London, British Library, Harley MS 3595

Library catalogue

Boethius, De arithmetica, De musica, RAL and AgrimensoresBoethiusRevised Aratus LatinusBoethius, Geometria

Aratea text: Revised Aratus Latinus

Parchment — ii (paper) + 73 fols. + ii (paper) — West Germany / Cologne (?) — s. X-XI

Support: Foliated in pencil in the top right corner of each recto page.

Binding: Modern binding (1966). The front and back of the pre-modern 'Harleian' red-leather binding are glued on the innerside of the modern binding.

History: Mayr-Harting (p. 248), who studied the glosses to Boethius' De arithmetica, considered that Harley 3595 was a Cologne manuscript, by provenance and possibly by origin. On the lower margin of f.1r ownership inscription "E. Benzelius" referring to Erik Benzelius (1675-1743), the archbishop of Sweden. For the later provenance see Cyril Ernest Wright,Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 70-71, 169, 367.

Selected bibliography: Mayr-Harting, Henry.Church and Cosmos in Early Ottonian Germany: The View from Cologne. Oxford: OUP, 2007 (pp. 240, 242, 248). — Folkerts (1970), pp. 4-5 and 113-171. — Bower, C. M. "Boethius' De Institutione Musica: A Handlist of Manuscripts." Scriptorium 42 (1988): 205-51 (p. 221)[with additional bibliography] — Gibson, M. T. and Lesley Smit (eds.) Codices Boethiani: A Conspectus of Manuscripts of the Works of Boethius. Vol. I: Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. London: Warburg Institute, 1995. (No. 129 pp. 148-49). — Wright, Cyril Ernest. Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum. London: British Museum, 1972 (pp. 70-71, 169, 367).

Part I (ff. 1r-56v):

Parchment — 56 fols. — 285 × 200 mm — s. X

Layout: Written in one column throughout; about 30 long lines. Written space: 220 × 150 mm

Script: Caroline minuscule. Complete word-division. Ligature: st, & as well as e-caudata. Specific letters: "a" with an upright stroke and a small lower-positioned lobe. For incipit and explicit used Capitalis rustica.

Hands: There are two principal hands. One writing ff.1r-48v and a second one responsible for ff. 50r-56v.

1r-48v Boethius: De arithmetica Incipiunt duo libri artis arithmeticae anitii manlii· severini· boethii· uiri clari· et inlustri· ex consulis ordine· patricii· Domino suo patritio Symmacho boethius· In dandis accipiendisque muneribus ita recte offitia … — … (48r) huius descriptio[nis] subter exemplar subiecimus. On f. 48v a diagram with four rectangulars "geometrica", "arithmetica", "armonica", "consonantiae". Many interlienar and marginal glosses, tables and figures.

50r-56v Boethius: De institutione musica (imperfect) Book I, ch. 13-16 and sections from Book II and III.

Part II (f. 49):

Parchment — 1 fols. — 285 × 200 — s. X

Layout: Written in one column throughout; around 30 lines per page. Written space: 220 × 150

Script: Caroline minuscule, probably from the s. X.

Hands: Less skilled hand struggling to keep the letters even on the line.

49r-v Revised Aratus Latinus (fragment with sections: Perseus, Pleiades, and Lyra) […]inter astra collocatus eo quod iupiter in similitudinem aurei imbris … — … sedens in monte puggeo expectans solis ortum missis a libero patre[…] Illustration of Perseus (49r) and the Pleiades as medaillons (49v).

Part III (ff. 57r-73v):

Parchment — 17 fols. — 275 × 185 — s. XI2/4-3/4

Layout: Written in one column throughout; around 30 lines per page. Written space: 225 × 135

Script: 57r-73v: Praegothica (early example). Slanting to the right; Laterally compressed letter bodies; the stroke of a is upright; the lower lobe of g is foro the most part closed, but not connected to the upper one; the feet of the last minims of m and n break to the right; long s and r go often below base line; the tongue of e point to two o'clock; round d used side-by-side with straight d; ligatures still used st, ct, &; e-caudata.

On f. 73vprobatio pennae with golden colour "auri pigmenti probatio" and "aureus iste color".

57r-68r Ps-Boethius: Geometry II Incipit liber primus Geometriae Euclidis a boetio in latinum translata Quia uero mi patrici geometrum exercitatissime euclidis de artis geometricae … — … In puncto autem duo minuta et dimidium et in minuto IIII momenta esse asseruerunt. Epilogus finitur. Si quis uero de controuersiis et de qualitatibus et nominibus agrorum de que limitibus et de statibus controuersiarum scire desideret· Iulium frontinum necnon vrbicum agenumlectitet (?). Nos uero haec ad praesens dicta dixisse sufficiat. Geometrical figures within the body of the text and in the outer margin. Folkerts (1970), pp. 113-171.

68r-72r Treatise on gromatics and geometry partly based onLiber podismi and Geometria incerti auctoris (sections: IV 1, 17, 10, 3-7 (imperfect), 2, 7 (imperfect) 8, 10-13, 28, 9, 14-16, 29-42, 18, 43-44, 27, 22-24, 26, 45-47; III 9; IV 48-50). Mensurarum genera sunt tria· rectum, planum, solidum … — … nisi mira in eis fuerit diuersitas. Bubnov 1899, pp. 510 and 317-365.

72r-73v Series of short texts on measures, their signs and conversion:

Abreviated Literature:

Abbo, CommentaryPeden, Alison M., ed. Abbo of Fleury and Ramsey: Commentary on the Calculus of Victorius of Aquitaine. Oxford: OUP, 2003.
Bubnov 1899Gerberti postea Silvestri II papae Opera mathematica 972-1003. Ed. Nicolai Bubnov. Berlin: Friedländer, 1899.
Folkerts (1970)Folkerts, Menso. Boethius' Geometrie II, ein mathematisches Lehrbuch des Mittelalters. Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1970.

(last change: 2021-06-14)
How to quote: Ivana Dobcheva, 'London, British Library, Harley MS 3595 - Aratea Digital' ( last update: 2021-06-14).