(the older form being caudex:
Cato , ap.
Front. Epist. ad M. Anton.
i. 2). A word
originally signifying the trunk or stem of a tree (
Georg. ii. 30
), and hence used to designate anything composed of pieces
- 1. A log of wood, attached as a punishment to the feet of slaves, which they dragged
with them, and on which they also sat sometimes (Plaut. Poen. v. 3, 39).
- 2. Boats on the Tiber, which may originally have been like the Indian canoes, or were
constructed of several roughly hewn planks nailed together in a rude and simple manner, were
called naves caudicariae, or codicariae, or caudiceae ( Fest. p. 46 M.; Varr., Sall. ap. Non. p.
535, 13; Brev. Vit. 13, 4). The surname of
Caudex given to Appius Claudius must be traced to this signification. In later times the
name was given to ships employed in transporting the corn from Ostia to Rome; and the
sailors engaged in this traffic, called caudicarii or codicarii, formed a corporation.
- 3. The name of codex was given to wooden tablets bound together
and lined with a coat of wax, for the purpose of writing upon them; and when, at a later
age, parchment or paper or other materials were substituted for wood, and put together in
the shape of a book, the name of codex was often used as synonymous
with liber, or book (Verr. i. 46.119). It was the name
more particularly given to an account-book or ledger, codex accepti et
expensi (q. v.). In the time of Cicero we find it also applied to the tablet on which
a bill was written. At a still later period, during the time of the emperors, the word was
used to express any collection of laws or constitutions of the emperors, whether made by
private individuals or by public authority. See Codex Gregorianus; Codex
The word codex
is largely used by scholars of the MS. editions of the
classics that are preserved in the libraries of Europe, and date some from the fifth to the
tenth centuries A.D., but the greater number from the thirteenth to the fifteenth. They are of
parchment (folio or quarto size), usually with marginal notes written by other hands than
those of the original copyist of the codex. (See Liber
; Palæography; Textual
.) They are named
- 1. after persons who once owned them, as the Codex Petavinus of Ovid, named after one
Petavius, and the Codex Vossianus of the same classic, after Voss; and
- 2. more commonly after the places where they are kept. Thus there are in England, Codices Britannici or Londinenses (British Museum), Codices
Cantabrigienses (Cambridge), and Codices Oxonienses (Oxford). These last are also often
noted as Codices Bodleiani (from the Bodleian Library). In France, one finds Codices Parisini (Paris), Codices Bliandifontani
(Fontaineblean), Codices Sangermanenses (St. Germain), Codices Montepessulani (Montpellier),
etc. In Holland, there are Codices Amstelodamienses (Amsterdam)
and Codices Leidenses (Leyden); in Belgium,
Codices Bruxellenses (Brussels) and Codices Blandiniani (Blankenberg); in
Denmark, Codices Haunienses (Copenhagen); in Switzerland, Codices Bernenses (Berne), Codices Basilienses (Bâle), Codices
Einsidlenses (Einsiedeln), Codices Sangallenses (St. Gallen), and Turicenses
(Zürich); in Germany, Codices Argentoratenses
(Strassburg), Codices Berolinenses (Berlin), Codices Colonienses (Cologne), Codices Palatini
(Heidelberg), Codices Fuldenses (Fulda), Codices Caroliruhenses (Carlsruhe), Codices
Regiomontani (Königsberg), Codices Guelferbytani (Wolfenbüttel), Codices
Monacenses (Munich), Codices Lipsienses (Leipzig), and Codices Vratislavienses (Breslau),
etc.; in Austria, Codices Vindobonenses (Vienna) and Codices
Budenses (Buda); in Russia, Codices Petropolitani (St.
Petersburg); in Spain, Codices Matritenses (Madrid) and Codices
In Italy, the terminology is varied. The great collections
- 1. Florence, in the Bibliotheca Laurentiana of the Church of San Lorenzo, comprising
MSS. from the Public Library of San Marco founded by Cosimo de' Medici, and from the
collection of Peter Leopold. Hence Florentine codices are styled variously, Florentini,
Laurentiani, S. Marci, Medicei, and Leopoldini Laurentiani;
- 2. Milan, where the codices are called either Mediolanenses, from the name of the city,
or Ambrosiani, from the Ambrosian Library;
- 3. Venice, where they are called Veneti, or (from the Library of St. Mark) Veneti
Marciani, or simply Marciani;
- 4. Turin, Codices Taurinenses;
- 5. Verona, Codices Veronenses;
- 6. Rome, where the great storehouse is the Vatican Library (Bibliotheca Vaticana),
enriched by MSS. from many sources—e. g. from Fulvius Orsini, from Heidelberg,
from the Library of Urbino, etc. Hence the Codices Vaticani often receive names to specify
more particularly their original sources, as Codices Ursiniani, Codices Palatini, Codices
- 7. Naples, where the codices are called Neapolitani, or (from the old Bourbon Library)
Borbonici. A complete list of Latin MSS. down to the seventh century is given by Prof.
Hübner, in his Grundriss z. Geschichte u. Encycl. der Klass.
Philologie (Berlin, 1876).
The diminutive codicillus
was used in much the same way as codex.
Respecting its meaning in connection with a person's will, see Testamentum