The 3rd-century CE author Athenaeus is known today for his long work, the Deipnosophistae (‘Dinner Sophists’). This work uses the pretext of a series of meals attended by a variety of scholars in imperial Rome to provide vast amounts of information about literature and history. It is hugely valuable for the many quotations from early authors it includes. It is unsurprising then to find a copy of this important text dating from the early years of the 16th century and written by Zacharias Kalliergis, the scribe and printer who had a publishing house in Venice around this time.
The manuscript was in the possession of the classical scholar and ecclesiastical historian Isaac Casaubon (1559–1614) before 1600. Casaubon edited and published a printed edition of the Deipnosophistae.
Along with a number of other manuscripts formerly belonging to Casaubon, it was acquired by the Royal Library. The Royal Library was presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757.