Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


MS 203

Parch., ff. II (modern parch.) + 177 + II (modern parch.), modern foliation, 308 × 218 (207-210 × 148-152) mm., pricking evident, 18 (-1st, 2nd, 3rd and 7th) 2-68 78 (-4th) 8-118 128 (-4th and 5th) 13-148 158 (-4th) 16-218 226 238 (+9th, 10th and 11th), 2 columns of 37-38 lines, plain horizontal catchwords at bottom inside margin, signatures of alphabetical letter with Roman numerals I-IIII, ruled in pale red ink, written by one person, in an elegant Lettre bâtarde . On ff. 1 and 87, three-fourths of the page is ruled but left blank; f. 1, blue 4ߚline initial on a gold ground, burgundy infilling with gold vinestem, infilled by arms (now effaced), floral decoration in the margin; f. 84, 6ߚline green initial, with two letters inside in burgundy and blue, on a gold ground, silver infilling, marginal decoration similar to f. 1; f. 87, 6ߚline green initial similar to f. 84; the chapters begin with 2ߚline gold initials and blue pen decoration (beading and swirls); the R for Ratio and the initials for the other interlocutores (G, S, D, M) are in a display script, blue with red pen decoration and gold with blue pen decoration. Bound in red velvet, now frayed. ff. 1-177v, Petrarch, De remediis utriusque fortune , inc. "Etas florida est multum superest vite. Racio. En prima mortalium spes vana que multa hominum ... nisi spes te ista fefellerit. Explicit liber primus de remediis utriusque fortune", f. 84, "Prolugus secundi libri de remediis utriusque fortune venerabilis Francisci Petrarche poete laureati. Ex omnibus que vel michi lecta placuerunt ... quamvis immensam ventis undis remis velis actam retium solus elementorum", f. 87, "Egisse mecum nimis illiberaliter naturam queror ...", expl. "... fateri oportet non felicius que enim ista felicitas non sencientis seu saxi seu saxo abditi alioquin si//" (ed. Basel, 1554, 7-253, line 19).
Two loose folios now in the Philadelphia Free Library, Lewis European MSS T 188 and T 189 (nos. 112 and 113 in present Census), were once the 3rd and 7th folios respectively of Beinecke MS 203: T 188 contains the last part of the Prologue of the De remediis , "//diversis tormentorum ac mortium ... proporcione formosum. Explicit prologus primi libri de remediis utriusque fortune//" (ed. Basel, p. 5, line 8 - p. 6, line 27), and T189 contains the De remediis , Bk. I, the last part of Dial. V, Dial. VI-VII, and the first part of Dial. VIII, "//immensum laborat mole sui ... atque periculi meminisse iuvat nisi//" (ed. Basel, p. 11, line 11 - p. 12, line 34). The portions of text which are still missing due to the loss of folios are: quite possibly an illumination and the beginning of the prologue of Bk. I, "//Cum res fortunasque ... durus quidem, sed//", formerly the first two folios of quire I (ed. Basel, p. 1-5, line 8); Bk. I, Dial, LXIV, "//Strabo vir equester ... ad coelum pandite//", formerly the 4th folio of quire 7, between ff. 47 and 48 (ed. Basel, p. 72, line 16 - p. 73, line 34); Bk. II, last part of the Preface, "//atque hominum vim retundens ... quae dehinc visa fuerint, dicemus//", formerly the 4th and 5th folios of quire 12, between ff. 86 and 87 (ed. Basel, p. 123, line 66 - p. 125, line 16); Bk. II, end of Dial. XXXII, Dial. XXXIII-XXXIV and all but the last part of XXXV, "//humanitas, neu tam vindictae studeas ... utroque caruisse difficillimum//", formerly the 4th folio of quire 15, between ff. 111 and 112 (ed. Basel, p. 159, line 16 - p. 60, line 40); and the conclusion of the De remediis, Bk. II, "//sepulchro foelix, sit nemo foelicior Mausolo ... curam hanc relinque viventibus" (ed. Basel, p. 253, line 19 - p. 254).
2nd. f.: ille durus
Written in France , s. XV2, for an unidentified owner whose initials E. N. appear on ff. 84 and 87.
The bookplate of Prince Odescalchi is on the front pastedown; owned by B. G. Odescalchi of Denver, Colorado; a pencil note on the Odescalchi bookplate reads "Bersohn Robt"; purchased from C. A. Stonehill in 1953.
Ullman, no. 57; De Ricci, p. 152, no. 1; Jasenas, p. 36, no. 25, pl. 19 (off. 84). Mann, "The Manuscripts of Petrarch’s De remediis", 70.

De remediis utriusque fortune:
Francisci Petrarchae Florentini ... Opera quae extant omnia. Basileae, 1554. 1-254.
De Ricci
De Ricci, S. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. 3 vols. New York, 1935-40.
Jasenas, M. Petrarch in America: A Survey of Petrarch Manuscripts. New York and Washington, D. C., 1974.
Mann, "The Manuscripts of Petrarch’s De remediis"
Mann, N. "The Manuscripts of Petrarch’s De remediis: A Checklist", Italia medioevale e umanistica, XIV (1971).
Ullman, B. L. Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States (Censimento dei codici petrarcheschi, no. 1). Padova, 1964 (also in Italia medioevale e umanistica, v [1962], 443-475).

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