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Creating canons in fifteenth-century Ferrara: Angelo Decembrio's De politia litteraria, 1.10*.

The formation of literary canons and their materialization in libraries constitute an intriguing aspect of learned culture in fifteenth-century Italy. The development of semipublic libraries was one of the enduring achievements of fifteenth-century Italian culture which, along with the rise of printing, transformed the European intellectual landscape permanently. Libraries themselves were of varying types in the later Middle Ages and Renaissance, and their establishment, contents, lending rules, and appearance were matters of lively contemporary concern. To investigate canons and libraries is to begin to understand the social environments in which Renaissance intellectuals operated, to feel along with those thinkers the texture of books as artifacts and repositories of intellectual material, and to document one of the most transformative sets of events in the cultural history of Renaissance Europe. (1)

The purpose of this article is to explore these phenomena in general and specifically to offer a bit of documentation on a topic which has received some, though not extensive, attention from scholars: the thoughts of the Ferrarese humanist Angelo Decembrio (1415-67?) as reflected in his De politia litteraria--On Literary Polish, a lengthy, seven-book work set in the court of Leonello d'Este (1407-50, r. 1441-50). (2) The treatise's main concern is the question of how one might achieve and successfully maintain this mysterious, attractive, and civilizing element of "literary polish" in a courtly environment. I shall return to the treatise's content below, but for the purpose of introducing the topic under discussion, the first of the seven books comes into relief. There, in an arresting if sometimes confusing section on the way to constitute a library, the interlocutor Leonello presents and tries to solve a problem that was becoming increasingly important in the evolution of the Renaissance culture of reading and writing: what to exclude. The tenth part of De politia litteraria, book 1, is in fact devoted to what the prince repeatedly terms "adumbrationes"--retenses--that have a way of inserting themselves into the manuscripts, allowing false works to be attributed to great authors. This section of the treatise can thus take a small part in the larger story of the Renaissance practice of reading, a practice inevitably linked to libraries and the way contemporaries formed canons.

As to literary canons, the most famous fifteenth-century episode concerns Cosimo de' Medici's request to Tommaso Parentucelli, the future Pope Nicholas V, to draw up a list of works necessary to a library of culture and permanence. (3) Cosimo, on paying off the debt that the tastemaker and antiquarian Niccolo Niccoli had accumulated in collecting his own impressive library, used Niccoli's books after his death to form the basis of the library at the Dominican convent of San Marco in Florence, beautifully designed by Michelozzo and reflective of a new conceptual organization in the library's physical structure. (4) The library at San Marco was the first institution of its kind in Renaissance Europe, a new sort of place where qualified scholars (with the right patronage connections) were welcome to use the library. But the ideal of San Marco, to which we shall return, had a background and is best understood against a wider matrix of intellectual change.

The dream of a "public" library in the Renaissance went back to Petrarch (1304-74), who had wanted to offer his own book collection to the republic of Venice, as a "bibliotheca quaedam publica," a "kind of public library." (5) Anyone who has read Petrarch's Treatise on his Own Ignorance and That of Many Others will remember how offended he became when some young Venetians insulted him. (6) Puffed up with pride by their scholastic, logic-chopping propensity to think only with an Averroistically distorted Aristotle (this is of course Petrarch's version), they laughed at him when he apparently said something "un-Aristotelian" about virtue. In the Treatise, as is well known, Petrarch, fueled by indignation, wrote what amounted to an early Renaissance manifesto of the goals of proper learning, which in his view and that of many later humanists should concern itself with matters relevant to everyday concerns along with true religion rather than the abstractions which, in his exaggerated view, university-centered scholastic culture represented. (7) Perhaps because of the perceived insult at the center of Petrarch's great work, he decided in the end not to leave his library to Venice. Instead it went to his final patrons, the lords of Padua, the Carrara, and Petrarch's library unsurprisingly suffered dispersion as a collection thereafter. (8)

If in Petrarch's own day the heart of the humanist movement was wherever he himself happened to be, by the next intellectual generation the movement found a home in the city of Florence. (9) There, its epicenter was the city's first great humanist chancellor Coluccio Salutati. He too thought intensively about texts, about how they should look, and how--and by whom--they should be consulted. (10) Like Petrarch, he called for places in which books could be used in a more socially diffused way than had been the norm. In his treatise On Fate, he wrote that there should "be founded public libraries into which a copy of all books would be collected; let the most learned men be placed in charge of the libraries, who would revise the books with most diligent collation, and who would know how to remove all discord of their [textual] differences with the judgment of correct definition." (11)

These unrealized desires on the parts of Petrarch and Salutati set the stage for action in the following decades. From approximately the 1420s to the 1460s throughout Italy, a change in taste was underway, a psychological and rhetorical shift in which we see a consistent desire on the part of various elites to create what seemed to them to be public libraries. Those with the means to bring it about--leading citizens, princes of states, and princes of the Church--used remarkably similar language, stressing that great collections of books should be kept together and that this sort of maintenance was for the common good.

To return to Niccolo Niccoli, in his 1430 will he left to Santa Maria degli Angeli, the seat of the Camaldolese order in Florence, all of his books, "both sacred and profane, both Greek and Latin, and 'barbarian' [i.e., in other languages] which from his youth he had gathered from everywhere with great enterprise, diligence, and energy shunning no toil and sparing no expense." He provided, however, that they were to be left "both for the monks there in the service of God, and for the use of all scholarly citizens." (12) He also left a substantial sum, 300 florins, so that a suitable space might be provided for them, and he added that a kind of perpetual trust commission of twelve men should be set up to supervise the enterprise. In a subsequent will of 1437, which superseded the first, Niccoli, oppressed by personal debt, changed his conditions slightly: he put the books in the hands of the commission, expanded to include four more leading citizens, and it was from this point on that Cosimo became the motive force behind the library. (13)

Also in Tuscany, as Luciano Gargan has pointed out, Sozomeno da Pistoia (1387-1458) in his will of 1423 desired to leave all his books to the opera, or building commission, of the church of San Iacopo, with the provision that they be kept "in a certain place that is common, one well-adapted to allow all who wish to study the books to be able to study them." (14) The inheritors of the books cannot give them away, "since he wants the books in perpetuity to remain in common use of those who wish to study them.... They should also be bound and ordered together in that same such place." (15) Much later, since he lived on to 1458, his books passed to the Opera of San Iacopo, and from there to the Commune, where they found a home in the elegant Palazzo dei Priori, something also noticed by the contemporary biographer and bookman par excellence, Vespasiano da Bisticci. (16) There was also Mattia Lupi da San Gimignano (a friend, colleague, and, early in his career, client of Leonardo Bruni), who in 1449 wanted to leave his books to San Gimignano in a library "that is common, for those who wish to go to read." (17) The great Florentine humanist Giannozzo Manetti (1396-1459) desired to bequeath his books to Santo Spirito; but, his contemporary biographers tell us, he did not live long enough to put his plan into practice. (18)

In a will drawn up in 1434 we see one of humanism's great patrons, Cardinal Giordano Orsini, stating that he wished to connect a church to which he had close connections, San Biagio, to the Basilica of St. Peter. (19) This union was to occur, he suggested, so that divine worship in both churches might increase and, importantly, so that the "number of learned and knowledgeable men increase both in the said church of St. Peter and in the City of Rome." (20) To accomplish this end, he desired to leave his substantial library--he possessed over 300 volumes--to St. Peter's under the condition that the books be kept in the houses situated within the cloister of San Biagio where, within that complex, it should seem best to his executors. (21) He then indicated his wish that there should be created there a "library with glass windows and iron bars, and enough benches and tables for sitting down and for placing the books," as well as the chains that are necessary to hold them, just as is usually done in other libraries. (22) He suggests that there should be two beneficed custodians to keep watch over the books night and day, "as happens in the libraries situated in the mendicants' places in Florence and Bologna--better if possible." They should not just be bookmen; instead, they should be "priests of good reputation and honest conversation who should also care for the souls of the parishioners of San Biagio." (23) In his will he goes on to list his books. (24)

Orsini saw the library as a sacred space, one that was to exist for the perpetuation of knowledge and the benefit of the souls of the surrounding parishioners. His wish did not ultimately come to fruition, though many of his books survived and have been identified. (25) We can bring three factors into relief that relate to Orsini specifically and, more generally, to the intellectual moment he inhabited. First, he made concrete plans to create a library; second, he conceived of it as a community space; and third, he made explicit mention of the libraries of the mendicants. That the cardinal's plans went unrealized in the end is inconsequential: no one can control what happens after he dies. The second and third factors are of much greater importance, for, taken together, they represent a complex texture of ideological elements that have a long history and would first be achieved in practice in San Marco.

