Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 99 Germany, s. XV2

Pseudo-Phalaris / Epistolae, etc.

1. ff. 1r-42r Francisci Aretini in phalaridis tyranni Agrigentini epistolas ad Illustrissimum principum malatestam nouellum.

[Preface:] Vellem malatesta nouelle princeps illustris tantam michi dicendi facultatem dari. ut uel prestantie. . . Sed iam phalarim audiamus finit prohemium Epistola phalaris Alcibo sequitur.

Inc.: Policletus messenius quem proditionis aput ciues tuos insimulas morbo me incurabile liberauit

Expl.: qui miserit laudem consecuturam. Expliciunt epistole Phalaridis

Phalaris, Epistoloae, translated into Latin by Francesco Griffolini of Arezzo and dedicated to Malatesta Novella of Cesena. We rely on the description of Marston MS 100 in Barbara Shailor, Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Yale University, vol. 3 (Binghamton, NY, 1992) for our identification of this text, since we have not examined a printed copy.

2. ff. 42v-54r Epistolarum Bruti per dominum Ranuntium e greco in latinum traductarum ad sanctissimum dominum nostrum papam Nicolaum papam quintum prohemium.

[Preface:] Solent beatissime pater qui invigilant alicui operi quod ad mores hominum spectet vel rerum nocionem seruitute decorem illud principibus certe diis in terris sacrare. . . cum dilucide tenentur inconsulto facilia facilia [sic] ducuntur.

[Text:] Incipit epistola Bruti ad Pergamenses. Audio vos dolobelle dedisse pecunias quas si quidem sponte . . . quod exhibere nequeunt id eos denegare necesse est: Expliciunt Epistole Bruti

Ps.-Brutus, Epistolae, translated by Rinuccio Aretino and dedicated to Pope Nicholas V. For a description of manuscripts of this text, and a text of the preface see Dean P. Lockwood, "De Rinucio Aretino Graecarum Litterarum Interprete," HSCP 24 (1913) 78-83. On f. 43v, line 4, Mithridatis Praefatio has been seemlessly joined to the end of Rinuccio's dedicatory preface to Nicholas without rubrication: ". . . nimirum et procul dubio caras habebit. Bruti epistolas iterum ac sepe sum admiratus. . ." GKW, no. 5656.

3. ff. 54v-75v Ad sanctissimum et clementissimum patrem et dominum domini Pium secundum pontificem maximum in diogenis philosophi epistolas francisci Aretini prefacio.

[Preface:] Diogenis philosophi epistolas nuper a me a greco in Latinum traductas cui potius dicare et possimus et debeo quam sanctissimo nomini tuo beatissime pater. . . Nunc ad ipsum Diogene, veniamus.

[Text:] Diogenis epistole Crateri. Audio quod iniquo animo feras quod pueri Athenienses ebrii me verberarunt. . . Simonidem difficile est polliceri autem perfacile. finis.

Pseudo-Diogenes Sinopensis, Epistolae, translated into Latin by Francesco Griffolini of Arezzo and dedicated to Pius II. GKW, no 8395

4. ff. 76r-81r Inc.: Diligite iusticiam qui iudicatis terram Sapiencie primo Versus sede sedens ista [sic] iudex inflexibilis sta sic cum lucerna pellis patribusque lucerna Reser Helmandus historiographus quod Cambises rex persarum pro iniusticia facta adeo. . .

Expl.: Undecimo ne sit timore remissior ad faciendum rectum iudicium Duodecimo ne sit in pietate rigidior Appostolus dicit Argue obsecra increpa in omnibus paciencia et doctrina

Unidentified treatise on the administration of justice from a traditional Christian point of view with references to other authors particularly Aristotle, Helmandus, and St. Bernard.

Paper (watermark similar to Briquet Chien 3626 without the flower), ff. i (modern paper) + 82 + i (contemporary paper) + i (modern paper), 193 x 140 (143 x 85) mm., modern foliation, 28-33 unruled lines, with single horizontal and vertical bounding lines in ink (Derolez 13.13).

I-VI12, VII10.

Articles 1-3 written by a single scribe in a humanistic cursive below the top line. Article 4 written by another (later?) scribe in a gothic cursive. Marginal notation throughout article one, in a different hand, has been partially trimmed away.

On f. 1r, 3v, and 42v the dedicatory preface and the first epistle in article one and the preface of article two begin with 3- or 4-line blue initials with a few cut-outs in the shape of small circles or crosses. The text in article 3 begins on f. 54v with a plain 3-line blue initial. Each letter begins with a red or blue initial, alternating. Titles and letter headings in red. Guide letters for rubricator are visible beside or under initials. Article four lacks ornamentation except that headings are written in bold-face.

Binding: Green marbled paper boards. Goodhart number on paper label on spine: "Ms #99" and an unidentified serrated circular shelf label: "SIIF/ Phalaris/ Ms. xv/ 4o73855".

Written in Germany in the second half of the fifteenth century. Early provenance unknown. Obtained from William H. Allen (catalogue entry taped to recto of front flyleaf) in 1947 by Howard L. Goodhart (bookplate, extensive pencil notes on inside front cover), and left by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (bookplate) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: [tri]nitatis

Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 403, no. 99. Iter Italicum, vol. 5, p. 351, no. 99.

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Last Update: June 6, 2003