Seneca, Tragoediae

  • S. XIV ex.; parchment; mm 355 × 245; ff. 239
  • San Daniele del Friuli, ‘Biblioteca Civica Guarneriana’, 75

A complex collection, coherent with the culture of its illustrious owner, Antonio Pancera, patriarch of Aquileia.

The codex was written in a littera textualis script by two copyists. There is a large number of inhabited initials with foliage ending in gilded clasps. The ornamentation is completed by paragraph marks, rubrics and names of the characters in red; the two miniatures on f. 3r have been removed, while friezes are left. This is among the books which belonged to cardinal Pancera’s heirs and, through them, Guarnerio d’Artegna came by manuscript. It is a collection of tragedies and dialogues by the philosopher Seneca the Younger, excerpta from the Controversiae et Suasoriae by Seneca the Elder, the rhetorician who was not distinguished from his son (the philosopher) in the Middle Ages, and other texts that are in more or less evident connection with the philosopher Seneca. Quite remarkable is the presence of excerpts drawn from the commentary to Seneca the dramatist by Nicola Trevet, the English Dominican lived among the thirteenth and fourteenth century. The Guarn. ms. 75 is therefore a complex collection, coherent with what is relatively known about the culture of its illustrious owner, Antonio Pancera: he had a predilection for moralizing literature and also in his epistles, the collection of which was published by Ernesto Degani in 1898, he made abundant use of the maxims he could draw from paremiography collections, as the ones included in this codex.

f. 3r, foliage friezes, decorated initials have been removed.

f. 3r, foliage friezes, decorated initials have been removed.

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