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Compilation of Aristotle’s works: MS 252

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Current Location: In storage


Compilation of Aristotle’s works




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment and paper, i modern paper flyleaf + 56 parchment fols. (A, leaves excised after fols. 36 and 56) + 30 paper fols. (B) + i modern paper flyleaf, leaves lost after fols. 36 and 56

A 330 x 234 mm (215 x 150 mm), two columns of 52-53 lines on fols. 1r-36v, 37v-56v) and 43 long lines on fols. 37r-47v, ruled in brown ink and plummet, catchwords

B 335 x 234 mm (210 x 143 mm), two columns, 44 lines, ruled in hard point, catchwords

BINDING: Fifteenth century, wooden boards with leather back, chiseling and nail-holes for two clasps on upper cover, remains of early paper title label on lower cover (Testus aristotelis) and number 127 in red on lower cover, repaired by Robert Proctor, 1989.

SCRIPT: A: Gothic bookhand (textualis); B: Humanistic cursive

A: fols. 1r-8v Aristotle, Analytica posteriora (continued on fol. 56r)
fols. 9r-11r Porphyry, Isagoge to Aristotle, Categories
fols. 11v-15v Aristotle, Predicamenta in translation of Boethius
fols. 15v-18r Aristotle, Periermenias in translation of Boethius
fols. 18v-20v Gilbert of Poitiers, Liber de sex principibus
fols. 21r-36v Aristotle, Topica (versio communis, ends incomplete)
fols. 37r-53r Aristotle, Analytica priora, versio communis
fols. 56r-55r Aristotle, end of Analytica posteriora (continued from fol. 8v)
fol. 55v Aristotle De sophisticis elenchis (versio communis)

B: fols. 57r-86r Boethius, Commentary on Aristotle, Categories (ends incomplete)

A: Historiated initial with L-shaped border of painted staves and elongated acanthus, with roundels housing pseudo-Kufic script and foliate motifs: fol. 9r [C, 12 ll.] Author-portrait of Aristotle(?) in a hooded blue gown holding a red book, on a square blue ground.

Small framed miniature [9 ll.] accompanied by a similar L-shaped border (partially excised): fol. 1r Analytica posteriora, Author-portrait of Aristotle in academic dress.

Three small framed miniatures on rectangular blue grounds without borders: fol. 11v Predicamenta, Half-length portrait of the Virgin and Child [12 ll.]; fol. 15v Periermenias, Half-length author-portrait [10 ll.]; fol. 18v Liber de sex principibus, Half-length author-portrait [9 ll.].

Diagram in brown ink of the Tree of Porphyry (fol. 9v); small ink drawing of a head in upper margin of fol. 9r.

A: Graded pink initial [P, 10 ll.] on a square blue ground with painted acanthus motifs, accompanied by an L-shaped border of painted staves and elongated acanthus, and a corner roundel housing pseudo-Kufic script for the beginning of Topica (fol. 21r); four grey initials [4 ll.] on blue grounds with painted acanthus motifs, adjacent to the miniatures at the start of texts (fols. 1r, 11v, 15v, 18v); red and blue parted initial [D, 7 ll.] with elaborate pen flourishing using voided foliate motifs in red with blue finials, extending to form a short border, for the beginning of Sophisticis elenchis (fol. 55v); alternate blue and red initials [2-3 ll.] with red or turquoise pen flourishing; alternate blue and red paraph marks with subsequent letter highlighted in red; the opening lines of text adjacent to the ornamental initials have minor pen flourishing in brown ink; catchwords surrounded by similar pen flourishing.

Later addition: Space left blank for initial [10 ll.] at the beginning of Aristotle, Analytica priora (fol. 37r); spaces left blank for initials [2 ll.] in blue with red pen flourishing, executed on fol. 37r only.

B: Space left blank for initial [8 ll.] at the beginning of Boethius’ commentary on Aristotle’s Categories (fol. 57r); spaces left blank for initials [2 ll.] at lesser text divisions.


History note: Erased early ownership inscription (fol. 55v: Iste liber …); parts A and B brought together in Italy (notes in Italian on fol. 56v, 56 Carte pecorine, and fol. 86v, 30 carte bombag.e); Guglielmo Libri (1803-1869); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 28 March 1859, lot 75; bought by Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), his MS 16237, note by T. Fitzroy Fenwick dated 1891 on fol. 86v; H. Baillie Weaver; purchased for the Museum at his sale, Maggs Bros., London, 1898, no. 135.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1898) by Weaver, H. Baillie


Early 14th Century
Production date: circa AD 1300 : with later additions (A) and second half of the fifteenth century (B)

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of paper parchment
Text (B) Height 210 mm Width 143 mm
Text (A) Height 215 mm Width 150 mm
Page (A) Height 330 mm Width 234 mm
Page (B) Height 335 mm Width 234 mm

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: hunc autem duobus
  • Location: Fol. 2r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: ergo alie quedam
  • Location: Fol. 10r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 252
Primary reference Number: 176702
Project ID: 3450
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Compilation of Aristotle’s works" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-10-01 06:27:48

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