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MS 131: Composite manuscript including twenty-seven texts, 1478

Identifier: MS 131


Contains twenty-eight texts, all in the same hand except the last one. Folios are missing between f. 123 and f. 124; between f. 124 and f. 125; between f. 129 and f. 130.

ff. 1r-5v: 'Tractatus de lapide philosophico' by Pseudo-Thomas Aquinas.

ff. 6r-17v: 'Liber Julii Latini' ('Book of Julius Latinus').

ff. 18r-23v: 'Epistola accurtationis' by Pseudo-Ramon Llull.

ff. 24r-29r: 'Errores Alchimiae' by Pseudo-Arnaldus de Villanova.

ff. 29v-33v: 'Testamentum Novum' ('New Testament').

ff. 34r-49v: 'Liber Saturni'.

ff. 50r-53v: 'Epistola Solis ad Lunam Crescentem' by Muhammad ibn Umail al-Sadiq al-Tamimi (among other names, known in the West as 'Senior').

ff. 54r-73v: 'Practica optima' ('The best practice', alchemic prescriptions).

f. 73r: 'Ad sublimandum marchasitam' (For the sublimation of marchasita').

f. 73v: 'Solutio Talch'.

ff. 74r-75r: 'Epistola pulchra ad lunam'.

ff. 75r-82v: Alchemic prescriptions by Laurentius Luti.

ff. 82v-85v: 'Liber duodecim aquarum' ('Book of the twelve waters').

ff. 86r-86v: 'Aquae quae fit ex alumine vulcani solvens omnia solutione subita'.

ff. 87r-88r: 'Epistola Imperatori Henrico Missa' by Gualterius della Flamma.

ff. 88v-90v: Excerpts from the 'Liber experimentorum' attributed to Roger Bacon.

ff. 90v-100v: Anonymous text possibly related to a work on mercury attributed to Roger Bacon.

ff. 100v-103v: 'Practica augmenti nobilissimi et multiplicatione verissime' ('Practice of true augmentation and most true multiplication')by Pseudo-Arnaldus de Villanova.

ff. 103v-110r: 'Opus ad lunam' by Antonius Burgundio.

ff. 110v-111v: Extracts from a book by Morienus.

ff. 112r-115r: Excerpts from 'Semita recta' by Pseudo-Albertus Magnus.

ff. 115r-116v: 'Practica optima', alchemic prescriptions).

ff. 116v-123v: 'Epistola fixionis cinabrii et conversionis eius in lunam' by Pseudo-Roman Llull and other prescriptions.

f. 124r-128v: 'Interpretatio putrefactionis'(?).

f. 129r: 'Somnium de tota philosophici lapidis perfectione' by Pseudo-Aristotle with commentary

ff. 130r-171r: 'Liber de consideratione quintae essentiae' or 'De famulatu philosophiae' by Jean de Roquetaillade.

f. 172r-175r: Alchemic prescriptions.

ff. 175v-177r: Alchemic writing (later addition).

The texts are described separately, under MS.131/ff.1r-5v; MS.131/ff.6r-17v; MS.131/ff.18r-23v; MS.131/ff.24r-29r; MS.131/ff.29v-33v; MS.131/ff.34r-49v; MS.131/ff.50r-53v; MS.131/ff.54r-73v; MS.131/f.73r; MS.131/f.73v; MS.131/ff.74r-75r; MS.131/ff.75r-82v; MS.131/ff.82v-85v; MS.131/ff.86r-86v; MS.131/ff.87r-88r; MS.131/ff.88v-90r; MS.131/ff.90v-100v; MS.131/ff.100v-103v; MS.131/ff.103v-110r; MS.131/ff.110v-111v; MS.131/ff.112r-115r; MS.131/ff.115v-116v; MS.131/ff.116v-123v; MS.131/ff.124r-128v; MS.131/f.129; MS.131/ff.130r-171r; MS.131/ff.172r-175r; and MS.131/ff.175v-177v.


The script is a good specimen of the italic hand signed by the scribe, Bernardino Tontulo. The rubrics are red Roman capitals. The larger initials have only in a few cases been completed.


Different hands appear on f. 129v, on ff. 175v-177r and in some of the marginal notes.


The manuscript is not illuminated.


  • Creation: 1478


Language of Materials

Latin and Italian.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

An Italian book, collected and written by Bernardino Tontulo in 1478 (see ff. 49v and 171r). It contains marginal notes by an Italian hand of the 17th century, and has a coat of arms pasted on a fly-leaf, which is probably an ex-libris of a later owner, about 1700. Unfortunately the device has not been identified with certainty, but it seems to be a foreign coat.

A title and tabula have been inserted by James Dennistoun of Dennistoun, who states that he bought the manucript in Rome in 1839. A printed notice of the sale of his library, 14 April 1855, has been inserted, so that probably the manuscript was acquired by the Library by purchase or gift from the sale.

Previous reference

D. b. V. 17

Previous title

Title give to the manuscript in Catherine Borland's catalogue: Miscellanea de Arte Alchemica.

Physical Facet

Material: Paper.

Binding: Vellum, with red label Ars Alchimica M. S..

Collation: a7 (wants 1 and 2), b10, c6, d10-n10, o6, p10-r10, s12, t6 = 177


20.96cm x 13.97cm


Secundo folio: infimo ut melius.

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 177, c. 36 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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