Title given to a vast and luxurious illustrated codex written at Rome in 354 by Pope Damasus’s calligrapher Furius Dionysius Philocalus, who compiled and illustrated more than a dozen preexisting documents, each with its own history. It was dedicated by the author to a wealthy Christian named Valentinus whose name appears on the frontispiece. A copy of it was made in the Carolingian period, from which others were made in the 16th and 17th c.; the richness of the illustrations made the copying task difficult. Chandler Map The codex can be divided into two sections: the first, illustrated, contains texts regarding Roman civic life Christian elements are lacking; the second, with no illustrations, contains texts on aspects of imperial Roman civic and Christian life. Typically pagan elements are omitted, though some historical and legendary references are made.
Its essential content includes: 1 a list of the Natales Caesarum, which begins with the month of January and includes emperors beginning with Augustus; 2 an astrological section, i.e., on the signs of the zodiac; 3 the official calendar of the city of Rome: the individual months with indications of the days, imperial anniversaries, feasts, spectacles, lucky and unlucky days, ludi and circenses, and the astrological week; 4 a complete, accurate list of the consuls up to 354, indicating the year according to the Varronian system, with suppression of the names of usurpers; 5 an Easter table from 312 to 411, based on Hippolytus’s lunar cycle of 84 years; 6 a list of the urban prefects from 254 to 354; 7 the Depositio episcoporum for the years 255335 from Pope Lucius to Pope Sylvester, i.e., the days and places of commemoration of the bishops of Rome; two other names were added to this list: Mark, 7 October 336, Julius, 12 April 352; 8 the Depositio martyrum: a list of martyrs commemorated at Rome with the date, name and place of burial or that where the liturgical station was celebrated; Callistus is the oldest martyr recorded, and the list begins with the feast of Christmas, 25 December; 9 the list of the bishops of Rome from Peter to Liberius Liberian Catalog for the latter, only the year of consecration 352 is given; 10 other documents, whose inclusion in the original copy is uncertain: a Notitia of the regions of the city of Rome, a universal chronicle Liber generationis and a chronicle of the city of Rome Chronica Urbis Romae.
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