BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 78 Florence, ca. 1440-50
Plato, Phaedo, Lat. tr. Leonardo Bruni, etc.
1. ff. 1r-59v [Letter:] Leonardi aretini prefatio in phedonem Platonis ad
Innocentium. Qui laudat santitatem tuam beatissime pater opus certe bonum
ac pium agere pergunt...[text, f. 2v:] Phaedon platonis incipit. Ipse
affuisti o phaedon ea die qua socrates uenenum bibit in carcere...sumus optimi
et preterea sapientissimi atque iustissimi. Deo gratias. Explicit feliciter.
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. There are layers of notes on the text, including some contemporary
Greek notes in the margins; the names of the interlocutors are written in red
until f. 18r. On the translation see E. Berti, "La traduzione di Leonardo
Bruni del Fedone di Platone ed un codice greco della Bibliotheca Bodmeriana,"
Museum Helveticum 35 (1978) pp. 125-48. J. Hankins, Plato in the Italian
Renaissance (Leiden, 1990) v. 2, Cat. A, no. 196.
2. ff. 60r-77v [Letter:] Ad Nicolaum Nicolum. Leonardi arretini in
zenophantis tirannum. Zenophontis philosophi quemdam libellum quem ego
ingenij exercendi gratia e greco sermone...[text, f. 61v:] Cum ad hieronem
tyrannum Simonides poeta aliquando uenisset essentque ambo otiosi sic
illum affari coepit simonides...felix enim cum sis nemo tibi inuidebit.
Xenophontis tyrannus finit.
Xenophon, Hiero (Tyrannus), translated into Latin by Leonardo Bruni
and preceded by his prefatory letter to Niccolo Niccoli; Baron, pp. 100-01
for letter and p. 161 for text.
Parchment, ff. i (paper) + 77 + i (paper), 225 x 152 (148 x 85) mm.
30 long lines. Double vertical bounding lines full length (Derolez 13.31),
ruled in hard point; rulings for text in ink. Remains of prickings in lower
margin and a single pricking along outer edge, 3-4 mm. below upper
horizontal ruling (e.g., f. 48; Derolez 18.3).
I-V 10, VI 10 (-10, blank), VII 10, VIII 8. Catchwords between inner
vertical bounding lines, perpendicular to text (Derolez 12.5).
Written by a single scribe in a somewhat angular humanistic bookhand.
Decorated in the early style of Gioacchino de' Gigantibus (we thank
A. C. de la Mare for this information). On f. 1r a partial border in upper,
lower and inner margins, white vine-stem ornament on blue, green and dark
pink with grey dots on blue grounds, blue dots on pink grounds, and gold
balls. In lower border, medallion framed by gold interlace bands and
supported by two putti wearing red necklaces, with a coat of arms, now
erased, on green ground. Four illuminated initials, 7- to
5-line, in gold, framed in yellow, on blue, green and red grounds, with dots
as above. Initial on f. 1r, inhabited by standing putto wearing a red
necklace, is joined to the border. Other initials have vine-stem decoration
extending into the margins and terminating with groups of three gold balls.
Headings and names of interlocutors (see art. 1) in red.
Binding: Italy, s. xix in. Rigid vellum case with the title gold-tooled
on a label on the spine: "Leon. Aret. Opus." Gilt edges and faint
lettering on the head edge.
Written in Florence in the 1440s. Although the arms (f. 1r) of the original
owner have been effaced, A. C. de la Mare suggests that the manuscript may have
been produced for Alfonso V, King of Aragon and Naples. Early modern provenance
unknown. Belonged to Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919; booklabel). Purchased
from L. C. Witten in 1954 by Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: dei confirmationem
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 73, no. 78.
Barbara A. Shailor