After the foundation in the early thirteenth century of the mendicant orders, the libraries which they went on to create represented something truly new and different in the west. Since the early medieval days of the foundling monastic orders, the library and the scriptorium had been linked. For the most part, the library was a storage space. Reading was done elsewhere--privately, in the cell of the monk; publicly, in the refectory at mealtime; or in a pedagogical context, at the schools so often linked to the monasteries. And, in general, the books which the monks needed, they copied themselves. All of this was to change. As Armando Petrucci has put it, describing this transition, even as early as the twelfth century we find ourselves in an environment where a scholar read in order to write: "he read to compose a text of his own that was largely made up of the citations of others; he read by writing, because he continuously annotated books in the margins." (26)

The thirteenth-century rise of the mendicant orders also signaled a splitting apart of the scriptorium and the library. Individual houses no longer could copy all the books they themselves required, and there was a generalized rise in the lay production of books and documents of all sorts, fueled by the rise of universities, a nascent lay book-buying public, and the overall high medieval turn "from memory to written record," to use M.T. Clanchy's felicitous phrase. (27) This increase in book production, along with the augmented quantity of available information, meant a change in the library's physical space, which became more differentiated. Importantly, the mendicant model meant that the library was the place where books were not only stored but also consulted. It was no longer a repository for the documentary appurtenances of the house nor was it necessarily the place where texts were copied. Books of primary importance were chained to desks, reading spaces were differentiated, and the library was arranged in two rows, a disposition whose obviously sacral, church-like connection has been noticed. (28) The mendicant model was especially important because it was long-lived; in the same way that a high medieval version of Caroline minuscule script served as a model for Poggio Bracciolini's humanist round hand, so too did the medieval mendicant library become the tastemaker for the theorists of Italian Renaissance libraries. (29)

Cardinal Orsini, as we have seen, specified the Florentine mendicant libraries as a model, and the interaction of Cosimo with San Marco was indicative of the way new taste mixed with old. As Ullman and Stadter point out, the Fiesole Dominicans who were given San Marco in the 1430s (after the expulsion of the corrupt Sylvestrines) had to start their collection ex novo, having few or no books of their own. (30) Niccoli's books, the collection's base, had a higher proportion than usual in mendicant libraries of non-Christian works, but not exaggeratedly so. The space that Michelozzo designed was beautiful--harmonious, functional, and comparable in fashionable elegance with other early Renaissance architecture, like Brunelleschi's Hospital of the Innocents. (31) Yet there were to be chains on the books--a provision that was part of Cosimo's responsibility, according to the trustees' 1441 decision. (32) And as to the disposition of the books--in armaria, set together in rows, with the principal collection in a defined center--this style of arrangement came directly from the respected medieval tradition. The culture of the book, written culture, is inherently conservative, changing slowly and even in moments of change recalling older traditions. (33)

The guidelines, mentioned above, which Tommaso Parentucelli gave to Cosimo, were integral in the formation of the library of Badia Fiorentina and became the basis as well for the Urbino library--the great monument of court culture created by Federigo da Montefeltro, praised by Vespasiano da Bisticci in his Lives as an institution the likes of which had not been seen for a thousand years. (34) Parentucelli's canon, drawn up in 1440, also represents, so far as we know, the first time in the Renaissance that the five subjects of the studia humanitatis--the humanities, i.e., grammar, rhetoric, poetry, history, and moral philosophy--were mentioned together. (35) Not that Parentucelli excluded other subjects by any means, for he mentions the other traditional liberal arts, as well as theology. "But," he writes about the books related to the studia humanitatis, "if I were about to found a library, even though I couldn't have everything, these especially I would not want to lack." (36) By mid-century the studia humanitatis were there to stay and were an essential, though not exclusive, component of elite, "public" libraries. On Parentucelli's election to the papacy as Nicholas V, the idea of the Vatican Library was in place. In a 1451 letter to Enoch of Ascoli, he wrote that "for some time now we have judged and now we give our attention with all enthusiasm to this project: that--for the common convenience of all learned men--we might have a library of all books, both Latin and Greek, a library appropriate to the worth of the Pope and the Apostolic See." (37) It is not surprising that Sixtus IV used similar language in his 1475 Bull (Ad decorem), a document understood as founding the Vatican Library, or that both men's conceptions were within what we can now see was an emerging consensus. (38)

There were other theories regarding libraries, of course, especially those connected with limited groups of readers, such as the project of Cardinal Domenico Capranica (an opponent, as it happens, of Orsini, back in the days of the Council of Basel, though they were later reconciled). Capranica's Collegio Capranica was realized after his death in 1458 by his brother Angelo and stands today in the Piazza Capranica in Rome. (39) In his Constitutiones for the College, Capranica offers interesting suggested rules for the College's library, which was to be furnished with his own ample collection of books. (40) For Capranica, the College's library was not "public" in the same sense as the above-mentioned libraries, which is unsurprising, given that his was intended primarily to serve the needs of the thirty-one students of the planned College (sixteen in theology, fifteen in canon law and arts); in this sense, his library project was in line with other "college" libraries, whose specific, targeted nature was well-established in the medieval university tradition. (41) In his provisions for the College library, he set out strict lending regulations as well as detailed instructions on how the library should appear (like the libraries "of other colleges and monasteries"). (42) Capranica also offered policies for caring for the books and their environment, including sweeping the library once a week, closing the windows and doors, and making sure mice are not allowed to flourish there. (43) On the rare occasions that a guest was allowed in, he was to be constantly accompanied, "lest anything happen there that should not. And he is not to be left alone in the library by any means...." (44) Cardinal Capranica was an experienced man of the world who well knew the sorts of damages that books could suffer when not properly cared for; and since the planned library was intended to be part of his College, it had a much less "public" aspect than other mid-fifteenth-century projects. Yet, despite the fact that the Cardinal's own guidelines specified close control over the library, Baptista Poggio's comment in his fifteenth-century laudatory life of the Cardinal is revealing. When he narrates the manner in which Capranica willed that his house should become a school, Baptista Poggio tells us that the Cardinal "... ordered that in it there also be a library for the common use of learned men ..." (45) In other words, by the second half of the fifteenth century, it was expected that a founder of a library would leave it behind "for the common use of the learned"; so expected, in fact, that Baptista Poggio simply assumed that this had been the Cardinal's intention, even though it was not.

It is worthwhile to set the conception of the "public" library against the larger context of Renaissance patronage. (46) The notion of leaving something behind for others had a long and important pedigree in the civic culture of late medieval and Renaissance Italy. The founders of libraries repeatedly referred to leaving something behind for the common good; they wanted to be remembered as having done so. And, in fifteenth-century Italy, with the increasing importance of court life, the traditional medieval aristocratic library began to imitate the civic conception, and the possessors, creators, and transmitters of the cultural patrimony shifted toward consolidation, even moving toward the notion of a "state library," anachronistic as that term at first sounds. (47) The customary court library of the late medieval Italian signore was not located, usually, in a monumental place specifically designed for reading. The books were often kept in chests--courts traveled--and unsurprisingly included many vernacular works. (48) Yet by mid-century, as we can see in the case of Leonello d'Este's Ferrara, the civic culture of the book as represented in "public" libraries--whether ideal or realized--began to be important at court. We can now turn to De politia litteraria, to see how these concerns are manifested in a specific example.

To contemporaries, politics and culture appeared vibrant and interlinked in Ferrara in the 1440s, and Prince Leonello seemed to be the one behind this nexus. (49) His father, Niccolo III d'Este, died in 1441 after over four decades of respected rule. (50) During his tenure, Ferrara had become a power broker between the more important rival cities of Venice and Milan, taken the cultural-religious spotlight in 1438 by hosting the important Council of Union between the Roman and Greek churches (before it was moved to Florence on account of an outbreak of plague and the diminution of papal finances), and solidified both bureaucratic and landholding traditions in line with other Italian courts. (51) Along the way, Niccolo had set the stage for Ferrara to become an admired center of culture in the 1440s, after the young Prince Leonello became head of state in 1441. Niccolo had lured the great Sicilian humanist Giovanni Aurispa to Ferrara as a tutor for his son Meliaduse d'Este. Soon thereafter, in 1429, he induced Guarino da Verona to come to Ferrara as tutor to the then twenty-two year old Leonello, "so that," a contemporary chronicler tells us, "through the studia humanitatis he might thoroughly polish and ornament Leonello's spirit." (52) Guarino's name became associated with Ferrarese culture, and a circle gathered around him, as in the case of other powerful Renaissance intellectuals close to official patronage, like Coluccio Salutati and Marsilio Ficino.

Leonello--whose short life and reign ended in 1450--was a product and promoter of this culture; from his friendship with Leon Battista Alberti to his letter exchanges with Guarino, he was a prince uncommonly interested in the humanities. If his father had served a similar function in Ferrara to that of Cosimo de' Medici in Florence--as a builder of close links with the Church, host of an important Church Council, broker of balance-of-power style peace, and patron of humanism--Leonello was closer to Lorenzo the Magnificent, clearly taking a more hands-on interest in the humanities and, as Lorenzo later would in 1473, assuming an active role in putting the university of his state on firm footing. (53) The many differences between the two states and their respective rulers--in time, in style, in the outward form of government--should not obscure the parallels, for they show, among other things, that an undercurrent of fifteenth-century elite interest in humanism was cultural consolidation. Taste-making and state-building went hand in hand.

Decembrio had come to Ferrara from Milan in 1430, enjoying at the time the care and patronage of his older brother Pier Candido, who from 1419 was in the service of Duke Filippo Maria Visconti of Milan. Both of them matured in the shadow of their father Uberto Decembrio--the first Renaissance translator of Plato's Republic--and both were suited by education and temperament to the burgeoning cultural environment in Este Ferrara. (54) Pier Candido outstripped his brother in fame, working in Milan, at the papal court, in Naples, as well as Ferrara; but early on, a bitter break occurred between the two in 1441, possibly over a dispute concerning family property. (55) As to Angelo, his participation at Leonello's court circle was one of his most noteworthy accomplishments. After Leonello's death, Angelo sought patronage elsewhere, cultivating the house of Aragon, spending time in Naples, living in Spain in 1450 and then from 1458-65, and collecting a number of books. (56) On his trip back to Ferrara, he was robbed, losing many belongings to bandits working for Jean V d'Armagnac. He describes the loss in a petition to Borso d'Este, Leonello's brother and another beloved Este ruler, whose patronage of the humanities was formidable, though less activist than Leonello's. (57) He writes bitterly about losing his book collection, including works of his own that he had written but which were not yet "published," and even about the loss of his clothes, since dressing well "is not to be shunned by an erudite man, lest he be looked down on." (58) He lost works of Ovid, Horace, Herodotus and Thucydides in Lorenzo Valla's translation, Pliny's Letters and the elder Pliny's De medicinis, Homer's Iliad (in a translation by Valla), a copy of Valla's Annotations on the New Testament, Plautus, Lucan, Justinus and Pliny, Martial, grammatical works, commentaries, two Greek to Latin dictionaries, Servius, Josephus, Aulus Gellius, Cicero, Demosthenes. He also was robbed of works of his own, including selected letters, orations, epigrams, a book he wrote on "all religions and ceremonies, not yet published," a book on the art of augury, around thirty quinternions of blank paper for writing, pigments, and finally a law book that he was supposed to bring to a Spanish student then studying in Bologna. (59) In 1467 Angelo received an offer from the University of Perugia to occupy the newly created chair of Greek, but, Paolo Viti reports, it is uncertain whether he ever took the position, and after that date he disappears from view. (60) Angelo had intended to dedicate an early version of De politia litteraria (comprising bks. 1, 2, and 5) to Leonello; the Prince's early death robbed him of that opportunity, and he seems, with hindsight, to be one of a number of fifteenth-century humanists seeking intellectual and financial enfranchisement, playing a familiar game of calculated networking. (61) The later version of the dialogue, finished by the early 1460s, was dedicated to Pope Pius II, a distinguished humanist in his own right.

