A Symmetrical World: An Illustration from the Venetus B Iliad Manuscript

The Homer Multitext Project makes high-resolution images of every page of the Venetus A Venetus A and B manuscripts of the Iliad (along with a few others too!) available for free and to anyone. Undergraduates at multiple universities are at work transcribing these manuscripts, including some never published scholia.

I am working on learning to read manuscripts to help a student group on my campus work on transcribing the Venetus B. Medieval manuscripts are filled with delightful things. At the beginning of Iliad 8, Zeus calls the gods together and threatens them, at one point describing how far Tartarus is from Olympos. In the lower right corner of Folio 103 of the Venetus B, there is a simple, sweet illustration:

 

Screenshot 2017-08-26 08.18.53

The Greek is pretty legible here, but if you can’t read it:

αἰθήρ [“upper air”]

ἀήρ [“sky/air”]

⊗ [circle for earth]

ἀίδης [Hades]

τάρταρος [Tartaros]

The Venetus A Manuscript offers a similar image (lower left of Folio 100 verso), but it is a bit messier:

Venetus A Kosmos

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