Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 1 Italy, s. XV

Marcus Tullius Cicero / De oratore

ff. 1r-120v [Heading:] Incipit Liber Primus T. C. de Oratore ad Quintum Fratrem.

Inc.: Cogitanti mihi sepe numero ac memoria vetera repetenti, per beati fuisse, Quinte frater frater [sic] illi videri solent, qui in optima re publica, cum ex honoribus et rerum gestarum gloria florerent, eum uite cursum tenere potuerunt, vt uel in negotio sine periculo, uel in otio cum dignitate esse possent.

Expl.: Nam cum sint numeri plures plures [sic] iam et trocheum frequenter segregat ab oratore Aristotiles Catulle uidetur; qui natura tamen incurrunt [ipsi (catchword at bottom of page)]//

Text ends abruptly at 3.47.182. Cicero, De Oratore; Kazimierz F. Kumaniecki, ed. (Leipzig, 1969).

Paper (Watermarks: similar to Briquet Etoile 6033), ff. i (modern paper) + 100, 213 x 151 (113 x 68) mm., contemporary foliation in top right margin of both recto and verso, written in 28 ruled lines with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines in hardpoint. There is an additional vertical bounding line in the outer margin for the finding aids. No signs of pricking.

I-X12. Stitches holding the last quire (XI) have been carefully cut, and the quire removed. Catchwords in brown ink, centered below text in lower margin (Derolez 12.1); two catchwords on f. 48v, one in red ink and a second, below the first, in brown. A “2” is written the lower left corner, verso, of the fourth folio of most quires (the inside verso of the second quaternian of the quire).

Written by a single scribe in a humanistic cursive below the top line.

A sketch-like pen and ink drawing in the lower margin of f. 1r depicts four cherubs holding a void circle. Additionally the text on f. 1r begins with a 4-line blue initial, infilled with a simple black ink design; the other two books begin with plain 3-line initials, red on f. 39r and blue on f. 93v. Headings, finding aids, and paragraph markers, and numeration in red.

Binding: Early 19th century brown half-calf on paper boards, spine stamped in gold with acorns. On red leather labels on spine in gold: “M. T. CICE/ DE/ ORATOR” and “M. S.” On front board in ink: “26.”

Written in Italy in the fifteenth century. Early provenance unknown. Sale of a deceased nobleman (by Sotheby, 16 Feb. 1931, catalogue entry pasted inside front cover) to Cullum. Owned by Howard L. Goodhart (De Ricci census no. written in lead on inside front cover), and given by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (2 bookplates) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: rerum

Bibliography: De Ricci, p. 1675, no. 1.


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Last Update: June 6, 2003