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Western Medieval Manuscripts : Commentary on Porphyry's Isagoge

Western Medieval Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, written on paper, contains an early 16th-century copy of the <i>Commentary on Porphyry's Isagoge</i> ascribed to the philosopher Elias (6th century AD), from the school of Olympiodorus at Alexandria.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The text is incomplete and untitled; the <i>lemmata</i> from Porphyry are very extended, to the point that it is possible to read the text. Citations and <i>lemmata</i> from Porphyry or other sources are usually marked by quotation symbols (<i>diple</i>) in margins, by small initials of various sizes in red ink, or occasionally notes in red ink in the margins (e.g. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(17);return false;'>f. 3r</a> abbreviation for ἀπόδειξις and ἀνάλυσις, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(18);return false;'>f. 3v</a> κείμενον). The largest citations are usually introduced by κείμενον (preceded sometimes by the chapter title: e.g. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(15);return false;'>f. 2r</a> εἰσαγωγή πορφυρίου, <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(22);return false;'>f. 5v</a> περὶ γένους), Elias' commentary is usually introduced by ἐξήγησις in red ink.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The text is closely linked to Vind. Phil. gr. 69 (ca. 1500): both of the manuscripts bear the same omissions and additions, and terminate at the same point. Nn.1.24 also includes a brief extract from another commentator of Porphyry, Ammonius Hermiae, cited continuously with the commentary of Elias.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The codex is written by Nikolaos (RGK I 330), a scribe who also copied <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Queens' College MS 33 (20 James)</a> (ff. 1r-148v) and <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Gonville & Caius MS 76/43</a> (ff. 35r-66v), and worked with Zacharias Callierges, Cretan printer in Venice. It was donated to Cambridge University Library by Cuthbert Tunstall (b. 1474, d. 1559) between 1528 and 1529 (the date "4th July 1528" on the pastedown of left cover was added by a later hand and depends on a draft letter of gratitude from the University, dated 4th July without a year, UA CUR 31). The manuscript was bound (see f. <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(3);return false;'>[i] recto</a>) with <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''> Cambridge, University Library, Inc.2.B.146[1853]</a>, which contains two incunabula: Ammonius Hermiae, <i>Commentarii in quinque voces Porphyrii</i> (<a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>ISTC ia00565000</a>; Oates 1997 no. 2218), and Simplicius, <i>Hypomnemata in Aristotelis categorias</i> (<a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>ISTC is00535000</a>; Oates 1997 no. 2217), both printed by Zacharias Callierges for Nicolaus Blastos, Venice 1500 and 1499 respectively. In all likelihood, these three volumes were bound together at the moment of the donation, and were among the first Greek texts that entered the Library's collection.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Matteo Di Franco</p>

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