Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 4 (S.1.4)
Images: [ MS Hunter 4 fol. 2r ] [ MS Hunter 4 fol. 136r ]
Associated Websites: Images and caption from English Language manuscripts course material web page.
Date of Creation: Between 1099 and 1199
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: S. Evsebii Hieronymi, Libri de Viris Illvstribvs Capitvlvm XIII [St Jerome's Appreciation of Joesphus in Chapter 13 of Lives of Famous Men];
Flavii Josephi, Historiae Antiquitatis Judaicae [Josephus' Jewish Antiquities];
Flavii Josephi, Historia Belli Judaici [Josephus' Jewish War].
Young and Aitken (1908) noted that on the verso of second fly-leaf (i, 2) two book plates of the Bibl. Hunt. Gl. are superimposed on one another. However, these are no longer present.
On 1 recto (formerly given as 1, 3 recto) top: liber de monasterio (decimus tercius?) [sancte Marie] de... [erasure], where Dr. James conjectures "radingis," i.e. Reading Abbey.
On 291 verso (formerly given as 37, 6) verso in XVI. Cent. hand: liber thome Marowe.
On same page, lower, in the same hand: Absit mihi gloriari nisi in XPO Jhu Dno nostro. Under this in a later hand (XVI.-XVII. Cent.): Liber Joannis Lavender ex dono thome | marow.
Initials of Anglo-Saxon type (?).
[Formerly R.1.8; R.1.9].
According to Trésors (Brussels, 1963): Flavius Josèphe. Oeuvres. Glasgow University, Hunterian ms. 4 (S.1.4). Parchemin; 299 f.; 454 x 324 mm.; Anglais, XIIe siècle; Reliure: début du XVIIIe siècle, carton couvert de cuir de Russie à grain, pourpre (déteint), dos lambrissé avec couronnes de comte. Planche I. Le manuscript contient les Antiquitates Judaicae et le De bello Judaico de Josèphe, l'historien juif (ca. 37-ca. 100), ainsi que l'appréciation de saint Jérome sur Josèphe dans les Libri de viris illustribus, chap. XIII. Les oeuvres de Josèphe furent fort appréciées par les Pères de l'Église qui s'en inspirèrent pour leur apologétique; elles sont parmi les oeuvres d'histoire les plus couramment représentées dans les bibliothèques monastiques de l'Angleterre médiévale. Ce manuscrit est un excellent exemple d'écriture anglaise d'une période importante de production de livres. Le scriptorium d'où il provient n'est pas connu, mais, selon M.R. James, un ex-libirs effacé se rapporterait à l'abbaye de Reading. Le livre contient un certain nombre de magnifiques initiales romanes, de feuillages entrelacés et de bêtes fantastiques [magnificent Romanesque twisted and foliated initials and fantastic beasts].
Bibl.: Young & Aitkin, Catalogue, p. 6-7.
(Trésors, Brussels, 1963, p. 3.)
Penwork interlace, figures and grotesques variously on fols 1r, 2r, 64r, 98r, 136r, 156v (angel), 165r, 204r
Arrangement: List Item Content
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 17 3/4 x 12½, ff. 291 (according to Young and Aitken ff. 299, originally ff. 302), double cols. of 51 lines, each 13½ x 4, margined and ruled with bodkin, signatures, no catchwords or foliation, illuminated initials (most outlined in ink), red, blue, green and purple capitals. Incipits and Explicits in coloured caps throughout, rare marginalia, clean, well preserved, fol. sec. EVSEBII. Cent. XII.
Binding: Millboards, covered crimson (faded to brown), grained Russia, gilt-tooled edges, sides (lines), and panelled back, showing Earl's coronets, title (gilt): JOSEPHUS | MS. Early Cent. XVIII.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 6.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: Latin
Material Type: Document
Archival History: It is largely supposed that the manuscript was owned by Reading Abbey (see Coates pp. 28, 170 and Baldwin p.4). According to Michael Gullick, this manuscript contains hands that are similar to hands in other Reading Manuscripts, although there is no circumstantial evidence to confirm this. (Coates, 170) In addition, a record of Reading Abbey's possessions (Fingall Cartulary, MS Egerton 3031, ff. 8v-10v and 12v, London, BL) suggest that the MS once existed in two volumes: "Iosephus in duobus uoluminibus"(see Coates, pp. 22-23, 28). It is also thought that the manuscript was held consecutively by Hertford Priory and St Albans; the manuscript was included on a list of 16 books transferred from Hertford Priory to St Albans. (Coates, p.101).
Baldwin indicates that the manuscript was purchased by William Hunter on 14 January 1765 from the sale of George Parker, London, lot 369. (p.4) (also see Ker p.13 and Thorp, Glory of the page, no.10). A partially annotated sale catalogue 'A catalogue of the library of the Right Honourable the Earl of Macclesfield, President of the Royal Society, lately deceased', held by the British Library (S.C.S. 5 (70)), records Hunter paying £5-15-0 for a work described as 'Josephi Opera, Liber Manuscriptus pulcherrimus in pergameno, in corio russico'.
Bibliography: Jack Baldwin, William Hunter, 1718-1783, book collector: catalogue of an exhibition (Glasgow, 1983), no. 6;
National Library of Scotland, Treasures of Scottish libraries: catalogue (Edinburgh, 1961), i, 13;
Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 10;
Trésors des bibliothèques d'Ecosse (Brussels, 1963), p. 3;
John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), p. 6-7.
Coates, Alan, English Medieval Books: The Reading Abby Collections from Foundation to Dispersal. (Oxford, 1999);
Dindorf, Ludwig August. Historici Graeci Minores. (1870), Vol 1, p. 792;
Ker, N.R. Willian Hunter as a Collector of Medieval Manuscripts. (Glasgow,1983);
Migne, Jacques Paul. Patrologiae Cursus Completus, Series Latina vol. 23, pp.662-663;
Treasures of Scottish Libraries Catalogue. 1961.
Exhibitions: This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'Treasures of Scottish Libraries', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961; 'Trésors des Bibliothèques d'Ecosse', Brussels, 1963; 'William Hunter, Book Collector', Glasgow University Library, Apr.-Sep. 1983; 'The Glory of the Page', Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun.-Aug. 1988, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov. 1988-Jan. 1989.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Jerome Saint c.342-420
Also known under Latin name: Hieronymus.
author: Flavius Josephus 37/8-97?
exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
exhibition: Treasures of Scottish Libraries 1961
Exhibition, National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961.
exhibition: Trésors des Bibliothèques d'Ecosse 1963
Exhibition, Brussels, 1963.
exhibition: William Hunter, Book Collector 1983
Exhibition, Glasgow University Library, 14 april-30 September 1983.
provenance: Hertford Priory c 1087-1539
Founded by Ralph de Limesi.
provenance: George Parker 2nd Earl of Macclesfield c 1697-1764
Astronomer and politician. President of the Royal Society, 1752-1764.
provenance: Reading Abbey 1121-1539
Founded by Henry I.
provenance: St Albans Abbey c 793-1539
Endowed by King Offa in 793. Following the dissolution of the monasteries in 1539, the building was restored. The diocese of St Albans was founded in 1877. [See …
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