Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

The Chronography of 354. Introduction to the online edition

In ancient Rome a wealthy Christian aristocrat named Valentinus received a codex containing an illustrated calendar for the year 354, together with a  group of unillustrated documents, including a list of names of the consuls, prefects and bishops of the city Rome to that date.  Other illustrated sections included depictions of the consuls of that year, and astrological signs.  The calligraphy was of exceptional quality, being the work of the most famous calligrapher of the century, Furius Dionysius Filocalus.  Indeed Filocalus, as a fellow Christian, had inscribed his own name alongside the wishes for Valentinus' well-being which adorned the opening page of the codex.  The illustrations that accompanied the text were the earliest full-page illustrations in a codex in the history of Western art, and may also have been executed by Filocalus.

The original codex continued to be of use long after Valentinus' day.  Polemius Silvius probably consulted it, almost a century later, for his own annotated calendar for the year 449.  In the sixth century a planisphere for the year 579 was prepared, which seems to have been illustrated with copies of the illustrations from the codex of 354.  Other traces of its existence are that St. Columbanus of Luxeuil may have copied its paschal cycle in 602, and an Anglo-Saxon work of 689 may refer to it.

The ancient codex still existed in the 9th century, when, because of its associations with the age of Constantine, a complete and faithful copy was made (the now lost Luxemburgensis).  At the same time an unillustrated copy of the text was made, either directly from the original or from an intermediary.  This latter is now St. Gall 878.  After this point there is no further sign of the original autograph; indeed fewer than 20 fourth century codices survive altogether (see E. A. Lowe, Codices Latini Antiquiores, Oxford, 1934, vol. 1: codices I, IV, XIV-XV).

In the renaissance, the discovery of the 9th century copy caused great excitement, inspiring several copies during the 16th and 17th centuries.  Unfortunately leaves were lost during the renaissance, and the best copy (the Romanus), which was executed under the supervision of the scholar Nicholas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, was made after this event.  On the death of Peiresc the Luxemburgensis was lost.  Our knowledge of the text is thus from the surviving renaissance copies, no one of which is adequate by itself. 

About the text

The text is a valuable compendium of raw data about Roman society, but because of its dry nature is less well known than it deserves.  No single volume contains a printed edition of the Chronography as a whole, remarkable as this seems.  Theodor Mommsen published part 6, the calendar, by itself in Inscriptiones Latinae Antiquissimae.  The remainder, without the illustrations, he published in the Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Chronica Minora.  The illustrations only appear in Michele Salzman's recent volume, and consist of photographs from manuscripts in monochrome, all no doubt in copyright.

On this site we present at the moment the Latin text of the calendar as it appears in ILA.  Note that the text indicates games for a number of days which cover a set format.  This is first visible in February, where the 'ludi gottici' begin on the 4th with the formula 'LUDI GOTTICI' and end on the 9th with the legend 'GOTTICI' and then the CM XXIIII (the number of chariot races).  It is noticeable that some games which must have been created later have different numbers of chariot races, but 24 is by far the normal number.  This pattern is repeated throughout.  N with overscore is short for NATALIS (birthday).  The meaning of the columns on the left (related to the lunar cycles) is not clear to me, and more information on this and other abbreviations would be very welcome.

The solar symbol in the original is under the word 'SOL ...' for each month, but HTML makes this difficult to achieve on this page.  Not all manuscripts have this symbol on the page, although Mommsen does not indicate this.  The modern day of the month is present on the left in grey, but of course was not part of the original text.  




Shelfmark & Notes

Date /


Lost  Codex Luxemburgensis. Illustrated. 9th century manuscript copy of 4th century original.   

In B. there is a note indicating that it belonged to Jean Brenner.  Brenner's son-in-law, Remacle Huart, was guardian of the archives of Luxemburg.  On f.212 of B there is a further note which indicates that Brenner gave L to Christophe d'Asonville of Arras in the last years of Brenner's life.  Brenner died in 1571.  Christophe d'Asonville was the owner until his death, ca. 1608, but it was in the possession of his son-in-law, Renon de France, president of the council of Artois, until it passed to Peiresc.  Held by Peiresc from 1620 until his death on 24 June 1637, after which it disappeared. Peiresc acknowledged that the true owner was the president of Arras, but he did not return it to him or let it out of his control.   

