Item Details

Call Number: MS Hunter 206 (U.1.10)
Title: Plato, Phaedrus and Phaedo, with commentaries
Images: [ MS Hunter 206 fol. 2 detail ] [ MS Hunter 206 fol. 8v-9r ]
Date of Creation: Between 1482 and 1483
Place of Creation: Ghent or Bruges, Netherlands
Level of Description: Item
Part of MS Hunter 1-658
Extent and Medium: 1 volume (c 102 leaves)
Content: Classical miscellany from the library of Renaissance bibliophile Raphael de Mercatellis.
i-iiii: vellum flyleaves.
1r-8v: Plato: Phaedrus (Translated by Leonardo Bruni and dedicated to Antonio Lasco).
8v-32v: Plato: Phaedo (Translated by Leonardo Bruni and dedicated to Pope Eugenius IV).
32v-36r: Marsilio Ficino: De Amore (ie. Commentarium in Convivium Platonis).
36r-40v: Giovanni Cavalcanti: Expositio Pausaniae Orationis.
40v-42v: Heros: Expositio Eryximachi Orationis.
42v-46r: Cristoforo Landino: Expositio Aristophanis Orationis.
46r-53r: Carlo Marsuppini: Expositio Agathonis Orationis.
53r-67r: Tommaso Benci: Expositio Socratis Orationis.
67r-75r: Carlo Marsuppini: Expositio Alcibiadis Orationis.
75r-96v: Marsilio Ficino: De Voluptate.
96v-99r: Marsilio Ficino: De Divino Furore.
99r-101r: Marsilio Ficino: De Magnificentiae Laude.
101r-102v: Marsilio Ficino: De Quattuor Sectis Philosophorum.
102v: after the last word of text, in a 15th century hand: 1483.
103-106: blank vellum flyleaves.
Arrangement: List Item Content
Physical Description: Bound volume. Vellum, folio dimensions: 36 x 25.7cm.
iiii [flyleaves]
102 [leaves, numbered in black ink in a later hand]
4 [flyleaves, numbered in pencil in a possibly later hand]
Script: well written in a Flemish textus quadratus book hand, in single columns of 38 lines, each 26 x 18cm, marginal scribal gloss in red and black ink in the same hand, no signatures or catchwords (probably cropped). Blanks left for Greek quotations. Nota marks in a possibly later hand throughout the manuscript. Foliation (modern).
Decorated initials: Two large and two small gilt initials with heraldic blazons, one large and one small gilt initial with monogram 'SLY'; three gilt initials with floral decoration - large initial with iris, medium initial with carnations, small initial with strawberries; numerous penwork initials of various sizes in red, blue and green ink throughout the manuscript.
Borders: partial, framed bare-vellum floral borders with blue and gold acanthus and variety of flowers attached to multiple gilt initials.
Minor decoration: initial stroking in yellow ink, interlocutors' names and quotations rubricated in red ink consistently throughout the MS, red and blue paragraph marks, no marginalia.
Well preserved, late 15th century (1483?).
Access: Normal conditions
Language: Latin
Material Type: Document
Archival History: Made for Raphael de Mercatellis (1437-1508), apparently in 1483.
Originally bound together with another manuscript (Jean d'Outremeuse - Le Tresorier de Philosophie Naturelle des Pierres Precieuses; Ex divina philosophorum achademia secundum nature vires ad extra chyromanticie diligentissime collectum - formerly Switzerland, Geneva, Collection Maurice Burrus MS 148, last seen of sale from Dr Jorn Gunther - Rare Books AG in early 2016).
Both texts are listed in the inventories of the Mercatellis library (Recollectorium and Index by Vigilius of Zuichem 1572) as no.42 - Phoedrus Platonis et convivum eiusdem and no.92 - Liber de mineralibus in Gallico et de chiromantia; in cameloto albo. It is not known when the texts were separated and left the Mercatellis Library.
William Hunter bought his manuscript (now MS Hunter 206) as Lot 68 in 'Manuscrits orientales' section for £3-10-0 at the David Mallet sale in London, 10 March 1766. (See annotated sales catalogue in British Library, ref B.L. S.C.S. 6 (4).)
Notes: Title derived from entry in 'Glory of the Page' (1987).
Former Hunterian Museum shelfmark: S.1.7
I verso (vellum flyleaf - original pastedown): ink note "252 [….]" at top left and "No 68" at centre [18th cent.?]
ii verso (vellum flyleaf): ink note 'S.1.7.' - original MS call number from the Hunterian collection in Dr. William Hunter's hand at centre.
Iiii recto (vellum flyleaf): a partial table of contents in Dr. William Hunter's hand.
F.103v-103r and 104v-104r ruled.
F.106 is an original pastedown.
On f.104v the same arms have set off as appear on the second folio.
Printed version of selected texts available in Marsilii Ficini Florentini, Insignis Philosophi Platonici, Medici, Atque Theologi Clarissimi, Opera … (Dionysium Bechet, Paris 1641 - vol. 1 - Sp Coll BI8-a.5 & vol. 2 - Sp coll BI8-a.6)
Marsilio Ficino: De Amore (ie. Commentarium in Convivium Platonis) - p.284-332, vol.2.
Marsilio Ficino: De Voluptate - p. 1009-1036, vol.1.
Marsilio Ficino: De Divino Furore - p. 598-600, vol.1.
Conservation: Bound by Douglas Cockerell and Son in April 1969, binder's note attached to back cover pastedown, describes condition of 18th century binding. Current binding: 37.7 x 26.8cm, resewn on six double cords, covered in red native niger morocco, gold lettering, samples of leather and lettering from previous binding mounted on the inside of the board.
Previously bound in the 18th century: millboards, covered grained (brown faded crimson) Russia, gilt-tooled edges and sides (a thistle in each corner), panelled back, title (gilt) on dark and light green morocco shields: PLATON. | PHAEDR. | ARETIN . | M.S.|
Bibliography: Martin Gosman et al. eds., Princes and princely culture 1450-1650 (Leiden, 2003), pp. 57-58; Albert Derolez, "Early Humanism in Flanders: New Data and Observations on the Library of Raphael de Mercatellis (+ 1508)," in Les humanistes et leur bibliothèque: actes du colloque international, Bruxelles 26-28 août 1999, ed. Rudolf de Smet. Travaux de l'Institut interuniversitaire pour l'étude de la Renaissance et de l'humanisme, 13. (Leuven, 2002), pp. 37-57; Thomas Sullivan, Benedictine Monks at the University of Paris, A.D. 1229-1500: A Biographical Register (Leiden, 1994), pp. 73, 447; Nigel Thorp, The glory of the page (London, 1987), no. 124; Albert Derolez, The Library of Raphael de Marcatellis, Abbot of St. Bavon's, Ghent, 1437-1508 (Ghent, 1979); 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 148-150.
Exhibitions: '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; 'Perennial Pages', Glasgow University Library, May-Aug. 1995.
Accession Number: 2482
See details of how this material was acquired
Cataloguing Note: Catalogue record revised by Wiktoria Muryn, edited by Julie Gardham (March 2017).
Repository Code: GB 0247

