BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 210 Italy, after 1410
Lunario volgare perpetuo, in roll format
Texts occur in the following order:
1. Table to determine precise occurrence of the new moon, arranged
in 4 columns per month with the first column of each written in red
(letters A-T for the cyclum decemnovenale; 20 of the possible 31
days of the month; 20 of the possible 24 hours of the day; number of
the possible 1080 "points" of the hour), followed by an explanation
in Italian of the method of use of the table, beginning with the
knowledge that the year 1410 constituted an "R" in the 19-year cycle
("...Et sappiate ch [sic} nel 1410 secondo la chiesa corse [italics mine;
note past tense] R in questa regula..."), that the new year begins on
1 January, and that the new day begins at sunset. Space reserved for
June which was not filled in.
2. Table to determine in which ascendant or descendant sign of the
zodiac the moon will be for each day of the month and each month of
the year, preceded by the heading: "Quessta sie la ragione ouu[er?]o
tauula da trouare in che segno e la llune in ciasschuno mese come qui
e scripta et dessegnata."
3. Short passage distributing the signs of the zodiac according to
the 4 cardinal directions and the 4 elements (fire, air, earth,
4. Twelve short passages on good/bad actions to take while the moon
is in a particular sign of the zodiac, usually including
encouragements/prohibitions regarding business (e.g., when the moon
is in Virgo, "Buono e a cominciare add imprender alcuno mistiero
ouero arte per guadagnare et specialmente ogni arte che a scriptura
s'apartiene..."), marriage, building, planting, travel, making or
wearing new clothes; also given for each sign are the qualities of
motion, humor, gender, temperature, bodily part controlled,
instructions on taking medicine. The text continues from the last
six lines on the recto (ending with the warning "volta"), through
most of the dorse.
5. Short passage on the dies mali of each month, and on the 4
dangerous Mondays of the year (the first Monday of April and August;
the last Monday of September and December), in which one should in
particular avoid eating goose.
Parchment roll composed of a single membrane measuring
645 x 235 mm. Remains of prickings along outer edges. Text lines
ruled in hard point; tables drawn in ink. Written in a small gothic
bookhand on both sides. Key passages and words (e.g., names of the
months) and paragraph marks in red; initials touched with yellow.
Worn, stained; minor loss of text due to wormholes and rubbing.
Unbound; preserved in a modern case.
Written in Italy, sometime after 1410 (see art. 1); provenance unknown.
Purchased from H. P. Kraus in 1958 by Thomas E. Marston.
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 88, no. 210.
Barbara A. Shailor