Balliol College, Oxford. Manuscript 79
(O
a)

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Photographs ---- 1852 Catalogue ---- 1963 Catalogue ---- Other details

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The manuscript is in Oxford, in Balliol College Library, MS. 79.   15th century (1442-4).  Contains various works by Lactantius, and the Apologeticum in 46 chapters, together with marginalia by William of Malmesbury.

Chronica Tertullianea et Cyprianea 83, §28 indicates that the extracts of the Apologeticum which appear in William of Malmesbury's Polyhistor (William of Malmesbury, Polyhistor, A Critical Edition by Helen Testroet Ouellette, Binghampton, NY, Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, 1982, Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 10), following M.R.James (Two ancient English scholars : St. Aldhelm and William of Malmesbury, Glasgow 1931, p.20, 28) are related to the English transmission of this work, and in particular to Cod. Balliol. 79, but that the proof of this thesis awaits detailed investigation.

Inspected 19th August 1999.  Photographed August 2003.  The photographs cover the incipit and explicit of all works, plus the entire Apologeticum.

Petitmengin (p.74) notes that Cologne was a centre of diffusion for manuscripts of the Apologeticum coupled with Lactantius, Institutiones divinae; this Ms. also shares notes in common with Balliol 79, which may go back to William of Malmesbury, but this is unproven (despite comments of James).

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PHOTOGRAPHS :

Click on a thumbnail to display the full image (each about 300k). Or, Display all images full-size on one page, or Browse the Folder of images.

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[These photographs appear by permission of the Master and Fellows of Balliol College, Oxford. Educational use only.]

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1852 CATALOGUE ENTRY :

From H.O. COXE, Catalogue of the manuscripts in the Oxford Colleges, vol I, 1972 reprint of 1852 edn, Oxford.

Codex membranaceus, in folio majori, ff. 332, sec. xv, binis columnis nitide exaratus; ex dono Will. Gray ep. Eliensis.

1. Caecilii Firmiani Lactantii opera varia; scilicet,

a. Institutorum Divinarum adversus gentem libri septem, praevis testimoniis ex Hieronymo. fol.2.

Tit. "Firmiani Lactancii divinarum institucionum adversus gentes liber primus."

b. De ira Dei ad Donatum. fol. 189.

Tit. "Incipit liber Lactantii de ira Dei  ad Donatum.

c. De opificio Dei ad Demetrianum. fol. 205 b.

Tit. "Incipit liber Lactancii qui et Firmiani de opificio Dei vel formacione hominis."

2. Tertulliani Apologeticum de ignorancia Jhesu Christi. fol. 220.

Hujus ut et superiorum librorum margines notis passim illustratae sint contenta in adverso textu exhibentibus, quorum auctorem censet Langbainius fuisse Gulielmum Malmsburiensem; ut infra in cod. 125.

3. Index super libros Lactantii locupletissimus. fol. 247.

Tit. " Tabula super libros Lactantii."

Incip. "Ablucio; quod corpus vito ablui potest, mens autem contagione impudici corporis inquinata".

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1963 CATALOGUE ENTRY :

From Roger MYNORS: Catalogue of the Manuscripts of Balliol College Oxford, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963.

79 LACTANTIUS; TERTULLIANUS

Mid 15th cent. (doubtless A.D. 1442-4, during the donor's sojourn in Cologne).  313 ff.  14.75 x 10.25 in.  37 lines (228-313 in 2 cols).   Quires of 8 leaves (except xxxvi10), wanting one before f.3 and two at the end, these probably blanks.  Signatures in pencil, and catchwords.   Good large German hand, with headings and running titles in red, paragraph marks and simple capitals in red and blue.  Handsome initials in the Rhenish style, in blue and gold filled in with leafage reserved against a green ground, with good part-borders of penwork; f.3 has a full border of foliage, but the initial has been cut out.  Greek quotations are written, much distorted, in latin letters or in a fancy alphabet.                           2o fo. contulit

f. 3-169v.  (1)  Firmiani LACTANCII Divinarum Institucionum adversus gentes liber primus de falsa religione.  Magno et excellenti ingenio viri ....... a domino consequamur amen.  Firmiani etc. liber septimus de vita beata explicit.

