Lactantius, De opificio Dei. Jerome, Opuscula.

  • A. 1439 (Firenze); parchment; mm 195 × 115; ff. II, 99, II’
  • Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 2968

A codex with texts of the Church Fathers copied during the Council of Florence by the canon Giacomo of Udine, familiar to Ludovico Trevisan and Guarnerio’s friend.

The codex contains a significant selection of Lactantius’ and Jerome’s works, two Church Fathers who were very much read in the humanistic milieu. The elegant workmanship of the manuscript shows initials with white-vine stem decorations (the so-called ‘bianchi girari’). Noticeable are some textual pericopes in Greek and various postils added by the copyist who signed his subscription, on f. 32r, in Florence, on 6th July 1439, that is to say on the day when the Council of Ferrara-Florence ratified the union of the Eastern and Western Churches; the copyist «Jacob» (f. 61r) is to be identified with the canon Giacomo di Giacomo da Udine. An illustrious member of the fifteenth-century Friulian culture and friend of eminent politicians and men of letters of his epoch – among whom Francesco Barbaro and Guarnerio d’Artegna –, since his childhood Giacomo had been at service to the cardinal Ludovico Trevisan. In 1439, when the manuscript was drawn out, Guarnerio was in Florence, too. The codex, mentioned by Giacomo in his testament, was left in legacy to the library of St. Francis’ Convent of Udine together with other four volumes, among which, very likely, also the Oxford Cicero (Bodleian Library, Bywater Add. 1); in the eighteenth century it was purchased by the great bibliophile Jean-Baptiste Colbert; in 1732 it entered the Library of the Crown of France and hence, ultimately, it got into the Latin fund of the ‘Bibliothèque Nationale’ of Paris.

ff. 1v-2r, heading and first page of Lactantius’ De ira Dei, with richly decorated in white-vine-stem initial A

ff. 1v-2r, heading and first page of Lactantius’ De ira Dei, with richly decorated in white-vine-stem initial A

f. 61r, Giacomo da Udine’s subscription

f. 61r, Giacomo da Udine’s subscription

f. 29v, Greek pericopes of the text with Latin translations on the margin

f. 29v, Greek pericopes of the text with Latin translations on the margin

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