Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 3 Italy, s. XVin

Marcus Tullius Cicero / De legibus, De senectute, etc.

1. f. 1r Contains miscellaneous nearly-contemporary notes relating to the text in various hands. f. 1v Ruled but blank.

ff. 2r-58v [In upper margin, in different hand than text:] M. C. De legibvs. [Title:] M. T. Ciceronis de Legvm Emendationibvs, Marivs libellus incipit. Inc.: Lucus quidem ille hec arpinatium quercus agnoscitur saepe a me lectus in Mariano.

Exp.: Sic perfecto censeo et idipsum quod dicis expecto. Deo Gratias. Finis libelli de legibus.

Cicero, De Legibus; A. du Mesnil, ed. (Leipzig, 1879) 16-257

2. ff. 58v-60v [Title in margin:] Principio tractato in Rhetoricis, caput 1. Inc.: Aristoteles dicit quod narratio in genere demonstratiuo non debet esse continuata sed precisa.

Expl.: quam uero laeta et iocunda longioribus numeris gaude. Non nihil personarum dignitas causarumque ac temporum uarietas momenti affert.

Unidentified commentary on rhetoric. On f. 59r in upper margin a list of the seven sages of Greece, in another hand.

3. ff. 61r-91r [Running header in the upper margin of ff. 61-84r in the hand that wrote article 2:] Ci[cero] de senectute. Inc.: Actice [sic] si quid ego adiuto curam ue leuasso quae nunc te coquit et versatur pectore fixa et qua deprimeris en quid erit praemii.

Expl.: Hec habui de senectute que dicerem ad quam perueniatis ut ea que ex me audistis re experti probare possitis. Vale. Finis.

Cicero, Cato Maior De Senectute; J. G. F. Powell, ed. (Cambridge, 1988).

4. f. 91v Mille tenet cuneus, tercentum continet ala. . .Quinquaginta cohors vigintique maniplus.

Four-line mnemonic device for the seven roman military ranks. Ludwig Bertalot, Initia Humanistica Latina; Band 1: Poesie (Tübingen, 1985) no. 3347.

5. ff. 91r A brief list of the seven ages of man from infant to child followed by a list of seven ages of the world: Gradus aetatis sunt vii Infantia: pueritia: adolescentia. . . sed ut etas decrepita ipsa morte totius mundi consumanda est. Septima iam Sabbati perennis

6. ff. 91v-92r [Title in upper margin:] Totius cronice Epylogus et Supputatio [Text:] [C]olliguntur omnes anni usque in consulatum valentis vi et valentiani Junioris aug. iii. . . . A passione domini usque ad consulatum Eustachii anni sunt CCCXCiii. Et usque ad consulatum domini Theodosii XV anni CCCCIX. qew gratiß. Amen

World Chronicle.

7. f. 92r [Title:] Ex lactantio sententie philosophorum de summo bono [Text:] Epicurus summum bonum in uoluptate animi esse censet. . . Hae sunt fere omnium sententie.

Ten lines extracted from Lactantius, Divinarum Instutionum. PL 6, 364.

8. f. 92v Cicero De Senectute Hic finitur. Versus Emilii Probi [Text:] Vade liber noster fato meliore memento. . . Faelices dominum quae meruere manus. Finis.

Twelve line poem in elegiac couplets found after the life of Hannibal in the manuscript tradition of Emilius Probus (Cornelius Nepos), Liber de Excellentibus Ducibus exterarum Gentium. Cornelius Nepos, Vitae Cum Fragmentis; P. K. Marshall, ed. (Leipzig, 1977) 87.

9. f. 93r [Title in upper margin:] Ex epistolis Q. Curtii Inc.: Sartonius S.P.D. senatui. Que ad augusta pretoria per urbem. . .

Expl.: . . . Laudes gratae fuerint tenore calami mei iudicatum est. Vale.

f. 93v blank

Ps.-Curtius, Epistolae. Two letters, the first from Sartonius to the Senate; the second from Asdrubal to Curtius.

