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MS 199: Satires by Juvenal, late 15th century

Identifier: MS 199


Juvenal was an early second-century AD Roman poet. Although little else is known about his life, he is credited with having written sixteen satires. When first published, the satires were divided into five books, and in them Juvenal criticised the beliefs and morals of his contemporaries. Juvenal addresses many of the concerns in second-century Rome in his poems, including the tensions between non-Roman social climbers and Roman citizens, the preservation of existing social class, and the excesses of the Roman citizen class.
All sixteen satires are contained in MS 199. In this volume, each satire begins with an argumenta, in red ink, followed by the text of the satire.
The first satire begins on f. 1r with the Argument: In hac satyra causas primum reddit... The text of the satire begins on the same folio: Semper ego auditor tantum?
The remaining fifteen satires and arguments are found on the following folios:
  1. ff. 5r-9r: Satire II
  2. ff. 9r-16r: Satire III
  3. ff. 16v-19v: Satire IV
  4. ff. 20r-24r: Satire V
  5. ff. 24r-38r: Satire VI
  6. ff. 38r-43v: Satire VII
  7. ff. 43v-49v: Satire VIII
  8. ff. 49v-53r: Satire IX
  9. ff. 53r-61r: Satire X
  10. ff. 61r-65v: Satire XI
  11. ff. 66r-69r: Satire XII
  12. ff. 69r-74v: Satire XIII
  13. ff. 74v-82r: Satire XIV
  14. ff. 82r-83v: Satire XV
  15. ff. 83v-88r: Satire XVI
The last of Juvenal's satires, Satire XVI ends on f. 88r of MS 199 with the line et ventri indulsit non omne legumen. Telos.
Writing Written in a good italic hand, the Argumenta on f. 1r in pale red. Titles are in purple or green capitals, and the initials are plain Roman capitals touched with a thin wash of colour, either blue or lake.
Illumination The initial at the beginning is of flat gold and contains a figure like Pan playing a lyre, a helmet and armour beside him, a landscape background, and all in water colour.


  • late 15th century


Language of Materials


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

The script is Italian, but there are no marks of early ownership. The book belonged to Mr. W. H. Black, whose signature is found on the inner board, and who also contributes bibliographical notes on a fly-leaf at the beginning of the volume. In these notes he states that the book was bought in London, May 1871: Istum codicem Londinio emebat Melas Miliarensis xv Maii Anno 1871. David Laing presumably bought MS 199 at the sale of W. M Black's library in 1873. The B.M. Catalogue of this sale indicates that it was bought by 'Saunders' for £1, 3s (Sale Catalogue of W. H. Black, London, 1873. No. 1359).

Previous reference

Laing 438

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland's catalogue: Juvenalis Satyre

Physical Facet

Material: Paper

Binding: Paper boards covered vellum, lettered Juvenalis Satyr: ms. Cum Argumentis antt. Codex Saec. xv.

Collation: a10—h10, i9=89.


16.67 cm x 10.48 cm


Secundo folio: ventilet aestivum
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 88 (+1), 24 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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