Carolingian Collections of Gregory the Great’s Letters
Gregory the Great’s letters, issued during his fourteen-year papacy and a major testimony to his pastoral and political activity, do not survive in their entirety. A number of them were selected during the Carolingian age and put together in different collections, among which the Registrum Hadriani, composed in 795 for Charlemagne, is the most famous and considerable. Prior to the Registrum, the so called Collectio Pauli not only is considered the oldest Carolingian collection of Gregory’s letters, but also owes its name to Paul the Deacon, who is supposed to have selected a group of 54 letters and sent them to the abbot of Corbie, Adalhard. The manuscript Sankt Petersburg, Rossijskaja Nacional’naja Biblioteka, F.v.I.7, with the dedicatory epistle to Adalhard and plausibly Paul’s autograph marginalia, has been so far believed the oldest and most important manuscript of the Collectio, and so the archetype of the rest of the tradition, that includes nine more codices.
Our research is both paleographical and philological. It aims at investigating the criteria of selection on which the Collectio is based and Paul the Deacon’s supposed role in its formation, as demonstrated by the manuscript evidence. In this workshop, we will introduce the status quaestionis and the Sankt Petersburg manuscript in its codicological and paleographical features, also focusing on the many questions arisen by the sequence of letters as summarized in the index and contained in the manuscript.