The political tendencies of fifteenth-century Ferrara, the image of Leonello, and the status of Decembrio: together, these elements bring the underlying patterns of a seemingly disparate work into view. The fact that in places Angelo Decembrio's De politia litteraria projects an image of Leonello's reign, memorializes the 1440s, and in a literary sense constitutes the learned circle around the Prince is important from a number of different analytical perspectives often kept separate. From the philological to the social, from the literary to the political, this dialogue--like other Renaissance dialogues--is an archive of documents, voices, and cultural practices letting us view certain aspects of Renaissance life in the round. (62)

Dialogues, even in their subtle play of different, at times discordant voices, can reveal underlying strategies and messages on the part of an author. From this perspective, there is a unifying principle at work in De politia litteraria: "politia"--"polish." In a way, the entire work is an elaboration of this initial idea. Decembrio begins with an in-depth discussion of the term, emphasizing that it has nothing to do with the Greek politeia, or "republic." Rather, it is derived from the verb "polio"--to polish or to make smooth. Citing a number of ancient examples as authorities, he suggests that by this term "we desire that elegance itself and the cultivation of elegance be understood." (63) From the outset, too, it is clear that this "polish" is not only literary; the semi-articulated background is that restraint is important as well, a restraint cultivated in an eloquent society, in a beautiful environment. "Polish," then, can be viewed as the embodiment of a set of socially constitutive public practices aimed at the formation of an elite culture; these practices were guided, at times defined and codified (as here, in De politia litteraria), and they worked side by side with politics. (64)

In addition to alluding to Quintilian, Decembrio says that an important model for the discussions he is about to report is Aulus Gellius, the second-century CE miscellanist, whose Attic Nights would also serve as the model for Angelo Poliziano's Miscellanea. In the same way, Decembrio suggests, that Gellius picked an important teacher of his, Favorinus, as well as his more eminent pupils, Decembrio favors Guarino as the central teacher and Leonello as the most important disputant, along with "those few, but rather eminent men, who were accustomed to engage with them in disputation." (65)

When the interlocutors begin their discussion of the construction of a good library, the most senior humanist present, Guarino da Verona, suggests that "modus"--in this case related by Guarino to "modesty" and restraint--has to be pursued. One has to collect a number of books, but not overdo it; the right books are important. (66) Soon thereafter, Leonello takes center stage and discusses the physical appearance of the library. (67) Again, the mendicant model is important and is explicitly cited by Leonello; the books should be kept on chains, "ut in bibliothecis est monachorum"--"as it is in the libraries of the monks." (68) And as he goes on to discuss the customary appearance of books, Leonello, this Renaissance prince named after a character in a medieval romance, links his thought to a familiar medieval association between books and armaments. "Some," he says, not disapprovingly, "dress their books in purple, silk, pearls, gold, for the beauty of books entices many into reading them, just like the right armaments make for a more spirited soldier." (69) One should also make sure, he has just finished saying, that the right herbs are kept in the library to induce users to study; keep chirping birds and little dogs out of the way, in cages, because they make noise; and you might want to have a picture of Saint Jerome studying in the desert, because that too will make people more studious. (70)

Soon, after addressing the look and location of the library, the interlocutors move on to its proper contents. They spend book 1, part 3 discussing the most important books of all. Cicero in his De officiis is the teacher of virtues, while Sallust is the castigator of vices; but the members of the circle focus on poets primarily. (71) The interlocutors, led by Leonello, emphasize the inherent greatness of Virgil, for "in this poet there is certainly as much grace and copia of speaking given by the gods as there is elegance." (72) They prize Terence for his utility, for although he speaks about common matters, his kind of wisdom is useful in the everyday conduct of affairs. Leonello even keeps with him a little book of sayings drawn from Terence and Plautus, and when he consults it he feels he is reading not just about the characters but about the common affairs of all mortals. (73) Also, although both Terence and Plautus are commendable, Terence is a shade higher for the Prince, because he is "more apt to the practice of imitation, for in everyday matters he uses the common speech." (74) Furthermore, Cicero uses Terence more often in De officiis, and besides this, Plautus is so full of jokes that one is compelled to laugh too often, whereas Terence has just the right sort of humor, moderating in its effect. (75) There are times when courtly reality has a way of breaking through in De politia litteraria, and this is one of them. Here, in contrast to the parallel drawn above, one senses a similarity of taste between Leonello and the contemporary first citizen of the "republic" of Florence, Cosimo, a taste for a useful, classically fashionable, easily imitable, and none-too-complex moral philosophy. (76)

In book 1, part 4, they move on to the "caetera eloquentiae studia," the "other studies pertaining to eloquence," and the members of this little "Socratic circle," in Remigio Sabbadini's terminology, highlight Cicero and Pliny. (77) They argue that it is especially necessary to study both the Rhetorica ad Herennium (here accepted, as it will be later in part 10, as a work of Cicero) and Cicero's orations, for in the former one learns theory, in the latter practice. (78) In part 5 they move on to history, where unsurprisingly Livy, Sallust, and Caesar have pride of place, and equally unsurprisingly medieval historians like Vincent of Beauvais are condemned for their style and excluded from the library--they wrote "stories rather than historically." (79)

In part 6, the speakers consider vernacular works. The interlocutor Feltrino Boiardo begins by asking Leonello what he thought of Feltrino's own vernacular translation of Apuleius's Golden Ass. Did Leonello, he queries, enjoy it much as he might have enjoyed a fable of Plautus? (80) Leonello responds with gravity: "Certainly I think it should be understood in the genre of fable. Apuleius's style was so varied, ill-arranged, and rigid, that, as an author, he had less familiarity with our speech than a Greek." (81) The discussion puts Leonello in mind of other vernacular works, of the sort, he says, that "we comment on with our wives and children on winter nights." (82) This perceived lack of gravity in vernacular works is why the ensuing consideration of them, in which the Prince mentions Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio as well as works written in French and Spanish, is unenthusiastically pursued, laconically framed, and quickly ended. (83) But first, Leonello makes an extremely important point: "Authors of that type, therefore, they call unlearned, because they speak in an unlettered fashion, satisfied only with their regional speech." (84) This point is not so important in the flow of the dialogue, where it is clearly of a piece with Leonello's character, concerned as he is with gravity, propriety, and classicizing taste-making. It is, however, important for us, looking with over five centuries' hindsight at the language question in the Renaissance, as we ask why so many thinkers in the world of fifteenth-century humanism believed so fervently in the transformative power of the Latin language. Leonello's short statement powerfully demonstrates a fact which is frequently obscured: there was no "vernacular" in the fifteenth century. There were, instead, "vernaculars," varying almost incalculably by region, possessing in the minds of many an inherent instability, and as such inappropriate for serious intellectual works. Latin, on the other hand, seemed a more appropriate medium of communication because there was, at least notionally, a standard form of the language that one could reach back to, discover, and flexibly employ in the present, at once recalling Italy's greatest days of ancient glory and pointing the way toward a new role of cultural leadership. (85)

So it is no surprise that, in common with Leonardo Bruni (in his earlier fifteenth-century debate with Biondo Flavio), the Prince makes an argument that even in antiquity there was a high and a low speech, a canonical Latin that needed to be assiduously studied and a common, inevitably variable speech suitable for the day-to-day affairs of the multitude. (86) Why else, he asks, do we notice such disparities in style among ancient writers, and why else are there so many mentions in ancient literature of schools and teachers? (87) Those schools, the Prince suggests, would not have been necessary had everyone grown up speaking a polished Latin. Then as now, one had to read the right authors and practice diligently to be able to express oneself at the highest level. Only Latin was suitable. It was rare in the mid-fifteenth century to find leading thinkers actually defending the vernacular, as did Leon Battista Alberti in a short treatise, who then went so far as to dedicate another vernacular treatise to Leonello d'Este himself! (88) In short, in De politia litteraria, the language question is part of a larger search for intellectual order on the part of European elites, a search embodied in a series of questions: how to create canons, how to create collections of canonical works, and what linguistic form those canonical works should take.

