving reorganization of the sons of David which makes them fan out toward the left. The "error" is not to be confused with Gamma's shift of the Davidic family.[*]Lo decisivo está en que no sigue la tradición pura de Beato sino que toma un error de la familia IIa por el que la primera parte de los hijos de David viene transferida a la hoja precedente, en la que está la descendencia de Jacob. Fischer, Bonifatius. “Algunas Observaciones Sobre el «Codex Gothicus» de la Real Colegiata de San Isidoro en Leôn.” Archivos Leoneses: Revista de Estudios y Documentación de los Reinos Hispano-occidentales XV (1961): 5–47.

Beta keeps alive most of the typical Upsilon characteristics we have already noted, including the seven Japheth grandsons, a small T-O map and glosses which link ethnicities to the Noachide dispersion, and the typical textual changes. For categorizing purposes we can recognize these as a characteristic Upsilon-Alpha-Beta package.

Only a few of the elements familiar from Alpha are dispensed with in Beta: it has no overall heading (the "Genealogia ... per ordines linearum" text) and it provides the Recapitulatio content without that word as the heading. Glosses which it omits include those explaining the Cain-Abel dispute: agrigala cuius munera non placuerunt deo and quod Abel non faciebat sed deum prius honorabat.

Beta has several unique textual features which are evidently interpolations from works by other authors, but in a couple of instances one wonders if it has not by some strange accident been the sole transmitter of certain very ancient stemma features. One is a puzzling, much corrupted gloss on Joshua which is absent from the Vulgate, but appears in both the Liber Genealogus and the Vetus Latina. The passage, found in the Septuagint but not in the Hebrew bible, relates that the flint knives which Joshua had used to circumcize the sons of Israel at Galgala were laid in his tomb with him.

[Beta:] rex prefuit Israheli unigeniti septem annis ... et posuerant cum eo in monumento gladior petrineos de quibus circumcidit filios Israhel in Galgalis
[Liber Genealogus, recension G:] iudicavit Israel annis XXVII ... et posuerunt cum eo in monumento cultellos petrinos circumcisionis Israhel, devictis XXIIII regibus
[Vetus Latina (Lyons):] ibi posuerunt cum illo in monumento in quo saepellierunt illum gladios petrineos de quibus circumcidit filios Israhel

An interesting adjustment to the Genesis chronology which will be further discussed below appears in Beta:

Beta suffers from two conspicuous errors. One is a fumbling attempt to rework the genealogy of the Horrite peoples of Mount Seir to conform with the Vulgate.

The other is the inflation of the descendants of Benjanim from 10 to 17 persons through repetition. Benjamin's six grandsons and one great-grandson were listed by the Great Stemma author in accord with the Septuagint Genesis. A recensor has noticed that Jerome considered all seven to be sons of Benjamin himself (the Vulgate awards Benjamin 10 sons in all) and has altered the data, at the same time changing the names from their Vetus Latina to their Vulgate forms, with Adar for example becoming Gera. Subsequently, the Beta recensor, working with both the previous recensions, has become confused as he tries to reconcile them. Instead of recognizing the duplication, he wrongly guesses that both recensions must have omitted something, and therefore reproduces both lines. The result: he gives a similar set of names for both the second generation from Benjamin (these are sons, according to the Vulgate Genesis) and the third and fourth generations (grandsons and one great-grandson, according to the Septuagint), thus conflating 7 persons to 14. The three elder sons remain unchanged in all the recensions.

The σ (Sigma) recension is a group of one, extant in a single Paris manuscript (made in Saint-Sever in Gascony), seemingly modelled mostly on Alpha but notable for its many careful alterations derived from the Vulgate Bible. Sigma adds new material, especially the siblings of David and the 30 champion-warriors of David.[*]Recension σ transmise par le Beatus de Saint-Sever (S), apparaissant pour l'essentiel comme un texte de type α corrigé d'après la Vulgate, mais fournissant quand même des textes qui lui sont propres; disposition sur quatorze tables (Załuska, Feuillets, 242).

Although the Saint-Sever Beatus has now been recognized by Roger Gryson as the premier source of the Apocalypse Commentary, this high estimation does not hold for its Great Stemma, which is mainly interesting as a medieval critical reworking of the Great Stemma tradition.[*]Neuss offered a theory that it is the best representation of the original form of the Great Stemma: Daß S die beste Vorstellung von der ursprünglichen Anlage und dem ursprünglichen künstlerischen Charakter der Tabellen vermittelt, scheint mir gleichfalls sicher zu sein. This is no longer tenable.

The δ (Delta) group, which lacks the grandsons of Japheth and thus attaches to the Phi fork, is a graphic chaos, but is of particular value because its editor has evidently cross-checked his text against one or more very old manuscripts of another type and selectively inserted his findings. The similarity between the two manuscripts making up this group, Ac and Ca, is only loose, which prompted Załuska to subtype them as δ1 and δ2.[*]Recension δ1 transmise par la Bible Ac, et δ2 conservée dans la Bible Ca. Le premier texte est probablement celui qui reflète le plus fidèlement la tradition de la Vieille Latine; le texte de Ca en revanche suit généralement la Vulgate à partir d'Abraham; des interpolations communes dans la première partie du texte. Les deux généalogies sont disposées de façon proche mais non identique; les deux manuscrits ne sont pas copiés l'un sur l'autre (Załuska, Feuillets, 242). Fischer asserted a similarity between the two Delta bibles and the León bibles, but this claim is not sustainable.

