BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 266 Italy, s. XVI^^med
Barlaam and Ioasaph (in Greek)
ff. 1r-378v[Title is by another scribe who wrote the same title at
the top of f. iii recto:] [Greek] [text begins
in center of page, on line 9:]
PG 96.860-1240; the text proper is followed by an additional prayer on
f. 379r not given in the printed version:
ff. 379v-380v blank
Paper (watermarks similar to Briquet Ancre 557 and Main 10746 and to
Harlfinger Main 30, 39, 40), ff. ii (contemporary paper) + 382 (foliation
begins on the second leaf of the first gathering), 207 x 150 (140 x 78) mm.
Written in 17 long lines. Ruled faintly in hard point, single vertical
bounding lines that seldom extend to upper and lower edges.
I-XLVII^^8, XLVIII^^6 (6 = pastedown). Catchwords are perpendicular to
text along gutter at bottom of folio.
Written by two scribes. The first copied ff. 1r-357v (line 2); the second
completed the text. The writing of both hangs from the guide-lines.
There is no decoration except for the title and a simple initial, both in
red, on f. 1r. The large spaces left at the beginning of the text and at
various points within in it indicate that the codex was never finished.
Binding: Venetian, ca. 1565, according to A. R. A. Hobson. Original sewing
on three double, tawed thongs presumably laced into pasteboards. The endbands
are plain wound with a secondary embroidery. The spine is round
and lined with coarse cloth extending onto the inside of the boards; the edges
are slightly gauffered. Covered in dark brown goatskin, blind-tooled with
borders, a foliate diamond and corner pieces with six-petalled flowers and
acorns in the central panel. A red label
(s. xviii-xix) has been added and the head and tail of the spine repaired.
Written in Northern Italy in the mid-16th century. From the collection of
the Barbaro family of Venice whose distinctive binding appears on the manuscript
(see P. Canart, "Les manuscrits grecs de la famille Barbaro," Calames et cahiers:
Melanges de codicologie et de paleographie offerts a Leon Gilissen, ed.
J. Lemaire and E. van Balberghe [Brussels, 1985] pp. 15, 18); Canart's tentative
identification of Beinecke MS 266 (p. 25) with no. 54 of the library of the
Camaldulensian priory of St. Michael of Murano has been confirmed by B. Kotter
on the basis of the prayer on f. 379r (see comments on text above).
Belonged to Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827; no. 328, on
spine and in sale catalogue); sold to Bohn. From the collection of
Sir Thomas Phillipps (no. 5536, tag on spine). Purchased from L. C. Witten
with funds from the Jacob Ziskind Charitable Trust in 1957 (MS 13).
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 47, no. 266.
Ziskind Catalogue, pp. 46-47.
"Barlaam and Joasaph," The New Catholic Encyclopedia, v. 2 (New York,
1967), reproduction of f. 37v on p. 100.
Barbara A. Shailor