Düsseldorf, Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek, ms. F.5

Robert Holcot: A Fourth Quodlibetal Manuscript? (see: Ms. F.5)

In a recent article Rondo Keele stated that Düsseldorf, Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek, ms. F.5 (hereafter F.5) contained “determinationes” that should be considered in future editions of Holcot’s quodlibetal questions. While Keele does not explicitly claim that F.5 should be given the same weight as the Cambridge, London, or Oxford manuscripts, he does strongly imply that F.5 should be consulted in future editions (by noting that Tachau and Gelber did not include F.5 in their respective editions, given that it was not known at the time, etc.).  However, it should be noted that in his article Keele also implies that he did not actually consult the manuscript itself but knows of its existence through the online catalogue. (see the essay in: Theological Quodlibeta in the Middle Ages: The Fourteenth Century (Brill, 2007) p. 691, fn. 72).

F.5 is now available online (see the link above) and a closer examination demonstrates that it is of no use in reconstructing or editing Holcot’s quodlibetal debates.  What is interesting about the text is that it is identical to the Lyon edition printed in 1505 (see Here) and 1510 (and Here) (these are not the 1518 Lyon edition reprinted by Minerva, but the one edited by J. Badius, A. de Benevento and Iohanne Cleyn Alemano). Lyon 1510 and F.5 contain the exact same texts (i.e., Sentences, Conf., De imputabilitate, and Determinationes) and they have the same exact table of questions and tabula alphabetica. The similarities also include the same introductory remarks prefacing each text: e.g., “Clarissimi et longe... etc.”  Finally, F.5 contains some omissions and deletions, and of the ones I checked all are present in the Lyon edition of 1510 (that is, if a sentence or word is dropped from F.5 and added in the margin, one notes that it is included in the 1510 edition).  However, the clincher is that the colophon for F.5 gives a date of 1512.  It reads: “per manus fratris Henrici de Speis (de Ipeis?) Demborch, etc.  Anno domini 1512“.

See the colophon on f. 325rb:


The only logical conclusion is that F.5 is a manuscript copied from the early printed edition (or perhaps copied from the manuscript used to produce the early printed edition). As such, this sixteenth-century manuscript is of no use for editing Holcot’s quodlibetal questions.


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