Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection -- Manuscript Number: ljs194              Version:
Isagoge Geometriae    [Northern Austria, s. XIImed]

Physical Description:

56 folios, collation: i-vii8, lacking a gathering after f. 48 and perhaps additional matter at the end, else apparently complete, foliated in modern pencil, one alphabetic signature ffF on first folio of gathering 6 (f. 41), one column, 24-25 lines, faintly ruled in blind, written by two principal scribes in dark brown ink in a romanesque bookhand, rubrics red, some capitals touched in red, very many one-line initials in red, approximately one hundred large painted initials in red, mostly 3 or 4 lines high, six large white-vine decorative initials from 3 to 10 lines high drawn in red with some infilling in brown, in fine designs of twisting, scrolling and entwined vine-stems, one formed of a winged dragon (f. 7v), over 120 geometrical and mathematical diagrams mostly drawn in the margins (some very small) but with large drawings inset into text and up to half-page or more in size (e.g. f. 55); the text on f. 23 erased and partly rewritten in a later medieval cursive hand (part of the text had been omitted at his point and supplied on f. 56v), many scholarly sidenotes in two hands, one of the twelfth century and one of the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century; mutilated at some stage (damaged by the binder, according to Phillipps) and many early folios show signs of having been partly torn out and skillfully reinserted, some vellum pieces used to strengthen inner margins at end are apparently from the missing text after f. 48, eighteenth-century blind-stamped calf binding, early title fGEOMETRIAF written along edges of folios at top of book, paper end-folios, rebacked with spine laid on, in a black fitted morocco case, 106 x 155 (121 x 73) mm.

Incipit: In quatuor matheseos ordine disciplinarum `/`ita ut possit moveri quolibet.


  1. Written in Bavaria, probably in what is now Northern Austria within the realm of Henry the Lion. The primary hand is a romanesque script typical of late-twelfth-century Austria, reminiscent in particular of the script practised in St. Lambrecht, with which it shares a very angular nature.
  2. In the hands of a Renaissance humanist in the late fifteenth or early sixteenth century, who collated the text with other manuscripts (see, e.g., the note on f. 7v referring to alternate readings in faliis codicibusF) and who knew Greek (see f. 3), calling attention to the classical sources in the text. He cites St. Augustine (ff. 2 and 2v), the great scholars Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) and Cardinal Bessarion (1403-1472), both on f. 3, Albertus Magnus on f. 3v, the Timaeus of Plato (f. 4v), and Boethius (f. 6v).
  3. There is a much later signature of fM. HaimmillerF on f. 1.
  4. Hieronymus Wilhelm Ebner (1673-1752), von Eschenbach, of the prominent Nuremberg family; his sale, Nuremberg, 2 August 1813, lot 311.
  5. John Henry Bohn (1757-1843).
  6. Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), his Ms. 4437. In the Phillipps catalogue of manuscripts 4424-4459, a note reads that the manuscript has been compared with the description of the Ebner copy, and that it is clearly the same codex, as proven by the lacuna (at f. 48) (Bubnov p. XXIX).
  7. Probably Robinson Brothers, 1945.
  8. Harrison D. Horblit.
  9. H. P. Kraus, catalogue 155 (1979), number. 18.
  10. Bruce Ferrini.
  11. Sam Fogg, catalogue 14 (1991), number 1.
  12. John Stanitz Ms. 25.
  13. Acquired en bloc from Dr. Stanitz in September 1997.

N. Bubnov, Gerberti postea Silvestri II papae Opera Mathematica (Berlin 1899). This manuscript is given the siglum [Ch] (for Cheltenham, where it was housed by Phillipps).;J. Millas Vallicrossa, Assaig dFhistoria de les indees fisiues I matematiques (1931).; F. Picavet, Gerbert, un Pape philosophe (1897).; M. Uhlirz, fStudien zu Gerbert von AurillacF in Archiv fr Urkundforschung XI (1930), pp. 391-422.; Paul Saenger, Space Between Words, Stanford: Stanford University press, 1997; H. P. Kraus, catalogue 155, number 18; Sam Fogg, catalogue 14, number 1.