Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 75 Italy, s. XVmed

Plato / Epistolae, Lat. tr. Leonardo Bruni, etc.

1. ff. 1r-40v Leonardi Aretini ad Cosmam medicum florentinum Platonis epistole feliciter incipiunt.

[Preface:] Inter clamosos strepitus negotiorumque procellas quibus florentia palatia qui euripus quidam sursum deorsumque assidue extuat. . .Vale, et munus hoc meum non tam uerbis quam lectione operibusque tibi non frustra collocatum hostendas.

[Argumentum:] Ter Syracusas profectus est plato. semel per Dionisii senioris tempora. Bis postea iuniore Dionisio tyranidem obtinente. . . Itaque eam reliqui neque cum hac maiestate Platonis commiscendam censui.

Plato, Epistolae, translated into Lat. by Leonardo Bruni and with his dedicatory preface to Cosmo Medici. H. Baron, ed., Leonardo Bruni Aretino Humanistisch-Philosophische schriften mit einer chronologie seiner werke und briefe; Quellen zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittlealters und der Renaissance, Vol 1 (Leipzig, 1928) 135-36 for preface; 137-38 for argument; 174 for text.

2. ff. 41r-112v Leonardi Aretini ad Inocentium Septimum Pontificem maximum in translatone sedonis prohemium Feliciter Incipit.

[Letter:] Qui laudant sanctitatem tuam beatissime Pater opus certe bonum ac pium agere pergunt. . . Sed iam satis. Ad interpretationem ipsam accedemus.

[Text:] Ipse affuisti o phedon ea die qua Socrates venenum biberet in carcere. . .

Expl.: . . . sumus optimi et preterea sapientissimi atque iustissimi.

ff. 113r-118v, blank; ff. 119r-120v ruled but blank.

Plato, Phaedo, translated into Latin by Leonardo Bruni and preceded by his prefatory letter to Pope Innocent VII; Baron, pp. 3-4 for letter and p. 161 for text.

3. ff. 121r-137r [Title:] Leonardi Aretini Moralis Discipline Isagogicon ad Galiotum [sic] Ricasolanum.

Inc.: Si ut uiuendi galiote sic etiam bene uiuendi cura nobis esset. Infinitos pene labores quibus stultitia aestuat humana. . .

Expl.: Si ergo beati esse uolumus, operam demus. Ut boni simus uirtutes exerceamus. Finit foeliciter.

Leonardo Bruni, Isagogicon moralis disciplinae. H. Baron, ed., Leonardo Bruni Aretino Humanistisch-Philosophische schriften mit einer chronologie seiner werke und briefe; Quellen zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittlealters und der Renaissance, Vol 1 (Leipzig, 1928) 20-41.

Paper (Watermarks: Similar to Briquet Croix Grecque 5549, without the chain line through the center), ff. 138, 212 X 160 mm., contemporary foliation in black ink top right corner, recto; remains of contemporary foliation, each article numbered independently, beginning from 1, in red ink, in lower right corner, recto; quire signatures in lower right corner, recto. Written space for article 1: 133 x 95 mm., 28 ruled lines with single vertical bounding lines full length in ink (Derolez 13.11); article 2: 148 x 98 mm., 20-23 lines, not ruled except for single vertical bounding lines full length and a single horizontal bounding line between the vertical lines, top and bottom; article 3: 146 x 93 mm., 23 ruled lines with vertical and horizontal bounding lines full length (Derolez 13.13).

I-XII10, XIII8, XIV10. Horizontal catchwords slightly off center in lower margin in quires I-XII, vertical catchwords along inner bounding line in quire XIII (Derolez 12.6)

Each article written by a different scribe, art. 1 in a gothic hybrid, art. 2 in a large somewhat scrawling, humanistic cursive, and art. 3 in a round humanistic bookhand. James Hankins places these scribes in the scrittoio of Pier Candido Decembrio, and attributes some of the marginalia both in Latin and in Greek to Decembrio himself (e.g., f. 42v, 43v, and 70v; see plates in Cynthia Munro Pyle, “Pier Candido Decembrio and Rome,” Umanesimo a Roma nel Quattrocento; ed., Paolo Brezzi and Maristella de Panizza Lorch (Rome, 1984). Several later hands have also contributed marginal notes.

Blue initials, 3-line for arts. 1 and 2, 4-line for art. 3, begin each text. Each epistle in art. 1 begins with a 2-line blue or purple initial. Titles for all three articles and final salutation of art. 3 in red. Guide letters for decorator visible.

Binding: Original dark brown blind-tooled leather with marks for clasps and straps, from a Milanese bottega patronized by Decembrio; re-backed in 19th c. (Information on binding from an autograph note by Hankins on Gordan MS 75 dated 3-26-85.) On spine in gold: Platoni Epistolae &C. M.S. SÆC. XV.

Written in Italy in the middle of the fifteenth century. Very faint note on f. 137r in ink, possibly in an 18th century hand, almost completely erased [rewritten directly below in pencil, in a modern hand]: “Mei Christophori Lornati”. On inside front cover, in ink: “De hoc Auctore vide quae scribit Laurentius Mehus edit. Florent. 1741 Ubi haec omnia, et alia Leonardi Bruni Aratini scripta recensentur.//Io: Rob: Pappataua.”; Table of contents in ink; unidentified bookplate: a winged lion, sword-in-hand, attacks another lion, without wings, who holds a shield, they fight across a four-wheeled wagon or, perhaps, a plow, a scroll beside them reads: “Nitimur in Vetitum”; also on the inside cover, in ink: “1071”, in lead: “501”, and “462/713”. List of titles tipped in before first page: “Platonis Opera ex Codice Nantano Orientalium. . .” In the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (no. 9586 on spine on printed label; Bibliotheca Phillippica, p. 153). Sotheby Sale Catalog (1896), lot 953. In the collection of Robert Steele, Wandsworth Common (bookplate). Bought from Maggs in 1944 (catalogue entry glued inside front cover) by Howard L. Goodhart, and given by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: [sua]deri permittat

Bibliography: Faye & Bond, p. 401, no. 75. Iter Italicum, vol. 5, p. 351, no. 75. James Hankins, “Bruni Manuscripts in North America: a Handlist,” Nuovi Studi Storici 10 (1991) 55-90, and Plato in the Italian Renaissance, vol. 2 (Brill, 1990) 421 and 705, no. 198.

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts
Abbreviations Used in Decriptions of Medieval Manuscripts
Full List of Guides to the Collections

Last Update: June 6, 2003