BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 256 Byzantium [?] or Southern Italy [?], s. XIII
Aristotle; Porphyry, etc. (in Greek)
1. ff. 1r-12r[Greek] [text begins:]
Porphyry, Isagoge; A. Busse, ed., Porphyri Isagoge et in Aristotelis
Categorias Commentarius (Berlin, 1887) pp. 1-22.
2. ff. 12v-48v[Greek]
[Greek]...[text ends abruptly:] [Greek] [sic]
Ammonius Hermeiou, In Porphyrii Isagogen; A. Busse, ed., Ammonius in
Porphyrii Isagogen (Berlin, 1891) pp. 1-105. CAG 4,3 (P. Moraux notes that
the text lost corresponds to one quaternion missing from the manuscript
3. ff. 49r-69r[Greek].
Aristotle, Categoriae; I. Bekker, ed., Aristoteles, v. 1 (Berlin,
4. ff. 69r-80v [Greek].
Aristotle, De Interpretatione; Bekker, op. cit., v. 1,
5. ff. 81r-124v
[Greek]. [text begins:] [Greek] [sic] [Greek] [?]
Ammonius Hermeiou, In Aristotelis Categorias Commentarius; A. Busse,
ed., Ammonius in Aristotelis Categorias Commentarius (Berlin, 1895)
pp. 1-106; CAG 4,4.
6. ff. 125r-162v
[Greek] [text begins:]
[Greek]. [explicit:] [Greek].
Michael Psellus, In Aristotelis De Interpretatione Commentarius;
printed by Aldus Manutius, [Greek]...(Venice,
1503) gatherings M, i - O, vi; for an anonymous Latin translation of this
work, together with Boethius' Latin translation of the De interpretatione,
see Aristotelis Peri Hermenias Liber Anitio Manlio Severino Boetio
Interprete; Paraphrasi Michaelis Pselli Peripatetici...(Venice, 1541).
7. ff. 163r-166v Miscellaneous notes on Psellus, the life of Porphyry,
and philosophical definitions (in several hands).
Parchment (heavy, dark and poor quality), ff. ii (paper) + 166 + ii
(paper), 256 x 184 (190 x 145) mm. Written in 24-29 long lines per
page, frame-ruled in hard point.
I-VI^^8, VII now missing, VIII-XXI^^8, XXII^^6. Several gatherings signed
with letters of the Greek alphabet in upper right corner, recto.
Written by a single scribe in minuscule which varies considerably in size
and angle. Many marginal notes by later hands.
Some crude diagrams by original scribe within text (e.g., f. 33r: diagram
illustrating the division of sounds); others added later in margins. Headpiece
on f. 1r is a plaited design set in an elaborate rectangle. An elaborate
initial O follows headpiece; simpler initials elsewhere. Brown ink used for
Binding: s. xix. Tan calf case of molded leather, blind-tooled with
gold-tooled lettering on spine. Similar to bindings of MSS 255 and 258 and
by the same binder. Possibly by Whitaker (we thank A. R. A. Hobson for this
Written in Byzantium, or in Southern Italy (according to D. Harlfinger)
in the 13th century; early provenance unknown.
Belonged to Frederick North, 5th earl of Guilford (1766-1827; no. 237 in
sale catalogue, tag on spine; note in his hand pasted inside front cover);
sold to Payne, from whom it was acquired by Sir Thomas Phillipps (no. 6445,
tag on spine and note inside front cover). Purchased from L. C. Witten
with funds from the Jacob Ziskind Charitable Trust in 1957 (MS 8).
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 46, no. 256.
Ziskind Catalogue, p. 46.
Barbara A. Shailor