The treasures of the Capitolare

More than 1,200 manuscripts, including works unique in the world

The Capitolare holds a collection of over 1200 manuscripts, including works that are unique in the world. Among its shelves we can trace texts from the most diverse disciplines: theology, law, poetry, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, botany, history and numerous other sciences. This variety testifies to the happy encounter and mutual integration and contamination of religious and secular knowledge that underpin the development of Western culture.

Among the most prestigious works there is the world's oldest copy of St.Augustine's De Civitate Dei, written in the early 5th century, when the saint was still alive. Also of fundamental importance are the Institutions of Gaius, dating back to the 5th century: the only text of classical Roman jurisprudence in the world to have survived the Byzantine manipulations of the Justinian's reform, which has come down to us in the form of a palimpsest (a 'recycled' manuscript). The Indovinello Veronese, a small riddle preserved in an 8th century codex, is the oldest written record of what would become the Italian language, dating back to the late 8th century.

Among the most precious treasures there is Codex VI, one of the oldest surviving purplish gospels in its entirety, written in elegant silver and gold letters, which moved even St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) because of its beauty and majesty.

The so-called Ursicinus Codex, named after its copyist, is proof that the Scriptorium of Verona, at the origins of the Library, was already active at least in the 6th century, as it bears - in addition to the signature of the amanuensis - the indication of place and the date: Verona, the Calends of August in the year of Agapitus' consulate (1 August 517 AD).

Among the most iconic depictions, the so-called Rateriana Iconography is the first graphic representation of Verona: an evocative and narrative image, named after the bishop who commissioned it, Raterio of Liège (892-974). The original was lost during the French Revolution; the first copy, made with techniques similar to the original and preserved here, is dated 1739 and belonged to the Veronese intellectual Scipione Maffei.


In addition to its codex collections, the Capitolare Library contains a rich archive of parchments, diplomas and manuscript documents. The Archive of the Capitolare records the activity of the canons of Verona over the centuries and comprises a series of approximately 11,000 parchments, the oldest of which dates back to 710, and 716 folders with paper documents from the 13th century onwards. In addition to this documentation there are funds donated to the Archive by private individuals and organisations. These materials suffered extensive damage because of the flooding of the Adige river in September 1882. 


The Library's collections include numerous other valuable texts and documents: not only manuscripts, but also approximately 100,000 printed volumes, including incunabula, modern and contemporary texts. All these works constitute an extraordinary heritage of knowledge, which has spanned the centuries and the vicissitudes of history and which still fascinates and questions us today. 


In addition to the Library and Archive, there is the Canonical Museum, which houses a picture gallery and a corpus of sacred ornaments: thuribles, crosses, papal rings decorated with gold, silver, mother-of-pearl and coloured stones, dating from different historical periods from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. In these frescoed rooms one can admire, among others, works by Francesco Morone, Antonio Badile, Giovanni Caroto, as well as some archaeological objects found during excavations in the cloister area and dating back to the early Christian period.
The Canonical Museum was defined as 'of diocesan interest' by a Bishop's Decree of September 2021.

 

Place

Rateriana Iconography

The Capitolare holds a collection of over 1200 manuscripts, including works that are unique in the world. Among its shelves we can trace texts from the most diverse disciplines: theology, law, poetry, philosophy, astronomy, medicine, botany, history and numerous other sciences. This variety testifies to the happy encounter and mutual integration and contamination of religious and secular knowledge that underpin the development of Western culture.

Among the most prestigious works there is the world's oldest copy of St.Augustine's De Civitate Dei, written in the early 5th century, when the saint was still alive. Also of fundamental importance are the Institutions of Gaius, dating back to the 5th century: the only text of classical Roman jurisprudence in the world to have survived the Byzantine manipulations of the Justinian's reform, which has come down to us in the form of a palimpsest (a 'recycled' manuscript). The Indovinello Veronese, a small riddle preserved in an 8th century codex, is the oldest written record of what would become the Italian language, dating back to the late 8th century.

Among the most precious treasures there is Codex VI, one of the oldest surviving purplish gospels in its entirety, written in elegant silver and gold letters, which moved even St. Bernardine of Siena (1380-1444) because of its beauty and majesty.

The so-called Ursicinus Codex, named after its copyist, is proof that the Scriptorium of Verona, at the origins of the Library, was already active at least in the 6th century, as it bears - in addition to the signature of the amanuensis - the indication of place and the date: Verona, the Calends of August in the year of Agapitus' consulate (1 August 517 AD).

Among the most iconic depictions, the so-called Rateriana Iconography is the first graphic representation of Verona: an evocative and narrative image, named after the bishop who commissioned it, Raterio of Liège (892-974). The original was lost during the French Revolution; the first copy, made with techniques similar to the original and preserved here, is dated 1739 and belonged to the Veronese intellectual Scipione Maffei.


In addition to its codex collections, the Capitolare Library contains a rich archive of parchments, diplomas and manuscript documents. The Archive of the Capitolare records the activity of the canons of Verona over the centuries and comprises a series of approximately 11,000 parchments, the oldest of which dates back to 710, and 716 folders with paper documents from the 13th century onwards. In addition to this documentation there are funds donated to the Archive by private individuals and organisations. These materials suffered extensive damage because of the flooding of the Adige river in September 1882. 


The Library's collections include numerous other valuable texts and documents: not only manuscripts, but also approximately 100,000 printed volumes, including incunabula, modern and contemporary texts. All these works constitute an extraordinary heritage of knowledge, which has spanned the centuries and the vicissitudes of history and which still fascinates and questions us today. 


In addition to the Library and Archive, there is the Canonical Museum, which houses a picture gallery and a corpus of sacred ornaments: thuribles, crosses, papal rings decorated with gold, silver, mother-of-pearl and coloured stones, dating from different historical periods from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. In these frescoed rooms one can admire, among others, works by Francesco Morone, Antonio Badile, Giovanni Caroto, as well as some archaeological objects found during excavations in the cloister area and dating back to the early Christian period.
The Canonical Museum was defined as 'of diocesan interest' by a Bishop's Decree of September 2021.

 

Guided tour (Italian)

Reservation required

The visit starts from the canonical cloister, and then moves to the Library, with its majestic monumental hall recently restored.

The last part of the route includes the exhibition of some original manuscripts and printed texts, which can be admired closely.

 

Upcoming dates

Sunday 25 February 2024 - Hours 15:00

Saturday 02 March 2024 - Hours 15:00

Sunday 10 March 2024 - Hours 15:00

Sunday 17 March 2024 - Hours 15:00

Duration

1h 45min

Price

Full price € 15 / VeronaCard, ICOM, FAI, COIN € 13

Concessions € 10 (11-14 years old; disability card)

Free for children up to the age of 10