Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


Ms. Codex 902

Parchment1, ff. I + 101 + I, 300 ] 240 mm., 1-128 136 (- one leaf) with traces of signatures on the leaves of the first 8 gatherings, 2 columns of 36 lines ruled in lead with a narrow column to the left of the text block to accommodate the initials at the beginning of each line, written possibly by several people in bâtarde scripts with a scribal break between ff. 48v and 49; the Petrarch fragment in a gothic script. Decoration: 2- and 3-line initials at the beginning of poems or first line of columns; rubrics in red in a display script; versals slashed in red. Binding in modern leather with "French lyric poetry Machaut Grandson" stamped on the spine. f. 94, Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm.Rerum vulg. fragm., incomplete at the end, inc. "D'ardente virtute ornata e calda/ alma gentile chui tante carte vergo . . ." (no. 146, vv. 1-5), expl. "O fiamma, o rose sparse in dolce falda."
ff. 94v-96v ruled but blank.
Ms. also contains: ff. 1-93v, a chansonnier of 310 lyric compositions in French, title "Ci sensuient plusieurs bonnes pastourelles, complaintes, lays, et balades et autres choses" including poems by Philippe de Vitry, Eustache Deschamps (one poem), Brisebare (one poem), Oton de Granson (ca. 25 poems), Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 100 poems); 15 of the poems are signalled by the initials "Ch" in a formal hand between rubric and text; G. Bertoni proposes that the initials might stand for Charles d'Orléans, while J. Wimsatt associates them with Chaucer. f. 97, an alphabetical index in French, compiled only to entries under the letter B, title "Rubricha infrascripta est per alphabetum", inc. "Amours sacies, in f<euill>e 16."
ff. 97v-101 ruled but blank.
f. 101v, a motto in Italian verse, "Or da mi se garda chy m'a offexo, ch'y sempre sto con l'archo atexo."
2nd. f.: Lenvoy. Prince Robin appella
Written in France , s. XVin..
On f. 1, a motto, "Droit est ferme" (a version of "In Treue Fest," or "In Loyalty Steadfast"?) possibly a version of the motto of Bavaria, which has been suggested in the literature to refer to Isabella of Bavaria-Ingolstadt (ca. 1370-1435), Queen Consort of France after her marriage to Charles VI of France in 1385. In the possession of Leo S. Olschki (1861-1940) in 1932 when G. Bertoni studied the manuscript; purchased by the University of Pennsylvania from the bookdealer, Laurence Witten in 1954 (not in his undated catalogues 1, 3-4; his catalogue n. 5 is dated 1962).
G. Bertoni, "Liriche di Oton de Grandson, Guillaume de Machaut e di altri poeti in un nuovo canzoniere", Archivum Romanicum 16 (1932), 1-20 where Bertoni identifies the authorship of some of the poems, cites all incipits, and prints seven of the poems themselves. Norman P. Zacour and Rudolf Hirsch, Catalogue of Manuscripts in the Libraries of the University of Pennsylvania to 1800 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965), 57, citing this manuscript under its former call number, Fr. 15. James I. Wimsatt, Chaucer and the poems of "Ch" in University of Pennsylvania MS French 15. Chaucer Studies 9 (Cambridge: Brewer; Totowa, N.J., USA: Rowman & Littlefield, 1982). None of the three recognizes the fragment of Petrarch. Dutschke, "Supplement II," p. 15. The complete manuscript is visible on the University of Pennsylvania website of the Schoenberg Center for Electronic Text & Image: choose "Browse," then "Period (Century)," then scroll to "15th C. E." for the manuscript listed as "Chansonnier."
1. I thank Amey Hutchins, who kindly brought this manuscript to my attention, and who provided much of the information cited here; I have not yet had occasion to see the manuscript myself.

Dutschke, Supplement II
Dutschke, D. "Census of Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States: Supplement II," Studi Petrarcheschi, NS, vol. 18, 2005, pp. 1-22.

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