MS. D'Orville 153
Summary Catalogue no.: 17031
Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae, with glosses and commentary; Germany (?), c. 1438
A reject leaf, the commentary text unfinished and the lemmata not added, with later pen trials in the margins.
The lower part of fol. ii verso with various quotations: the first is: ‘Est vitrum saphirus saphyrus splendida gemma’
Blank except for: ‘Item Paulus apostolus | Qui in uno offendit est omnium reus’ (cf. James 2:10)
Blank except for:
Doubtless copied from a glossed exemplar, to judge by the very variable width of the column of text.
Bk. 2, fol. 29v; bk. 3, fol. 58r; bk. 4, fol. 93v; bk. 5, fol. 118r.
With selective but sometimes extensive interlinear glossing, and accompanied by a selective commentary, written both in the margin and on inserted sheets.
Fol. 47, which is apparently part of the original volume (the end of quire 3) and not an inserted sheet, was originally blank, with a form(?) letter and other notes added on fol. 47v and commentary added on fol. 47r.
Added inscriptions and pen-trials etc., including:
‘Ve t(ibi) tu nigre dicebat cacubus olle’; ‘Aristotoles(?) Appetitus divitiarum cressit[sic] ad infinitum’; ‘Qui scit frenare linguam sensumque domare fortior est e(?) qui vincit viribus orbes’; ‘in quibus estis qui(?) estis’; ‘Morbos multos multa fercula fecerunt’ (Seneca, Epistulae morales); ‘Si hec duo pronomina meum et tuum tollentur(?) […] ’
Ruled in plummet for a single column of varying width, usually leaving wide outer and lower margins; typically written with 19–22 lines per page; the written area of the main text usually c. 140-155 × 60-80 mm.
Current cursive script. The main text probably in one hand, the gloss and commentary perhaps in more than one other hand.
Headings in textura.
No colour. Large decorative initials, in plain brown ink, for the first three books (fol. 1r, 29v, 58r); spaces left blank for most other large and small initials.
Sewn on four bands and bound in pasteboards covered with brown paper, with uncoloured parchment spine and brown leather corners; the spine inscribed at the top ‘Boethius | MS.’ and at the bottom ‘D’O.’
Provenance and Acquisition
Perhaps from the Orange College of Breda (Collegium Auriacum te Breda), whose books passed, c. 1684, to:
The library of the House of Orange-Nassau: recorded in the 1686 catalogue (The Hague, KB, 78 D 14) and shelflist (of which only an 18th-century copy is known: Merseburg, Geheimes Staatsarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Oranishches Archiv, Rep. 64 R.I No. 15); included in the 1749 auction at The Hague (see A. D. Renting, A. S. Korteweg, et al., The seventeenth-century Orange-Nassau library: the catalogue compiled by Anthonie Smets in 1686, the 1749 auction catalogue, and other contemporary sources (Utrecht, 1993), pp. 510–11 no. 2573); catalogue p. 266 lot 23, bought by:
Pieter de Hondt (1696–1764), printer, publisher, and bookseller of The Hague.
Jacques Philippe d’Orville (1696-1751), classical scholar (on whom see SC, iv, pp. 37–38, and Nieuw Nederlandsch Biografisch Woordenboek, iv, cols. 1043–46); listed in the catalogue of his library, MS. D'Orville 302, fol. 24r; inherited by his son Jean, thence to the latter’s son, also named Jean; sold to:
From whom the collection was purchased almost intact in 1804 by the Bodleian Library. Former Bodleian shelfmarks: ‘X. 1. 5. 6’ (printed on paper label on spine).
Last Substantive Revision
2021-06-11: Description fully revised for Polonsky German digitization project.