The Codices of György Handó1

Dániel Pócs
Research Centre for the Humanities
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The Florentine bookseller and cartolaio Vespasiano da Bisticci included the life of three Hungarian prelates in his Vite, dedicated to the the lives of his most famous clients. Two of the Hungarians, the archbishop of Esztergom, János Vitéz of Zredna, and the bishop of Pécs, the poet Janus Pannonius, are well-known personalities of early humanism in Hungary and some of their codices prepared in Florence still exist. The third one, however, György Handó (c. 1430–1480), provost of Pécs cathedral chapter from 1465 until his death, is much less known. Scholars of early humanism in Hungary were unable to contextualize the information given by Bisticci on Handó’s library, because no other written source could confirm his accounts, and no manuscript could been identified as a Handó codex. The present study demonstrates that contrary to the common belief that his codices had been completely lost, there are, in fact, twenty manuscripts originating from this early humanistic library. This research result is based on the identification of his coat of arms.

Keywords: György Handó, Orbán Nagylucsei, Péter Garázda, Vespasiano da Bisticci, Bartolomeo Fonzio, Piero Cennini, Corvina Library, Matthias Corvinus, Florence, Buda, humanistic book culture, illuminated books

The library of György Handó (c. 1430–1480) provost of Pécs cathedral chapter and archbishop of Kalocsa has so far been known on the basis of a single source. In the second half of the 1480s, ten years after his retirement, the elderly cartolaio, Vespasiano da Bisticci, the “king of booksellers,” dedicated a collection of biographies to his famous clients, such as rulers, prelates, and humanists. His Vite includes three prelates from Hungary: János Vitéz of Zredna, archbishop of Esztergom, the poet Janus Pannonius, bishop of Pécs, and the abovementioned György Handó. The humanist erudition of János Vitéz and Janus Pannonius and to some extent the profiles of their libraries are well-known to scholars, and some of their manuscripts still survive. The third prelate, however, has long remained in obscurity, since his codices have not been identified yet, and apart from the few sentences by the Florentine cartolaio quoted below, no other written source reports on his bibliophile activity. All we learn from Bisticci is that he bought manuscripts in Florence for 3,000 florins, he deposited them in the Cathedral of Pécs, and he left a priest in charge of his library consisting of 300 codices:

While he was in Rome he received letters from the King bidding him go to Naples to negotiate a marriage between King Ferdinand’s daughter and the King of Hungary. This matter took little time, for with his prudence and dexterity he soon concluded this betrothal. He returned by the way of Florence, where he bought books to the value of three thousand florins for a library he was collecting for his provostship at Cinque Chiese [i.e. Pécs]. The King had already given him the chancellorship, and as all things passed through his hands he did what few men in his position have ever done. To the church of which he was provost he added a very noble chapel […]. He gave a very fine library to the same church, in which were books of every faculty, three hundred volumes or more, and arranged them suitably. He put this library under the charge of a priest with good salary […].2

If we give credit to Bisticci’s story about Handó purchasing books in Florence, then, after the libraries of Janus and Vitéz, Handó’s was the third most significant collection of early humanistic manuscripts in Hungary. (The details of Bisticci’s memoir, however, should not be taken at face-value, as he often exaggerated numbers in his other biographies. The amount of money he mentions is unrealistically high, and the number of volumes must also have been much lower.)3 Nonetheless, not a single codex has been identified as having once been part of Handó’s collection. In this paper, I will argue that his library was never actually lost. In fact, at least twenty of his manuscripts still survive. Some of them have been right in front of us for a long time, as after Handó’s death, several of his manuscripts became part of the collection of the royal library in Buda.

The “Second-Hand” Books of the Bibliotheca Corvina

The stock of King Matthias’s library, the so-called Bibliotheca Corvina, can be categorized in various ways. If provenance is chosen as the criterium of categorization, the manuscripts can be divided into two main groups. Many of the codices were first owned by Matthias (and his wife, Beatrice of Aragon): the luxury manuscripts commissioned for the king in Florence in the late 1480s and the codices with dedicatory texts presented to him by humanists belong to this group. On the other hand, the proportion of second-hand manuscripts, i.e. in which the king’s coat of arms covers that of a previous owner, within the presently known stock of the library is strikingly high. These second-hand volumes prove that the royal library of Buda incorporated smaller or larger parts of other book collections. In addition, several of these manuscripts were certainly produced before the foundation of the royal library in Buda.

In the case of the second-hand manuscripts, the circumstances of their acquisition are often obscure, and sometimes it has been impossible simply to identify their original owners. In the late 1480s, Taddeo Ugoleto, the librarian of Matthias, certainly purchased manuscripts in Florence on behalf of the king, probably including the two volumes that ended up in the Buda library from the collection of Marino Tomacelli, the long-time ambassador of king Ferrante of Aragon in Florence.4 It was also around this time, c. 1488, that Ugoleto bought some (to our present knowledge, at least six) exceptionally sumptuous manuscripts from the library of Francesco Sassetti, head of the Medici bank.5 The mediator in the transaction must have been Bartolomeo Fonzio, who, as the librarian of Sassetti from the early 1470s on, coordinated the formation of the collection, determined its thematics, and, as a scribe or emendator, was often personally involved in the production of the manuscripts.6 He had already gotten in touch with the leading figures of humanism in Hungary, János Vitéz and Janus Pannonius, in the second half of the 1460s, and he was on friendly terms with Péter Garázda, who stayed in Florence in 1468–69. Twenty years later, he participated in the development of the royal library, and he copied some of the manuscripts produced for the king in these years.7 In 1489, he visited Buda, where he presented a collection of his works to Matthias Corvinus, and as an acknowledged teacher of the Florentine Studio, he also delivered an oration at the Hungarian court.8

The Group of Manuscripts with the Crown-and-Lily Coat of Arms

There are two significant groups in the holdings of the Corvina Library that originate from Florence and bear the coat of arms of a previous owner. One of them includes the books that once belonged to Sassetti, while the volumes of the other group contain the coat of arms of a yet unidentified possessor: parti per pale sable and gules with a crown or surmounted by a lily argent.9 (The lily diverges from the form usually used in heraldry, as its side petals quasi embrace the three-lobed middle leaf of the crown.) This coat of arms with a lily and a crown appears on the title page of six manuscripts from the library of King Matthias. In four of the manuscripts, these original coats of arms were covered with the coat of arms of Matthias by the so-called First Heraldic Painter, an illuminator trained most probably in Florence and working in the Buda scriptorium in the late 1480s.10 The four manuscripts in question are as follows: two volumes now preserved in the National Széchényi Library in Budapest, the so-called Liber Alcidi (or Altividi), a Neoplatonic dialogue entitled “De immortalitate animae” by a twelfth-century anonymous author (Cat. 3) (Fig. 1), and a manuscript containing three theological works by Cardinal Bessarion (1403–72) (Cat. 4) (Fig. 2); a Plato manuscript now in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna (Cat. 18) (Fig. 3); and a collection of ancient Roman poetry (Horace, Juvenal, Persius, Cat. 8). (Fig. 4) Though they have been painted over, the original coats of arms are still discernible, as they were not scraped out before the addition of the new coat of arms. (Fig. 5) Thus, the originals show through the secondarily painted royal coats of arms and are visible even to the naked eye, and in almost every manuscript, we can make out the details in gold leaf on the verso side of the folio on which the coat of arms is painted. Furthermore, in several cases, bits of the royal coat of arms have flaked off here and there, as paint peels off easily from gold leaf surfaces, so details of the original heraldic motifs have become visible.

On the other hand, in the two Livy manuscripts held in the Biblioteca Capitolare in Verona, which are the most lavishly decorated codices with the crown-and-lily coat of arms, the heraldic devices of the original owner have not been painted over (Cat. 14–15). (Fig. 6–7) Although the royal coat of arms does not appear in these volumes, they certainly were part of the library of King Matthias. Their characteristic blind stamped and gold-tooled leather binding produced in the late 1480s tells of their Buda provenance. The two volumes contain the third and fourth Decades of the history of Rome by Livy, known as Ab urbe condita. Their title pages were painted by two different Florentine illuminators, and they were copied by Hubertus W., one of the most prolific scribes of the second half of the 1460s and the next Decade. Today, these two volumes form a series together with a third manuscript, containing the first decade of Livy’s history of Rome. This volume, however, was not illuminated in Florence, but in Rome, and the crown-and-lily coat of arms does not appear on its title page.11 Its size also differs from the size of the two other volumes, it was copied by a different scribe, and its binding is not the characteristic Buda-type. It “met” the other two volumes only c. 1580 in Italy, so originally the three could not have formed a series. The original first volume, however, can be identified, and thus, the group of manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms can be extended. (The three Decades that survived from Livy’s monumental work are usually contained in three separate volumes. Since the content of each volume never varies, series were often created from manuscripts of different provenance as early as the fifteenth century.)

The provenance of the third and fourth Decades suggests that the first volume originally belonging to the series should be found among the manuscripts of the Corvina Library. The stock of the royal library of Buda, as is known today, includes three codices that contain Livy’s first Decade. Among these manuscripts, the copy kept in the Barberini collection of the Vatican Library is the most worthy of our attention (Cat. 7). Its fifteenth-century blind stamped and gold-tooled leather binding is of the same type as the Verona manuscripts, and the parchment leaves and the text blocks are also of the same size. Furthermore, all three volumes have 32 lines per pages. In the middle of the verso of the leaf preceding the present-day incipit page, we find the same type of decoration as in four other volumes of the crown-and-lily group (Cats. 5, 9, 10, 19): a laurel wreath decorated with ribbons and framed with a double line of gold leaf contains the title written in golden Roman capitals. The white vine-stem initials inside the Vatican manuscript also show evidence of a Florentine origin and date the codex to roughly the same period as the Verona volumes. Furthermore, the scribe of the Vatican manuscript must be identified as the one who copied Livy’s third and fourth Decades kept in the Biblioteca Capitolare, i.e. Hubertus.12 Its provenance also resembles that of the Verona codices: they all left the seraglio of Istanbul around 1560, though the Vatican Livy arrived in Italy via a different path. On the basis of this evidence, the Barberini codex can without doubt be considered the first volume of a set of Livy’s Ab Urbe condita of which second and third volumes are the Verona codices.

The coats of arms on the title page could help us identify the manuscript’s first and later owner, but unfortunately this leaf is missing. The first two text leaves had already been removed before the second half of the seventeenth century. Without them, we can only assume that the crown-and-lily coat of arms was covered by that of King Matthias. This would also explain why the coats of arms in the other two volumes were not painted over by the royal devices. In the royal library of Buda, a project of unifying the previously acquired, often not or very modestly decorated manuscripts was launched in the late 1480s, within the framework of which the volumes received the characteristic, so-called Corvina bindings and the king’s coat of arms was painted into the manuscripts.13 The latter was usually necessary to indicate the new owner, King Matthias, in the second-hand codices. The primarily aim, however, was not to remove all signs referring to the previous owner completely, but rather to put the new possessor’s coat of arms in the most prominent place in the manuscripts. Therefore, the previous coats of arms were painted over only on the incipit or title page and were usually left untouched elsewhere. For example, in one of the manuscripts from the library of Francesco Sassetti, the volume containing Cicero’s philosophical works and decorated in the workshop of Mariano del Buono, only two of the coats of arms of the original owner (argent, a bend azure) were painted over. On six other leaves they were left untouched in the marginal decoration, like the Sassetti emblems.14 In the two Verona codices the original coat of arms was most probably spared because placing the device of Matthias Corvinus at the beginning of the first volume of the set was considered sufficient in the Buda scriptorium.

The group of Corvina codices that originally belonged to the “crown-and-lily” owner can be further extended. There is another manuscript produced in Florence in the 1460s of the same provenance decorated with the coat of arms of Matthias Corvinus. This codex contains—similarly to the abovementioned manuscript of the British Library—ancient Roman poetry, in this case the works of Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius (Cat. 17) (Fig. 8). On the verso of the title page, beneath the reverse of Matthias’s coat of arms, the distinctive outlines of the lily faintly show through, and we can discern, even more faintly, the shape of the golden crown. This observation calls our attention to the potentials of a more thorough and comprehensive examination of the similar manuscripts from the Corvina Library, which might allow us to clarify their provenance in several cases.

While the manuscripts presented above with the crown-and-lily coat of arms have not revealed anything about their original owner, another volume—the only one not produced in Florence but in Rome—might bring us closer to him. The small codex, consisting of only fifty-six leaves and bound in a typical Corvina leather binding in the late 1480s, contains the Latin translation of three works by Cardinal Bessarion which were originally written in Greek (Cat. 4). (Fig. 2) As for their subjects, they are all related to the Cardinal’s activity at the Council in Florence in 1437–39. Thus, they urge the unification of the Eastern and Western Churches and a crusade against the Turks, but were written as late as 1463–4 and translated to Latin by the author in the following years. Since the Cardinal collected these works into manuscripts in 1467, the copy that ended up in the Bibliotheca Corvina must also have been produced in the late 1460s.15

The white vine-stem decoration on the title page of the manuscript can be attributed to a master active in Rome, and it was copied by Leonardus Job, a scribe who was also active in the city.16 In the middle of the bas-de-page, in a medallion encircled by a laurel wreath, the coat of arms of King Matthias covers that of the author, Cardinal Bessarion (which is clearly visible on the verso), while in the middle of the outer margin, in a smaller medallion, the crown-and-lily coat of arms appears underneath the partly flaked-off paint of Matthias’s raven emblem. (Fig. 9) The arrangement of the coats of arms, the content of the manuscript, and its date suggest that it was a gift by the cardinal to the owner of the crown-and-lily coat of arms. Therefore, we are looking for a person who stayed in Rome in the late 1460s and whose position and contacts allowed him to get in touch with the uppermost circles of the curia. On the basis of these observations, the figure of a Hungarian patron is beginning to emerge, who visited Rome in the second half of the 1460s, presumably as a prelate and an envoy of the king, and around the same time commissioned manuscripts in Florence. Since at least eight of his manuscripts ended up in the library of Matthias Corvinus, we can assume that he passed away before the death of the king in 1490.


