LJS 184 - Isidore, of Seville, Saint, d. 636 - Liber ethimologiarum
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Isidore, of Seville, Saint, d. 636.
Liber ethimologiarum [manuscript].
[Catalonia], [between 1265 and 1299]
184 leaves : parchment ; 356 x 242 (234 x 160) mm. bound to 357 x 246 mm.
Encyclopedia with emphasis on word origins, arranged by subject. The manuscript follows the standard division into 20 books, except that Book 3, on mathematics, music, and astronomy, is divided into Books 3 and 4, giving the manuscript a total of 21 books. Additional astronomical material, probably from Bede's De temporum ratione, appears at the end of Book 21 (f. 178v-183v), with the running head of Book 21 continuing to the end of the manuscript.
Title from opening rubric (f. 1r).
Collation: Parchment, i (modern) + 184 + i (former pastedown); 1-15¹² 16⁴; [1-184], modern foliation in pencil, lower left recto. Vertical catchword in ornamental frame on the last verso of each gathering, except gathering 6 and the final gathering.
Layout: Written in 2 columns of 40 lines, with running heads of L (for Liber) on the versos and book number on the rectos; frame-ruled in lead with double vertical and horizontal bounding lines.
Script: Written in Gothic script by a single hand.
Decoration: Historiated 6-line initial depicting Isidore lecturing to 2 monks and half border with grotesques, including human-animal hybrid musicians (f. 1r); 2 2-line initials in burnished gold on pink and blue grounds (f. 1r); numerous 2- to 4-line initials alternating between blue with red flourishing and red with purple flourishing; running heads in alternating red and blue letters; narrow red and blue borders on the left margin of the columns on many pages, more often the left column, sometimes both; initials touched with red; rubrication in red. Blank space between De mathematica and De musica (f. 29r) was probably intended for diagrams that are characteristic of Iberian manuscripts of this text (Michel Huglo, CNRS, Paris).
Binding: 14th-century boards, with some writing on the upper cover including the name of Isidore, and part of a Spanish notarial document dated 1330 as a former pastedown inside the lower cover (Kyle Ann Huskin); rebacked in 1990.
Origin: Probably written in Catalonia, possibly at the monastery of Poblet (Michel Huglo; Manuel C. Díaz y Díaz, University of Santiago de Compostela), in the late 13th century.
UPenn LJS 184
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts University of Pennsylvania LJS 184