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Volume / Number: 3 / 280

CLA 280
  • Bologna Italy Biblioteca Universitaria 701 (foll. 153–189)
Script Uncial
Date V² (451 - 500)
Origin and Provenance

Written possibly in Africa in a centre of learning and fine calligraphy. On fol. 221v, originally blank, one of the earliest readers, perhaps the owner of the MS, entered in his characteristic cursive hand (saec. V) a prayer in which one reads ‘tolle omnis cogitationes tribulationes et causas seruorum tuorum iohannis uenantiae fili mei et omnium meorum'. A humanist reader has divided the text into sections. This MS was in the library of S Salvatore, Bologna, where it bore the number 559: the ex-libris, saec. XV, is on foll. 1 and 282v. It was used for the Cesena Lactantius printed in 1570. So far as is known, the MS has always been at Bologna save for the period 1798–1815, when it was removed by Napoleon and taken to Paris.

CLA Vol. 3
TM Number TM 66389
Support Parchment
Contents Lactantius, Institutiones Divinae (6).
Script Commentary

Script is uncial of an ancient type, graceful and expert: the bow of uncial A is mostly pointed; the upper bow of B is small; the hasta of uncial E is high; uncial M is broad and the first stroke is often an upright; P and R have small bows. Marginal entries often of considerable length occur in profusion and are of great palaeographical interest: apart from the translation from the Greek in early uncial (in the latter part of the MS) and the few entries in sloping b- (or b-d) uncial and in half-uncial and some stray notes in sixth- and seventh-century cursive, there are two main cursive hands which are contemporary with the scribe or nearly so: one belongs to the reader (who may be the owner) who marked favourite passages with 'mire' and 'satis mire' and used an n shaped like Greek π and a cup-like superior u; the other belongs to the translator of the Greek passages (in the first part of the MS), whose script is very rapid and impressionistic and here and there still permits the archaic cursive form of b shaped like d. The Greek uncial is good; also the Greek cursive (see fol. 49v).


☛CLA provenance ('doubtless in North or Central Italy') changed to follow CLA S p. IX.

Last modified 18 July 2017