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Codicology:Paper, 402 x 225 mm, (15.9 x 8.8 in.), ff. 523 + 15,
35 lines to a page. Cent. xv.
a8 (wants 1) 110-5210 534 (1 canc.)
b8: p. 987 omitted in old foliation.
Traces of metal bosses (formerly on the cover) are visible on the first and last pages.
Additions:On f. ir notes by Parker:
Dominus huius Codicis Theodorus natus Tharso
cilicie ordinatus a Vitaliano papa etc. Ends: annos natus
lxvj: Romae Monachus. Matthaeus Cantaur.
b. In another hand (Joscelin's?):
Hic Theodorus vir et seculari et divina literatura grece et latine instructus neque unquam
prorsus ex quo Britanniam petierunt anglis feliciora fuere tempora etc.
c. In the same hand as the last:
Hic liber Theodori repertus in monasterio diui Augustini
Cantuariensis post dissolucionem et quasi proiectus inter laceras chartas illius cenobii
quem cumulum chartarum scrutatus quidam pistor quondam eiusdem cenobii invenit et domum portavit
monachis et aliis inhabitantibus idem cenobium inhabitantibus aut fugatis aut inde recedentibus. Sed
tandem foeliciter in manus Matthei Cantuariensis Archiepiscopi hic liber
devenit. quem ut ingentem thesaurum apud se asseruat. [Added: Et reponendum vult vel in communi
Bibliotheca Academie Cantabrigie, vel in fideli custodia mri collegii (qui pro tempore fuerit) Corporis
Christi et bte Marie ibidem.]
d. In a third
Manus commentarii greci est Theodori Archiepi. Quamdiu hic liber scriptus fuit antequam Theodorus
romam peruenerit, nescitur.
The other preliminary leaves are
Research:The resemblance in certain points between the hand of this
Homer and that of the Leicester Codex was noted by Dr J. Rendel Harris (Leicester Codex, p.
8). I am not at all sure that the two hands are not identical. This particular scribe
varied extraordinarily in his work. A Demosthenes at Leyden which has a
notice in the
hand that it was written in 1468
“by me Emmanuel of Constantinople”
and given to G. Neville Archbishop of York, would never have been identified as the work of the
Leicester scribe but for this notice. The Homer is rather strikingly like the Leicester hand: but is
written with a finer pen. That it was written and ornamented in Italy in
cent. xv there can be little doubt. It is quite possibly a production by Emmanuel of Constantinople in the period before he came to England.
I have elsewhere suggested (Sources, p. 9) that this book really belonged to Christ Church, Canterbury, and not St Augustine's, and that it
was brought over by Prior Sellinge. It is likewise clear that Parker was misled by the
Θεοδωρος on p.
1 of this book and so assigned it to Archbishop
Theodore and that this was the starting-point of his other similar and similarly absurd
The following note, which I found in Dr Masters's
copy of Stanley's Catalogue, preserved in the College
Library, suggests another origin for this Homer. I have been unable to identify the document to
which reference is made. It should obviously be a letter of an Italian humanist in the Harleian
collection. Possibly it may be well known to students, but personally I must confess to ignorance.
“Mem.: Humphrey Wanley, Librarian to the late Earl
of Oxford, told Mr Fran: Stanley, son of the author, a
little before his death, that in looking over some papers in the Earl's Library, he found a
Letter from a learned Italian to his Friend in England wherein he told
him there was then a very stately Homer just transcribed for Theodorus
Gaza, of whose Illumination he gives him a very particular description, which
answer'd so exactly in every part to that here set forth, that he [Wanley] was fully perswaded it was this very Book, and yt the
Θεοδωρος at the bottom
of 1st page order'd to be placed there by Gaza as his own name, gave
occasion to Abp. Parker to imagine it might have belonged to Theodore of Canterbury, which however Hody
was of opinion could not be of that age.”
Theodore Gaza died in 1478; the suggestion here made is
quite compatible with the hypothesis that Sellinge was the means of
conveying the Homer to England, and does supply a rather welcome
interpretation of the
Θεοδωρος -inscription. The
MS. was used by Joshua Barnes (1711), Paley (Iliad II lix), T. W. Allen (Odyssey, 1907; Iliad, 1908), etc.
Foliation: ff. a-b + i-vii + pp. 1-986 (987-988 missing) + 989-1070 + ff. viii-xv +
Language: Greek and Latin.
Homer, Iliad, with intermittent scholia
Below in Roman characters: Matthaeus Cantuar
Then in a hand not that of the main scribe
The initial M of the text is in gold, surrounded by white branch-work (Florentine)
on pink, blue, and greenish grounds
In the lower margin within a green wreath the name
in gold capitals. Probably not by the artist of the initial
Liber B has the beginning of an initial in ink. No more occur until Χ,
which have them sketched in ink. Ω has
The Iliad ends on p. 457
Quintus of Smyrna, Posthomerica
Quintus Calaber. Paraleipomena in libros Homeri in quatuordecim libros distincta
Initial in outline, and some to subsequent books
Ends p. 713. p. 714 blank
Homer, Odyssey, with intermittent
Initial to text in outline
Ends p. 1068 (really 1070)
Under this in a green wreath a bust of Homer(?), a
turbaned bearded man in red buttoned coat with green collar facing L.: ground blue with
Below this the Epitaph again in another hand in red: below it a
medallion like the first with similar ground: Athene
full-face with helmet, spear, and shield. These are by the artist of the
on p. 1
(1071-1072) blank; quire b (ff.
The Scholia are sparse in the Iliad and only more copious in the Odyssey. They are very
likely not by the scribe of the text: but I am not sure of this