GALEN (c.130-200), Opera varia in Greek, MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[Constantinople or southern Italy, early 14th century or earlier]290 x 205mm. 155 leaves, all disbound, bombycianus paper mounted on guards and with tissue paper interleaved, originally mostly in gatherings of 8 leaves, surviving signature marks show first four gatherings lost, lacking at end and final 15 surviving leaves fragments, as is f.78 whose original position is uncertain, written in brown ink in 28 lines by four scribes, numerous marginal and interlinear annotations, two scribal or ownership signatures on ff.61 and 106, 19th-century ink foliation in arabic numerals at the foot of rectos (worming throughout, mostly affecting margins, occasionally reinforced with paper, 16 leaves only surviving in part, faint water-staining to upper outer corners from f.105 to end, not affecting legibility). Russia by Bretherton, 1848, his label inside upper cover (spine faded and edges scuffed).
AN EXCEPTIONALLY EARLY AND EXTENSIVE COPY OF GALEN
1. The origin and early provenance of the manuscript are unclear. The appearance of the script is consistent with an origin no later than the early 14th century but it has been suggested that it may be 200 years earlier and that the main hand is that of the renowned Byzantine scholar Ioannikios (Garcia Novo, 2003, pp.136 n.1 and 137 n.6). The extent of the learned and medieval, annotation indicate its use in a scholarly environment.
2. The description and title on front endleaf suggest that the manuscript was in Italy by the 19th century.
3. Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872) Ms 4614, bought from Payne: Phillipps's green wax stamp inside upper cover, his autograph notes and number, and label on spine; British Library, Loan 36/19.
The manuscript contains eight of Galen's works in Greek, here identified with the equivalent in the edition of C.G. Kühn, Claudii Galeni Opera Omnia, Leipzig: C. Cnobloch, 1821-33, with subsequent editions cited.
1. ff.1-15v Galen, de temperamentis: ff.1-9 and ff.14-15 transmit Kühn, I, 635-694, the text on ff.10-13v, de temperamentis, Kühn, I, 617 et seq., was added by a later hand. G. Helmreich, Galeni de temperamentis libri iii, Leipzig: Teubner, 1904.
2. ff.15v-54r Galen, de naturalibus facultatibus: Kühn, II, 1-214. G. Helmreich, J. Marquardt, I. Mueller, Claudii Galeni Pergameni scripta minora, iii, Leipzig: Teubner, 1893.
3. ff.54r-54v short fragment of unknown provenance.
4. ff.54v-57v Galen, de inaequali intemperie: Kühn, VII, 733-752.
5. ff.57v-60 Galen, de optima corporis nostri constitutione: Kühn, IV, 737-749. K. G. Helmreich, 'Galenus de optima corporis constitutione. Idem de bono habitu', in: Programm Gymnasium Hof, 1900-1901 (1901).
6. ff.60-61 Galen, de bono habitu: Kühn, IV, 750-756 (61v blank). G. Helmreich, 'Galenus de optima corporis constitutione. Idem de bono habitu', in: Programm Gymnasium Hof, 1900-1901 (1901).
7. ff.62-106 Galen, de difficultate respirationis: Kühn, VII, 753-960 (106v blank). A.J. Minor, De Galeni libris peri dyspnoias. Diss. Marburg 1911.
8. ff.107-140 Galen ad Glauconem de medendi methodo: Kühn, XI, 1-146 K (f. 140v blank).
9.141-154 Galen de alimentorum facultatibus: Kühn, VI, 453-588 (most pages defective). G. Helmreich, Galeni de alimentorum facultatibus libri iii, Corpus Medicorum Graecorum, V 4.2. Leipzig 1923.
By all standards this is an exceptionally early and extensive copy of Galen's medical works. It is the more remarkable for the copious, and various, glosses and annotations. Most of these scholia act as commentaries on the treatises and add citations from other Galenic works, others attempt to rationalize and structure lines of thought in diagrams similar to the tabulae vindobonenses, the 7th-century schematic versions of Galenic texts that survive in a 13th-century manuscript in Austria.
Although it has been the subject of some research -- sometimes as a Phillipps manuscript being cited as 'Cheltenhamensis 4614' -- several crucial points remain to be established. Three of the sections were written contemporaneously: one hand wrote ff.1-9 and 14-61, a second ff.62-106 and a third ff.107-154. Folios 10-13 were copied later. It is presumably the scribes who signed on f.61 (cropped and not entirely legible) and on f.106 (Konstantinos Xanthopoulos). Or could they have been owners? Was one of the scribes, as has been suggested, the famous Byzantine scholar Ioannikios? This would require a radical redating of the manuscript and would give even greater authority to the version of Galen's text that it transmits. To date only one critical edition has used the manuscript, already citing it as an important witness (Helmreich, de temperamentis, the present copy is C). Further research and examination of the annotations may well reveal more of the circumstances in which the manuscript was copied and was used.
Overall Phillipps 4614 is an important survival, with the potential to yield significant information in various fields, including the history of medicine, Byzantine scholarship and codicology. Further research may well shed light on the history of the transmission of several Galenic texts and the scriptorium of the Byzantine scholar Ioannikios.
Bibliography: E. Garcia Novo: 'Un texte Byzantin inedit sur la scene de Galien et Glaucon (DE LOCUS AFFECTIS 8, 361, 12-366, 5K)', in: Trasmissione e ecdotica dei testi medici greci, Atti del IV Convegno internazionale Parigi 17-19 maggio 2001, ed. A. Garzya, J. Jouanna, Napoli 2003, p. 135-148 (with further bibliography).
E. Garcia Novo: 'Les scholies marginales au traité de Galien De inaequali intemperie dans le manuscrit grec Phillipps 4614', in: I testi medici greci, tradizione e ecdotica, Atti del III Convegno Internazionale Napoli 15-18 ottobre 1997, ed. A. Garzya, J. Jouanna, Napoli 1999, p. 175-183.
B. Gundert: 'Die tabulae vindobonenses als Zeugnis alexandrinischer Lehrtdtigkeit um 600 n. Chr.', in: Text and Tradition, Studies in ancient medicine and its transmission presented to Jutta Kollesch, ed. K.-D. Fischer, D. Nickel, P. Potter, Leiden 1998, p. 91-144.