Manuscripts online at the Spanish National Library

A correspondent, Surburbanbanshee, has drawn my attention to the presence of digitised manuscripts at the Biblioteca Nacional de Espana website here.  If you click on the link “manuscritos” at the foot of the BNE page, you get all their manuscripts.

Of course a lot of these are modern, and of no interest to us.  Instead go to the advanced search, at the top of the all manuscripts page, select manuscritos and language as classical Greek or Latin.

I haven’t quite worked out how their  viewer works yet.  But it looks as if some PDF download is possible, which is good.  Indeed they use Adobe to display sections of the manuscript, in 50 page chunks – an excellent idea!  Why reinvent the wheel?

Greek mss:

Not a stellar collection, it must be said, but something.

There are rather more in Latin – some 900.  Here are a few:

That was what I got from the first 300. I’m afraid I couldn’t be bothered to wade through the other 600-odd mss.  Perhaps someone else will have more dedication than I!

UPDATE (8 July 2013): Banshee has come to our aid and looked through the next 300!  Here are the proceeds:

There are a few useful items in there, once more.  Thank you!


7 thoughts on “Manuscripts online at the Spanish National Library

  1. To be fair, Spain had a lot of cathedral library fires, selling of mss in the 19th and 20th centuries, Napoleonic era stealing of mss, wars and civil wars destroying mss, etc. I’m not real clear on how the Biblioteca Nacional was put together, either – I think maybe it’s mostly the old royal library? Anyway, certainly a fair number of local monastery and cathedral libraries are still around and full of goodies, despite all the vicissitudes of Spanish history.

    What the Biblioteca Nacional does have awesome collections of? Spanish historical primary sources.

  2. Oh, and the Corpus Pelagianum thing — yeah, I saw that too. That’s Bishop Pelagius/Pelayo of Oviedo’s history book. The Reading Europe site says: “It contains a series of historical texts… the Chronografía by Isidore of Seville, the Crónica de Sampiro (Chronicle of Sampiro), the Gesta regum francorum or several Decreta (Decrees) by kings of Castile and León.” The idea was to compile a bunch of histories and chronicles to make a back-to-back chronologically complete one.

    Plus it has nice illos, and one of its owners was the poet Garcilaso de Vega.

    Anyway, it does have patristic content with St. Isidore on the history of the Goths and all that. Just not the heretic Pelagius! 🙂

    You have to be careful in Spain, because Pelagius derivatives were a popular name. The liberator of Asturias and victor at Covadonga was King Pelayo/Pelagius.

  3. Here’s the 2nd 300. Pretty much outnumbered by the medievals, copybooks, Spanish papers, etc.

    Corpus Pelagianum et alia scripta minora, 12th c.
    Bound together with a medieval medicine recipe.

    Flavius Josephus, De bello Judaico, 15th c.

    Virgil, Bucolic, Georgics, Aeneid, 15th c.

    Julius Caesar, The Gallic War, The Civil War, Letter to
    . Also Aulus
    Hirtius, The Alexandrian War, The Hispanic War
    . 15th c.

    Julian the Apostate, Upon the Sovereign Sun, 17th c.

    Cyprian, Works, 1416.

    Opusculi of moral theology and philosophy. Includes
    works by Isidore of Seville, Seneca, Augustine, Bonaventure, and anonymous

    Augustine, 12th c.

    Collection of chronicles, mostly more Corpus Pelagianum, 16th-17th c.

    Aristotle, Ethica, Politica, Oeconomica, 15th c.

    Seneca, 15th-17th c.

    Latin works by Phaedrus, Ovid, and Cornelius Nepos, 18th c.

    Various treatises, Horace and Cicero, 17th-18th c.

    Aristotle, Ethics, 15th c.

  4. Ah! I did wonder what a “Pelagian corpus” might involve!

    And thank you so much for going through the rest! I will update the post. These sorts of handlists are invaluable for researchers.

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