MS. 12 Illustrations
I. Boethius De consolatione philosophiae
The pictures, of which I have already shortly indicated the character, are as follows :
1) f. 1. Sanctus Sebastianus. He is bound by hands and feet to a shaft in the centre of an elaborate canopy, and is pierced with at least ten arrows. On either side is an archer with a long-bow.
2) f. 1 b. Occupying a column. A rich palace; in the lower story a king seated: three courtiers. The translator kneels on R. and presents his book.
3) f. 3. Above, the wheel of Fortune. Fortune crowned is seen through the spokes. Round it are four figures with scrolls: Regnaui, Regno, Regnabo, Sum sine regno. Below, Boece seated or lying back on a square of grass with trees. He has pen, ink, and book, inscribed (carmi)na qui / quondam stu(d)io.
4) f. 3 b. 1st prose. Boece in a building, reclines on a bed. Philosophy with crown, sceptre, and book stands over him: two ladies behind.
5) f. 4. A similar picture.
6) f. 4b. 2nd prose. Boece on bed. Philosophy by him.
7) f. 5. 3rd metre.The sun in clouds shines on a hill. (The clouds are dispersed by the wind.)
8) f. 5 b. 3rd prose. Anaxagoras sits on R. Two men stand before him with clubs. Two men kneel on L. Sun in clouds above. (He is banished for his theories about the sun.)
9) f. 6. On R. Carcer socratis, a building with Socrates standing in the door: dux atheniensis and another outside. On L. by a tree three men are prostrate.
10) f. 6. Epigurusand Stoicusstand holding between them the many-coloured Tunica philosophie which they are tearing.
11) f. 6. Zenon with bound hands: two men beat him on the head with clubs.
12) f. 6 b. Three Consules romani kneel: one head on the ground, a Tortor beheadsanother. Nero throned on R. This represents Senecio and others who were victims of Nero.
13) f. 6 b. A large castle lettered Turris refugii: armed men at the top, and others at the windows and inside the lower wall. Outside at the bottom are men with dishes, flagons, etc. These are the low-minded men who care for material things, while those higher up are the contemplative.
14) f. 7. 10th prose. By a tree a man sits playing a harp. An ass (Asinus)on R. listens. Illustrates the proverb 'onos lyras'.
15) f. 7 b. Boecius with club lays his hand on Paulinus who is attacked by two hounds, Canes imperatoris, a third in front eats something. These dogs represent courtiers from whose rapacity Boecius delivered Paulinus.
16) f. 8 b. Gaius Caesar with sword accuses Canius of being privy to a conspiracy against him. Canius has scroll with his answer, Si ego scissem tu nescisse(s).
17) f. 9. Theodoric throned on R. (at Verona): before him two senators kneel with bound hands, a guard with club behind. Boecius defends them.
18) f. 9. Boecius? kneeling with book by a stream among trees. Probably this represents him in exile.
19) f. 9 b. 5th metre. God in triple crown seated on rainbow blessing with orb in ring of clouds. O stelliferi conditor orbis.
20) f. 10. Sun, moon and stars in clouds, hills below. The moon's light obscures the stars and is obscured by the sun.
21) f. 10 b. 5th prose. A city (Athens): a man thrusts another out of the gate into banishment.
22) A city with a king throned, and men entering. Old Rome, from which no citizen could be banished.
23) f. 11. A building with five books on a shelf. Boecius' library, which is mentioned in the text.
24) f. 12 b. 7th metre. Six stars in sky, hills below.
25) A wood, water in front, partly brown and muddy.
26) A stream flowing: in its course a rock sticks up.
27) f. 13 b. Full page. Under rich canopies two single figures of saints: S. Apollonia holding tooth in pincers, and book. S. Margaret emerging from back of a green dragon, with long cross-staff, and joined hands.
28) f.14 a. S. Anthony with crutch, stick, book, and Tau on his shoulders. S. Bernard? in white habit with book and crosier.
29) f. 14 b. The Entry into Jerusalem. Men in and over the gate on R. Men in branches of a tree in centre. Apostles—S. James in hat—follow. Scroll above, Osanna filio dauid. benedictus qui uenit in nomine domini.
© N.J.R. James