Le premier mythographe du Vatican, texte établi par Nevio Zorzetti et traduit par Jacques Berlioz, Paris 1995 (Collection des Universités de France).
The name “Vatican Mythographers” is used to identify three mythographical collections that are contained in a group of manuscripts that Angelo Mai discovered in the Vatican Library in 1831, publishing them that same year in the third volume of his Classici autores e Vaticanis codicibus editi. The traditional dating places the mythographers in the 5th-6th c., but Zorzetti and Berlioz propose that they should be pushed forward to the 9th-10th c. The first mythographer is anonymous (in fact, the authorships hypothesized by Mai and followed by Bode, who republished the three mythographers in 1834, are open to debate); his work is attested by a single manuscript - Vaticanus Latinus Reginensis 1401 - and is divided into three books: the first and second contain 100 and 101 fabulae, respectively; the third, after a genealogy of the gods and heroes, contains another 31. The fabulae present the classical repertory, interspersed - especially in the third book - with exempla drawn from Greek and Roman history. It must be emphasized that the order of the fabulae does not reveal any systematic pattern of selection; nevertheless, some stories repeat the same narrative material (gods, giants, labors of Hercules, etc.), and there are numerous cases of narrationes that share some common element (e.g. a theme or homonym) clustering around one another. The fabularius echoes the language of many other late-antique works: chief among them are Servius’ Commentary on Vergil; Pseudo-Acron’s Commentary on Horace; the commentary and scholia on Statius; the Narrationes fabularum Ovidianarum; as well as Hyginus, Fulgentius, and Isidore of Seville; moreover, one can also find the occasional presence of the scholia on Lucan and Horace, glosses on Boethius, the text of Dares, the epigrams of Ausonius, etc. The mythographer’s direct dependence on Servius’ Commentary, Lactantius Placidus, and the Narrationes is undisputed. Lost sources have been hypothesized for the similarities with the other works (Schulz 1905), but critics have now convincingly shown that the mythographer often draws on these directly, or at least through scholiastic material (Bühler, Skutsch; so also Zorzetti and Berlioz). The work was composed for school use: the compiler’s scope is that of one collecting all the mythological narrationes present in the works of the poets (esp. Vergil and Statius). It must be stated explicitly that since the poets allude to these stories more often than they report them at length, the compiler must have consulted the commentaries on their works; indeed, this is the only way he could have been able to assemble a mosaic whose tesserae amount to gems scattered throughout the Latin poets and their commentators. [B. Strona; tr. C. L. Caterine].