J.-B.Piggin draws my attention to a press release today by the Bayerische StaatsBibliothek. My own very rough translation of parts of it:
While cataloguing the Greek manuscripts in the Johann Jakob Fuller collection of books, a spectacular discovery was recently made in the Bavarian State Library. The philologist Marina Molin Pradel during the cataloguing process identified a manuscript containing the original text of numerous homilies on the Psalms by Origen of Alexandria (185-253/4 AD), hitherto unknown in Greek. The importance of this find for scholarship cannot be overestimated. The very high probability of the attribution to Origen was confirmed by the internationally recognised Origen scholar Lorenzo Perrone, of the University of Bologna.
… [Origen’s] sermons and explanation on the Psalms were previously extant only in fragments and in Latin translation. The inconspicuous-looking Greek manuscript whose true contents have now been identified dates from the 12th century. …
The manuscript has already been digitised by the Bavarian State Library and is already available to everyone on the internet:
www.digitale sammlungen.de- > input “Homiliae in psalmos”
The Bavarian State Library has more than 650 Greek manuscripts and is thus the largest collection in Germany. It is heavily used by scholars. The work was done in-house by the Manuscript Development Centre and funded by the German Research Foundation. The find makes clear the necessity and the value of this detailed and elaborate analysis. The catalogue of the Greek manuscripts at the Bavarian State Library is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It will take at least 15 more years until all the Greek manuscripts have been freshly described.
I imagine that all of us must feel real excitement here. I wish there were more details. But who could have imagined that such an item might exist in so major an archive? What else is out there??? What lies hidden by the wretched catalogues of most institutions, where none but the staff can browse casually?
And … well done, CEO Rolf Griebel, to put the thing on the web. How many libraries would have done that? How many would have tried to hide it, to “control” it, to create a little monopoly, to force scholars to write pleading letters, to feed their own vanity? More than we might like to think. Instead the BSB have simply put it on the web for everyone to see. I unsay a good many of the hard things that I have said about Germany and the internet, when I see something like this.
Now … go out there, you scholars, and DO something with this!