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

MS. Douce 85

Summary Catalogue no.: 21659

John of Seville, Epistola Aristotelis ad Alexandrum de regimine sanitatis (recension of Thomas of Cantimpré); Thomas of Cantimpré, de lapidibus; Annals, 413-1553. Germany, c. 1535

Contents

Language(s): Latin

(fols. 1r–3v)

Dedicatory matter (see Decoration)

1. (fols. 3r–6r)

Medical-astrological treatises and notes: prefatory material to art. 2

(fols. 3r–5r)
Rubric: Prefacio in Aristotelis sanitatis principum regimen. hec non indigna notetur
Incipit: Cum duplex homini via, sua in vita. hocque in mundo fallaci
(fol. 5r)
Rubric: Iparcus in libro de vinculo spiritus secundo capitulo habet
Incipit: Medicus sine astrologia est quasi oculus qui non est in potentia ad operationem
(fol. 5v)
Rubric: Appollonius in arte magica scribit:
Incipit: Medicus sine stellis et necromanticus sine ossibus mortuorum est quasi imago spiritibus vivificata
(fol. 5v)
Rubric: Ipocrates ob id dicit
Incipit: Astronomia non est minor pars medicine
(fol. 5v–6r)
Incipit: Notissum etiam est Aristotelem et Alexandrum magnum ante etc. Christi nativitatem multis annis
(fol. 6r–v)
Thomas of Cantimpré, De naturis rerum III.4 (De monstruosis hominibus orientis, extract)
Rubric: De Bragmannis qui Christum dei verbum confitentur et colunt […]
Incipit: Homines sunt valde mirabiles ultra Gangem fluvium habitantes
Explicit: et ideo non amat aliud nisi mundam mentem
ed. H. Boese (Berlin, 1973), p. 98.

Followed by: ‘Hec ex cordis synceritate sic premittere placuit’ and: ‘Concomitatur nunc(?) Aristotelis Tractatulus Alexandro magno dedicatus ac et missus’.

2. (fols. 7r–16r)
John of Seville, Epistola Aristotelis ad Alexandrum de regimine sanitatis

The version of the text as transmitted in Thomas of Cantimpré, De naturis rerum, I.77.

(fol. 7r–v)
Rubric: De ordine vivendi phisice secundum Aristotelem, et vocatur tractatus Secretum secretorum
Incipit: (prol.) Sequitur ordo vivendi phisice secundum Aristotelem que⟨m⟩ qui servaverit multas valde et magnas egritudines vitare potest
Explicit: et nos eundem causa abbreviationis sic excerpsimus.
ed. H. Boese (Berlin, 1973), p. 77.
(fol. 7v)
Rubric: Epistola Aristotelis ad Alexandrum magnum, et vocatus Regimen principum
Incipit: Alexandro regi Aristoteles. Alexander cum corpus sit corruptibile
Explicit: omnino vitare non possunt
ibid., p. 77; Denkmäler provenzalischer Literatur und Sprache, ed. H. Suchier (1883), 475
(fols. 7v–10v)
Rubric: Primus partis libelluli tractatus
Incipit: Oportet te igitur o Alexander cum a sompno surrexeris
Explicit: sicque proficiens est corpori
ibid., pp. 77–78; Denkmäler provenzalischer Literatur und Sprache, 475-478.95
(fols. 10v–11r, 12r–14v)
Rubric: Huius vero libelluli tractatus secundus sequitur
Incipit: Quatuor equidem anni tempora sunt, que sic distinguuntur. A medio Martij vsque d medium Junij ver habeatur
Explicit: hyemsque tunc finitur. Magis vero spetialius id sit modo subsequenti notetur
Rubric: (fol. 12r) Ver
Incipit: Debes igitur solicite custodire quatuor anni tempora quia ver est tempus calidum
Explicit: Hec omnia debilitant et corpus exsiccant et anihilant
ibid., pp. 78–79, Denkmäler provenzalischer Literatur und Sprache, 480.182-188; ibid., pp. 79–80, Denkmäler provenzalischer Literatur und Sprache, 478.95-480.182.
(fol. 11v)
Rubric: (fol. 11r) Concomitatur figura

An inserted fold-out diagram of the four seasons and their corresponding (a) astrological signs, (b) saints’ feast days (Peter Urban, Simphorian, and Clement), and (c) mnemonic verses: ‘Ver petro datur … Festum Clementis est caput hiemis venientis’.

(fol. 15r)

A large fold-out sheet with diagrams concerning human digestion and the production of fluids by men and women.

(fol. 16r)
Final rubric: Sicque epistole libellulique Aristotelis conspicitur finis equidem omnis
3. (fols. 16r–17r)

Short notes, and images, concerning wisdom and foolishness: ‘Imaginis sapientie et stulticie declaratio. Picture concomitantis hec sit interpretatio per modica’, and Ecclesiastes 2:13–14: ‘Vidi qui tantum precederat sapientia stulticia …’; for the images and their inscriptions see Decoration.

