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Manuscripts > Patavinus Seminarii 194

Padova, Biblioteca del Seminario, 194

Patavinus Seminarii 194: 14th cent. (2nd quarter), paper, 382 x 282 mm., I + 200 + I ff., Constantinople, hand similar to that of Neophytos Prodromênos.

Featured image :: 1 Recto :: aeizôon to mega







Patavinus Seminarii 194



Paper, with two watermarks with the same design (deux cercles traversés et surmontés par une croix), but with different dimensions, the second being smaller than the first (contrary to Mioni 1959: 350, who identifies only one [BRIQUET 3165: Bologne 1329; variante identique: Pise: 1330-31; Montpellier 1336; voir Likhatscheff 113, 284-287, 296: Sienne 1333-39]):

(ff. 1-111): deux cercles traversés et surmontés par une croix sim./= Briquet 3187 (Sienne, 1328); (ff. 115-200): deux cercles traversés et surmontés par une croix sim./= Briquet 3188 (Sienne, 1334).

The whole manuscript is stained with heavy marks of water on the internal edge, seemingly because of water coming from the spine.

Many folios are damaged.


The manuscript was severely damaged when it was discovered by Elpidio Mioni (Mioni 1959: 346). It was unbound, most of its gatherings were disassembled, and many bifolia were cut in two. Nevertheless, two blocks of gatherings were intact: ff. 69-108 and 123-146, containing 5 and 3 quaterniones respectively. The manuscript having been trimmed (probably several times), no signatures of the gatherings can be found.

After its discovery, the manuscript has been restored: many of its folios have been reinforced on their edges, loose folios have been assembled in bifolia, and gatherings were put together. The sequence of the folio was determined by Elpidio Mioni on the basis of the numbers of the illustrations in the manuscript (Mioni 1959: 346; on these numbers see below).

In its current state, the manuscript is made of 27 gatherings as follows: 7 quaterniones (56 ff.), 1 binio (+ 4 ff. = 60 ff.), 7 quaterniones (+ 56 ff. = 116 ff.), 1 binio (= 4 ff. = 120 ff.), 1 bifolium (+ 2 ff. = 122 ff.), 6 quaterniones (+ 48 ff. = 170 ff.), 1 quinio (+ 10 ff. = 180 ff.), 1 binio (+ 4 ff. = 184 ff.), 10 ff. (6 + 4 ff; 194 ff.), and 1 ternio (+ 6 ff. = 200 ff.).

Several elements help reconstitute an ancient state of the manuscript, which is not the original one, however: the watermarks of the folios, the structure of the gatherings that were intact, the contents and sources of the manuscript, and the numbering of its illustrations (numbers in red ink; see below).

On this basis, it seems plausible to hypothesize that the Patavinus was made of two volumes, each of which was made out of one of the two papers above. Volume 1 corresponds to current ff. 1-114, and volume 2 to ff. 115-200.

Volume 1 probably opened with an index now absent, unless this index was an addition as the red numbers of the illustrations may suggest (below; Mioni 1959: 346 considers that the manuscript contained the same portraits as Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, medicus graecus 1 [henceforth Vindob. med. gr. 1] ; such hypothesis cannot be verified). Also, the manuscript lost 1 folio between the current ff. 1 and 2 (Mioni 1959: 360 and note 34; aloê and althaia, corresponding to nos. 4 and 5), and between ff. 37 and 38 (Mioni 1959: 361 and note 41; glêchôn and giggidion, nos. 80 and 81); 2 folios between current ff. 61 and 62 (Mioni 1959: 362 and note 44; thridax êmeros, thridax agria, thumbra and thapsia, nos. 131-134), and between ff. 112 and 113 (xifion, xuris, xanthion, and oxulapathon to mega, nos. 245-248; Mioni 1959: 364 and note 49 suspects a lacuna here, but does not identify it clearly).

For a table of the reconstruction, see the attachment.

Volume 2 (ff. 115-200) is more difficult to reconstruct, particularly in its second part (ff. 180-200) because the manuscript did not reproduce systematically its source, but made a selection of its illustrations. On the other hand, the numbers of the illustrations in this possible volume 2nd clearly refer to a later sequence of the folios.

