Livy, Ab urbe condita libri XXXI-XL

  • A. 1456-1457; parchment; mm 380 × 215; ff. 194
  • Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale, lat. 8954

This precious Livy’s codex, ordered by Guarnerio and by the latter left to the community of San Daniele del Friuli, was ultimately brought to Paris by Napoleons’ army, as well.

The manuscript Par. lat. 8954 containing Livy’s fourth decade (that is books XXXI-XL that narrate the second Macedonian war events against Philip V and the war against Antiochus of Syria, over a chronological length from 201 to 179 b. C.) is the sequel of ms. Par. lat. 9679 (containing the first decade, that is books I-X, written in littera antiqua script by a non-identified copyist) and ms. Par. lat. 8953 (containing the third decade, that is books XXI-XXX, fully written by Battista da Cingoli). The ms. Par. lat. 8954 is the only Guarnerio’s codex that alternates Niccolò de Collibus’ and Battista da Cingoli’s hands; in 1797 it was brought to Paris by Napoleons’ army, where it got into the Latin fund of the ‘Bibliothèque Nationale’ together with Guarnerio’s manuscripts containing the 1st and 3rd decades. On f. 2r the gilded initial M with interlaced white-vine-stem decoration is embedded in a large-sized rectangular frame. On the right border there is drawn a winged putto and in the bottom other two putti placed aside the round frame embedding Guarnerio’s coat of arms, a white castle on the top of a hill; other gilded initials are on ff. 20r, 36v, 59r, 79v, 124v, 153v, 178r.

f. 2r, incipit of the 1st book, initial with white-vine-stems (‘bianchi girari’) that are carried on in the richly decorated page border. In the middle of the bottom frieze Guarnerio’s coat of arms

f. 2r, incipit of the 1st book, initial with white-vine-stems (‘bianchi girari’) that are carried on in the richly decorated page border. In the middle of the bottom frieze Guarnerio’s coat of arms

f. 20r, white-vine-stem ornamented initial

f. 20r, white-vine-stem ornamented initial

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