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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Rhetoric


Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript Ff.5.8 is a 12th or 13th century parchment copy of the treatise by <i>Aristotle, <i>Rhetoric</i></i> (<i>Ars rhetorica</i>), on the art of persuasion. Identified as witness F of the textual tradition (see Kassel 1971, <i>Der Text der aristotelischen Rhetorik</i>), it is the second oldest manuscript copy of Aristotle's treatise, after <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''> Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, grec 1741</a> (siglum A, dated to the second half of 10th century).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The Cambridge manuscript bears some marginal comments by Demetrios Chalkondyles (ca. 1424 - ca. 1511), one of the most eminent Greek <i>émigré</i> scholars active in Italy. The manuscript was owned by the humanist Antonio Seripando (1476-1531), who inherited the library of Aulus Janus Parrhasius (1470-1522). The unusual oblong format suggests an Italian origin, although the characteristics of the writing are attributable to a Constantinopolitan background.</p><p>The manuscript is the progenitor of the richest branch of the textual tradition in terms of number of descendants, and six preserved manuscripts are direct copies of it (see the stemma in Kassel 1971): Vatican City, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Palatinus gr. 23 (sigled Z); <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''> Vatican City, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Vaticanus gr. 1340</a> (Y); <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''> Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Baroccianus 133</a>; Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, Matr. 4684 (de Andrés 134); <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''> Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, grec 2038</a> (D); Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Laur. Plut. 31.14.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Matteo Di Franco</p>

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