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

MS. Holkham Gr. 104

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)

Diktyon no.: 48172

Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, Books X-XV, III-IX.


Language(s): Greek

Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae
1. (fols 1r-26v)

Book X, tit. (in red, in capitals with accents and breathings): τῶν· εἰς· τριάκοντα· ἀρχὴ· τοῦ·/ ΙΖ· Ι· Exacltly the same title is recorded in a possibly now lost MS, Farnesianus: see A. L. Di Lello-Finuoli, ‘Per la storia del testo di Ateneo’, Miscellanea Bibliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae, 7 (2000), Vatican, p. 137. (sup lin. in pencil, added later): Incipit Liber decimus

2. (fols 26v-53v)

Book XI, tit. (in black ink, added later): Ἀθηναίου ναυκρατίου δειπνοσοφιστῶν. Ι. In the same ink, several initial letters have been added.

3. (fols. 53v-81r)

Book XII, tit. (in black ink, added later): Ἀθηναίου IA΄· ιβ´

4. (fols 81v-114r)

Book XIII, tit. sup. lin. ιβ· (post cor. ιγ·)

5. (fols 114v-145r)

Book XIV, tit. (in black ink, added later): Ἀθηναίου κρατήτου περὶ δειπνοσοφιστ(ῶν) ιδ; fol. 145r: at the end ιδ΄

6. (fols 145r-166r)

Book XV, tit. ιε ιε ιε; fols 165v-166r: διθυράμ|βω φησί τις· ⟨πίσ⟩σα δ’ ἀπὸ γραβίαν (γραβίων ed.) ἕστηζεν (ἔσταζεν ed.) οἷον, 57. 20–21. the text breaks off here, and resumes in fols 166r-166v: ⟨Ἐπικρά⟩της (τῆς MS) δ’ ἐν Τριόδοντι … Αἰσχύλος ἐν Ἀγαμέμνονι μέμνηται, 57.29–60.30; fols 166r-167v: καὶ Πλάτων ἐν Νυκτὶ μακρᾷ ... παρεγκλίνοντες τὴν λέξιν καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς [… 60.122–62.19; fols 167r- πολλοὶ δὲ καὶ ἐπὶ τοῖς τέλος ἔχουσιν ἐπιφθεγγόμενοι … παῖδες φέροντες ὁ (ὃ ed.) μέν τις θυμιατήριον, ὁ (ὃ ed.) δὲ [… (62.21–63.2–3); fol. 167v: ἐν τῷ ἐπιγραφομένῳ δράματι ⟨Φακῆ⟩ λέγει οὕτως … ἢ τὸ ποθεινότατον. (63.28–33); Ἀθηναίου ναυκρατίτου δειπνοσοφιστ(ῶν) ιε´

7. (fols 169r-198v)

Book III, tit. (in pencil): Liber tertius inc. ] στελέων (στελεόν ed.), ῥαφανίδας …

8. (fols 198v-230v)

Book IV, tit. (in pencil, added later): Incipit Liber quartus

9. (fols 230v-253r)

Book V, tit. (in black ink, added later): Incipit Liber quintus

10. (fols 253r-282r)

Book VI, tit. (in black ink, added later): Incipit Liber VI

11. (fols 282r-311v)

Book VII, tit. (in black ink, added later): Incipit Liber septimus.

12. (fols 311v-331v)

Book VIII, tit. (in black ink, added later): Incipit Liber octavus.

13. (fols 331v-352v)

Book IX, tit. (in black ink, added later): Incipit Liber nonus- des. mut. ἀπολέσῃς, παραπό⟨λωλεν ἡ τέχνη⟩ … 69.37. 16um Cap-/ Libri noni pars desideratur/ followed by an almost erased … loco? (….loca? Vendruscolo)

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: Paper
Extent: iii + 138 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 330 × 225 mm.


32 lines per page.


Sebastianus Ducius, RGK II, 488; RGK III, 571 (with identification of the scribe in MS Holkham Gr. 104).

Additions: Several notes mainly by the scribe himself. See e.g. fol. 1r: ἡρακλῆς ἀδηφάγος. Also notes in the same black ink as that which added titles later. See e. g. fol.26v: ὁπως παρὰ ἀνδράστω οἱ ἀριστεῖς/δειπνοῦσιν. etc.


Typical Holkham binding of brown leather, with Coke family ostrich crest in gilt in the centre of the upper cover; Date: early nineteenth century. Rebound by John Jones of Liverpool (worked for Holkham 1816–1823). The spine lettered in gilt: /ATHENÆI/ OPERA/ GR.–//M.S./ SÆC. XV./; in pasted black leather: MS. /HOLKHAM/ Gr. 104/


