The Barcelona-Montserrat Greek-Latin Codex: Another “Bodmer” Codex with Mixed Contents

In addition to the so-called Bodmer composite codex (LDAB 2565, which I described in some detail here), the same ancient collection seems to have included another papyrus codex with equally (if not more) diverse contents. The Barcelona-Montserrat “miscellaneous” codex (LDAB 552) is composed of a single papyrus quire originally consisting of at least 28 sheets (= 56 leaves = 112 pages). It contains a fascinating mix of classical and Christian material in Greek and Latin. Martin Bodmer actually obtained only a few fragments of the codex. The University of Mississippi professor David M. Robinson also acquired a small fragment of the codex, as I discussed in an earlier post. But almost the entire codex was purchased probably in 1955 by Ramón Roca-Puig (1906-2001), a Catalan papyrologist and Catholic priest.

The leaves are roughly square at about 11.4 cm wide and 12.3 cm high.

Barcelona Drawing

Mythological drawing (possibly Perseus with Medusa’s head) from the Barcelona-Montserrat Greek-Latin codex, P.Monts.Roca inv. 154a; image source: Sofía Torallas Tovar and Klaas A. Worp, To the Origins of Greek Stenography: P.Monts.Roca I (Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2006), plate XXVIII

The first four pages are missing. The extant portion of the codex contains the following material:

Pages 5-47: Cicero, excerpts from the Catilinarian orations (Latin)
Pages 48-56: Hymn to the Virgin Mary (Latin)
Page 57: Drawing, possibly Perseus with Medusa’s head
Pages 58-64: Anaphora and Thanksgiving prayer (Greek)
Pages 65-71: Hexameters on Alcestis Latin
Page 72: blank page
Pages 73-80: Story about Hadrian (Latin)
Pages 81-106: Alphabetized lists of words in 3 columns (Greek)

Although the contents consist of a mix of Latin works and Greek works, the consensus opinion is that the codex is the work of a single copyist. The writing is generally assigned to the fourth century. The codex as a whole shows a close connection to a figure called Dorotheus. Two of the tracts in the codex (the excerpts from Cicero and the story about Hadrian) each end with decorated dedications to this Dorotheus. In the first (at the conclusion of the Cicero text), we find a tabula ansata with the words filiciter | dorotheo and under the tabula UTERE [F]ELIX DOROTH[EE].

Barcelona Dorotheos

Dedication to Dorotheus at conclusion of Cicero’s orations, P.Monts.Roca inv. 149; image source: Sofía Torallas Tovar and Klaas A. Worp, To the Origins of Greek Stenography: P.Monts.Roca I (Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2006), plate XXVII

At the conclusion of the story about Hadrian, we find another tabula ansata with a dedication containing both Greek and Latin: ⲉⲡⲁⲅⲁⲑⲱ (= ἐπ’ ἀγαθῷ) filiciter… | dorotheo. The identity of this Dorotheus is unknown, and the name is quite common. It is interesting, however, that among the books generally considered part of the Bodmer Papyri proper is the Codex of Visions (LDAB 1106), which includes an otherwise unknown text titled “The Vision of Dorotheos son of Quintus the Poet.” It is an open question whether the Dorotheos of the Vision can be identified with the Dorotheus of the Montserrat codex.

As was the case with the Bodmer composite codex, the texts in the Barcelona-Montserrat codex were published separately over a number of years:

Ramón Roca-Puig, Ciceró. Catalinàries (I et II in Cat.). Barcelona: [Grafos], 1977.
Ramón Roca-Puig, Himne a la Verge Maria: “Psalmus responsorius.” 2nd ed. Barcelona: Asociación de Bibliófilos de Barcelona, 1965.
Ramón Roca-Puig, “Dibuix d’argument mitològic. Papir de Barcelona, inventari núm. 154a.” Pages 167-169 in Ramon Roca-Puig i la ciència dels papirs. Lleida: Virgili & Pages, S.A., 1989.
Ramón Roca-Puig, Anàfora de Barcelona i altres pregàries (Missa del segle IV). 3rd ed. Barcelona, 1999.
Ramón Roca-Puig, Alcestis. Hexàmetres Llatins: Papyri Barcinonenses, Inv. n. 158-161. Barcelona: Grafos, 1982.
Juan Gil and Sofía Torallas Tovar, Hadrianus: P.Monts.Roca III. Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2010.
Sofía Torallas Tovar and Klaas A. Worp, To the Origins of Greek Stenography: P.Monts.Roca I. Barcelona: Publicacions de l’Abadia de Montserrat, 2006.

This entry was posted in Barcelona-Montserrat Greek-Latin Codex, Bodmer Papyri, Codices, Robinson Papyri. Bookmark the permalink.

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