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Pembroke College : Contra fatum

Gregory, of Nyssa, Saint, approximately 335-approximately 394

Pembroke College

<p style='text-align: justify;'>This manuscript, which may be dated to the late 16th or early 17th century, contains the treatise by <i>Gregory of Nyssa, <i>Contra fatum</i></i> (Κατὰ εἰμαρμένης), written between 381 and 383 CE. In this short work, Gregory defends the liberty of the will against the theory of astrological fatalism. The manuscript contains in its margins a good number of variant readings, in all likelihood taken from other manuscripts or proposed by the scribe and preceded by <i>fortasse</i> or <i>f</i>.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The manuscript was donated to Pembroke College Library in January 1617 by Matthew Wren (1585-1667, president of Pembroke College from 1616 and prime figure in the history of the College in 17th century): he noted the gift in the <a target='_blank' class='externalLink' href=''>Benefactors' Book (Pembroke College MS LC II.77, f. 42r)</a>, which he compiled himself. The date also appears on <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(1);return false;'>f. [i] recto</a>. The manuscript was thought lost for a long time. It did not appear in the revised copy of the Wren's register drawn up by Clement Chevallier in 1799, nor in M.R. James' catalogue of 1905. However, it probably never left Pembroke College: it was apparently transferred to a different section of the library from where the rest of the manuscripts were kept and was forgotten about, until it was found once more in 2019 by the College Librarian, Genny Grim, during a survey of the Library's rare book holdings.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Dr Matteo Di Franco</p>

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