BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 85 Rome [?], s. XV 2/4-med
Leonardo Bruni, Commentaria rerum graecarum
ff. 1r-26v [Letter:] Animaduerti nonnumquam o angele te admirari solere
meam ut ita dixerim cunctationem ac tarditatem...[text, f. 2r:] Athenienses
simulo ac mithylenam obsideri a lacedemoniis nuntiatum est ferre auxilium
properantes...ad thebanos mirabili fortune conuersione deuenit. finis.
Leonardo Bruni, Commentaria rerum graecarum (De principatu Graeciae),
preceded by Bruni's letter to Angelo Acciaiuolo; Baron, pp. 146-47 for
letter, p. 176 for text reference. J. Gronovius, ed., Thesaurus graecarum
antiquitatum (Venice, 1735) v. 6, cols. 3389-418.
Parchment, iii (paper) + i (contemporary parchment) + 26 (modern
foliation, lower right corner, in pencil: on 21, 31, 41, 46 only) + i
(contemporary parchment) + iii (paper), 258 x 184 mm. Ruled faintly in
hard point; double vertical bounding lines full length (Derolez 13.31).
I-II 10, III 6.
Written in round humanistic bookhand by two scribes who use somewhat
different physical formats. Scribe I: ff. 1r-16r, written above top line,
with initials for paragraphs set apart from the text between outer vertical
bounding lines; written space (169 x 114) mm. Scribe 2: ff. 16v-26v,
written below top line and leaving blank the final line of written space
(176 x 114) mm.
Two illuminated initials on ff. 1r and 2r, 5-line and 3-line, gold on
blue, green and pale mauve ground with white vine-stem ornament and grey-green
dots. On f. 1r vine-stem ornament on blue ground extends into inner margin
(3-lines) to form partial border. Possibly by the same artist who executed
the initials in Marston MS 257.
Binding: Italy, s. xx. Rigid vellum case with a green, gold-tooled
label on spine: "L. Bruni De principatu graeciae. Sec. XV."
Written probably in Rome in the second quarter or middle of the 15th century;
early modern provenance unknown. Formerly part of a larger volume as
indicated by modern foliation (21-46); it is possible that Marston MS 85
(20 ff.) comprised the other part of Marston MS 257 which was referred to as
"De principatu graeciae" in the modern German note pasted to a front flyleaf
of that manuscript. Although the two manuscripts were not written by the same
scribe, they are of a similar size and contain decorative initials that may be
by the same artist. (See also entry for Marston MS 257.) Unidentified "128"
in pencil on f. iv recto, with contemporary notation in ink "cxxx."
"B" enclosed by circle, in pencil, on f. i recto. Hoepli sale cat.,
1955, no. 7 (pl. VI, in color). Purchased from Hoepli of Milan in 1955 by
L. C. Witten (inv. no. 919) who sold it in the same year to Thomas E.
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 74, no. 85.
Barbara A. Shailor