BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 581
Anacreon. Carmina, and Pythagoras, Aurea dicta. Greek manuscripts. Purported
to have been written in 277 B.C. and 33 A.D., but probably written in the 19th
century. Vellum. Miniature scrolls: Anacreon on 4 scrolls (175 x 25 mm),
Pythagoras on 1 scroll (120 x 45 mm). Preserved in a small wooden cylinder
labelled "Congreve Matches".
Comments: These two miniature Greek manuscripts, written in extremely small
letters which can scarcely be read with a magnifying glass, were sold to Sir
Thomas Phillipps as a genuine by Constantine Simonides in 1854. Sir Frederic
Madden of the British Museum declared them forgeries, but Sir Thomas, in the
catalogue of his manuscripts, states that he did not believe them to be
Purchased by Sir Thomas Phillipps from Constantine Simonides (Phillipps MSS
13879 and 13880). Gift of H.P. Kraus, 1976.
Bibliography: A.N.L. Munby, Portrait of an Obsession (N.Y. 1967) p. 209.