In part 7, moral philosophy comes under discussion, and the interlocutors take the view that natural philosophy cannot be ignored, since the ancients linked it to moral philosophy. Cicero--whose Republic, had it survived, would have surpassed Plato's or at least not been surpassed by it--and Pliny the Elder, for his Natural Histories, are foregrounded. (89) The interlocutors next turn, in part 8, to Greek wisdom, and one chapter is enough to establish the main lines, from poetry (Homer) to history (Plutarch, Herodotus, and Thucycides), and philosophy (Plato, Aristotle, Xenophon, and for information Diogenes Laertius). (90) In this section dealing with Greek material it is clear that translations were eagerly sought after and that translators were seen as cultural mediators worthy of the highest respect. Leonello mentions that Poggio Bracciolini has recently translated Xenophon's Cyropaedia for his brother-in-law Alfonso, king of Naples. Plato's Republic was translated by Angelo's father, Uberto Decembrio, "who, it is said, was the first of the Milanese to have really learned Greek from Chrysoloras, the teacher ... And I hear," Leonello continues, "that in the same way, in the field of history, Herodotus and Thucydides are being translated by Lorenzo [Valla]." (91) Finally, the Prince notes the devastation of Constantinople by the infidels, after which, "once its emperor--a great man--had been slaughtered and the brother of the ruler had come to Rome with his remaining people, it is scarcely believable how many of our own have virtually become Greek ..." (92)

In part 9, Leonello turns the discussion to the writers of "sacred law," and at the end to contemporary writers. (93) In the case of religious works, as above with vernacular literature, little enthusiasm can be mustered, and he confesses that their writings encompass material that is "rather remote from us." (94) Still, Ambrose and Augustine are useful, and Jerome, whose works are divine and Ciceronian, is praiseworthy, as well as Lactantius and Chrysostom (translated by "our Ambrose," i.e., Ambrogio Traversari). (95) Cyprian's letters are mentioned, and the Prince suggests it is pleasing to read the Gospels and Psalms in Latin. Thinking about these works, however, Leonello confesses that "we will be wandering rather far from our library." (96) Then an interlocutor asks Leonello what he makes of "new" or modern authors. His sentiment is clear: "We also like new authors, provided they speak like ancient ones." (97)

By now the interlocutors have set the stage for the emergence of a library: they have discussed the appearance of the place and the basic authors necessary for its founding. But the members of this circle are fifteenth-century humanists and as such are quite attentive to problems of language; they are "politi"--"polished"--and so they cannot be fooled into including spurious works in their library; and they realize that this question of the founding of a library is a serious one, for as we have seen above, by mid-century it was a matter of intense concern. The interlocutors thus turn to an important problem in the formation of canons: how does one judge whether a work is authentic? (98) Here, as we shall see, Leonello puts forward very detailed arguments, thinks creatively about philology and textual transmission, and comes to some interesting and striking conclusions. The intellectual world that Decembrio and his cohort inhabited was rich with textual resonances, so it will be worthwhile to examine what they say in some detail.


Decembrio sets the discussion at the Este Villa Belfiore, and begins part 10 by having Niccolo Strozzi, the elder of the two Strozzi in attendance throughout De politia litteraria, question Leonello as to the reasons why he omitted to mention the "old" Rhetoric--Cicero's De Inventione--when he, Leonello, had previously been addressing rhetoric. (99) Niccolo refers here to a passage in part 4, mentioned above, where Leonello, in discussing how properly to equip a library, had discussed the "studies pertaining to eloquence." In this earlier section he had reviewed works, primarily of Cicero, which pertained to literary eloquence. (100) Now, in part 10, Niccolo questions Leonello further as to why he did not touch upon Victorinus's commentaries on Cicero's De inventione. (101) Part 10 is, in essence, Leonello's response to Niccolo's queries. The answer he gives to the main inquiry is that in his eyes De inventione is inauthentic--a judgment quite incorrect in the eyes of posterity. (102) In arguing for this position, Leonello questions the authenticity of many other works, sets forth some principles of textual criticism, and concludes by subtly criticizing Victorinus for writing commentaries on a work which he should have realized was not genuine. (103)

In the first major section of part 10, Leonello lists nine works to be considered apocryphal. He begins, however, by referring back to his previous discussion in part 4, on eloquence (1.10.2): "When I was speaking about the rhetorical treatise ad Herennium, I seem to have made it stand for all of Cicero's volumes in that genre." Leonello is using the word "genre" (genus) here to designate a category, that is, the category of technical rhetorical manuals. The section of De politia to which he alludes, part 4, was aimed primarily at elucidating Cicero's value as a teacher of eloquence. (104) In it, Leonello offered extensive discussion of Cicero's letters, (105) and his mention of the Rhetorica ad Herennium was brief: "After these Ciceronian letters--or rather at the same time as them--the Rhetorica ad Herennium should be thoroughly learned. And not much after this, the orations should be gone through; in them, as their author states, 'there is greater force of eloquent discourse.' For as we learn theory from the Rhetorical Art [to Herennius], so we learn practice from the orations." (106) Given the brevity of the discussion, one might ask why, in the logic of the text overall, is specific mention made of the ad Herennium in-both the table of contents and the argumentum to part 4? (107) Probably, one supposes, to foreshadow what was to come in part 10: Niccolo Strozzi's question as to the conspicuous absence of the "old" Rhetoric--De inventione--from a discussion of technical rhetorical manuals and Leonello's startling rejoinder that in his view, De inventione is inauthentic. As Leonello says (1.10.2), "I dare in my own right to say something which might surprise you: that work--the 'old' Rhetoric as you call it--is not by Cicero...." The bulk of part 10 is devoted to proving this point.

Before offering more detailed arguments, however, Leonello stigmatizes an ostensibly Ciceronian De re militari (On Military Matters), De Vetula (On the Hag) attributed to Ovid, certain letters assigned to Jerome, some writings credited to the elder Pliny, the correspondence between Seneca and St. Paul, the Disticha Catonis, and a certain fable supposedly of the "Latin Aesop."

As for the pseudo-Ciceronian De re militari, Leonello is correct to identify it as spurious. The work of which he speaks actually dates from the thirteenth century and, according to Sabbadini, was extracted from the authentic De re militari of Vegetius, the famed Roman writer on military matters in the early fifth century CE. (108) Petrarch had heard of and tried in vain to find the spurious extract, but it was Sicco Polenton, who in book 16 of his De illustribus scriptoribus linguae Latinae (On the illustrious writers of the Latin language, completed by 1433), actually questioned its authenticity. (109)

Next, Leonello questions the authenticity of De vetula, ascribed by some to Ovid, and again, he is correct. Of all the apocryphal works discussed in part 10, it is probably De vetula which stands out most, having been composed in the thirteenth century in France and containing at least three hundred words not of classical origin. (110) Authorship was once assigned to Richard de Fournival, Chancellor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Amiens in the mid-thirteenth century, though that is no longer certain. (111) While Roger Bacon, Thomas Bradwardine, and Piero di Dante, among others, believed in the Ovidian authorship of this work, Petrarch was not fooled. (112) Leonello next briefly challenges Juvenal's sixteenth and last satire (1.10.2), which, as we shall see, he discusses in more detail a bit later.

Leonello moves on to the dubious authenticity of "certain letters" attributed to Jerome, though he does not specify which ones, saying only that they are fraudulently attached at the end of Jerome's Letters. He may have in mind epistles 148-50, which are close to the end and are considered by modern editors to be spurious. (113) Migne's Patrologia Latina states that letter 148, ad Celantiam, was suggested to have been spurious as early as the end of the eleventh century by Abbot Guigus. (114) It is also known that Giovanni D'Andrea (ca. 1270-1348), the ardent enthusiast of St. Jerome, used Abbot Guigus as a source in his attempts to separate authentic works of Jerome from spurious ones. So it is likely that Leonello considered what we know as letter 148 to be spurious. (115) Later, Erasmus would exclude this letter from his edition of Jerome's Letters. (116) In sum, 148-50 seem like plausible candidates for the letters to which Leonello refers, and we can highlight, since it will come up again later, Leonello's notion that the fraudulent epistles were attached at the end of Jerome's Letters in a different hand.

Next, Leonello refers to (1.10.2) "certain superstitions of Abraham and the Hebrews which were inserted as remedies," attributed to the elder Pliny. It is possible that he is speaking of the Medicina Plinii, an extract of the authentically Plinian Naturalis Historia, which first appeared around 300-50 CE, and then resurfaced, revised, in the sixth century. (117) Leonello/Decembrio, or perhaps Guarino, may have recognized the late Latin, and on that basis Leonello stigmatizes the work as inauthentic. Moreover, Sabbadini reports that Angelo (as well as his older brother Pier Candido) possessed a copy of the Medicina. (118)

At this point, Leonello, again correctly, suggests that the correspondence between Seneca and St. Paul was spurious. Leonello avers that, although Jerome did testify to the genuineness of this correspondence, this was because he was (1.10.2) "more a good man in this respect than a good judge." (119) Leonello does not go into detail as to why he calls these letters into question, saying only that (1.10.3): "it is easy for the learned to detect the deceits of madmen, and nothing was less believed in by the ancient philosophers (to whose number we assign even Anneus [Seneca] and the scholars of Nero's day) than the Christian religion, whether they preferred to debate [about such matters] either publicly or privately. Suetonius is also a witness of those times, and he says that Nero did nothing more magnificently than massacring those who professed the Christian sect. So in this way the Apostle Paul had insufficient time to have entered into a friendship with Seneca." Leonello is in good Renaissance company, as Lorenzo Valla (in a now lost treatise) and Erasmus also denied the authenticity of the correspondence. (120)

Leonello next moves on to question a standard school text, the Disticha Catonis, composed of various moralistic sentences expressed as one-line (or longer) pieces of prose, and sometimes as hexametric couplets. The work as a whole dates from approximately the third century CE, although it is possible that certain lines may be traced to Cato the Censor himself. (121) The Disticha were used as an aid for learning basic Latin and had been an integral part of the standard curriculum in the schools from at least the twelfth century, so it is appropriate that Leonello speaks of ludi magistri. (122) Here Leonello's judgment is scarcely radical; the Disticha's "authenticity" had been doubted since the tenth century, and among early Renaissance scholars both Giovanni Colonna and Coluccio Salutati had questioned the text. (123)

