Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT YALE UNIVERSITY, BEINECKE LIBRARY

Mellon MS 14

Paper (watermark hidden in binding), ff. 43 (judging from early foliation beginning with f. 6, about 5 folios may be missing, although the same foliation ends with f. 44 later changed to 47), 215 × 143 (146 × 86) mm., 33 long lines, 1-310 410 (+11th, 12th and 13th), catchwords at end of first 3 quires, written by one person, gothic book hand. Decoration: spaces for 4 to 5ߚline initials are occasionally filled in ink; marginal notes, corrections of text and added recipes, on ff. 39v and 43v, written in 15thߚcentury Italian hands. Modern binding of parchment over paper boards, with "De Quinta Essentia" on the spine. f. 40rv, Petrarch, Epistola ad M. T. Ciceronem, Rer. famil. XXIV, 3, title "Franciscus Petrarcha Ciceroni suo salutem", inc. "Epistulas tuas diu multumque perquisitas ...", expl. "... anno ab ortu eius quem tu non noveras. MCCCXLV" (ed. Rossi, Le Familiari, IV, 225-27). ff. 40v-43v, Pier Paolo Vergerio, Epistola Ciceronis ad Franciscum Petrarcham , title "Cicero Francisco salutem", inc. "Sero iam tandem ...", expl. "... Ut iam minime opus sit valere me a quocumque. In campis elisiis ad latus orientis kalendis sextilis anno uno de 50 postquam tu dederas" (Epistolario, ed. L. Smith [Roma, 1934], 436-45). Ms. also contains: ff. 1-38, John of Rupescissa, De consideratione quinte essentie , "Primus liber de consideratione quinte essencie omnium rerum transmutabilium. In nomine domini nostri Ihesu Christi. Incipit liber de famulatu philosophie evangelio domini Ihesu Christi et pauperibus evangelicis viris", inc. "[D]ixit Salomon sapientie capitulo 7o: Deus dedit homini scienciam veram ... et sic breviter titulus libri concluditur esse probatus. [text] Consideravi ergo quod tempus expensum ...", expl. "... Sit laus per infinita secula, amen. Explicit liber de consideratione ... Ihesu Christi", ff. 36v-38, "Tabula. [P]resens liber est de famulatu ... Explicit tabula primi et secundi libri quinte essencie secundum ordinem positorum" (Ioannis de Rupescissa ..., De consideratione quintae essentie rerum omnium opus...[Basel, 1561]; Thorndike-Kibre, A Catalogue, 458).
A 15thߚcentury note in a cursive hand is written above the John of Rupescissa text: "Intelexi quod infrascriptus liber fuit compositus per Rugerium de Bacona qui composuit alios libros de graduacione de conserv[acione?] sanitatis et alios; nescio si fuerit Joanes de Reupacisci [cuius?] liber iste ita translatus est ut super dictum".
ff. 38v-39v, Arnold of Villanova, Epistola de sanguine humano ad magistrum Iacobum de Toleto , title "Epistola magistri Arnaldi de Villa Nova ad magistrum Jacobum de Tolleto de maximo secreto medicinae extracte ex sanguine humano", inc. "[M]agister Jacobe amice carissime, dudum me rogasti ut verbum secretissimum ...", expl. "... Et omnia ista predicta operantur tria elementa supradicta si extracta fuerint ab herba celidonie et aqua eius si fuerit potata ter a languente" (On the remainder of f. 39v is a note in a 15thߚcentury cursive hand, "Sequitur de ellemento terre prout inveni in alio libro ...", followed by the explicit of the Epistola of Arnold in the scribe’s hand "... Explicit epistola magistri Arnaldi de Villa Nova de maximo secreto medicine" (Thorndike-Kibre, A Catalogue, 842; also in the edition of Rupescissa, De consideratione quintae essentie...[Basel, 1561]; see above, ff. 1-38). f. 39v, Alchemical procedures , inc. "Ellementum terre est frigidum et siccum ..." (In the left margin is another procedure written in a similar or the same hand, "Similiter est si celidonia ponitur in aqua vitae..."; and in the lower margin a third procedure is added in a similar hand, "Modus separandi ellementa a sanguine humano..."; all the procedures and the addition on f. 40 are covered with a yellow wash. The first procedure is possibly related to "Terra stat et est frigida et sicca" in Thorndike-Kibre, A Catalogue, 1565). f. 43v, Johannes Obrist, Super confectione auri potabilis , title "Opus magistri fratris Johannis Obrist de Allemanea alta ordinis fratrum heremitarum sancti Augustini super confectione auri potabilis", inc. "Recipe primo aurum purissimum et bene purgatum ..."; followed by Nicolaus Claudius of Venice, Super aurum potabile , entitled "[Johannis cancelled] Nicolai Claudi de Venetia super aurum potabile prout dixit michi", inc. "Recipe aquam vite ...", expl. "... separa fel cum aceto dist//".
2nd. f.: aperte
ORIGIN
Written in Italy , s. XV2.
PROVENANCE
Early ownership unknown; belonged in the 20th century to an Italian owner who wrote extensive notes in Italian on the flyleaves and pastedowns; owned by bookseller J. I. Davis and Orioli Ltd. with characteristic pencil note of price and shelf number, and collation note "Coll T" (for Tania Jephson, an associate of J. I. Davis) on front pastedown; Denis Duveen, bought of Davis and Orioli, with the inked number 56 on front pastedown; Mellon MS 20, acquired with the Duveen collection.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ullman, no. 99; De Ricci, Suppl., p. 526, no. 5(20); Jasenas, p. 6, no. 99. L. Witten and R. Pachella, Alchemy and the Occult: A Catalogue of Books and Manuscripts from the Collection of Paul and Mary Mellon, III (New Haven, 1977), 100-105, plates.

Abbreviations
De Ricci, Suppl.
Supplement of De Ricci, Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada, originated by C.U. Faye and continued by W.H. Bond. New York, 1962.
Jasenas
Jasenas, M. Petrarch in America: A Survey of Petrarch Manuscripts. New York and Washington, D. C., 1974.
Rerum familiarium libri:
Le Familiari (Familiarium libri I-XXIV) di Francesco Petrarca, edizione critica per cura di V. Rossi. Firenze, 1933-42 (anastatic reproduction, Firenze, 1968), 4 vols. (vol. IV by U. Bosco).
Thorndike-Kibre, A Catalogue
Thorndike, L. and Kibre, P. A Catalogue of Incipits of Medieval Scientific Writings in Latin. Cambridge, Mass., 1937.
Ullman
Ullman, B. L. Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States (Censimento dei codici petrarcheschi, no. 1). Padova, 1964 (also in Italia medioevale e umanistica, v [1962], 443-475).

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