Figure 9. Basilius Bessarion: De ea parte Evangelii ubi scribitur “Si eum volo manere, quid ad te?”; Epistola ad graecos; De sacramento Eucharistiae.
Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 438, details of fols. 3r and 3v

Hungarian research has never really dealt with this group of manuscripts, although it would have been worthy of our attention for several reasons. First and foremost, the group exceeds the eight volumes so far mentioned. Albinia de la Mare, as a by-product of her ground-breaking research on fifteenth-century Florentine scribes, listed seventeen manuscripts (eleven beyond the previously known six codices from the Corvina Library) that contain the crown-and-lily coat of arms, and she identified their first owner as a humanist from Hungary.17 This group, which is thus of considerable size, seems surprisingly homogeneous. Apart from three manuscripts originating from Rome, the others were produced in Florence in the late 1460s, and their title pages were adorned with simple white vine-stem (bianchi girari) decorations. Most of them are written on parchment, and they contain exclusively Latin texts. Some of them, such as the codex containing the military treatises by Aelianus and Onosander (it is now in the Harvard University Library), the Justin manuscript in Besançon, and the Liber Alcidi from the National Széchényi Library in Budapest, still preserve their original, Florentine blind-tooled leather bindings (Cat. 2, 3, 5). (Fig. 9)

Although the subjects of the manuscripts vary considerably, it is obviously a humanistic book collection. In addition to writings by the classical Greek and Roman historiographers (Herodotus, Livy, Justin) (Fig. 11, 17), there are texts of both Pliny the Elder and the Younger, and with the exception of Virgil and Ovid, all the important ancient Roman poets are present (Catullus, Horace, Tibullus, Propertius, Juvenal). Key texts of Greek philosophy (Aristotle, Plato) (Fig. 12–13) in contemporary Latin translations appear in a surprisingly high number, and the group also includes a rare medieval Neoplatonic text in the Hermetic tradition, the De immortalitate animae or Liber Alcidi, which was known, copied, and quoted by Marsilio Ficino in the 1450s. In addition, there are military treatises by Aelianus and Onosander (Fig. 14), works by texts of the early Church Fathers frequently read in the fifteenth century, such as the Commentary on the Psalms by Saint John Chrysostom (Cat. 13), the complete works of Pseudo-Dionysius translated by Ambrogio Traversari (Fig. 15), and the works of Lactantius. (Fig. 16) The presence of Vitruvius’s treatise on architecture (Cat. 6) is of special interest. Another manuscript originating from Rome figures on the list compiled by De la Mare: the paper codex from the Universitätsbibliothek of Basel, which contains the Commentary on Ptolemy’s Almagest by George of Trebizond.18 (Cat. 1) The presence of this latter text in the group offers insights into the context of the whole library, as its author dedicated it to King Matthias Corvinus in the late 1460s, in the same period when he sent his other works and translations to János Vitéz and Janus Pannonius.19 Although the Basel manuscript does not contain the dedication to the king, together with the Bessarion codex they suggest that their original owner belonged to the intellectual milieu of János Vitéz, which at this time, when the organization of the university in Pozsony (today Bratislava, Slovakia) was high on the agenda, had close contacts with two Greek scholars living in Rome: Cardinal Bessarion and George of Trebizond.20

The group of manuscripts was apparently produced within a very short period of time. Based on their codicological and stylistic features, all of them can be dated, with certainty, to the second half of the 1460s. It is especially telling, for example, that regarding their illumination, they exclusively contain white vine-stem decoration and no trace of the floral ornamentation that replaced the previous fashion in Florence in the first half of the 1470s. A more precise dating is difficult, because only one of the manuscripts, the Justin codex in Besançon, has a dated colophon (Cat. 2), which, however, perfectly fits into the time frame: the copying was finished in November 1468.

Based on De la Mare’s research, Gabriella Mori Beltrami analysed the group, focusing primarily on the stylistic connections of the illuminations, and she concluded that the manuscripts of Florentine origin must have been produced in the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci.21 She distinguished two main masters among the illuminators who worked on the manuscripts: one of them decorated Livy’s third Decade now in Verona (Cat. 14) (Fig. 6), the Aelianus and Onosander manuscript (Cat. 5) (Fig. 14), and at least five other codices (Cats. 6, 9, 10, 11, 19) (Fig. 12, 15, 16), while the other illuminated Livy’s Fourth Decade (Cat. 15) (Fig. 7) and the Justin manuscript in Besançon (Cat. 2).22 (Fig. 17) The latter, in my opinion, comes from the circle of Cosimo Rosselli: the putti on the title pages of these manuscripts resemble very much the figures of children on his panel paintings dated to the second half of the 1460s and the putti in illuminated codices attributed to him and produced in the same period. These putti are drawn with firm outlines but seem oversized and overweight for the ornamental details of the border decorations, while their composition, standing in overemphasized contraposto with their hands resting on their hip with the palm turned outwards recalls Donatello’s bronze David (Florence, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, c. 1440).23 (Fig. 18)

The attribution of the miniatures in the first group presents us with a more complex issue of style criticism. Previously, Annarosa Garzelli had identified the illuminator of the third Decade in Verona with the so-called Maestro delle Deche di Alfonso d’Aragona.24 Beltrami, however, rightly pointed out that this illuminator, who was active in Florence in the 1450s, cannot be the same master who decorated the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms much later. According to her, the title pages of the Livy and the Aelianus manuscripts should be attributed to another master, namely Bartolomeo di Domenico di Guido, who worked together with Francesco d’Antonio del Chierico, the leading illuminator in Florence in the 1470s.25 I believe, however, that this attribution needs revision. First, I doubt that the Livy manuscript in Verona and the Aelianus manuscript were illuminated by the same hand, and second, this attribution seems to be unconvincing.

I can agree with Beltrami that the master of the Livy manuscript in Verona was also the illuminator of other manuscripts belonging to the first group: one of the Aristotle manuscripts in the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the two codices in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena. The details of the miniatures on the title pages of these manuscripts (at least the details that can be taken into consideration when it comes to attribution, especially the figures, i.e. the putti) confirm that they were all made by the same hand. (Fig. 19) In my opinion, however, they are less close to the works attributed to Bartolomeo di Domenico di Guido with relative certainty than to the miniatures of another, very prolific master of the period in Florence, namely Mariano del Buono.26 At the same time, the putti of the Aelianus manuscript now at the Harvard library, which are more schematic and lack any modelling of light and shadow effects, are similar to the works of another Florentine illuminator, Ser Benedetto di Silvestro. These proposals for new attributions, however, did not affect the validity of Beltrami’s conclusion: both illuminators worked intensively for Vespasiano da Bisticci in this period.

In addition to Beltrami’s observations, another feature of the manuscripts containing the crown-and-lily coat of arms also supports the hypothesis that Bisticci was involved in their production: although several illuminators and scribes cooperated in their production, their general appearance is very homogeneous. The surviving original leather bindings and the illuminated decoration of the tables of content on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page, which are written in Roman capitals with gold leaves and adorned with the same type of ornaments, all suggest that this uniformity was deliberate on the part of the creators. The manuscripts produced in Bisticci’s workshop in the same period for the Urbino library of Federico da Montefeltro, were also given similar, uniform decoration.27 Another Corvina manuscript now in the Budapest University Library which originally belonged to one of the Hungarian bibliophile prelates, presumably to Vitéz or Janus Pannonius, also contains the same type of title-page decoration.28 (Fig. 20) The peculiarity of this manuscript is that it is the only codex produced for a Hungarian patron in Florence and adorned with a white vine-stem decoration that bears the signature of the cartolaio: according to the note of production on the first flyleaf, it was made in the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci.29 The scribes identified by De la Mare lead us to the same conclusion. Most of the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms were copied by scribes who were primarily working for Bisticci around this time, such as Sinibaldus (Cats. 8, 9), Hubertus (Cats. 5, 7, 14, 15), and the so-called “Scribe of Venezia, Bibl. Marciana lat. Z.58” (Cat. 18, 20), who received his name of convenience after a set of manuscripts containing the works of Saint Augustin, which were produced in the cartolaio’s workshop for Cardinal Bessarion between 1470 and 1472.30

Péter Garázda and Bartolomeo Fonzio

The research of De la Mare yielded another important finding: she noted that Bartolomeo Fonzio had contributed to most of the manuscripts as emendator or the scribe of the table of contents. Moreover, one of the Aristotle manuscripts in Oxford was entirely copied by Fonzio (Cat. 11). (Fig. 12) This observation allows us to date a part of the manuscripts with more precision, or at least it provides us with a probable terminus ante quem, as Fonzio left Florence in summer 1469 and stayed in Ferrara until the death of Borso d’Este in 1471.31 By all indications, his contribution to the manuscripts should be dated before his departure from Florence. It is necessary to remark, however, that De la Mare recognised Fonzio’s hand only in the codices that do not bear any sign of ever having been part of the Corvina Library. Based on this alone, we cannot, for the present, set up a relative chronology within the whole group. It may be mere coincidence.

Fonzio’s participation in the production of the manuscripts is important for at least two reasons. First, it supports the conclusion that Bisticci was the organizer of the work, as the young humanist, who was living in narrow circumstances at the time, worked for Bisticci’s workshop as a professional scribe.32 Second, if we suppose that the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms were produced for a Hungarian patron, and, as we have seen the texts were emended by Fonzio, then the production of this group of manuscripts may be connected to one of the most important episodes of early humanistic book culture in Hungary, i.e. the events that took place in Florence in 1468–69.

Fonzio first got in touch with Hungarian humanists at this time, when Péter Garázda, a relative of Janus Pannonius, after finishing his studies in Ferrara, arrived in Florence around 1468.33 Garázda’s stay in Florence even left a trace in the diplomatic correspondence between Florence and Matthias Corvinus: the Signoria sent two lions to the King of Hungary as a gift in December 1469, and the official cover letter addressed to Matthias mentioned Garázda as somebody whom “pro cive carum haberemus.”34 His friendship with Fonzio can also be dated to this period, as indicated by his correspondence with the Florentine humanist after 1471, when Garázda left Florence, as well as by his manuscripts.35 All four codices of Garázda that are known to us were produced in Florence, and three of them contain his coat of arms. The codicological features of the manuscripts can be interpreted as proof of cooperation between the members of a humanist fellowship: two of the manuscripts were emended by Fonzio, and the Macrobius codex in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich was not only copied and signed by him (this is the only case when he signed a work in the colophon), but the pen-and-ink drawings can also be attributed to him.36 This circle of friends included others as well, such as the Dominican friar Giorgio Antonio Vespucci, a member of a wealthy and influential Florentine family who amassed an immense library over the course of his life. The Greek passages in Garázda’s manuscripts, including the abovementioned Macrobius codex, were copied by Vespucci, who mastered the language. He is also present in the manuscripts of Hungarian humanists by means of heraldic representation: the title page of Garázda’s Cicero manuscript bears the combined coat of arms of Vespucci and the Hungarian humanist as testimony of their friendship, and in the third volume of János Vitéz’s lavishly decorated three-volume series of Livy, which contains marginal notes by Fonzio, some wasps (vespe), the heraldic animal of the Vespucci family, appear in the border decoration.37 The Livy manuscripts were probably commissioned by Garázda as a gift for the archbishop of Esztergom, which would explain why Garázda’s coat of arms appears in the title page of the third volume.

Some of the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms fit well into this milieu: two of them have exactly the same content as two of Garázda’s four known codices: the Lactantius held in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena (Cat. 9) is the pendant of a manuscript with the coat of arms of Garázda now held in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, and the Justin codex in Besançon (Cat. 2) has a twin in Prague that contains an autograph possessor’s note by Garázda.38 There are other connections among these groups of manuscripts: the other emendator of the Justin manuscript was Piero Cennini, whose friendship with both Garázda and Fonzio in this period is well documented and who copied several of János Vitéz’s manuscripts, as well as other Florentine codices with white vine-stem decoration that once belonged to the stock of the Corvina Library. Based on Cennini’s dated colophons, he may have been working exclusively for Hungarian patrons between spring 1467 and November 1468. Chronologically, the Justin manuscript in Besançon fits exactly to the end of this series.39

Who could have been the patron and first owner of this important manuscript collection, which, without exaggeration, can be considered a library? A codex which has never been linked with the manuscripts containing the crown-and-lily coat of arms can bring us closer to an answer to this question. Among the early humanistic manuscripts of Hungarian provenance held in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, there are two that bear the episcopal coat of arms of Orbán Nagylucsei. Both were, beyond doubt, produced in Florence in the late 1460s. Three margins of their title pages are decorated with white vine-stem illumination of exceptionally high quality, and the coat of arms in the middle of the bas-de-page is flanked by two winged putti. The one that contains Marsilio Ficino’s commentary on Plato has rightly been related to Janus Pannonius. (Fig. 21) According to the date in the colophon of Ficino’s autograph copy, the philosopher had completed the text of the Commentarium in Platonis Convivium de amore by July 1469.40 A few weeks after finishing the text, Ficino added a dedication addressed to Janus Pannonius and sent his work to Hungary. The Viennese manuscript is the only one that contains this personal, probably autograph dedication. Thus, by all indications, it was the original copy of Janus.41 The coat of arms of Nagylucsei must be a later addition, since he was appointed bishop (of Győr) as late as 1481, and here, as in every other manuscript that once belonged to him, the shield is surmounted by a mitre.42

The other codex (Cat. 16), the Pliny manuscript (ÖNB, Cod. 48) (Fig. 22), originates from a different owner: it has not been recorded yet that under Nagylucsei’s coat of arms, traces of another heraldic device are visible even to the naked eye. (Fig. 23) On the heraldic right side of the shield (parti per bend, gules and azure), a black field appears beneath the blue paint, while on the left of the golden six-point star that belongs to Nagylucsei’s coat of arms, we can see traces of another charge painted with an apparently different color of gold leaf.43 This tiny detail, however, can be identified with the left leaf of a crown, the heraldic motif well-known to us from the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms. An oval form is also clearly visible in the lower part of the shield: based on the crown-and-lily coats of arms in the other manuscripts, it represents, in foreshortening, the lower rim of the crown that is typically depicted from below. Furthermore, the outline of the lozenge-shaped middle petal of the lily also shows through the gules of Nagylucsei’s coat of arms. The shape of the lily is even more discernible on the previous page, i.e. the verso of the front flyleaf (fol. Iv), as this motif, probably painted in silver leaf, left its print there. The manuscript was copied by Piero Cennini and his signed colophon contains the date January 11, 1469. The text was emended by Fonzio, who also wrote the table of contents on the verso of the first flyleaf (fol. Iv).44

György Handó

How could Orbán Nagylucsei acquire a manuscript from a collection the other items of which ended up in the royal library? To answer this question, it is worth confronting the supposed provenance of the other Viennese manuscript with the career of Nagylucsei. Assuming that the first owner of the Ficino manuscript was indeed Janus, the most plausible place where Nagylucsei could have acquired it is Pécs. Nagylucsei, who had a successful career in the royal court in the 1480s, had climbed the ecclesiastical career ladder rung by rung in the previous decade. First, he served as lector of Buda (1472), then provost of Esztergom (1473–74) and Fehérvár, finally, in 1480, a year and a half before his appointment as Bishop of Győr, he received the title of provost of Pécs cathedral chapter.45 He would have acquired Janus’s manuscript most probably in the last of these positions, and it seems that there, he had access to other codices as well. As we know from the biographies of Vespasiano da Bisticci, there was, in addition to Janus’s collection, another significant humanistic library in Pécs which consisted mainly of manuscripts produced in Florence: the library of György Handó.46 The problem is that we cannot verify Bisticci’s story. In contrast with his biography of Vitéz and Janus, which can be corroborated (at least in part) by other contemporary written sources and surviving codices, which thus prove that they were both bibliophiles, we know nothing about Handó’s library apart from what Bisticci wrote. No other source has come to light that would support the cartolaio’s words. Neither Fonzio nor Garázda mentions having been in touch with anybody, apart from Vitéz and Janus, from Hungary who commissioned manuscripts in Florence in larger quantities. No manuscript is known with a possessor’s note by Handó, and we have no information on any contemporary or later sources from Hungary which contain even a passing mention of this allegedly rich library so highly esteemed by Bisticci.

