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

MS. D'Orville 21

Summary Catalogue no.: 16899


Seneca, Tragedies
Rubric: Liber tragediarum Senece
Colophon: Explicit Liber tragediarum Senece per Johannem condam [i.e. quondam] Guidonis de Malzinzelis &c.
(fol. 1)
Hercules Furens
(fol. 22v)
(fol. 41)
(fol. 51v)
(fol.72 )
(fol. 99v)
(fol. 118v)
(fol. 135v)
(fol. 152)
(fol. 168)
Hercules Oetaeus
Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment
Extent: iii + 192 leaves
Dimensions (binding): 12.75 × 8.875 in.


Written by Johannes, son of Guido de Malzinzelis, fol. 200r


Pächt and Alexander ii. 687, Pl. LXVII:

Fine historiated initials.

Fine initials.

fol. 1r

  • Title Herules furens
  • Type initial S
  • Subject Hercules in lion skin
  • Title Herules furens
  • Type border, upper and left margins
  • Subject Nimbed lion with book

fol. 22v

  • Title Thyestes
  • Type initial Q
  • Subject Half-figure of Thyestes

fol. 41r

  • Title Phoenissae
  • Type initial I
  • Subject Half-figure of a bearded man

fol. 51v

  • Title Phaedra
  • Type initial I
  • Subject Mask

fol. 99v

  • Title Troades
  • Type initial Q
  • Subject Half-figure of a young woman

fol. 118v

  • Title Medea
  • Type initial D
  • Subject Half-figure of a tonsured cleric in prayer

fol. 135v

  • Title Agamemnon
  • Type initial O
  • Subject Half-figure of a young woman


Origin: 15th century, beginning ; Italy, Milan

Provenance and Acquisition

"The lion of St Mark on fol. 1, part of the original decoration, indicates a Venetian owner" (Pächt and Alexander).

Jacques Phillippe D'Orville of Amsterdam (1690–1751)

Jean D'Orville, b. 1734, his son, by descent

Jean D'Orville, son of Jean, by descent

Sold to the Rev. John Cleaver Banks (1765/1766–1845): purchased from him by the Bodleian

Acquired by the Bodleian in 1804

Record Sources

Description adapted (March 2024) by Stewart J. Brookes from the Summary Catalogue (1897). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1970)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (9 images from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2024-02-05: Description revised to incorporate all the information in the Summary Catalogue (1897)