Ayer MS 743: New Light on a Greek Manuscript of Ptolemy’s Geography in Chicago

Burri, Renate Marianne (2016). Ayer MS 743: New Light on a Greek Manuscript of Ptolemy’s Geography in Chicago. Manuscripta mathematica, 60(2), pp. 165-187. Springer-Verlag

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Recent research on the only Greek manuscript of Ptolemy’s Geography in America, Ayer MS 743 (Newberry Library, Chicago, identical with Codex Romanus Monasterii Sancti Gregorii in monte Coelio 15 which until recently was thought to be lost) reveals that it was copied for the famous humanist Francesco Barbaro in Venice by two Byzantine scribes working for him in the 1410s. The manuscript is therefore the oldest extant document testifying to the presence of Ptolemy’s Geography in Venice. Its unusual and complicated structure provides insight into the beginnings of the transmission of the Geography in Western Europe. Later on, Ayer MS 743 belonged to Francesco’s grandson Ermolao and to the library of the Venetian monastery San Michele di Murano before moving to Rome, London, and finally Chicago.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Historical Theology
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for Global Studies (CGS)

UniBE Contributor:

Burri, Renate Marianne


000 Computer science, knowledge & systems > 090 Manuscripts & rare books
400 Language > 480 Classical & modern Greek languages
800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 880 Classical & modern Greek literatures
900 History > 910 Geography & travel
900 History > 940 History of Europe








Renate Marianne Burri

Date Deposited:

29 May 2020 12:43

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:38

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Ptolemy’s Geography, Greek manuscripts, Venice, Francesco Barbaro, Ermolao Barbaro, codicology/palaeography, textual transmission, Nikephoros Gregoras, monastery San Michele di Murano, Edward Everett Ayer





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