BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Marston MS 116 Northeastern Italy, s. XV 2
Cicero, De natura deorum
ff. 1r-106r [Heading, in a later hand:] M. T. C. de natura deorum L P [?].
[text:] [C]um multe res in philosophia nequaquam satis adhuc explicate sint
tum perdifficilis brute et obscura questio est de natura... [final folio
defective:] ut ueleio cotte disputati[o] uerior mihi balb[i] ad ueritatis
simil[i]tudinem uideret[ur] esse propensior. f. 106v ruled, but blank
Cicero, De natura deorum; O. Plasberg, ed. (iterum edidit appendicem
adiecit W. Ax) Teubner fasc. 45 (1933) pp. 1-160. The scribe was apparently
copying from a defective or misbound exemplar for Book II: he skips,
with interruption in the text, on f. 38r from "...quid potius dixeris quam
deum" (Teubner, p. 55, line 17) to "largitate fundit ea ferarum ne an hominum
causa gignere uidetur" (Teubner, p. 113, 15) and copies only this single
phrase; he then resumes copying, without interruption, with "perfectiones
habere naturas quam ea" (Teubner, p. 83, 14) until f. 58r where he
concludes copying with "frugibus et uario leguminum genera" (Teubner,
p. 113, 14); without interruption he returns to "Etenim si dii non sunt"
(Teubner, p. 55, 17 where he had originally stopped on f. 38r) and continues
copying the text until f. 76v, "non intelligat ea...aliquid"
(Teubner, p. 83, 13); he copies for a second time the phrase "largitate
fundi [sic] ea ferarum ne an hominum causa gignere uidetur" and then writes
the remainder of the text without similar disruptions. There are no
breaks, divisions, or punctuation within the text to indicate that the
scribe was aware of textual problems; a modern reader has noted, in pencil,
the breaks in the outer margins. The text has been erased and corrected
by at least one contemporary hand (see also provenance). Marginalia, also
by this main hand, include: 1. proper names extracted from the text; 2. Greek
words written in Greek letters (and also transliterated in the text into
Roman letters); 3. running headlines; 4. extracts on shells and other aspects
of natural history as follow: f. 48r Pliny the Elder, Naturalis
bk. 9, ch. 42, sec. 142 (C. Mayhoff, ed., Teubner, v. 2  p. 203,
lines 17-20); f. 48v Aristotle, Historia animalium, in an unidentified
Latin translation, ix.10, 614b26-30 (P. Louis, ed., Bude, v. 3  p. 84,
followed by viii.12, 597a10-11 (ibid., p. 28]); f. 49v Pliny the Elder,
Naturalis historia, bk. 8, ch. 15, sec. 40 (Mayhoff, op. cit., p. 91, lines
6-11); f. 50r Pliny the Elder, bk. 9, ch. 10, sec. 37 followed by bk. 8,
ch. 25, sec. 89 (Mayhoff, op. cit., p. 170, lines 4-7 and p. 108, lines
Parchment, ff. i (paper) + 106 + i (paper), 160 x 116 (113 x 76) mm.
26 long lines. Single horizontal and vertical bounding lines (Derolez
13.13), with horizontal bounding lines not always extending into outer
margins. Ruled in hard point, on versos.
I-VIII 10, IX-X 8, XI 10. Catchwords perpendicular to text along inner
vertical bounding line.
Written by a single scribe in round humanistic bookhand, below top line.
Spaces for decorative initials left unfilled.
Binding: Italy, s. xviii-xix. Rigid vellum case with title, in ink, on
spine: "Ciceronis de Natura Deorum M. S." Gilt edges.
Written in Northeastern Italy in the second half of the 15th century; corrected
and annotated mostly by the same unidentified humanistic scholar who
annotated Marston MS 212. Belonged to Henry Allen
(acquired ca. 1800; bookplate); Samuel Allen sale (signature, in pencil,
but partially erased, on f. i recto; Sotheby's, 30 January 1920, no. 29).
Unidentified modern notations, in pencil, on front pastedown: "3448" and
"106"; rectangular white paper tag with blue border along left edge,
with "39" written in ink. On f. i recto: 23/2/3, 5116, gis/KO5, and many
pencil notes, now erased. On rear pastedown in ink:
bfs [?]. Acquired in 1953 from C. A. Stonehill (inv. no. 9600) by
Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: uolunt
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 77, no. 116.
Barbara A. Shailor