Text and illustrations are described by Peiresc in a letter of 18 December 1620, published by Mommsen (MGH 1892, below), pp.17-29, and in Stern (1953), pp.14ff.  The letter was written to his friend Girolamo Aleandro the Younger.  At that time Aleandro was in the service of Maffeo Barberini, whose elevation to the papacy in 1623 as Pope Urban VIII explains in part the survival of Peiresc's letter in the Vatican library.

According to this letter, L began with the list of consuls (section VIII, below), continued with the unillustrated sections (IX-XIII) and ended with the illustrated sections (I-VII).  Note that the same order is preserved in B.  Mommsen reasoned that since the illustrated sections commenced with a title page, this section must have commenced the original manuscript; and such an order is preserved in V and Ber. today.

Some time after V. was copied from it, L lost a number of pages. Peiresc's description indicates the manuscript was already damaged when he got it in 1620.  He only mentions sections I-XIII in his letter, and indicates that certain folios were missing.  The section for astrological signs, for instance, was missing both its title page and the representations of Jupiter and Venus; the Calendar was missing the text for the months March-June, and the images for April-July.  The R and B mss. reproduce this diminished L.  Fortunately the Voss., V, and the 15th century German mss S and T were executed before L lost these folios.

The description of Peiresc also includes details of its execution.  He records the colours of the inks used in the various sections, noting that the designs were executed in black ink on parchment and that the figures were drawn only in black ink.  He adds that the text of the Calendar; the Kalends, Ides and names of the festivals celebrated on these days; and the astrological notations of the sun's movements in the various zodiac signs were written in red ink in majuscule lettering. (V reproduces this colour scheme for the inks used in the text of the calendar, as does R2.  In addition R2 includes the hebdomadal letters in red ink, a point not mentioned by Peiresc).  He also notes that red ink was used in the unillustrated sections for every fourth year in the List of Consuls (VIII), for the headings in the list of Easter dates (IX) and for the headings in sections XI and XII; in the illustrated section it was used for the dedicatory page inscription.  The colour scheme is consistent with Carolingian practise, and, for the calendar, reproduces the use of red and black still to be seen on calendars carved on walls in antiquity.

The colour scheme is reproduced to some extent in the copies.  R1 has much less of the red ink, however, apart from the dedicatory page, names of the months in the natales Caesarum, and the days in the astrological sections; R2 and V follow L, except in adding the hebdomadal letters.  

The height of the figures in V (185x210mm) is very close to that in R (180x200mm) suggesting that L had a similar size page.  This is within the limits of known 4th century codices.  

Peiresc judged that the handwriting showed an 8th or 9th century copy of a 4th century original.  While he lived before the invention of paleography, his judgements in other cases have generally been upheld.  The analysis of certain letter forms in R as 17th century imitations of Carolingian also supports this date.  


R1 Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana Codex Vaticanus Barberini latinus 2154. Illustrated. Copied from L in 1620.  Described by Stern, pp. 14ff.  Some illustrations in monochrome in Salzman.  Note that the additional image for January is a renaissance invention.  The manuscript was sent to Aleandro the Younger in December 1620.  This manuscript alone contains the illustrations of the cities, the imperial dedication, the illustrations of the two consuls for the year, and the architectural decoration for the lists beginning with the Natales Caesarum. 1620
R2 Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana Codex Vaticanus latinus 9135. Illustrated. Copied from R1 at the same time as R1 was copied from L.  Described by Stern, pp. 14ff. Some illustrations in monochrome in Salzman. 1620
B Brussells, Bibliothèque Royale Codex Bruxellensis 7543-7549.  Illustrated. Copied from L between 1560 and 1571, after the loss of several folios.  Description in Mommsen p.29f; by Gaspar and Lyna, Les principaux mss à peintures de la Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, vol. 1 (1937). Some illustrations in monochrome in Salzman.  A note at the front indicates that B. belonged to Jean Brenner of Nalbach, secretary of state and delegate to the provincial council of Luxemberg; his son-in-law was in charge of the archives in Luxemburg, and Brenner clearly owned L.  B. concentrates more on the text than the illustrations. 1560-1571
V Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek Codex Vindobonensis 3416.  Illustrated.  Copied from L ca. 1500-1510, before the loss of several pages. Description in Mommsen, p.31; by J.H. Hermann, Die illustrierte Handschriften und Inkunabel in Wien..., vol. 1 (Leipzig, 1923), pp.1-5. Some illustrations in monochrome in Salzman.  This is the most important manuscript of the Chronography and the basis of the edition.

