GKS 2145 4°: Plutarchus, Vitae. Leonardus Brunus, Vita Aristotelis





GKS 2145 4°: Plutarchus, Vitae. Leonardus Brunus, Vita Aristotelis

Parchment, 100 ff. (C + 1-99), 25,5 × 15,5 cm; Italy, 1475-1500

The manuscript is a characteristic expression of Italian Renaissance humanism. It contains five vitae, four by the ancient Greek author Plutarch translated into Latin by Lapo da Castiglionchio (1405-1438) and Francesco Filelfo (1398-1481), and one, on Aristotle, written by Leonardo Bruni (1370-1444). All five are preceded by dedicatory letters


1r-55r: Plutarchus, Vita Romuli & vita Thesei, translated by Lapo da Castiglionchio, preceded by his dedication to Prospero Colonna

55r-65r: Leonardo Bruni, Vita Aristotelis, followed by a letter on the same from Bruni to Poggio Bracciolini

66r-99r: Plutarchus, Vita Galbae & Vita Othonis, translated by Francesco Filelfo, preceded by his dedications to Malatesta Novello

The manuscript is copied in humanistic script and embellished with portraits of the subjects of the five vitae. The opening page is the most elaborated; apart from ornamentation it shows the legendary kings Theseus and Romulus, and, in the lower margin, a pilgrim of St. James, who is not in any way related to the contents of the book

The manuscript has been foliated in the modern era. The first leave was not counted. On the recto side of this (marked C here) there is a brief summary of the contents; the verso side is blank

Bibl.: Ellen Jørgensen, Catalogus codicum Latinorum medii ævi Bibliothecæ Regiæ Hafniensis, Hafniæ 1926, p. 378. - Ulf Abel & Nils Göran Hökby (edd.), Gyllene Böcker. Nyförvärv och nyupptäckter. Stockholm 1988, p. 66 no. 73. – L. Gualdo Rosa (ed.), Censimento dei codici dell'epistolario di Leonardo Bruni, I, Manoscritti delle biblioteche non italiane, Roma 1993, p. 44. - Erik Petersen (ed.), Living Words & Luminous Pictures. Catalogue, Copenhagen & Århus 1999, p. 102f. no. 143

Erik Petersen