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ASTRONOMICA

MRJ number: 
105
College classmark: 
E.2

    Vellum, 5.875 x 4, ff. 38 + 8, 22 lines to a page.  14th cent., clearly written.

    Old parchment wrapper folding over.

    Donor, T. C. S.                                                                            2 fo. climata.

    On flyleaf:

                               Est liber iste meus possum producere testes

                               Si quis queratur wilielmus graye sic nominatur.

    Collation: a4, 110 28 (+ ff. 30, 31 bound after 14) 38 48 (two leaves in

quire 2) 54 (1 canc.), b4.

    Contents:

        1.    De septem climatibus exposicio      .         .         .         .         .         .         .         f.  1

               Diameros ubi incipit primum clima et dicitur a dia et meros

                     -non tamen computantur sub climatibus.

        2.    De Astrolabio (Chaucer's treatise on the Astrolabe)   .          .         .         .            2

               Litil childe lowys my sone.

               At top of f. 27.  Reynolde uis uigere nescio.

               Ends f. 38a (ad inueniendum lineam meridionalem, etc.).

                     -sette {th}y pyn be plum rewle euen.

        3.    A faint English paragraph on 38b, smaller hand.

               A notarial mark, and scribble, on last flyleaf.

    It is MS. M in Skeat, Chaucer III, p. lx, and is well spoken of.

Supplementary information 

Negative microfilm in St John's College Library.

On item 2, P. Pintelon (ed.), Chaucer's treatise on the astrolabe: MS. 4862-4869 of the Royal Library in Brussels, Rijksuniversiteit te Gent.  Werken uitgegeven door de Faculteit van de wijsbegeerte en letteren, 89 (Antwerp, 1940).

Item 3 contains two sets of instructions for divining by numbers:

(i) '{y}if {th}u wilte wete whe{th}' a ma' schal [leue?] or dey{y}e…', ending '…esely to effectt' (?) -10 lines.

(ii) 'Also if {th}u wilt preue whe{th}er a woman be wt childe…' ending ' . . if it be even it is a man and if it be odde it is a woman . . . ' - 11 lines.

                                                                      'Iste liber pertinet..'

3 (i) mentions a 'cercle', which is on the front cover of MS. E.2.  See also Durham University Library Cosin V. v. 9, fol. 111, and an MS. sold by Jeremy Norman and Co., Inc., Catalogue 8, MS. 10, item 5, (photocopy in St John's College Library), which both have circular diagrams.  

Fols 5-6, 12-13, 14-17 are palimpsests, underlying the text there seems to be music.

There is a faint sketch of the devil on fol. 38v.

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