4. (fol. 18r)

A large fold-out sheet with a diagram illustrating the four regions of the body, ‘Caput, Pectus, Venter, Vesica’, with corresponding ailments; at the top is, ‘Epistola Hypocratis brevis quidem sed multum utilis ad regem Antiochum destinata …’, and at the bottom, ‘In hac epistola vera et probata continentur pro vite sanitate conservanda …’.

(fol. 19r)

See Decoration. Fol. 19v blank.

5. (fols. 20r–27r)
Thomas of Cantimpré, De naturis rerum XIV (De lapidibus), 69–71
Rubric: Incipiunt relationes quorundam de sculpturis lapidum et de virtutibus eorundem signatis per figuras
Incipit: Sequuntur relationes antiquorum scripturum de sculpturis lapidum
Explicit: Qui tecum vivit […] secula seculorum Amen
ibid., pp. 370–74.
6. (fol. 27v)

Two paragraphs:

‘Vultus huius seculi sunt subiecti vultibus celestibus, et ideo sapientes qui imagines faciebant …’, and ‘Hec Ptholomeus in Centiloquio To. 9 Nec in hoc commentator Halij nempa …’, above a small woodcut with a shield bearing the initials A and WA in monogram, , with ‘Monogrammos minus’ written above, and below, ‘Nature genitor conserva morte redemptos’

7. (fols. 28r-61v)
Annals, 421-1533
(fol. 28r)

A list of the following four textual items, under the general heading ‘Chronicalia’: ‘Imperatoria, Regia, Ducalia, Provincialia, Aliaque hic per multa et promiscue adiecta’. Fol. 28v blank.

7.1. (fols. 29r–32a verso)
Annals of Holy Roman Emperors, 1313–1533
Rubric: Imperatorialia hec quidem permodica non indigne premittantur et conspiciantur diligentissime
Incipit: 1313. Henricus pater Joannis regis Bohemie coronatus in imperatorem, eodemque in anno moritur

Fols. 32br-32dv blank.

7.2. (fol. 33r–42v)
Annals of Kings of Poland, Bohemia, etc., 1001–1533
Rubric: Regalia
Incipit: 1001. Dux Polonie Boleslaus dictus in regem Polonie creatur, qui et corpus domini Adalberti a Prutenis vi et armis redemit

Fols. 43ar-43bv blank.

7.3. (fol. 43cr–45r)
Annals of Dukes of Poland, Silesia, etc., 929–1519
Rubric: Ducalia
Incipit: Anno Christi 929 4 kalendas Octobris sanctus Uuenceslaus dux Bohemie per Boleslaum seniorem fratrem occiditur qui Boleslaus postea fratre interfecto regit Bohemiam 37 annis.

Fols. 45v, 46ar-46cv blank.

7.4. (fol. 46dr–61v)
Annals 421–1533
Rubric: Provincialium civitatum etc. et nonnullarum paucarum tamen privatarum personarum, aliarumue rerum etc. non indigne memorabilium, hec sic promiscue finaliter hic subnectuntur acta et ideo non negligenter contemplentur
Incipit: 421/422 Christi annis completis/currentibus et nondum perfecte completis Venetiarum ciuitas die 25 Martij hora quarto(?) hoc est in meridie primitus edificatus est
Colophon: (fol. 61r-v) Hec premissaue alia tam Imperialia, Regalia, Ducaliaue precipue ex antiquissimis exemplaribus quidem scriptis et variis […] vere asseruntur. Et id per S.A.W.

The final note is ‘Pristorum adagium verissimum’ (in red), and ‘Amicus syncerus intelligendo magis necessarius quam ignis et aqua’

Fol. 62r-63v blank, except for wreath with monogram on fol. 63v, see Decoration.

Physical Description

Two main codicological units (fols. 1-27 and fols. 28-62), each in turn comprised of smaller sections (see Collation)
Form: codex
Support: Paper. The watermark is a shield with a saint's head, cf. Piccard Online 21061 (WZIS), Wrocław, 1532
Extent: i (modern paper) + ii (old paper) + 72 + ii (old paper) + i (modern paper); fols. 1v, 19v, 28v, 32br–32dv, 43ar–43bv, 43dv, 45v–46cv, 62r–63r, 64r–66v are blank
Dimensions (leaf): 200 × 150 mm.
Foliation: ia–ic, 1–31, 32a–32d, 33–42, 43a–43d, 44–45, 46a–46d, 47–66 in 20th-century pencil (fols. ia-b, 65-6 foliated 2021); 16th(?)-century foliation in ink 144–214

Collation

The collation of fols. 1-18 uncertain; sewing visible at fols. 1/2, 5/6 and 11/12; fols. 7-18 perhaps 10+2 (with fols. 15 inserted after 8 and fol. 18 inserted after 10). Thereafter: (4+1) (fols. 19–23, fol. 19 inserted at the beginning of the quire (?)) | (4) (fols. 24–27) | (8) (fols. 28–32d) | (8), (4) (fols. 33–43b) | (6 + an inserted slip) (fols. 43c–46c) | (8), (10) (fols. 46d–63)

Layout

Frame-ruled with a hard point and plummet; typically written with up to 22–24 lines per page. Ruled area typically c. 155-160 × 90-100 mm.

