A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Bywater 2

Contents

Diogenes Laertius, Vitae philosophorum,

tr. Ambrogio Traversari

(fols. 2r-3v)

Preface

Incipit: Clarissimo ac optimo Viro Cosmo de Medicis Ambroxius in domino eternam salutem. Solventi mi⟨c⟩hi quedam gr(a)eca uolumina Venit ad manus laercij diogenis de philosophis prolixum opus
(fols. 3v-233r)

Text

Rubric: Laercij diogenis Vite atque sentencie eorum qui in philosophia claruerunt Liber primus incipit feliciter:
Incipit: ⟨P⟩hilosophia \a/ Barbaris initia sumpsisse plerique autumant.
Explicit: ac probationem certissimamque propinquitatem ad sumentes lamentis prosecuti non sunt defuncti celiorem obitum:
Final rubric: .:FINIS:. | LAERCII. DIOGENIS. VITE. ATQVE. SE-|ENTENCIE. EORVM. QVI. IN PHILOSOPHIA. | CLARVERVNT: LIBER. DECIMVS. ET. VLT-|IMVS. EXPLICIT FELICITER

Followed by a scribal colophon, see under Provenance.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: -piat. eorumque
Form: codex
Support: Paper; watermark three mountains (cf. Briquet 11696).
Extent: i + 232 + i
Dimensions (leaf): 290 × 210 mm.
Dimensions (ruled): 180-5 × 120 (136 incl. bounding lines) mm.
Dimensions (written): 185 × 130-5 mm.
Foliation: Foliated in modern pencil: 1-234.

Collation

I-II12 (fols. 2-25), III12 (12th leaf missing) (fols. 26-36), IV-XIX12 (fols. 37-228), XX6-1 (6th leaf cancelled) (fols. 229-233); catchwords in the centre of the lower margin, surrounded by a cartouche of red ornamental motifs.

Layout

Blind-ruled on the innermost face of each bifolium, with 24 horizontals per page, the top two and bottom two extending the full width of the page, the others bounded by two pairs of vertical bounding lines, extending the full height of the page. 24 lines of text per page.

Hand(s)

Written in a capable humanistic semi-cursive hand

Decoration

Headings in red.

One three-line gold initial (fol. 2r); the rest two-line, plain red or with very simple ornament.

A coat of arms (fol. 2r; see under Provenance).

Binding

Sewn on five cords and bound in 18th/19th-century pale brown sheep(?)-skin over pasteboards, the covers and spine blind-tooled with foliate and other repeat patterns; somewhat worn.

History

Origin: Italian, Urbino ; 15th century, dated 18 June 1452

Provenance and Acquisition

Scribal colophon 'Scriptum in Vrbino Anno domini Mileximo cccco Liio | Mensis Iunij die xviiiio. RAI. RAM.' (fol. 233r; 'RAI RAM' written like two separate abbreviated words, but possibly 'Maria R', backwards??); apparently made for a member of the Guidetti of Florence family, with their arms in the lower margin of fol. 2r: paly azure and argent, differenced with a label of three points in chief.

Inscribed, 19th(?) century '300' in the top right corner of the lower pastedown, perhaps a price.

Walter Sneyd: bought in Florence in 1832, according to a twenty-line note on fol. 1v, signed 'WS' in monogram; with his circular armorial bookplate on the upper pastedown, sold at Sotheby's, 17 December 1903, and three following days, lot 253, bought by Leighton for £2 15s, apparently on behalf of Bywater: a cutting from the sale catalogue is pasted to the upper pastedown, inscribed by Bywater 'Sneyd sale | S[otheby]W[ilkinson &]H[odge] 12/'03 | £2.15.0'.

Ingram Bywater

Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1915; the upper pastedown and fol. 2r inscribed with the Bywater Elenchus no.: 'By. 1075', the current shelfmark, and a former Bodleain shelfmark, now obsolete: 'Byw. D.2.10'; catalogued after accession and allocated the Summary Catalogue no. 40034, also now obsolete.

Record Sources

Description by Peter Kidd, 1990s.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (1 image from 35mm slides)