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Ref No IE TCD MS 922
Former Shelf Marks Former shelfmark ‘L. 1. 4’ written in ink on the inner front board of the binding, directly on the wood, and in pencil below the ex libris on folio i, recto.
Title Homer's Iliad with scholia
Creation Dates [c1290]
Extent And Medium Parchment; 91 folios
Level Of Description Volume
Scope And Content Catalogued by Dr Barbara Crostini, 2017.
See attached PDF below for summary of contents and physical description.
Digital images of TCD MS 922 can be viewed at the following link:
Arrangement Five front and six back paper flyleaves; there is a modern note pasted onto front flyleaf iii concerning ‘leaves wanting’ and other defects; a loose sheet of paper at the front of the volume contains a collation of lines per folio in this MS and is annotated in hand of former Keeper of Manuscripts William O’Sullivan: ‘Frag. of Psalms found with this paper placed in Misc Box XXV (TCD MS 5215)’; folios 1-3 are a paper restoration to this manuscript different from that of the flyleaves and were placed there in substitution for lost text.
Phyiscal Description Dimensions: 265 x 200 mm (trimmed).

Materials: Renaissance paper restoration of folios 1-3; the remaining leaves are written on parchment of good quality with respect to smoothness and thinness (some pages are nearly translucent), though honey-coloured rather than ivory.

Quire signatures: None.

Catchwords: N/A.

Number of hands: two non-contemporary hands.

Inks: brown inks for text and scholia, darker at folios 17v-18r, 59r-72v and where the text has been overwritten; some red ink used in ornamentation and filling in some of the letter nuclei (e.g. folios 37r-38r, orange at folio 69r).

Script: Folios 1r-3v: the text is written in a scholarly hand of small, regular module, if slightly angular, featuring the thetas ‘ad ombelico’, and a similar ornamental dot placed within the cup of the rounded psi; folio 1v is more densely packed and reveals a more cursive tendency, for example in the omega folded upon itself like a German ‘Bretzel’ (cf. l. 24); the interlinear glosses are probably written by the same hand in such a tiny module that their reading requires the help of a magnifying glass; folios 4r-91v: the main text is written in an exhuberant or ‘baroque’ scholarly hand, which masterfully balances enlarged letters and superimposed vowels and consonants with an overall regular appearance for the minuscule; large majuscule betas (for Briseides) and a zeta (for Zeus) with a top trait dramatically turned back on itself appear characteristic; on the contrary, the extension of the psi especially in ligature is kept to a minimum, like iota with a horizontal trait; this hand too occasionally has thetas ‘ad ombelico’, e.g. at folios 6r, 8r, 15v, 18r, 59r; from folio 12v a characteristic csi in the form of a huge semi-circle with two stylized, hooked central bars appears [cf. the hands in MS Barocci 131, folio 2r = Hutter, CBM III, MS 106, fig. 416 (Tzetzes’ allegories on Homer’s Iliad at folios 42-61) and in MS Barocci 177 (Aristotle with scholia)]; inclusions of letters such as sigma within omega, omega-nu, and omicron-iota and omicron-sigma are fairly frequent; some pages (folios 1r-2r, 6v, 7r-v, 32r-v; interlinear at folios 74v-75r, 77r-v, 80v-83v, 86v, 88v-89r) have been overwritten probably by the scribe responsible for the restoration of folios 1-3; the tiny interlinear and some long marginal scholia (e.g. folio 15v) are by the same hand. From folio 54v the hand becomes smaller and more regular, though with much the same repertoire of letter shapes, albeit in general more restrained, and the marginal notes are written with a very fine pen nib (also found in the previous pages): cf. MS Paris gr. 2572, in G. Astruc et al., Le manuscrits grecs datés des XIIe et XIVe siècles conservés dans les bibliothèques publiques de France , 2 volumes (Paris, 1989), 1: pp. 64-66, no. 27, pl. 67-9 a. (d. 1295-6, copied by George at Aradeo in Terra d’Otranto and similarly containing a school exercise); cf. also the hand of MS. Marcianus graecus 275 (Aristotle) [D. Arnesano, ‘Manoscritti greci in Terra d’Otranto: recenti scoperte e attribuzioni (2005-2008)’, in D. Galadza, N. Gilbetich and G. Radle, eds, Toxotes. Studies for Stefano Parenti , (Grottaferrata, 2010), pp. 63-101, at p. 87 and pl. 10-11]. Occasional iota adscripts added (e.g. folio 61r, l. 1).