Origin: 16th century

Provenance and Acquisition

The fact that the order of the books here is reversed and the codex starts with books X-XV, then follows with books III-IX led Diller to identify the codex with MS thought to be lost from the library of Cardinal Domenico Grimani, which had similar characteristics in terms of book order. It is recorded in his inventory as follows: ‘387. Athenaei dipnosophistici libri in ligando transpositi.’ See MS Vat. lat. 3960, ff. 1*-13*, tit. Index voluminum graecorum Bibliothecae in A. Diller, H. D. Saffrey, L. G. Westerink (eds), D. Card. Grimani. Bibliotheca graeca manuscripta cardinalis Dominici Grimani (1461–1523), Venice, 2003, p. 164, . See also A. Diller, ‘The excerpt from Timaeus Locrus 22’, Revue d'histoire des textes, 12–13 (1982–1983), 1985, pp. 365–366, . This MS is however absent from both the old inventory of Grimani’s library in Sant'Antonio di Castello compiled in 1598 (cf. A. Diller, H. D. Saffrey, L. G. Westerink (eds), D. Card. Grimani. Bibliotheca graeca manuscripta cardinalis Dominici Grimani (1461–1523), pp. 191- 195; cf. pp. IX-X, ), as well as from the catalogue of Tomasini d. 1650 (op. cit, pp. 197–203). Cf. also D. F. Jackson, ‘A List of the Greek MSS of Domenico Grimani’, Scriptorium, 62 (1), (2008) 164–169, . This disturbed book order seems to be quite common and is to be found also in 1505–1506, when Paolo de Ganale/de Canal (the scribe of MS Palatinus Heidelbergensis gr. 47) completed first on August 22, 1505 the books X to XV, and only a year later on April 21, 1506 did he copy books III to IX. See J. Irigoin, ‘L'édition princeps d'Athénée et ses sources’, Revue des Études Grecques, 80, fascicule 379–383, (1967) 424, . Τhe hitherto lost ‘Codex Farnesianus’ from Rome, is a codex praised by Isaac Casaubon, editor of Athenaeus Deipnosophistae, in his Praefatio ad lectorem (1597–1600): I. Casauboni, Animadversionum in Athenaei Dipnosophistas libri XV. Opus nunc primum in lucem editum, Lugduni, apud Antonium De Harsy (excudebat Guichardus Iullieron), 1600, p. 43, (reprinted also in: Isaac Casaubon, Epistolae: insertis ad easdem responsionibus, Rotterdam, 1709, p. 29, ). Casaubon claimed that Codex Farnesianus had a much superior text than the others ‘(exemplum) longe … et emendatius et integrius’, but he was unable to consult it in person. Nevertheless he managed to get what he needed thanks to reports of readings made by his father-in-law H. Stephanus and Benedetto Egio of Spoletto who saw the MS, and thus his edition was offering for the first time a large portion of a text which was missing from the Aldine by Marcus Musurus (1514) and the successive edition of 1535 in Basel. In the Aldine a lacuna was indicated with λείπει (Book XV, 674a-696a III, p. 489, 15–541.7 ed. Keibel). Codex Farnesianum was deemed to have served as the exemplar of MS Holkham Gr. 104. On this, see A. L. Di Lello-Finuoli, ‘Per la storia del testo di Ateneo’, p. 138 and fn. 26–27; cf. p. 137 fn. 25, p. 172. There is also a possibility that MS Holkham Gr. 104 was one of the apographs (or copy of copies) of the famous MS Marcianus gr. Z. 447 (coll. 820) with the unepitomized Deipnosophistai. See W. G. Arnott, ‘Athenaeus and the Epitome: Texts, Manuscripts and Early Editions’, in Athenaeus and His World. Reading Greek Culture in the Roman Empire. Athenaeus Conference in Exeter, Sept. 1–5 1997, D. Braund – J. Wilkins (eds), Exeter, University of Exeter Press, 2000, p. 46, . However, exact codicological characteristics not only in book order, but also in terms of size (both in-folio) as well as content (exactly the same gap occurs in book IX, as in MS Holkham Gr. 104, is attested in Farnesianus), presented already by A. L. Di Lello-Finuoli, caused Vendruscolo to regard MS Holkham Gr. 104 not only as just an apograph of Farnesianus, but as the Farnesianus itself. See F. Vendruscolo, ‘Una lunga latitanza: il famoso 'Farnesianus' di Ateneo’, in A. Bravo Garcia (eds), The Legacy of Bernard de Montfaucon: Three Hundred Years of Studies on Greek Handwriting. Proceedings of the Seventh International Colloquium of Greek Palaeography (Madrid - Salamanca, 15–20 September 2008), Bibliologia 31, Turnhout, 2010, pp. 209–216, 785–787, . Vendruscolo concludes his thorough examination by not ruling out the possibility that Farnesianus has never moved from Rome to the Convent of Sant’ Antonio di Castello. Its mention however in the inventory entitled ‘Libri greci qui habentur in ⟨bi⟩bli[bi]otheca Sancti Antonii’ (op. cit., p. 169, no. A 86) does not necessarily imply transfer of the MS to Venice, but rather that this inventory simply copies titles from an older Manuscripts’ Index of 1522 (or a similar old source). Given the fate of the Farnesiani Collection, which was moved from Rome to Parma, around the mid-1600s, and then to Naples in 1734, Vendruscolo – contrary to the scholarly belief that the Athenaeus codex together with about forty other Greek manuscripts, was lost or destroyed sometime between 1641 and 1747 –, finds support in documents from Thomas Coke’s visits in Parma and suggests the purchase of Farnesianus in one of Coke’s two excursions there: 10–13 November 1714, or 10–23 December 1716. See Library of the Earl of Leicester, F/TC 4, olim MS. 733, Thomas Coke, Account Books of his Expenses Abroad, 1712–1718, reproduced in CD-ROM by Microform Academic Publishers, Wakefield, 2006: ‘Paid at seeing the duke’s apartments and Library - 06 0 [?]’, p. 91; ‘Paid for Imbalage of 3 boxes with pictures and one of books - 05 70 [...] Paid at the Library - 00 60’, p. 180; For his second visit in 1716, see Ms. F/TC 2 (olim MS. 732b). The issue is still open, but Vendruscolo has to be given credit for his research.

Catalogue Nrs: front paste-down (in pencil): MS. Holkham Gr. 103/; fol. i(r): D5B.4 No 280(post cor. 284) 64/450 (= Libr. of the Earl of Leicester, 284).

Record Sources

Description by Dimitrios Skrekas (2020), with the support of the Leventis Foundation, the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research, the Yerolemou Trust and the Michael Marks Charitable Trust.


Last Substantive Revision

2020-08-27: New description by D. Skrekas.