• Articella

  • Harley Collection, British Library
  • Ars Medicinae, the compilation of medical texts of Greek, Byzantine, and Arabic origin that is known as the Articella. Since the early 12th century most texts were translated into Latin by scholars in the circle of the medical school of Salerno, and became the basis of the medical curriculum in European universities and remained in use until the 16th century.
  • Origin: France (Paris).Provenance: The Benedictine Abbey of Malmesbury: erased inscription 'Liber Domini Abbatis / de Malmesbury' (f. 1r), and 14th-century priced purchase note (f. 272v; partly erased) 'Hunc librum e[mit] frater Johannes Gryfok monachus malmesbury pro xiij solidi iiij denari Anno domini M. .ccc. lxxi' (f. 2r) (for other examples of press-marks and ex-libris of Malmesbury Abbey see R. M. Thomson, William of Malmesbury (Woodbridge, 2003), pls. 3-5.).
  • 5th-century marginal annotations in English hand. Occasional short references to an identified printed edition of the Articella added by a later hand (16th-century?) in the margins at the beginning of texts or sections (see ff. 37v, 39r, 68r, 88v, 96r, 107r, 110v).Robert Burscough (b. 1650/51, d.1709), prebendary of Exeter in 1701, archdeacon of Barnstaple in 1703, rector of Cheriton Bishop in 1705; his manuscript no. 52 (see E. Bernard, Catalogi librorum manuscriptorum angliae et hiberniae in unum collecti, cum indice alphabetico (Oxford: Sheldonian, 1697), II, p. 233, no. 7671 and no. 52); sold by his widow on 17 May 1715 to Robert Harley, along with other manuscripts.

  • The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts: inscribed as usual with the date of acquisition by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley '17 Die Maii, 1715. Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta, née Cavendish Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d.1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library. Harley shelfmark in light brown ink '111.B.1' followed by '3140' in dark brown ink, and '2/III C' in pencil (f. i recto).

  • Parchment codex. Occasional old repairs applied to natural parchment flaws. 

  • 318 x 215 mm (text space: 185 x 105-110 mm).

  • Script Gothic; glosses in brown ink in a cursive minuscule script; additional annotations in plummet also in an English cursive minuscule hand (15th century).

  • Latin 

  • c1300

  • Reuse of images in line with British Library guidance

Reference Information
  • Harley MS 3140
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