GERMANICI CAESARIS ARATEA CUM SCHOLIIS: A NEW ILLUSTRATED WITNESS FROM WALES TV/TQ 73 5 C, the oldest book in the National Library of Wales, came to Aberystwyth in 1913 from the Lloyd family home of Plas Power, Denbighshire, where it was certainly to be found in 1816 and possibly in 1778.1 Plas Power had been left in 1720 by Mary Myddelton of Croesnearydd to her chaplain, Thomas Lloyd, a learned man with achievements as an English-Welsh lexicographer and with an interest in MSS. It is possible that N.L.W. 735Cwas in Lloyd's possession before his death in 1734 and it has been argued that his hand was influenced by the MS.2 If Lloyd had the MS. before he died, whether he had acquired it himself or whether it came to him with the Myddelton bequest cannot be established, but it does not seem to have been among the Myddelton books at Chirk Castle in 1704 and the only earlier pointers to the book's history are the binding which is apparently London and early 17th century and an entry in an English hand of a slightly earlier date.3 The book is in two parts, the second probably in an Insular hand of the late nth century and the first probably produced in the Limoges region early in the nth century.4 At what date the two parts were brought together cannot be told. The first part had clearly been separate for some time, and yet the second has the same number of lines as the first and this may not be fortuitous. This might suggest that the Limoges section had arrived in this island in the course of the nth century and was completed by a text written in some Insular centre later in that century.5 The main text in the first part of the codex is Germanicus Caesar's translation of Aratus with both scholia and illustrations. Such MSS. are not too numerous and this paper will be concerned with establishing the textual and iconographical connections of the Aberystwyth MS. (hereafter referred to as Ab.)6 Ab. is clearly a member of the family labelled Oi in Breysig's edition of German- icus Caesar's poem which has three representatives:7 A: Basle A.N. IV. 18. 9th century, Fulda. B: Berlin lat. 130 (Phill. 1832). 9th century, Metz. P: Paris lat. 7886. 9th century, Corbie. Ab. shares with these three MSS. distinctive readings, the omission and repetition of some verses and the relationship of verses to scholia.8 B is fragmentary and of the two complete representatives of the Oi family, Ab. is much closer to A than to P.9 Its connection with A is not direct as it shares one or two readings either peculiar to P or to M, a member of the Oii family.10 Ab. has in addition some distinctive, mostly bad readings, explicable for the most part by careless mistakes or misunderstandings.11 Ab. is therefore a contaminated descendant of A or of A's exemplar.