THE "QUO VADIS" STORY

MS 5275
MS Short Title THE "QUO VADIS" STORY
Text PASSION OF THE APOSTLES PETER AND PAUL, RECORDING THE "QUO VADIS" STORY
Description MS in Latin on vellum, France, 1st half of 11th c., lower 3/4 f., 21x16 cm, single column, (15x12 cm), 18 of originally 24 lines in Carolingian minuscule, 16th c. marginalia in cursive script.
Context Lipsius and Bonnet p.167, line 16-p. 173 line 7.
Provenance 1. Private collection, France; 2. Quaritch, London.
Commentary

The Passio sanctorum Petri et Pauli, a 2nd c. apocryphal text is to be distinguished from the gnostic Acts of Peter and the orthodox Acts of Paul. The present text concerns Peter, Emperor Nero (54-68) and the prefect Agrippa. Remarkably it includes the famous "Quo Vadis" story, which is not included in the Bible, but is known from this and another longer apocryphal text, the Acta Petri. The words "Quo Vadis, Domine?" (Lord, where are you going?) were spoken by Peter, when fleeing from Roma, he met Christ on the Via Appia just outside the gates of Roma. The Lord answered: "I am coming to Roma to be crucified again". Words which Peter took to mean he was to suffer again through Peter's own death. Peter then turned back to Roma where he was crucified upside down and buried at "the place called the Vatican". The story is today known world-wide due to Henryk Sienkiewicz' novel "Quo Vadis" (1896, Nobel prize in 1905). A tiny chapel marks the spot on the Via Appia today.

Place of origin France
Dates 1st half of 11c

Location