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Detailed record for Harley 647

Author Marcus Tullius Cicero
Title Aratea, with extracts from Hyginus's Astronomica in the constellation figures
Origin France, N. (diocese of Reims)
Date 9th century
Language Latin
Script Caroline minuscule
Decoration 22 full-page representations of the constellations in colours, often with text or scholia within the shapes (ff. 2v-6, 7-13v). Full-page diagram of the constellations in brown ink (f. 21v). Large diagram of the solar system in brown and red (f. 19). Small initials in brown or red. Text in red or blue.
Dimensions in mm 320 x 280 (various)
Official foliation ff. 21 ( + 2 unfoliated parchment and 1 paper leaves at the beginning and 2 parchment leaves at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Green leather with patterned tooling; marbled end-papers.
Provenance f. 1 is a slightly later addition (c. 1000, England; see Köhler 1971).
Inscribed 'Ego indignus sacerdos et monachus nomine Geruvigus repperi ac scripsi.' (f. 21v).
The Benedictine abbey of St Augustine, Canterbury in the late 15th century: in its catalogue (see Ker 1964).
Francis Babington (d. 1569?), college head: inscription 'Francis Babyngton' (f. 2v).
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.
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 The oldest surviving exemplar of Cicero's Latin translation of Aratus's (c. 315-240 B. C.) Phaenomena.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I, no. 647.

Ottley, W.Y. 'On a Manuscript of Cicero's translation of Aratus, supposed to be of the 2d or 3d century', Archaeologia: Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Antiquity, XXVI (1836), pp. 47-214.

Walter de Gray Birch and Henry Jenner, Early Drawings and Illuminations: An Introduction to the Study of Illustrated Manuscripts (London: Bagster and Sons, 1879), p. 3.

[E. Maunde Thompson and G. F. Warner], Catalogue of Ancient Manuscripts in the British Museum, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1881-1884), Part II Latin, p. 69.

The Palaeographic Society: Facsimiles of Manuscripts and Inscriptions, Second series, ed. by Edward Augustus Bond, Edward Maunde Thompson, and George Frederic Warner, (London: Cloves and Sons, 1884-1894), II, pl. 91 [bound as no. 8].

Wilhelm Köhler, 'Die Karolingishen Miniaturen', in Zweiter Bericht über die Denkmäler Deutscher Kunst (Berlin: Reimer, 1912), pp. 101-07.

Edward Kennard Rand, A Survey of the Manuscripts of Tours, Studies in the Script of Tours, 1, 2 vols (Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mediaeval Academy of America, 1929), I, 203.

Carl Nordenfalk, Book Illumination: Early Middle Ages (Geneva: Editions d'art Albert Skira, 1995; originally printed as Early Medieval Painting, New York: Skira, 1957), pl. on p. 9.

Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books, ed. by N. R. Ker, 2nd edn, Royal Historical Society Guides and Handbooks, 3 (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 44.

Charlemagne: Oeuvre, Rayonnement et Survivances (Aix-la-Chapelle, 1965), no. 496 [with additional bibliography].

Die Karolingischen Miniaturen, ed. by Wilhelm Koehler and Florentine Mütherich, 6 vols (Berlin: Deutscher Verlag für Kunstwissenschaft, 1930-99), 4, 2 parts, 4.2: Einzelhandschriften aus Lotharingien (1971), pp. 73-74, 77-79, 101-07 [with additional bibliography].

C. R. Dodwell, Painting in Europe: 800 to 1200 (London : Penguin Books, 1971), pp. 22-23, fig. 12.

C. M. Kauffmann, Romanesque Manuscripts 1066-1190 Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 3 (London: Harvey Miller, 1975), p. 76.

Elzbieta Temple, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts 900-1066, A Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in the British Isles, 2 (London: Harvey Miller, 1976), pp. 22, 65, 104.

Janet Backhouse, The Illuminated Manuscript (Oxford: Phaidon, 1979), fig. 4.

T.S. Pattie, Astrology as Illustrated in the Collections of the British Library and the British Museum (London: British Library, 1980), p. 22, pl. 10.

B. Munk Olsen, L’Étude des auteurs classiques latins aux XIe et XIIe siècles, 3 vols (Paris: Centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1982-1989), I, p. 529 no. B. 18.

M. D. Reeve, 'Aratea' in Texts and Transmission: A Survey of the Latin Classics, ed. by L. D. Reynolds (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), pp. 18-24 (pp. 22-24).

John E. Murdoch, Album of Science: Antiquity and the Middle Ages, ed. by I. B. Cohen (New York: Scribner's Sons, 1984), no. 226.

