Roda Codex

Roda Codex

The Roda Codex (Codex of Roda, Códice de Roda, Códice de Meyá) is a medieval manuscript which represents a unique source for details of the 9th century Kingdom of Navarre and neighboring principalities.

The codex is thought to date from the late 10th century, although there are additions from the 11th century, and was compiled in Navarre, perhaps at Nájera, written in a visigothic minuscule in several different hands with cursive marginal notes. It is 205 mm x 285 mm, and contains 232 folios. The manuscript appears to have been at Nájera in the 12th century, and later in the archives of the cathedral at Roda, Spain at the end of the 17th century. In the next century, it was acquired by the prior of Santa María de Meyá, passing into private hands, after which only copies and derivative manuscripts were available to the scholarly community until the rediscovery of the original manuscript in 1928. It is now in the Real Academia de la Historia.

The pages of the codex include copies of well-known ancient and medieval texts, as well as unique material. The first two-thirds of the compilation reproduces a single work, Paulus Orosius' Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri VII. Also notable are St. Isidore's History of the Vandals and Suebi and History of the Goths, the Chronicon Albeldense (also known as the Codex Albeldensis or Codex Vigilanus), and a genealogy of Jesus. Unique items include a lists of Arab rulers and of the Christian kings of Asturias-León, Navarre and France, a chronicle of the Kingdom of Navarre and a listing of the Bishops of Pamplona with their death dates. It also includes a chant in honor of Leodegundia Ordóñez, Queen of Navarre. Still, the manuscript is perhaps best known for its genealogies of the dynasties ruling on both sides of the Pyrenees.

The genealogies in the Roda Codex have played a critical role in interpreting the scant surviving historical record of the dynasties covered. The family accounts span as many as five generations, ending in the first half of the 10th century. These include the Íñiguez and Jiménez rulers of Pamplona, and the counts of Aragon, Sobrarbe, Ribagorza, Pallars, Toulouse and the duchy of Gascony. It has recently been suggested that these genealogies, reminiscent of the work of Al Udri, were prepared in an Iberian Muslim context in the Ebro valley and passed to Navarre at the time the codex was compiled.

References

  • Zacarías García Villada, "El códice de Roda recuperado," Revista de Filología Española 15:113-3 (1928).
  • José María Lacarra. "Textos navarros del Códice de Roda," Estudios de Edad Media de la Corona de Aragón, 1:194-283 (1945).
  • José María Lacarra. "Las Genealogías del Códice de Roda," Medievalia, 10:213-6 (1992).

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