The desire to find the manuscripts of the Pécs cathedral’s chapter library has, of course, often arisen among scholars of Hungarian humanism, and attempts have also been made to localize the place of the library,47 but it seems as if, almost unconsciously, no one has taken Bisticci’s text seriously. One reason for this skepticism, which has never been put into words but is almost tangible, is that, compared to Vitéz and Janus, the figure of Handó seems very modest. It is perplexing that we do not know of any lines by him which would suggest that he was interested in book collecting and humanist culture or that he studied ancient authors. In the shadow of Vitéz and Janus, Handó cannot be more than an obscure figure with vague outlines. This desperate situation has recently led to the (in a way logical) hypothesis that this part of Bisticci’s biography does not refer to György Handó, and the cartolaio’s client was not the archbishop of Kalocsa, but another Hungarian, György Kosztolányi (known as Georgius Polycarpus).48 It seems that Bisticci did actually incorporate details of Kosztolányi’s life into his memoir on Handó, and until the publication of Vilmos Fraknói’s study on the diplomats of Matthias, modern historiography considered the two Györgys identical.49 Their lives indeed bore many similarities. In the 1460s, both had successful careers as the king’s ambassadors, and as such, they visited Rome several times in the second half of the decade. Kosztolányi, however, settled in Rome, married the daughter of George of Trebizond, and entered the service of the curia, while Handó’s career continued very differently.

György Handó was born in Kálmáncsehi, a small country town around 1430, presumably to a civic family, or he might have risen from the ranks of the peasantry.50 He started his studies in 1445 in the faculty of liberal arts at the university in Vienna. He continued studying in Ferrara, where he obtained a degree of doctor of canon law in 1451.51 Handó belonged to the group of ecclesiastics who rose from low ranks, but who were able to pursue further study abroad and then made good use of their education and knowledge in court service at the royal chancellery. Like many others, Handó was most probably supported in his career by János Vitéz and perhaps also by Janus Pannonius, as the latter was bishop of Pécs, where Handó headed the chapter of the cathedral in the same period. He became provost of Pécs in 1465, and he held this benefice until 1480.52

In the second half of the 1460s, he visited Rome several times as the ambassador of Matthias Corvinus in order to negotiate with Pope Paul II on behalf of the king. The pope was not the only person, however, with whom he negotiated. In 1467, when he departed on his Roman mission, he armed himself with five recommendations from Matthias. These recommendations were addressed to cardinals of the papal curia, although we do not know them by name.53 Since Handó’s mission aimed to gain the support of the pope and other Italian states for a campaign against the Turks, one of the addressees must have been Bessarion, who was one of the most influential cardinals in the curia and the keenest supporter of a war against the Turks. In the last few years of his life, Handó became one of the most important figures of the royal council exceptionally quickly. From 1476 on, he was treasurer for two years. In 1478, after the death of Gábor Matucsinai, he received the archbishopric of Kalocsa and, together with it, the title of principal and privy chancellor.54 His steeply rising career ended only with his death in 1480.

Bisticci seems to have remembered well the clients whom he had known personally. Even two decades later, he kept track of their careers. In the case of Handó, for example, he knew precisely that in his last years, he became principal chancellor and archbishop of Kalocsa, even if the most important events of the biography (the purchases of manuscripts in Florence), occurred much earlier.55 This earlier period can also be dated with certainty, as according to Bisticci, Handó bought the manuscripts when, returning from his embassy in Naples, he stopped in Florence. This embassy, the goal of which was to prepare the dynastic marriage with the House of Aragon, took place in 1469.56 Here, of course, we have to be cautious. Although Handó visited Florence in the second half of the 1460s, we cannot confirm that he was in the city in the year suggested by Bisticci. We have no further information on Handó’s presence in Florence in 1469.57 There is no reason to doubt, however, that the cartolaio met Handó in personal. If Bisticci was also right about the time when Handó commissioned the manuscripts, then it coincides with the period when Garázda was in town and the codices with the crown-and-lily coat of arms were produced.

This context throws new light upon a document published by Alessandro Daneloni. The contract, which is dated January 17, 1469 and was issued in Florence by Piero Cennini as a professional notary, designates Garázda, present as one of the contracting parties, as provost of Pozsega and canon of Pécs cathedral chapter.58 The document was issued only six days after Cennini finished the copying of the Pliny manuscript, which came into the possession of Nagylucsei, but had originally bore the crown-and-lily coat of arms. Furthermore, the document proves that Garázda had already been member of the Pécs cathedral chapter, which was headed by Handó.59 Given this, it seems plausible that at this time in Florence, Garázda was involved in commissioning not only Vitéz’s manuscripts, but also those with the crown-and-lily coat of arms. The chronological frame of their production, their codicilogical features, their Florentine and Roman provenance, and their connections with Hungarian humanists and their codices all suggest that Handó could have been the patron and original possessor of the “crown-and-lily” group of manuscripts. The provenance of the Pliny manuscript with Nagylucsei’s coat of arms also suggests this. When Pope Sixtus IV approved Handó’s appointment as archbishop of Kalocsa, also permitted the Hungarian prelate to keep his prebend of Pécs.60 As a result, no new provost of Pécs was appointed until the death of the archbishop of Kalocsa.61 After Handó’s death (1480), the Pécs benefice also became vacant, and since Orbán Nagylucsei followed Handó as treasurer when the latter was appointed principal chancellor, he also succeeded Handó in this ecclesiastical benefice. Thus, Nagylucsei was Handó’s direct successor at the head of the Pécs cathedral chapter.62

The Missing Link: The Identification of the Coat of Arms

If Handó was the first owner of the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms, their fortune also becomes comprehensible. The manuscripts of the chapter library in Pécs must have remained there, even after his appointment as archbishop of Kalocsa, and after his death, Nagylucsei took possession of some of his (and perhaps Janus’s) books. If this is what happened, no wonder we lack sources on Handó’s library: ten years after its creation, it had ceased to exist. It logically follows that the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms (and perhaps not only those whose Corvina-provenance is obvious)63 ended up in the royal library in the 1480s through the intermediary of Nagylucsei, who was provably in touch with the Buda scriptorium, where he had both the illumination and the binding of his Psalter executed. This Psalter is the only known manuscript beyond the stock of the Corvina Library that was given the same type of gilded leather binding as the royal codices.64 Therefore, we probably should attribute a more important role to the treasurer in the development of the Corvina Library.

The success of our attempt to identify Handó’s library and the validity of all the hypotheses formulated above stand or fall on proving one single thing: did the crown-and-lily coat of arms belong to Handó? The answer is not easy, as the grant of arms of the low-born Handó is missing, we know nothing about any constructions by him in Pécs where his carved coat of arms might come to light, and his tomb, which was probably set up in the cathedral of Kalocsa, did not survive. At the same time, Handó held important ecclesiastical and secular positions for decades, as a result of which he issued several sealed charters, some of which survive. However, those known to me are not preserved in Hungary and thus slipped the notice of researchers. On the old, black and white reproductions of charters kept abroad that can be consulted in the Photo Collection of the Hungarian National Archives (HNA, DF), the seals, often preserved whole, appear as blurred, dark stains. On the original charters, however, they are clearly discernible. The best preserved are the pendent seals attached to three charters now held in the Central Archive of Warsaw, that were issued on February 21, 1474, near the Polish border, in Szepesófalu (Spišská Stará Ves, Slovakia) on the occasion of the peace treaty between Matthias, King of Hungary and Casimir IV, King of Poland.65 (Fig. 24) One of the six issuers was György Handó, provost of Pécs and papal protonotary, who sealed the document, corresponding to the intitulation, at the fifth place.66 The print that his octagonal signet-ring left in the red wax is preserved in perfect condition. It consists of a crown with three leaves surmounted by a lily. (Fig. 25)


Figure 25. Pendent seal of György Handó, provost of Pécs cathedral chapter.

Warsaw, Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych, Zbiór dokumentów pergaminowych, 5583, detail


Catalogue: The Manuscripts of György Handó

The list below, which is not intended as a detailed descriptive catalogue, contains only the manuscripts that were identifiable with a high degree of certainty. I only gave the most important codicological data, if they were available to me. I considered it necessary to provide information on the later provenance of the manuscripts, and in those cases in which it seemed possible, I made some remarks on the attribution of the illumination. The approximate date of each manuscript is not given, because, based on the conclusions I have presented in this essay, I date the whole group between c. 1465/68 and 1470. The two codices dated in the colophon are Cat. 2 (November 1468) and Cat. 16 (January 11, 1469). Seventeen manuscripts were produced in Florence, three (Cats. 1, 4, 12) in Rome. In the case of the codices that ended up in the Corvina Library (Cats. 3, 4, 7, 8, 14, 15, 17, 18), I quoted Hungarian secondary literature before 1990 only where appropriate. Previous literature can be found in Bibliotheca Corviniana by Csaba Csapodi and Klára Csapodi-Gárdonyi in the relevant entry.


1. Basel, Universitätsbibliothek, F. V. 2267

Georgius Trapezuntius: Commentarii in Ptolemaei Almagestum.

On paper, 356 fols., 325×225 mm. Written in humanistic cursive by the scribe, according to Albinia de la Mare, “Michael Laurentii Claromontensis diocesis.”68 Both the content and the scribe of the manuscript suggest that it was produced in Rome.69 The manuscript does not contain the dedication that Trapezuntius attached to his Commentaries on Ptolemy’s Almagest and addressed to Matthias Corvinus. The dedicatory copy sent to the king did not survive, but the text of the dedication was preserved in a contemporary manuscript which also contains autograph emendations by George of Trebizond.70 According to possessor’s notes on fol. 4r, the Basel manuscript was later owned by Heinrich Petri (1508–79), then Remigius Faesch (1595–1667).


2. Besançon, Bibliothèque Municipale, Cod. Lat. 83271

M. Iunianus Iustinus: Historiarum Philippicarum Trogi Pompei epitome.

On parchment, 152 fols. 265×175 mm. Original Florentine, blind-tooled, brown leather binding. Written in humanistic book script. Scribe: Nicolaus Riccius spinosus, but the colophon containing his name was actually written by Piero Cennini. Annotations by Cennini and Bartolomeo Fonzio.72 The copying is dated November 1468 in the colophon: “Transcriptum Florentiae mense Novembri. Anno salutis nostrae MCCCCLXVIII. Nicholaus Echinnus Riccius descripsit.” For the illuminator, see Cat. 15. In the right margin of fol. 2r, there are the seventeenth-century shelf marks of the library of Jean-Baptiste Boisot (1638–94) and the public library of Saint-Vincent of Besançon founded by him: “Cinquante / quattre,” below “h. 19 / Cotte cent / quarante et / un.” (Similar shelf marks, of the same format and by the same hand, appear in Cod. Lat. 166 of the Bibliothèque Municipale of Besançon, which once belonged to the Corvina Library but previously was owned by an unidentified cardinal in the 1450s: “Cinquante / huit,” below “h. 19 / Cotte cent vingt / deux.”

3. Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 41873

Liber Altividi de immortalitate animae.

On parchment, III, 53, III* fols., 260×186 mm. Original Florentine, blind-tooled, brown leather binding. Written in semi-humanistic book script by an unidentified scribe. The upper, lower, and inner margins of the title page are decorated with Florentine white vine-stem illumination. Although the author of the text is anonymous, based on the characters, the work has traditionally been attributed to the otherwise unknown Alcidus and Altividus, whose names have been transmitted in the title. (The text is usually called as Liber Alcidi, Alcidus or Liber Altividi). For a long time, the author was wrongly identified with the fourth-century Neoplatonic writer, Calcidius, who translated Plato’s Timaeus into Latin and wrote commentaries on the dialogue.74 In fact, the work was written in the second half of the twelfth century and can be connected to the cultural milieu of the royal court of the Norman kingdom of Sicily, but its spread was very restricted. Only five manuscripts survived that contain the entire text, and all of them are related to Florence. The earliest one is a thirteenth-century manuscript, which was in the possession of the humanist chancellor Coluccio Salutati in the last third of the fourteenth century, and together with his book collection, it ended up in the library of San Marco through the intermediary of Niccolò Niccoli.75 The other four manuscripts, including the Budapest copy, were all produced in Florence in the fifteenth century.76 Marsilio Ficino knew the text of the De immortalitate animae well and even used it: he copied part of it, the discourse on the virtues, into one of his manuscripts.77 The Budapest manuscript ended up in the Corvina Library. It was then acquired by Johannes Cuspinianus in Buda. It was purchased, together with Cuspinianus’s library, by Johann Fabri, bishop of Vienna, who bequeathed his book collection in 1540 to the Saint Nicholas College in Vienna founded by him (printed ex libris on fol. IIr, handwritten note on fol. 52v). The library of the college was incorporated into the Hofbibliothek in 1756. Finally, it was transferred to Hungary in accordance with the Venice Agreement in 1932 (for the agreement, see note 17). Original shelf mark: ÖNB, Cod. 2391.


4. Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 43878

Basilius Bessarion: De ea parte Evangelii ubi scribitur: “Si eum volo manere, quid ad te?”; Epistola ad graecos; De sacramento Eucharistiae.

On parchment, II, 56 fols., 285×200 mm. Original blind stamped and gold-tooled Corvina binding produced in the Buda scriptorium in the late 1480s. Written in humanistic book script by Leonardus Job in Rome. Signed in the colophon on fol. 16r: “Finis / Deo gr(ati)as. / Amen Leonard(us) Iob” and on fol. 25r: “Finis / Deo gr(ati)as. / Amen / LEONARD(us) IOB / S(crip)S(it).”79 The white vine-stem decoration on the four margins of the title page (fol. 3r) can be attributed to a master active in Rome.80

After the death of Matthias Corvinus (1490), the manuscript remained in Buda at least for two decades, since it was used for the first edition of the second and third texts, published in Strasburg (Argentorati, Matthias Schürer, 1513). According to the preface to the printed edition (p. III. S.), the publisher was provided with the text by Augustinus Olomucensis (1467–1513), provost and royal vice chancellor, who copied the two texts in Buda. Later (but before 1530), the manuscript was acquired by Johann Fabri, bishop of Vienna, together with other volumes from the royal library (printed ex libris glued onto the front pastedown, cf. Cat. 3.). After his death, it ended up in the library of Saint Nicholas College, then, in the eighteenth century, it became part of the collection of the Benedictine Abbey of Göttweig. The Hungarian State purchased it from the antiquarian József Faragó for the National Széchényi Library.


5. Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University, Houghton Library, Ms. Richardson 1681

Aelianus Tacticus: De instruendis aciebus (translated to Latin by Theodorus Gaza);

Onosander: De optimo imperatore (translated to Latin by Nicolaus Secundinus).

