Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 374 (V.1.11)
Title: De Consolatione Philosophiae cvm Commento
Images: [ MS Hunter 374 fol. 1r ] [ MS Hunter 374 fol. 2r ] [ MS Hunter 374 fol. 4r ]
Associated Websites: Images and caption from World of Chaucer web exhibition
Date of Creation: Between 1384 and 1385
Place of Creation: Italy
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Anicii Manlii Torqvati Severini Boetii, De Consolatione Philosophiae cvm Commento.
Boethius, On the Consolation of Philosophy, with a Commentary: (Incomplete.)
Begins - after two ornamental pages (1, 1 verso, 2 recto) - (2, 1 recto col. a, lines 1-4): E [large gilt illuminated initial with incipient gestures] XPlana | tionem li | brorum Boe | tij de conso
Ends (16, 8 verso line 23): bili sed ymaginabila ratione iudicandi = Ed. Delph. p. 337, line 21; Migne, 63. 850.
Remarks: Nicolas Joseph Foucault (1643-1721), whose arms are stamped on this volume and on V.5.9, and whose heraldic book-plate is attached to U.2.11 and V.2.10, was a distinguished statesman and archaeologist, etc.
The verso of 1, 1. and the recto of 1, 2. exhibit marvellous calligraphic technique, the only writing on the former being four A's (gilt) at the corners of the elaborate border in gold, blue and red, and a minuscule alphabet (most of the letters written twice) with fantastically exaggerated upper and lower strokes.
The latter contains (apparently as specimens of different text hands) within its ornate border (like that on 1, 1.) four lines of the Nunc dimittis, the alphabet (in capitals, two styles), four lines of the Credo (two sizes), two of the Magnificat and the scribe's autograph thus: Ego enim sum minimus omnium scriptorum frater Amadeus. subscriptus. With the exception of the first line of Nunc dimittis and the four of the Credo, which are in black ink, the rest is in red and blue, with elaborate borders and enrichment. Along the outer border (bottom) in gilt characters is written: [unkeyable character] Istud opus est Gregorij de Janua MCCCLXXXV.
ILLUMINATED PAGES.
3, 1 recto has, in a richly gilt, historiated and gestured initial C, a vignette of Boethius seated and reading from a book on a table in front of him to a class of students of various ages, seated with books before them.
Under four lines of text is a picture, 5½ x 5½, of Boethius in prison, comforted by angelic visitants.
The exquisitely illuminated initials which occupy (with at most a line or two of text) the first page of each of the succeeding books exhibit the greatest skill and taste.
Greek quotations are either omitted or bungled (as in 14, 8 verso (erased) and 15, 2 recto, both passages written in gold).
On 15, 6 verso in a XVII. Cent. hand: Liber 5me | hoc scripsi die 7a Junii | anni 1698 | Naissant | de Diuione.
On 16, 4 recto the same hand has written: Naissant hoc scripsit die 17a Junij 1698.
Also see f. 26 recto, top margin 75 verso vols French "Livre 4".
The vellum fly-leaves are closely written with what appear to be entries in a legal hand in a register (XVII. Cent.).
i, 2. begins thus: Audrien alain demourant en la paroisse sainct caudre (?) le | vieile per (?) guillaume emaugard v/+.
The late XVII. Cent. foliation is all but cropped off.
On 1, 2 recto a late XVII. Cent. marginal inscription is partly decipherable: a M. labb[e.] | aubry. cha[noine] | a eureux | par... | Mr. datign. ...
Other copies in the Hunterian Museum Library are press-marked thus: U.5.12; U.5.19; V.5.9.
[Formerly P.1.11; T.1.10].
Extract from App. VIII of: Pierre Courcelle, Histoire littéraire des grandes invasious Germaniques. 3e éd. Paris, 1964.
