CICERO DE REPUBLICA & PLINY LETTERS

MS 1781
MS Short Title CICERO DE REPUBLICA & PLINY LETTERS
Text
  1. CICERO (PS): COMMENTARIUM DE PETITIONE CONSULATUS, AD QUINTUS FRATREM
  2. MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO: EPISTOLAE AD QUINTUM FRATREM
  3. MACROBIUS: COMMENTARY ON SOMNIUM SCIPIONIS FROM CICERO'S DE REPUBLICA
  4. MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO: DE REPUBLICA, CLOSING PORTION
  5. PLINIUS SECUNDUS GAIUS CAECILIUS: EPISTOLAE
Description MS in Latin on paper, Mainz(?), Rheinland, Germany, 1478, 132 ff. incl. 12 blank ff. (complete), 22x15 cm, single column, (14x10 cm), 45 lines in Gothic cursive book script, spaces left for Greek words, 4 large 4-to 7-line painted initials, 2 in pale green with brown decoration, 2 with partial borders in leafy designs in colours with white tracery.
Binding England, 1830-1872, brown russia, spine gilt.
Provenance 1. Walter Clavell, of the Inner Temple, FRS (until 1742); 2. Bibliotheca Selectissima, Messrs Heath, London 29.3.1742:80; 3. Nathaniel Hillier (1742-); 4. Sir Thomas Phillipps, Cheltenham, Ph 2947 (-1872); 5. Katharine, John & Thomas Fenwick, Cheltenham, (1872-1895); 6. Sotheby's 21.3.1895:895; 7. Sotheby's 6.12.1993:55.
Commentary Text 5 comprises the letters of Pliny the Younger (ca. 61-113) which include the famous letter in which he describes the eruption of Vesuvius. The letters have a complicated history in the Middle Ages. The text was mostly unknown until ca. 1419, when a MS was rediscovered by Guarino of Verona. There were still gaps in the text until Book X reappeared in France ca. 1502. The present MS carefully leaves blank pages for the then unknown book VIII, the first 25 letters of book IX, and all of book X, awaiting the discovery of an exemplar in the future. The scribe thus illustrates some of the enthusiasm and spirit that was the core of the Renaissance. Text 3 and 4: The Somnium Scipionis, the great Neo-Platonist text written in the form of a dream by Scipio Aemilianus, is actually the surviving closing portion of Cicero's lost De republica. In 1820, however, there was discovered a 5th c. palimpsest in the Vatican that contained about 1/3 of the missing portions of the De republica. Colophon: "finis felix 1478 die hieronimi" (on the feast of St. Jerome, 30 September).
Exhibited 1. Conference of European National Librarians, Oslo. Sept. 1994. 2. The Bibliophile Society of Norway's 75th anniversary. Bibliofilklubben 75 år. Jubileumsutstilling Bok og Samler, Universitetsbliblioteket 27.2 - 26.4.1997.
Place of origin Germany
Dates 1478 AD

Location