ARISTOPHANES: PLUTOS & THE CLOUDS

MS 593
MS Short Title ARISTOPHANES: PLUTOS & THE CLOUDS
Text
  1. ARISTOPHANES: PLOUTOS
  2. ARISTOPHANES: THE CLOUDS
  3. EURIPIDES: HECUBA
  4. EURIPIDES: ORESTES
  5. HESIOD: ERGA KAI HEMÉRAI (WORKS AND DAYS)
Description MS in Greek on paper, possibly Crete, 2nd half of 15th c., 227 ff. (-5), 20x14 cm, single column, (16x8 cm), 15 lines in Greek minuscule, initials, headings and names of actors in red, many additions and glosses.
Binding Greece, 15th c., wooden boards, blindstamped leather, chain stitches on 3 sewing stations, spine raised "alla Grecca".
Context For the earliest MS of Hesiod, 3rd c. BC, see MS 5068.
Provenance 1. D.V. Kelly (until 1935); 2. Sotheby's 5.3.1935:281; 3. E.P. Goldschmidt, London (1935-); 4. John Alfred Spranger (1889-1968); 5. Sotheby's 5.12.1989:73.
Commentary

Text 1. Ploutos (Plutus, Wealth), written in 388 BC, the last of Aristophanes’ (ca. 445-385 BC) extant plays, is about bad men growing rich and honest men remaining poor, involving Ploutos (god of wealth), the goddess of poverty, Zeus, Asclepios and Hermes. Text 2. Clouds (Nephelai, lat. Nubes) was first produced in 423 BC and revised ca. 417 BC, ridiculing Socrates as a typical sophist and corrupt propagator of modern education of the young.

Text 3. Euripides (c. 485-406 BC), Hecuba (Hekabe) written ca. 424 BC. Hecuba was wife of Priamos, king of Troy and mother of 19 children including Hector, Paris and Cassandra. Text 4. Orestes was written in 408 BC, he was son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra and brother of Iphigeneia and Electra. Besides Euripides’ famous tragedy, Orestes was the source of the trilogy of tragedies, Oresteia, by Aeschylos written in 458 BC. Text 5. Hesiod’s (ca. 700 BC) poem in hexameter is on farming with a calendar on good and bad days. Main themes being justice and hard work, using the myth about Prometheus and the story of Pandora as illustration. Texts 1-4 are rare in MS and are represented in a few public libraries only. Text 5 is known in 260 MSS, mostly 15th and 16th c., all in public libraries.

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Place of origin Crete?
Dates 2nd half 15c AD

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