Vatican Vergil:

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o “Similar observations were made by Boeckler in connection with the miniatures of the Quedlinburg Itala. He too noticed that Saul was depicted as a Roman emperor, that adlocution, libation, battles, and so on, were rendered in compositional schemes that were borrowed from the iconography of Roman history, and he pointed to the very same monuments as the most suitable parallels, namely the triumphal columns… Furthermore, it had not escaped Boeckler that the compositional schemes as well as the individual types were, indeed, the same as those used in the Vergilius Vaticanus.” (123)

This suggests a common source, not the same artist or the same location at time of production. A common source – available in the scriptorum. They (Vergliius Vaticanus and Itala) are “stylistically so close to each other that the same scriptorium can be assumed, that is a scriptorium which produced illustrated pagan and Christian manuscripts side by side. What was this common source?” (123)

Vatican Vergil:

BCD, ADC (?)
Manuscript written around the year 400, in Rome. Based on Vergil’s
Shift between the Roman polytheistic theocracy and the Christian nobility.
Probably a commission on behalf of an aristocratic Roman who is trying to evoke the glories of a Roman history. In the two images, reflect polytheistic notions.

o Dido, the tragic heroine dies of a broken heart due to the departing of Aeniad. (?) Dido is shown making a sacrifice in front of the temple. Communicating Roman values, venerating the “old ways”, benefits of sacrifices.
o Page where the visual has been split, framed and gold diamonds in the frame.
o Text written in capitals, no punctuation marks. Metrical poem, thus rhythm would aid the reader.
o Books are mainly elitist objects.
o Reading practices were also different in the Middle Ages – much reading was aloud and in public. A visual and aural activity!
o Greco-Roman style, sense of perspective, atmospheric background, semi-convincing landscape, figures cast shadow, figures are realistically shaped.
o Late Antique tradition. Not classical Greece or rome…
o Leocowan, priest of Rome (wooden horse… Steers clear of strongly Hellenistic influence, more simple figures.

Amother image from Vatican Vergil

War council, figures in a circle, focussed on the leaders.
Very similar to Column of Marcus Aurelius.

o Quedlinburg Itala shares in some respects characteristics with the Vatican Vergil, but here there are 4 on a page. Framed with a red border, same antique figure styles, similar clothing, atmospheric coloured background.

Construction of the Cotton Genesis page very similar in style to the Vatican Vergil. Square image, with text above and below. Originally 4-500 pages, A reconstruction, as mostly destroyed.

Codex Egberti’s format and style of page is derived directly from the Vatican Vergil.

o Styles very similar. Thus consciously emulating later Antique models.
o Captions
o Similar form of the city
o Attempting to claim the ancient connection the empire of Rome.
o Vatican Vergil was in Tours in the 9th C! They either had the text, or they had some other similar copy.
o One was commissioned by a wealthy Roman, the other Christian Bishop


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