BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 258 Italy, 1473 [?] and s. XV^^2
Aristotle; Plotinus, etc. (in Greek)
1a. ff. 1r-46r
Aristotle, De anima; Knox gives variant readings from the OCT (1956) for
sections 402a-405a (Ziskind Catalogue, pp. 44-45). I. Bekker, ed.,
Aristotelis opera (Berlin, 1831) I.402a1-435b25.
1b. ff. 1r-9v[In a column next to the Greek text:] Bonorum honorabilium
notitiam opinantes, magis autem alteram altera aut secundum certitudinem...si
quidem omnia ex elementis commistis sunt commistionis autem ratio armonia et
Latin translation of Aristotle's De anima, sometimes ascribed to
William of Moerbeke; P. F. A. Pirotta, ed., Sancti Thomae Aquinatis in
Aristotelis Librum de Anima Commentarium (Turin, 1925) pp. 1-48.
1c. ff. 46r-47r[Greek].
Anonymous Epilogue to Aristotle, De anima; no text has yet been
published. Cf. CAG v. 9, p. xiii.
2. ff. 47r-48v
Simplicius, In Aristotelis De anima libros Commentarius; CAG v. 9,
pp. 172 (4) to 173 (41).
3. ff. 48v-50v
[Greek]// ff. 48, 49 and 50 should be ordered 48, 50, 49.
R. Heinze, ed., Themistii in libros Aristotelis De anima Paraphrasis
(Berlin, 1899) pp. 1-3; CAG v. 5, 3.
4. ff. 51r-80r
[Greek] f. 80v ruled, but blank
Plotinus, Enneades I.1-8.6 line 27; P. Henry and H. K. Schwyzer, eds.,
OCT (1964) v. 1, pp. 43-115.
5. ff. 81r-96v
[Greek]. [colophon, in verse:]
Aristotle, De interpretatione; Knox gives variant readings from the
OCT (1949) for sections 16a-b (Ziskind Catalogue, pp. 44-45).
I. Bekker, ed., Aristotelis opera (Berlin, 1831) I.16a1-24b9.
Paper (medium weight, sturdy; watermarks on f. ii similar to Briquet Main
10713; ff. 1-48 similar to Harlfinger Homme 21; f. 49 similar to Briquet
Ancre 428; ff. 51-67 similar to Briquet Chapeau 3384; ff. 69-80 similar to
Briquet Balance 2506; ff. 81-96 similar to Briquet Lettre R 8938), ff. i
(paper) + ii (contemporary paper) + 96 + iii (paper), 288 x 211
mm. The manuscript is divided into 4 parts, which do not correspond precisely
with the divisions of the text.
Part I: (ff. 1r-50v) written space 196 x 102 mm. for the Greek alone,
in 26 long lines; 196 x 190 mm. for Greek and Latin, in 2 columns,
ruled in hard point; single vertical bounding lines, no prickings. I-VI^^8.
Quires signed with letters of the Greek alphabet on first folio of the quire,
recto. Written in small, neat Greek minuscule. The parallel Latin
translation (ff. 1r-9v only) is in italic, about the same size as the Greek;
probably added later, since it is written around some marginal rubrics for the
Greek text. Space for a 5-line initial at the beginning of the Greek text was
not filled; 2-line initials in red at beginning of sections; headings in red,
also marks in margin for chapters.
Part II: (ff. 51r-67r) written space 194 x 120 mm. in 27 long lines
ruled in hard point; double outer vertical bounding lines, single inner
vertical and horizontal bounding lines, all full length and across,
with one or two extra
rulings near outer edge for notes. Too tightly bound for accurate collation.
Written in a rather large Greek minuscule, with a thick pen which ran out
of ink every few words; marginal and interlinear notes much smaller, but
possibly by same hand. Spaces for initials, 7-line or larger, were not
filled in, but two initials similar to those in Part IV were sketched
in (ff. 51r and 56r).
Part III: (ff. 67v-80r) written space 197 x 125 mm. in 27-28 long lines;
frame-ruled in pencil. Too tightly bound for accurate
collation. Greek minuscule very similar to that in Part I. Spaces for 8-line
initials not filled.
Part IV: (ff. 81r-96v) written space 195 x 123 mm. in 21 long lines; ruled
in pale brown ink; single vertical and upper horizontal bounding lines, full
across. Too tightly bound for accurate collation. Same scribe as Part II;
signed on f. 96v: George, son of Constantine (see under Provenance). 7-line
initials in black and orange-tinted red; stylized leaves and vines, with a bird
on f. 83v. Diagrams in red traced over black.
Binding: s. xix. Tan calf case deeply indented and gold- and blind-tooled.
Similar to the bindings of MSS 255 and 256 and probably by the same binder.
According to A. R. A. Hobson the binder may be Whitaker.
Parts I and III were written by
unidentified scribes, in the second half of the 15th century; Parts II and
IV by George, son of Constantine, in 1473. (The year of creation given is 6983,
indication 6; A.D. 1473 is the closest year compatible with all the other data,
as P. Moraux points out.) D. Harlfinger suggests the scribe George was
from Southern Italy (Die Textgeschichte der Pseudo-Aristotelische
1971] p. 60, n. 1). Belonged to Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford
(1766-1827; no. 679 in his sale catalogue; tag on spine and Greek letters chi
gamma stamped in gold on the spine); sold to Payne, from whom it was bought by
Sir Thomas Phillipps (no. 7717, tag on spine). Purchased from L. C. Witten
with funds from the Jacob Ziskind Charitable Trust in 1957 (MS 4).
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 46, no. 258.
Ziskind Catalogue, pp. 44-45.
H. Schenkl, Bibliotheca patrum latinorum Brittanica V, in Akademie von
Wissenschaften, Sitzungsberichte, Philosophisch-historische Classe 127
(Vienna, 1892) p. 16, nr. 1723.
R. Brumbaugh, The Philosophers of Greece (New York, 1964) pp. 176-77,
with reproductions of ff. 43r and 66r.
Barbara A. Shailor