Codex Vaticanus

Codex Vaticanus

Codex Vaticanus, circa 325–50 C.E. Ink on vellum, Vatican Libraries, Vatican City.

Codex Vaticanus is one of the most important biblical manuscripts to have survived antiquity. The origin of the text is unclear; different scholars have argued that it was written in Rome, Asia Minor, or perhaps Egypt. What is clear is that its paleography (handwriting style) dates the book to the first part of the fourth century C.E. The book has been housed at the Vatican Library since the 15th century. It is written on vellum, or calfskin parchment, using uncial script, a type of script used in the fourth through eighth centuries. The codex contains the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, both in Greek; the text is mostly intact, though there are some missing sections. 

A text of pages bound leaf style, like a modern book—as opposed to a scroll, which has no discrete pages.

The historical period from the beginning of Western civilization to the start of the Middle Ages.

A term from late Antiquity, it refers to the western-most part of Asia, bordered by the Black, the Mediterranean, and Agean Seas, in what is now modern-day Turkey.

A West Semitic language, in which most of the Hebrew Bible is written except for parts of Daniel and Ezra. Hebrew is regarded as the spoken language of ancient Israel but is largely replaced by Aramaic in the Persian period.

Textual documents, usually handwritten.

A collection of first-century Jewish and early Christian writings that, along with the Old Testament, makes up the Christian Bible.

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