Mise en page et mise en texte du livre manuscrit, ed. by Henri-Jean Martin and Jean Vezin (n.pl.: Cercle de la Librairie-Promodis, 1990), pp. 436, 438.

Florentine Mutherich, 'Book Illumination at the Court of Louis the Pious', in Charlemagne's Heir: New Perspectives on the Reign of Louis the Pious (814-840), ed. by Peter Godman and Roger Collins (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), pp. 593-604 (pp. 597-98).

William Gerard Noel, 'The Making of B. L. Harley Mss. 2506 and 603' (unpublished doctoral dissertation, Cambridge University, 1992).

C. R. Dodwell, The Pictorial Arts of the West 800-1200 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993), p. 48, pl. 34.

Bernhard Bischoff, Manuscripts and Libraries in the Age of Charlemagne, trans. And ed. by Michael Gorman, Cambridge Studies in Palaeography and Codicology, 1 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994; most originally pub. In Mittelalterliche Studien: Ausgewählte Aufsätze zur Schriftkunde und Literaturgeschichte I-III (Stuttgart: Hieresmann, 1966-1981), p. 87.

D.N. Dumville, ‘English Square Minuscule Script: The Mid-Century Phases’, Anglo-Saxon England 23 (1994), 133-64 (p. 137).

Peter Whitfield, The Mapping of the Heavens (London: British Library, 1995), pl. on p. 35.

Marco Mostert, 'The Tradition of Classical Texts in the manuscripts of Fleury', in Medieval Manuscripts of the Latin Classics: Production and Use, ed. by Claudine A. Chavannes-Mazel and Margaret M. Smith (Leiden: Anderrson-Lovelace and the Red Gull Press, 1996) pp. 19-40 (p. 33).

The Utrecht Psalter in Medieval Art: Picturing the Psalms of David, ed. by Koert van der Horst, William Noel, and Wilhelmina C M. Wüstefeld (Utrecht: HES Publishers, 1996), p. 151.

Helmut Gneuss, Handlist of Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts: A List of Manuscripts and Manuscript Fragments Written or Owned in England up to 1100, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 241 (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001), no. 423.

Treasures of the British Library, ed. by Nicolas Barker and others (London: British Library, 2005), p. 51.

Jacqueline Leclercq-Marx, ‘Le centaure dans l’art préroman et roman: Sources d’inspiration et modes de transmission’, Les Cahiers de Saint-Michel de Cuxa, 37 (2006), 33-42 (p. 37, pl. 6).

Elizabeth Morrison, Beasts: Factual & Fantastic (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 49.

St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, ed. by B. C. Barker-Benfield, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 13, 3 vols (London: British Library, 2008), BA I.1164.

Joe Flatman, Ships and Shipping in Medieval Manuscripts (London: British Library, 2009), pl. 17.

Galileo: Images of the Universe from Antiquity to the Telescope, ed. by Paolo Galluzzi, Florence, Palazzo Strozzi 13 March-30 August 2009 (Florence: Giunti, 2009), no. II.4.1 [exhibition catalogue].

Melanie Holcomb, Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2009), p. 10, fig. 6 [exhibition catalogue].

The Cosmography of Aethicus Ister: Edition, Translation and Commentary, ed. by Michael W. Herren, Publications of the Journal of Medieval Latin, 8 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), p. lxxii, n. 134.


Images
* * *
 
Text page

f. 1
Text page
Text page

f. 1v
Text page
Text page

f. 2
Text page
 
Aries

f. 2v
Aries
Delioton

f. 3
Delioton
Pisces

f. 3v
Pisces
 
Perseus

f. 4
Perseus
Pliades

f. 4v
Pliades
Lyra

f. 5
Lyra
 
Cygnus

f. 5v
Cygnus
Sagittarius

f. 6
Sagittarius
Erased text

f. 6v
Erased text
 
Aquila

f. 7
Aquila
Delphinus

f. 7v
Delphinus
Orion

f. 8
Orion
 
Orion

f. 8
Orion
Sirius

f. 8v
Sirius
Lepus

f. 9
Lepus
 
Argos

f. 9v
Argos
Cetus

f. 10
Cetus
Eridanus

f. 10v
Eridanus
 
Eridanus

f. 10v
Eridanus
Piscis Magnus

f. 11
Piscis Magnus
Text

f. 11v
Text
 
Centaur

f. 12
Centaur
Hydra

f. 12v
Hydra
Anticanis

f. 13
Anticanis
 
Heads

f. 13v
Heads
Solar system

f. 19
Solar system
Planesphere

f. 21v
Planesphere
 
Planesphere

f. 21v
Planesphere

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