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Aeneid: MS McClean 164

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Object information

Current Location: In storage




Author: Virgil
Scribe: Jacopo da Pratovecchio, Ser Guido di




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, iii modern parchment flyleaves + i contemporary parchment flyleaf + 179 fols. (early foliation in brown ink) + ii contemporary parchment flyleaves + iii modern parchment flyleaves, 288 x 210 mm (190 x 90 mm), 28 verse lines ruled in plummet, catchwords, running headers in blue and red.

BINDING: Late nineteenth century, red tooled morocco over wooden boards, by Joseph W. Zaehnsdorf (1853–1930).

fols. 1v-2r Ps-Augustus Caesar, Disputatio ne liber Virgilii igne dissoluatur (Riese 1894-1906, II, no. 672)
fol. 2r Twelve-line verse summary of the Aeneid constructed from the first line of each Pseudo-Ovidian argumentum to the Aeneid (Shackleton Bailey 1982, 2-10)
fol. 2v Basilius, De xii libros Aeneidos (Riese 1894-1906, II, no. 634)
fols. 2v-179r Virgil, Aeneid, with apocryphal four-line opening (Ille ego quondam), Pseudo-Ovidian argumenta for each book (in the margin) and commentary Virgilius triplici stilo sua tria opera tractauit.

DECORATION: Twelve red and blue parted initials [7-9 ll.] with infill and extensions in red and purple pen-flourishing, for each book of the Aeneid; alternate red and blue initials [4-7 ll.] with purple or red pen-flourishing for introductory texts and the argumentum to Book 1; red or blue initials [2 ll.] with red pen-flourishing for subsequent argumenta written in the margins; alternate red and blue paraphs in the text; red paraphs in the gloss.


History note: Copied in Pratovecchio, Tuscany, in the second half of the fourteenth century (colophon fol. 179v); Georgio Antonio Vespucci (c.1434-1514), ownership inscription on fol. 179v and notes in his hand on fol. iv recto and fol. 179v; Ognissanti church, Florence (erased arms in the lower margin of fol. 3r); library of the Minutoli-Tegrimi family in Lucca (stamp DI CASA MINUTOLI TEGRIMI, fols. 2r and 179v; Frati 1933, 366); Ambroise Firmin Didot (1790-1876); his sale, Paris, June 1881, lot 4; Sotheby’s, London, July 1884, lot 252; labels from a sale catalogue describing this manuscript as lot 2239, with ink annotation: ‘S. W. + H. White Lib. April ’04’, attached to fol. i recto; Frank McClean (1837-1904); his bequest, 1904.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1904) by McClean, Frank


14th Century, second half
Circa 1350 CE - Circa 1399 CE

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Incinerem dabit una hora nocens
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS McClean 164
Primary reference Number: 176588
Project ID: 477
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 16 January 2023 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Aeneid" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-29 22:52:35

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