Page layout: one text block measuring a variable 185-205 x 135 mm, and ranging between 19-28 ll./p.; due to the lack of ruling, not all written surfaces are justified (e.g. folio 60r lacks left hand justification).

Ruling: no ruling pattern is evident on the parchment.

Prickings: none visible.
Custodial History Thomas Prior, Fellow of Trinity College Dublin has a note in his Trinity College Dublin Board diary for 6 March 1824 (TCD MS 3368, p107): ‘manuscript of Homer presented to the College by Lord Leitrim, obtained on the Continent – Fragmentum Homeri Iliadis, referendum ad seculum 6, 8, vel 8 … ‘ (the Latin text is transcribed on folio i). ‘Ex libris J. Gary in Fritsch. par. Bucholz. apud Brisgerius? 1872’, on folio i, recto, in brown/grey ink. [Buchholz am Breisgau?]
Document tcdms922.pdf
Collation Analysis The 5 front flyleaves are conjoint with the 3 paper restoration leaves of the codex (folios 1-3) to form an artificial quaternion, with stubs visible before folio 1 and after folio 3, glued to the verso; 4-11 (quaternion); 12-19 (quaternion: 13 and 14 are single sheets, with stubs visible before and after 13); [loss of 6 or 7(?) leaves – textual lacuna of 315 lines]; 20-25 (ternion); 27-36 (quinion); 37-46 (quinion, but with stubs after 38 and 43); 47-53 (10-3: 3 stubs visible after 49); 54-60 (8-1: one stub visible after 55, two stubs visible after 58); 61-68 (8-1: stub after 68, with textual loss); 69-75 (8-1: stub after 73; the lower margin of the outer bifolium is cut); 76-83 (quaternion: lower margin of outer bifolium cut); [loss of quaternion – textual lacuna of 377 lines]; 84-91 (quaternion).
Decoration For the overall style of ornament, cf. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Auct T. 2. 13 = I. Hutter, Corpus der byzantinischen Miniaturenhandschriften, Oxford College Libraries, 2 volumes (Stuttgart, 1997), number 169, figs 605-612 (Otranto? 2nd half of 14th century).

Folio 1r: interlace headpiece with 3D effect in brown ink, with a pale orange tint tentatively applied on one loop only; 35 x 105 mm.

Folio 16v: pen-flourished divider in two symmetrical sections with vegetable rinceaux against a red background; small initial zeta, pen-flourished; very large (135 x 55 mm) initial alpha outlined in brown ink then filled in with red ink, ornamented with zoomorphic and vegetable motifs not entirely successfully adapted to the letter shape; a complete figure of a dog is seen at the bottom standing on its hind legs in heraldic pose; another dog’s head protrudes from the top right and points with its tongue towards the text; the same red ink fills scattered letters across folios 16v and 17r, enhancing the appeal of the entire opening;

Folio 20v: pen-flourished divider in two asymmetrical sections either sides of the title, with vegetable and animal motifs, outlined in brown ink; zoomorphic initial alpha (30 x 30 mm), in the shape of an eagle holding onto the vertical axis with an open beak; just below this is the larger (70 x 45 mm) ornamented initial alpha, outlined in brown ink and filled with red; it portrays another dog (or griffin?) facing upwards: the hind legs were cut off with the trimming of the manuscript’s edges for rebinding;

