BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 184 Florence, 1431
Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes; De finibus
1. ff. 1r-78r .M. T. ullii. [sic] Ciceronis. Tusculanarum. disputationum.
liber primus incipit feliciter. Cum defensionum laboribus senatoriisque
muneribus aut omnino aut magna ex parte essem aliquando liberatus...
Nostris acerrimis doloribus uariisque undique circumfusis molestiis
alia nulla potuit inueniri leuatio. Explicit feliciter. deo gratias.
amen. [added in a later hand:] Quintus et ultimus liber explicit
feliciter. amen. [in original hand:] Quintus et .ultimus liber.
explicit. feliciter. f. 78v ruled, but blank
Cicero, Tusculanae disputationes; M. Pohlenz, ed., Teubner fasc. 44
(1918) pp. 217-459. Throughout the text the parts of the dialogue are
assigned to M or DI, in red. The scribe who copied the manuscript
has carefully entered variant readings (corresponding for the most part
to the preferred readings in the Teubner edition) and an occasional note
in the margins; a somewhat later hand has added annotations to both arts.
1 and 2.
2. ff. 79r-150v [Rubric missing; text begins:] Non eram nescius brute
cum que summis ingeniis exquisitaque doctrina phylosophi greco sermone
tractauissent...Quod cum ille dixisset et satis disputatum uideretur
in oppidum ad pomponium porreximus omnes. Finis. [colophon:]
Die xxiiii#o mensis maij. M.#o cccc#o xxxi#o .manu mei. D.#o N.#i Pollini.
Cicero, De finibus bonorum et malorum; Th. Schiche, ed., Teubner fasc.
43 (1915) pp. 1-203. Variant readings are recorded as in art. 1, as well
as annotations by the same later hand.
Parchment (hair side speckled), ff. ii (parchment bifolium;
i = front pastedown) + 150 + ii (parchment bifolium; ii = back pastedown),
275 x 180 (196 x 114) mm. 32 long lines, above top line. Double vertical
bounding lines; single upper horizontal bounding line; pattern of lower
horizontal bounding lines varies between zero (Derolez 13.32) and one or
two rulings full width (Derolez 13.33). Ruled in hard point on hair side.
Prickings in outer margins.
I-IX 8, X 6 (-7, 8, blanks), XI-XIX 8. Horizontal catchwords in
center of lower margins, verso.
Written in fine round humanistic script, above top line.
The decoration appears to have been executed in two stages. In the
first are eleven illuminated initials of fine quality, 7- to 4-line, gold
on blue, green and peach square grounds with white vine-stem ornament and
headings in red for art. 1 only. In the second stage: a full border on
f. 1r of white vine-stem ornament curling around a thin gold bar on blue,
green and pink ground with white dots; in lower border, medallion, framed
by a wreath and supported by two putti pushed by clouds, contains
unidentified arms (gules, a bend argent; crest an eagle?) on blue ground;
inner and outer border inhabited by a stag, a rabbit and two putti, one
playing a horn; upper border consists of green garlands suspended between
2 medallions, framed in gold, one with a lectern, the other with a portrait
in profile (of Cicero?) on blue ground with white filigree. According to
A. C. de la Mare the border may be in the early style of Giovanni Varnucci.
Also a later addition is the initial on f. 134v, 5-line, gold on blue and
red ground with gold filigree.
Binding: Italy, s. xx. Early brown calf sides (s. xv?) are inset
on a modern brown calf binding. Blind-tooled with a circle in a
central rectangle within concentric frames. Some tooling added at the time
of rebinding. Traces of two fastenings and round corner bosses. Edges gilt.
Written in Florence in 1431 (see colophon, art. 2) by Domenico di Niccolo
Pollini (1395-1473) who copied texts primarily for his own use; for other
manuscripts in his hand see A. C. de la Mare, New Research, Appendix I,
pp. 492-93; the full border and unidentified arms on f. 1r appear to be
later additions, perhaps by Giovanni Varnucci (1416-57). Belonged to
Ambroise Firmin-Didot; see his Catalogue illustre des livres precieux
manuscrits...(Paris, 1882), v. 4, p. 59, no. 37, where the arms are
attributed to the Falcone family. Sotheby's sale (London, 12 April 1899,
no. 176). J. Rosenthal of Munich (Cat. 27, no. 18). Purchased from J.
Rosenthal, 21 June 1901, by Sir Sydney Cockerell (his extensive notes
and signature on front pastedown and f. i recto); see S. Cockerell,
"Signed Manuscripts in my Collection," Book Handbook 2, 1 (1951)
pp. 13-14, pl. 8) and C. de Hamel, "Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
from the Library of Sir Sydney Cockerell (1867-1962)," The British
Library Journal 13, 2 (1987) pp. 186-210. Cockerell sale at Sotheby's
(19 May 1958, no. 123). Purchased from H. P. Kraus (Cat. 88, Fifty
Mediaeval and Renaissance Manuscripts, p. 91, no. 42) in 1958 by
Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: [homi]nis est intemperate
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 85, no. 184.
Exhibition Catalogue: W. Cahn and J. Marrow, eds.,
"Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Yale: A Selection,"
Yale University Library Gazette 52 (1978), pp. 226-27, no. 50.
Burlington Fine Arts Club, Illustrated Catalogue of Illuminated
Manuscripts (London, 1908) no. 187.
J. Ruysschaert, "Miniaturistes 'romains' sous Pie II," in Enea
Silvio Piccolomini. Papa Pio II, Atti del convegno per il quinto
centenario della morte e altri scritti raccolti da Domenico Maffei
(Siena, 1968) p. 257, n. 70.
Barbara A. Shailor