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Adam of Buckfeld and others, commentaries on Aristotelian treatises on natural philosophy

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Adam of Buckfeld and others, Commentaries on the 'Physica', 'Parva naturalia', 'De generatione et corruptione', 'Metaphysica', 'De coelo et mundo', 'De meteoris', 'De plantis' etc., of Aristotle.

Written mainly in two contemporary gothic book-hands, in double column, 59-64 lines to a column: with many contractions. A few initials, paragraph marks, incipits and marginal notes in red. On the last leaf are some notes of expenses for clothes dated 1572. Early inscriptions have been erased on ff. 1v, 75v, 145r.


ff. 1r-v blank

1. ff. 2r-51v Commentary on Aristotle's Physica

f. 2r Quoniam intelligere et scire. Iste liber totus prima diuisione diuiditur in duas ... f. 51v ... et sic terminatur liber phisicorum Aristotelis, Explicit sententia eius secundum magistrum adam anglicum de bichisir' [sic]. [Added: 'super librum physicorum corporum'.]

2. f. 51v 'Quid nomine entis et essentie intelligit auicenna', in a later hand

3. ff. 52r-53v 'Dubitatio' on a passage of Aristotle's De anima

f. 52r Dubitatio: et cum dicit significat [?], etc. declarat ... Propter quod ponuntur hec littere a.b.c.d. ... f. 53v ... et sic intelligit hic. Explicit.

4. ff. 53v-60r Commentary on Aristotle's De sensu et sensato

f. 53v Quoniam autem de anima etc. Finito libro de anima in quo determinavit Aristoteles de anima secundum se ... f. 60r ... qui immediate sequitur istum, et hoc est reliquum autem. [Added 'Explicit scriptum de sensu et sensato'].

5. ff. 60r-64v Commentary on Aristotle's De somno et vigilia

f. 60r De sompno autem et vigilia etc. In precedenti libro determinavit auctor de quibusdam proprietatibus ... f. 64v ... et hoc est quicquid sompnium. Explicit.

6. ff. 64v-65v Commentary on Aristotle's De vita et morte

f. 64v Incipit scriptum de morte et vita. De eo autem quod est alia quidem longe etc. In precedentibus libris subalternatis ... f. 65v ... et hec est presens actio. Explicit de morte et vita.

7. ff. 65v-66v Commentary on Costa ben Luca's De differentia spiritus et animae.

f. 65v Interrogasti me, etc. determinavit superius de anima secundum se ... [At the end of lines 17 and 18 in red 'Constabolus Incipit scriptum in libros de anima et spiritu'.] ... f. 66v ... tunc forman essentialem non recipit. Explicit.

8. ff. 66v-75r Commentary on Aristotle's De generatione et corruptione

f. 66v Incipit scriptum in librum de generatione et corruptione. In isto libro intendimus determinare ... f. 75r ... numerus enim autem quod numeratum aut numerabile.

9. ff. 76r-92r Commentary on Aristotle's Metaphysica

f. 76r Consideratio de veritate secundum manuductiones in veritatem ... f. 92r ... sed posterius non est sub tempore ergo tempus erit postquam ultimo.

10. ff. 93r-106v Commentary on Aristotle's De coelo et mundi

f. 93r In principio celi et mundi. probat aristoteles primo ... f. 106v ... hec autem sunt pepana. Unde dicit aristoteles quod debent.

11. ff. 107r-133r Commentary on Aristotle's Meteorologica

f. 107r Postquam precessit memoratio nostra. In hoc libro est intentio de corpore ... f. 133r ... per artificium esse possibilem et sic terminant iste tractatus. [Added: 'Explicit scriptum super iiii or libros metheororum'].

12. ff. 133r-141v Commentary on the pseudo-Aristotelian De plantis

f. 133r In principo libri methaurorum aliter se tractaturum de meniralibus [sic... 141v ... ex dictis patet solutio obiectorum contrariorum. [Added: 'Explicit scriptum de plantis. Incipit scriptum de memoria et reminiscentia'].

13. ff. 141v-144r Commentary on Aristotle's De memoria et reminiscentia

f. 141v Reliquorum autem et cetera. In precedenti libro ... f. 144r ... omnia determinata in libro et hec de memoria aristotelis etc. [Added: 'Explicit de memoria et reminiscentia'.].



Physical description

1 volume 145 ff. folio. 26 x 19 cm. On vellum. 15th cent. stamped leather binding over wooden boards, worn and damaged: part of each metal clasp wanting. Margins slightly cropped.

Acquisition note

Purchased 1910.

Biographical note

The Author of some at least of these Commentaries is the Franciscan Adam de Bocfeld [Buckfeld]. In Emden's Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to 1500, Vol. I, p. 297 [s.v. Buckfeld], he is stated to have been studying at Oxford in 1238, and was M.A. by 1243. He became Vicar of West Rounton, Yorks in the same year, and Vicar of Iver, Bucks in 1249. He was Canon and Prebendary of Lincoln c. 1265, and died between 1278 and 1294. These Commentaries and the MSS. in which they are found have been studied by Martin Grabmann in his 'Mittelalterliche lateinische Aristotelesübersetzungen und Aristoteleskommentare' ('Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften'. 1928) and in 'Die Aristoteleskommentatoren Adam von Bocfeld und Adam von Bouchermefort' ('Mittelalterliches Geistesleben', Vol. II, pp. 138-182, 614-616. 1936). The question of the identity of the two Adams was discussed and left doubtful in Grabmann's second work. But in 1929 Franz Pelster reviewing Grabmann's paper in Scholastik IV, and in an article on Adam von Bocfeld in Vol. XI of that Journal in 1936, came to the conclusion that the two Adams were one and the same person. This view was further expanded and maintained by S. H. Thomson in his 'Note on the works of Magister Adam de Bocfeld (Bouchermefort)' in Medievalia et Humanistica fasc. II, pp. 55-87, 1945, and in his 'Note on Master Adam of Bocfeld' in the same Journal, fasc. XI, pp. 23-32. 1958. Some of the these commentaries have been identified in Thorndike's Catalogue of Incipits: Physica, 371 (Adam de Bouchermefort); De coelo et mundo, (Anon.) 336; De sensu et sensato, (Anon.) 587; De somno et vigilia, (Anon.) 183; Anima et spiritus, 364; Meteorologica, (Adam de Bocfeld) 359; Memoria, (Anon.) 622.

Location of duplicates

This material has been digitised and can be freely accessed online through the Wellcome Library catalogue.

Finding aids

Catalogue description modified in 2014. For original description, see S.A.J. Moorat, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts on Medicine and Science in the Wellcome Historical Medical Library (London: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, 1962-1973).


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