Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS 735 C


Texts on astronomy

Aratea text: Germanicus, Aratea; Scholia Basileensia

Parchment — i + 47 + i fols. — 235 × 165 mm — Limoges area — ca. 1000; ca. 1150

Support: The manuscript comprises two codicological units. Part 1:I6 (ff.1-6), II4 (ff.7-10), III8 (ff.11-18), IV8(-6) (ff.19-20, lost 6 folia after f. 20), V6(ff. 21-26). Part 2: I-II8 (ff.27-34 and 35-42), III6 (ff. 43-48). Judging by the abrupt end of the final paragraph, the last quire is missing several folios. Modern foliation with pencil in the upper right corner: 1-47. Previous pagination with pencil marking every recto again in the upper right corner: 1-93. A large hole on f. 45 extending for 18 lines occured probably by the production of the parchment (text is written around it).

Layout: ff. 1r-3r and 24v written in 2 columns, around 44 long lines. Rustic used for headings; Capitalis for incipit and explicit. Initials for opening paragraphs or sections. Red colour used to highlight incipit/explicit and fill up the initials and the majuscle at the beginning of sentences. The verses in Germanicus'Aratea begin with versalsLayout: ff. 5v-47v written in 1 columns, around 44 long lines.

Script: Both codicological part are written in caroline minuscule; Part 2 exihibts insular features.

Hands: In Part 1 there are three main hands: Hand A copied ff.1r-16v and 21r-23r, Hand B ff.16v-20v, Hand C finished the text on ff. 23v-24v. Folio 2va, line 13 to the end of the page was copied by a firth hand. Part 2 was copied by one main hand. Exceptions on ff. 38r-39r and 42v where two other hands join in for short sessions.

Binding: According to a note on the first flying leaf the manuscript was rebacked in the original blind-tooled 17th-century English binding at N.L.W.

History: Part 1 was copied around 1000 in the Limoges area (MsGurk) and came from the circle of Adémar de Chabannes (989-1034). Part 2 was copied possibly in Wales (McGurk/Bischoff) in the mid 12th c. — The manuscript must have been in London in the 17th c., where it got its new binding. — Arrived in the National Library of Wales in 1913 from Thomas Lloyd's family home.

Selected bibliography:Sternbilder des Mittelalters, pp. 179-184, plates 1-23. — P. McGurk, "Germanici Caesaris Aratea cum scholiis; a new illustrated witness from Wales,"National Library of Wales Journal, xviii (1973-4), 197-216.Munk Olsen, Catalogue 1, pp. 404-5, 525. — Munk Olsen, L’ étude 4,2, pp. 116, 200, 289. — Le Boeuffle (2002), p. LII. — Le Boeuffle (1975). — Dell'Era (1979). — Blume (2000), p. 274. — Eastwood (1981). — Eastwood (2002), pp. 281- — Haffner, 58. — Dekker, chapter 3.1 and 3.2 and pp. 227-8 esp. — Mütherich (1989), pp. 32 and 34.

Part 1:

1r-2v Boniface: Carmina acrosticha De veritate. Vincere menulli [!] possunt sed per dere multi … — … Falsior inter nos probatur nulla sororum. Explicit de VIII viciies principalis. MGH Poetae lat. aevi carol., pp. 6-14

3r Verse from the so called Appendix Vergiliana, De est et non. Versus prisciani eloquentissimi viri de est et non incipiunt Est et non cuncti monosyllaba nota frequentant … — … Qualis uita hominum duo quam monosyllaba uersant. Last five verses written in a pailer ink. In the lower half of the page schema with 3 trios of contrasting conditions in 9 lines "summum bonum, magnum bonum, bonum" , "creat et non creatur, creatur et non moritur, creatur et moritur" and "movet et non movetur, movetur tempore et non loco, movetur tempore et loco". From each of these nine conditions begins a line with text, which cross each other, so that from every group of three conditions the first, second and third are joined to one point.

3v-4r Two drawings of the two hemispheres (divided by the colures) with the constellations and a band for the zodiacal ones. On f. 3v the illustrator left two unfinished circle diagrams, the one to the right having seven concentric circles. On f. 4r two figures, presumably Aratus receiving a crown from the muse Urania.

4v Verses with heading "De circulo superiori", "De circulo saturni", "De circulo phetontis id est iovis", "De circulomaultis (?) id est martis", "De circulo elyos id est solis", "De circulo veneris id est luciferi", "De circulo stilbontis id est mercurii", and "De circulo lunae". De cirylo superiori. Aplanes superam centron dixere priores … — … De circulo lunae. Primo luna gradu terrae confinialisque (?) Rheims MS. 1263, 98v-99 (based on P. McGurk's description). Catalogue général des manuscrits des bibliothèques publiques de France : Départements, Reims, vol. 39, 1. Paris 1904, p. 360. Drawing of the zodiacal band in a circle, within which are drawn further circle with the planets. The circles for the Sun, Venus and Mercury crossing each other.

5r Unfinished drawings of the two hemispheres with the constellations this time the two circles are joined not at the side like in the previous drawing on f. 3v-4r, but are positioned so that the upper circle has its south pole up and north pole down, while the lower circle its north pole up and south down. Around the drawings short texts almost illegible "Sub pedibus nostris antarcticus iste iacebis (?) […] Circulus hic nostris iugit subiectus ocellis (?). Contrariet et […] et gentes frigora uentos."

