46 more Greek manuscripts online at the British Library – mostly classical or patristic!

The British Library manuscripts blog has announced here (and in PDF form here[1]) that another 46 manuscripts have gone online. Which is always good news!

This particular group is rather special. For the first time it isn’t dominated by biblical texts. Instead we have mainly classical or patristic manuscripts. Of course a lot of these are late, humanist copies, often from the book-copying industry in Venice in the 16th century – for creating printed Greek was never an easy enterprise – but sometimes still the earliest witness to a text.

Accessing the blog was difficult, so I’m guessing that this post is attracting plenty of attention!

Here are some highlights.

  • Add MS 24371, John Chrysostom, Fragments of Homiliae in Matthaeum (58, 70-75, 78-79, 81-83) (TLG 2062.152). 11th century.
  • Add MS 28824, John Chrysostom, In Genesim homiliae 11-31 (TLG 2062.112), imperfect and mutilated at beginning and end. 12th century.

  • Add MS 28826, John Climacus, The Ladder (TLG 2907.001), imperfect, and Liber ad Pastorem, imperfect. 12th century.

  • Add MS 30518, John Chrysostom, In Genesim homiliae 1-11, 21-33 (TLG 2062.112), imperfect. Written about the year 1121.

  • Add MS 32643, Patristic miscellany, partly palimpsest, with occasional marginal scholia. Includes works by Anastasius of Sinai, Epiphanius of Salamis, Gregory of Nazianzus, Anastasius I of Antioch, John Chrysostom, Hesychius of Jerusalem, and Christopher of Alexandria, as well as Gospel lections (Gregory-Aland l 1234). 12th-14th century.

  • Add MS 34654, Gregory of Nazianzus, Orationes. 11th century.

  • Add MS 36750, John Chrysostom, Ad populum Antiochenum homiliae (TLG 2062.024), imperfect, and Ad illuminandos catecheses 2 (TLG 2062.025), imperfect. 11th century.

  • Add MS 36753, Maximus Confessor, Loci Communes (CPG 7718), which is a florilegium of classical and patristic authors.  A few pages of bits at the end. Written in 1198.

  • Burney MS 62, Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica, with scholia, vitae, and epigrams. Italy, end of the 15th century, written by the scribe known as the Anonymus Harvardianus.

  • Burney MS 66, Commentaries on Aristotle by John Philoponus and others. 1st half of the 16th century.

  • Burney MS 82, Hesiod, Works and Days (TLG 0020.002). Italy, end of the 15th century.

  • Burney MS 85, Speeches by Isocrates and Lysias, and gnomological literature. Italy, c 1500.  I don’t have the expertise to say which gnomological texts these are.

  • Burney MS 95, Codex Crippsianus, containing speeches by the minor Attic Orators. Constantinople, 1st half of the 14th century.

  • Burney MS 276, Fragments of Greek and Latin manuscripts, mostly of classical and patristic authors. 11th-17th century: Lucian, Gregory Nazianzen; Theodoret on the psalms; The Batrachomyomachia attributed to Homer; lists of homilies attributed to Chrysostom; Plutarch; Libanius, oratio to Theodosius; fragments of grammatical texts, such as Herodian;  and two leaves from a Latin commentary on Persius.

  • Egerton MS 942, Demosthenes, Orationes, preceded by Argumenta of Libanius. Florence, made for Alexander Farnese (later Pope Paul III) after 1490. This is a decorated manuscript, apparently. I wonder what the Argumenta are?

  • Egerton MS 2624, Thucydides, Historiae (TLG 0003.001) with numerous scholia and a few glosses added later. Florence, 1st half of the 14th century.

  • Egerton MS 3154, Geoponica (TLG 4080.001) attributed to Cassianus Bassus Scholasticus, imperfect. 16th century. This chap lived at the end of the 6th century and wrote on agricultural subjects. Which sounds dull, but since that was the foundation of ancient economies, it sometimes contains gems.

  • Royal MS 16 C III, Dionysius Periegetes, Orbis descriptio (TLG 0084.001), imperfect. Italy, N., end of the 15th century.

  • Royal MS 16 C XVII, Harpocration, Lexicon in decem oratores Atticos (TLG 1389.001), and Heraclitus, Allegoriae (=Quaestiones Homericae) (TLG 1414.001), imperfect. Possibly written in Italy, end of the 15th century.  The lexicon of Harpocration is probably more accessible here than anywhere else!

  • Royal MS 16 C XVIII, Scholia on the Greek Anthology of Planudes and Paraphrase of Aristotle’s Sophistici Elenchi. In two parts, bound together. Italy, N., end of the 16th century (part 1 contains a colophon dated 1580 in Venice).

  • Royal MS 16 C XXI, Aristotle, Ethica Nicomachea (TLG 0086.010), with copious Latin marginal notes, ff 3r-130v. Preceded by Latin and Greek notes, with some quotations from Greek authors, ff 1r-2v, and followed by Greek notes on f 131v. Possibly France, S?, 1st half of the 16th century.

  • Royal MS 16 C XXII, Aristotle, Ethica Nicomachea (TLG 0086.010), Books VIII-IX. Italy, Central, end of the 16th century.

  • Royal MS 16 C XXIV, Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae (TLG 0008.001), with glosses. Possibly written at Venice, 1st half of the16th century.

  • Royal MS 16 C XXV, Aristotle, De Anima (TLG 0086.002); Plato, extracts; [Plato], Definitiones (TLG 0059.037); Diogenes Laertius, Vitae Philosophorum (TLG 0004.001), Life of Epimenides. Possibly written in Messina, in the south of Italy, c 1500.

  • Royal MS 16 D X, Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae (epitome) (TLG 0008.003), with glosses, imperfect. Italy, Central, 1st half of the16th century.

  • Royal MS 16 D XII, John Tzetzes Homerica (&c), Eusebius Onomasticon, followed by bits connected with Oppian’s Halieutica, part of Philostratus’ Imagines, and a commentary on Hermogenes. Formerly three separate volumes, now bound together. 2nd half of the 16th century.

  • Royal MS 16 D XIII, Sextus Empiricus, with marginal notes by Isaac Casaubon. Italy, N. (Venice?), 2nd half of the 16th century.

  • Royal MS 16 D XIV, Works on grammar and prosody by Dionysius Thrax, George Choeroboscus, Heliodorus, Ammonius, Aelius Herodianus, Porphyry, etc. Italy, 2nd quarter of the 16th century.

  • Royal MS 16 D XVI, Polyaenus, Strategemata (TLG 0616.001), with marginal notes. Venice, mid-16th century.

  • Sloane MS 1774, Euripides, Hippolytus (TLG 0006.038) with marginal scholia in Greek and Latin. Italy, 16th century.

  • Yates Thompson MS 50, Aristophanes, with hypotheses, marginal scholia and interlinear glosses. End of the 15th century, possibly Venice.

There are quite a lot of interesting items in there (and more details and in some cases pictures in the BL blog post, although I have augmented one or two items above by looking at the full page).

  1. [1]With thanks to Cillian O’Hogan.  Sadly the manuscript links in this do not work.

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