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Detailed record for Harley 4804

Part 1 Vol. 1: ff. 3v-160v 
Author Gilbert of Poitiers
Title Book of Psalms, with marginal gloss
Origin France, Central (Chartres?)
Date 2nd half of the 12th century
Language Latin
Script Protogothic
Decoration Historiated initial in colours with David playing the harp at the beginning of the Psalms followed by display script in red and blue (f. 4). Large initial in colours with foliate decoration at the beginning of Psalm 51 (f. 54). Initials in red or blue with simple penwork decoration in the other colour. Coloured initials in red. Ornate paraphs in the margin in brown ink (e. g., ff. 135v, 136; possibly added).
Dimensions in mm 300 x 215 (205 x 150)
Part 2 Vol. 2: ff. 169-332v 
Title Papiae vocabularium et dictionarium
Origin Italy
Date 1st half of the 14th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration Puzzle initial in red and blue with pen-flourishing in the same colours (f. 169). Initial in blue or red, occasionally with reserved lines, with pen-flourishing in the other colour, at the beginning of each letter in the dictionary (ff. 169v, 184v, 187v, 205, 211, 218v, 225v, 229, 240, 240v, 247v, 258, 263v, 269, 288, 290v, 296v, 314v, 322v, 330 (x2), 331v). Coloured initials in red. Capitals marked in red. Monograms and formata (papal monograms) in brown ink (f. 223), circular diagrams illustrating 'qualitas' (f. 288), a planetary diagram for 'stelleus' (f. 310v).
Dimensions in mm 295 x 230 (210 x 145), in 2 columns
Official foliation Vol. 1: ff. 167 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning + 2 unfoliated parchment leaves after f. 1, and 1 after f. 165 + 4 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end); Vol. 2: ff. 336 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves and 1 unfoliated parchment leaf at the beginning + 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the end
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1966.
Provenance Part 1: vol. 1
Erased inscription (f. [1a]).
Added prologue, in a 14th-century Italian hand, possibly the same hand as the one that wrote part 2 (f. 3).
Key to the various symbols featuring in the margin throughout the Psalms section, in a medieval hand (f. 2).
Added pressmark 'G. 7', ?16th century (ff. 1 and [1a]).

Part 2: vol. 2
Added texts by Johannes Piscario, including 'Rythmi Johannis de Piscario', 14th century (ff. 168v, 332v-335v).
Added text, 15th century (f. 336).
Several erased ownership inscriptions, medieval (f. 336).
Crude added drawing of an astrolabe beside its definition, medieval (f. 182v).

Added inscription providing the folio numbers corresponding to the Penitential Psalms, 15th century (f. 1v).
Sozomeno (b. 1387 at Pistoia, d. 1458), studied at the University of Padua in 1407-13, belonged to the Poggio group of humanists at Florence, where he held the chair of Poetry and Rhetoric: inscription in his hand (f. 168v), his ownership inscription (ff. 332v, 335), annotations in his hand (ff. 161-165, notarial inscriptions 'Ego Barth[olom]eus fortus...' (f. 3, see also ff. 165, 169, 336v), Greek translation of the Psalms added in his hand in the margin (ff. 4-26). The manuscript already was bound in two separate volumes in Sozomeno's time (see notarial inscriptions on 1st and last leaves in both volumes).
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 The Psalms commentary was written c. 1117: see Gross-Diaz 1996 p. xiii..
The manuscript is bound in two separate volumes with continuous foliation: vol. 1 (ff. 1-167v), and vol. 2 (ff. 168-336v).
ff. 1-2v are originally blank parchment flyleaves with later inscriptions. ff. 2v, 165v-[165a]v and 167v are blank; ff. 161-165 are later additions.
f. 1 is a former pastedown.
ff. 166 and 167 are from a 15th-century manuscript containing the end of a text attributed to Galen.
The 13th-century addition (f. 1) dates from the same time as part 2 and was probably written by the same Italian scribe.
Part 2:
ff. 168, 336v are blank.
Catchwords written horizontally.
f. 336 is a former pastedown.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), III (1808), no. 4804.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 368-69.

Cyril Ernest Wright, 'Manuscripts of Italian Provenance in the Harleian Collection in the British Museum: Their Sources, Associations and Channels of Acquisition', in Cultural Aspects of the Italian Renaissance. Essays in Honour of Paul Oskar Kristeller, ed. by C. H. Clough (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976), pp. 462-84 (p. 468).

Patricia Stirnemann, `Où ont été fabriqués les livres de la glose ordinaire dans la première moitié du XIIe siècle?', in Le XIIe siècle. Mutations et renouveau en France dans la première moitié du XIIe siècle, ed. by Françoise Gasparri (Paris: Le Léopard d'Or, 1994), pp. 257-301 (p. 274).

Theresa Gross-Diaz, The Psalms Commentary of Gilbert of Poitiers: From Lectio Divina to the Lecture Room (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996), p. 165.


Part  1   Vol. 1: ff. 3v-160v
Gilbert of Poitiers Book of Psalms, with marginal gloss
* * *
David playing the harp

f. 4
David playing the harp
Decorated initial

f. 54
Decorated initial

Part  2   Vol. 2: ff. 169-332v
Papiae vocabularium et dictionarium
* * *
Puzzle initial

f. 169
Puzzle initial

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