Nevertheless, some gatherings can be reconstructed with a certain degree of probability. In the gathering made of current ff. 139-146, the sequence of the folios should be as follows (so as to reproduce the order of the illustrations in the source; in the same sense, see Mioni 1959: 366 and note 55) (in the schema below, folios whose number is underlined have a watermark; the arrow [9] represents the cord at the center of the gathering):

139 - 143 - 144 - 140 145 - 141 - 142 - 146

Between the ff. 147 and 148, 1 or 2 folios have been lost, unless 1 folio have been lost before and after f. 148 (sfondulion and skordoprason; the numbers of the illustrations in red ink do not help as they have been written after the loss of these folios). Elpidio Mioni (Mioni 1959: 366 and note 56) includes here also the two species of seris, absent from the current state of Vindob. med. gr. 1 and our manuscript, but present in another copy of the Vindob., the Parisinus graecus 2286. The distribution of the watermarks in the quire made of ff. 147-151 on the basis of this reconstruction does not support the loss of a folio containing the two species of seris. The same (Mioni 1959: 366 and note 57) also hypothesizes the loss of a further folio after f. 149 (skordon omoiôs and sarapias), which may be the case..

Similarly, 1 folio is lost between the current ff. 160 and 161 (tragos omoiôs and tithumallos charakias; Mioni 1959 366 and not 58), and 2 folios are lost after the current f. 164 (tithumallos êlioskopios, tithumallos paralias, trifullos oxufullos, and upêkoon; see Mioni 1959: 366 and note 59, who adds uoskuamos and upoglôsson absent also from Vindob. med. gr. 1, but present in Parisinus graecus 2286; if so, 3 folios are lost after 164); 1 folio is lost after the current f. 171 (fakos and fakos o epi tôn petrôn; Mioni 1959: 367 and note 60).

Elpidio Mioni (Mioni 1959: 367 and note 61) hypothesizes a folio lost between the current ff. 177 and 178 (chamaileôn leukos and chamaileôn melas), whose text is lost also in the Vindob. med. gr. 1, but is present in the Parisinus graecus 2286. The structure of the gathering made of the current ff. 172-179 is not necessarily compatible with such an hypothesis. In this case, Padua 294 reproduced Vindob, med. gr. 1 after it had already lost this folio.

The last part of manuscript (ff. 180-200; = 21 ff.) could have been made of 3 quaterniones in which 3 folios are now missing. The distribution of the watermarks authorizes the following hypothetical reconstruction (see the conventions above, furthermore, xxx is used for a folio now lost) (the numbers of the illustrations in brown ink cannot be used to determine the place of a missing folio as Mioni 1959: 370 and note 64 does, as this numbering of the illustrations corresponds to a state of the manuscript in which the folios were in a very different order [see below]):

180 - 181 - 182 - 183 xxx - 184 - 185 - 186

187 - 188 - 189 - 190 191 - 192 - 193 - xxx

xxx - 194 - 195 - 196 197 - 198 - 199 - 200

Furthermore, it may be the case that a full gathering is lost as 15 illustrations are missing according to the numbering of the figures with brown ink (numbers 466-481; in this sense, seel also Mioni 1959: 371 and note 65); this may correspond to an entire quaternio, although many of the folios in the last part of the manuscript contain 2 illustrations on each side. Furthermore, supposed that there were only one illustration on each side of this supposedly lost gathering, only 15 numbers are missing and not 16. Whatever the case, the position of this possible gathering cannot be determined for the reason above.


The text related to the representations of plants has been inserted on most pages, after the drawings were made. No regular ruling was used, as the writing used all free space on the page, including among the parts of the plant representations.

Although the manuscript does not contain any signature of its copyist, it has been attributed to the monk Neophytos Prodromênos active in Constantinople, monastery of St John Prodromos, around mid 14th century (Mioni 1959: ). This attribution, which has been accepted for a long time, is now contested (Mondrain 2000: 13 note 10).

Patavinus Seminarii 194


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Patavinus Seminarii 194


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Patavinus Seminarii 194







Biblioteca del Seminario




14th C.




De materia medica, with plant representations

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