Friday, August 17, 2007


If you haven't already heard, another volume of the Opera Omnia was released at the end of June, completing book 3 of the Ordinatio. It lists at 180 euros, and is available from Quaracchi or Deastore, both listed in my bookseller links. This leaves four volumes for book IV, and a single volume of indices which will bring the numbering up to the beginning of the Lectura.

According to the introductory discussion by the editors, the Assisi manuscript 137, A in the app. crit., is only trustworthy to around distinction seven of book III. It also is trustworthy for all of book I up through d. 2 of book II; I don't know about IV (though it is probably discussed in the lengthy prolegomena to the entire edition in vol. 1 which I haven't waded through yet). A professor of mine who taught manuscript editing and worked on the Scotus de anima questions was highly critical of the vatican editors use of this manuscript, which purports to be a copy of the Liber scoti. This latter ms. was Scotus's autograph, probably kept at Oxford until it was burned by the prots in 1535 or 1550. It is imporant as it contains lots of marginalia designating the order of paragraphs and additions, deletions and other authorial notes. Its text serves as the base text of the edition, save where the editors find it untrustworthy (bks 2 and 3). According to my professor, though the comments is preserves are precious, and the scribe probably did have some access to the autograph, he only wrote in Scotus's comments; the text itself is from somewhere else, and is inferior to some of the other manuscripts in the tradition. I'm still trying to sort all this out and don't have strong opinions either way.

The editors have also tried to lay out for us (though here I'm talking about the discussion prefaced to vol. 8) the layers of interpolations and editorial work by Scotus's own students. the initial layer is by an anonymous scribe who inserted Ord. I d. 39 (William of Alnwick refers to it as genuine, but MS. A says that there was a blank space in the Liber Scoti; all the other mss. have it, but the vatican editors placed it in an appendix, much to the wrath of certain scholars. Already we can see the consequences of this close adherence to ms. A). Then we have William of Alnwick, Scotus's secretary. He inserted passages from all sorts of places; Reportationes, Lecturae, his own works, the list goes on. For example, some ten distinctions are missing from book III, though Alnwick filled them in. Then there is a smattering of interpolated passages by other anonymous scribes, some of whom apparently inserted things to make Scotus look bad or seem heretical, as none of the early mss. contain them.

That's all for now, I hope you all run out and by vol. X. I know you want to.


Michael Sullivan said...


I hope you all run out and by vol. X. I know you want to.

Jerk. Vade retro, Satana!

Lee Faber said...

poor mikey. someone should have made a prenup