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

MS. Canon. Class. Lat. 90

Summary Catalogue no.: 18671


L. Annaeus Seneca , Tragedies
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Fine miniatures, borders, historiated and other initials. Written by Niolaus (sic) presbyter . In two styles, identified by C. Huter as (fol. 1) the Novella Master and (remainder) Cristoforo Cortese . (P&A ii. 129, pl. XIII)

fol. 1r

  • Type initial S
  • Subject Zoomorphic initial with two dragons spitting fire. Inset: Juno wearing crown, in crimson robe bordered with ermine, points right hand to heavens, where in a circle are the Sun, the Moon and the stars. On the edge of the circle are the figures of the Zodiac.
  • Type full border
  • Subject In the lower margin is a blue medallion with a crested helmet and shield in the centre. It is surrounded by red, blue, green and white dragons on gold background. At the four corners of the border are medallions with four crowned seated figures, two robed in red and two in rose. Three of the figures have a lion on each side. The upper left-hand figure appears to have a lion on the right, and a small human figure in green robe on the left. All the figures are on blue background, and all hold objects as follows: upper left, sword; upper right, pillar; lower left, dagger, plunged into self or being wiped; lower right, taper. In the middle of the left and right borders are medallions with six-pointed stars on silver background.


Origin: c. 1399-1400 ; Italian, Padua (?)

Provenance and Acquisition

Matteo Luigi Canonici, 1727-1805

Giuseppe Canonici , -1807

Purchased by the Bodleian in 1817

Record Sources

Summary description by Elizabeth Solopova and Matthew Holford, based on the Quarto Catalogue (H. O. Coxe, Catalogi codicum manuscriptorum Bibliothecæ Bodleianæ pars tertia codices Græcos et Latinos Canonicianos complectens, Quarto Catalogues III, 1854) and supplementary sources.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (4 images from 35mm slides)