Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

MS 43 (olim Gordan MS 52) Italy, s. XV4/4

Leonardo Bruni / De bello italico adversus gothos, etc.

1. ff. 1r-74r

[Preface:] Etsi longe mihi iucundius fuisset, Italiae felicitatem quam clades referre. Tamen quia tempora sic tulerunt sequemur et nos fortunae mutabilitatem... [Text:] Z[enone Romano] principe imperatore Gothi Theodorico [duce] inuadere [Italiam statuerunt] iampridem [afflictam variis barbarorum] incursionibus...

Expl.: Quo facto cumas ac cetera quae superant oppida narses recepit. Finisque fuit anni decimoctaui huius belli. Amen.

Leonardo (Bruni) Aretini, De bello Italico aduersus Gothos gesto historia nunc primum edita, (Paris, 1534).

2. f. 74v

Leonardus Aretinus Alfonso Aragonensium ac Siciliorum regi. Sal. d. pl. [Text:] Rem incrediblilem serenissime princeps sed tamen veram excellentiae tuae... Mittam tibi partem illam libri in qua captiuatas eius urbis describitur. Vale decus seculi nostri. Ex florentia xv Kalendas septembris.

Mehus, Letter IX.13, (Luiso, IX.14).

f. 75r

Leonardus aretinus Kriaco (sic) suo Anconitano S.D. [Text:] Quid mihi dabis Kiriace si de urbe anconitana tibi multa.. si omnia epygramata omniaque uetustatis monimenta [sic] quae in toto orbe terrarum collegisti ad me feres. Vale. 1426 [in lower margin]. f. 75v ruled but blank.

Mehus, Letter IX.5, (Luiso, IX.6).

L. Mehus, ed., Leonardi Bruni Arretini Epistolarum Libri VIII (Florence, 1741) and F. P. Luiso, Studi su L'epistolario di Leonardo Bruni, Studi Storici 122-124 (Rome, 1980).

Parchment, ff. v (paper, i=front pastedown) + 75 + i (contemporary parchment) + ii (paper bifolium, ii=back pastedown), 198 x 141 (133 x 87) mm., contemporary foliation, 26 long lines, ruled in red ink with single vertical bounding lines in red (Derolez 13.11).

I-VII10, VIII6. Vertical catchwords on first two signatures along inner bounding lines (Derolez 12.6), verso.

Written by a single scribe in a small, humanistic cursive bookhand. Marginal notes, mostly obliterated, in the same hand in red.

MS 52 has been badly damaged by fire and water, especially at the beginning and end; most of the text is still legible, with the greatest damage to the text on ff. 1r-v and 2r, where several places are almost completely effaced. The presence of "ghost initials" (e.g., ff. 32v, 34r, 55r), several places in the text where a page is marked with the trace of an initial that looks as if it has bled from the opposite page where there is no initial, suggests that at some time the manuscript was taken apart, put back together incorrectly, then later reassembled in the correct order. All the initials have suffered water-damage. On f. 1r, a 4-line gold initial on a white-speckled dark red ground, with white-vinework intertwined. On ff. 2r and 39r red 3-line gold initials on the same dark red outlined and speckled with gold, on ff. 22v and 58r 3-line gold initials on a similar blue ground.

Binding: twentieth-century vellum. Written vertically along spine in gold: "LEONARDUS ARETINUS DE BELLO GALLICO MS. 15TH CENT."

Written in Northern Italy in the last quarter of the 15th century. Early provenance unknown. A penciled note on f. iir claims the water and fire damage to this MS occurred in the Great Fire of London in 1666. ff. iii and iv contain a long excursus in an eighteenth-century hand on the contents of the manuscript and the career of L. Bruni, a pencil note on f. ii adds a crude biographical note on Bruni from the Chalmers Dictionary of Biography. From the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps, no. 21920 in ink on f. 1r. Number in upper corner of front pastedown in lead: "43992 Ms.", below that: "V 121". Bookplate of "Louis Thompson Rowe of XV Hammersmith Terrace, W." In the library of Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (bookplate) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.; her bequest to Bryn Mawr College in 1995.

secundo folio: exempla

Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 399, no. 52. Iter Italicum, vol. 5, p. 351, no. 52. James Hankins, "Bruni Manuscripts in North America: a Handlist," Nuovi Studi Storici 10 (1991) 55-90.


Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts
Abbreviations Used in Decriptions of Medieval Manuscripts
Full List of Guides to the Collections

Last Update: June 5, 2003