Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


WELLESLEY, MASSACHUSETTS WELLESLEY COLLEGE LIBRARY

Plimpton 946

Parch., ff. I (palimpsest with liturgical text, cut in half lengthwise) + 95 (bottom half of f. 95, also palimpsest, is cut off), modern ink foliation, 198 × 140 (140 × 95) mm., 29 long lines, 1-118 126 (+7th), plain horizontal catchwords, signatures a-I with Arabic numerals 1-4, ruled in lead, written by one person, gothic hybrid script. Decoration: f. 1, a 7ߚline blue initial (outlined in red), with floral pattern infilling in white, red and violet, violet beading along the outside of the letter, and the decoration trails down the inside border, white with red outline floral pattern on a violet band, red beading along the side, ending at the bottom with a quadrifoliate design in red and blue, and violet pen flourishes along the inner margin; f. 5, 8ߚline parted red and blue initial with same type of pen decoration as f. 1, save for a red pen flourish along the bottom margin, ending in a floral design; f. 38, 6ߚline initial similar to f. 5, with modest margin decoration, beading and flourishes in violet and red ink; there are 2ߚline plain red initials and red slashing of initials throughout. Binding, contemporary dark brown calf over wooden boards, four brass bosses on the back cover, missing clasp, on the front cover are blindstamp rolls forming diamonds with fleur-de-lis and six-petal flowers, on the back cover the rolls form a St. Andrew’s cross, the leather over the spine is missing, and on the back cover is written "Domini qui ... Cogn. .. domine ...". ff. 4v-93, Petrarch, De vita solitaria , title "Incipit liber primus de laude solitarie vite editus per Franciscum Petrarcham laureatum poetam vitam solitariam apud Paduam ducentem, quem scripsit episcopo Paduano amico suo quam intimo ac domino gracioso", inc. (ff. 5-6, Prologue) "Paucos homines novi ... (ends abruptly in middle of prologue) seu domi sedentibus apparendum est"; ff. 6-38 (Bk. I, actually begins with second part of prologue) "Incipit liber primus Francisci Petrarche de laude solitarie vite, Quid vero nunc prius ex me speres ... neve ipsis urbibus solitudo tibi loquacior videatur"; ff. 38-93, (Bk. II) "Incipit liber secundus Francisci Petrarche de laude solitarie vite, Sencio tamen adhuc aliquid deesse ...", expl. "... hoc unum dicere viderentur. Bene suades, recte consulis, verum dicis. Explicit liber secundus Francisci Petrarche de laude vite solitarie" (ed. Martellotti, in Petrarca, Prose , 286-590). A leather tab on f. 38 marks the beginning of Bk. II. ff. 93-95, Index of the De vita solitaria, inc. "De laude solitarie vite. De utilitate solitarie vite ...", expl. "... De valitudine consilii ad solitariam vitam, De conclusione libri huius. Et sic est finis. Deo gratias, amen" (the Index has no folio references; the rubrics, matching the index, are written in the margin at the beginning of each chapter). Ms. also contains: ff. 1-4v, Ps. St. Basil, De laude vite solitarie (= Pier Damiani, Liber qui dicitur Dominus vobiscum ), title "Incipit liber beati Basilii de commendacione vite solitarie etc. etc. etc.", inc. "Libet de singularis vite ...", expl. "... domus non manufacte sed eciam eterne in celis ipso prestante qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto in celis regnat per omnia secula seculorum. Amen. Explicit liber beati Basilii de commendacione vite solitarie" ( PL , CXLV, 246-51). f. 95v, "Si quis amat Christum mundum [...] istum / Totum vilescit quidquid [.] orbe nitescit" (Walther, Proverbia, no. 28959).
2nd. f.: ne congreditur
ORIGIN
Written in the Netherlands , to judge from the script and decoration, s. XV.
PROVENANCE
According to De Ricci, believed to have come from the monastery of Marienmünster (?); owned by Henning ca. 1500; Leander von Ess coll., Darmstadt, sold in 1824 to Sir Thomas Phillipps, his Middle hill stamp on front flyleaf recto with no. 459 , the number appears with Phillipps’ signature on f. 1, lower margin; " No. 48 " is written on f. 1, upper margin; Phillipps sale, Sotheby, London, 6 June 1910, no. 655, to Sir Henry Hope Edwards.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ullman, no. 92; De Ricci, p. 1078, no. 946; M. H. Jackson, Catalogue of the Frances T.P. Plimpton Collection, 398 and 428-29, facsimile of first part of f. 4v.

Abbreviations
De Ricci
De Ricci, S. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. 3 vols. New York, 1935-40.
PL
Migne, J. P., ed. Patrologia latina.
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).
Walther, Proverbia
Walther, H. Proverbia sententiaeque latinitatis Medii Aevi. Göttingen, 1963-4.

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