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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Greek military treatises

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'> The manuscript contains two <i>Greek military treatises</i>, Onasander's Strategicus, on generalship, and Aelian's Tactics.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The codex is composite: it is formed by two main parts written around 1569 (parts I and IV), containing the two main texts, and three quires (parts II, III, V), all made up of the same paper, which were added not much later to restore the first text, and add some brief excerpts.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The main part of the manuscript (parts I and IV) was written by the Greek scribe Angelos Bergikios (16th c., first quarter-1569). Born in Crete, from 1539 he worked in Paris, where he was appointed by the king of France Francis I (1494-1547) as scriptor of the Royal Library of Fontainebleau. Bergikios' script was used as model for the <i>grecs du roi</i> typeface designed by Claude Garamond. The scribe, who copied these texts several times (see A. Dain, <i>Les manuscrits d'Onésandros</i>, Paris 1930 and A. Dain, <i>Histoire du texte d'Élien le Tacticien</i>, Paris 1946), wrote a colophon with the date of 1569 at <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(76);return false;'>f. 34v</a>, at the end of the first text (Onasander's Strategicus, part I of the manuscript). Nevertheless, since the second text was written by Bergikios on the same kind of paper, as shown by the watermark, the same date, or a very near one, can be accepted for the copying of both texts. In any case, the second text cannot have been written after 1569: the scribe died in this year, and this manuscript is his last known dated work (see Dain 1949, p. 333).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> As noted, parts II, III, V seem to be later additions. The watermark and the scripts of these leaves suggest that they originate in the second half of the 16th century. Part II is a quinion inserted in Onasander's text between two quires. It can be assumed that the text written by Bergikios was missing a part, probably due to the loss of a quire, and that this insertion was intended as a restoration. The scribe who copied this part (hand B), tried to adjust the insertion in Bergikios' text, but there are differences. The paper of the added quire is different, as are layout and script. The last word copied by hand B (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(60);return false;'>f. 26v</a>) is a repetition of the first word of the subsequent quire by Bergikios (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(61);return false;'>f. 27r</a>): the word has been underlined, probably in order to point out to the repetition, but maybe also in order to serve as a catchword for the insertion of the quire.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>As regards parts III and V, both are single quires made up of the same paper used for the inserted part II. Therefore it is likely that they were added to the main part of the manuscript at the same time. The leaves were probably originally blank, inserted respectively, between the two main texts of the manuscripts (part III, ff. 35-38), and at the end of the manuscript (part V, ff. v-viii). On the 2nd leaf of part III (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(79);return false;'>f. 36r</a>), and on the 3rd of part V (<a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(173);return false;'>f. vii recto</a>) were written small excerpts, related to the theme of war of the main texts. </p>

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