V is very important for the study of the illustrations, because it was copied before L had lost several folios.  It was owned by Dr. Fuchsmagen, and this and its style indicate that it was copied in the Nuremberg region between 1500-1510.  The design of the images suggests that they were carried out by someone from the school of H. Vischer, possibly even Peter Vischer himself, whose group was closely connected to the Nuremberg circle of A. Dürer.  Only V and Voss. contain illustrations of all 12 months.  V also contains an illustrated dedication page, copied from a later edition.  The illustrations in V show sylistic -- late gothic -- rather than substantive differences from R.  However, unlike R, V does sometimes omit elements of the image which are unfamiliar to a Renaissance copyist, or may have been unclear in L.

G St. Gallen, Bibliothèque du Convent Codex Sangallensis 878. Not illustrated.  Copied either from the original codex or a lost intermediary.  Described by Mommsen, p.32ff.  

C.L.Verkerk, Aratea: A review of the literature concerning Ms. Vossianus lat. q. 79 in Leiden University Library, Journal of Medieval History 6 (1980) pp.245-287 considers the ms. 9th century and prior to 842; But B.S.Eastwood, Origins and contents of the Leiden Planetary Configuration (Ms. Voss. Q. 79, fol. 93v): an artistic astronomical schema of the early middle ages, Viator 14 (1983), p. 1-40, considers it was written in the 6th century.

Voss. Leiden, Bibliothek der Rijksuniversiteit Codex Leidensis Vossianus latinus q. 79, folio 93v.  Illustrated.  This is not a manuscript of the codex; but a single page copied from a 6th century manuscript, and appended to a manuscript of the Aratea.  This page contains miniature illustrations, set within a planisphere.  Each month is depicted in its own medallion, and placed in a circle between the signs of the zodiac.  The configuration of the planets allows us to conclude that the original was drawn up on 28 March 579.  Certain of these illustrations seem to have been copied from either the original manuscript of the codex of 354, or a copy of it.  However it cannot be used without reserve, as some modifications can also be seen.  Described by Stern, G. Thiele, Antike Himmelsbilder, Berlin (1898), pp.138-141, and W.Köhler and F. Mütherich, Die karolingische Miniaturen, vol. 4: Die Hofschule Kaiser Lothars, Berlin (1971).   9th - probably before 842
Ber. Bern, Bibliothèque municipale Codex Bernensis 108.  Not illustrated.  Copied from L in the 10th century for bishop Werinhar de Strasbourg.  Described by Mommsen, p.30. 10th
A Amiens, Bibliothèque municipale Codex Ambiensis 467. Not illustrated.  Copied from L ca. 1608-1620 (so Mommsen: Stern thinks 1622-8, for Renon de France, president of the tribunal of Malines from 1622 on).  Description in Mommsen p.30 and Stern p.15ff.  A note at the front (in a different hand) reads "ex cod. ms. antiquissimo d.n. de Francia praesidentis. in parlamento. Machliniensi."  Mommsen gives the shelfmark wrongly as 407.
Berl. Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preussischer Kulturbesitz. Codex Berolinensis lat. 61, folios 231r-237r (new pagination).  Illustrated. Copied from L before 1604, according to Stern.  Description by Mommsen (p.30ff) and Stern. An illustration in monochrome in Salzman.  < 1604
S Rome, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana Codex Vaticanus Palatinus latinus 1370, ff. 79-100.  Illustrated. Copied in the region between Ulm and Nuremberg.  Part of the S group which were all copied in Germany and all contain certain illustrations copied either from the 4th century manuscript or a now lost copy.  The illustrations supply images missing from L, notably of the planets Jupiter and Venus, and four signs of the Zodiac: the Ram (=Ares), the Bull (=Taurus), the Twins (=Gemini) and the Crab (=Cancer).  Described by Stern; monochrome illustration in Salzman. 1472
S Darmstadt, Stadtbibliothek Ms. 266. Illustrated. German 'S' type ms. Described by Stern. 15th
S Salzburg, Studienbibliothek Ms. Cod. V2, G 81-83. Illustrated. German 'S' type ms. Described by Stern. 15th
S Lost Illustrated. German 'S' type ms. Written in Southern Germany (Swabia) dated to the second half of the 15th century.  Described by A. Brown in Archaeologia 47 (1883), 337-360; noted by Stern, p.22. 15th
T Tübingen, Universitätbibliothek Ms. Md 2.  It was copied from either L, or the original 4th century codex, or an intermediary.  Either dated to 1404 or (according to Stern) between 1450-75.  Written at Ulm.  Includes the illustrations of Jupiter and Venus missing from all other mss except the S-group. Monochrome illustrations in Salzman. 1404