Un autre manuscrit de la fin du XIVe siècle, celui de Glasgow, University Library, Hunterian 374 (V.1.11), fut écrit en Italie du Nord, sans doute à Gênes, en 1385 (po. 44 b). Le folio 7 recto, aux fins rinceaux décoratifs, comporte deux illustrations. La lettrine supérieure montre Boèce enseignant, tandis que tout le bas de la page figure la prison. Jamais encore l'architecture n'avait pris une telle importance. Le bâtiment est peint dans son entier, y compris les parties hautes très détaillées. La lourde porte de prison, à gauche, est fermée. Mais une large arcade grillagée laisse apercevoir de nombreux personnages qui composent une scène assez confuse. Il ne s'agit point d'anges visitant Boèce, comme a cru l'auteur du catalogue. L'on discerne, je crois, Boèce assis à gauche dans son attitude familière, la tête appuyée sur la main gauche. Devant lui s'étagent 7 figures féminines, dont celle du centre porte une couronne. C'est Philosophie qui, la main droite levée, s'adresse à Boèce. Ses compagnes sont sans doute les Muses philosophiques, distinctes des Muses poétiques.
Pierre Courcelle, La Consolation de philosophie dans la tradition littéraire. Paris: 1967. Pl. 18, 1 reproduces Boethius teaching, fol. 4 recto.
Lot 1223 in the sale of Burmann's MSS, 1779.
The commentary in this MS is by Nicholas Trivet - cf. P. Courcelle, Étude critique sur les commentaires de la 'Consolation' de Boèce, Archives d'Histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age 12, 1939, pp. 133-134. Per R.J. Lyall, 1 December 1975.
Robert Gibbs, 'Early humanist art in North Italy: two manuscripts illuminated by Gregorio da Genova', Burlington Magazone (1992), considers the MS a product of North-west Italy, probably Genoa or Milan.
Boèce. De Consolatione philosophiae. Glasgow University, ms. 374 (V.1.11). Parchemin; 110 f.; 344 x 251 mm.; Italie (Gênes?), 1385; Reliure: fin XVIIe siècle, carton fort recouvert de veau fauve, armoiries de N.J. Foucault estampées en or sur les deux plats. Cette copie de la Consolation philosophique fut écrite, peut-être à Gênes, par le frère Amadeus dont l'autographe apparaît au f. 2. Le long de la bordure infériur du même folio, est écrit: Istud opus est Gregorii de Janua MCCCLXXXV. Le manuscript contient des exemples de très belles décorations calligraphiques. Il y a cinq enluminures à pleine page (dont une représente Boèce donnant cours à des élèves, et une autre le montre dans sa prison de Pavie, visité par les anges), des diagrammes astronomiques et des initiales enluminées. Nicolas Joseph Foucault (1643-1721), homme d'État et archéologue, dont les armoiries se trouvent sur la reliure, fut également le propriétaire d'au moins trois autres manuscrits de la collection Hunter. Bibl.: Young & Aitken, Catalogue, p. 300-301. (Brussels catalogue, 1963.)
Boethius. De consolatione philosophiae. Glasgow University, Hunterian Library, MS. 374 (V.1.11). Parchment. 110 ff., 344 x 251 mm. Italy (?Genoa), 1385. This copy of the Consolation of philosophy was written, possibly in Genoa, by frater Amadeus, whose autograph appears on f. 2. Along the bottom border of the same folio is written: Istud opus est Gregorii de Janua MCCCLXXXV. The script is an Italian Gothic littera textaulis of the rotunda type. The manuscript contains examples of very fine calligraphic decoration. There are five full-page illuminations (including one of Boethius reading to a class of students, and in prison at Ticinum, visited by angels), astronomical diagrams, and illuminated initials. Nicolas Joseph Foucault, whose arms are on the binding, was the owner of at least three other manuscripts in the Hunterian Library. References. Young & Aitken, pp. 300-1. (Dublin catalogue, 1964.)
