Freitag, 20.07.2018 12:33 Uhr

Ursicino Code in Verona

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome/Verona, 07.08.2017, 13:19 Uhr
Nachricht/Bericht: +++ Kunst, Kultur und Musik +++ Bericht 5268x gelesen

Rome/Verona [ENA] The historic Capitolare Library in Verona is celebrating the 1,500th anniversary of the precious Ursicino Code, the document supposed to be the oldest in the world. The code gets its name from the friar Ursicino, a professional scribe, who copied the life of St Paul of Thebes and St Martin of Tours, written by Sulpitius Severus in the fourth century. The parchment manuscript includes

the first semi-uncial characters and moving scenes such as 'the dialogue between St Martin and the Devil' relating the Father's mercy towards his sinful Son. After the completion of his task, Ursicino did not follow the praxis of his time and dated the tome. «This code was completed in Verona on August 1, when the illustrious Agapito was consul, during the tenth proclamation, by Ursicino, reader of the Veronese church», the scribe wrote. This dates it to August 1, 517. The code, famous all over the world, is therefore tremendously precious not only for its content. In fact, it proves that a “Scriptorium” of the Schola majoris Ecclesiae, that is, made up of the Clerics of the Chapter, until that time existed in Verona.

It probably backdated to the previous century or to the end of the 4th century and produced various kinds of texts. The presence of Ursicino Code is a legitimate evidence of the fact that Verona's Capitolare Library is the oldest existing library in the area of Latin culture, that is in the western world. It precedes the library at the St Catherine's Monastery in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula (6th century), the abbey library of St Gaul and the Salzburg library (7th-8th centuries). Charlemagne sent his son Pepin to study in Verona, and Dante Alighieri and Francesco Petrarch later likely frequented it.

The Capitolare Library contains over 1,200 manuscripts, 245 incunabula, 2,500 16th-century volumes, 2,800 17th-century volumes and a further 70,000 books. The Gaius Codex, the only existing transcription of ancient Roman law, the Veronese Riddle, the most ancient code XXVIII of St Augustine's De Civitate Dei are among the other important works also safeguarded in the library. The intention of the authorities is to open it up to the public as a museum. To this end, a crowdfunding campaign will be launched in September and the first exhibition on Medieval writing is planned for the end of the year.

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