On parchment, 85 fols., 287×216 mm. Original Florentine, blind-tooled leather binding82 (similar bindings: Cats. 2, 3) Written in humanistic book script attributed to Hubertus W.83 The illuminated decoration of the table of contents on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page has the same type as Cats. 7, 9, 10, and 19. The manuscript is supposed to originate from the library of Antal György Apponyi (1751–1817), which he founded in 1774 in Vienna. His son, Antal Apponyi moved the library first to the family mansion in Hőgyész, then to his palace in Pozsony (Bratislava, Slovakia), built in 1827. Then, the library was transferred to the family mansion in Upper Hungary, in Nagy-Appony (Oponice, Slovakia). In the second half of the nineteenth century, the manuscript was not unknown to Hungarian scholars.84 It was on display as part of the charity exhibition organized for the flood victims in 1876 in Budapest and the book exhibition which opened in 1882 in the Palace of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.85 In 1892, Lajos Apponyi (1849–1909) auctioned off a considerable part of his collection, including this manuscript, at Sotheby’s in London.86 Edith Hoffmann recognized that the coat of arms in the manuscript is the same found in several manuscripts from the Corvina Library, but her observation remained unnoticed by other scholars.87

Most of the Hungarian newspapers that reported on the auction highlighted the Aelianus manuscript, because the sale was considered a huge loss because of its presumed Corvina provenance.88 The manuscript was purchased at the London auction by Robert Hoe (New York), then it ended up in the possession of William King Richardson, who bequeathed his important manuscript collection to the Harvard College Library in 1951. The Apponyi provenance does not prove, of course, that the manuscript was constantly in Hungary between the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth. For example, one of the most significant pieces of the library of Antal György Apponyi, auctioned off in 1892, a Ptolemy manuscript that was also produced in Florence c. 1470 and was illustrated with 27 double-page maps, ended up in the possession of the founder of the library in 1813 at the auction of the famous Bibliotheca Ebneriana in Nuremberg.89


6. Chatsworth, The Duke of Devonshire Collection90

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio: De architectura libri X.

On parchment, 133 fols., 267×175mm. Eighteenth–nineteenth-century gold-tooled leather binding. Written in humanistic book script by an unidentified scribe, with emendations by Bartolomeo Fonzio.91 The margins of the title page are adorned with white vine-stem decoration, the coat of arms is encircled by a green laurel wreath, held by two winged putti. It has been in the Devonshire collection since the eighteenth century.

This manuscript, which, unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to study in the original, might help to resolve an important problem. As Gábor Hajnóczi has proven, in 1487, Antonio Bonfini must have used a Vitruvius manuscript for his translation of Filarete’s treatise on architecture (contained in the so-called Averulinus corvina, a manuscript from the Corvina Library: Venice, BNM, Cod. Marc. Lat. VIII. 2 [=2796]).92 This Vitruvius manuscript, however, cannot be the one that Ludovico Sforza (il Moro) sent from Milan to Hungary for John Corvinus, illegitimate son of King Matthias, as this happened a year later.93 (Budapest, UL, Cod. Lat. 32.) Since apart from this copy of Milanese origin, we have not so far known of any Vitruvius manuscript that was in Hungary in the late fifteenth century, the philological examination of the codex from Handó’s library, especially a search for any marginal notes by Bonfini, would be of special interest. If the Chatsworth manuscript were indeed the copy used by Bonfini, it would also prove, at least in this specific case, that more volumes ended up in the royal library from Handó’s book collection than those that bear the obvious codicological signs of their Corvina provenance (addition of the royal coat-of-arms, corvina-binding, etc.).


7. Città del Vaticano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Barb. Lat. 16894

Titus Livius: Ab urbe condita, Decas I.

On parchment, I, 212, I* fols., 357×242 mm. Original, blind stamped and gold-tooled corvina leather binding produced in Buda in the late 1480s. Written in humanistic book script. The scribe has not been identified before, but actually he is identical with the scribe of the two Livy codices in the Biblioteca Capitolare in Verona (Cats. 14–15.), Hubertus W.

The title on fol. Iv is written in golden antiqua capitals, in seven lines, in the middle of the page encircled by a green laurel wreath which is tied on both sides with rippling blue ribbon. The illuminated decoration of the table of contents on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page has the same type as Cats. 5, 9, 10, 19. The text that begins according to modern numbering on fol. 1r (“incerte stirpis patrem nuncupat…”) is the end of the second sentence of Decas I, I, 4. Based on the length of the missing text, two leaves were removed from the beginning of the manuscript before the second half of the seventeenth century. The manuscript was acquired by Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq (Bousbeque) (1522–92), imperial envoy between 1556 and 1562 in Istanbul, together with other manuscripts originating from the Corvina Library. Then, according to a note on the top of fol. Ir, it ended up in the collection of Lucas Wijngaert of Bruges, from whom it went into the possession of Olivier de Wree (1596–1652), another humanist in Bruges (his possessor’s note is in the upper left corner of fol. Iv). The manuscript became part of the Vatican Library together with the book collection of Cardinal Francesco Barberini (1597–1679).95 In the manuscript catalogue compiled in the second half of the seventeenth century, the cardinal’s librarian, Carlo Moroni, already recorded that the title page was missing. The original shelf mark of the manuscript in the Barberini collection was: 2504.


8. London, British Library, Lansdowne Ms. 83696

Q. Horatius Flaccus: Epistolarum libri II; De arte poetica; Sermonum libri II; Carminum libri IV; Epodon; Carmen saeculare;

Decius Junius Juvenalis: Satirae;

Aulus Persius Flaccus: Satirae

On parchment, II, 234, III* fols., 240×155 mm. Gold-tooled blue leather binding produced after 1600. Written in humanistic book script (humanistica rotunda) attributed to the scribe Sinibaldus C.97 On the verso of the flyleaf preceding the title page (fol. 2v), a profile portrait of King Matthias Corvinus was painted in the last quarter of the sixteenth century or later. The portrait follows the so-called Mantegna-type, but derives directly from the woodcut by Tobias Stimmer published in 1575 in the Basel edition of Paolo Giovio’s Elogia virorum bellica virtute illustrium.98 Traces of a five-line text which has been scraped out, are visible partly above, partly underneath the portrait. Florentine white vine-stem illumination decorates the lower, upper, and inner margins of the title page (fol. 3r). The manuscript was acquired by Antal Verancsics, bishop of Pécs in Istanbul in 1555–57.


9. Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Cod. Lat. 384 (=α.M.8.18)99

L. Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius: Divinarum institutionum contra gentiles ad Constantinum imperatorem; Epitome sexti et septimi libri; De ira divina; De opificio hominis ad Demetrianum; De phenice carmen

On parchment, II, 254, I* fols., 322×222 mm. Modern green leather binding. Written in humanistic book script (humanistica rotunda) by the scribe Sinibaldus C.100 The illuminated decoration of the table of contents on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page has the same type as Cats. 5, 7, 10, 19. Florentine white vine-stem illumination decorates the lower, upper, and inner margins of the title page (fol. 3r). It belongs to the so-called antico fondo estense and might have been purchased by Alfonso II d’Este from Nicolò Zen in Venice, like the manuscripts now in Modena that originate from the Corvina Library.


10. Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Cod. Lat. 386 (=α.H.3.12)101

Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita: De coelesti hierarchia; De ecclesiastica hierarchia; De divinis nominibus; De mystica theologia; Epistolae X. (all translated to Latin by Ambrogio Traversari);

Franciscus de Mayronis: In expositione librorum Dionisii de mistica theologia; De angelica hierarchia;

Tomas abbas Vercellensis (Thomas Gallus): In expositione librorum Dionisii de angelica hierarchia; Extractio seu commentum in librum beati Dionisii de ecclesiastica hierarchia; Continentia primi capituli de divinis nominibus; Commentum in librum beati Dionisii de mistica theologica; Extractiones epistolae Dionisii ad Titum.

On parchment, III, 238, II* fols., 323×215 mm. Modern, green leather binding. Written in humanistic book script by Petrus de Traiecto (fol. 1r–112r) and another, unidentified scribe (fol. 113r–238r).102 The illuminated decoration of the table of contents on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page has the same type as Cats. 5, 7, 9, 19. Florentine white vine-stem illumination decorates the lower, upper, and inner margins of the title page (fol. 3r). It belongs to the so-called antico fondo estense. For its hypothetic earlier provenance, see Cat. 10. Edith Hoffmann already noticed in a review published in 1925, that it contains the same coat of arms as several other manuscripts from the Corvina Library.103


11. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Class. Lat. 289104

Aristotle: Ethicorum ad Nicomachum libri X. (translated to Latin by John Argyropoulos, with dedication to Cosimo de’ Medici); Politicorum libri VIII; Oeconomicorum libri II (translated to Latin by Leonardo Bruni)

On parchment, 204 fols. Written in humanistic cursive by Bartolomeo Fonzio.105 Florentine white vine-stem illumination decorates the lower, upper, and inner margins of the title page. The lily of Handó’s coat of arms in the bas-de-page, which was painted in silver leaf, left its print on the verso of the front flyleaf.


12. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Class. Lat. 292106

Aristotle: Metaphysica (translated to Latin by Cardinal Bessarion)

On paper. Written in humanistic book script, extensively annotated in the margins. Its scribe is unidentified, but according to De la Mare, it was copied in Rome.107 The manuscript is almost completely undecorated, except for fol. 1r, where, in the center of the bas-de-page, there is a coat of arms in a medallion encircled by a laurel wreath. Although the middle of the coat of arms has been scraped out, traces of the golden crown are still visible, while the outline of the lily left its print on the verso of the front flyleaf. On the title page, there is also a five-line O-initial, painted in gold leaf, placed in a blue field, and filled with white vine-stem decoration. On a piece of paper glued onto the verso of the first flyleaf, there is a note by a late fifteenth- or early sixteenth-century hand, according to which someone (presumably the owner of the manuscript) lent four of his books: “Dialogi deorum / Valerius Probus / Philelphus de educatione liberorum / Libellus, q(uas)i panegyricus Imp(eratoris) Maxi(miliani) / apud D(omi)num Joa(n)ne(m) Jamboscium sunt, / quos h(abe)t a me accomodatos.” The note probably refers to Jan Zambocki (c. 1475–1529), secretary to Sigismund I, King of Poland.


13. Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Cod. Latin 2650108

Johannes Chrysostomus: Homiliae in Psalmum L, I et II;

Sanctus Gaudentius: Sermones

On parchment, 141 fols., 225×150 mm. Sixteenth century (?) leather binding. Written in humanistic book script by an unidentified scribe, but contains emendations by Bartolomeo Fonzio.109


14. Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, Cod. Lat. CXXXVI (124)110

Titus Livius: De secundo bello punico (Ab urbe condita, Decas III)

On parchment, I, 214 fols., 354×245 mm, text block: 236×137 mm. Original, blind stamped and gold-tooled Corvina leather binding produced in Buda in the late 1480s. Written in humanistic book script (humanistica rotunda) by Hubertus W. Edina Zsupán examined the manuscript and declared that, contrary to the opinion of Klára Csapodi-Gárdonyi, it does not contain emendations by János Vitéz.111

The table of contents preceding the title page is written in an illuminated architectural framework imitating a Renaissance tabernacle. This decoration is of the same type as Cat. 2. In the lower, upper, and inner margins of the title page, there is white vine-stem decoration enriched with putti and birds. A standing figure of a Roman general is depicted in the thirteen-line gold leaf “I” initial. The manuscript was presumably purchased by Nicolò Zen in 1560 from Istanbul, through the intermediary of his father; in 1580, it was purchased by Mario Bevilacqua for his library; in the late seventeenth century, it was in the possession of Scipione Maffei, who gave it to Francesco Muselli, canon of Verona. Finally, Muselli donated it to the Biblioteca Capitolare of Verona. The manuscript Cod. Lat. CXXXV of the library, which contains the Livy’s first Decade, was produced in Rome and not in Florence, and “met” Handó’s codices only in the collection of Bevilacqua.

15. Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, Cod. Lat. CXXXVII (125)112

Titus Livius: De bello macedonico (Ab urbe condita, Decas IV);

Lucius Florus: Epitome historiarum libri IV.

On parchment, 208 fols., 360×247 mm, text block: 236×138 mm. Original, blind stamped and gold-tooled Corvina leather binding produced in Buda in the late 1480s. Written in humanistic book script (humanistica rotunda) by Hubertus W.113 For its provenance, see Cat. 15. On fol. 2v, the monochrome, architectonic decoration of the title page forms a Renaissance tabernacle, which also contains the coat of arms of György Handó. Beltrami thought, primarily based on the putti holding the coat of arms, that the vine-stem decoration of the title page with its unusual colors and structure, must be the work of the same master who illuminated the Iustin manuscript in Besançon (Cat. 2.). I agree with her. According to Claudia Adami, the illuminator was the Florentine master known as Scipione, who also worked for Bisticci. In my opinion, based on his style, the illuminator belonged to the circle of Cosimo Rosselli.114 Below the original decoration of the bas-de-page, on the edge of the parchment, the small leaf garland, decorated with red and blue five-petal flowers, red and green ribbons, and colorful beads, can be attributed to the so-called First Heraldic Painter, an illuminator active in the Buda workshop at the end of the 1480s.


16. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 48115

Pseudo-Plinius: De viris illustribus;

C. Plinius Secundus: Epistolarum libri I–VII, IX;

Johannes Mansionarius: Vita duorum Pliniorum;

Pseudo-Plinius: Panegyricus Traiani;

Panegyrici XII.

On parchment, 191 fols., 330×224 mm. Original Florentine, blind-tooled leather binding (border decoration consists of interlaced rings, with two ostrich feathers emerging from every other ring). parchment. Written in humanistic cursive by Piero Cennini. The manuscript is dated in the colophon of the second text (fol. 92v): “Transcriptus Florentiae. IIIo. Idvs. Ian(uarias) Anno Salvtis Nostrae MCCCCLXVIII. Paulo. IIo. Romae. Pont. Max. τέλος” which means, taking into consideration the Florentine calendar, January 11, 1469. (The colophon is often dated, wrongly, to 1468.) The table of contents (fol. Iv) was written by Bartolomeo Fonzio.116 It lists all the works in the manuscript, but the short biography of Johannes Mansionarius had originally been left out and was added later, together with the folio number, to the end of the list by a contemporaneous but different hand. On the title page (fol. 1r), the lower, upper, and inner margins are adorned with white vine-stem decoration, while the historiated initial “P” includes a full-length author portrait in his study. The upper and inner margins of the incipit page of the Panegyricus Traiani are also decorated with white vine-stem illumination and a “B” initial (fol. 95r). Throughout the manuscript, there are several three-line initials in a squared field, but they were left unfinished: only their colored (pale red, blue, green) background and the gilding of the letters are completed. It is important to note that the illuminator consistently used a Greek capital “M” instead of the Latin version. In a medallion in the middle of the bas-de-page, encircled by a laurel wreath, there is the episcopal coat of arms of Orbán Nagylucsei, and the traces of György Handó’s coat of arms underneath. The manuscript ended up in Vienna from the Hofbibliothek in Salzburg, its previous shelf mark was: Salisb. 1c.


17. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 224117

Q. Valerius Catullus: Carmina;

Albius Tibullus: Carminum libri IV;

Sextus Propertius: Carminum libri IV.

On parchment, I, 171, III* fols., 240×165 mm. Written in humanistic book script attributed to Gabriel de Pistorio.118 The title page (fol. 1r) is adorned with Florentine white vine-stem decoration in the lower, upper, and inner margins and with a half-length author portrait in the initial “C.” The coat of arms of Matthias Corvinus in the middle of the bas-de-page was painted in the Buda scriptorium in the late 1480s. The codex was purchased by Sámuel Nádudvari in 1725 from the bequest of Michael II Apafi, Prince of Transylvania (1690–96).

18. Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2384119

Plato: Phaedo; Gorgias; Axiochus; Apologia Socratis; Crito (all translated in Latin by Leonardo Bruni, except for the Axiochus, which was translated by Runiccio Aretino, also known as Rinuccio Castiglionfiorentino)

On parchment, 137 fols., 257×170 mm. Written in humanistic book script attributed to the so-called “Scribe of Venezia, Bibl. Marciana lat. Z.58,” who also copied a set of manuscripts containing the works of Saint Augustine for Cardinal Bessarion in the workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci (cf. Cat. 20).120 The table of contents on fol. IIv was written in humanistic cursive in red ink, most probably by Bartolomeo Fonzio. Ernesto Berti noted that the codex was produced in Bisticci’s workshop, and its text was copied on the basis of a manuscript which belonged to Gianozzo Manetti (BAV, Pal. Lat. 974). According to Berti the copying mistakes were consistently corrected by a second hand. This emendator also collated the text of the Phaedo and the Gorgias with another manuscript (BML, Plut. 89.sup. 58) and corrected the mistakes of the archetype as well.121


19. Wormsley Estate, The Wormsley Library (formerly Holkham Hall, Ms. 440)122

Herodotus: Historiarum libri IX. (translated to Latin by Lorenzo Valla)

On parchment. Written in humanistic book script attributed to the so-called “Scribe of Bodmer Perotti.”123 The illuminated decoration of the table of contents on the verso of the leaf preceding the title page has the same type as Cats. 5, 7, 9, 10. Florentine white vine-stem decoration in the lower, upper, and inner margins of the title page (fol. 2r). The codex had belonged to the collection of the Holkham Hall library until 2001, when it was auctioned at Sotheby’s.


20. Private collection. (Formerly New York, Marston Collection, Ms. 54)124

Johannes Mansionarius: De duobus Pliniis;

Aurelius Victor: De viris illustribus;

C. Plinius Secundus: Epistolarum libri

On parchment, 148 fols. Written in humanistic book script attributed to the so-called “Scribe of Venezia, Bibl. Marciana lat. Z.58” cf. Cat. 19, table of contents and annotations by the hand of Bartolomeo Fonzio.125



Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych w Warszawie, Zbiór dokumentów pergaminowych, Warsaw


Archivio di Stato di Firenze, Florence


Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City


Biblioteca Capitolare, Verona


Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Modena


The British Library, London


Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence


Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, Florence


Bibliothèque national de France, Paris


Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice


Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich


ELTE University Library, Budapest


Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel


National Archives of Hungary, Budapest


National Széchényi Library, Budapest


Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna


The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York



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1 This paper is only a preliminary study on a topic which needs more detailed discussion. I plan to devote a monography to the history of Handó’s library, its connections with early humanistic libraries in Florence, Hungary and Central Europe, and the individual manuscripts. Taken into consideration, however, the importance of the subject and the amount of time that the writing of such a book demands, I decided to summarize and publish the most important results of my research here. To be more reader-friendly, all data and secondary literature on the individual codices are collected in the Catalogue. In the main text, manuscripts are only referred by catalogue numbers (Cats. 1–20). My research on the manuscripts of Handó’s library enjoyed the support of the János Bolyai Research Grant of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and my research travels were made possible by the Isabel and Alfred Bader Scholarship, which I received in 2014. This paper was originally published in Hungarian language in 2016, see Pócs, “Handó György könyvtára.” Further research was carried out within the framework of the Court culture and power representation in late medieval and early modern Hungary research project (NKFIH K-129362). I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Edina Zsupán (National Széchényi Library, Department of Manuscripts), who helped me draw conclusions on some important codicological questions. I am also thankful to Eszter Nagy (Research Centre for Humanities, Institute of Art History) for the detailed photos of the two manuscripts kept in the Bodleian Library in Oxford (Cats. 11, 12).

2 Bisticci, Lives of Illustrious Men, 199–200. For the critical edition of the text, see Bisticci, Le vite, vol. 1, 340–41: “Istando a Roma meser Giorgio in queste pratiche, ebe lettere d’Ungheria, ch’egli andassi a Napoli a praticare col re Ferdinando il parentado della figliuola del re col re d’Ungheria. Fuvi molto onorato. Istato non molto tempo in questa pratica, colla sua prudentia et destreza d’ingegno condusse quello parentado. Conchiusolo, se ne venne alla via di Firenze, dove aveva comperati libri per più di tre mila fiorini, per fare una libreria a Cinque Chiese, a una sua propositura v’aveva. Avendo avuto dal re inanzi la cancellaria, et andando ogni cosa per le sue mani, fece quello hanno fatto pochi uomini della sua qualità. In prima, in quella chiesa dove egli era proposto, fece fare una degnissima capella, [...]. Et nella medesima chiesa ordinò una bellissima libreria, nella quale messe libri d’ogni facultà, et ragunovi volumi trecento o più, et ordinò il luogo dove avessino a stare. Ordinò sopra quella libreria uno sacerdote con buona provisione, che avessi cura de’ libri, et ogni dì l’aprissi et serassi.”

3 In the early 1460s, Cosimo de’ Medici commissioned Bisticci to provide the Badia Fiesolana with a new library. Employing several scribes, the cartolaio produced a large number of manuscripts within an exceptionally short time, but not even their number exceeded one hundred volumes, see De la Mare, “Vespasiano da Bisticci,” 190–92; Dressen, The Library of the Badia Fiesolana, 14–16.

4 Budapest, UL, Cod. Lat. 11; BAV, Vat. Lat. 1951.

5 De la Mare, “Library of Francesco Sassetti,” 186–88, cats. 66–70, 73, 78. Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 46–60, cats. 70, 85, 87, 94, 102, 116, 159. The manuscript Cod. lat. 9 of the Budapest University Library has been wrongly added to this group, most recently by Tünde Wehli in Mátyás király, 14–15, cat. 3. This manuscript, illuminated in the 1450s by Gioacchino de’ Gigantibus, had originally belonged to the library of Cardinal Francesco Condulmer, see Dániel Pócs in A Corvina könyvtár budai műhelye, cat. F12.

6 De la Mare, “Library of Francesco Sassetti,” 170. The purchase could take place because when the Medici bank was close to bankruptcy, Sassetti, being hard up financially, had to sell the most lavishly decorated and, thus, the most precious volumes of his library, which he had compiled with much care over the course of decades by investing a substantial amount of money. This coincided with a turn in the representation of the Buda court, which set as its primary goal the formation of a royal library consisting of luxury manuscripts.

7 Modena, BEU, Cod. Lat. 441 (=α.S.4.2); Florence, BML, Acquisti e Doni 233. His letters sent to Buda reveal his plans to have manuscripts copied for the Corvina Library in larger quantities, see Daneloni, Bartholomaei Fontii Epistolarum Libri, 78–85, ep. II, 11, 12, 13.

8 Wolfenbüttel, HAB, Cod. Guelf. 85.1. Aug. 2o. For a recent summary on Fonzio’s Hungarian connections, especially in 1488–89, see Daneloni, “Bartolomeo Fonzio.” For Ugoleto’s presence in Florence, see Branca, “I rapporti.”

9 Although the possessor of the coat of arms has not been identified yet, we can find, sporadically in the secondary literature, some—completely unfounded—guesses about its owner, which vary from Janus Pannonius to the “unknown” royal coat of arms of King Matthias Corvinus. According to Klára Csapodi-Gárdonyi, whose opinion led foreign research astray, the heraldic features of the coat of arms do not suggest a Hungarian owner. Her suggestion, however, was wrong, since the arrangement of the charges, the crown (a circlet with three leaves)–surmounted by a lily was not at all unknown in Late Medieval Hungary. Similar motifs appear for example on the coat of arms of Gergely T(h)akaró, titular bishop of Szörény, and his family. This coat of arms was granted by Vladislaus II, King of Hungary in 1502. The grant of arms unfortunately did not survive, but, based on an engraving, published in the nineteenth century, it must have been one of the highest quality Renaissance grants of arms illuminated in Buda, see Horvát, “II-dik Ulászló.” For Gergely Takaró, see C. Tóth, Magyarország késő-középkori főpapi archontológiája, 102.

10 The Florentine origins of the so-called First Heraldic Painter’s style were already correctly suggested by Edith Hoffmann. Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 82–84. For the list of the manuscripts from the Corvina Library with illuminations attributed to him, see Madas, “La Bibliotheca Corviniana,” 45.

11 Verona, BC, Cod. CXXXV (123). Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Die Bibliothek des Johannes Vitéz, 114, cat. 59; Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 61, cat. 162; Spagnolo, I manoscritti, 220; Claudia Adami in Nel segno del corvo, 199–201, cat. 23. Contrary to the opinion of Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, this codex has never belonged to the Corvina Library.

12 Eight-line initials in gold leaf, with white vine-stem decoration: fols. 22v, 47r, 74v, 97r, 118v, 136r, 153v, 170v, 192r. I am thankful for Edina Zsupán, whom I asked to compare the handwriting of the Livy manuscripts in Verona and Rome and whose expert opinion confirmed my attribution of the script to Hubertus.

13 Mikó, “Bibliotheca Corvina,” 404–6.

14 New York, PML, Ms M497. Fol. Iv: emblem of king Matthias Corvinus, fol. 1r: coat of arms and emblems of Matthias Corvinus, fol. 98r: coat of arms of Matthias Corvinus and Sassetti emblem, fols. 154r, 175r, 188r, 195r, 234r, 262r: coat of arms and emblem of Francesco Sassetti. The manuscript was copied by Hubertus in the mid- or late 1470s. De la Mare, “Library of Francesco Sassetti,” 186–87, cat. 70; De la Mare, “New research,” 505, cat. 32/27. Niccolò Niccoli’s letter Commentarium in peregrinatione Germaniae was written on fols. 269v–271r in a humanistic cursive script later probably by Sebastiano Salvini. De la Mare, “New research,” 489, cat. 9/14. Another manuscript from the Corvina Library, which was previously in the possession of Marino Tomacelli, presents a similar case (BAV, Vat. Lat. 1951): the coat of arms of the original owner is preserved on the incipit of the second book of Pliny’s Naturalis Historia (fol. 24r), while Matthias’s coat of arms was inserted in the bas-de-page of fol. 1r.

15 Apart from the Budapest manuscript, there are two groups of codices that contain—among others—the Latin translations of these three treatises and were produced under the personal supervision of Cardinal Bessarion. The first group of codices can be dated to 1467: one of these is an autograph copy (Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Cod. R. 4 sup.), the other one contains a dated colophon (Florence, BML, Plut. 54. 2., fol. 290v: July 6, 1467) and the third one is decorated on its title page with the episcopal coat of arms of Marco Barbo, who became bishop in September 18, 1467 (BAV, Chig. B. IV. 47). The codices belonging to the second group were produced around 1470–2 and contain a dedicatory introduction to pope Paul II, but all remained in the possession of Cardinal Bessarion and later, together with his library, ended up in the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice. Their shelf marks: Cod. Lat. 133 (=1693), 134 (=1519), 135 (=1694), see Cento codici, 16–21, cat. 14–16. On their production, see Bianca, “Roma e l’Accademia Bessarionea,” 35; for BNM Cod. Lat. 133 (=1693), see Concetta Bianca in Bessarione e l’Umanesimo, 511–12, cat. 121; Susy Marcon in I luoghi della memoria, 455, cat. 65. One of the Marciana manuscripts (Cod. Lat. Z 135 [=1694]) bears the papal coat of arms of Paul II on its title page, but it has never reached him. On the creation of the texts and their Latin translations, see Monfasani, “Bessarion Latinus,” 168–76.

16 The structure and style of the white vine-stem decoration distinguishes it from the Florentine examples. It resembles the bianchi girari illuminations of Gioacchino de’ Gigantibus, the most prolific illuminator in Rome at the time (e.g. BAV. Vat. Lat. 1051, fol. 1r, Pope Paul II’s dedicatory copy of the De sanguine Christi by Francesco della Rovere – the later Pope Sixtus IV), while some characteristics of the illumination differ from his style. The putti’s figure and the colors of the ornamental details suggest that the illuminator of the Bessarion codex was most probably trained in Florence. The fact that he was active in Rome, however, is supported by another manuscript, the title page of which can be attributed to the same master with certainty (BAV, Vat. Lat. 3295, available online on http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Vat.lat.3295, accessed on September 23, 2019.) The manuscript that contains Martial’s epigrams was produced in Rome in the circle of and probably even under the supervision of Pomponio Leto, shortly after 1470 (see Pade, “Pomponio Leto”). Nolhac identified the traces of a coat of arms (azure, three crescents gules) that had been scraped out from the middle of the bas-de-page of the title page with the coat of arms of the Vespi family. According to him, the same coat of arms appears in another manuscript: Paris, BnF, Cod. Ital. 1394, fol. 104r, see Nolhac, La bibliothèque de Fulvio Orsini, 199–200. The Martial manuscript now in the Vatican Library belonged to the book collection of Fulvio Orsini (1529–1600) in the sixteenth century.

17 De la Mare, “New research,” 456. (For bibliographical references to the scribes, see the Catalogue.) Eight of the manuscripts had already been identified in the catalogue of the illuminated manuscripts of the Bodleian Library by De la Mare, although she is not named there, Pächt and Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts, 30, cat. 313. These manuscripts are the following: Cats. 2, 3, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19. The Bodleian catalogue refers to the manuscript now in the NSZL (Cod. Lat. 418) by its old location and shelf mark (Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. 2391). The manuscript had been kept in Vienna until it was transferred to the library of the Hungarian National Museum in accordance with the bilateral agreement on the distribution of cultural assets between Austria and Hungary, which was signed in Venice in 1932. In the cases in which the original coat of arms has not been covered, one can clearly see that it was painted together with the illumination. Before De la Mare, Edith Hoffmann had already noticed that there are manuscripts with this coat of arms beyond the stock of the Corvina Library. Her observations, however, did not become part of the secondary literature of this group of manuscripts simply because she “hid” them in book reviews, see Hoffmann, Review of La Bibliothèque, 139; Hoffmann, Review of La Biblioteca, 177. In the latter, she calls attention to the manuscript containing the works of Pseudo-Dionysius kept in the Biblioteca Estense in Modena (Cat. 10).

18 The manuscript that contains George of Trebizond’s dedication to King Matthias Corvinus did not, in fact, belong to the Corvina Library, but it contains the author’s autograph emendations: Stuttgart, Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Math. Fol. 24. The text of the dedication was published by Monfasani, Collectanea Trapezuntiana, 286–87, cf. Ekler, “Adalékok a korvinák történetéhez,” 273–74.

19 For a summary on manuscripts containing the works of George of Trebizond connected to Hungary, see Ekler, “Adalékok a korvinák történetéhez.”

20 Trebizond’s connections with Hungary between 1467 and 1470 were summarized by Monfasani, George of Trebizond, 194–98; Klaniczay, “Egyetem Magyarországon Mátyás korában,” 114; Abenstein, Die Basilius-Übersetzung, 177–245.

21 Beltrami, “Manoscritti corviniani.” For an evaluation of Bisticci’s oeuvre and on the characteristics of the manuscripts produced in his workshop, see De la Mare, “Vespasiano da Bisticci as Producer.” Beltrami’s study focuses on the Florentine manuscripts, so she touches upon the question of the Roman manuscripts only tangentially, and she does not mention the Bessarion manuscript in Budapest at all. Therefore, her interpretation that would refer to the whole group is somewhat narrow in its focus.

