The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark O.9.27
Manuscript Title

Hesiod, Works and Days

Alternative Title


James Number 1439
Century 13th14th
Physical Description

About 30 lines to a page. In two hands: partly palimpsest: lines not ruled.


Part of the Gale collection, given to T.C.C. by Roger Gale in 1738. Marked I. 25. No. 368. On f.1 at bottom Liber D. Grimani Carlis S. Marci.A band of ornament at top with a lion and dragon above.

Donor Gale, Roger (1672-1744), Antiquary
Size (cm) 28 x 19.5
Folio 62 + 1 ff.
Material Parchment
Language Greek

1 flyleaf. 18-38 (wants 1) 48 58 (wants 8) 68 78.

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On the flyleaf are scribbles in the hand of the principal scribe.
Also a xvth cent. title in Italian hand:
hesiodus cum comento in pergameno.
A letter or note very obscurely written, beginning
Ego Stefanus Grecus.
It apparently does not refer to this MS. Ίωάννου γραμματικου̑ του̑ Τζέτζου ἐξήγησις τῆς βίβλου τω̑ν ἔργων καὶ ἡμερω̑ν Ήσιόου.
στίχοι Ἰαμβικοὶ δωρικοὶ πρὸς πρόκλον τὸν προὐξηγησάμενον τὸν ἡσίοδον κ.τ.λ.
ff.2b, 3a; are a good deal stained with galls.
The text of Hesiod begins on f.5b with a large red initial. It is in a larger hand than the comment, with which it alternates, a few lines at a time. There are interlinear glosses.
f.15b is badly stained with galls.
The second hand appears first on f.22b; it is rather better than the first.
The first hand reappears at f.32, the whole of quire 5 is written by it.
This quire is palimpsest. The older writing (not, I think, very much older) is in double columns of 39 lines: a small hand.
The matter is probably Biblical or Christian; I seem to read the word χ̅υ̅ for Χριστου̑ on f.38b.
The second hand reappears at f.39 and continues to the end.
The text is incomplete, ending f.62b with l.760.
ῷδ ἔρδειν δεινὴν δὲ βροτω̑ν ὑπαλεύεο φήμην.
The comment ends
μωμοσκοπεῖ τὰ μυστηρια. (?).
The MS. was first collated by Dobree for Gaisford, and last by F. A. Paley for his edition (1883). Mr Paley set a very high value on the text: in his opinion it is perhaps the best copy of the Works and Days in existence. He gives a facsimile of a very neat drawing of the plough and other agricultural implements which occurs on f.43b. As to the date he says that it is "apparently of the early part of the xivth cent., perhaps older. It contains, however, the writing of several hands, and the first part, to v. 256, is probably of saec. xiii." I only distinguish two hands, which must be contemporary, since the second is found on the same leaf as the first.


Kothe, H., 'Der Hesiodpflug', Philologus 119 (1975), 1-26

Tchernetska, N., 'Hand-list of the Greek palimpsests in Cambridge libraries', in Atti del V Colloquio Internazionale di Paleografia greca (Cremona, 4-10 ottobre 1998) (Florence, 2000), pp. 733-739

West, M. L., 'The medieval manuscripts of the "Works and days"', Classical quarterly 24 (1974), 162-85

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