This document, known as the Neapolitan Ovid, can be traced with certainty to the region of Puglia (Apulia) in southern Italy, where it most likely was copied at the Monastery of San Benedetto di Bari. The work is a testament to the oldest manuscript tradition relating to the Metamorphoses, a Latin narrative poem by the first-century Roman poet Ovid, which was popular in Europe in the Middle Ages. The codex includes illustrations in bright colors that reflect the several styles that combined in southern Italy in the 11th century under the influence of the Normans, gradually replacing older Langobard and Arab traditions. Also apparent are influences from Byzantium and the Levant. The manuscript is written in a Bari variant of the Beneventan script, the national script of southern Italy between 800 and 1200. Now in the custody of the National Library in Naples, the codex once belonged to the Neapolitan convent of San Giovanni a Carbonara.

Last updated: October 17, 2017