The Ruthven Manuscript of Gavin Douglas' Eneados and a new manuscript witness of Julius Caesar Scaliger's Epidorpides

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This article takes as its focus a set of Latin verses (copied in a late sixteenth- or early seventeenth-century Scots hand) on fol. 1v of the so-called Ruthven manuscript (Edinburgh, University Library, MS Dc.1.43) of Gavin Douglas's Eneados. These were not recorded in the seminal Scottish Text Society edition of the poem by Coldwell and have not, to the best of my knowledge, been previously discussed elsewhere. They can, however, now be identified as extracts from Books 3 (‘mane accinge’) and 2 (‘humiles nobilitat virtus’ and ‘te cura nunc’) of Julius Caesar Scaliger's Epidorpides (first published posthumously in 1573 in Geneva as De sapientia et beatitudine libri octo, quos Epidorpides inscripsit and again in 1574 as part of Poemata in duos partes divisa (Heidelberg)). In this article, I transcribe and identify the verses, document those connections between the elder and younger Scaliger and three Scottish writers (Buchanan, Melville and Rollock) that might account for the appearance of the verses in the Ruthven manuscript, and consider what correspondences one might draw between the three extracts from Scaliger's Epidorpides on fol. 1v of the Ruthven manuscript and the subsequent translation of Virgil's Aeneid by Gavin Douglas.


Original languageEnglish
JournalRenaissance Studies
Early online date11 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Gavin Douglas, Eneados, Scaliger