22 Beltrami, “Manoscritti corviniani,” 266–71.

23 In the second half of the 1460s, Cosimo Rosselli was demonstrably active as an illuminator. The best analogies of the putti, however, can be found on panel paintings attributed to him or his workshop that were produced in the same period, primarily on a picture of the Virgin with the Child and two Angels held in the collection of the Museo di San Marco in Florence (Inv. 1890. n. 489), see Gabrielli, Cosimo Rosselli, 126–27, cat. 17. For further examples, see ibid., 141, cat. 25; 157–60, cats. 38–40. For Rosselli’s and his workshop’s production in the field of illumination, see ibid., 34–35 and color plates II, IVa–b, 112–14, cats. 4–7 and 11–13. Among them, on the title page (fol. 1r, bas-de-page) of a Ptolemy manuscript (BML Plut. 30.3.), dated between 1466 and 1468, the putto holding the coat of arms were painted, in my opinion, by the same master who illuminated the Verona Livy. Angela Dillon Bussi attempted to attribute the illumination in the fourth Decade of the Verona Livy to Cosimo’s brother, Francesco Rosselli, who is a well-known figure from a later period (1478–80) of the Corvina Library’s history. She recognized the influence of the Buda workshop in the vivid colors of the title page, disregarding, however, the date of the manuscript, which is much earlier than the activity of the Buda workshop. See Dillon Bussi, “La miniatura per Mattia Corvino,” 109. (Dillon Bussi actually referred to the “terza decade,” which is obviously a lapse. What she describes as the “vivacità cromatica del miniatore rosselliano” can only be true of the third volume, and not the third Decade.)

24 Garzelli, “Le immagini,” vol. 2, 340, fig. 593. The so-called “Maestro delle Deche di Alfonso d’Aragona” was named after a lavishly decorated series of Livy’s work, commissioned by Alfonso I. (V.) of Aragon, King of Naples and produced in the workshop of Bisticci in the mid-1450s (1454–55), but eventually it has remained in Florence (Florence, BNCF, B.R. 34, 35, 36.), see Garzelli, “Le immagini,” vol. 1, 162–64; vol. 2, 340, fig. 592; Giovanna Lazzi in Vedere i Classici, 386–91, cats. 100–2. The documents related to the commission were published and interpreted by Hartt and Corti, “New Documents,” 160 and 162–63, docs. 11/1–6, 12, and 12/11. (The authors wrongly connected the documents with another set of Livy manuscripts which was preserved in the stock of the Aragonese Library.) For further information on the commission and the payment, see Caglioti, “Fifteenth-Century Reliefs,” 94, note 18 (January–April 1455).

25 Beltrami, “Manoscritti corviniani,” 269–71.

26 For a comparison of the production of the two illuminators in the 1470s and the attribution of their manuscripts once belonging to the Corvina Library, especially the one originating from the Francesco Sassetti’s library and attributed to Mariano del Buono, see Dillon Bussi, “La miniatura per Mattia Corvino,” 106–10.

27 The best example is the title page of a manuscript containing the treatises by Aelianus and Onosander (BAV, Urb. Lat. 881). It was copied partly by Sinibaldus (a scribe who also worked on the manuscripts with the crown-and-lily coat of arms), partly by Hubertus, see De la Mare, “New research,” 538, cat. 34A. On the style of illumination in the earliest manuscripts of Federico da Montefeltro’s Urbino library, produced in the late 1460s and early 1470s in the workshop of Bisticci and decorated with white vine-stem decoration, see Labriola, “I miniatori fiorentini,” 53–55. On the manuscripts produced for Federico da Montefeltro in the workshop of Bisticci, see De la Mare, “New research,” 572–73.

28 Budapest, UL, Cod. lat. 1., see Tünde Wehli in Mátyás király, 28–30, cat. 17, cf. De la Mare, “New research,” 544, cat. 78/2. The scribe (called “Scribe of Budapest University Lat. 1” after this very manuscript) was Bisticci’s most frequently employed scribe according to Albinia de la Mare’s research. Thus, he participated in Bisticci’s two largest projects, the production of manuscripts for the library of the Badia Fiesolana and Federico da Montefeltro, see De la Mare, “New research,” 544, cats. 78/3–4 (Fiesole), 10–11 (Urbino). Another manuscript also copied by this scribe contains the same note of production as the Budapest codex, see De la Mare, “New research,” 544, cat. 78/7.

29 The text of the note: “Vespasianus librarius florentinus / fieri fecit florentie.” Manuscripts produced in the workshop of Bisticci often contain a similar note, see De la Mare, “New research,” 565–67, App. III/I, cats. 1–16. It is important to remark that we cannot deduce from the presence or absence of such notes in the manuscripts certainly coming from the Bisticci’s workshop whether they were commissioned by someone or produced for the open market.

30 On the scribes, see De la Mare, “New research,” 432 and 537–38, cat. 68 (Sinibaldus), 459–60 and 504–5, cat. 32 (Hubertus), 463, 572 and 552–53, cat. 103. (“Scribe of Venezia, Bibl. Marciana lat. Z.58”). The other scribes who demonstrably worked on the manuscripts belonging to the group were also employed by Bisticci, Petrus de Traiecto, a scribe originating from Utrecht (Cat. 10), copied at least ten codices for the library of Federico da Montefeltro in the first half of the 1470s. De la Mare, “New research,” 462–63 and 532–33, cat. 63; De la Mare, “Vespasiano da Bisticci e i copisti,” 85.

31 Caroti and Zamponi, Lo scrittoio, 12–13; Zaccaria, “Della Fonte, Bartolomeo;” Daneloni, Bartholomaei Fontii Epistolarum Libri, 248. (Alessandro Daneloni’s commentary on Ep. I. 12, addressed to Garázda.)

32 De la Mare, “New research,” 446 and 488, cat. 7/28: BAV, Urb. Lat. 203. The manuscript with a simple white vine-stem decoration was produced in Bisticci’s workshop in the late 1460s for Federico da Montefeltro and contains the Commentary on Plato’s Timaeus by Calcidius.

33 On the relationship between Garázda and Fonzio, see Daneloni, “Sui rapporti,” with previous bibliography; for a summary of previous literature on Péter Garázda and his biography completed with new data, see C. Tóth, “Garázda Péter,” cf. C. Tóth, Az esztergomi székeskáptalan, 97. Thanks to research by Norbert C. Tóth, we have to completely reconsider our view of Garázda’s career after 1472. According to the new data, Garázda, who had belonged to the circle of Janus and was a relative of him, did not fall into disgrace after the Vitéz-conspiracy. On the contrary, in the following fifteen or more years, he received one ecclesiastical benefice after the other, though he never attained the episcopal rank.

34 Fraknói, Mátyás király levelei, 241–42, Nr. 177/1 (December 23, 1469). On the lions, see Ritoók-Szalay, “Az öreg Leó”; Pócs, A Didymus-corvina, 250–51.

35 Fonzio’s letters to Garázda: Daneloni, Bartholomaei Fontii Epistolarum Libri, 21–25, Ep. I. 12–15.

36 Munich, BStB, Clm 15738. Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius: Saturnaliorum libri VII, Commentarium in Somnium Scipionis. Colophon on fol. 293v: “Barptolemaeus fontius excripsit florentiae.” The manuscript was discovered and first described by Vilmos Fraknói, who also identified its original owner and scribe, see Fraknói, “Újabb adatok,” 3–4, cf. Caroti and Zamponi, Lo scrittoio di Bartolomeo Fonzio, 83–84, cat. 38; De la Mare, “New research,” 488, cat. 7/21; Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 105–6; Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Die Bibliothek des Johannes Vitéz, 118, cat. 67; Ferenc Földesi in Star in the Raven’s Shadow, 212, cat. 43. To my knowledge, the pen-and-ink illustrations have so far been ignored by scholars. The figure identified by a legend as “Microcosmus” on fol. 156v is close to the known drawings by Fonzio in the following manuscript: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Lat. Misc. d. 85 (Codex Ashmolensis), see Saxl, “Classical Inscriptions.” On the attribution of the latter as well as of further manuscripts illustrated by Fonzio (London, BL, Ms. Add. 15819. and BAV, Urb. Lat. 1358), see Garzelli, “Le immagini,” vol. 1, 90–92 and vol. 2, 343, 348–51, figs. 597, 603–7.

37 Giorgio Antonio Vespucci and Fonzio also participated in the copying of the Cicero manuscript decorated with the combined coat of arms of the Vespucci family and Garázda (Munich, BStB, Clm 15734). The heraldic motifs referring to the Vespucci family were first recognized by De la Mare, but her observation has escaped further attention, except for Alessandro Daneloni, see De la Mare, “New research,” 533, cat. 106/11. (“Scribe of former Yates Thompson Petrarch,” Giorgio Antonio and Nastagio Vespucci, Bartolomeo Fonzio); Daneloni, “Sui rapport,” 307. On the manuscript, see also Caroti and Zamponi, Lo scrittoio di Bartolomeo Fonzio, 129; Ferenc Földesi in Star in the Raven’s Shadow, 210, cat. 42. For Vitéz’s Livy manuscript (Decas IV, Munich, BStB, Clm 15733), see Edina Zsupán in Star in the Raven’s Shadow, 174–77, cat. 33; De la Mare, “New research,” 531, cat. 62/37 (scribe: Piero Strozzi) and 488, cat. 7 (annotations by Bartolomeo Fonzio).

38 Garázda’s Lactantius manuscript: Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. 717. Hermann, Die Handschriften, 66–67, cat. 19. The codex contains the works by Lactantius in the same order (fols. 1r–254v), followed by a few lines from the Ovid’s Metamorphoses and concluded by the Carmen de Pascha by Venantius Fortunatus (fols. 254v–256r). The manuscript was first presented in Hungarian literature by Edith Hoffmann, who also identified the coat of arms of Garázda. Several years later, Erzsébet Soltész, who probably did not know about Hoffmann’s earlier publication, “rediscovered” the codex. Sándor V. Kovács called attention to Hoffmann’s publication, but he wrongly stated that the codex contains the complete Metamorphoses and Fasti, see Hoffmann, “Garázda Péter,” 79; Soltész, “Garázda Péter,” 120; V. Kovács, “Garázda Péter Lactantius-kódexe,” cf. V. Kovács “Garázda Péter,” 52; Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 257. For its scribe, see De la Mare, “New research,” 545, cat. 82/6. The Justin manuscript of Garázda: Prague, Národní knihovna České republiky, Cod. VIII. H. 72. The manuscript and the autograph possessor’s note on the back pastedown was first mentioned in the column called “vegyes közlemények” (miscellaneous news) of Magyar Könyvszemle. A year later, Jenő Ábel incorporated the data into his study on Péter Garázda, see “Prágai codexek fényképei,” 268 and Ábel, “Garázda Péter,” 99; cf. Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 106. This is the only one among the manuscripts of Garázda, the title page of which is adorned with floral ornamentation instead of white vine-stem decoration, so it must have been produced in the early 1470s. The place of the coat of arms, however, remained blank.

39 De la Mare, “New research,” 445 and 526–29, cats. 60/13, 15, 18, 22, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33. Klára Csapodi, recognizing that colophons signed by Cennini appear in many manuscripts that ended up in the Corvina Library, attempted to present him as the scribe of King Matthias Corvinus, and she attributed the script of several other Corvina manuscripts to him. These attributions were later rejected by De la Mare. Klára Csapodi, “Les manuscrits;” De la Mare, “New research,” 529 (“Rejected attributions”).

40 The autograph paper manuscript on the basis of which the modern critical edition of the text was prepared: BAV, Vat. Lat. 7705 (colophon, fol. 124v: “Anno 1469 mense Iulii Florentie”), see Kristeller, Supplementum Ficinianum, vol. 1, CXXIII–CXXIV; Marcel, Marsile Ficin, 12–48; Devereux, “Textual History,” 173–74. Sebastiano Gentile’s research has considerably modified our view on the creation of the Commentarium in Convivium: he discovered that in the introduction of an early manuscript version of the work (Florence, BML, Strozzi 98 [olim 629, olim 363.]), the list of the people who participated in the symposium held on Plato’s birthday, on November 7, 1467 was modified, as was the venue of the event: some of the words were scraped out and replaced with other names. Originally, Lorenzo de’ Medici did not attend the gathering, and the convivium did not take place in the Villa Medici at Careggi, but in the palace of Francesco Bandini in Florence, see Gentile, “Per la storia,” especially 14–16; Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Platone, 60–61, cat. 46.

41 Vienna, ÖNB, Cod. 2472. The dedicatory letter (fol. 1r–v) dated August 5, 1469 by Ficino, in which he mentions Péter Garázda, too (“…vir doctus et utriusque nostrum familiaris…”), was published by Jenő Ábel from the Viennese manuscript, see Abel, Analecta, 203–4. (Cod. 2472 is the only manuscript source for the dedicatory letter.) The text was also published by Kristeller, Supplementum Ficinianum, vol. 1, 87–88; Marcel, Marsile Ficin, 265–66 (App. II); Rees, “Marsilio Ficino,” 131, note 9. The text of the Commentarium was most probably copied by Franciscus de Ugolinis presbyter de Colle Vallis Else (Francesco Ugolini di Colle Val d’Elsa), see De la Mare, “New research,” 495–96, cat. 22/7, while the handwriting of the dedication that is written on a parchment leaf inserted before the quire containing the incipit, and some of the corrections in the margins are attributed to Ficino himself. On the place of the present copy in the textual history of the Commentarium, see Huszti, “La prima redazione”; Kristeller, Supplementum Ficinianum, vol. 1, L–LI (Vi 1) and CXXIII–CXXV; Marcel, Marsile Ficin, 36–37; Devereux, “Textual History,” especially 178–79; Gentile, “Per la storia,” 9. The identification of Nagylucsei’s coat of arms on the frontispiece was published by Pál Gulyás after a note by Gyula Schönherr on the photocopy preserved in the Hungarian National Museum in Budapest, see Gulyás, “Nagylucsei Orbán.” A few years later, Edith Hoffmann, obviously unaware of Gulyás’s short notice, published the Nagylucsei provenance of the manuscript as her own discovery, see Hoffmann, “Nagylucsei Orbán könyvtárának maradványai,” 168, but later she has corrected herself, see Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 104, and note 247. As Hoffmann already noted (and I checked her observation by studying the original manuscript), there is no trace of a previous coat of arms under Nagylucsei’s: nothing was overpainted or scraped out. Thus, the middle of the bas-de-page had been left blank, see Hoffmann, “Nagylucsei Orbán könyvtárának maradványai,” 168; Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 104. On the manuscript, see also Csontosi, “A bécsi Udvari Könyvtár,” 182; Hermann, Die Handschriften, 56, cat. 51; Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 256; Csapodi, “Janus Pannonius,” 193–94; Ernst Gamillscheg in Gamillscheg, Mersich, and Mazal, Matthias Corvinus, 75–76, cat. 36; Mikó, “Nagylucsei Orbán Psalteriuma,” 134; Rees, “Buda as a Center,” 480. and note 19.

