Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 15 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Nikolaus Gross
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

The Vatican just digitized a 1600-year-old manuscript of Virgil’s Aeneid

Daniel Esparza - published on 07/18/16

You can now read from this copy, in Latin, online

Virgil wrote the Aeneid more than 2,000 years ago and today, thanks to an astoundingly ambitious project, one of the oldest manuscripts of this classic Latin text can be read online.

The Apostolic Vatican Library recently announced that it had completed the digitization of a manuscript about 1600 years old, which contains fragments of the epic text that was commissioned by the Emperor Augustus in the first century BC, in which the story of the flight from Troy to Italy of the mythical hero Aeneas is told. The digitized manuscript also includes portions of the Virgil’s second great poem, the Georgics, as explained by Carey Dunne in her post for Hyperallergic. 

The Apostolic Vatican Library recently announced that it had completed the digitization of a manuscript of about 1600 years of age, which contains fragments of the epic text that was commissioned by the Emperor Augustus in the first century BC.
The Apostolic Vatican Library recently announced that it had completed the digitization of a manuscript of about 1600 years of age, which contains fragments of the epic text that was commissioned by the Emperor Augustus in the first century BC

Virgil originally wrote both poems between the years 29 and 19 BC. The manuscript in the Vatican Library, which was written several centuries later, once probably contained all the canonical works of Virgil. It is known that this was the manuscript Raphael Sanzio personally used to study the classics, and was later donated to the Apostolic Vatican Library in 1602.

This manuscript, Vergilius Vaticanus, is one of the oldest documents that have gone through the digitization process so far.
This manuscript, Vergilius Vaticanus, is one of the oldest documents that have gone through the digitization process so far.

The digitization of the manuscript is part of a years-long effort that seeks to create electronic versions of the texts that have been preserved for centuries by the Vatican Library. In total, it includes some 80,000 manuscripts which should be converted into about 45 quadrillion bytes, according to Digita Vaticana, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the library. This manuscript, Vergilius Vaticanus, is in fact one of the oldest documents that have gone through the digitization process so far.

If you want to read the manuscript, you can click here.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
FORGIVING COUPLE
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
D'CRUZ FAMILY
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.