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A Catalan Astronomical Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century: Newberry Library Ayer MS 746

A Catalan Astronomical Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century: Newberry Library Ayer MS 746

Johnston, Mark D.

Essays in Medieval Studies, vol. 1 (1984)

Abstract

The Newberry Library is the most outstanding collection of original source materials available to medievalists in the state of Illinois. In its large manuscript collection, the Newberry owns a fifteenth-century Volume, Ayer MS 746, that contains several previously unidentified astronomical texts, as well as medical recipes and birth records added by the manuscript’s owners. Virtually all of this material is written in Catalan. Paul Saenger of the Northwestern University Library first brought this manuscript to my attention when he asked me to examine several incipits and explicits needed for his catalogue of the Newberry’s medieval manuscripts. From that first cursory examination, I have gone on to study the manuscript in detail, investigating both the value and sources of the astronomical texts that it includes and the particular codicological and paleographical features that it displays. This paper summarizes the still very preliminary results of my investigations.

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