Birds and planets - new Hebrew manuscripts online

MS. Canon. Or. 73 f. 77v

Twelve new Hebrew manuscripts from the Bodleian went online this week. They are:


MS. Huntington 98

MS. Canonici Or. 73

MS. Canonici Or. 90

MS. Canonici Or. 78

MS. Canonici Or. 85

MS. Canonici Or. 92

MS. Pococke 307

MS. Reggio 23

MS. Bodley Or. 326

MS. Bodley Or. 574

MS. Bodley Or. 597


We have also added four already-digitized manuscripts to Digital.Bodleian, where they can be viewed with fuller metadata and more flexible interface options:


MS. Canonici Or. 11

MS. Canonici Or. 101

MS. Canonici Or. 103

MS. Canonici Or. 105


The newly-added manuscripts include portions of the Hebrew Bible, kabbalistic extracts, and works by Maimonides. One highlight is MS. Huntington 98, a 16th-century copy of the Greek rabbi Moses ben Baruch Almosnino's Bet Elohim (The House of God), a commentary on the Hebrew translation of Johannes de Sacrobosco's Sphaera Mundi. This copy was produced in Almosnino's lifetime, and according to the scribal colophon it was written by the scribe for himself. The work contains a coloured illustration of an astrolabe (fol. 44v) as well as a number of astronomical diagrams. The final few leaves are full of diagrams, and fol. 96 contains notes and arithmetic by a later hand.


MS. Hunt. 98 f. 44v
MS. Huntington 98, fol. 44v (diagram of astrolabe)


MS. Hunt. 98 f. 98r
MS. Huntington 98, fol. 98r
MS. Hunt. 98 f. 96v
MS. Huntington 98, fol. 96v


Another highlight is MS. Canonici Or. 73, a 14th-century copy of Isaiah ben Elijah di Trani's Pisḳe Riaz. The first pages of this volume are decorated with painted initial word panels. The later pages are decorated with paintings of leaves, birds and fish.


MS. Canon. Or. 73 fol. 3v
MS. Canon. Or. 73, fol. 3v


MS. Canon. Or. 73 f. 74r
MS. Canon. Or. 73, fol. 74r


MS. Canon. Or. 73 fol. 110v
MS. Canonici Or. 73, fol. 110v