BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 203 France, s. XV^^2
Petrarch, De remediis utriusque fortunae
ff. 1r-177v [Prologue missing] Etas florida est multum superest
vite. Racio. En prima mortalium spes vana que multa hominum...fateri
oportet non felicius que enim ista felicitas non sencientis seu saxi
seu saxo abditi alioquin si//
Opera (Basil, 1554) pp. 7-253.
Parchment, ff. ii (parchment) + 177 + ii (parchment), 308 x 218
(210 x 152) mm. Written in 2 columns of 37-38 lines; single vertical
and horizontal bounding lines, full across. Ruled in pale red ink;
remains of prickings in outer and lower margins.
I^^8 (-1, 2, 3, 7), II-VI^^8 (-4), VII^^8 (-4), VIII-XI^^8, XII^^8 (-4,
5), XIII-XIV^^8, XV^^8 (-4), XVI-XXI^^8, XXII^^6, XXIII^^8 (+ 9, 10, 11).
Catchwords along lower edge near gutter, on verso; leaf signatures (e.g.,
gi, gij, etc.), on recto.
Written by a single scribe in beautiful batarde script
characterized by calligraphic flourishes (some stroked with yellow) in
upper and lower margins.
4-line initial on f. 1r, blue with white highlights,
on a gold ground, with a coat of arms (effaced) against
burgundy ground with gold floral sprays; short floral border, pink and
blue flowers on green stem, infilled with gold dots with black hair-
spray. 6-line initials on ff. 84r and 87r green with yellow highlights,
on gold ground, with a love-knot connecting E (brown with gold
highlights) and N (blue) against silver ground, borders as above. 2-
line initials at beginning of chapters, gold with black penwork and
flourishes; 1-line initials (R for Racio, and G, S, D,
M, for the other interlocutors) blue or gold, with red or black penwork.
On ff. 1r and 8r three quarters of the page was ruled, but left
blank, presumably for miniatures.
Binding: s. xix. Red velvet case, much worn.
Written in France in the second half of the 15th century for
unidentified owner(s) whose initials E and N are incorporated into
initials on ff. 84r and 87r. Two leaves currently preserved in the
Philadelphia Free Library, Lewis European MSS T 188 and T 189, also
belong to this codex. T 188 contains text from the Prologue, which was
previously the third leaf in the first gathering of Beinecke MS 203; T
189, with portions from Bk. 1. 5-8, was formerly the seventh folio. (We
thank D. Dutschke for his assistance in locating these leaves.)
Belonged to Prince Odescalchi (bookplate) and B. G. Odescalchi (Denver,
Colorado). Pencil note on Odescalchi bookplate reads "Bersohn, Robt."
Purchased from C. A. Stonehill in 1953 with income from the Altschul Fund.
secundo folio: ille durus
Bibliography: De Ricci, v. 1, p. 152, no. 1; Faye and Bond, p. 40, no.
Ullman, no. 57, and the forthcoming revision of D. Dutschke.
N. Mann, "The Manuscripts of Petrarch's De remediis utriusque
fortunae: A Checklist," Italia medioevale e umanistica 14 (1971) p. 70.
Barbara A. Shailor