There are two further mss. worth mentioning, which were copied from R1.  These are the illustrations of the months in Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana Ashburnham 1061, and the illustrations of the months in the Library of Windsor Castle, vol. 196: Designs of Cassiano del Pozzo, nos. 11363-11374, fols. 124-135.  Stern believes that the illustrations in the Library of Windsor Castle were copied from R1.  In a letter of 17 May 1629, however, Peiresc mentioned that he prepared these designs and sent them to the Chevalier del Pozzo (so Mommsen, p.12, n.2).  The designs themselves provide no clear indication of whether they were copied from L or R1.

There is also a 10th century manuscript in the Bibliothèque Municipale of Boulogne-sur-Mer, Ms. 188.  On fol. 30r is a planisphere generally thought to be copied from the same source as that in Voss.  A copy of the Boulogne planisphere can be found in the Bibliothèque Municipale of Bern, Ms. 88, on fol. 11v. 

Order and contents of the Chronography

The manuscripts of the text do not all contain all the same sections.  Here is a list of all the sections.  Following each section is a list in brackets of the mss that contain it, and on which pages.  (Sections in brackets and starred were probably or certainly not in the original codex).

I.  Dedication to Valentinus.  (R1, fol.1; B, fol. 197; V, fol. 1)

II.  The four city Tyches: images of the spirits of the cities of Rome, Alexandria, Constantinople, and Trier.  (R1, fols. 2-5)

III.  Imperial Dedication. (R1 fol.6, then List of Natales Caesarum, then R1 fol. 7; B fol. 198)

IV.  The 7 planets, and their legends.  (R1, fols.8-12; legends only in S, G, fols.240v-241; B. fols 198v-200v, but missing Jupiter and Venus).

V.  Effectus XII Signorum. (S, G, fol 241).

VI.  Calendar.  Illustrations and text of the months.

Illustrations of February, March, August-December. (R1, fols. 16-23; B, fols. 201-202; Berl. fols 231-237)

Text of January, February, July-December. (R2, fols 232-239; B, fols 203-211)

Text of December (Ber. fol. 1r)

Texts and illustrations for twelve months (V, fols. 2-15)

Illustrations (in miniature) for twelve months (Voss. fol. 93v)

Distichs of the months (S,G, fols. 301v-302; R1, fols. 16-23; R2, fols. 232-239; Ber. fol. 1 (=verse 24))

[Tetrastichs of the months. (R1 fols 16-23; R2 fols 232-239)]

VII.  Portraits of the consuls, Augustus Constantius and Caesar Gallus.  (R1, fols. 13, 14).

VIII.  List of consuls 508 B.C. - A.D. 354. (V, fols. 25-38; Ber. fols.2-13; B. fols. 190r-191v).

IX.  Easter cycle A.D. 312-358, with a continuation (albeit incorrect) to 410.

X.  List of Urban Prefects of Rome from 254 - 354 A.D., ending with Vitrasius Orfitus, who took office on 8 December 353.  (B, fols. 193v-195; V. fols. 40v-43v, 46v).

XI.  Depositions of the Bishops of Rome from 255 - 352, ending with the last deceased bishop, Julius, d. 352. (B, fol. 195; V., fol. 46; A, fol. 1)

XII.  Depositions of the Martyrs. (B, fol. 195v; V, fol. 44; A, fol. 1)

XIII.  List of the bishops of Rome, ending with Liberius who took office in 352 A.D.  (V, fols. 44v-45v, 65v-66; A, fols. 2-6v)

[XIV.  Regions of the city of Rome (Notitia).  This notitia is dated 334-357 A.D. (V, fols. 66v-69v; not present in B, despite what Stern says).]