10. ff. 94r-106r [Title:] De paradoxis sequitur. Inc.: Animadverti brute saepe catonem auunculum tuum cum in senatu sententiam diceret.

Expl.: nec quisquam eorum ad huc inuentus est cui quod haberat esset satis non modo nec copiosi ac diuites sed etiam in opes et pauperes Extimandi Sunt. Vale Finis Amen

Cicero, Paradoxa Stoicorum; C. F. W. Muller, ed., Leipzig, 1878) 197-213.

11. f. 106v [Above text in same hand as the heading in article 8:] Paradoxa Ciceronis Hic Finita Sunt.

[Text:] et finis ad alta leuatis/ est ruere heu tremulum magnorum culmen honorum/ spesque hominum fallax et inanis gloria fictis. . . hae miser in cassum subii quot sponti labores/ quos licuit transire mihi.

13 lines from an unidentified hexameter poem added to the end of the Paradoxa.

Paper (watermarks in gutter: unidentified horse; Briquet lettre G 8204; and Briquet lettre R 8936), ff. 106, 215 x 144 (138 x 83) mm., modern foliation. Article 1 written in 19 lines ruled with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines in ink, slight remains of prickings in all three margins; article 2 written in c. 30 lines over ruling for article 1; article 3, ff. 61r-70r written in 15 ruled lines with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines in ink; on ff. 70v-91v in 18-19 ruled lines with double vertical bounding lines in hardpoint, remains of pricking throughout; articles 4-9 written in long lines on blank pages following article 3; article 10 written in 21 lines on pages variously ruled ink and hardpoint, remains of pricking; article 11 included in lower margin on final page of article 10.

I-V12, VI18, VII-VIII14. In article 1, catchwords enclosed in scrolls centered in lower margin, In article 3, catchwords in centered in lower margin (Derolez 12.1).

Articles 1, 3, and 10 make up the original text, written by a single scribe above the top line in a hybrida script; marginal and interlinear notes and corrections have been added in several hands. The remaining articles have been added later in a variety of humanistic cursive and hybrida bookhands by different scribes.

The decoration in this MS, limited to the Cicero texts, is primitive, probably added after the completion of the book. The De Legibus begins on f. 2r with a 6-line penwork initial in blue and red. On f. 61r an elaborate, if primitive, 4-line red and black decorative initial “A” depicts a winged dragon, drinking from a chalice out of which grows an elaborate acanthus leaf and thistle, the overgrown acanthus leaf, twisting like a vine, extends along the top margin and down the outer margin the full length of the text; on f. 94r a 5-line red and black penwork initial with modest feather and wing extensions introduces the Paradoxa. Additionally there are simple red openwork initials: 3-line on f. 67 v and 2-line on 84v; solid red initials: 3-line on f. 94v and 2-line on ff. 62r and 71r. Spaces for 4-line initials as well as two lines for chapter heading left unfilled on ff. 21 and 44v; spaces for 2-line initials left unfilled on ff. 98r, 100r, 101v, 104r. Character’s names, a few chapter headings, and sentence markers also in red.

Binding: Quarter pig-skin over original oak boards, diamond-shaped brass catch on front cover stamped with the pascal lamb above a flower, remains of clasp on back cover. Boards have some worm damage. In ink on small paper label on spine: “Ms. #3”.

Written in Italy before 1454. Notes by early owners on f. 1r: “1454 mense Novembri post diem Omnium Sanctorum, quo primum scolam linquens Perusium petii” and in another hand: “emitur Perusii iste liber cum Terentio et Bucolicorum et Georgicorum libris flor. 3 et bl. XI.” Further down a “Memoria” includes the date 1458 From an unidentified sale by Sotheby (catalogue entry on inside front cover); No. 23 in the collection of W. H. H. Newman (bookplate), Buffalo, New York; Maggs, Cat. 542 (1930), n. 196, facs. Acquired by Howard L. Goodhart in 1934, and left by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (bookplate) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: f. 3r: in mario

Bibliography: De Ricci, p. 1675, no. 3.

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Last Update: June 6, 2003