De claris mulieribus
Giovanni Boccaccio. Louvain : Egidius van der Heerstraten, 1487.
Being restored through the generous contribution of Elizabeth de Sabato Swinton, Class of 1958.
Famous - and infamous - women are the subject of De claris mulieribus. When Boccaccio composed it in 1361-1362, he modeled his efforts on earlier collections of biographies of famous men. His sources were classical - the forty-six women (except for Eve) were all from Greek and Latin mythology and literature: Helen of Troy, Medusa, and Thisbe join Juno, Venus, and Minerva. The Library's copy of Boccaccio's work was published in 1487 in Louvain, the third Latin edition of the work printed. It is enriched by an illustration for each of the women, and the printed pictures in our copy were colored with paint when the book was new.
The book is in a later binding. The front cover is detached. Many repairs
have been done in the past to torn and damaged leaves, and these earlier
repairs have darkened, disfiguring and obscuring the text and images.
Restoration will reattach the cover, clean the pages, and lighten or replace
the old repairs.