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Parker Library On the Web Manuscripts in the Parker Library at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 456: Iohannes de Sacro Bosco, Tractatus de sphaera. Alexander de Villa Dei, Algorismus. Richard of Bury, Philobiblon. Secreta secretorum.

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Title:
Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, MS 456: Iohannes de Sacro Bosco, Tractatus de sphaera. Alexander de Villa Dei, Algorismus. Richard of Bury, Philobiblon. Secreta secretorum.
Alternate Title:
Joh. de Sacro Bosco, etc. Philobiblon Ric. de Bury. Secreta Secretorum
Language:
Latin
Extent:
ff. 1 + 12 + 88 + 69
Approximate Date:
[ca. 1375 - 1399]
Collection:
Parker Manuscripts
Description:
CCCC MS 456 is a late fourteenth-century manuscript that contains miscellaneous texts, some of them scientific. These include Iohannes de Sacro Bosco (fl. early thirteenth century), Tractatus de sphaera, the treatise by Richard of Bury (1281-1345) on the collection and study of books, the Philobiblon, Alexander de Villa Dei (c. 1170-c. 1240) Algorismus, and the Latin translation of the Arabic version of the Secretum secretorum by Philip of Tripoli (fl. c. 1243), which is also in CCCC MS 407. This last work, popular in the later Middle Ages, is a compilation of advice on political and ethical matters directed towards rulers. In addition, there are three anonymous astronomical and mathematical treatises. Of all of these texts, it was surely Richard of Bury's Philobiblon that attracted Parker to this manuscript, since the Archbishop and the erstwhile bishop of Durham shared a love of books not simply for their contents, but as objects in themselves.