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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Aristides Quintilianus

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>MS Kk.5.6 contains a treaty on music dating to about the 3rd century CE, <i> De musica</i>, written by <i>Aristides Quintilianus</i>. This work occupies the main part of the manuscript (part I, ff. [i]-[iii], 1-64, 70-74), and it was copied in the 16th century by a well-known scribe active in Italy, Camillo Zanetti (first half of the 16th century-after 1587). He also transcribed this same text on other occasions: for instance, in Venice in 1562, which copy is now Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, MS gr. 2455 (see History, with refereneces). </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Another slightly later hand (hand B) added marginal annotations to Aristides Quintilianus' text, which are mostly collations from other manuscripts and critical notes. Furthermore, this hand traced a series of diagrams from another music treaty, Manuel Bryennius' <i> Harmonica</i>, on leaves that had been left blank by Zanetti. Hand B, moreover, wrote notes on Aristides Quintilianus' <i> De musica</i> in part II of the manuscript (ff. 65-69), which is a single quire of smaller paper leaves. These notes are written in Latin, and refer to passages in the text of MS Kk.5.6 (part I), using the pagination present on ff. 1r-55v (see Foliation). In his marginalia and in his notes in part II, hand B mentions the sources of his variant readings or observations as " mi", " ma" and " p" (or " pi"). Hand B was probably a scholar of western European origin. It is possible to identify his hand in a manuscript now in Paris - <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, gr. 2534</a> - which contains extracts and notes on both Aristides Quintilianus' <i> De musica</i> and Manuel Bryennius'<i> Harmonica</i>. Further evidence proves the connection, beyond that afforded by the identification of the handwriting. For instance, on ff. 47v-48r of Par. gr. 2534, hand B comments, in Italian, on the word διαστηματικός in the work of Manuel Bryennius, which is, in his opinion, a corruption of the term διαστατικός or διασταλτικός. He then refers to the use of this last term in Aristides Quintilianus' work. In the margin, he added a note (f. 48r), in Italian, " Del mio p. 29 v. penult. et ult.", 'See page 29 of my (book), the last and penultimate (line)". This must be a reference to page 29 (= <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(37);return false;'> f. 15r</a>) of Kk.5.6: in the last two lines of this page, which is in the part of the manuscript containing the work of Aristides Quintilianus, three terms have been underlined in red, among them διασταλτικός. In the right margin, hand B added a note, explaining that this term stands in the manuscript for διαστατικός. This identification enables us to identify Kk.5.6 as 'the book' to which hand B referred. Hand B was probably a scholar with a keen interest in ancient music theory, and was probably Italian, since he wrote his notes in 2534 in this language. His hand can be found also in another manuscript - <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''> Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, gr. 2533</a>, ff. 19r-82v - which contains notes and transcriptions on mathematical, musical, and tactical texts. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Manuscript Kk.5.6 is currently bound as the first part of a single volume with three other manuscripts, Kk.5.7, 8 and 9.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Dr Erika Elia</p>

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