42 Nagylucsei’s well-known grant of arms is dated February 2, 1480 (NAH, DL 105029), see Schönherr, “Nagylucsei Orbán;” Fejérpataky, Magyar czímeres emlékek, 63–65; Géza Érszegi, Tünde Wehli, in Matthias Corvinus the King, 279–80, cat. 6.7; György Rácz in A Hunyadiak címereslevelei, 190–1, cat. XXXI. It is less known, however, that Orbán Nagylucsei and his brothers had already received a grant of arms with a similar, but not identical design of the coat of arms, see Daróczy, “Dóczyak és Nagylucseiek;” Radocsay, “Gotische Wappenbilder,” 358; Radocsay “Gotische Wappenbilder II,” 63; Balogh, A művészet Mátyás király udvarában, 320; most recently György Rácz in A Hunyadiak címereslevelei, 134–41, cat. XXI. This document was in the possession of Géza Majláth before 1945, but it was then lost. The grant of arms was issued in Buda on May 3, 1472, and according to its text published by Daróczy, it differed from the later coat of arms. On the earlier version, the tinctures of the field (parti per bend) were reversed: the upper half was azure, a lion passant argent, with a scorpion beneath its belly, while the lower half was gules, a star or. To my knowledge, this difference has not been noticed before. The scorpion, which is not directly beneath the lion but is in the lower half of the field, appears on the tombs of several members of the family in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, e.g. on the red marble tomb of Zsuzsanna Nagylucsei Dóczy in the parish church of Késmárk (Kežmarok, Slovakia) and on the epitaph of Zsigmond Nagylucsei Dóczy in the parish church of Garammindszent (Vieska, Slovakia, formerly in the Museum of Aranyosmarót [Zlaté Moravce, Slovakia]), on the latter, see Ipolyi, Magyar műemlékek, 89. unnumbered note.

43 Klára Csapodi-Gárdonyi has already suggested that there could have been another coat of arms in the manuscript before Nagylucsei’s (see Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Die Bibliothek, 127. cat. 80.: “Wappen: Orbán Nagylucsei, vorher Vitéz-Wappen [?]”), but based on the cited literature and their interpretation, she did not mean a previous coat of arms underneath Nagylucsei’s. As for the secondary literature to which she referred, in Wilhelm Weinberger’s 1929 study there is no mention of the manuscript (see Weinberger, “Erhaltene Handschriften,”), while in the catalogue of the manuscripts related to Hungary in the Royal Library of Vienna, published in 1884 by János Csontosi, he did not say, contrary to what Klára Csapodi-Gárdonyi states, that the manuscript once belonged to Vitéz. (According to Klára Csapodi, Csontosi confused the coats of arms of Nagylucsei and Vitéz.) Actually, Csontosi only described the content of the manuscript in detail. He did not speak of the coat of arms on the frontispiece at all. He did not even mention that there is any trace of ownership there. Regarding the provenance, all he stated, obviously wrongly, is that the codex originates from the library of János Zsámboki (Johannes Sambucus), see Csontosi, “A bécsi Udvari Könyvtár,” 166: “[Sambucus-codexe]” (“codex of Sambucus”). Interestingly, Edith Hoffmann not only ignored the previous coat of arms that is easily visible even to the naked eye, but she wrote exactly the opposite: “In the case of this work, apart from the misinterpreted coat of arms, nothing justifies the assumption that the manuscript had a previous owner before Nagylucsei.” See Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 130. (According to Hoffmann, Csontosi’s idea of the Sambucus provenance was inspired by his misinterpretation of Nagylucsei’s coat of arms as Janus’s.)

44 It is worth noting that in the colophon, according to the formula of dating, the scribe finished his work during the papacy of Paul II (1464–71). This remark, although not without precedent in Florentine manuscripts, may suggest that the codex was commissioned by a prelate.

45 For his ecclesiastical benefices, see Köblös, Az egyházi középréteg, 305–6. cat. 72, but the author does not mention his tenure as the provost of Pécs cathedral chapter; C. Tóth et al., Magyarország világi archonológiája, 40. (bishop of Győr: July 22, 1481–November 25, 1486), 35. (bishop of Eger: October 27, 1486–October 9, 1491). For his prebend of Pécs, see Fedeles, Die personelle Zusammensetzung, 394–95. cat. 269.

46 Another interesting relic of humanistic book culture in Pécs in this period is a codex written in humanist book script by Miklós Besenyői, cantor of Pécs cathedral chapter, in 1469: Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, Cod. 438. The text of the colophon (fol. 58v): “Scriptus per me Nicolaum Stephani Angeli de Naghbesene cantorem et canonicum in ecclesia Quinqueecclesiensis, anno Domini Millesimo CCCCLXmo nono,” see I manoscritti datati 1997. cat. 25; De Robertis, “Aspetti dell’esperienza grafica,” 521–22. For further information on Miklós Besenyői, cantor of Pécs, see Fedeles, Die personelle Zusammensetzung, 322. cat. 45.

47 Boda, “Handó György könyvtáráról.”

48 Mátyus, “Una lettera dimenticata,” 98.

49 Alfred Reumont and Jenő Ábel considered the two Györgys identical, and when writing Handó’s biography, they confused him with information related to Kosztolányi. Both studies aimed to contextualize, primarily with the help of biographic data, what Bisticci wrote about Handó, see Reumont, “Dei tre prelati ungheresi,” 310–14. and Ábel, “I. György kalocsai érsek.” This confusion was finally clarified by Vilmos Fraknói on the basis of documentary evidence, see Fraknói, “Mátyás király magyar diplomatái. I,” and Fraknói, “Mátyás király magyar diplomatái. II.”

50 His date of birth can only be deduced from the date of his university studies in Vienna. Although for the present, no documentary evidence supports the supposition, he might have been related to Domokos Kálmáncsehi, provost of Fehérvár (1474–1495), who originated from the same locality and commissioned several luxury manuscripts around 1480. The fact that Kálmáncsehi acquired Handó’s house in Buda after his death, sometime between 1482 and 1484, may also suggest family ties between them, see Végh, Buda város középkori helyrajza, 238. cat. 3.5.8. (Árpád Mikó had already called attention to this, see Pannonia Regia 1994. 416. cat. IX–5.) Handó’s house was situated in the former Olasz (Italian, now Országház) street, at the northwest corner of the palace of the Ministry of Finance (built in the early twentieth century), to the south of today’s Fortuna köz. The plot figures as no. 163 on the map of Buda drawn by Joseph Haüy in 1687. Handó’s house had been wrongly identified with the restored gothic house of today’s Országház street 9, see Czagány, “Műemlékhelyreállításunk elveinek alakulása,” 37–38. and note 5. cf. Czagány, “Az Országház utca 9,” 130. note 2.

51 For his studies in Vienna, see Schrauf, Magyarországi tanulók, 98 (“Georgius Gerhardi de Chehy”), see more recently Tüskés, Magyarországi tanulók, 166. cat. 3026. For his studies in Ferrara, see Veress, Olasz egyetemeken járt magyarországi tanulók, 358–59; Haraszti Szabó and Kelényi, Magyarországi diákok, 306. cat. 829. For his studies, see also Fedeles, “Pécsi kanonokok,” 57. and note 48., with further bibliography. Bisticci mentions his studies in Padova and that he obtained a doctoral degree in Florence, but there is no documentary evidence in support of these claims.

52 Fedeles, Die personelle Zusammensetzung, 360–62. cat. 136.

53 Fraknói, Mátyás király levelei, 189–92. Nr. 127–31. According to Fraknói, the addressee of one of the documents issued in Buda on March 17, 1467 was Cardinal Juan de Carvajal, which seems likely, but there is nothing in the text he published that would confirm his assumption; Fraknói, “Mátyás király magyar diplomatái. II,” 104.

54 Handó had already served as vice chancellor alongside Vitéz in 1466–7, see C. Tóth et al., Magyarország világi archonológiája, 68; treasurer: April 20, 1476–August 29, 1478; see Ibid. 30.; principal and privy chancellor: August 10, 1478–March 21, 1480, Ibid. 69. In this period, it was quite common that, in contrast with the election of the archbishop of Esztergom, the person who became archbishop of Kalocsa had not been a bishop before. Precedents for this were the appointment of István Várdai (archbishop: 1456–70) and Gábor Matucsinai (1471–78), and this was the case with the successor to Handó, Péter Váradi (1480–1501), as well. Várdai and Váradi, like Handó, only reached the rank of provost (they both headed the cathedral chapter of Transylvania). Matucsinai was elevated to archbishop from an even lower rank: he had been cantor of the chapter of Bács and rector of Buda. By contrast, among the archbishops of Esztergom, Dénes Szécsi (1440–65), János Vitéz of Zredna (1465–72), Johann Beckensloer (1472–76/80), Tamás Bakócz (1497–1521), György Szatmári (1522–24) and László Szalkai (1524–26) were all bishops before being appointed primate of the Hungarian Church. Exceptions were exclusively the foreigners who obtained the dignity thanks to their dynastic connections: Cardinal John of Aragon (1480/84–85) and Ippolito d’Este (1486–97).

55 Here, Bisticci was only wrong about one thing: he called Handó bishop and not archbishop of Kalocsa. He surely did not mix up or forget his clients. He left out Matthias from his Vite not because, as is often supposed, he resented the king for the tragic fate of two of his clients, Vitéz and Janus, who were kind to him, but simply because Matthias was not his client. (Bisticci retired from book trade shortly before 1480.)

56 Handó travelled to Naples in the first months of 1469, see Fraknói, “Mátyás király magyar diplomatái. II,” 109.

57 Mátyus, “Una lettera dimenticata,” 120.

58 For a presentation and short interpretation of the document (Florence, ASFi, Notarile Antecosimiano, 5029, fol. 39r–v), see Daneloni, “Sui rapport,” 306. For the critical edition of the document, see Daneloni, “Egy levéltári dokumentum.”

59 The other source about Garázda’s benefice of cantor in the cathedral chapter of Pécs is dated 1478, see Fedeles, Die personelle Zusammensetzung, 347; C. Tóth, “Garázda Péter,” 5–6. and 11–12. According to C. Tóth, it was not primarily Handó, but Janus, the bishop, who helped Garázda acquire benefices in Pécs, as he had the right to appoint canons. From our point of view, however, it is not the question of jurisdiction that matters, but the observation that the context in which the humanist manuscripts were produced cannot be separated from the personal links between the owners, also reflected in their offices. For Garázda’s relatives and family ties, see most recently Pálosfalvi, “Vitézek és Garázdák,” 9–16.

60 Koller, Historia episcopatus, 411–13. (Rome, January 25, 1479). Pope Sixtus IV justified the exemption with the Turkish incursions, due to which the incomes of the archbishopric of Kalocsa and Bács fell (“et ab ipsis Turchis ipsarum Ecclesiarum possessiones pluries destructae et ville combuste fuerunt”). Therefore, in order to lead the diocese properly, Handó was allowed to keep the income of the prebend of Pécs if it did not exceed 170 golden florins a year. See also Czaich, Regeszták, 237–38.

61 C. Tóth, “Garázda Péter,” 6.

62 For this chronology, see Fedeles, “Személyi összefonódások,” 135.

63 Some of the codices listed in the Catalogue, whose Corvina-provenance cannot be proven at the moment, have been preserved in manuscript collections since the sixteenth–eighteenth centuries, where we can also find codices certainly originating from the Corvina Library (Besançon, formerly Holkham Hall, Modena: Cats. 2, 9, 10, 19.) It is the task of future provenance research to clarify if they are related in some way.

64 Budapest, NSZL, Cod. Lat. 369, see Mikó, “Nagylucsei Orbán Psalteriuma”; Árpád Mikó in Matthias Corvinus the King, 488–90, cat. 11.22.

65 On the charters: Nehring, “Quellen,” 248–49, cats. VIII. 1–8. The three charters belong to a group of documents consisting of nine original charters. Chronologically, the three charters form the second subgroup: Warsaw, AGAD, ZDP, 5580, 5582, 5583 (=NAH, DF 292995, 292996, 292997), February 21, 1474, Szepesófalu (Spišská Stará Ves, Slovakia). Among them, no. 5582 was written in humanistic book script. The other documents of this group: AGAD, ZDP, 5579 (=NAH, DF 292994), January 12, 1474, Eperjes (Prešov, Slovakia), “ad mandatum domini regis in consilio,” with the pendent seal of Matthias Corvinus; AGAD, ZDP, 5584 (=NAH, DF 292998), February 27, 1474, Bártfa (Bardejov, Slovakia), Matthias Corvinus ratifies the peace treaty, with his pendent seal; AGAD, ZDP, 5585 (=NAH, DF 292999), February 28, 1474, Nowe Miasto Korczyn (today: Nowy Korczyn, Poland), Casimir IV, king of Poland ratifies the peace treaty, with his pendent seal; AGAD, ZDP, 5586 (=DF 293000), April 24, 1474, Buda, the magnates of the country corroborate the peace treaty, charter with 25 pendent seals. For the context of the peace treaty of Szepesófalu and a Hungarian translation of the text (AGAD, ZDP, 5582 = NAH, DF 292996), see Köblös and Süttő, Szende, Magyar békeszerződések, 198–205, cat. 47 (translated by Katalin Szende). The original charter was described in the Hungarian edition as lost or missing despite the fact that Carl Nehring had already published its current location and shelf mark in 1976 (see above). For the edition of the texts of the charters, see Dogiel, Codex Diplomaticus, 69–75, cats. 26–28. (AGAD, ZDP, 5582, 5584); Lewicki, Codex Epistolaris, 184–89, cats. 160–62. (AGAD, ZDP, 5583, 5580). At the period when Maciej Dogiels’s book was published (1758) the charters were kept in the Wawel castle of Cracow, among the documents of the Archive of the Royal Chancellery (Archivum Cancellarii Regni), see Ibid., b2v-cr. This material had already been transferred to Moscow when Lewicki published the texts of the other charters.

66 The intitulation of the charter: “Nos Gabriel Alben(sis) Transsilvane, Osualdus Zagrabien(sis) eccl(aes)siarum ep(iscop)i, Emericus de Zapolya Comes perpetuus Scepusien(sis), Johannes Pangracij de Dengeleg al(ia)s wayuoda Transsy(lva)nus, generalis capitaneus exercituum regaliu(m), Georgius Quinqu(e)eccl(aes)ien(sis) prothonotarius ap(osto)licus et Gaspar sancti Martini de Scepusio eccl(aes)iarum prepositi.” Based on this, the charter was issued by Gabriele Rangoni, bishop of Transylvania (1472–76, see C. Tóth et al., Magyarország világi archonológiája, 37, cardinal from 1477); Osvát (Túz) of Szentlászló, bishop of Zagreb (1466–99, see C. Tóth et al., Magyarország világi archonológiája, 56); Imre Szapolyai, count of Szepes (i.e. comes perpetuus); János Pongrác of Dengeleg, former voivode of Transylvania (1462–65; 1467–72; 1475–76, see C. Tóth et al., Magyarország világi archonológiája, 85–86), general of the royal army; György Handó, provost of Pécs and apostolic (i.e. papal) protonotary; Gáspár Bak of Berend, provost of the Saint Martin collegiate church of Szepes (1464–93, see C. Tóth et al., Magyarország világi archonológiája, 63).

67 Steinmann, Die Handschriften, passim.

68 The typewritten catalogue of the Universitätsbibliothek of Basel contains a detailed description of the manuscript and the expert opinion of Albinia de la Mare, which she sent via mail.

69 On the scribe who was active in Rome, see: Caldelli, Copisti a Roma, 187. (BAV, Vat. Lat. 1868, dated colophon: October 21, 1468.) The text of the colophon in the Basel manuscript was published by Monfasani, George of Trebizond, 346 (Appendix 4.)

