You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips



Detailed record for Harley 2685

Author Boethius, Fulgentius (Fabius Planciades Fulgentius Afer), Martianus Capella
Title The Consolation of Philosophy, Books 1-5 (ff. 1-23v), 'Mythologiae', Books 1-3 (ff. 24-35v), 'De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii', Books 1-9 (ff. 39-102)
Origin Germany, W. (Cologne?)
Date Last quarter of the 9th or 1st quarter of the 10th century
Language Latin
Script Caroline minuscule
Scribe Written by several scribes
Decoration Titles in display capitals and initials coloured in red or purple.
Dimensions in mm 345 X 255 (275 X 200/205) in two columns
Official foliation ff. ii + 102 (f. i is an early modern paper upper flyleaf; f. ii an original parchment upper flyleaf; + 2 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 3 at the end).
Collation Gatherings mostly of 8, with quire signature at centre of the lower margin of the last verso of gatherings.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Covers of the previous 'Harleian' binding of gilt-tooled red morocco attributable to Thomas Elliott pasted inside modern boards.
Provenance Cologne Cathedral: a 15th-century inscription 'Liber maioris Ec(clesiae)' (f. ii; see Clark 1891; Wright 1972).
Johann Georg Graevius (b. 1632, d. 1703), German classical scholar and critic: his manuscript number 5; sold to Wilhelm in 1703 with the rest of his library (see Clark 1891; Wright 1972).
Johann Wilhelm, Elector Palatine (b. 1658, d. 1716), owner of a library in Düsseldorf: bought the entire Graevius library in 1703 (see Wright 1972). Giovanni Giacomo Zamboni (d. 1753), resident in London for the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (c. 1723-1753), friend of Michael Mattaire, the classical scholar and historian of printing: bought the Wilhelm library sometime before 1724 through Johann Büchels (b. 1659, d. 1738) (Wright 1972); sold to Edward Harley on 20 October 1725 (see Wright and Wright 1966; Wright 1972).
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 ‘20 die mensis Octobris, A.D. 1725’ (ff. ii, 24).
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 manuscript also includes Fulgentius, 'Expositio Virgiliane continentiae secundum philosophos moralis' (ff. 35v-39).
Marginal and interlinear 10th- and possibly 11th-century glosses (see Bergmann and Stricker 2005).

Musical notation: neumes, Germany, 10th century (f. 1) and 11th century (f. 3).
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2865.

Albert C. Clark, 'The Library of J. G. Graevius', The Classical Review, 5 (1891), 365-72 (pp. 370, 372).

Wilhelm Köhler, 'Die Karolingischen Miniaturen', in Zweiten Bericht über die Denkmäler Deutscher Kunst (Berlin: Reimer, 1912), pp. 51-77 (p. 56).

Herbert Thoma, ‘Altdeutsches aus Londoner Handschriften’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur, 73 (1951), 197-271 (pp. 240, 242).

Claudio Leonardi, 'I codici di Marziano Capella', Aevum, 34 (1960), 1-99 (pp. 77-78).

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril E. Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, pp. 385 n. 6.

Cyril E. Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 109, 169, 367, 414.

Jean Préaux, 'Les manuscrits principaux du De nuptiis Philologiae et Mercurii de Martianus Capella', in Lettres latines du moyen âge et de la Renaissance, ed. by Guy Cambier, Carl Deroux and Jean Préaux, Collection Latomus, 158 (Bruxelles: Latomus, 1978), pp. 76-128 (p. 78).

Michael Winterbottom, 'Martianus Capella' in Texts and Transmission: A Survey of the Latin Classics, ed. by Leighton D. Reynolds (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1983), pp. 245-46 (p. 246).

Sigrid Krämer, Handschriftenerbe des deutschen Mittelalters, Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands der Schweiz, ed. by Bernard Bischoff, Supplement 1, 3 vols (Munich: Beck, 1989-1990), II (1989): Köln-Zyfflich, p. 417.

Codices Boethiani: A Conspectus of Manuscripts of the Works of Boethius ed. by M. T. Gibson and Lesley Smith, Warburg Institute Surveys and Texts, 25 (London: Warburg Institute, 1995- ), I: Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, pp. 140-41 no. 119 [with further bibliography].

Joachim M. Plotzek, 'Zur Geschichte der Kölner Dombibliothek', in Glaube und Wissen im Mittelalter: Die Kölner Dombibliothek. Ausstellung, Erzbischöfliches Diözesanmuseum, Köln, 7 August - 15 November 1998, ed. by Joachim M. Plotzek and others (Munich: Hirmer, 1998), pp. 15-64 (p. 34).

Rolf Bergmann and Stefanie Stricker, Katalog der althochdeutschen und altsächsischen Glossenhandschriften, 6 vols (Berlin: Walter De Gruyter, 2005), II, pp. 879-80 no. 413 [with further bibliography].

Iulius Africanus Cesti: The Extant Fragments, ed. by Martin Wallraff and others, trans. by William Adler, Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller, Neue Folge, 18 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012), p. CXXXI.

* * *
Coloured initials

f. 1
Coloured initials
Coloured initials.

ff. 1v-2
Coloured initials.
Coloured initials

ff. 2v-3
Coloured initials
Text page and coloured initials

ff. 43v-44
Text page and coloured initials

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back

About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search
Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Accessibility Contact us Main

All text is © British Library Board and is available under a CC-BY Licence except where otherwise stated