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Detailed record for Harley 5601

Author Homer, Proclus Diadochus
Title Batrachomyomachia (ff. 1-6) and Iliad (ff. 13-281), including Proclus's Life of Homer (ff. 7v-8) and 'De Cypris carminibus' (ff. 8-9), with interlinear glosses
Origin Eastern Mediterranean
Date Last quarter of the 15th century
Language Greek
Script Greek minuscule
Scribe Angelos
Decoration Titles in display capitals in light red or brown. Initials with foliate decoration, rubrics and interlinear glosses in light red. Line-fillers with geometric and zoomorphic decoration in light red and black. Marginal figures of division (ff. 39, 88) and diagram (f. 40) in light red.
Dimensions in mm 330 x 225 (240 x 105)
Official foliation ff. 281 (+ 5 unfoliated flyleaves at the beginning and the end)
Form Paper codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gilt-tooled red morocco by Christopher Chapman (see Nixon 1975); marbled endpapers. Rebacked.
Provenance Written by Angelos: his signed colophon (f. 281v; see Gamillscheg and Harlfinger 1981).
Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681, d. c. 1753), bookseller, employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the Continent, where his agent was George Suttie: purchased by Edward Harley on 18 January 1723/4 (f. 1; see Wright and Wright 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, ‘18 die Januarij, A.D. 1723/4’, and 'Oxford / BH' by a later hand (f. 1).
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 Two vertical portions of a spine guard, taken from a 14th-century Latin manuscript probably written in Italy, are attached to the inner margins of an upper and a lower flyleaf respectively.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 5601.

Henri Omont, 'Notes sur les manuscrits grecs du British Museum', Bibliothèque de l'École des Chartes, 45 (1884), 314-50, 584 (p. 334).

E. Maunde Thompson, ‘Catalogue of Classical Manuscripts’, Classical Review, 2 (1888), 102-04, 171-74 (pp. 103 no. 11, 104 no. 21).

Homeri Ilias, ed. by Thomas W. Allen, 3 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931), I, pp. 13, 142.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 231 n. 7.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 254, 459.

Howard M. Nixon, 'Harleian Bindings', in Studies in the Book Trade in Honour of Graham Pollard, Bibliographical Society Publications, n.s., 18 (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1975), pp. 153-94 (p. 181).

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. 6.

Summary Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1999- ), I, pp. 126-27.


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