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Detailed record for Harley 3859

Author Vegetius, and others
Title Epitome rei militaris (see Notes for a list of contents)
Origin France or England
Date 1st half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Scribe Written by more than one scribe
Decoration Large initials in red with green penwork decoration, or in green with red penwork decoration (ff. 1, 303v). Initials in red or green, some with simple penwork decoration. Large initial in yellow (f. 337v). Highlighting of letters in red. Numbers in red. Rubrics in red. Large diagrams in brown and green or red (ff. 40v, 41).
Dimensions in mm 265 x 150 (200 x 95/125)
Official foliation ff. 365 ( + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves after f. 146, + 146a + 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance In Italy from the 14th century; annotations of various periods, including of Hermolaus Barbarus (f. 15v): see discussion Reeves 1994 pp. 834-86.
Ovidio Montalbani, professor of mathematics at Bologna, 17th century (see 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. 436, 242).
f. 39v contains a pasted-on strip of parchment with 19th-century ? painted insects and a turtle.
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 ‘Januarii 1724/5' (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 Contents:
Vegetius, Epitome rei militaris
Macrobius, Saturnalia
Ps-Sallust, Invectiua in Ciceronem
Nennius, Historia Britonum (The earliest copy)
Augustine, De haeresibus (ending only)
Solinus, Collectanea rerum memorabilium
Ps-Aetheticus, Cosmographia
Vitruvius, De Architectura
Written by the same scribe, except for the Ps-Sallust, Invectiua in Ciceronem and the Nennius, which are physically and scribally unrelated to each other and the others, according to information provided by Michael Gullick, which we gratefully acknowledge.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 3859.

H. Idris Bell, ‘A Solinus Manuscript from the Library of Coluccio Salutati’, Speculum, 4 (1929), 451-61 (p. 451).

Carol Herselle Krinsky, 'Seventy-eight Vitruvius Manuscripts' Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 30 (1967), 36-70 (p. 52).

Richard E.M. Moore, 'A Newly Observed Stratum in Roman Floor Mosaics', American Journal of Archaeology, 72 (1968), 57-68 (p. 58 n. 13).

Charles R. Shrader, 'A Handlist of Extant Manuscripts Containing the De Re Militari of Flavius Vegatius Renatus', Scriptorium: Revue internationale des études relative aux manuscrits, 33 (1979) 280-305 (p. 290).

Nennius: British History and The Welsh Annals, ed. and trans. by John Morris (London: Phillimore, 1980), pp. 1-3.

Texts and Transmission: A Survey of the Latin Classics, ed. by L. D. Reynolds (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), pp. 350-51, 443.

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, 215 no. C. 250; II (1985), pp. 330 no. C. 60, 500 no. C. 39, 832 no. C.12.

Michelle Brown, Anglo-Saxon Manuscripts (London: British Library, 1991), pl. 4.

Wendy Davies, 'Celtic Kingships in the Early Middle Ages', in Kings and Kingship in Medieval Europe, ed. by Anne J. Duggan, King’s College London Medieval Studies, 10 (London: King’s College, 1993), pp. 101-24 (p. 110).

M. D. Reeve, 'Two Manuscripts at the Escorial', in Actas del VIII Congreso Español de Estudios Clásicos, 3 vols (Madrid: EDICLAS,1994), II, 829-39 (pp. 829-39).

Richard Gameson, The Manuscripts of Early Norman England (c.1066-1130) (Oxford, 1999), no. 450.

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. 439.

Historia Britonum: The History of the Britons attributed to Nennius, trans by Richard Rowley (Lampeter: Llanerch, 2005), p. 1-2.

Registrum anglie de libris doctorum et auctorum veterum, ed. by Richard H. and Mary A. Rouse, and R.A.B. Mynors, Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, 2 (London 1991), p. 225.

Michelle P. Brown, Manuscripts from the Anglo-Saxon Age (London: British Library, 2007), pl. 3.

Robert A. Kaster, Studies on the Text of Macrobius' 'Saturnalia', (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 6, 18, 70, 71, 89-93.

C. T. Allmand, The 'De Re Militari' of Vegetius: The Reception, Transmission and Legacy of a Roman Text in the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 356.


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f. 174v
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f. 190
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f. 195v
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