[XV.  World Chronicle (Liber generationis) from creation to A.D.334. (V, fols. 55v-62v)]

XVI.  Chronicle of the City of Rome (Chronica Urbis Romae) from the kings of Rome until the death of Licinius in A.D.324. (V, fols. 62-65v, 70; S, G, fol. 303)

[XVII. Vienna Annals (Fasti Vindobonenses) A.D. 390-573/575 (V, fols 15-24, 47-53; S, G, fol. 303) ]

In addition some sections have an independent life, and appear by themselves in other manuscripts (e.g. the Notitia (part 14) and Liber Generationis (part 15)).  Details about these appear at the end of each section.

Additional notes on part 14: the 14 regions of Rome

The division of Rome into 14 regions was an act of Augustus in AD 7, who also reorganised and renewed various state religious functions (Suetonius, Aug. 30; Cassius Dio, LV, 8, 7).  Initially they were designated by number only, and this use is documented down to the creation of the vicomagistri (street-wardens) in 136 AD.  However unofficial names soon came into existence (Suetonius, Caes. 39; Aug. 5; Nero 12), although these never enjoyed official status.

There are two questions about the catalogue of the 14 regions of Rome which have wearied scholars and have still not been finally resolved.  What did the first editor of the catalogue intend to do with these entries? -- and in what age did he live?

In the 19th century it was generally accepted that the lists delimited the regions by listing places on the boundaries.  This was the opinion of Sarti, Bunsen, Becker, Preller and Jordan.  The theory was refined by Lanciani, who noted the preference for roads and piazzas, which such a system would naturally favour.  But against this is the obvious evidence, that the catalogue contains places or monuments which are inside the regions; and indeed each region begins with 'continet' (=contains).  Consequently Huelsen, Richter and Nordh have rejected this theory.  Nordh has proposed that the original text consisted of a list of districts within each region, and a subsequent editor, unaware of the purpose of the document, then transformed it by including many other places and monuments which did not denominate a district.

This leads us to the question of the date of the work.  It lists the basilica, porch and baths of Constantine, all of which were built after October 312 after the victory of Constantine over Maxentius.  But the arch, built in 315-6, is missing (the one given in Region XI should be identified with the 'Janus Quadrifons' of the Forum Boarium).  Although other arches, such as those of Titus and Septimus Severus, are also missing, this could be taken as evidence that the text was compiled between October 312 and 315-6.  Nordh suggested that his proposed original version should be backdated to the age of Diocletian, when Rome received an independent administration separate from the dioceses; and that the later monuments should be considered later additions.  There are risks in this approach, but Nordh is right to point out the absence of Christian monuments as suggesting a pre-Constantinian basis, and to highlight military bodies like the praetorians that no longer existed in the days of Constantine. The text also contains administrative statistics, probably from the office of the city prefecture.

The text has not reached us in its original form, but in two later forms.  The first of these has no title in the manuscripts in which it is found, and is referred to by modern scholars as the Notitia urbis Romae regionum XIV.  The other does have a title, which is Curiosum urbis Romae regionum XIIII.  The term curiosum is of course the work of some barbarous copyist.   

The Notitia must date to 334 AD or later, as it refers to the equestrian statue of Constantine, dedicated in that year.  It must date before 357, when the sixth obelisk was erected in the Circus Maximus by Constantius II.  

The Curiosum does mention this obelisk, which means that it dates later than 357.  Polemius Silvius uses the Curiosum in his calendar written in 449 AD, which therefore is the terminus ante quem for this recension.  Some would suggest the absence of mention of the walls restored by Honorius in 403 is also significant; but then neither recension mentions the walls built by Aurelian in 270-82.

Nordh on the other hand assesses both texts depending on how far they have travelled from his hypothetical primitive text, rather by the presence or absence of monuments.  He notes the adjective "divus" assigned to Constantine, making both versions post-Constatinian.  He came to the conclusion that the Curiosum was the earlier text.

The statistics at the end of the text do not agree with the body of either version.   This suggests that they have an independent origin, even allowing for corruptions in transmission.