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 13 5/8 x 10, ff. 110, originally ff. 118, beautifully written (?at Genoa) by "frater Amadeus" in a north Italian hand, in single cols. (text) of 23 lines, each 6 3/4 x 4¼, and in double cols. (commentary) of 52-57 lines, each 21 3/4 x 3 5/8-19¼ x 3, no signatures (originals all cropped, probably later ones also, except that of 10th quire), catchwords (sometimes erased), foliation, original, traces, practically all cropped, elaborately floreated pages (1, 1 verso, 2 recto), full-page illuminations (3, 1 recto; 5, 6 verso; 8, 3 recto; 12, 6 verso; 15, 6 verso), several astronomical diagrams (in black, red, and gamboge), richly gilt and illuminated initials, large and small, and paragraph marks (in text), blue initials with red ornament and gestures and vice versâ, large and small, paragraph marks blue and red alternately, rubrics, rare marginalia, first folio gnawed, several folios damaged by damp, much cropped, otherwise clean and well preserved, ruled and margined with brown crayon, fol. sec. Nunc. Late Cent. XIV. (1385).
Binding: The same binding and arms as in V.5.9, millboards, covered veau fauve, gilt-tooled edges and panelled back, arms (of N.J. Foucault) stamped (gilt) on both boards, title (gilt) on crimson morocco shield: BOETHII | DE | CONS [unkeyable character] PHIL. | CUM COMM. | MS [unkeyable character]. Late Cent. XVII.
[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. 300-301.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: Latin
Material Type: Document
Notes: This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'The Hunterian Collection', Kenwood, London, 1952; 'Treasures of Scottish Libraries', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh, 1961; 'Trésors des Bibliothèques d'Ecosse', Brussels, 1963; 'Treasures from Scottish libraries', Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964; '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; 'The Magic of the Middle Ages, Part 2: Secular Manuscripts', Glasgow University Library, Sep.-Dec. 1995; 'The World of Chaucer', Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, May-Aug. 2004.
Bibliography: Jack Baldwin, William Hunter, 1718-1783, book collector: catalogue of an exhibition (Glasgow, 1983), no. 8; Jane Chance, Medieval mythography, vol. 2: From the School of Chartres to the Court at Avignon, 1177-1350 (Gainesville, 2000), p. 266 (plate 26 reproduces fol. 4r); Pierre Courcelle, 'Étude critique sur les commentaires de la 'Consolation' de Boèce', Archives d'Histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Age, 12 (1939), pp. 133-134; Pierre Courcelle, Histoire littéraire des grandes invasions Germaniques, 3e éd. (Paris, 1964); Julie Gardham, The world of Chaucer: medieval books and manuscripts (Glasgow, 2004), p. 30; Robert Gibbs, 'Early humanist art in North Italy: two manuscripts illuminated by Gregorio da Genova', Burlington Magazone (1992); Edith W. Kirsch, Five Illuminated Manuscripts of Giangaleazzo Visconti (University Park, Pa, London, 1991); National Library of Scotland, Treasures of Scottish libraries: catalogue (Edinburgh, 1961), ii, 2; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 71; Treasures from Scottish libraries: catalogue of an exhibition held in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Edinburgh, 1964), no. 22; Trésors des bibliothèques d'Ecosse (Brussels, 1963); Berthold Wolpe, 'Florilegium alphabeticum: alphabets in medieval manuscripts' in A.S. Osley (ed.), Calligraphy and palaeography: essays presented to Alfred Fairbank (1965), pp. 69-74 - fols 1 verso, 2 recto; A. McLaren Young, The Hunterian Collection: an Eighteenth Century Gentleman's Cabinet, lent by courtesy of the University of Glasgow (London, 1952), no. 49f; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), pp 300-301.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius c.475-524
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: Hunterian Collection
The Hunterian Collection: an Eighteenth Century Gentleman's Cabinet.
exhibition: Magic of the Middle Ages 1994-1995
Exhibition: The Magic of the Middle Ages: Manuscript Treasures of Glasgow University Library. Part 1: Sacred Manuscripts, Glasgow University Library, 21 April-30 …
exhibition: Treasures from Scottish Libraries 1964
Exhibition, Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1964.
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.
exhibition: World of Chaucer
Exhibition: The World of Chaucer: Medieval Books and Manuscripts from Glasgow University Library, held at the Hunterian Museum, Glasgow, 15 May-28 August 2004.
provenance: Nicolas Joseph Foucault 1643-1721
Statesman.
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