The Palatine Anthology (or Anthologia Palatina) is the collection of Greek poems and epigrams discovered in 1606 in the Palatine Library in Heidelberg. It is based on the lost collection of Constantine Cephalas of the 10th century, which has been composed using older anthologies. It contains material from the 7th century BC until 600 AD and later on was the main part of the Greek Anthology which included also the Anthology of Planudes and more material.
The manuscript of the Palatine Anthology was discovered by Saumaise (Salmasius) in 1606 in the Palatine library at Heidelberg (Codex Palatinus 23). In 1623, after the Thirty Years' War, it was sent with the rest of the Palatine Library to Rome as a present from Maximilian I of Bavaria to Pope Gregory XV and it was kept in the Vatican Library. In 1797 it was taken to Paris by order of the French Directory and in 1816 it was returned to Heidelberg when the war ended, but one (smaller) part of it remained in Paris (Parisinus Suppl. Gr. 384).
The manuscript of the Palatine Anthology consists of 709 pages. The section of the manuscript which is kept today at the Library of the University of Heidelgberg (MS Pal. gr. 23) consists of pages 1–614 and the other part which is kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale de Paris (Par. Suppl. gr. 384) consists of the rest 94 pages (pp. 615–709.
It was written by four scribes around 980. One of the scribes made comments and additions and part of the manuscript was corrected by a Corrector.
The scribes were the followings:
- scribe Α: pages 4–9.384.8
- scribe J: pages 9.348.9-9.563 (possibly Constantine the Rhodian)
- scribe Β: pages 9.564-11.66.3
- scribe Β2: pages 11.66.4-11.118.1
- scribe Β: pages 11.118.1-13.31
Scribe J made corrections to the text written by scribe A and at the end, a Corrector, C, made many corrections to the text of Α and J
- List of anthologies of Greek epigrams