Hand(s)

Cursive, written by Sebald Adloff of Wrocław (Breslau). Rubrics in blue and red.

Decoration

Most of the decoration consists of coloured woodcuts, within or around which inscriptions have been added:

  • (fol. 1r) A woodcut of a man holding a blank cartouche, in which is handwritten: ‘Excellentissimo clarissimoue viro domino Christofero Schwe(r)lero pontificii ac cesarii juris doctori etc. Hoc Aristotelis Sanitatis regimen etc. offert in amorisque pignus dat verissim.’ Below is written: ‘Sebaldus Adloff: natione Wratislavia non quidem posthabendus familiarium’.
  • (fol. 2r) A woodcut of a scholar holding an open book, with astrolabe, sun, moon, and stars in the background, and frame incorporating the initials SWA; to which is added two inscriptions: ‘Libellulus huius condonatorum physionomiam intuere observaque’ and in red: ‘Amandius precipue amans’
  • (fol. 16v) A woodcut depicting a man displaying an image of three male heads, another man lying on the floor in the foreground; in a cartouche above is written ‘Sapientie et stulticie pictura’ and in the margin below is a four-line inscription, ‘Aequalitas servanda omni in re … Christianismus exoptat’.
  • (fol. 17r) A small woodcut of two naked boys holding a cartouche, in which is inscribed Ecclesiasticus 30:14 (‘Melius est pauper sanus et fortis …’). Below is ‘Hec sic de bona sanitatis regimine satis superque satis’ and in red, ‘Sequitur nunc huius fit libelluli datorum monogrammos maius’.
  • (fol. 17v) A woodcut depicting a large fish with a mast and sail on its back, the sail with the initials ‘S’ and ‘WA’ in monogram, at the top a cartouche in which is written ‘Monogrammatis litteralis significatio hec est’, in the lower margin is ‘S.A.W.’ and ‘Domine deus pater celestis. Non differas periclitanti auxilium oportunum Nam omnis fiducia mea in te est’.
  • (fols. 19r, 28r) A woodcut wreath enclosing the initials ‘C S’.
  • (fols. 27v, 63v) A woodcut of a wreath with initials ‘S AW’ (as on fols. 17v).

Coloured drawings:

  • (fol. 2v) Hand-drawn painted arms (gules, a griffin? argent), above the inscription: ‘Elucet hic magnifica predecessorum moderneque cum hoc Schwerlenorii genealogie virtus preeminentiave’.
A pair of facing coloured drawings:
  • (fol. 31v) The of Arms of the city of Wrocław, as approved by Emperor Charles V in 1530
  • (fol. 32ar) Mercury (a man with winged headgear and feet) holding a cartouche with an inscription: ‘Felicia Wratislaviensis Regalis Mercurialisue civitatis intuere hec insignia Anno Christi 1530 Imperiali auctoritate locupletata et adaucta’

Diagrams, fols. 11v, 15r, 18r, see above.

Binding

Bound in pasteboards with cloth spine, formerly covered with part of a 16th-century German heraldic MS., which has been removed and is now MS. Douce d. 5, fols. 7–9 (S.C. 21982); offsets of armorials are visible on the covers and inside the front cover. The old flyleaves repurposed from leaves of another book folded in half and turned sideways, so that their old folio numbers, 175 and 176 in ink, are now aligned vertically at the fore-edge.

History

Origin: c. 1535, probably 1533 or soon after ; Germany

Provenance and Acquisition

Written by Sebald Adloff for Christoph Schwerler. Adloff’s name (fol. 1r) and initials ‘SWA’ (fol. 2r, 17v, 27v, 61v, 63v) appear several times, as does the name (fol. 1r 2v) and initials (fols. 19r, 28r) of the dedicatee; Adloff also wrote ‘De inventoribus astronomiae’, c.1521 (now Vatican, MS Reg. Lat. MS 1309), and a 13-leaf letter to Anton Fugger (see E. Wunderle, Die mittelalterlichen Handschriften der Studienbibliothek Dillingen (Wiesbaden, 2006), MS XV 62, at pp. 124–26).

Hans Albrecht von Derschau (1755–1824) collector of woodcuts and other prints: Verzeichniß der seltenen Kunst-Sammlungen … des K. Preuß. Hauptmanns Herrn Hans Albrecht von Derschau, III: Manuscripte und Bücher (Nuremberg, 1825), p. 11 no. 67 (‘Mit mehreren kleinen Tractaten von der nämlichen Hand, einem gemalten Portrait und dergleichen Wappen. 168 Bl.’).

19th-century English bookseller’s price-code and price in pencil, apparently using the Greek alphabet for the code, ‘Ο-ο/δ £1–1–’ ([fol. 165r])

Francis Douce, 1757–1834, with his bookplate (fol. ib verso)

Bequeathed to the Bodleian in 1834

Record Sources

Description (June 2021) by Peter Kidd, edited by Matthew Holford. Previously described in the Summary Catalogue (1897).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)

Bibliography

Last Substantive Revision

2021-06-10: Description fully revised for Polonsky German digitization project.