The final item in this litany of apocrypha is a certain fable by the Latin Aesop "about boys running with a hare." Again, Leonello gives few substantive reasons, and the "Latin Aesop" is an easy target, since by the mid-fifteenth century there were almost innumerable versions of this compilation circulating. He is probably speaking of the collection of fables translated in the Augustan age by the freedman Phaedrus from the Aesopic corpus, which then went through innumerable permutations in the Middle Ages. (124)

After a change of scenery, the discussion resumes under the shade of a giant laurel tree on the grounds of the Villa Belfiore. Leonello now enters into his argument concerning the main object of criticism in part 10, Cicero's De inventione; but before Leonello arrives at this point, he will discuss a number of things. He begins by saying (1.10.5): "Now this error has grown all the more because of a pretense [adumbratio] which was inserted twice, and so it is less likely to be discovered." (125) By "error," Leonello means specifically the error of assuming that De inventione is authentic. His introduction of what will become a key term in the discussion, "adumbratio," is significant; he says that the error has matured "because of a pretense [adumbratio] which was inserted twice." By the end of part 10, Leonello defines two different kinds of adumbrationes or pretenses, both of which he will need (in addition to other more text-specific arguments) in his discussion of De inventione. Leonello next introduces the idea that De inventione is a work distinct in itself and not joined to the end of any other volume, a status he will address again later. This separate nature of De inventione, its independence, makes it a different case from the above-mentioned Juvenalian Satire (i.e., Juvenal 16), the correspondence of Paul and Seneca, and the letters of Jerome. All of these were joined to the end of authentic works and then gradually became part of what we would call the textual tradition. This type of forgery, for Leonello, is the first "pretense"--the "prima adumbratio," which, he goes on to explain, can be observed in three different ways (1.10.5). First, there are instances of obvious stylistic differences apparent even to "the many, who are less learned," and he paraphrases Cicero to make this point. The second proof of the "first pretense" comes when the false ending, not so much by its style as by its content, seems foreign and superfluous. Third, it is useful, he hints, to look at very old manuscripts, for in them, there either are no false additions or, if some have found their way in, they can easily be detected because of the different handwriting. This last proof, he suggests, works in the case of Juvenal: "It is certainly possible to perceive the same signs in codices of Juvenal. They were copied long ago, and in them that final satire was either not written in or was counterfeited in the hand of another." He thus, makes an immediate practical application of the theory he is expounding.

The mention of Juvenal leads Leonello to digress and confront the arguments of an unknown commentator, who had asserted that Juvenal's sixteenth Satire was authentic; and there are two main arguments Leonello seeks to refute. To understand them, it is helpful to sketch some background regarding the manuscript tradition of the Satires and the biography of Juvenal, as Decembrio would have known it. As one Juvenal scholar has observed, the different accounts of Juvenal's life are all "variations and expansions of one and the same biography." (126) These biographies were transmitted through diverse scholia, and the salient factors can be summed up. There was, at the court of an emperor, perhaps Domitian, a mime named Paris, who was a favorite of the court and enjoyed great influence. Juvenal deprecated this low entertainer, this histrio, inserting some sarcastic lines in his seventh Satire ("Quod non dant proceres, dabit histrio ..." (Juvenal, 7.90). Because of this, Juvenal, now an octogenarian, was sent to Egypt. (127) Modern scholarly opinion has concluded that most of the biography transmitted in the manuscript tradition is untrustworthy, and that any substantive evidence for Juvenal's life must be sought from the few mentions he makes of himself in the Satires and from some of Martial's Epigrams. (128) Leonello, however, is operating within the older tradition, as had Guglielmo da Pastrengo and Giovanni Colonna (although neither of the last two questioned the authenticity of the final satire). (129) Satire 16 itself is a sardonic comment on the prerogatives that soldiers unfairly enjoy, and, only sixty lines long, it is much shorter than the rest of Juvenal's Satires.

In his polemic against the unknown commentator on Juvenal, Leonello first gives an account of the commentator's argument. Because of the hatred of the mime Paris, Juvenal was relegated to a faraway post in the military (the commentator has obviously drawn his arguments from the biography of Juvenal as transmitted by the scholiasts). During this military service, Juvenal, despite his unhappiness, encouraged himself and his soldiers out of a sense of duty. Still, he was bitter, and so proceeded to write the final satire in his corpus, which, although it on the surface extols the advantages that accrue to a Roman soldier, is really a biting denunciation of unfairly enjoyed privileges. Having set the argument out, Leonello then proceeds to reject it (in a difficult passage), saying (1.10.6) "as if we didn't know--whoever the false author of that satire might be--that the unarmed, scrawny protector of the same [false argument] had seized any opportunity for himself [to argue his case]." The weakling in question must be the commentator; the "opportunity" Leonello speaks of would then mean the chance for the commentator to draw on Juvenal's biography to support his own weak arguments. After all, the commentator is "weak" and "starving." The confrontational, indeed masculinizing, language is similar to Lorenzo Valla's denunciations of opponents, sometimes even imaginary ones, as in his Annotations to the New Testament; there, he directs vituperation against the "interpres"--the "translator" (not, for Valla, Jerome), who in places had made such a hash of the Latin Vulgate, Generally, Leonello's stance is in line with many fifteenth-century humanists' efforts to make the page a battlefield, and to enact their search for honor and esteem in the republic of letters. (130)

In the same argument concerning Juvenal, Leonello simply dismisses the commentator's strongest argument, that Servius, the great fourth-century commentator on Virgil, had quoted a line from the disputed Satire. (131) The way he does so is indicative of his princely behavior: "Now, I don't remember at all having come across this line in Servius. But if he cited it, just as an example, I think we have to concede it to the commentator's [Servius's] imprudence, and realize that he was not trying to discover whether or not it was authentically by Juvenal but rather was adducing it to make a point in his exposition." Leonello, clearly, is suggesting that Servius used the line solely for illustrative purposes, not as a programmatic statement of Satire 16's authenticity. Still, what does this short passage really mean, in a wider, more socially-oriented context? Did Leonello, in an actual conversation, boldly but wrongly assert that he did not remember Servius quoting the Juvenalian line (as indeed Servius did), and then Decembrio has him correct himself in the dialogue? Why say he doesn't remember this line, then immediately admit that it might be there, adding that, if it is, it was just an illustration? Or was this how you established authority in the Renaissance, even in a philological conversation--by seeming bold, by amazing your fellows, by taking the stage and holding the floor even as your argument got away from you? One cannot help being reminded of Machiavelli, almost three quarters of a century after these conversations took place, suggesting that a prince gains reputation by being a firm friend or a declared enemy, by siding unambiguously with one position. (132) If Leonello is to err, at least he errs boldly.

Leonello next discounts another of the commentator's arguments, that those who deny Satire 16's authenticity do so only to seem the wiser--circular reasoning, for him. And he moves on to employ the first proof of the "first adumbratio," that Satire 16 is simply stylistically deficient, possessing none of Juvenal's customary if biting gravity. That no modern editors exclude Satire 16 (in other words, that Leonello's judgment did not stand up in the eyes of posterity) is of little significance. (133) More important is that he may here be going against the opinion of this humanist circle's leading light, Guarino da Verona. In an interesting passage, we are told that Guarino was absent from the discussion which takes place in part 10, a statement that perhaps indicates that the ideas expressed throughout part 10 were not those of Guarino. (134) Are the opinions in this section those of Leonello? Of Decembrio?

Having dispatched the Juvenal commentator, Leonello moves on to the main focus of part 10: his attempt to prove that De Inventione is spurious. He hopes to show how (1.10.8) "the 'old' Rhetoric, though inauthentic, does not seem to be so by reason of its arrangement." This is a crucial passage for understanding what is and is not being called into question in part 10. It is one of the few times when the "old" Rhetoric--De inventione--is specifically said to be inauthentic or when we know with certainty of which work he is speaking. Because, later in the section, Decembrio often employs only pronouns to refer to De inventione and the Rhetorica ad Herennium, if one misses this statement here, one might mistakenly be persuaded that Leonello is in fact calling into question the ad Herennium (which, indeed, is not Ciceronian), instead of De inventione. This fact is important, both because these two texts were widely used in the rhetorical education of the Renaissance, and because it has sometimes been assumed that Decembrio was the first to make the definitive modern judgment that the Rhetorica ad Herennium was not authentically Ciceronian. In truth, the situation is reversed: he accepts the ad Herennium and rejects De inventione, again wrongly in the view of posterity. (135)

The first test Leonello attempts to apply toward his demonstration that De inventione is spurious is the prima adumbratio, the notion that sometimes fraudulent works are introduced into authentic ones. But this criterion does not apply to De inventione, for it (1.10.8) "has not been inserted into any work of Cicero ..." and "it has distinct volumes with prologues...." In other words, De inventione is a self-standing work, unlike satires, fables or epigrams, which tend to be parts of collections. Even if the "old" and the "new" Rhetoric are often found bound together, the prima adumbratio does not really apply. (136) So Leonello presses on and offers another category of "pretense," which he terms the secunda adumbratio.

