BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 145 Italy, ca. 1475
Restricted material. May not be seen without the permission of the appropriate curator.
1. ff. 1r-82v [Added later:] Annal. L. xi. [text:] Nam Valerium
asiaticum bis consulem fuisse quodam adulterum eius credidit...graues
cruciatus afferente obuersis in demetrium. [at side, slightly smaller:]
Hic multum deficit.
Annales XI-XVI; E. Koeestermann, ed., Teubner, v. 1 (1936) pp. 200-382.
2. ff. 83r-191r [added later:] Historiarum L. i. [text:]
michi operis seruius galba iterum Titus Iunius consules erunt. Nam post
conditam urbem...quae mucianus in syria aponius in moesia flauianus in
parma. [in slightly smaller script, same hand:] gratias ago deo. f.
191v blank, except for a Greek inscription (="The illiterate man is
like a barren tree") and an erased Latin inscription, illegible.
Historiae I-V; E. Koeestermann, ed., op. cit., v.2 (1936) pp. 1-219.
Parchment (thin, good quality), ff. ii (contemporary parchment) +
191 (including 67 bis and 105 bis) + i (contemporary parchment), 261 x
192 (180 x 113) mm. Written in 28 long lines; ruled in ink; double
vertical bounding lines, full across. Prickings at upper edge.
I-XXIII^^8, XXIV^^8 ( + 1, f. 191). Catchwords, accompanied by
delicate flourishes, perpendicular to text between inner bounding
Written by a single scribe in a well formed humanistic script.
Twelve initials, 7- to 2-line, at beginning of each book (2 at the
beginning of the Annales), gold edged in black, with white vine
ornament, against a panelled ground of blue, green and mauve, with
white dots, outlined with one or two thin white and one black line;
ivy, drawn or pen, with triangular gold leaves or dots, projecting from
corners into margins. On f. 1r, the initial includes a putto in the
vinework; in the lower margin, coat of arms of Corvinus, type A
(quarterly, first and fourth barry of 8 gules and argent [Hungary];
second and third gules, a lion rampant and queue-fourche argent
[Bohemia]; an inescutcheon azur with raven sable holding an annulet or,
with bordure or [Hunyadi family]; K. Csapodi-Gardonyi, Biblioteca
Corviniana [New York and Washington, 1969], notes to pl. XLIX).
Workmanship of fair quality; style Northern Italian?
Binding: s. xv. Sewn on three tawed, slit straps laid in channels
in beech boards. The straps are pegged and the channels filled in with
plaster as are the endband grooves and the edge channels cut out for
the clasps. The primary endband is plain, wound, and sewn on a tawed
core and the secondary is beaded and colored. The core is laid in a
groove and pegged. The square spine is given a slightly round shape by
the bevelling of the boards and is lined with a tawed skin. Covered in
dark, brick-red goatskin with a cusped shield azur, charged with a crow
sable [Hunyadi family], in the center of each board; blind-tooled rope
work, punch dots and other ornamentation gilt, gold-tooled or painted.
"Cornelius Tacitus" is tooled along the head of the lower cover and is
also written down the fore-edge with black ink. There are four
fastenings, the brass catches on the lower board, with three of them
covered over with added leather. The clasps are the same color as the
cover and are reinforced with parchment. They are pegged in channels at
the edges of the board, underneath the cover. The clasps and a little
leather of the spine and the upper board are wanting. Described and
reproduced The History of Bookbinding, 525-1950 A.D., The Walters Art
Gallery (Baltimore, 1957), pp. 91-92, no. 205, pl. XXXIX; cf. I.
Schunke, "Vom Stil der Corvineneinbaende," Gutenberg Jahrbuch (1944/49)
p. 213, Abb. 2.
Written for King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1458-90; arms on
binding and f. 1r), ca. 1475, perhaps by Italians at his palace of
Buda. Removed from Buda by Jacob Spiegel (b. 1483), apparently when he
visited the palace in 1514. Spiegel's gift in 1518 to Beatus Rhenanus
(1485-1547), who used it for his printed edition of 1533. Notes of
Beatus Rhenanus in the text and on f. 1r include, "Beati Rhenani sum,
nec muto dominum. Ex dono Iacobi Spingellii Iureconsulti. An. Salut. M.
D. XVIII. Hic liber sumptus est ex Biblioteca Budensi..."; hence the
name Budensis formerly used for this manuscript. Two inscriptions (the
second badly rubbed) dated 1534 appear on last flyleaf, verso, in
cursive: "Victoria Philippi Hessorum Lentgrauii restituentis Udalricum
Ducem Wirtenbergensem accidit die 13 Maij Anno 1534, cedente exercitu
Ferdinandi regis," and "Andreas Tasenprat Thras// et Weneslaus
Prudensis [?] bd tr// hc enus fuerunt hic in re**rh// dij An: 1534 in
vigilia Ascension// quae erat decimo quinto die Maij." Belonged to J.-
P. Dorsner (b. 1750), who gave it to Jeremias Oberlin (1735-1806) by
whom it was used in 1801 to revise J. Ernesti's edition of Tacitus (see
W. Allen, "The Yale Manuscript of Tacitus (Codex Budensis Rhenani),"
Gazette 11  p. 85). Acquired in 1805, in Strasbourg, by Samuel
Teleki (1739-1822), Lord Chancellor of Transylvania, for his library of
Marosvasarhely (no. 140 A/2, square tag on spine; see Bibliotheca
Corviniana, no. 96, p. 61). Obtained from the Teleki family in 1934 by
Gabriel Wells of New York. Bought from him with funds collected by Mrs.
Edward S. Harkness and a group of alumni, and presented to Yale in
secundo folio: Nam cuncta
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, no. 145, pp. 34-35. Exhibition
p. 235, no. 60.
W. Allen, Jr. "The Yale Manuscript of Tacitus (Codex Budensis
Rhenani); Its History and Affiliations," unpublished D. Phil.
dissertation (Yale, 1936).
Idem, "Beatus Rhenanus, Editor of Tacitus
and Livy," Speculum 12 (1937) pp. 382-85.
Idem, "The Four Corvinus
Manuscripts in the United States," New York Public Library, 1938, pp.
Idem, "Tacitus, Histories IV, 46-53," Yale Classical
Studies 6 (1939) pp. 31-38.
K. Csapodi-Gardonyi, ed., Bibliotheca Corviniana (New York and
Washington, 1969) p. 61, no. 96, and pl. 49, with extensive
Barbara A. Shailor