Fragment of unknown work by Apuleius discovered in Verona

Via Ugo Mondini on Twitter I learn of an exciting find yesterday (May 9) at the Biblioteca Capitolare – the Chapter Library – in Verona.  It seems that an American team – the “Lazarus Project” – using Multi-Spectral Imaging have discovered a lost text by Apuleius.


Quarantasette scatti per ciascuna pagina effettuati con una fotocamera da 150 megapixel. Diversi filtri di luce, dall’infrarosso all’ultravioletto. Poi il computer elabora le immagini. È nata così la scoperta fatta il 9 maggio. In un palinsesto, un testo antico riscritto più volte, lo strato più basso nascondeva un frammento di un testo di Apuleio andato perduto: un commento alla Repubblica di Platone.

Il merito è degli studiosi del “Lazarus Project”, una squadra internazionale dell’università americana di Rochester, per la prima volta alla Biblioteca Capitolare, alla ricerca di segreti tra le pagine.

Google Translate:

Forty-seven shots per page taken with a 150 megapixel camera. Different light filters, from infrared to ultraviolet. Then the computer processes the images. Thus was born the discovery made on May 9th. In a palimpsest, an ancient text rewritten several times, the lower layer hid a fragment of a lost text by Apuleius: a commentary on Plato’s Republic.

The credit goes to the scholars of the “Lazarus Project”, an international team from the American University of Rochester, for the first time at the Chapter Library, in search of secrets among the pages.

There is a video in Italian at the news site – if anyone has the spoken Italian, perhaps they could advise whether it has extra details?

There is stuff out there, people!  It really is worth going and looking!



10 thoughts on “Fragment of unknown work by Apuleius discovered in Verona

  1. They don’t say nothing more in the video. It is mostly praising the technology and marveling at what they found and what more can be found.

  2. Timothy Leonardi, Director of the Chapter Library Foundation:

    ‘Only one other fragment of this text is known, from the 13th century, held by the Vatican Library, With the discovery of this fragment, probably lasting from the fifth century, we can push the tradition back at least six centuries.’

  3. Just a correction and an addition:

    1. in the video I posted, they say that the project is by Lazarus Project; in fact it is by EMEL.

    2. As Leonardo Constantini suggests under my post, the work by Apuleius may be part of the “Summarium librorum Platonis”, preserved acephalous in Vat. Reg. lat. 1572 (s. XIII). The text was published by Justin Stover in 2016.

    PS: two more links (sorry, they are in Italian)

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