Folio 31v: pen-flourished initial (upsilon) and chapter dividers in brown ink; large initial omicron (110 x 50 mm) featuring at the top a bird (swan?) with outstretched wings, while below the oval of the letter the usual quadruped is standing vertically, but this time on its forelegs, looking backwards by turning its neck; the inside of the letter is alive with vegetable rinceaux, highlighted as usual in red ink;

Folio 44r: pen-flourished dividers with knotted, vegetable and animal motifs between the texts as dividers and in the lower margin; large initial epsilon with snake’s head at the bottom (85 x 20 mm), filled in red ink;

Folio 63v: dividers between the texts are kept as small vegetable motifs; in contrast the initial tau is enlarged and ornamented, the vertical axis held up in the mouth of the usual heraldic beast standing on its hind legs, while the horizontal line cascades downwards in vegetable rinceaux ending in zoomorphic motifs, and forming a large triangle pointing downwards, highlighted in red ink (115 x 50 mm); immediately above it in the outer margin the scribe has drawn the bust of a man with a long beard and long hair cascading on his shoulders, emerging from a crescent-shape below him (60 x 58 mm); the scribal caption to this figure is: ‘ZEUS’;

Folio 72v: letter omega composed of two confronting griffins, each eating a head of a double-headed eagle, forming a circular, intertwined pattern (43 x 35 mm); this letter is underlined by a curved vegetable motif, resulting almost in the shape of a heart; it is only outlined in brown ink, though finely detailed; text dividers kept to a minimum; folio 82r: short vegetable textual divider; initial eta outlined in vegetable tendrils and flanked to the left by a bird which presumably performs the function of a breathing; the back of the bird ends in the gutter margin and is only incompletely visible; partly filled in in red ink (60 x 30 mm);

Folio 86r: both text dividers and slightly enlarged initials have vegetable motifs as ornaments and are plainly drawn in brown ink.

See also ‘Marginalia’ for more casual scribal drawings in the margins.
Watermarks Front flyleaves folios i, ii, and iv and back flyleaves folios vi, ix and x the countermark of two F letters divided by a line topped with a small lily; front flyleaves folios iii and v and back flyleaves vii, viii and xi the display the watermark ‘angel in a circle’, surmounted by a four-lobed lily; Angel watermark and countermark (FP with trefoil) on the back flyleaves is distantly comparable with Br. 667 or 668, yielding a Northern Italian provenance (Vicenza) and a date at the end of the sixteenth century (1598/99).
Binding Note The wooden boards of the binding are exposed on the inner face, the threads of the sewing stations visible also. A thin leather cover, of a light brown/olive green colour, is glued to them with minimal overlapping borders. A simple rectangular double frame is stamped on the leather, both front and back, and the spine is ornamented by a series of parallel lines dividing it into sections all along. At the top, the label with the previous shelfmark labelled ‘Class. Tab. and No.’ is still visible. There are small holes due to parasites on either side of the boards.
Access Conditions Please contact
Copyright Please contact
Language Greek
Related Material Manuscripts of the Iliad with scholia from Otranto, cf. Elisabetta Sciarra, <i>La tradizione degli scholia iliadici in Terra d’Otranto</i> (Supplemento no. 23 al ‘Bollettino dei Classici’ Acc. Naz. dei Lincei), Rome, 2005:
Oxford, New College MS 298
Vienna, Vindob. phil. gr. 49
Other manuscripts from Otranto, cf. D. Arnesano, ‘Il copista del Dioscoride: un anonimo salentino del s. XIII’, in Bollettino dei Classici 24 (2003), 29-55; idem, ‘Aristotele in Terra d’Otranto: i manoscritti fra XIII e XIV secolo’, [i]Segno e Testo[/i] 4 (2006), 149-190:
Paris gr. 2572
Marc. gr. 275
Vat. gr. 1306
Florence, Laurent. gr. Plut. 72.22
Public Note Barbara Crostini, ‘A New Manuscript of the Iliad with Scholia from the Terra d’Otranto: Trinity College MS 922’, Symbolae osloenses (forthcoming).
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