The manuscripts of the Curiosum are:



Shelfmark & Notes

Date /


Rome, Vatican  Vatican latin 3321.  Parchment.  Written in uncial, probably in central Italy (so Lowe, Cod. Lat. Antiquiores I, p. 6).  Must derive from a manuscript in capitals, as it shows characteristic letter exchanges.  Contents:
  • On the guard-leaf at the front is the handwriting of Fulvio Orsini: «Lexicon di voce sacre et profane con alcune operette di Isidoro Ispa lense, et altri, scritto di Lettere maiuscole, in 4° in carta pergamena, tocco dal Panormita. Fulv. Urs. »  
  • After the guard-leaf are two unnumbered pages in uncial.  
  • Glossarium
  • Synonyma, with later addition
  • Differentiae verborum Hisidori iunioris, i.e. Etymologiae
  • In the middle of the last, on ff. 225b-228b, the Curiosum.
  • On the last folio are the words «Ant. Panormitae »


B Rome, Vatican Vatican latin. 1984.  Parchment.  Written in various hands at various times.  Contents:
  • Extracts of the Breviarium of Eutropius, with the additions of Paul the Deacon and Landolfo Sagace.
  • Curiosum, on ff. 7a-8b.
  • Miraculum primum.
  • Capitolium Rome.
  • The concordat of Worms
  • A list of emperors from Augustus to Constantius II
  • The start of the reigns of the Assyrians, Amazons, and Scythians
  • The fall of Troy
  • An extract of the Historia Francorum
  • Paul the Deacon, Historia Langobardorum (incomplete)
  • Historia Apolloni regis Tyri
  • Alexandri Macedonis epistulam ad Aristotlem
  • Another extract of the Historia Langobardorum
  • Extracts of the controversies of the Lombards with the popes
  • The false decretal of Adrian I
  • Extracts from the Liber Pontificalis on Zachariah, Stephen II and III, Leo III
  • "atti di pontefici mescolati ad annali romani"
C Rome, Vatican Vatican latin 3227.  Parchment, in Beneventan minuscule.  The codex seems to have belonged to the abbey of Monte Cassino.  In the margin of f. 24a is written "Casinum" and on the last folio "Raynaldus dei gratia", who was abbot between 1137-1155. According to Lowe (The Beneventan Script, p. 362) the ms is early 12th century; Bannister (Monumenti Vaticani di paleografia musicale latina, Lipsia, 1913, p. 125, n. 356) agrees, except that he thinks the Philippics and Versus late 11th century.   Contents:
  • On the guard-leaf is a note in the hand of Fulvio Orsini: « Philippiche di Cicerone di Lettera Longobarda, Sogno di Scipione, et P. Vittore epitomato. Fui. Urs. ». 
  • Cicero, Philippics
  • Versus XII Sapientum (Poet. lat. min. ed. Baehrens, IV, p. 139, n. 141)
  • The hymn, O Roma nobilis
  • Love-poem: O admirabile Veneris ydolum
  • The description of the regions of Rome, on ff. 81a-83a.
  • Cicero, Somnium Scipionis
D Florence, Biblioteca Mediceo-Laurenziana Laurentianus pluteo 89 sup. 67.  Parchment. Top margin of f. 1 reads: Descriptiones terrarum et aquarum a romanis script[oribus]. The codex contains a selection in compressed form of the texts contained in the now lost Spirensis manuscript of the Notitia Dignitatum.


  • Ps. Eticus, Cosmographia (wrongly titled Orthographia)
  • Itinerarium Provintiarum Antonii (Antonini) Augusti
  • Itinerarium maritimum, quae loca tangere navigaturus debeat
  • Itinerarium portuum vel positio navium; 
  • De septem montibus Romanae urbis
  • De aquarum ductibus Romam rigantibus 
  • Regiones urbis Romae cum breviariis suis (ff. 34b-37a)  A contaminated form of the text, mingling the Notitia and the Curiosum.  It cannot be connected to any manuscript of either, and has additional entries found in neither.  

There is also a Syriac text.

The manuscripts of the Notitia are:



Shelfmark & Notes

Date /


Vienna, National collection  Latin. 162 (previously hist. prof. 629).  Parchment.  Contents:
  • Catalogue of the regions (ff. 1a-5a)
  • Description of Constantinople
  • Latin-German glossary by Rabanus Maurus from Glossae spirituales iuxta Eucherium episcopum.



Lost (formerly Cathedral of Speyer)

This manuscript has been lost since the middle of the 16th century when it was cut up.  The last 6 works were decorated with illustrations.  Some of the copies reproduce these, with varying fidelity, which can be checked since a few leaves containing illustrations only ended up in Norfolk cottages as pictures in frames.  The description of Rome was prefixed with an image of a female figure seated in majesty with a lance in one hand and a shield in the other.  Over the top has been added « Urbs quae aliquando desolata, nunc clariosior [sic] piissimo im perio restaurato », probably a reference to the Carolingian restoration of an emperor.  The manuscript cannot have been earlier than the 8th century, when Dicuil wrote, or later than the 10th, when copies were taken.


