Seasonal Servius: Zones and the Zodiac in a Virgil Manuscript

by Amanda Gerber

Twelfth-century Vatican manuscript Vaticanus Latinus 1575 proves to have been read by a fellow list-aficionado at some point during its medieval circulation. In fact, this aficionado deemed the list such a superior form of annotation for this copy of Virgil’s[1] Georgics that he crossed out a more verbose expository note alongside it. The list in question neighbors a zonal diagram within an oft-copied Servius commentary.[2] In general, the Georgics commentary circulates both as an independent (or catena) commentary and as a collection of paratexts added to the margins of the poem itself, with the latter being the format for Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Vat. Lat. 1575. This manuscript accumulated Servian and other paratexts during the twelfth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries.[3] On folio 18r, various paratextual formats converge to expound on Virgil’s own lines about Spring being the best time for harvesting, a time characterized by the Bull (Taurus) ushering in the year as the dog star sets and other celestial patterns shift (I.208–30). Continue reading “Seasonal Servius: Zones and the Zodiac in a Virgil Manuscript”

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