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

MS. Auct. F. 1. 14

Summary Catalogue no.: 2481


Seneca, Tragedies
Rubric: Annei Lucij Senece Tragedie

With marginal and interlinear gloss and apparatus as far as fol. 89v.

(fols. 1r-19v)
Hercules Furens
(fols. 19v-36r)
(fols. 36r-45r)
(fols. 45v-62r)
(fols. 62v-77r)
(fols. 77r-94r)
(fols. 94r-107v)

Imperfect at end (lacking the last 71 lines) due to loss of a leaf before fol. 108.

(fols. 108r-122r)

Imperfect at beginning (lacking the first 12 lines) due to loss of a leaf before fol. 108.

(fols. 122r-135r)
(fols. 135r-162v)
Hercules Oetaeus

Lacking the last 33 lines due to loss of a leaf.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment (FHHF)
Extent: 163 + i (later paper) leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 334 × c. 235 mm.
Foliation: 1-50, 51a, 51b, 52-163


1(8)-13(8) (fols. 1-103 including 51a, 51b), 14(8-1) (fols. 104-110: wants 5 before fol. 108), 15(8)-20(8) (fols. 111-157), 21(five) (fols. 158-162)


The margins of fols. 37, 113 and 160 are injured.


1 col., 36 lines; ruled in ink, ruled space 213 × 115 mm. , with an additional column of c. 15 mm. width for speakers' names.


Gothico-antiqua / fere humanistica


Historiated initials and borders attributed by Pächt and Alexander to Cristoforo Cortese (ii. 449, pl. XLV) and dated by Carl Huter to the (later) 1420s (C. Huter, 'Cristoforo Cortese in the Bodleian Library', Apollo 111/215 (Jan 1, 1980), 10-17 at 15, 17)

Historiated initials at the beginning of each play (that for Agamemnon lost).

Each initial with a partial border.

Penwork initials in alternating red and blue flourished in the other colour.


Red leather on boards, stamped and ornamented, with a shield bearing a raven let into the centre of each side (late 15th cent. Italian work, for Matthias Corvinus, king of Hungary, d. 1490), 'SENECA TRAGEDIE' on the back board and fore-edge. R25 in the classification of Corvinian bindings by Marianna Rozsondai in Nel segno del corvo (Modena, 2002), 249-59.


Origin: c. 1420-30 (Huter) ; Italian, Venice

Provenance and Acquisition

Matthias Corvinas: his arms added, fol. 1r (type A1 in the classification by Csaba Csapodi, The Corvinian Library, (1973), p. 493); his binding, with arms and initials.

Removed to Istanbul by Suleiman 'the Magnificent' following the conquest of Buda in 1526 (Csapodi, p. 79).

Presented by sir Henry Lillo, late consul of the English merchants in Constantinople/Istanbul, in 1608.

Record Sources

Description adapted by Matthew Holford (June 2022) from the following sources, with additional physical description, and with reference to published literature as cited.
Otto Pächt and J. J. G. Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library Oxford, II (1970), no. 449
Summary Catalogue (1922)

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Digital Bodleian (3 images from 35mm slides)

Last Substantive Revision

2022-06: Description revised for publication on Digital Bodleian.