5v-7r Ps-Cicero: In Sallustium Controversia ciceronis in salustium incipit Ea demum magna uoluptas est C. Sallusti, aequalem ac parem uerbis uitam agere … — … sed ut ea dicam, si qua ego honeste effari possim. Loeb 462, pp. 372-391.

7r-v Ps-Sallustius: In Ciceronem Salustii in Ciceronem Grauiter et iniquo animo maledicta tua paterer, M. Tulli, si te scirem iudicio magis quam morbo … — … neque in hac neque in ill parte fidem habens. Finit controversia S.

7v Ps. Priscianus: De sideribus Incipit epitome phenomenon id est apparatio sive apparencia Prisciani grammatici versibus XII de sideribus Ad boreę partes arcti uertuntur et anguis … — … Celsior his saturnus tardior omnibus astris.

7v-9v Cicero: Somnium Scipionis Somnivm scipionis M. Tulli Ciceronis excerptum ex libro VI. de re pvblica Cum in afficam uenissem a manilio consule ad quartam legionem tribunus … — … Ille discessit, ego somno solutus. Explicit.

10r blank.

10v Drawing of planisphere with five concentric circles for the celestial zones and another band for the Zodiac. Skillful depictions of the constellations within the circles.

11r blank.

11v-24v Germanicus: Aratea(Family O) vv. 1-232 and 433-582. T. Claudii Caesaris Arati phoenomena Ab ioue principium magno deducit aratus … — (23r)Quod sine nube caua solis uia forta latebit.

T. Claudii Cesaris phenomena explicit feliciter deo gratias. Illustrations of the constellations (on ff.12r, 13r-15r, 16r, 17r-v, 18v-21v) and on f. 11v Aratus and Urania pointing to a globe, f. 12r Zeus with an eagle.

25r Drawing of a planisphere this time the constellations are marked with labels within the celestial circles.


Part 2:

Hyginus: De astronomia Iginvs M. Fabio plvrimam salvtem Et si te studio grammatice artis inductum non solum … — … annum voluerunt esse cum sol ab estivo circulo redeat. Deo gratias. Marginal drawing on f. 47r of the planets. Most of Book one, two and three with decorated initials. Interlienar gloss to most of Book one.

Abreviated Literature:

Blume (2000)Blume, Dieter. Regenten des Himmels. Astrologische Bilder in Mittelalter und Renaissance. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2000.
DekkerDekker, Elly. Illustrating the Phaenomena: Celestial Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Oxford: OUP, 2012.
Dell'Era (1979)Dell'Era, Antonio. "Una rielaborazione dell'Arato latino." In Studi Medievali ser. 3, 20:1 (1979): 269-302.
Eastwood (1981)Eastwood, Bruce Stansfield. "Notes on the Planetary Configuration in Aberystwyth N.L.W. Ms. 735 C, f. 4v." The National Library of Wales Journal 22 (1981): 129-140.
Eastwood (2002)Eastwood, Bruce Stansfield. “Origins and Contents of the Leiden Planetary Configuration (ms. Voss. Q.79, F. 93v): An Artistic Astronomical Schema of the Early Middle Ages.” In Eastwood, The Revival of Planetary Astronomy in Carolingian and Post-Carolingian Europe, 1–47, 2002.
HaffnerHaffner, Mechthild. Ein antiker Sternbilderzyklus und seine Tradierung in Handschriften vom frühen Mittelalter bis zum Humanismus: Untersuchungen zu den Illustrationen der “Aratea” des Germanicus. Hildesheim: Olms, 1997.
Le Boeuffle (1975)Germanicus. Les phénomènes d’Aratos. Edited by André Le Boeuffle. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1975.
Le Boeuffle (2002)Hyginus. L’astronomie. Edited by André LeBoeuffle. 2nd ed. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2002.
Munk Olsen, Catalogue 1Munk Olsen, Birger. L’ étude Des Auteurs Classiques Latins Aux XIe et XIIe Siècles. Vol. I. Catalogue des manuscrits classiques latins copiés du IXe. au XIIe siècle: Apicius - Juvénal. Paris: CNRS, 1982.
Munk Olsen, L’ étude 4,2Munk Olsen, Birger. L’ étude Des Auteurs Classiques Latins Aux XIe et XIIe Siècles. Vol. IV,2. La réception de la littérature classique: manuscrits et textes. Paris: CNRS, 2014.
Mütherich (1989)Mütherich, Florentine. “Die Bilder.” In Aratea. Faksimile Der Handschrift Ms. Voss. Lat. Q.79 Der Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, 2:31–78. Luzern: Faksimile-Verl., 1989.
Sternbilder des MittelaltersBlume, Dieter, Mechthild Haffner, and Wolfgang Metzger. Sternbilder des Mittelalters: der gemalte Himmel zwischen Wissenschaft und Phantasie. Vol. I, 1: Text und Katalog der Handschriften. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012.

(last change: 2018-05-31)
How to quote: Ivana Dobcheva, 'Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS 735 C - Aratea Digital' (https://github.com/ivanadob/aratea-data/blob/master/data/descriptions/desc__aberystwyth_nlw_735c.xml last update: 2018-05-31).