BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 292 Byzantium, s. XVI^^2, 1662
Pseudo-Augustine, Soliloquia, etc. (in Greek)
1. ff. i verso - ii verso Miscellaneous midnight prayers.
2. iii recto - xi recto [Table of contents for art. 4:]
3. ff. xi verso - xii verso Three short prayers.
4. ff. 1r-130v [Heading, beginning in black majuscules and ending in red
with a prayer on eternal life:]
Pseudo-Augustine, Soliloquia, translated into Greek by Demetrius
Nikodemos Hagiorites, in
[Greek] (Constantinople, 1799) pp. 193-254.
5. ff. 131r-315r [Collection of Prayers and Canons; text begins:]
[Greek].... The collection includes
prayers for the Vespers of each day of the week (ff. 169r-208r),
[Greek] (ff. 257r-275v), a list of sins (ff. 290r-292r),
and other material. Colophon, added at the end of f. 315r by Scribe 4, in
red and with a thicker pen:
6. f. 315v [Verses on the Soliloquia, begun by Scribe 1, with later
verses by Scribe 4 (Bussarion); text begins:]
7. ff. 316r-318v [Unidentified passage entitled Counsel of the Mind to
the Soul:] [Greek].
[Greek] [corrected to [Greek]]
f. 319r-v blank, except for later notes
Paper (watermarks [partial?] consisting of two crescents, one slightly
smaller than the other, was not identified in Briquet or Harlfinger), ff. i
(paper) + xiii (contemporary paper) + 318 (modern foliation omits the number
273) + i (paper), 105 x 72 (65 x 44) mm. Written in 13 long lines; single
vertical bounding lines, full length; ruled in hard point.
I^^6 (-1; ff. i-v), II^^8 (ff. vi-xiii), III-XLI^^8 (+ 2 leaves, ff. 314, 315),
XLII^^4. Catchwords along lower edge near binding.
Written primarily by four scribes. Scribe 1 copied the main body of the
text on ff. 1r-301r in a fine and neat minuscule; perhaps he may be identified
as Laurentius hierodiaconus whose name is incorporated in the decorative
initial on f. 270v. Scribe 2 was responsible for the Table of Contents
(ff. iii-xi) and ff. 301v-302v, 316r-319r; his writing is bold and crude.
Scribe 3 supplied the text of ff. 303r-306r. Scribe 4, named Bussarion, wrote
ff. 306v-315r and dated the section 1662 (see art. 5). Miscellaneous prayers,
marginalia, etc., have been added in several different hands throughout the
Many fine illuminated initials are noteworthy for their large size relative
to the script, and for the infinite variety of designs. Some extend the full
length of the written space; many incorporate bird and animal, as well as
floral motifs. All initials are drawn in black and filled with gold, blue, red,
and green. Headpieces, in the same style and colors as the initials, but more
modest in size, occur for each new major section of the text. Rubrics
Binding: s. xix. Half bound in brown calf, blind- and gold-tooled.
Plain beige paper sides; title, in gold, on spine.
Written probably in Constantinople in the second half of the 16th century,
with the last portion dated 1662. Notes in hand of Constantine Raphael
Byzantinus (s. xviii^^in; see Nichipor, pp. 186-87). Early ownership note of
Nikolaus Karatzes is dated 1744 (f. 319r). Belonged to Frederick North, 5th
Earl of Guilford (1766-1827; bookplate; no. 297 on spine and in his catalogue;
bookstamp on f. 319r; chi and gamma stamped in gold on spine); sold to Thorpe
who sold it to Sir Thomas Phillipps (no. 5513, on f. i recto; mutilated tag on
spine). Purchased from L. C. Witten with funds from the Jacob Ziskind
Charitable Trust in 1957 (MS 12).
Bibliography: Ziskind Catalogue, p. 46.
Barbara A. Shailor