AVERROES (Mohammed ibn Rushd; Cordova 1126-Marrakech 1198). Collection of commentaries on Aristotle. MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
Copied by Judah ben Jacob for Jehiel Katz, [Ashkenaz], 13 Shevat 5206 (= 1446)
2o. Measurements of fol. 29v: 303 x 205 mm; text space: 202 x 117 mm; upper margin: 34 mm, lower margin: 67 mm, inner margin: 30 mm, outer margin: 58 mm. 28 lines; ten lines: 70 mm. 269 leaves: 110 (+ 1 after 10) 2-1312 1410 15-2012 2112 (+ 1 before 1); due to the relatively tight binding the quire structure of the second section could not be established without damaging the brittle paper of the manuscript; there are no catchwords or signatures in this section. Partial slightly erroneous modern lead pencil foliation. Dark brown ink. Ashkenazic semi-cursive scripts. Fols. 1-259 were copied by Judah ben Jacob for Jehiel Katz. The same scribe copied MSS Oxford, Opp. 143 in 1440; New York, JTS Rab. 1147 in 1449/50; and Harvard University, MS Heb. 38 in 1457. Fols. 260-269 were copied in a later semi-cursive Ashkenazic hand which also added notes in the margins of the works in the first part of the manuscript. There usually are single catchwords at bottom of the versos of the leaves, but deviations occur. There are prickings for the vertical marginal lines only, plummet ruling for vertical lines on rectos and versos, hardly discernible blind ruling, on versos only (?) for horizontal lines. There is no dilation of letters; filling the line is achieved by anticipation of the next word, with a sign above the anticipated letters, and by graphic fillers; protruding lines, often as much as four or five letters, occur, but the scribe's usual technique is that of leaving a space of a few millimeters between the last word in the line and its continuation (of one letter). Marginal annotations, those in the first section usually by the scribe of the second section, later colophon-like text on fol. 269r closing off the copy of the Iggeret Teman. (Brittle, edges frayed and upper corners severely frayed, usually missing and restored to size, with loss of some text, especially in the beginning of the manuscript, modern and older restorations, last leaf torn.) Modern blind and gold-tooled red morocco, two modern paper flyleaves.
I. Fols. 1r-84v: Middle Commentary on De coelo et mundo, translated by Solomon ibn Ayub in 1259. See M. Steinschneider, Die hebrischen bersetzungen des Mittelalters und die Juden als Dolmetscher (Berlin 1893) p. 128-129.
II. Fols. 84v-118v: Middle Commentary on De generatione et corruptione translated by Kalonymos ben Kalonymos (d. Arles 1316). See ibidem, p. 131.
III. Fols. 118v-163r: Middle Commentary on Meteorologia by the same. See ibidem, p. 138-140.
Fol. 163v: blank.
IV. Fols. 164r-250v: The 11th book of De animalibus translated by Jacob ben Makhir in 1302. See ibidem, p. 143-146.
Fol. 250v: colophon.
V. Fols. 251r-259v: De somno et vigilia, translated by Solomon ben Moses of Melgueil. According to M. Steinschneider, ibidem, p. 284, the author is probably Avicenna (Gershom ben Solomon quotes this work and attributes it to Avicenna).
VI. Fols. 259v-260v: Abraham ibn Ezra's commentary on Canticles. Different from the redaction printed in most editions. Printed from three other manuscripts by H.J. Matthews, Abraham ibn Ezra's Commentary on the Canticles, after the first recension (London 1874).
VII. Fols. 261r-269r: Moses ben Maimon's letter to the Jews of Yemen, Iggeret Teman or Petach Tikva, as it was called by the translator Nahum ha-Ma'aravi. Of this translation many manuscripts exist. Recently published in a critical edition by Y. Shilat, Iggerot ha-Rambam (Jerusalem 1987) p. 77-168, and in various translations (notably into English by A.S. Halkin).
Fol. 269v: blank.
Most of the commentaries on Aristotle (texts I-V) exist in 10-25 other manuscript copies.
REFERENCES: Neubauer, no. 41, p. 16-17; Hebrew Paleography Project, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, C 673; Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, Jerusalem, F 4709.