Last edited by S. Brandt in CSEL xix (Vienna, 1890).  Three short paragraphs precede, under the heading Ex verbis Iheronimi.  (a) from Jerome letter 58 and his chronicle, (b) from letter 70 in part, (c) de viris illustribus ch. 80.

f. 170-186r. (2) Incipit liber LACTANCII de ira dei ad Donatum.   Animadverti sepe, Donate, plurimos ..... numquam vereamur iratum.

This and the following were edited by Brandt in CSEL xxvii (1893).

f. 186v - 200v. (3)  Incipit liber LACTANCII qui et Firmiani de opificio dei vel formacione hominis.  Quam minime sim quietus eciam in summis ....... celeste duxerit.  Explicit etc.

f. 201 - 227v.  (4)  Apologeticum TERTULLIANI de ignorancia Ihesu Christi.  Si non licet vobis Romani imperii antistites ...... a deo absolvimur.   Apologeticum Quinti Tertulliani explicit.

Cited as Oxon by F. Oehler, Tertulliani Opera i (Leipzig, 1853), from a collation found in a copy of Heraldus's edition in Göttingen University library; G. Pasquali discusses its relation to the Martini MS, now at Brooklyn (New York), in Studi italiani di filologia classica, New Series VII (1929), pp.13-57.

f. 228 - 313v.  (5)  Tabula super libros Lactancii.   Ablucio : Quod corpus cito ablui potest ..... Ends with the letter Y.

There are very numerous marginalia in the scribe's hand all through the book, attributed by Langbaine on the analogy of MS 125 to William of Malmesbury (see above, p.xxix (This merely indicates that this and two other college MSS have notes derived from work by William, and detailed in M.R.James, Two Ancient English Scholars, Glasgow 1931)).  These are found in another, perhaps slightly earlier, copy of the same collection, Gotha membr. i. 55, from which Erfurt, Amploniana F. 87 is said to be derived.

G. Elmenhorst tried to borrow this volume by means of Patrick Young, the King's librarian, in January 1621; see J. Kemke, Patricius Junius (Leipzig, 1898), p.44.  E.B.Pusey succeeded; a letter from him dated 1 July 1840, thanking the Master of Balliol for the loan of it, is inserted at the beginning.  (Letter now absent).

f.1-2 are fly-leaves; on f.2v is Lactantius divinarum institucionum adversus gentes | Idem de ira dei | Idem de opificio dei | Tartulianus de ignorancia Christi | Tabula divinarum institucionum Lactancii || Liber domus de Balliolo in Oxon' ex | dono Reverendi in Christo patris et dominii | domini Willelmi Gray Eliensis episcopi. Note that other MSS donated by Bishop Gray also have similar entries at the front.

M.R.James ponders how William's notes got to Cologne.   I wonder if it may be relevant to this that both Malmesbury and Cologne had copies of the very rare Corbie corpus.

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OTHER DETAILS:

Microfilms Available? All the Balliol MSS should all be available from World Microfilms.
Binding :  Stamped, a reddish peeling felt-like leather.  5 sewing points.
Spine :  A faded paper label at the top.   Another with 79 on it towards the bottom.
End-leaves :  No details noted.
Material details :  The text is 9 x 5.75 in (22.5 x 14.5 cm).  The volume is 9 cms thick - pretty massive!  There are pricks aong the foot of the columns drawn for initials.  The marginalia are found at the sides and the bottom of the pages.  The whole MS appears to be written by a single hand.
Ultra-violet : Not examined.
Other:

At the foot of fol. 207, very faint, are the letters

...ologeticum tertulliani de ignorancia...

(Other pages also have faint and indecipherable lettering at the bottom).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

-- Pierre PETITMENGIN, Tertullien entre la fin du XIIe et le début du XVIe siècle, in M. CORTESI (ed), Padri Greci e Latini a confronto: Atti del Convegno di studi della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino.  Firenze: SISMEL (2004).  pp. 63-88.  Checked.

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