Written space 184 x 116, 2 columns, 50-49-48 lines each. Written by three scribes all using closely similar, legible, and rather cursive forms of Gothica textualis, heavily abbreviated with standard forms. Possibly written by Frater Bartholomaeus (of?) Ol-----, 1335, according to a later note at foot of f. 88v Pastedowns inside both covers are two leaves from a 14th-century Germanic (perhaps Netherlandish) manuscript on parchment containing plainsong written in Germanic neumes on five-line staves, the text in Gothica textualis formata, large gothic capitals in red or blue, one at top of lower pastedown in black and red slightly decorated. Script: Written by three scribes all using similar, legible, and rather cursive forms of Gothica textualis; the first scribe wrote ff. 1r-64v, the second ff. 65r-77r1, 38, and the third the remainder. Alternating red and blue capitals throughout, some headings in red, many capitals stroked red, slight filiform decoration to opening initial of the volume, the rubrics and decoration probably by one of the scribes or another closely related hand. Binding: Early, probably 15th century. Undecorated red-dyed hide over beveled wooden boards, four brass edgepieces on each cover attached with brass nails, two brass catches on upper cover, lightly chased brass and leather clasps on lower cover (all of the material of cut sheet-brass), back with six raised bands, repaired and rebacked, with modern leather title label. Used as pastedowns inside upper and lower cover are two leaves from a 14th-century Germanic (perhaps Netherlandish) manuscript on parchment containing plainsong written in Germanic neumes on five-line staves, the text in Gothica textualis formata, large gothic capitals in red or blue, one at top of lower pastedown in black and red slightly decorated. In all the staves but the last on the lower pastedown the center-line is stroked red and bears the clef sign; in the last, the fourth line from the bottom has these indications.
The codex is an important, early, and comprehensive collection of largely practical alchemies and procedures. It is also of special significance both because of its early copies of texts transmitted from Arabic sources and for what appear to be very early, independent, European additions to the literature and practice of alchemy. Manuscript on parchment of a collection of practical alchemies and procedures, the earliest such manuscript in the Mellon collection. Contains texts transmitted from Arabic sources and what appear to be European additions to the literature and practice of alchemy. Includes the following identifiable texts: Rasis or Aristotle, Lumen luminum perfecti magisterii; Avicenna, Epistola ad Hasen; Geber, Liber deitatis sive divinitatis and Summa perfectionis magisterii; Rasis, De aluminibus et salibus, extracts; and Richard de Fournival, Opus Arturi, or De arte alchemica.
Alchemy--Early works to 1800 Manuscripts, Medieval--Connecticut--New Haven Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in Beinecke Library
Avicenna, 980-1037 Bacon, Roger, 1214?-1294 Duveen, Denis I., bookplate Geber, 13th cent. Summa perfectionis magisterii Razi, Abu Bakr Muh ammad ibn Zakariya, 865?-925? Richard, de Fournival, fl. 1246-1260 Saumaise, Claude, 1588-1653, provenance
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Related Exhibit or Resource:
Book of Secrets: Alchemy and the European Imagination, 1500-2000 German Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
Mellon MS 2
General Collection, BRBL, Yale University
Witten, Laurence C. and Pachella, Richard. Alchemy and the Occult: A Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts from the Collection of Paul and Mary Mellon. Volume Three: Manuscripts, Mellon MS 2. Alchemical Miscellany. General Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Extent of digitization:
Complete work digitized.
Number of Pages: 96
For more information about this resource, contact:
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
P.O. Box 208330
New Haven, CT 06520-8330