(France: late 12th century). 176 x 132 mm. (7 x 5 1/4"). Single column, 18 lines in a protogothic hand (text on one side only).
Rubrics in red, "Liber" in upper margin in red. Recto and verso with scribblings by later hands, the name "Simon Pivante" clearly visible on recto, but the others illegible. ◆Recovered from a binding and thus with obvious staining, folds, and rubbing, a couple lines at top and bottom and a few other words here and there too rubbed to make out, but by and large still very legible and in a pleasing hand.
This leaf is primarily of interest for its content, containing a rare example of Anastasius Bibliothecarius' "Historia Ecclesiastica" of the Byzantine Church (also known as the "Chronographia tripartita"), compiled from the works of the near-contemporary Greek authors Theophanes, Nicephorus, and Syncellus. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, Anastasius Bibliothecarius (ca. 810-79) "learned Greek from Greek monks, and obtained an unusual education for his era, so that he appears to be the most learned ecclesiastic of Rome in the barbaric period of the ninth century." He earned the moniker "Bibliothecarius" from his appointment as librarian of the Roman Church, a position he held during the reign of popes Adrian II (867-72) and John VIII (872-82). It is possible that Anastasius was also the same figure elected antipope in 855 (as recorded in at least one contemporary chronology), but historians disagree on the validity of this identification. Anastasius' work appears to be extremely rare in the marketplace. (ST17587)