BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Marston MS 160 Central [?] Italy, s. XV 3/4
John Chrysostom, Sermo de dignitate humanae originis, Lat. tr. Ambrogio Traversari
ff. 1r-51v [Letter:] Incipit tractatus gloriosissimi doctoris
sanctissimique uiri Iohannis os auri Ad Stagirium sanctissimum monacum
singularissimum eius amicum arreptum a demone. de remedio omnis mestitie
diuisus in tres libros. In primis incipit epistola famosissimi uiri
religiosi fratris anbrosij [sic] de florentia generalis ordinis camaldulensis.
Ad excellentissimum principem Rainerium regem. Secundo idus octubris.
Sunt quidem plurima que in te laudari merito possint princeps inclite... [text,
f. 2r:] Incipit liber primus supradicti sanctissimi uiri Iohannis crisostomi
ad predictum stagirum monacum correptum a demone super id
Oportuerat quidem o mi amantissime omnium stagiri fueratque sane...Nobis
autem confusio satis et regibus nostris et patribus nostris quia peccauimus
tibi domine// f. 52r-v ruled, but blank except for title written on f. 52r
in a later hand (same hand wrote title on spine) and the offset impression of a
seal or a pilgrim's badge on the verso
The text is preceded by a dedicatory letter, here directed to
Rene d'Anjou (King of Sicily and Naples, 1435-42); in other manuscripts
and early printed books it is directed either to Pietro, duke of Coimbra, or to
the Emperor Sigismund. Printed in Alost, 1487, and thereafter. Guides
to subject matter of text appear in the outer margins of the manuscript,
preceded by paragraph marks in red.
Parchment, ff. 51 + i (contemporary parchment), 194 x 105 (135 x 65) mm.
34 long lines. Single vertical bounding lines, full length (Derolez 13.11),
ruled in hard point on hair side; guide lines for text in pale brown ink.
Prickings in upper and lower margins, with a single pricking in outer margin,
2 mm. above top line.
I 10, II-V 8, VI 10 (-10). Horizontal catchwords in lower margin, left of
inner vertical bounding line (Derolez 12.2). Quire and leaf signatures
(e.g., b.1, b.2, etc.) in lower right corner, recto.
Written by a single scribe in humanistic cursive script, below top line.
3 large initials of modest quality, 8- to 7-line, gold on blue or blue and
red grounds with white dots and white vine-stem ornament. 1 smaller initial,
3-line, gold on red and blue ground with white dots. Plain initials in
blue and red, one in gold, some with penwork flourishes in red. Rubrics
throughout. Paragraph marks in red or blue. Guide letters for initials.
Binding: Italy, s. xv. Original sewing on three tawed skin, slit straps
laced through tunnels in the edge to channels on the outside of beech boards
and nailed. Beige and white chevron endbands are sewn on tawed skin cores
laid in grooves on the outside of the boards. The spine is lined with green
tawed skin between supports.
Covered in brown, originally tan, calf with corner tongues, blind-tooled with
a triple cross in a border of rope interlace. Spine: sewing bands defined
and panels diapered with triple fillets. Two truncated diamond catches
with a flower in a circle on the lower board, the upper one cut in for the red
fabric straps attached with star-headed nails.
Written in Central [?] Italy in the third quarter of the 15th century according
to A. C. de la Mare. Unidentified shelf mark on f. 52r "I. [?] s. O. 2."
"T. B. N" in pencil on front pastedown; "J" enclosed by a circle, in pencil,
in upper margin of f. 1r. On inside of back cover, in pencil: "M-EO-21/ Sl
[?] EHS." Purchased from Giuseppe (Joseph) Martini of Lugano by H. P. Kraus,
who sold it in 1957 to Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: Inherebit memorie
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 82, no. 160.
Barbara A. Shailor