Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 108 Northern Italy or Southern Germany, s. XVin

Marcus Tullius Cicero / De officiis

1. ff. 1r-83r [In upper margin:] I H S [Title:] Marci Tulii Ciceronis eloquentissimi officiorum. Liber primus Incipit feliciter.

Inc.: Quamquam Marce fili te annum iam audientem Cratippum idque athenis habundare oportet preceptis institutisque philosophie propter summam doctoris auctoritatem et urbis. . .

Expl.: Vale igitur mi Cicero tibique persuade esse te mihi quidem carissimum sed multo cariorem si talibus monimentis [sic] preceptisque letabere. Deo Gratias Amen. Explicit liber de officiis.

Cicero, De Officiis; C. Atzert, ed., Teubner fasc. 28 (Leipzig, 1963) 1-123.

2. ff. 83v-84r [Title:] Meditationes ad Ipsum. . . [Remainder illegible] Inc.: Si cupis omnia proscipere quare. . .

Unidentified personal, spiritual exhortations written in a slightly later hand.

3. f. 84v World chronicle written the same hand as article 2.

Parchment (s. xv palimpsest from many different manuscripts including some that have been previously folded, are interleaved with poor quality unused parchment), ff. iii (modern paper) + 84 + iii (modern paper), 195 x 133 (140 x 80) mm., modern foliation, 29 lines, ruled in ink with single vertical bounding lines in ink (Derolez 13.11). Remains of pricking in top and bottom margins.

I-VII12. Horizontal catchwords centered in lower margin, verso (Derolez 12.1).

Article 1 written by a single scribe in a humanistic bookhand below the top line with marginal and interlinear notes and corrections in several hands. Articles 2 and 3 written in a poor quality and badly faded semi-gothic cursive on the rulings for article one.

On f. 1r and f. 35v 4-line red initials on a penwork ground with modest vinestem and berry extensions begin Books One and Two. On f. 56v Book Three has space for similar initial, but a smaller letter “P” has been added with paint and partially worn away. 2- to 4-line red initials in margins throughout; headings and paragraph markers in red. Some guide letters for decorator visible.

Binding: 20th c. parchment. On spine in gold: “CICERO/ DE/ OFFICIIS/ 15TH. CENTURY” also, in ink on small label: “Ms. #/ 108”

Written in Northern Italy or Southern Germany in the early 15th century. Early provenance unknown. On f. 84v “Vale”, “Maria” and a large initial “I” are written below the text in an almost contemporary hand. Bought by Howard L. Goodhart (bookplate) from Maggs 5 May 1950, and given by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (bookplate) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: et negligendo

Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 404, no. 108.

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Last Update: June 6, 2003