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Detailed record for Harley 176

Author Guido delle Colonne
Title Historia destructionis Troiae
Origin England
Date Last quarter of the 14th century or 1st quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic cursive
Scribe Written by several scribes
Decoration Initial in colours and gold with a three-sided bar border ending in foliate featherings (f. 1). Initials in blue, occasionally with reserved lines, with red pen-flourishing including foliate motifs. Some ascenders decorated with cadels.
Dimensions in mm 155 x 100 (110 x 70)
Official foliation ff. 1* + 181 (+ 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Marbled endpapers.
Provenance Erased inscription (f. 1*v).
Inscribed 'John Th[hom?]s', 16th century (f. 181).
Sir Simonds d'Ewes (b.1602, d. 1650), 1st baronet, diarist, antiquary, and friend of Sir Robert Cotton: bought for 1 s. in 1625 (see Watson 1966), inscribed in his hand 'Factus erat hic liber A[nn]o D[omin]o 1287' (f. 1*v).
Sir Simonds D’Ewes (d. 1722), 3rd baronet and grandson of the former: inherited and later sold the D’Ewes library to Robert Harley on 4 October 1705 for £450 (see Watson 1966).
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 Leaf signatures. Catchwords written horizontally.
ff. 1* and 181 are parchment leaves, originally unwritten.
Explicit: 'Factum est aute[m] p[re]sens opus Anno dom[in]ice incarnac[i]o[n]is millesimo ducentesimo octuagesimo septimo eiusdem p[ri]me indictionis felicit[er]' (f. 180v).
One of around 90 surviving copies of this text.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), I (1808), no. 176.

H. L. D. Ward, Catalogue of Romances in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum , 3 vols (London: British Museum, 1883-1910), I, 47.

Guido de Columnis, Historia Destructionis Troiae, ed. by Nathaniel Edward Griffin (Cambridge, Mass.: Medieval Academy of America, 1936) [edition of the text]

Andrew G. Watson, The Library of Sir Simonds D'Ewes (London: British Museum, 1966), no. A857, C229, E35.

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), I: 1715-1723, pp. xviii-xix.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), p. 131.

Guido delle Colonne, Historia Destructione Troiae, translated with an introduction and notes, by Mary Elizabeth Meek (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1974) [translation of the text]


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