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Composite volume of 15th-century manuscripts of miscellaneous works by four hands bound together, with an incunable, in the 16th-century or earlier.

Identifier: Adv.MS.18.4.8

Scope and Contents

The collection has been in one volume since the 16th century at least. The contents are as follows:

[(i) A printed book: Johannes de Hildesheim, ‘Liber de gestis ac translatione trium regum’, etc., ([Cologne], 1478) = National Library of Scotland Inc.43 (B.M.Cat. IB 4236) (folio 1)]. Folio 56 blank.

(ii) Baebius Italicus (?), `Ilias latina` (‘Poetae latini minores’ ii.3; this manuscript is not included in the list given by P Vollmer in ‘Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie’, 1913), followed by `Declaratio precedentis libelli intentio Homeri et diversitates mominum` and `Pii secundi pontificis maximi in laudem Homeri prefacio’ with quotations from `Virgil’ (‘Anthologia Latina’ 674a.1-4), `Ovid` (‘Anthologia Latina’ 1 praefatio 1-2), Ovid (A.A. ii.279-280), `Alexandrios’ (Gautier de Chatillon, ‘Alexandreis’, i.478-485), and Pius II (13 verses, beginning `Argumenta locos u(er)sus totu(m)que poema`; and 19 verses, beginning `Vivet Meonides Tenedos du(m) stabit (vel) Ide`) (folio 57). Folio 86 blank.

(iii) Pius II, epist. cccxcv first half (‘Aengae Sylvii ... opera ...’, Basle, 1551, pages 869-871 1.6) (folio 87).

(iv) Dionysius Periegetes, ‘Οίκουμένης περιήγησης’, translated by Antonio Beccaria (folio 90).

(v) A paragraph `De origine Troianorum`, and Dares Phrygius, `De excidio Troiae`; 30 ‘quod iam’ to 33 ‘Troilum’ and 36 ‘subsistere’ to the end are lost (folio 117).

There is a 16th-century contents list on folio 5 verso (from circa 1640 to 1970 this was bound in at the end of Adv.MS.18.3.11), and one by Sir James Balfour on folio iv verso. On folio 89, in two 16th-century hands, are a table giving for the years 1562 to 1570 the date of Easter, the golden number, and the dominical letter, in English; `Regula generalis de mutatione lune`, in English; and a definition of a leap year, in Latin.

In section (ii) there is an ornate initial in red and blue; in section (iii) two plain initials in respectively blue and red; in section (iv) the first initial is in blue with red tracery, later ones are in red; in section (v) there are plain initials in blue and red. Sections (ii) and (iii) are in round humanistic hands, (iv) and (v) in gothic hands.

There are copious contemporary interlinear glosses in section (ii), occasional marginal notes there and elsewhere. There is a marginal note in the hand of Archibald Whitelaw secretary to James III, at folio 68: `Dyomedes i(n) hoc loco vulnerat venere(m)`.


  • Creation: 15th century.


1 Volumes (v + 1-55 (printed) + 56-127 + iv folios.)

Language of Materials



Collation: [1¹⁰, 2-5⁸, 6⁶, 7⁸ (-7⁸, probably blank)], 1 leaf, 8-10⁸, 11⁶, 12⁴ (-12³, probably blank), 13-14¹⁰, 15⁸ (-15⁸), 16¹⁰, 17 (2 leaves). No signatures or catchwords. Pricking not preserved. Ruling in ink. 1 column. 20 lines in section (ii), 21 in (iii), 31 in (iv), 32 in (v), Ruled area 160 x 83-85 millimetres in section (ii), 165-168 x 86-88 millimetres in (iii), 158 x 98 millimetres in (iv), 162 x circa 120 millimetres in (v). Secundo folio: (folio 2) `annuciarent’, (folio 58) `posce sacros arc⁹`, (folio 91) `-festum ee cepisse`.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Paper (watermarks: section (ii), a pot, Briquet 12482; (iii) and folios v, 56, Gothic P, similar to Briquet 8623; (iv), Gothic P, Briquet 8661; unicorn, similar to Briquet 10026; heraldic shields, similar to Briquet 1655 and 1742; and a vase without handles not in Briquet; (v), a hand, similar to Briquet 11417; mostly French, last quarter of the 15th century). Binding of brown sheepskin, tooled blind and in gilt, circa 1640 (rebacked 1970; vellum strips formerly used to strengthen the folds are now in Adv.MS.84.1.20).

Custodial History

An inscription on folio i (probably `Mr Ioannes Inglis` changed to `Henricus Glen`) is deleted, another on folio 117 (probably `HBoethius` with notarial flourish) is erased. The ex-libris of Sir James Balfour is on folio 1, dated 1630 (Denmilne number 9 on folio iii);Balfour`s usual mark does not appear at the end of the volume, which may imply that the loss of the last leaves is later than his acquisition of the volume. It later belonged to Sir Robert Sibbald, and was sold with his Library. Former pressmark: A.7.4. The manuscript was bought by the Advocates’ Library in 1723.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented, 1925, by the Faculty of Advocates to the nation on the foundation of the National Library of Scotland.


‘Poetae latini minores’, ii.3, edited by E Baehrens and P Vollmer (Leipzig, 1913).

Chatillon, Gautier de. ‘Alexandreis’, edited by F A W Muldener (Leipzig, 1863).

‘Anthologia Latina’ (1869-1870).

‘Aengae Sylvii ... opera ...’ (Basle, 1551).

Periegetes, Dionysius. ‘Οίκουμένης περιήγησης’, translated by Antonio Beccaria (first printed, Venice, 1477).

Phrygius, Dares. `De excidio Troiae`, edited by F Meister (Leipzig, 1873).

Physical Description

0.00 linear metresv + 1-55 (printed) + 56-127 + iv folios.200.00 x 255.00 millimetres


200.00 x 255.00 millimetres

National Library of Scotland Catalogue of Manuscripts
National Library of Scotland
28 01 2015
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Local Descriptive Rules
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the National Library of Scotland Archives and Manuscripts Division Repository

Archives and Manuscript Division
National Library of Scotland
George IV Bridge
Edinburgh EH1 1EJ
0131 623 3700