70 See note 18.

71 Castan, Catalogue Général, 524.

72 On the scribes, see De la Mare, “New research,” 519, cat. 53/1; 528–29, cat. 60; 488, cat. 7.

73 Hermann, Die Handschriften, cat. 21; Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 40, cat. 38; Dániel Pócs, in A Corvina könyvtár budai műhelye, cat. H5.

74 In the Hungarian literature, the manuscript always appeared under the authorship of “Chalcidius Altividus” or “Chalcidius,” see Fógel, “A Corvina-könyvtár katalógusa,” 63, cat. 39; Berkovits, Illuminated Manuscripts, 120, cat. 30; Csapodi, Corvinian Library, 178–79. cat. 164. As in the Hungarian literature, the author of the De immortalitate animae was passed down as Calcidius, it was only one more step to describe the manuscript as containing a different work, the commentaries on Plato’s Timaeus, which indeed was written by Calcidius, see Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 40, cat. 38. Marsilio Ficino owned and annotated a copy of Calcidius’ translation and commentary, see Hankins, Plato, vol. 2, 474.

75 Florence, BML, Strozzi 72, see Ullman, The Humanism of Coluccio Salutati, 168–69, cat. 52; Ullman and Stadter, The Public Library of Renaissance Florence, 201, Nr. 673; Lucentini, Liber Alcidi, xx, cat. 1; Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Platone, 5–7, cat. 5; Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Ermete Trismegisto, 83–85, cat. 19; Sebastiano Gentile in Coluccio Salutati, 279–80, cat. 82. On the date and site of the creation of the text (Sicily, second half of the thirteenth century) and its sources, see the introduction by Paolo Lucentini to the critical edition: Lucentini, Liber Alcidi, especially lxxxix–cix, cf. Garin, “Una fonte ermetica.”

76 BAV, Urb. lat. 1188: produced for Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino, after 1474, see Lucentini, Liber Alcidi, xxxi–xxxiii, cat. 3. Florence, BML Plut. 84. 24.: produced for Piero di Lorenzo de’ Medici around 1490 and illuminated by Attavante. The codex contains both the commentaries on Plato’s Timaeus by Calcidius and the De immortalitate animae, see Lucentini, Liber Alcidi, xxv–xxx, cat. 2; Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Platone, 7–8, cat. 6. Pesaro, Biblioteca Oliveriana, Cod. 606.: the text of the manuscript is a late fifteenth-century copy from the Medici codex, see Lucentini, Liber Alcidi, xxxiii–xxxv, cat. 4.

77 Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, 709, fol. 128r–131v, see Sebastiano Gentile in Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Platone, 15–17, cat. 13; Lucentini, Liber Alcidi, xxxix–xli; Sebastiano Gentile, in Marsilio Ficino e il ritorno di Ermete Trismegisto, 95–98, cat. 25. Ficino quoted a passage from the Liber Alcidi in his short treatise De virtutibus moralibus written in 1457. The autograph copy in the Riccardiana manuscript is dated to the middle of the 1450s.

78 Bartoniek, “A Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum”; Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 42, cat. 50; Ferenc Földesi in Star in the Raven’s Shadow, 163, cat. 30; Dániel Pócs in Mattia Corvino, 108–9, cat. 23; Zsupán, “Bessarion,” 115–17; Dániel Pócs, in A Corvina könyvtár budai műhelye, cat. H6. On the philological and codicological problems of the manuscript, see most recently Ekler, “Findings” and Ekler, “Further Data.”

79 Caldelli, Copisti a Roma, 127. cat. 3.

80 See note 16.

81 Csapodi, Corvinian Library, 112–13, cat. 3. Previously considered (wrongly) as once belonging to the Corvina Library. On the codex, see most recently Ada Labriola in Beyond Words, 257–58, cat. 211.

82 History of Bookbinding, 87, cat. 195.

83 On the scribe, see De la Mare, “New research,” 505, cat. 32/20.

84 To my knowledge, the manuscript was first mentioned in a short, anonymous article about the most important manuscripts of the Apponyi Library, which were still in Vienna at that time: “Nebst mehreren Prachtausgaben und einigen Manuscripten z. B. den Taktiker Aelianus und Onosander, den Ptolomäus, alle 3 in lateinischer Übersetzung auf Pergament, mit Figuren, …,” see “Die Bibliothek des Herrn Grafen von Apponyi,” 1. For later mentions of the manuscript, see Zsihovics, “Apponyi-könyvtár,” col. 580–81; Deák, “A Magyar Történelmi Társulat,” 708.

85 On the 1876 exhibition: Henszlmann and Bubics, A magyarországi árvíkárosultak, 48: “Magyarországra vonatkozó kitünő könyvek, Gr. Apponyi Sándor t.” [Excellent books related to Hungary, property of Count Sándor Apponyi]. (In fact, there were items from both Apponyi libraries.) The manuscript does not figure as a separate item in the descriptive catalogue of the exhibition, but it is mentioned in an expert bibliophile report, see Emich, “Írott és nyomtatott könyvek,” 271. On the 1882 exhibition in the Palace of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, see Könyvkiállítási emlék, 169–70, cat. 5. Jenő Ábel, who gave an account of this exhibition, also mentioned this manuscript, which at the time was in the possession of Rudolf Apponyi, see Ábel, “Die Landes-Bücherausstellung,” 667, unnumbered note.

86 Catalogue of the Choice Portion, 2, cat. 9. “From the Library of King Matthias Corvini.” (sic!)

87 Hoffmann, Review of La Bibliothèque, 139. “Once there was a manuscript with the same coat of arms in the Apponyi Library.”

88 “Magyar könyvtár külföldön,” 5–6.

89 New York, New York Public Library, Ms. MA 97. The lavishly illuminated, in folio parchment manuscript had already belonged to the Nurenberg library of Hieronymus Wilhelm Ebner von Eschenbach (1673–1752) in 1737, when Gottfried Christoph Raidel published a detailed description of the codex and an endraved illustration representing the bas-de-page of the manuscript’s illuminated title page, see Raidel, Commentatio, 26–33. For the auction of the Ebner library, see Ranner, Catalogus, 44. cat. 381.

90 Lacaita, Catalogue, 329. On the flyleaf: “Given me by my friend William Bristow, Esq., anno 1740. Burlington.” I owe my gratitude to James Towe, the librarian of the Chatsworth collection, for providing me with accurate information about the codicological features of the manuscript. Shelf marks of the library’s manuscripts are not public.

91 De la Mare, “New research,” 456, note 276. De la Mare does not mention Fonzio’s emendations in this case, but Paul Oskar Kristeller does, see Kristeller, Iter Italicum, vol. 4, 13.

92 Hajnóczi, “Bonfini Averulinus-fordítása.”

93 Hajnóczi, “Vitruvius De Architectura.”

94 Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 58, cat. 146 and 400–1, plate CLVIII (front cover). The entire manuscript is now available online: http://digi.vatlib.it/view/MSS_Barb. lat.168

95 Ruysschaert, “De la bibliothèque.”

96 Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 48, cat. 83.

97 De la Mare, “New research,” 537, cat. 68/11.

98 Mikó, “Imago historiae,” 37–39.

99 Fava and Salmi, I manoscritti, 71, cat. 137bis; for a detailed description, see Paola Di Pietro Lombardi in Censimento dei manoscritti delle biblioteche italiane: https://manus.iccu.sbn.it/opac_SchedaScheda.php?ID=166331. (Last updated: May 19, 2010, last retrieved: September 26, 2019.)

100 De la Mare, “New research,” 537, cat. 68/16.

101 Fava and Salmi, I manoscritti, 70–71, cat. 137 and plate XXVI, fig. 2; for a detailed description, see Paola Di Pietro Lombardi in Censimento dei manoscritti delle biblioteche italiane: https://manus.iccu.sbn.it/opac_SchedaScheda.php?ID=166333. (Last updated: May 19, 2010, last retrieved: September 26, 2019.)

102 De la Mare, “New research,” 533, cat. 63/4.

103 Hoffmann, Review of La Biblioteca, 177. Edith Hoffmann’s observation was left unnoticed by later scholars of the subject, though she made an important remark regarding the possible provenance of the manuscript. She suggested that this codex might have been purchased by Alfonso II d’Este, duke of Ferrara, together with those codices originating from the Corvina Library that are still preserved at the Biblioteca Estense in Modena.

104 Pächt and Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts, 30, cat. 313 and plate XXVIII, fig. 313.

105 De la Mare, “New research,” 488, cat. 7/22.

106 Pächt and Alexander, Illuminated Manuscripts, 86, cat. 852.

107 De la Mare, “New research,” 456, note 276.

108 Lauer, Bibliothèque National, 562–63.

109 De la Mare, “New research,” 456, note 276, and 488, cat. 7.

110 Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 61, cat. 163 and 454–55, plate CLXXXV; Spagnolo, I manoscritti, 220; Claudia Adami in Nel segno del corvo, 201–2, cat. 24, cf. note 24.

111 De la Mare, “New research,” 505, cat. 32/40. On the alleged emendations by Vitéz, see Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Die Bibliothek, 114–15. cat. 60. and fig. 45. To my request, Edina Zsupán thoroughly examined the microfilms of the Livy manuscripts in Verona and Rome.

112 Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 61, cat. 164 and 456–57, plate CLXXXVI; Spagnolo, I manoscritti, 220; Claudia Adami in Nel segno del corvo, 202–4, cat. 25.

113 De la Mare, “New research,” 505, cat. 32/41; Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Die Bibliothek des Johannes Vitéz, 115, cat. 61 and fig. 46.

114 On the attribution, see Beltrami, “Manoscritti corviniani,” 266; Claudia Adami in Nel segno del corvo, 203, cat. 25, cf. note 23.

115 Nagylucsei’s coat of arms was first identified by Pál Gulyás, see Gulyás, “Nagylucsei Orbán” and note 41 above, cf. Hoffmann, “Nagylucsei Orbán könyvtárának maradványai,” 167–68; Hoffmann, Régi magyar bibliofilek, 130; Hermann, Die Handschriften, 31–33, cat. 25; Unterkircher, Die datierten Handschriften, 18; Mikó, “Nagylucsei Orbán Psalteriuma,” 134.

116 On the scribe, see De la Mare, “New research,” 528, cat. 48/29.

117 Hermann, Die Handschriften, 57–58, cat. 52; Brigitte Mersich in Gamillscheg, Mersich, and Mazal, Matthias Corvinus, 63–64, cat. 24 and fig. 10; Milena Ricci in Nel segno del corvo, 291, cat. 58.

118 De la Mare, “New research,” 496, cat. 23/5.

119 Hermann, Die Handschriften, 27–28, cat. 20; Hankins, Plato, vol. 2, 735, cat. 379; Csapodi and Csapodi-Gárdonyi, Bibliotheca Corviniana, 60, cat. 192; Ernst Gamillscheg in Gamillscheg, Mersich, and Mazal, Matthias Corvinus, 75. cat. 35 and fig. 8.

120 De la Mare, “New research,” 552, cat. 103/13.

121 Berti, “Editoria e originali,” 109–12. Berti is wrong when he attributes the enlargement of the group of manuscripts containing the crown-and-lily coat of arms with eight more codices to Gabriele Mori Beltrami (Berti, “Editoria e originali,” 109, note 39). Albinia de la Mare had already determined that the eight codices belong to this group, but unfortunately, this was not indicated by Beltrami in her study, see De la Mare, “New research,” passim. The identification of the collator (who might have been Bartolomeo Fonzio) needs further research.

122 Hassall, “A Notable Private Collection,” fig. IV and V.; The Wormsley Library, 290–91, cat.

123 De la Mare, “New research,” 542, cat. 75/7.

124 De la Mare, “New research,” 553, cat. 103/14 and 488, cat. 7; Catalogue 144, cat. 96; Kristeller, Iter Italicum, vol. 5, 285. Contrary to most of Marston’s manuscripts, it did not end up in the collection of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, but, together with other manuscripts, he sold it in 1962 to Laurence Witten. The latter auctioned off a part of these manuscripts on December 10, 1962 at Sotheby’s, but this volume was not among the lots, see Shailor, Catalogue, XIX and XXI.

125 De la Mare, “New research,” 553, cat. 103/14; 488, cat. 7.


Figure 1. Liber Alcidi (Altividi) De immortalitate animae.
Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 418, fol. 1r


Figure 2. Basilius Bessarion: De ea parte Evangelii ubi scribitur “Si eum volo manere, quid ad te?”; Epistola ad graecos; De sacramento Eucharistiae.
Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 438, fol. 3r


Figure 3. Plato: Opera
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2384, fol. 1r



Figure 4. Horace, Juvenal and Persius: Carmina. London, The British Library, Lansdowne Ms. 836, fol. 3r


Figure 5. Plato: Opera
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2384, fol. 1r, detail: bas-de-page


Figure 6. Titus Livius: De secundo bello punico (Ab Urbe condita, Decas III).

Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, Cod. CXXXVI, fols. 2v–3r. © Biblioteca Capitolare, Verona


Figure 7. Titus Livius: De bello macedonico (Ab Urbe condita, Decas IV).

Verona, Biblioteca Capitolare, Cod. CXXXVII, fols. 2v–3r. © Biblioteca Capitolare, Verona

Figure 8. Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius: Carmina

Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 224, fol. 1r



Figure 10. Florentine blind tooled leather bindings. Budapest, National Széchényi Library, Cod. Lat. 418


Figure 11. Herodotus: Historiarum libri IX

The Wormsley Library (formerly: Holkham Hall, Ms. 440)

Figure 12. Aristotle: Opera. Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Class. 289, fol. 1r

© Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford


Figure 13. Aristotle: Metaphysica

Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Class. 292, fol. 1r. © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford (Photo: Eszter Nagy)

Figure 15. Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagita: Opera.

Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Cod. Lat. 386 (=α.H.3.12), fols. 2v–3r

© Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e per il Turismo – Gallerie Estensi, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria


Figure 14. Aelianus Tacticus: De instruendis aciebus; Onosander: De optimo imperatore.

Cambridge (Mass.), Harvard University, Houghton Library, Ms. Richardson 16, fols. 1v–2r

© Houghton Library, Harvard University


Figure 16. L. Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius: Opera.

Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, Cod. Lat. 384 (=α.M.8.18), fols. 2v–3r

© Su concessione del Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e per il Turismo – Gallerie Estensi, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria


Figure 17. M. Junianus Justinus: Historiarum Philippicarum Trogi Pompei epitoma

Besançon, Bibliothèque Municipale, Cod. Lat. 832, fols. 1v-2r


Figure 18. Details of Figs. 17. and 7.


Figure 19. Details of Figs. 6, 15 and 12, 16.


Figure 20. Theophrastus: Historia plantarum

Budapest, ELTE University Library, Cod. Lat. 1, fols. 6v–7r


Figure 21. Marsilio Ficino: Commentarium in Convivium Platonis de amore

Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 2472, fol. 2r

Figure 22. Pseudo-Plinius: De viris illustribus; C. Plinius Secundus: Epistolarum libri

Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 48, fol. 1r


Figure 23. Pseudo-Plinius: De viris illustribus; C. Plinius Secundus: Epistolarum libri
Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Cod. 48, fol. 1r, detail: bas-de-page


Figure 24. Charter with six pendent seals (The peace treaty of Szepesófalu [Spišská Stará Ves, Slovakia], February 21, 1474).

Warsaw, Archiwum Główne Akt Dawnych, Zbiór dokumentów pergaminowych, 5582