Codex Vaticanus
The Codex Vaticanus is one of the oldest extant manuscripts
Biblical manuscript
A biblical manuscript is any handwritten copy of a portion of the text of the Bible. The word Bible comes from the Greek biblia ; manuscript comes from Latin manu and scriptum...

 of the Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 Bible (Old and New Testament), one of the four great uncial codices
Great uncial codices
The great uncial codices or four great uncials are the only remaining uncial codices that contain the entire text of the Greek Bible ....

. The Codex is named for the residence in the Vatican Library
Vatican Library
The Vatican Library is the library of the Holy See, currently located in Vatican City. It is one of the oldest libraries in the world and contains one of the most significant collections of historical texts. Formally established in 1475, though in fact much older, it has 75,000 codices from...

, where it has been stored since at least the 15th century. It is written on 759 leaves of vellum
Vellum is mammal skin prepared for writing or printing on, to produce single pages, scrolls, codices or books. It is generally smooth and durable, although there are great variations depending on preparation, the quality of the skin and the type of animal used...

 in uncial letters and has been dated palaeographically
Palaeography, also spelt paleography is the study of ancient writing. Included in the discipline is the practice of deciphering, reading, and dating historical manuscripts, and the cultural context of writing, including the methods with which writing and books were produced, and the history of...

 to the 4th century.

The manuscript became known to Western scholars as a result of correspondence between Erasmus and the prefects of the Vatican Library.