Over 500 Latin Manuscripts available in PDF at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris!

The Pyle site aims to be a portal for manuscripts.  And it links to some very interesting stuff. 

Among this is a link to Greek manuscripts at the BNF in Paris.  These are mainly late; but there are gospel manuscripts, catena manuscripts, and commentaries on the Iliad and Odyssey.

But here is the biggie: you can download the whole manuscript!  Yes!!!  That’s just what we want.

But I wondered what would happen if I adjusted their link to look for Latin manuscripts?  And … there are 1116 matches!  Wow!

You have to click on “Informations detailees” to see what the ms. contains.  There are loads of bibles, of course, and medieval texts.  But what we see is a real cornucopia of what the BNF contains!  Here are some selections (I’d love to link, but I really haven’t the time):

  • Ms. Latin 8953: There’s books 21-40 of Livy.
  • Ms. Latin 6755: A bunch of texts: 1.° Aristotelis liber de secretis secretorum : interprete Philippo , Clerico Tripolitano. — 2.° Ambrosii Autperti tractatus de conflictu vitiorum et virtutum. — 3.° Flores è Scriptoribus cùm sacris tum profanis collecti. — 4.° Anonymi opusculum de musica. — 5.° Descriptio sanctorum locorum circa Jerusalem. — 6.° Descriptio urbis Antiochiae. — 7.° Urbium et majorum villarum quas Carolus acquisivit in Hispania et Galecia catalogus. — 8.° Sancti Bernardi meditationes. — 9.° Anonymus de constructione et excidio templi Hierosolymitani, et de passione Christi. — 10.° Methodii , Patarensis Episcopi, oratio de Antichristo et de consummatione saeculi. — 11.° Anonymi dialogus de vitae felicitate.  Yes, that really does contain a text by Methodius!
  • Ms. Latin 11627: Jerome’s commentary on Isaiah.
  • Ms. Latin 7900: Terence
  • Cicero
  • Sallust
  • Eusebius, HE, in Rufinus translation.
  • Plutarch, Lives.
  • Herodotus, translated by Lorenzo Valla.
  • A 9th century ms. of Isidore of Seville.
  • Oh yes!  A manuscript of the letters of Pliny the Younger! (I’ve been blogging about these this week).  This is ms. Latin 8557, dated 1470-1471.
  • Lactantius, Divine Institutes.
  • Ms. Latin 9661, the Notitia Dignitatum!
  • Ms. Latin 8658A, Seneca: Moral Letters!  In a 9th century ms., no less!
  • Josephus, Jewish War.  Another has Antiquities.
  • Catullus.
  • Statius.
  • Lucan’s Pharsalia.
  • Quintus Curtius Rufus.
  • Ps.Hegesippus, de bello Judaico. (13th c., ms. 5064)
  • Tibullus, and Propertius, and Petronius, all in one volume.
  • Suetonius, ms. 5802, 13th c.
  • The Augustan History, dated 1356.
  • Cyprian. Ms.1657, 1175-1200, including chapter titles for letters.
  • Justinus’ epitome of Pompeius Trogus, ms. 4950, ca. 800-850 AD!
  • Caesar, De bello gallico.
  • Quintilian
  • Virgil
  • Commentary on Tironian notation, dated 9th c.  Ms. Latin 8779.

After a while, you just start flicking past the treasures, so rich is the bounty on offer!  I did download a couple; but who needs to download much, when you can find it here anytime, accompanied by a good catalogue entry?  If you need a PDF, say to flick through quickly, just grab it.

After about 500 mss, suddenly we find ourselves in modern Latin “manuscripts”.  These, of course, are of no interest to us, valuable as they doubtless are to others.

3 Responses to “Over 500 Latin Manuscripts available in PDF at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris!”


  1. Matthieu Cassin

    You will also find an (almost) full list of Greek digitilised manuscripts through the world on the Pinakes database links-page : http://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/pages/show?id_cmspage=8. If anyone know of more full Greek manuscripts online, please, let us know !

  2. Roger Pearse

    I must take another look at Pinakes!

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