Saturday, December 02, 2006

Codex Fuldensis online

I’m not sure how long it’s been around, but I’ve just noticed that Codex Fuldensis, the sixth century Gospel Harmony, thought to bear a close relation to Tatian’s Diatessaron, is now online here.


  1. In addition, the bulk of Ranke's 1868 edition of Fuldensis is available here at Google Books. It's browsable on-line or can be downloaded (14.3MB .pdf).

    Unfortunately it's lacking pages 465ff, which comprise the diplomatic and critical commentaries, the table of contents and corrigenda, and the folding plate opposite the final page of text, p. 572. The body of the text is clear and dark though (especially in the .pdf version) and I didn't notice any of the gaps or blurs which are common in Google Books scans.


    The site referenced by PJ Williams is no longer active.
    I have moved to BTinternet.
    The first link is to the BT site, and the second is to the mirror site I have set up.
    Best regards,

    You might like to look at my Google blogspace, which is at:

  3. Further to the previous posting, it should be noted that the title of the original post is a bit misleading.

    The edition mentioned in the previous comment is actually based on an internet text of Cod. Sangallensis 56 (see and
    so isn't Codex Fuldensis itself even though there is, of course, plenty of overlap.

    Images of Cod. Sangallensis 56 are now available on the CESG:

  4. With reference to John McChesney-Young's posting:
    In addition, the bulk of Ranke's 1868 edition of Fuldensis is available here at Google Books. It's browsable on-line or can be downloaded (14.3MB .pdf).
    I tried the link he presented, and found it impossible to access the text.
    Does anyone know what is wrong, and why I cannot read the text, never mind download the pdf?

  5. My thanks to Hugh Houghton, who said said:
    Further to the previous posting, it should be noted that the title of the original post is a bit misleading. . . . . . . Images of Cod. Sangallensis 56 are now available on the CESG:
    I have started to replace the Codex Fuldensis images with the Cod Sang 56 images, all linked to this latter site.

    In reference to his opening point, it was Sievers who conflated Sangallensis 56 with Fuldensis, implying identicality.
    Until I can access Ranke's work, or the manusript, which being in abbreviated Latin, requires some interpretation, prior to transliteration, I cannot truely judge on this matter, or correct any errors which Sievers might have introduced.

  6. I have successfully downloaded Ranke's book from Google books, and am now in the process of re-typesetting it in as close to the original format as my computer will allow.
    A for Codex sangall 56, and Codex Fuldensis, No, one is not the copy of the other, but both are copies of an earlier document, or documents.
    Indication, supported by Sievers is that San Gall is a more faithful copy of the original than is Fuldensis, which is clearly not Victor's original manuscript, but an 8th century Insular, (Irish), copy.
    Access to the work in progress is available at either of my two sites.

  7. The gentleman who says that Fuldensis is a later Irish copy has a
    blog . I tried an email, with no success.

    Can anyone comment on the idea that Fuldensis is an 8th century Irish copy?



    Codex Sangellensis 56

    Sangellensis 48

    48 had a facsimile edition by Rettig (1795-1836) in 1836,

  8. Fuldensis is not an 8th century Irish copy, please read again ... you mix things up.

  9. Thanks, Thomas.

    First, let's allow that the location of the ms. in Fulda is a prima facie support of its being written there 541-546. Whatever the gentleman wrote, specific evidences would be needed to support any unusual assertions.

    And I have read again a few times, and I stand by my understanding of what the gentleman wrote. With the core phrase being:

    "... than is Fuldensis, which is clearly not Victor’s original manuscript, but an 8th century Insular, (Irish), copy."

    The "which" does grammatically refer to Fuldensis.

    He also says on the blog site:

    "The Codex Fuldensis is inaccurately referred to as the Victor Codex, which it clearly is not. It is a copy of the Victor Codex, which is now, it seems, lost."

    This is quite different than the "vulgate" version of the Fuldensis history, which places Fuldensis as the copy coming right out of Fulda, from the learned Victor of Capua.

    If there is a basis for the Irish argument, this is important for three reasons.

    1) Fuldensis becomes a later Vulgate ms.

    2) The ** time chronology non-symmetry** of much historical and palaegoraphical dating (understood by Michaelis and others) comes to play. A very critical part of a deficiency of much modern papyrus and uncial dating and authenticity discussions.

    And I have some discussion of this facet here, and welcome suggestions and improvements and enhancements (either publicly or privately):

    PureBibleForum (used research blog-style)
    four types of evidence that help determine age and authenticity of a manuscript
    see the - "Note on Time Element Non-Symmetry"

    3) The heavenly witnesses discordance within Fuldensis gets a simpler explanation.

    However, I do note that the gentleman did not give reasons for either of this two statements. (Even if you read the first one differently, the second is clearly affirming that Fuldensis is not a 540s ms.)