The secunda adumbratio designates cases in which the forger has managed successfully to imitate the style of the original author. Leonello says (1.10.9): "The second pretense derives from that same 'new' author, who certainly differs very little from Cicero's diction, although he was [a] different [author]. There is no need to be wonderstruck at this. For he, or any ancient Roman, or any man learned in the Roman literary style, as a jurisconsult in particular would be--or whoever that fantasist, immersed in Ciceronian reading, was--could imitate the exact same type of style." By Leonello's day, unsurprisingly, one realized that Cicero was imitable. How much one should imitate Cicero and to what extent were hotly debated questions, but everyone knew it could be done. (137)

Next we see Leonello attempt to develop a comparative argument. Having read De inventione and the ad Herennium, Leonello notices that the texts seem to echo one another, and to borrow in places from one another. From this point on, we see that his case is predicated on the assumption that the ad Herennium is genuine. This is not a dispute, in other words, about whether one or the other is spurious, but rather about De inventione alone; so Leonello can use the "fact" of the ad Herennium's authenticity as a building block in his overall argument. So why do the two works echo each other? Leonello claims that the forger tried to make us think that Cicero borrowed from his own work, in the same way Virgil and Homer sometimes borrow their own verses (1.10.9). (138) From our perspective, we can observe that the fact that the two works do echo each other is probably more of a sign that they stem from the same Greek rhetorical manual used by both Cicero and the author of the ad Herennium rather than an indication that the author of one borrowed from the other. (139) But even if we grant Leonello his assumption that the "forger" tried to make us believe that Cicero had borrowed his own words, he again answers a legitimate argument by avoiding it with masculinizing language (1.10.9): "Now I, by Hercules, would be much less credulous," he says, and then heaps reprobation on the "rashness and female stupidity" of anyone who would argue otherwise.

Finally, having defined and applied his two adumbrationes to De inventione, Leonello moves on to present more historically-oriented arguments (1.10.10), "which will make you realize without any doubt that the work was not written by Cicero." Again, they are arguments based on the assumption that the ad Herennium is authentic. His first observation, which is true enough, is that Cicero often refers to his own writings in his works. (140) Leonello asks if De inventione is mentioned anywhere in Cicero's writings, then goes on to state that it is not. Once again, there is a hole in Leonello's argument, since Cicero does indeed refer to De inventione (though not by that name) in De oratore, where he describes it as incomplete. (141)

The next major argument is a difficult one. The Latin in question is: "Ergo nec Rhetorica vetera a Tullio unquam memorantur, nec nova quidem, ac prudenter, cum alia non prius edidisset. Quo fit ut Tulliana ad Herennium vetera potius et quidem ridicule, quia antiquiora fuerint, istius autem nova, quia recentiora dicere debeamus?" And my suggested translation is: "Therefore, neither the 'old' Rhetoric nor the new is anywhere noted by Cicero, and prudently, since he had not previously published another Rhetoric. Whence it happens that we have to say, rather, that Cicero's Rhetorica ad Herennium is the 'old' one--also ridiculous of course, because it would be older [than something else, which it is not], and moreover, we have to say that the Rhetoric [i.e., the 'forged' De inventione] of that man [the forger] is new, because it is more recent."

As noted, Leonello has already stated (erroneously) that Cicero nowhere mentions De inventione in any of his other works. Having established it, however, as a Ciceronian custom that Cicero often refers to his own work, Leonello is bound to note that the ad Herennium, which he believes to be authentically Ciceronian, is likewise nowhere mentioned, which gives rise to the confusing passage cited here. It is helpful to look in detail at the Latin. If the "alia" he mentions refers to the "new" Rhetoric, the ad Herennium, then what Leonello means is that the ad Herennium is a late work of Cicero, an assumption that would explain why it is not referred to throughout the rest of Cicero's corpus. We can then understand the phrase "quo fit ... vetera potius" to mean "Whence it happens that we have to say, rather, that Cicero's Rhetorica ad Herennium is the 'old' one." In other words, the ad Herennium actually is older (so the argument goes) than the fraudulent De inventione, because De inventione was derived from the ad Herennium. But this is "et quidem ridicule"--"also ridiculous of course." It is ridiculous to say it is older than something, because no other technical manual of rhetoric that is truly Ciceronian exists, according to Leonello. The ad Herennium is not the older of two authentically Ciceronian manuals of rhetoric. It is simply the only authentically Ciceronian one. Finally, regarding what one might call "old" and "new," Leonello offers the only acceptable conclusion regarding what to call "new:" "istius autem nova, quia recentiora, dicere debeamus"--"moreover, we have to say that the [Rhetoric, 'forged' De inventione] of that man [the forger] is new, because it is more recent."

From here until the end of part 10, we see most clearly the idea mentioned above: that Leonello's argument is based on the assumption of the ad Herennium's authenticity. The thrust of the next section (from 1.10.10-11) is that, if De inventione had been published first, Herennius would never have made so bold as to ask Cicero to write a new Rhetoric, given that Cicero was always so busy. Even if he had had the presumptuousness to ask, he still would not have had any hope of being granted his request. Leonello is willing to suppose for the sake of argument that Herennius might have been so bold--or so foolish--to ask Cicero to write a book on rhetoric even though he had already done so. Still, he asks, would Cicero have complied with Herennius's temerity? Would he not have responded to the unnecessary request with some witticism, as he had done to similar requests in other works? Leonello goes on to offer two quotations from the ad Herennium to show that the language of its prologue indicated that Cicero had not previously composed another Rhetoric. Again we feel Leonello straining a bit, as he asks why Cicero would have let Herennius take advantage of him, if he had previously composed another Rhetoric. One has to ask: does Leonello even know the five parts of classical rhetoric, which, as mentioned, are invention, arrangement, expression/style, memory and delivery? Earlier, in part 4, he had touched only glancingly on style and arrangement (1.4.1); should he not have realized that there were five, and that "invention" was only one? Would it really have been so unreasonable for Herennius to have asked, in that case?

Leonello next says (1.10.12), "Where does such silence come from, especially in an orator who is so loquacious? Such neglect of himself from someone who, in the prefaces of all his works, usually gives such careful proofs as to why he writes them?" Here we should remember that the preface to the ad Herennium is in truth quite short. Leonello means that if Cicero were to have done something so uncharacteristic as write on a subject he had already covered, he would have explained why, in a detailed fashion, rather than jump right into the technical subject matter, as he does (for Leonello authentically) in the ad Herennium.

Leonello's belief in the authenticity of the ad Herennium is easily understood: it held an important place in the rhetorical curriculum, and Leonello's faith in it reflects the trust of fifteenth-century humanists in the work. Lorenzo Valla maintained a firm belief in its authenticity, and Guarino da Verona routinely used it as part of his teaching material, a tradition his son carried on after his father's death. The ad Herennium had been a mainstay of rhetorical instruction throughout the Middle Ages in Italy, so it is not surprising that Leonello/Decembrio believed it authentic. (142) Part 10 ends with Leonello finishing his speech on the problem, and, in a telling, if by now unsurprising, conclusion, Decembrio reports: "Because what he said was true, all seemed to agree with Leonello's opinion."

One can ask whose voice we are hearing in part 10. Perhaps Leonello himself became convinced that De inventione was spurious, and Decembrio desired to record his argument. Perhaps Decembrio believed it, and part 10 was just a vehicle for his own exposition. Possibly they both believed it, along with the rest of this humanist circle, excepting Guarino. Or perhaps these are the wrong questions; perhaps the reason the humanist dialogue as a genre was so innovative was precisely that it allowed for textual ambiguity while simultaneously stimulating its readers to become interlocutors, to take part in the debate, and to develop their own positions, informed but not imprisoned by the arguments found in the text. (143)

As we exit once again to see the stars, after the dark wood of part 10--of Decembrio's difficult, mannered Latin prose and Leonello's dubious argumentation--where do we find ourselves? First, we have the bulk of De politia litteraria ahead of us. (144) The interlocutors have established how a library should look and with what materials it should be stocked, and now it is time to discuss various questions connected with those works. In the prologue to book 2, Decembrio reminds us about Leonello's conclusions concerning De inventione and the ad Herennium. Thereafter, in book 2, we find numerous short literary problems and the circle's attempts to resolve them, well exemplifying Decembrio's stated intention, noted above, to echo the technique of Aulus Gellius in his work. Is it true, as some say, that certain lines should be excised from the received text of Virgil (2.13)? The interlocutor Giovanni Gualengo--"not unlearned among the older notables of the city"--tells about his own private library and reading practices, praises the ideal of "literary polish," which he identifies with an enthusiasm for learned conversation and the studia humanitatis, and expresses delight that now in his old age he can read and learn more (2.16). (145) Another problem occurs: what did Terence really mean when, in his Eunuch, the interlocutor Gnatho says to Thrason, "I never come to you without departing more learned"? Was it simple irony, or something more (2.17)? (146) Various figures from ancient Roman history are discussed. In book 3, the discussion turns to different parts of speech. Book 4 begins, as do all seven books, with a dedication to Pope Pius II, this one exhorting him to victory in his crusade against the Turks; and then Decembrio has Guarino lead the circle through the alphabet, finding classical sources and definitions for specific Latin words from A to X (which for Decembrio comes after Z). The dedicatory preface to book 5, addressed to Pius, indicates Decembrio's somewhat optimistic wish that De politia litteraria be judged as a work in the same category as Valla's Elegantiae. Book 5 foreshadows antiquarian concerns usually seen as typical of a later age, as it discusses weights and measures (5.53), abbreviations in ancient inscriptions (5.54), the Vatican obelisk (5.55), (147) and later miscellaneous matters, such as the ridiculous appearance at court of the poet Ugolino of Parma, (148) and other interesting issues. Book 6 deals with more historical problems and contains a notable dialogue on art, (149) among other subjects. In book 7, Decembrio returns to more technical questions, such as the importance of using diphthongs correctly (7.75-79), Greek words used in Latin (7.80), and other relationships between the Greek and Latin languages; he concludes with a short Greek to Latin dictionary. The work closes with some dedicatory words to Pius II (7.103). In short, there is a great variety of topics in De politia litteraria, many still awaiting study, which Norbert Witten's new edition of the text will facilitate greatly.

