BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 83 Venice [?], s. XV 1/3 and XV 2
Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae (abridged)
ff. 1r-91v Incipit liber agellij noctium acticarum. Tanta pedis herculei
qua idem olimpium stadium apud pisas sexcentarum numero mensus fuit...emere
uelit empturum sese negare prope competitores emptionis// ff. 92r-100v ruled,
For the complete text of Aulus Gellius see P. K. Marshall, ed., OCT (1968)
2 vols.; regarding the manuscript tradition see the article by
Marshall in Texts and Transmission, pp. 176-80. The abridged text in
Marston MS 83 appears in the following order: Books I-V, VII, VI, IX-XII.2
(ending abruptly; the scribe has stopped copying, although there are several
blank leaves ruled and ready to be filled). Chapter lists for each book,
except for I and XI which are absent, precede the text of the book.
The scribe made an error while copying so that the text on f. 50 belongs after
f. 46; he added catchwords on ff. 46-50 to assist the reader in determining
the correct sequence of the text. As in Marston MS 167 all passages containing
Greek have been omitted. Books I and II are heavily abridged; beginning,
however, with Bk. III fewer passages are deleted. This trend continues,
until in Bks. IX-XII.12, the text is complete (always excepting the portions
in Greek). According to P. K. Marshall (in unpublished correspondence) Marston
MS 83 exhibits the same abbreviated text as the following 15th-century
manuscripts: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Lat. 307; Paris, B. N. lat.
13039 (S. Germ. 1185); Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense D II 5 (679).
Parchment, ff. ii (contemporary parchment bifolium, i = front pastedown)
+ 100 + ii (contemporary parchment bifolium, ii = back pastedown),
233 x 140 (174 x 94) mm. Ruled in 31 long lines. Physical format is
inconsistent. Folios 1-70: upper horizontal bounding line full across
(Derolez 13.12), ruled in hard point on hair side; text rulings in hard
point and vertical bounding lines in lead. Prickings in upper and lower
margins and a single pricking in outer margin, 35 mm. below top line
(for ff. 1-11 only). Full row of prickings in outer margin for remainder of
codex. Folios 71-80: single vertical bounding lines, in lead
(Derolez 13.11); folios 81-100: upper horizontal bounding line, in hard
point, extends through inner margin and gutter (Derolez 13.17).
I-X 10. Catchwords, often with pen flourishes on all sides, in red,
in center of lower margin, verso (Derolez 12.1).
Written in fere-humanistic script by a single scribe, below top line.
Folio 1r with partial border in inner and lower margin (rubbed). Inner
margin has scrolling vine, yellow, on parchment ground with red dots, with
stylized foliage, flowers and fruit in green, red, purple and dove grey.
Illuminated initial, 3-line, purple on dark green ground, is incorporated
into border. In lower margin, wreathed medallion (unidentified mutilated
arms: per pale, or and sable?) on pink ground, supported by two heraldic
dragons, parchment colored (unfinished) against red ground. All of this
decoration appears to be a later addition. Plain initials and headings in
Binding: Italy, s. xv. Sewn on three tawed skin, kermes pink slit
straps nailed in channels on the outside of the wooden boards. Yellow
edges. The plain wound endbands may have been resewn. The spine is lined
Covered in brown, originally tan, sheepskin with corner tongues.
Blind-tooled with two rope interlace stars in a central panel bordered
with concentric frames. Spine: bands outlined with double fillets;
panels diapered with triple fillets. Two truncated diamond fastenings,
the catches on the lower board (one wanting), the upper board cut in for
straps attached with star-headed nails.
Written probably in Venice in the first third of the 15th century with
decoration added in the second half of the century; early modern
provenance unknown. Unidentified shelf-mark, in ink, on f. 1 verso:
"D. 3." with an erasure below. Purchased from C. A. Stonehill in 1955
by Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: amico
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 74, no. 83.
Barbara A. Shailor