Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS HARVARD COLLEGE, HOUGHTON LIBRARY

Ms. Typ. 17

Paper (watermark hidden in binding), ff. I (modern paper) + 153 + I (mod. paper), contemporary foliation in red, visible are only ff. 6-69, modern pencil foliation, 214 × 146 (126-140 × 90-95) mm., 22-23 verses per page, 1-108 1110 12-188 198 (-8th), horizontal catchwords of which the first four are on the lower inside margin with red paragraph marks, those of quires 5-10 are on bottom center, no catchword for quire 11, those on quires 12-18 are plain on inner lower margin, ruled in ink with lead bounding lines, written by Giovanni Antonio de’ Colli in a humanistic script. Decoration: f. 1, a 4ߚline blue initial with red pen decoration along the entire inside margin, lavish but rather crudely executed; all of the books of the Africa begin with a similar decorated initial; sporadic red paragraph marks; notes and proper names written in the margin and also pointing hands. Original binding, dark brown goat over wooden boards, blind stamped, on front cover are frames of ropework patterns and heart-shaped figures, an elaborate strapwork design on the back cover, remains of two clasps and of a paper label on the spine, rebacked. ff. 1-152, Petrarch, Africa , title "Francisci Petrarchae de vita et gestis Scipionis primi Affricani liber primus incipit feliciter"; inc. (Bk. I) "Ut (sic) michi conspicuum meritis belloque tremendum musa virum refers italis cui fracta sub armis ... Pertulit aeternam per acerba pericula vitam"; ff. 14v-27, (Bk. II) "Incipit secundus liber Affricae Petrarchae, Talibus intentum pater arripit atque benigne ... attonitum subito somnusque paterque reliquit"; ff. 27-45, (Bk. III) "Incipit tercius liber Affricae Francisci Petrarchae, Impiger astrigerum postquam solperculit axem ... Nunc manet bis Bruti semper venerabile nomen"; ff. 45-53v, (Bk. IV) "Explicit liber tercius, incipit quartus Affricae Francisci Petrarchae, Finierat tunc rex iterum placidissimus inquit ... perferre grave est"; ff. 53v-70v, (Bk. V) "Explicit quartus liber Affricae, incipit quintus, Moenia magnanimus victor trepidantia Cirthae ... Tartareasque petit violentus spiritus umbras"; ff. 70v-90v, (Bk. VI) "Explicit quintus liber, incipit sextus Affricae. Nulla magis stigios mirantum obsessa corona ... Fraternosque suosque simul patriaeque dolores. Explicit sextus, incipit septimus"; ff. 91-116, (Bk. VII) "Nescius extincti iuvenis ferus Hanibal instans ... Sede diu mesta latebris se se abdidit atris. Explicit septimus, incipit octavus"; ff. 116v-141, (Bk. VIII) "Pronus ad occeanum cupiens narrare profundis ... Ipsa Carthago flammis arderet in illis"; ff. 141-151v (Bk. IX) "Incipit nonus et ultimus liber Affrice Francisci Petrarchae, Scipio provectus pelago romanaque classis ...", expl. "... commodiorque bonis cum primum affluxerit aetas. Explicit foeliciter"; f. 151v, "Infrascripti sex versus autoris inseri in hoc fine debent ubi decentius lectori videbitur esse iungendos: Si iuvenem iuveni mediis avellere flammis ... Secula et invidiae tristes circumspice morsus" (Petrarca, L’Africa , ed. Festa, 3-279). f. 152, Pier Paolo Vergerio, Materie omnium librorum Affrice per eundem , title "Versus continentes materiam totius operis", inc. "Monstrat in astrigera ...", expl. "... Scipio fert non speciosum ex hoste triumphum. Finis" (Petrarca, L’Africa , ed. Festa, LXXIII-LXXIV). f. 152, "Autor iste Petrarchi filius natione Florentinus oriundus Aretii ortus fuit Aretii kalendis augusti ad auroram, anno a nativitate Domini millesimo tricentesimo quarto, quo die, ut ipse in epistola quadam testatur, maior pars Florentinorum meliorem ex urbe partem expulit". f. 152, Epytaphium Francisci Petrarce , title "Epithafium quod sibimet ipse composuit", inc. "Frigida Francisci lapis hic tegit ossa Petrarcae ...", expl. "... Fessaque iam terris celi requiescat in arce" (Solerti, Le vite, 297).
f. 153rv, ruled but blank.
2nd. f.: laudibus
ORIGIN
Written in Chios, Greece, on June 13, 1461 by Giovanni Antonio de’ Colli, son of Iacopo; see colophon on f. 152v, (written in red) "Scriptus Chii apud Asiam Minorem per me Iohannem Antonium de Collis spectabilis domini Iacobi phisici anno Dominice nativitatis millesimo CCCCo sexagesimo primo, idibus iuniis, quo anno imperator Trapexonte regi Turchorum deditionem imperii sui ignominiose fecit"..., expl. "... in Pera et Constantinopoli cantaria quatuor millia pulveris pro bombardis qua sibi opus non fuit, cum [se se cancelled] hostes, armis depositis, regi deditionem fecerint".
PROVENANCE
Owned by Michele Nigro in Caffa (now Kefe or Feodosiya, then a Genoese colony in the Crimea, USSR) who sold it to a notary named Antonio de Bozollo who wrote a note on f. 152v, "MCCCCLXXIIIIo, die XXVIIII novembris, in Caffa hic liber emptus est a me Antonio de Boxollo notario a Michaele Nigro, presentibus Iohanne de Nigro et Leonardo Negrino pro asperis centum argenti de Caffa"; on f. 152v, below the Antonio de Bozollo note, another ownership note, "MDCLXVI, die XX maii, Genue felicissimo fato ego Antonius Maria Bottus filius domini Iohannis Marie eundem sum consequutus etcetera", with the monogram AMB below the note (and also on f.1); f. 1, "Fr. Casimer laud. laud. dom."; bought from William Schab on June 9, 1941, from the bequest of John Harvey Treat.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ullman, no. 15; De Ricci, Suppl., p.252, Ms. Typ. 17; Jasenas, pp. 33-34, no. 20. pl. 15 (of f.1); for a study of the binding, see D. Miner, The History of Bookbinding (Baltimore, Md., 1957), p. 58, item 136, with plate; E.H. Wilkins, "The Harvard Manuscript of Petrarch’s Africa", Harvard Library Bulletin, XII, no. 3 (1958), 320-25, also in E. H. Wilkins, Studies on Petrarch and Boccaccio (Padova, 1978), 95-101, and pl. 1 (of f. 152v) and pl. II (of binding). Dutschke, Census, no. 23, pp. 87-90.

Abbreviations
Africa:
Africa, edizione critica per cura di N. Festa. Firenze, 1926.
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.
Dutschke, Census
Dutschke, D. Census of Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States, Padova, 1986.
Jasenas
Jasenas, M. Petrarch in America: A Survey of Petrarch Manuscripts. New York and Washington, D. C., 1974.
Solerti, Le vite
Solerti, A. Le vite di Dante, Petrarca e Boccaccio scritte fino al secolo decimosesto ... Milano, 1904.
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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