Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 41 (T.1.9)
Title: Polistorio
Images: [ MS Hunter 41 fol. 149r ]
Date of Creation: Between 1399 and 1499
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Content: Polistorio, Libri III. IV.
Polyhistorio, Roman History. In Italian. Books III., IV: (Incomplete.)
Book III. begins - under a picture, for which see Remarks - (1, 1 [fol. 1] recto col. a, lines 1-9, the first five rubricated): Qui comincia la prima bataglia punicha | tra li Romani e Carthagenesi ouero Affrica | ni. Capitolo primo. Como li Romani ebbero | la prima uictoria contra de chartagenesi e | S * I * C * I * L * I * A * N * I., :, | Q [historiated initial, monk in black cowled mantle, over whitish robe, copies from a book at a desk] Vanto le par | te sonno magiore e piu forte tan | to se bataglia.
Ends (15, 3 [fol. 143] recto col. b, lines 14-16, last two rubricated): perio de Octauiano et de Antonio * | Qui finisse el terzo libro de pollistorio. | Laus deo Amen. Amen. AmeN.
Book IV. begins - after a table of contents - "Qui cominciano Li Capitoli del | Quarto Libro de polistoro. ... Expliciunt Capitula quarti li | bri polistorij Deo gracias. Amen" - contained 15, 4-7 (ff. 144-147), and under a picture, for which see Remarks (16, 1 [f. 149] recto col. a, lines 1-11 of which the first eight are rubricated): Qui comincia la quarta parte, ouero | el quarto libro de polistoro. Capito | lo primo. Come Octauiano entrato in Roma triumphando fo chiamato | emperadore da tutto el Senato e | da tutto il popolo de Roma. Et de molte incidencie de citade e de phylosophi. Rubrica. Rubrica. | C [historiated initial, sceptred, mail-clad, beardless figure, representing the youthful Augustus (?)] Oncio sia cosa che hora mai da quin | de innanci comin.
Ends (42, 2 [fol. 410] verso col. b, line 48): do delle parte de venexia per andare.
Remarks: The first of two exquisitely floreated pages occupies fol. 1 recto. It contains within a richly gilt frame a picture (6 7/8 x 3) of the engagements of the Romans and Carthaginians by land and sea, the ships having fighting tops, and their sails repeating some of the arms in the shield in the marginal border, the cities having moats and draw-bridges. The cavalry and infantry on both sides are Italian, late XV. Cent. At bottom of page is a shield, with two green dragons, supporters, bearing quarterly 1, 3. (or) three crescents (?) (arg.) on a fess (gules), and 2, 4. (azure), a label of three points (gules) over two fleurs-de-lys (or). At top of outer margin another shield bears quarterly 1, 3 (gules) in chevron (vert) a wattled fence; 2, 4. (tawny) a crossed star in centre (gules) with wavy rays (vert, azure, gules). The same border contains in a lozenge-shaped ornamental gilt frame a miniature of a hare (argent) behind a wattled garden fence. At the bottom two amoretti support a vase. The second floreated page occupies fol. 149 recto, which has a similar picture (6 7/8 x 3). A crimson chariot, whose wheels are nearly hidden by its hangings, drawn by four crimson-caparisoned white horses with outrider in blue Phrygian cap and sleeved jacket and green hose, preceded first by fair-haired boy and girl, the former in blue jerkin and buff and cerise party-coloured hose, the latter in green and yellow striped bodice and skirt, then by eight men-at-arms with long lances and heraldically charged shields, and accompanied on each side by mounted trumpeters blowing long golden tubas with heraldic appendages, and followed by a troop of mounted soldiers with lances and charged pennons (one device appearing twice - a withered thorn on a black mountain), contains seated a crowned and sceptred king in a crimson gold-embroidered sleeved robe, in front of whom a jester in fool's-cap and jerkin of white, black girdle and hose, turns round and, with both arms outstretched and closed fists, makes an insulting gesture (il fa i fichi). The chariot resembles a tester bed with a purple canopy and scalloped valances of dark crimson and gold. The whole party are beginning to cross a drawbridge dropped over a moat, and are being welcomed by a deputation of georgeously-attired dignitaries. The same arms occur in the bottom margin as on fol. 1.
Attached to the lower margin of fol. 1 verso is the heraldic book-plate of "Ames of Norfolke" (argent) in chief, two crosses, crosslet (sable), in centre boar's head couped (tawny), in base one cross, crosslet (sable), supporters Mercury with caduceus and Science with hygrometer and celestial sphere, surmounted by stag's head (or) erased and collared parti-colour (ermine and purple).
The writing of fol. 20 verso has set off on the picture of fol. 1 recto, and has in turn taken an imprint of some of its decorations.
On the lower margin of fol. 219 is an autograph, XVI. or XVII. Century: and Duc angeloy.
The history covers in Book III. from the first Punic War to the Principate of Octavian, and in Book IV. from the accession of Augustus to the war between the Conte di Romagna and Ricardo di anfredi da Faenza. It originally came down to the death of Pope Innocent and the election of Urban V. who restored the papal court to Rome.
All references to Modena are specially noted in the margin.
The arms described on 1, 1 verso are probably those of Joseph Ames (1689-1759), F.R.S., the bibliographer and antiquary, for whom see Dict. N. Biog. i. 353. For the same arms see also T. 8. 22 and V. 2. 5.
[Formerly S.1.2; S.1.2].
Foliation lacks 141, 148, 272, 275
Physical Description: Bound volume.
Vellum, 15 3/8 x 10, ff. 406, originally about ff. 430, written in beautiful Roman hand, in double cols. of 48 lines, each 11 1/8 x 3 1/8, ruled and margined, with (faded) red ink, foliation (XVI.-XVII. Cent.), catchwords, no signatures, two pictured and floreated pages, illuminated initials, rubrics, coloured paragraph marks, red and blue alternately, cropped, few marginalia, clean, well-preserved, fol. sec. Romano. Late Cent. XV.
Binding: Millboards, covered with crimson morocco, richly gilt-tooled inside margins, edges, sides and panelled back, gilt edges. Title (ink) on vellum shield: ISTORIA | di | ROMA e | D'ITALIA. Cent. XVIII.
[For detailed collation see: John Young and P. Henderson Aitken, A Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of The Hunterian Museum in The University of Glasgow. (Glasgow, 1908), p. 47.]
Access: Normal conditions
Language: Italian
Material Type: Document
Notes: This manuscript has been exhibited on the following occasions: 'The Glory of the Page', Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. 1988, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Jun.-Aug. 1988, Burrell Collection, Glasgow, Nov. 1988-Jan. 1989.
Bibliography: Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 79; John Young & P.H. Aitken, A catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of the Hunterian Museum in the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1908), pp 46-48.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

exhibition: Glory of the Page 1987-1989
Exhibition of medieval manuscripts from Glasgow University Library: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Oct. 1987-Jan. 1988, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Feb.-Apr. …
provenance: Joseph Ames 1689-1759
Bibliographer and antiquary.
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