Scholars currently regard the Tiburtina as a piece of political propaganda dressed up as prophecy. They have yet to appreciate that this view is too limited and should more appropriately be called the ‘editorial view’. In other words, the current picture of the Tiburtina is a monochrome one, resting entirely on the work of editors who only considered a fraction of the surviving manuscript evidence. 1 Certain biases in Sackur’s seminal nineteenth-century edition of the Tiburtina have obscured evidence of the non-political concerns of its medieval readers. Hence, below, this study of the Tiburtina and its medieval audience starts with a detailed consideration of the editorial process. Besides filling a gap in the historiography, this close-up also serves as the point of departure for the new approaches to the manuscript tradition which are outlined in the following chapters.