Sidney Sussex College : Excerpts from Greek historical texts and notes

Sidney Sussex College

<p style='text-align: justify;'> This manuscript contains <i> Excerpts from Greek historical texts and notes</i>, written by an English scholar at the end of the 17th century.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The codex contains writing at the front and the rear, with a large number of blank leaves in the middle. The scribe rotated the volume in order to write the texts at the rear of the manuscript, and started to write from the back, as if it was the front: therefore, in the last part of the manuscript, the text appears upside down and the order is backwards.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> At one end of the codex the scribe copied notes and transcriptions in English and Latin, from Cuspinianus' commentary on Cassiodorus' <i> Consules Romani</i> (1553) and Henschenius' apparatus to the Pontifical Chronology (1685), and a series of excerpts, in Greek, from Flavius Josephus' <i> Antiquitates Iudaicae</i> and Herodotus' <i> Historiae</i>. The excerpts are arranged in chronological order, from the time of Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, to the pharaoh Chephren (ca. 2575-2465 BCE). </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> At the other end, the same scribe copied excerpts from two Byzantine chronicles, the <i> Chronicon Paschale</i> ('Easter or Paschal Chronicle'), and George Synkellos' <i> Ekloge chronographias</i> (<i> Ecloga chronographica</i>, 'Selection from Chronographers'); the extracts were copied from two printed editions, of 1688 and 1652 respectively. The year 1688 is therefore a <i> terminus ante quem non</i> for the production of the manuscript (i.e. the date before which it cannot have been copied). The manuscript was possibly copied before 1701, since this date is cited in a note on the left pastedown, which seems to be related to the acquisition of the volume. This time span is confirmed by the watermarks found in the manuscript. </p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The material collected in the manuscript suggests that the scribe, probably an English scholar, was possibly preparing a work on ancient chronology (see M.R. James, <i>A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge</i> (Cambridge, 1895), p. 125).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Dr Erika Elia</p>


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