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Detailed record for Harley 2644

Author Virgil
Title Liber fabularum (ff. 1-22), Bucolica (ff. 22v-34v), Georgica (ff. 34v-67, incomplete)
Origin Germany
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Large arabesque initial in red with foliate decoration (f. 1v). Coloured initials in red ink.
Dimensions in mm 205 x 125 (165 x 110)
Official foliation ff. 67 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Harleian' binding of gold-tooled red leather; marbled endpapers.
Provenance 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 (see Wright 1972): sold to Edward Harley on 18 January 1723/24 (see f. 1).
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’ (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 Written in various hands.
Including a capitula list (f. 1).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2644.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by C. E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 240 n. 7.

C. E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 253-54.

R. D. Williams, T. S. Pattie, Virgil. His Poetry through the Ages (London: The British Library, 1982), pp. 132-33.

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), II (1985), p. 731, no. C. 99.


Images
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Decorated initial

f. 1v
Decorated initial

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