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Detailed record for Harley 4867

Author Ovid , translated by Octavien de St-Gelais
Title Heroides
Origin France, Central (Paris?)
Date Last quarter of the 15th century or 1st quarter of the 16th century, after 1493
Language French
Script Gothic cursive
Decoration 21 miniatures with large historiated initials and full-borders in colours and gold, 1 at the beginning of each epistle (ff. 4, 10, 16v, 24v, 34, 43, 51, 60v, 66, 74v, 81v, 88v, 99v, 108v, 115, 127, 140, 151v, 161v, 170v, 177v). Line fillers in red, gold and blue. Incipits and explicits in red. Cadels.
Dimensions in mm 265 x 190 (160 x 125)
Official foliation ff. 190 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 5 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house; rebound in 1971; gilt edges.
Provenance 15th-century monograms (of first owner?): 'SE' (border of ff. 51, 74v, 99v, 127); and 'I.L.' (f. 60v).
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 Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
f. 189 is a ruled parchment leaf.
f. 190 is a blank parchment leaf.
Some of the miniatures have been defaced intentionally.
Octavien de St-Gelai (1468-1502) completed his translation of Ovid's Heroides for Charles VIII between 1490 and 1493.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4867.

Paul Durrieu et Jean-J. Marguet de Vasselot, ' Les manuscrits à miniatures des Héroïdes d’Ovide traduites par Saint-Gelais et un grand miniaturiste français du XVIe siècle » L’Artiste (1894), pp. 331-347, 433-453.

Fritz Saxl and Hans Meier, Verzeichnis astrologischer und mythologischer illustrierter Handschriften des lateinischen Mittelalters, ed. by Harry Bober, 4 vols (London: Warburg Institute, 1916-66), III: Handschriften in englischen Bibliotheken (1953), p. 191-93.

T. Brückner, 'Octovien de Saint-Gelais’ Ovide-Übersetzung : Der Pariser Codex fr. 874 (B.N.)', Wolfenbütteler Renaissance Mitteilungen, 13 (1989), pp. 93-101.

Frédéric Duval et Françoise Vielliard, 'Traduction d'Octovien de Saint-Gelais (1490-1493)', Miroir des classiques [http://elec.enc.sorbonne.fr/miroir/heroides/traduction/?para=octovien] [accessed December 2007].


Images
* * *
 
Penelope

f. 4
Penelope
Briseis

f. 16v
Briseis
Briseis

f. 16v
Briseis
 
Ysiphile

f. 43
Ysiphile
Dido

f. 51
Dido
Hermione writing

f. 60v
Hermione writing
 
Adriane

f. 74v
Adriane
Medea and her children

f. 88v
Medea and her children
Hypermestra

f. 108v
Hypermestra
 
Paris and Helen of Troy

f. 115
Paris and Helen of Troy
Cydippe

f. 170v
Cydippe

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