AVERROES (Mohammed ibn Rushd; Cordova 1126-Marrakech 1198). Commentaries on Aristotle, mostly in the translation of Zerahiah ben Isaac Hen (Gracian; Spain-Italy, late 13th century). MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
Copied by Jacob ben Moses of Provence, in [San] Severino on the river Potenza in Italy, finished on 1 Sivan 5184 (= 1424)
Measurements of vol. 35v: 332 x 249 mm; text space: 225 x 161 mm; upper margin: 36 mm, lower margin: 71 mm, inner margin: 43 mm, outer margin: 45 mm. 2 columns, column width right-hand column: 68 mm, column width left-hand column: 68 mm. 42 lines; ten lines: 51 mm. On vellum, with distinguishable hair and flesh sides, arranged according to Gregory, with natural holes and old stitches. The scribe is of Provencal origin, the manuscript's codicology is clearly Italian. 225 leaves: 1-2210 234 (+ 1 before 1). To secure the right order of the quires the last word of the quire is repeated as the first word of the next quire, a number of times a catchword appears within the empty space of the last line of the quire. No traces of pricking, hard-point ruling on the versos of the leaves, for both horizontal and vertical lines. Filling the line is achieved by dilation of letters, by leaving an empty space before the last word or by anticipation of the next word, the anticipated words having a sign, and often with broken letters; protruding lines occur, the protruding one or two letters usually written above the line (or between the lines). Dark brown ink. Sephardic (Provencal) semi-cursive script, with square headings. (Last eight leaves dampstained and with defects, without loss of text, recently restored to size, the last but one leaf partly detached, fols. 14-21 with stains, not affecting text, otherwise good condition.) Nineteenth-century half morocco (scuffed), two paper flyleaves at back and front, red sprinkled edges.
Fol. 1r: originally blank, with a later inscription in Italian.
I. Fols. 1v-52r: Middle Commentary on the Physics. According to M. Steinschneider, Die hebrischen bersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher (Berlin 1893) p. 114, this manuscript was one of three manuscripts extant, but one of the two others, MS Turin, has since been lost in a fire and only this manuscript and MS Oxford, Bodl. Or. 601 remain.
II. Fols. 52v-108r: Themestius' paraphrase of De coelo et mundo. See Steinschneider, ibidem, p. 125-126. This translation is also extant in MSS Rome, Biblioteca Casanatense 3149; Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale II II 528; and Cambridge, University Library Add. 173.
III. Fols. 108v-120r: Middle Commentary on De generatione et corruptione. See Steinschneider, ibidem, p. 130-131. The only other known copy is in the Casanatense in Rome, MS 3149.
IV. Fols. 120v-135r: Moses ibn Tibbon's translation of Aristotle's De anima. See Steinschneider, ibidem, p. 148-149. Many copies of this translation exist in other manuscripts.
V. Fols. 135r-137v: Zerahiah Hen's translation of the Treatise on the soul by Abu-Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi (Muslim philosopher, d. 951). The treatise was published by Z.H. Edelmann in his Chemdah Genuzah (Knigsberg 1856), Over 15 manuscripts of this translation are extant.
VI. Fols. 138r-147v: Moses ibn Tibbon's translation of the Middle Commentary on De sensu et sensibili. See Steinschneider, ibidem, p. 153-155. Many copies exist in other manuscripts.
VII. Fols. 148r-220r: Zerahiah Hen's translation of the Middle Commentary on the Metaphysics. One of three extant manuscript copies of this translation; the other two are in the Casanatense in Rome, MS 3149, and in Cambridge, MS. Add. 173.
VIII. Fols. 220v-225r: Zerahiah Hen's translation of Aristotle's De causis. One of two extant manuscripts of this translation. The other copy is in the Kaufmann collection in Budapest, Hungarian Academy of Sciences. See Steinschneider, ibidem, p. 262.
Fol. 225r: colophon.
Fol. 225v: blank.
1. Suesskind ben Abraham Loeb Levi (fol. 148r).
2. On fol. 1r an Italian inscription stating that the manuscript was bought in Florence in 1609 by 'Pausanus Plantavitius' [= Jean de la Pause, Bishop of Lodere and a Christian Hebraist who published a Hebrew dictionary in 1644].
REFERENCES: Neubauer, no. 42, p. 17-18; Hebrew Paleography Project, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, C 674; Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem, F 4710; [exhibited] Catalogue of Anglo-Jewish Historical Exhibition, 1887. Royal Albert Hall (London 1887) no. 2127, p. 138.