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2020-12-17 10:40:42
Pseudo-Phalaris; Francesco Griffolini
Epistolae Phalaridis (The Epistles of Phalaris), Latin translation by FRANCESCO GRIFFOLINI; in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPT OF THE FICTIONAL LETTERS BY SICILIAN TYRANT, PHALARIS. In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment, Italy (Northern?), c. 1460-1480. Dimensions 164 x 113 mm., 80 folios, lacking 40 leaves, horizontal catchwords, written in a fine humanistic minuscule, addressees of letters in red capitals, letter numbers in red in the margins, each letter begins with a very fine 2-line initial in burnished gold on a ground painted in red and blue, highlighted with white penwork. BINDING: modern light brown calf. TEXT: The Italian humanists were fascinated by this collection of fictional letters purporting to be by the monstrous Sicilian tyrant, Phalaris, famous for torturing his enemies inside a bronze bull and eating human babies. In keeping with the established tradition in Ancient Greece of epistolary fiction, these letters are a literary creation by a yet unknown author, who reinvented Phalaris and explored his public and private life through the fictional letters. Still lacking a modern critical edition of the original Greek, or this Latin translation, this text is rare on the market. PROVENANCE: The style of the script and initials suggests that the manuscript was made in Italy in the second half of the fifteenth century, c. 1460-1480, perhaps in Northern Italy; evidence of erasure in the lower margin of the first and last leaves (ff. 17, 104v): probably deletion of eighteenth- or nineteenth-century ownership inscriptions, now illegible. CONDITION: f. 1 darkened and stained, further stains and signs of use in the lower margins at the beginning and the end, edges … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Les Enluminures [United States]
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