The Polipticum quod appellatur Perpendiculum, a treatise of political critique written by the bishop of Vercelli Atto between 953 and 960, has been preserved in an idiographic manuscript (today Vat. Lat. 4322) that was prepared in Vercelli’s scriptorium on the behalf of the bishop himself. The manuscript was meant to be kept in the library of his church as a collection of Atto’s works for the benefit of the scholastici. The Perpendiculum was copied on it two times by the same hand: since it is a cryptic text characterized by high erudition and a very complex style, the author gave a second explanatory version of it with an easier word order. This second drafting is endowed with an extended apparatus of commentary in the form of almost 3000 interlinear and marginal glosses. Even if the second version is corroborated by Atto’s monogram (as the first one) and a note explicitly states that the commentary was prepared by the bishop himself, Atto’s authorship of the second drafting and of the glosses was denied by G. Goetz, the last critical editor of the work in 1922, on the bases of the wrong assumption that the whole corpus was written after Atto's death by a «forger». A new study on the glosses, preliminary to a new edition of the work (which will include the complete commentary), may shed light on the way the commentary was created by Atto and his collaborators in Vercelli and on the sources they employed. The study of Atto’s sources may benefit from a very lucky circumstance: the Biblioteca Capitolare of Vercelli still preserves some of the manuscripts originally owned and used by Atto in the composition of both the Perpendiculum and its commentary, such as the Liber Glossarum (ms. I), Fulgentius’ Expositio sermonum antiquorum (ms. CXLVII), Cassiodorus’ Expositio in Psalterium (ms. XXXVIII) and Boethius’ translation of Porphirius’ Isagoge (ms. CXXXVIII). Moreover the identification of other sources for the commentary, and in particular the late-Carolingian sets of glosses and commentaries to Persius and Juvenal, may give a key for a better comprehension of the meaning and aim of the Perpendiculum.

The Making of a Tenth Century Self-Commentary: the Glosses to Atto of Vercelli’s Perpendiculum and Their Sources

VIGNODELLI, GIACOMO
2017

Abstract

The Polipticum quod appellatur Perpendiculum, a treatise of political critique written by the bishop of Vercelli Atto between 953 and 960, has been preserved in an idiographic manuscript (today Vat. Lat. 4322) that was prepared in Vercelli’s scriptorium on the behalf of the bishop himself. The manuscript was meant to be kept in the library of his church as a collection of Atto’s works for the benefit of the scholastici. The Perpendiculum was copied on it two times by the same hand: since it is a cryptic text characterized by high erudition and a very complex style, the author gave a second explanatory version of it with an easier word order. This second drafting is endowed with an extended apparatus of commentary in the form of almost 3000 interlinear and marginal glosses. Even if the second version is corroborated by Atto’s monogram (as the first one) and a note explicitly states that the commentary was prepared by the bishop himself, Atto’s authorship of the second drafting and of the glosses was denied by G. Goetz, the last critical editor of the work in 1922, on the bases of the wrong assumption that the whole corpus was written after Atto's death by a «forger». A new study on the glosses, preliminary to a new edition of the work (which will include the complete commentary), may shed light on the way the commentary was created by Atto and his collaborators in Vercelli and on the sources they employed. The study of Atto’s sources may benefit from a very lucky circumstance: the Biblioteca Capitolare of Vercelli still preserves some of the manuscripts originally owned and used by Atto in the composition of both the Perpendiculum and its commentary, such as the Liber Glossarum (ms. I), Fulgentius’ Expositio sermonum antiquorum (ms. CXLVII), Cassiodorus’ Expositio in Psalterium (ms. XXXVIII) and Boethius’ translation of Porphirius’ Isagoge (ms. CXXXVIII). Moreover the identification of other sources for the commentary, and in particular the late-Carolingian sets of glosses and commentaries to Persius and Juvenal, may give a key for a better comprehension of the meaning and aim of the Perpendiculum.
The Annotated Book. Early Medieval Practices of Reading and Writing
157
196
Giacomo Vignodelli
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/533947
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