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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Aristotle

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript is a collection of ethical treatises by the philosopher <i>Aristotle</i> or attributed to him. MS Ii.5.44 was copied for the monastery of S. Salvatore in <i>Lingua Phari</i> (near modern-day Messina), an important centre of Italo-Greek monasticism in Sicily, and was completed on 16th June 1279. The copyist presents himself in the colophon as Nikolaos "ἀναγνώστης τῶν ὡρῶν". This means "reader of the hours", so he may have been a novice of the monastery, appointed as "lector at the Hours". A more likely explanation, however, is that it describes his own origins as a member of the Greek clergy of the city of Ora in Apulia.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Nikolaos seems also to have copied <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''> Vatican City, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Vaticanus gr. 1342</a>, which is not signed but considered the twin of this manuscript, given the identical contents. Together, they constitute the <i>recensio Messanensis</i> of Aristotle's ethical treatises.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The copyist Nikolas seems to have copied the text of the eighth book of <i>Ethica Nicomachea</i> up to the third line of <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(187);return false;'>f. 86r</a> and, realizing that there was a lacuna, has left a line and a half empty (ll. 3-4). The lacuna was filled in the late 15th century with an insertion in the eleventh quire of a binion, probably copied by Baldassar Migliavacca. This scribe, besides having left notes in the margins on the whole manuscript, has also erased the text of the first three lines of <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(187);return false;'>f. 86r</a> to make his intervention match with the text copied by Nikolaos.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript is signed C or Cc in the editions.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Matteo Di Franco</p>

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