We may reflect, in conclusion, on the specific incident in Renaissance culture highlighted in this article, De politia litteraria, 1.10, and on how it can help us understand the questions with which we began, concerning the Renaissance formation of libraries, reading practice, and the creation of canons. As to libraries, this episode is part of the larger fifteenth-century Renaissance quest for order in information, embodied in the plans recounted above to found libraries. The medieval mendicant library, we saw, was an important model for these Renaissance theorists; but as to the contents of the library, especially in a library designed to afford the resources necessary to those seeking "polish," our interlocutors needed to change certain aspects of the medieval heritage fundamentally. Decembrio wrote at a time when, in Italy, the five studia humanitatis had triumphed, at least as a cultural ideal, even if university disciplines persisted much as they had. (150) In the "polished" library, there was no real need for the work of medieval historians, vernacular works were for wives and children, and a purified Latin was the preferred means of communication.

As Renaissance humanism expanded to become a major cultural force, one central concern was how to read, a question which inevitably contained the further question where to read. But the how was quite important. From one perspective, certainly, reading practice by mid-century was detailed and intertextual, as even a small question or problem would summon to a scholar's mind countless sources and citations for its resolution. One need only recall Angelo Poliziano and his Miscellanea, to name the ablest fifteenth-century exponent of this style of thought. From another perspective, as we have seen, reading practice was fundamentally social, a public act where, perhaps, a prince could use his boldness and authority to convince humanists who should have known better that "what he said was true." Precisely because the arguments used in book 1, part 10 were not in the front rank of humanist achievements, we can peer far deeper into Renaissance reading practice than we might have done, had we stuck only to the heroes of the long march of classical philology. In truth, it was a practice that was fundamentally male-oriented in its assumptions, as most Western, definedly public practices were until the twentieth century. (151) In this case, private study was necessary of course, but one's reading was not really complete unless the work done in private was articulated and shaped in public. To separate the two is to miss an important part of Renaissance life.

Finally, as to the creation of canons, this was a question destined to increase in importance with the advance of printing with movable type. For in our interlocutors' attempts to find out which commonly used works were inauthentic and thereby unworthy of a "polished" library, we see yet another of the missing links between the middle ages and early modernity that fifteenth-century Italian humanist culture represents. (152) We see a link between, on the one hand, Tommaso Parentucelli and his attempt to answer Cosimo de'Medici's question concerning which works to include in a library; and, on the other, the later problems faced by thinkers who found themselves in a situation of information overload, when it became clear that mastery of the humanities was impossible and that there was simply too much material available to be able meaningfully to assimilate it all. (153) Creating canons is as much, or more, about exclusion, as it is about inclusion. Later (and for better or for worse), these questions--about the selection of texts, how to use them, and where and how they should be stored--would issue forth in the birth of a new kind of specialization in the humanities, in the sixteenth-century academies designed to focus on particular problems in a way unlinked to university traditions. Even later, Enlightenment-era thinkers would rethink these concerns, as one saw the emergence of their own conceptions of encyclopedic knowledge, unified in scope but diverse in particulars. And--much later--the difficulties of canon-making would ramify into the kind of academic specialization in the humanities found in late nineteenth-century German research universities (an educational model that is with us today). But the roots were here, in the fifteenth century, and Angelo Decembrio, Leonello d'Este, and the great shade of (the perhaps Oedipally absent) Guarino, made their own small, almost forgotten contribution to a conversation that would rise in volume and intensity as the centuries passed.



The text of De politia litteraria has hitherto been difficult for scholars to deal with, but Norbert Witten, in his new edition (the first modern one), has cleared up quite a bit, as has Daniela Frigge, who has contributed an excellent reconstructive study on the various known redactions of De politia litteraria. (A) The main problem had been as follows. De politia litteraria exists in three different versions, representative of two redactions. (B) There is a manuscript, MS Vatican City, BAV, Vat. Lat. 1794 (V), as well as two later printed editions, of Augsburg, 1540 (A) and Basel, 1562 (B). The two printed editions present texts which are at times faulty, especially A. Moreover, both sixteenth-century editors complained that the manuscript from which they were compelled to work was not optimal. (C) However, V is a fine example of manuscript production (suggesting that it was not the manuscript used by the sixteenth-century editors), and it seems to be an autograph, as Frigge (28-29) and Witten maintain, or at the very least to have been annotated by Decembrio (cf. Scarcia Piacentini, 270-73).

Because of this situation, scholars who have dealt with this text have usually had recourse to the manuscript as their primary witness--quite reasonably, since it was in relatively good shape. Still, there are puzzling variants in the two printed editions, including some substantive additions and a few meaningful short deletions; and the two sixteenth-century editors differ in the nature of their complaints. Scarcia Piacentini noted that despite their poor quality, the editions did depend on a manuscript tradition, one that cannot easily be reconciled with the text of V. (D) If there was, however, a manuscript version of the text intermediate to the two printed editions (as there seemed to have been), the question became: who was the author of this revision? If it had been a humanist other than Decembrio (perhaps Guarino?) or one of the sixteenth-century editors, it was pointless to use the printed editions. The work of Frigge and Witten suggests that the person responsible for the seemingly lost intermediate version was Decembrio himself.

Both Frigge and Witten detail an episode of family conflict over an inheritance between Angelo Decembrio and his famous humanist brother, Pier Candido Decembrio, who in a letter criticized Angelo's work. (E) The conflict, perhaps about a house in Milan, had thus broken out into a literary rivalry, and Angelo took his revenge by at times diminishing the presence of his brother in the revision of De politia litteraria. It seems, then, that the Augsburg edition (the poorer but earlier of the two printed editions) is based on this hypearchetype and that the Basel edition is based on the Augsburg edition. (F) Witten, in his edition, in most cases follows the manuscript, since it is still the closest witness to an authorial version redacted by Decembrio, especially considering both the problems the Augsburg editor seems to have had and the difficulty, as Witten points out, of ascertaining where Decembrio's putative intermediary inverventions end and where the Augsburg editor's own interventions begin (Witten, 133).

Since Decembrio's Latin is at times, to put it kindly, complex, it seems best to publish the text along with the translation, despite Witten's edition. In the following edition, V is the base text, though I have retained Witten's paragraphing and most of his orthographical choices. I have left the folia transitions of V in my text, and I have repunctuated to conform to modern English usage, since Witten's text is geared to German punctuation. As does Witten, I give substantive variants from A and B in the notes; in the notes, W signifies Witten's edition.

One brief note: in the text below, Decembrio uses the word "adumbratio" five times, as well as once in a verbalized form ("adumbratur" in 8). Though this word is found in authors Decembrio would have known, including Cicero (Off. 1.14.44) and the popular Valerius Maximus (7.3.ext.8), it is nevertheless not a common word in ancient Latin (or medieval, for that matter; cf. Du Cange s.v.). From the perspective of Decembrio's Latin prose, his choice of a rare word is unsurprising and in line with his proclivity to use recherche language elsewhere, as a means to demonstrate his learning to a targeted intellectual community. As to the translation, I have translated the word as "pretense." One could make a good case for translating "adumbratio" as "obscurity" or "obfuscation," especially given both of those words' evocations of "shadow" or "darkness"--notions etymologically embedded in "adumbratio." Still, there is a sense of intentionality present in Decembrio's usage, as if the deceptive "adumbrationes" were inserted deliberately; and "pretense," although admittedly somewhat awkward in English (as awkward as "adumbratio" is rare, in this specific sense, in Latin), seems to carry with it the sense of something both deliberate as well as fraudulent.

