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Detailed record for Harley 4662

Author Marcus Tullius Cicero; Macrobius
Title De natura deorum; De divinatione; Macrobius' Commentary on Cicero's Somnium Scipionis (book 1, chapter 3 only); Paradoxa stoicorum
Origin Italy, ?Central
Date 2nd half of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Humanistic
Decoration 3 large white vine initial at the beginning of each work (ff. 1, 54, 79v). Large gold initial on green and blue panel, dragon head drawn in ink (f. 63). 8 smaller gold initials on a green and blue panel (ff. 13, 17, 21v (x2), 41v, 81, 83, 85v). Reserved space left for the initial (ff. 78v, 80).
Dimensions in mm 250 x 170 (155 x 110)
Official foliation f. 1* + 87 (+ 2 unfoliated modern flyleaves at the beginning and at the end + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves at the end (ff. [88-89])
Collation Mostly in quires of 10.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance Effaced inscriptions (ff. 80v and 81).
Added maniculum: ?16th century (f. 81).
Some words underlined, numerous added corrections and annotations: ?16th century, several hands.
'NTg' monogram added in the margin: ?16th century (f. 6v).
Added page numbers and other annotations: post-medieval.
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 Contains an introduction to the whole volume (f. 1*), De natura deorum (ff. 1-54); De divinatione (ff. 54-78v); Macrobius' Commentary on Cicero's Somnium Scipionis (book 1, chapter 3 only; ff. 78v-79v); Paradoxa stoicorum (ff. 79v-87).
The text was not copied in the correct sequence and corrections have been added by subsequent owners.
Chapter numbers in Roman numerals in the margin (although they seem added, they probably are original, as some decoration was painted over one of these numbers on f. 41v).
Leaf signatures. Guide letters.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4662.

M. Tulli Ciceronis de natura deorum, ed. by Arthur Stanley Pease, 2 vols (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1955), I, p. 80.

* * *
White vine initial

f. 1
White vine initial

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