The Madrid Vulgate bible Ac is especially valuable because the codex contains a full Ordo Annorum Mundi shortly after the stemma, a hint at their common tradition. None of the OAM content appears on the Stemma itself, an indication of the editor's awareness that this would be purposeless duplication. Ac appears to have been compiled by monastic scholars interested in comparing Jerome's text with the Vetus Latina used in the original evangelization of Spain, an objective which was served by importing an archetypal Great Stemma text and required no regard by them for the original stemma's graphic character.[*]Załuska stated that this recension contained the greatest number of both uncanonical and canonical Vetus Latina biblical names, but my attempts to validate this observation have not been successful.

Delta's affiliation with the Phi fork, almost certainly by way of a Gamma model, is entirely a matter of its omissions from the ur-archetype. The Japheth grandsons have been mentioned. The other lacunae collectively indicating that link are:

While the Delta editor ignored these lapses by his Gamma model, he made two other distinctive restorations, either because because he judged them of key importance to a critical history of the Iberian bible text or because he had access to either a superior Gamma manuscript of which we now know nothing or to the Epsilon version:

Delta also unexpectedly shares an element with an outer twig of the Upsilon tradition, the rejection of the aporia which would have led to Methusaleh surviving the Great Flood without the protection of Noah's Ark. It is corrected with the note: nonnulli namque XIIII annis post diluvium Matusalam vixisse perhibentur quod omnino falsum est nam ante LXXVI annos diluvii Matusala mortuus est. This precisely copies wording that is only otherwise found in the León Bibles.

Delta's principal innovation is a set of distinctive and prominently placed glosses concerned with holy places or the lack thereof. The principal of these places are:

Graphically, Ac marks yet another departure in the stemma's development, having been reformatted to fit on just seven pages, eliminating the chronography as an integrated graphic feature and shuffling the corrupted Judaean Kings section into even greater randomness.

Its counterpart Ca (not online) was apparently compacted down by its editor to just six pages, although only five pages are extant, according to Ayuso.[*] f. 5v-7v: Genealogías. Breves indicaciones biográficas, bajo arcos y encerrados en círculos.
F. 5v: Genealogías desde Adam hasta Nemrod. Biografía breve de Abel en el margen izquierdo. Bajo arcos, la Cronología de los patriarcas antediluvianos. Algunos círculos en blanco. Otros, algo mayores, destinados a los personajes más sobresalientes: Enoch, Noé, Tubal, Jubal, Nemrod.
F. 6r. Genealogías, desde Norca, mujer de Sem, hasta Holdaa, hijo de Madiam. Algo se distingue el círculo de Abraham, más todavía otro, excusando el incesto involuntario de Loth. Bajo dos arcos, la cronología de los patriarcas postdiluvianos, desde Sem hasta Abraham y Sarra (sic).
F. 6v. Genealogías, desde Isaac hasta Hebron. Se distingue el círculo de Isaac. Más el de Jacob. Un arco con breve indicación sobre Esaú y sus descendientes, especialmente Edom. Otro, mayor que el primero, sobre Job, con una nota final de sus amigos.
F. 7r. Genealogías, desde "Iudas filius Iacob" hasta "Aema uxor Saul". Sobresale el círculo destinado a José.
F. 7v. Genealogías, desde "Demia mater Dauid" y David hijo de Jessé, hasta "Naum genuit Amos". Hay dos círculos grandes con indicaciones cronológicas de Amós, Miqueas e Isaías en el primero, y de Jeremías, Daniel y Sofonías en el segundo. De este modo acaban las cronologías. Ayuso Marazuela, Teófilo. "La Biblia de Calahorra. Un importante codice desconocido." Estudios Biblicos 2 (1942): 241–271, 244.

The last of the groups which we treat here is ι (Iota), an offshoot of the Zeta hyparchetype in which the graphic is profusely glossed with some 6,000 words from Isidore's Quaestiones / Expositio in Vetus Testamentum. This new material includes some shorter quotations from Augustine of Hippo and Gregory the Great which have been chosen by Isidore.[*]Załuska termed the stemma found in the Bibles her "sixth recension": Załuska, Bibliques, 144, n.8, also quoted by Rouse.

The graphic quality of this group is generally poor, since the roundels are partitioned so they will fit under three arches at the head of each page, but in a few cases the wiring is relevatory of what must have been drawn in the Phi archetype. For example, the Foigny Bible's arrangement of the Horrites provides a valuable affirmation that the Epsilon layout of this zone is indeed the original one.

The Iota layouts are generally headed Incipit genealogia domini nostri Iesu Christi secundum carnem [].

The date of this new group is entirely uncertain. The only witnesses to it are four bibles of the eleventh and twelfth centuries: of Parc, Floreffe, Foigny and Burgos. Even the intention behind this inserted Isidorian epitome is unclear: would a disciple of Isidore have supposed he was enriching the Great Stemma by adding choice passages from his master, or dare one ask if perhaps Isidore himself might have roughed out the later Quaestiones in Vetus Testamentum using the Great Stemma as a convenient framework within which he could develop an outline? Mere speculation though it may be, this possibility should be at least borne in mind in future research and would naturally indicate the development of both Zeta and Iota in a very short space of time.

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