Names associated with this item:

author: Tommaso Benci 1427-1470
Florentine merchant patrician, bibliophile, and poet.
author: Giovanni Cavalcanti 1444-1509
Italian poet. Member of the Platonic Academy of Florence.
author: Marsilio Ficino 1433-1499
Italian philosopher, theologian, and linguist. Became the head of the Platonic Academy of Florence situated at the Medici villa at Careggi in 1462. Author of the …
author: Heros
No further information.
author: Cristoforo Landino 1424-1504
Italian humanist and poet.
author: Carlo Marsuppini 1399-1453
Italian humanist. Followed Leonardo Bruni as chancellor of the Republic of Florence in 1444. Pope Nicholas V instructed him in 1452 to translate Homer's Iliad into …
author: Plato 428/7-348/7 BCE
Greek philosopher.
editor: Leonardo Bruni 1369-1444
Italian humanist scholar. Secretary to the papal chancery from 1405. Served as chancellor of Florence from 1427 until his death in 1444. His Historiarum Florentini …
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. …
exhibition: Perennial Pages 1995
Exhibition: Perennial Pages: Flower Illustration in Books since the Renaissance, Glasgow University Library, 13 May-26 August 1995.
provenance: David Mallet c 1701-1765
Poet. Born in Scotland and named David Malloch but anglicised his name after moving to England. Contemporary and friend of Alexander Pope. Under-secretary to the Prince of Wales, 1742-1748. …
provenance: Raphael de Mercatellis 1437-1508
Renaissance bibliophile. An illegitimate son of Philip the Good of Burgundy. Well-known patron of the arts at the ducal court, jouster, knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. …
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