You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Harley 5600

Author Herodotus, Homer
Title Narratio de gente et vita Homeri, Verses on Homer, Iliad (ff. 16-239)
Origin Italy, Central (Florence)
Date 1466
Language Greek
Script Greek minuscule
Scribe Ioannes Rhosos (Joannes Rhosos of Crete)
Artists Attributed to Antonio de Niccolo
Decoration Full-page frontispiece in colours and gold of Homer seated in a landscape, encircled by a laurel wreath with the eight muses in medallions and, in the four corners, subsidiary medallions of four bearded figures holding books (15v). Full white vine border in colours and gold, inhabited by birds, putti, an urn, a miniature of Hercules and a centaur, with a title piece flanked by putti, a large white vine initial and, in the lower margin, a medallion with an effaced coat of arms (f. 16). 25 white vine initials in colours and gold (ff. 1, 16, 24v, 37, 43v, 51v, 64, 71v, 78v, 86v, 96v, 105, 117, 123v, 135v, 143, 153v, 166, 176v, 185v, 191v, 198v, 207v, 215, 227v). Large initials in red with penwork decoration. Head and tail pieces in red and/or yellow with penwork decoration. Rubrics, capitals, and running headers in red.
Dimensions in mm 340 x 225 (225 x 110)
Official foliation ff. 2* + 239 (+ 2 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house; marbled endpapers; gilt edges. Rebound in 1922.
Provenance Written in Florence by Ioannes Rhosos of Crete on 16 May 1466: Greek colophon (f. 239).
Niccolò Tornabuoni (d. 1598), Bishop of Borgo San Sepolcro (el. 1560): offset inscription, `Nicolai Tornabonis episcopi' f. [i verso].
John Gibson (fl. 1720-1726), dealer; sold to Harley on 13 September 1722 (see Diary 1966; Wright 1972).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley ‘13 die mensis Septembris A.D., 1722 f. [i].
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Notes f. 14 is a half sheet.
f. 193 has been trimmed by about a third on the right margin.
Ruled in hardpoint.
Old foliation in red.
Extremely fine parchment.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 5600.

Henri Auguste Omont, ‘Notes sur les manuscrits grecs du British Museum’, Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes, 45 (1884), 314-50 (p. 341).

E. Maunde Thompson, ‘Catalogue of Classical Manuscripts’, Classical Review, 2 (1888), 102-4, 171-4; 3 (1889), 149-55, 440-5 (p. 103 no. 8).

Homeri Ilias, ed. by Thomas W. Allen, 3 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931), I, pp.12-13, 102-103, 168.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, p. 145 n. 3.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 162.

Cyril Ernest Wright, 'Manuscripts of Italian Provenance in the Harleian Collection in the British Museum: Their Sources, Associations and Channels of Acquisition', in Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance. Essays in Honour of Paul Oskar Kristeller, ed. by C. H. Clough (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976), pp. 462-84 (pp. 465-66).

Ruth Barbour, Greek Literary Hands A.D. 400-1600 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1981), p. 16.

Repertorium der griechischen Kopisten 800-1600, ed. by Ernst Gamillscheg and Dieter Harlfinger, Veröffentlichungen der Kommission für Byzantinistik, 3-1, ed. by Herbert Hunger (Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1981- ), I: Handschriften aus Bibliotheken Grossbritanniens, 3 vols, no. 178.

Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento, 1440-1525: un primo censimento, 2 vols, ed. by Annarosa Garzelli ([Florence]: Giunta regionale toscana, 1985), II, pl. 636.

Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1999- ), I, p. 126.

* * *
Homer with muses

f. 15v
Homer with muses
Full white vine border

f. 16
Full white vine border

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back