  • Situs et descriptio orbis terrarum (pseudo-Etico)
  • Itinerarium Antonini
  • De montibus et aquis urbis Romae
  • Liber de mensura orbis terrae (Dicuil)
  • Notitia Galliarum
  • Laterculus Polemii Silvii 
  • De montibus, portis et viis urbis Romae 
  • De rebus bellicis 
  • Altercatio Hadriani Augusti et Epicteti philosophi
  • Descriptio urbis Romae 
  • Descriptio urbis Constantinopolitanae
  • De gradibus cognationum
  • Notitia Dignitatum. 
a Oxford, Bodleian Direct copy of the Spirensis.  Ms. 19854, formerly Canonic. miscell. lat. 378.  Parchment.  Our catalogue is on ff. 81a-84a.  Bought by the Bodleian in 1817; previously in Venice.  At the end of the last text are the words: « Exemplata est hec cosmographia, que Scoti dicitur, cum picturis ex vetustissimo codice quem habui ex Spirensi bibliotheca, anno Domini mccccxxxvi, mense ianuario, dum ego Petrus Donatus, Dei pacientia episcopus Paduanus, vice sanctissimi domini Eugenii pape IIII generali Basiliensi concilio presiderem ».  (This cosmography, which is called Scottish, was copied with the pictures from a very old codex which I have from the library of Speyer, AD 1436, January, while I, Pietro Donato, by the patience of God bishop of Padua, by the power of the most holy lord pope Eugenius IV was presiding at the general council at Basle).  Following this subscription two additions were made:
  • Demensuratio provinciarum quae non erat in praecedenti codice, sed de antiquo libro excerpta. (not in the preceding manuscript, but excerpted from an ancient book)
  • Cyriaci Anconitani de septem mundi spectaculis (in Greek and Latin, in the hand of the same Cyriacus)
b Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale Probably a direct copy of the Spirensis.  Paris. lat. 9661.  Parchment.  Our catalogue is on ff. 66a-68a.  Not copied from Donato's copy.  A monochrome image of the city of Rome with the details given above for Speyer is present in Valentini, opposite p.161. 15
c Vienna, National library Direct copy of the Spirensis.  Lat. 3103 (Salzburg, 18 b).  Dated at the end "anno Domini 1484".  Our catalogue written on ff. 65b-67b.  Blank leaves have been left for the illustrations, but these were never made. 1484
d Munich, State library Direct copy of the Spirensis.  Latin. 10291 (Palat. 291)  Parchment.  Notitia on ff. 81a-84a.  This copy, which is remarkable for the elegance of the characters and beauty of the illustrations, was executed in 1542, as is indicated under the image of Rome.  At the front is this warning, written between 1544 and 1551:  « Hic liber, cui titulus Itinerarium Antonini, ad verum atque archetypum exemplar descriptus Illustrissimo Principi ac domino domino Othoni Henrico, Comiti Palatino Rheni, utriusque Bavarie Duci &c. tanquam anti quitatis amatori atque indagatori studiosissimo, a venerabilibus ac honestis Cathedralis Ecclesie Spirensis Decano atque Canonico [Canonicis ?] dono missus est». (This book, entitled Itinerarium Antonini, copied from the true and archetype exemplar to the most illustrious Prince and lord, Lord Otho Heinrich, Count Palatine of the Rhine, also Duke of Bavaria, etc, ..., by the most venerable and honest deacon and canon of the Cathedral Church of Speyer, was sent as a gift). Cf. Seeck, Hermes IX (1875) pp.218-28 for all these copies.

Note: In 1890 H. Omont discovered a folio of the Notitia Dignitatum among the mss. of Sir Thomas Phillipps in Cheltenham (ms. 16397), entitled Mappa Mundi, which read at the end: « Explicit Mappa Mundi scriptum per Antonium Angeli de Aquila, sub anno Domini Millesimo CCCCXXVII, de mense iulii, die XIII eiusdem mensis ». (End of Mappa Mundi, written by Antonio Angeli di Aquila, 13 July 1427).  The text agreed with a, b, c and d and gave no new variants.  If the text were complete, it would indicate a prior copy to any now known; that a copy written in 1427 did exist is witnessed by Girolamo Surita in his edition of the Itinerario di Antonino (Coloniae Agrippinae, 1600, p. 174): « codex bibliothecae Neapolitanorum regum, qui postea Cardinalis de Ursinis fuit, anno 1427 exscriptus ». (manuscript of the library of the king of Naples, which later belonged to Cardinal Orsini, written in 1427)

