'Scholia non serviana, Lactantius Placidus, the Vatican Mythographers and mythological lore: A case study of Montpellier, Bibliothèque interuniversitaire, Section médecine, H 253'

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Abstract

Scholia non serviana, that is non-Servian notes which surface in early medieval Vergil manuscripts, represent a sizeable body of commentary materials that accompanied the poet’s works in the ninth and tenth centuries. In this paper I draw on these scholia non serviana in a single ninth-century Vergil manuscript to argue for their importance. To this end, I demonstrate that non-Servian comments were a constituent of early medieval glosses on Vergil by cataloguing the range of such notes in Ms. Montpellier, Bibliothèque interuniversitaire, Section médecine, H 253, a ninth-century glossed Vergil manuscript - not an isolated case but closely affiliated with other early medieval glossed Vergil manuscripts. I also illustrate the reach of the scholia non serviana by showing that they furnished mythological information in the Montpellier Vergil and that analogues occur in early medieval glossographic, encyclopaedic and mythographic collections. In the Montpellier manuscript, for example, the late-antique commentary on the Thebaid ascribed to Lactantius Placidus was a key source of pagan mythological lore. In addition, similar « Lactantian » content is found in the anonymous mythographical texts known as the Vatican Mythographers. Given the close ties between the shared elements in the Montpellier Vergil and the Mythographers, as well as the oft-recognised overlap between Vergil glosses and various kinds of anthologies (including the Latin glossary tradition), it seems likely that a common intermediary source or sources underpinned some of the non-Servian glosses in the Montpellier manuscript and the mythological material in the Vatican Mythographers. This paper, thus, contributes to broader scholarly discussion of a close kinship between early medieval glosses and encyclopaedic compendia of all sorts, including lexicographical and glossographical collections. As such, it situates glosses within mainstream intellectual culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-188
Number of pages33
JournalArchivum Latinitatis Medii Aevi
Volume76
Issue number2018
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2019

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