    Steven Avery
    Dutchess County, NY

  10. I have fulfilled my promise to put a translation of the Codex Fuldensis on line. The translation is not complete, as my translation method does not work without a target key, and for most of the commentaries, they only exist in Latin.
    Yes, the Sangallensis blog-spot is mine.
    The Codex Fuldensis is indeed Codex Bonifatius 1. It is a copy of the Victor Codex.
    The style of the hand is 9th century Northumbria. This would fit with it being New in St Boniface's hands.
    The professional translator, who helped me with Victor's preface agrees that it is highly degraded by 'Chinese whispers', caused by copying, and re-copying. We are talking of numerous generations here, possibly as many as a dozen.
    You can view Cod Bon 1 on line at:
    or you can look at my index page on, where you can find my translation, as well as a pdf constructed from the above site. The index is here:

  11. An interesting point: I saw it in passing, and was too busy to note it down.
    It seems that the Latin Diatessaron was in circulation in the Latin Church long before there were any Latin Gospels.
    It seems therefore that the comments written by Jerome about not changing the text, except where necessary, referred to decomposing the Diatessaron into the individual Gospels that the Greeks used, while maintaining the language, and phraseology of the Diatessaron, but allocating the various epicopes to one of the four evangelists, as found in the Greek.
    This would account for the mirror image copies found, where Luke reports word-for-word, large slices from Matthew, in some cases, even putting the verse boundaries in the same place, even the same verse number.
    Yes, I know that verse boundaries are new, but the people who marked the verse boundary were following some earlier division, possibly the section, and canon division.
    This, I know, is dynamite.
    It is suggesting that Jerome had the Latin Diatessaron in front of him, as he wrote the Gospels into his dialect of Latin, now called 'vulgar', or common.


  12. Putting aside the Chinese whipsers, the dozen generations, and the Diataessaron history and Jerome, we have key questions:

    "The style of the hand is 9th century Northumbria. This would fit with it being New in St Boniface’s hands."

    The first part needs a palaeographic touch. Does Fuldensis actually fit mss from the British Isles over German (Hesse, NE of Frankfurt) mss?

    Why is the ms called Bonifatius 1 in the Fulda library? Apparently, the monastery of St. Boniface (from the isles) was established in the Fulda region in 744. (Wiki: a leading figure in the Anglo-Saxon mission to the Germanic parts of the Frankish Empire during the 8th century.) This connection would surely at least allow the Channel or North Sea crossing as a sensible historical option.

    Are there points in the method of correction and description that point to Victor of Capua directly, in a manner that is unlikely to have been copied forward?

    Medieval Latin Palaeography: A Bibliographical Introduction (1984)
    Leonard E. Boyle

    "Parkes, MB. 'The Handwriting of St. Boniface: A Reassessment of the
    Evidence,' Beitrdge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache 98 (1976)
    161-79 Concludes that Glossator A in some margins of the Codex Fuldensis of the New Testament (Fulda, Landesbibliothek. MS. Bonifatianus I, fols. 435v-441v; CLA VIII. 1196) is, on the internal evidence of the glosses, Boniface himself."

    Steven Avery

  13. Please allow a correction and an addition.

    "Does Fuldensis actually fit mss from the British Isles over German (Hesse, NE of Frankfurt) mss?"

    Let's change German to Italian, or Campanian texts, in Southern Italy.

    Textual note: when Sanday wrote about the relationship of Fuldensis and Amiatinus, at one time Campanian became companion, which he corrected in a subsequent letter!

    "An unfortunate misprint slipped into the first postscript of my letter last week which I am afraid was rather fatal to the sense. For “companion” read throughout this postscript “Campanian.” My point was that if the Codex Fuldensis and the ancestor of Amiatinus had their origin so near each other as Capua and the neighbourhood of Monte Cassino, the number of readings which are common to the two MSS, would justify us in speaking of a “Campanian text" ....

    There seem to be 3 proposed vectors of geography proposed.

    1) Italy --> Germany
    2) Italy --> England --> Germany
    3) England (Northumbria) --->Germany

    David is saying that he sees, palaeographically, (3) over (2), although the exemplar involved could come from Italy. (1) omits English travels, see Wordsworth below.

    The Academy
    John Wordsworth (John Sarum) - 1887

    "It is just possible, indeed, that the Codex Fuldensis itself may have been for some time in Britain. The same collector who, ex hypothesi, brought back a Bible from a Campanian monastery might have also brought the New Testament, written by order of Victor, Bishop of Capua; and from Britain it might have passed with other books to its famous possessor St. Boniface, who often begs his English friends to send him books—now the Commentaries of Bede, and now parts of the Old and New Testament. A re-examination of the AngloSaxon glosses in Fuldensis might, perhaps, throw a light on this suggestion. Prof E von Ranke inclines to attribute them to Boniface himself."

    Note: I do not claim to have the answer here, not in the least. My efforts have simply to help make the question clear, and for that I am omitting extraneous elements.

    The 1887 Academy issue above had a plethora of letter-based discussion with Wordsworth, Thompson, Hort, Sanday and others, with the focus principally on Amiatinus.

    Since England is in the mix of scribal annotation and likely the geographical travels of the ms, I wonder if Dave's idea should get serious scholarly attention. Clearly, if Dave's idea has merit, you wonder why this did not come up with Thompson and others.

    Steven Avery