berlin staatsbibliothek

The Vergilius Augusteus is a manuscript from late antiquity, containing the works of the Roman author Virgil, written probably around the 4th century. The Augusteus is not illuminated but has decorated initial letters at the top of each page. These letters do not mark divisions of the text, but rather are used at the beginning of whatever line happened to fall at the top of the page. These decorated initials are the earliest surviving such initials. Only seven leaves of the manuscript survives, four of which are in the Vatican Library (MS 3256), and the remaining three in the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Lat. fol. 416). The leaves contain fragments of Virgil’s Georgics and the Aeneid. The fragments are written in Roman square capitals, which shows that square capitals were used in handwriting and not only for stone inscriptions. Due to its great age, it was originally believed that the manuscript was written in the time of Roman emperor Caesar Augustus, hence its name. In the later Middle Ages the manuscript was kept in the abbey of St. Denis in Paris.


1st performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony “Ode to Joy”, 7th May 1824 @ Theater am Kärtnerthor, Vienna

Print from the 19th century

(Michael Umlauf conducting under Beethoven’s surveillance, Johann Sedlatzek is the flautist in the middle)

The 1st page of movement 1 - Allegro ma non troppo

Page 8 of mov. 1 (crescendo written with a crayon - a habit of his)

Page 12 of mov. 1 (with coffee stains :) )

(via Berliner Staatsbibliothek, the original manuscript of the 9th symphony)