Click here to skip to content

Aristotle advising a king on recording deeds, in Pseudo-Aristotle's 'About the Secrets of Secrets'

Aristotle advising a king on recording deeds, in Pseudo-Aristotle's 'About the Secrets of Secrets'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1327

Shelfmark: Additional MS 47680

Item number: f.23r

Length: 23.7

Width: 15.2

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated Manuscript

Believed in the middle ages to be Aristotle's letter to Alexander the Great, 'About the Secrets of Secrets' concerns government and is a Latin translation of an Arabic work. A London scribe and King's Clerk, Walter of Milemete, and a team of artists probably made this richly decorated copy in 1326-1327. Milemete intended it to accompany his own treatise on royal virtues for presentation to Edward III. The 'Secrets' was owned by the Earls of Leicester, at Holkham Hall in Norfolk, from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

A constant concern of the ruler is memory or history. In this section of the book, 'Aristotle' gives advice on records of royal deeds and compilation of annals. The picture shows him advising the king much as a modern lawyer or life-coach might speak to a business client. The styles of individual artists who worked on the manuscript vary, this one painting more heavily proportioned figures than the artists of the first pages of the book.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites

Newsletter

Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: