Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS NAL 1614 (draft description)


Boethius: De arithmetica; RAL; Excerptum de astrologia; De ordine ac positione

Aratea text: Revised Aratus Latinus; Excerptum de astrologia; De ordine ac positione

Parchment — 99 fols. — 350 × 235 mm — Abbey Saint-Martin Tours (?) — s. IX1

Support: The manuscript constist of at least two codicological units as becomes clear by the different quire marks. In the first part O (f.8v), P (f.16v), Q (f.24v), R (f.32v), S (f.38v), T (f.46v) and V (f.54v); in the second part I (f.82v), II (f.88v), and III (f.96v). Consequently a tentative formula for the second part (with the Aratean texts) would look like as follows: I6 (ff.77-82), II7-1 (ff.82-88, missing one after f.83), III8 (ff.89-96), IV4-1 (ff.97-99, missing one after f. 99). Missing at least two folia (after f.83 and f.99). Damage by ff. 88, 94 and 97 (partially cut or torn).

Layout: Written in 27-28 long lines.

Script: Caroline minuscule.

Selected Bibliography:Blume, Dieter, Mechthild Haffner, and Wolfgang Metzger. Sternbilder des Mittelalters: der gemalte Himmel zwischen Wissenschaft und Phantasie. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2012, pp. 454-460. — McGurk, Patrick, and J. Nelson. “Carolingian Astrological Manuscripts.” In Charles the Bald. Court and Kingdom, edited by M. Gibson, 317–32. Oxford, 1981.

History: This manuscript was once part of a larger MS produced in Tours (Abbey St. Martin), according to Borst after 825, under the Anglo-Saxon abbot Fridugis. In its original form it consisted of 20 mostly quarto-quires of parchment, with quire-marks on the verso of the last folio - A to V. This MS is currently divided into 4 parts:

— The manuscript was divided in four parts in 1842 by Guglielmo Libri Carucci dalla Sommaja.

1r-75r De arithmetica libri duo Boethius. Domino Patri Symmacho Boethius In dandis accipiendisque muneribus ita recte. … — … differentia eius autem disciptionis subter exemplar abiecimus. Interlinear and marginal glosses with signes de renvoi; diminish in quantity after the first six folios and then disappear completely. Illo Humphrey, “Boethi De institutione arithmetica libri duo: Étude proto-philologique”, in Carmina Philosophiae (Journal of the International Boethius Society, USA), n° 14, 2005, pp. 57–158.

75v-76r Diagrams: f.75v tree diagram about arithmetic; f.76r diagrams on the division of science : f.76v Title "in ulterior pagina description incipit geometria" followed by four diagramatic tables.

77r-93v RAL

93v-94r Excerptum de astrologia Excerptum de astrologia Duo sunt extremi uertices mundi quos appellant polos. … — … quia ad ipsum usque decurrit accipiens. The text was probably accompanied by a depiction of the planisphere on 94v, which was later cut out, leaving a large circular hole in the middle of the folio. This caused also text damage on the recto.

95r-99 De ordine ac positione De ordine ac positione stellarum per signa Est quidem hic ordo et position syderum … — … ((Drawing of Nauis) ) usque ad malum figuratur. 27 drawings of the constellations, marking the stars with tiny crosses in and around the figures following the instructions in the text (or the exemplar); the drawing were placed before the text; for the RAL und the De ordine were used different pictorial cycles executed most probably by the same artist. f. 97 (text and drawings of Auriga, Taurus, Cepheus, Cassiepia, Andromeda and Equus) is almost complete cut off; only part of the inner margin with few words survive. The text ends up with the section on the constellation Navis missing the last nine constellations, which probably fitted one folio (Hydra, Corvus and Crater depicted together), thus making the last quire a quarto.

(draft version: 2018-11-04)
How to quote: Ivana Dobcheva, 'Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS NAL 1614 - Aratea Digital' ( last update: 2018-11-04).