Munich, State library Ms. lat. 794 (vict. 99) Copied from a copy of the Spirensis. 15
Madrid, Biblioteca Nazionale Ms. Res. 36 (once Q 129).  Copied from a copy of the Spirensis. 15
Vienna, National Library Ms. 12825 (suppl. 14)  Copied from a copy of the Spirensis. 15
Paris, BNF Ms. nouv. acquis. 1424.   Copied from a copy of the Spirensis.  Once owned by cardinal Francesco Soderini and probably copied for him between December 1523 and 1524. 1523-4
Vienna, National Library Ms. lat. 3102 (Salisburg. 30 b).  Copied from 'c' (3103), although it says otherwise, by the order of Bernard di Cles, bishop of Trent, as the following note on f. 1 shows: « Librum hunc a satis incorrectum, incorrecte etiam est iussu nostro transcriptum ex antiquo exemplari reperto in Biblio theca Capitulari Spirensi, dum ibi essemus cum Se renissimo Rege Ferdinando &c. in conventu imperiali anno 1529. Bern. episcopus Trid. »   1529
Rome, Vatican Ms. Barberini lat. 809.  Copied from a copy of the Spirensis. 16
C/V Vienna, National Library Ms. 3416 (hist. prof. 452).  Paper.  ff.1-70 contain the Chronography of 354 (see above), including the Notitia.  A marginal note on the outside gives the date of 1480, according to Valentini (p.82).  ff. 71 onwards contain:
  • Chronica Polonorum of Vincent Kadlubek
  • De origine Getarum of Jordanes

The following additional manuscripts are listed by Valentini as containing material which he dismisses as of no independent value for either family without being more precise:

 The first printed edition of the 14 regions was by Gelenius, Notitia utraque cum orientis tum occidentis ultra Arcadii Honoriique caesarum tempora..., in 1552, at Basle, based around the Spirensis collection.  Details of the subsequent publishing history are in Valentini, pp.86-88.


The following have been used in the preparation of this version:

T. MOMMSEN, "Inscriptiones Latinae Christianae ad C. Caesaris mortem", editio altera pars prior.  Berlin: George Reimer (1893), pp.254-279.  Contains the calendars of Philocalus and Polemius Silvius, and extracts from the introduction.  It also contains a commentary on the calendars.

T. MOMMSEN, "Chronographus Anni CCCLIIII", Monumenta Germaniae Historica.  Auctorum Antiquissimorum, part 9: Chronica Minora Saec. IV-VII, vol. 1. Berlin (1892), repr. Munich (1981).  pp. 13-148.  Reference from Salzman.  The Latin text of much of it (unillustrated).

Michele Renee SALZMAN, On Roman Time: the codex-calendar of 354 and the rhythyms of urban life in late antiquity.  University of California Press (1990).  ISBN 0-520-06566-2.  The source of almost all the information on this page.  

H. STERN, Le Calendrier de 354. Etude sur son text et ses illustrations. Paris (1953).  Reference from Salzman.

A. DEGRASSI, Inscriptiones Italiae, vol. 13: Fasti et elogia, fasc. 2: Fasti Anni Numani et Iuliani (Rome, 1963).  This contains the text of the calendar (pt.6) with a monochrome photograph of one page of a manuscript, and a valuable commentary.

Josef STRZYGOWSKI, Die Calenderbilder des Chronographen vom Jahre 354, Series: Jahrbuch des Kaiserlich Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts. vol. 1. Berlin:G. Reimer (1888)  This contains monochrome photographs of the illustrations.

H. JORDAN, Topographie der Stadt Rom in Alterthum, Zweiter Band. Berlin: Weidmannsche Buchhandlung (1871). pp. 540-571 contain part XIV, with a parallel text from another source.

R. VALENTINI / G. ZUCHETTI, Codice topografico della città di Roma, Volume 1. Rome (1940) p. 63 ff. Part XIV with a complete commentary about each entry.

Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page

This text was transcribed by Roger Pearse, Ipswich, UK, 2006. All material on this page is in the public domain - copy freely.

Early Church Fathers - Additional Texts