BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 267 Byzantium, s. XV-XVI
Collection of Excerpts (in Greek)
1. ff. vi recto-viii verso //
Sermon, incomplete and unidentified.
2. ff. 1r-7r [Title:] [Greek].
[Greek]. ff. 7v-8v blank
Table in 421 chapters.
3. ff. 9r-543r Collection of extracts on theology, philosophy, grammar,
science, history, and other subjects, attributed to Athanasius and many other
authors; only the major texts are listed here.
A. ff. 9r-17r[Title of first extract, Athanasius, Quaestiones
[Greek]...[text of first extract begins:]
PG 28.773 and following; similar selections from PG 28.597, etc.
B. ff. 211r-262r
Series of extracts outlining sacred and profane history; no printed text
has been located.
C. ff. 386r-404v
Anonymous, Disputatio de Christo in Persia; BHG^^3 802. There are other
extracts on similar subjects on ff. 405v-411v and elsewhere throughout the
manuscript. Folios 543v-549v were originally blank; a text has been added on
f. 544r describing how to tell whether a sick person will die or recover.
4. ff. 550r-555v
[Greek] [corrected to
St. Ephraem, Vita SS. Abraham et Mariae; BHG^^3 5.
Paper (thick, polished; watermarks similar to Harlfinger Balance 75-77,
Lettres 61, and Ancre 40), ff. ix (contemporary paper) + 555 + xi
(contemporary paper), 210 x 138 (155 x 90) mm. Written in 27 long lines; double
vertical bounding lines, with
two additional rulings in upper and lower margins; ruled in hard point.
The codex seems to be composed of gatherings of 8, but extensive
repairs to the binding make it impossible to collate more precisely.
Written primarily by five scribes. Scribe 1: ff. vi recto-viii
Scribe 2: ff. 1r-505r, 519r-533v, 535r-537r, 543r. Scribe 3: ff. 506r-517v.
Scribe 4: 537v-538v, 544r (later additions of the 17th century). Scribe 5:
ff. 539v-542v. Notes in several hands of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Many simple headpieces, in red, for each new section of text; headpieces
accompanied by initials, in red, with floral designs. Rubrics throughout.
Binding: s. xvi-xvii. Greek, perhaps from Ionian Islands, according to
A. R. A. Hobson. Resewn with four chains laced in a Z pattern into
flush wooden boards. The colored, chevron endbands straddle the boards
and are tied into them in three holes at head and tail of each board.
The spine is
round. Covered in dark brown calf, originally brick red, with corner tongues,
and (an unusual feature) pegged turn-ins; blind-tooled with concentric borders,
the central panel
filled in with rope interlace squares standing on a point,
and the spine decorated with small
flowers. Two pins in the edge of the upper board and stubs of triple braids
in the lower. Head and tail of the spine repaired.
Written in Byzantium in the 15th and 16th centuries; clues to early provenance
include: first, the inscription [Greek]
(inside front cover) followed by an owner's name, over which a later hand has
written [Greek]; and second,
"antonius de constantino [?]iuien de giorgio" on f. i recto. Notes on f. iii
recto give dates 1754 and 1740. Belonged to Frederick North, 5th Earl of
Guilford (1766-1827; no. 47, in sale catalogue and in note inside front
cover); sold to Payne (name on f. i recto) who sold it to Sir Thomas
Phillipps (no. 6992, tag on spine). Purchased from L. C. Witten with funds
from the Jacob Ziskind Charitable Trust in 1957 (MS 11).
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 48, no. 267.
Ziskind Catalogue, p. 46 (listed under Athanasius, Saint, Patriarch of
Alexandria, d. 373).
Barbara A. Shailor