Ab eodem Leonello mirifice, quod The same Leonello argues
Rhetorica quae dicuntur vetera non marvellously that the Rhetoric
Tullii fuerunt; neque De re which they call 'the old' was not
militari libellus qui Ciceronis Cicero's; nor is the little book
inscribitur, neque Ovidii quem De which is entitled De re militari
vetula aiunt; neque Iuvenalis Cicero's; nor is that work which
satyra quae ultima De militia they call De vetula Ovid's; nor is
notatur, neque Catonis opus that last satire which is labelled
metricum quod ludi magistri Catonem De militia Juvenal's; nor is that
nominant, neque epistolae Senecae metrical work Cato's which the
quae inscribuntur ad Paulum seu grammar school teachers call Cato;
Pauli ad Senecam. Ac de plerisque nor are the letters which are
librorum ineptiis et apochryphis entitled To Paul Seneca's, or the
indigne sup//22v//positis. Pars letters which are entitled To
Decima. Seneca Paul's. And concerning many
 inept and apocryphal books which
 have been unworthily counterfeited.
 Part Ten.
[1] Eodem forte die, post [1] By chance on the same day,
vespertinam coenationem, after the evening meal, just as
quemadmodum superiora remotis e happened earlier when the courses
prandio mensis acta fuerant, cum of lunch had been cleared away, we
ad suburbanum palatium Belfiorem, proceeded together on foot to the
ut aiunt, pedestres una suburban villa called Belfiore.
tenderemus, Nicolaus Stroccia, vir Niccolo Strozzi, a man not
eloquentiae non imperitus, inter untutored in eloquence, began to
omnes incepit: "Hodiernam ex te speak in the midst of all of us: "
admirati sumus, ornatissime Most splendid prince, today we
princeps, in auctoibus enumerandis admired your skill and your memory
solertiam atque memoriam. Nam in enumerating authors. For
quanquam alias abs te de librorum although we remember that on other
rationibus et bibliothecis occasions you have discussed books
dissertatum meminerimus, nunquam and libraries, still, I do not
tamen dissertius (a) quam hodie think you have ever treated these
tractatum arbitror, praesertim cum subjects in a more learned fashion
per cuiusque fere praestantioris than today, especially since you
dignitatem expedite transcurreris. efficiently touched on the worth of
Veruntamen, in designandis nearly every outstanding text.
rhetoricis Ciceronis, nescio qua Nevertheless, in describing
causa Rhetoricorum duntaxat ad Cicero's Rhetoric, for some reason
Herennium mentio prodita est. or another you mentioned only the
Rhetorica autem vetera a novis, non Rhetorica ad Herennium. You also
ipsa rursus a Partitionibus distinguished the old Rhetoric [De
Rhetoricis, distinxisti, quae ad inventione] from the new one [i.e.,
filium Ciceronem inscribuntur. ad Herennium], but, on the other
Meminisse praeterea debuisti hand, not the new one from the
insignes commentarios super Rhetorical Partitions, which is
Rhetoricis veteribus a Victorino addressed to his son Cicero.
prisco scriptos, qui Hieronymi Furthermore, you should have
magister creditur, et horum nulla recalled the distinguished
abs te facta memoratio." Commentaries on the old Rhetoric
 which were written by the venerable
 Victorinus, who is believed to have
 been the teacher of Jerome. You
 made no mention of these things."
[2] Caeteri qui aderant omnes fere [2] The others who were there,
iuniores (nam Veronensis aberat) nearly all of whom were younger men
idem assentire visi. Tum Leonellus: (for Guarino da Verona was absent)
"Cum de Rhetorica arte," inquit, seemed to agree with Niccolo. Then
"ad Herennium memorarem, omnia Leonello went on: "When I was
Ciceronis in eo genere volumina speaking about the rhetorical
inclusisse mihi videor. Audeo treatise ad Herennium, I seem to
igitur iure meo dicere quod forte have made it stand for all of
miremini: Rhetoricorum illud opus Cicero's volumes in that genre.
veterum, ut dicitis, ex Cicerone Accordingly, I dare in my own right
non prodiisse, non profecto magis to say something which might
quam De re militari libellum suprise you: that work--the 'old'
ineptiis refertum, quae praesentis Rhetoric as you call it--is not by
aevi vulgaritati quam veterum Cicero, no more, in fact, than is
dignitati conveniant magis, non the little book De re militari,
magis quam ab Ovidio quod De vetula which is filled with foolishness
opus aiunt, contemptissimum sane et more suited to the vulgarity of the
a rudi scriba compositum, ad hoc present age than to the worthiness
non magis quam ex Iuvenali satyram of the ancients. Nor is that work
illam, seu satyrae imaginem, ad called De vetula by Ovid, which is,
Gallum nescio quem De militia after all, most contemptible and
notatam, non magis quam a Hieronymo put together by a crude scribbler.
epistolas quasdam, quas in calce For that matter, neither is that
suarum aliusque scripturae manu et satire--or rather that phantom of a
auctoris positas adverti, non magis satire, the one to a certain Gallus
quam ex Plinio maiore non-nullas and known as De militia--by
Abraam Hebrorumque superstitiones Juvenal. Nor are certain letters by
interpositas pro medicamentis, non Jerome which, I have observed, were
magis quam ex Seneca et Paulo placed at the end of his letters,
epistolas prodiisse, quae vicissim in a different handwriting and by a
editae memorantur, etiam attestante different author; no more than
Hieronymo, si sic prodidit, bono certain superstitions of Abraham
magis in ea parte viro quam and the Hebrews which were inserted
iudiciali, quanquam eundem as remedies come from the elder
appositivum scriptorem, uti vanum Pliny; no more than the letters
ostentatorem, ita Hieronymum in which are recorded as having been
duxisse deprehenditur quo falsa published back and forth between
falso magis testimonio defenderet. Seneca and Paul are by them,
 despite what Jerome says--if he did
 argue to this effect--more a good
 man in this respect than a good
 judge; although it is apparent that
 the alleged writer, a showoff with
 no substance, induced Jerome in
 this way to defend falsehoods with
 a testimony that was even more
[3] Facile est enim phreneticorum [3] Certainly, it is easy for the
commentationes a peritis learned to detect the deceits of
deprehendi, nihilque minus antiquis madmen, and nothing was less
philosophis creditum (in quorum believed in by the ancient
numero etiam Anneum Neronianique philosophers (to whose number we
temporis studiosos adscribimus) assign even Anneus [Seneca] and the
quam Christianam religionem, seu scholars of Nero's day) than the
publice seu clandestine disputare Christian religion, whether they
maluissent; teste etiam //23r// preferred to debate [about such
illorum temporum Suetonio, qui matters] publicly or privately.
nihil a Nerone factum dicit Suetonius is also a witness of
magnificentius quam quod Christiane those times, and he says that Nero
secte professores interimeret. Ita did nothing more magnificently than
Paulo apostolo non datam esse tot massacring those who professed the
dierum intercapedinem qua Senecae Christian sect. So in this way the
potuisset familiaritatem iniisse. Apostle Paul had insufficient time
 to have entered into a friendship
 with Seneca.
[4] Sed ordinem repeto: non magis [4] But let me return to my train
quam a Catone--vel 'Censorio' vel of thought: nor is the small work,
'Uticense'--quod Catonis dici solet written in verse and usually
opusculum metrice scriptum a ludi attributed to Cato by
magistris, (b) non magis quam ab schoolteachers actually by Cato--
Aesopo Latino (nam et puerilia whether you call him 'the Censor'
quoque tempora subveniunt) additam or 'Uticensis.' (1) No more than
in calce fabulam de pueris cum the final fable--tacked on at the
lepore currentibus (c)--omnia end--is by the Latin Aesop (for
(quid!) eorum vanitate referta, qui even boy-hood times come to mind),
sic latitantes inanis gloriae which is about boys running with a
tegumento apud imperitos exultare hare (2)--[no more than] all the
voluerunt. Atqui eiusmodi levitates works (indeed!) [are by their
ita solent a subtilioribus putative authors] filled with the
deprehendi, immo vero a mediocriter useless silliness of those who,
doctis, uti quempiam forte alius lurking under the cloak of empty
caudam animalis equinae caudae glory, have wanted to run riot
complicantem, quo una eademque among the unlearned. Those who are
cauda videretur, ilico rideamus." a bit sharper usually detect
 inanities of this sort, indeed,
 even those who are moderately
 learned usually do so. It is a bit
 like when somebody ties the tail of
 another animal to a horse's tail so
 it seems to be one and the same
 tail, and right away we all laugh."
[5] Tunc omnes Leonellum talia [5] Then, as he was saying such
memorantem multo magis admirari things, we were all even more
expectareque quonam tandem astonished at Leonello and were
excusatio eius evasura foret in waiting to see where his explan-
Rhetoricis. Neque enim mihi, qui ation about [Cicero's] Rhetoric was
tunc aderam, neque quibusdam going to go. Because to me at any
dubium apparebat eam satyram rate (for I was present), and to
Juvenalis non fuisse et quaedam ab certain people, there didn't seem
eo memorata inepte supposita. to be any doubt that the satire was
Caeterum de Rhetoricis veteribus not by Juvenal and that certain of
omnes addubitare. At ille the items Leonello had discussed
disputationem continuare, cum, iam were clumsily counterfeited. Yet
ingresso Belfiore palatio, everyone hesitated concerning the
constratisque sub ingenti lauro 'old' Rhetoric. But once we entered
stibadiis, sic perrexit. "Enimvero the grounds of the villa Belfiore
(d) error is multo plus adolevit ob he proceeded with the disputation
duplicem iniectam adumbrationem, and, after seats had been spread
quo minus discerni solitus; sed a under the giant laurel tree, he
me liquido patefiet. Principio, went on in this fashion: "Now this
Rhetoricorum opus, quae vos vetera error has grown all the more
dicitis, ex se ipso est, seu per se because of a pretense [adumbratio]
existens, non alii extremo was twice imposed so that the fraud
subiunctum volumini, uti (e) de be less likely to be discovered.
Satyra modo dictum vel de Pauli et But I'm going to clear all of this
Senecae Hieronymique epistolis; et up. First, as to the Rhetoric that
hanc primam dicimus adumbrationem. you call 'the old'--it is self-
Nam non illorum auctorum eas esse standing, or rather, has an
quibus appositae sunt ineptias, independent existence. It has not
tria indicia manifestant, quae mox been added to the end of any other
aperiam. Verum enim recordemini volume, as I was just saying about
unum paulo superius adumbrationis the satire [falsely attributed to
locum diffinitum. Primum, quod non Juvenal] or the letters of 'Paul'
eiusdem penitus stili esse and 'Seneca' and those of Jerome.
doctioribus appareat, licet And this we call the first pretense
plerisque, sed minus doctis, [adumbratio]. Moreover, there are
apparere videatur. Et ut ipse three indications, which I am about
Tullius in Officiis inquit, to reveal, which show that these
'quamvis paululum in tibiis aut absurdities do not belong to the
fidibus discrepet, id tamen a authors to whom they have been
sciente solet deprehendi.' attributed. Now, recall the one
Secundum, quod finem operis illius, instance which I defined as a
quicunque sit, auctoris, cautus 'pretense' a little earlier. First,
facile considerat: ita quod cuique it should be thoroughly clear to
fini debito adiunctum sit, omne id the more learned that it is not in
superfluum arbitratur et the same style, although this
alienum, non autem ab eodem auctore should seem clear even to the many
descendere. Tertium, quod saepe who are less learned. And as Cicero
videre contingit: eius-modi himself says in On Duties, 'however
volumina antiquissime scripta, in little reed-pipes or lyres are out
quibus aut non sunt eae of tune, the knowledgeable man
suppositiones, quae Graeci nevertheless usually detects it.'
'paragrammata' dicunt, quoniam vel (3) Second, a careful reader
illorum operum librarii docti readily considers the ending of the
iisdem ineptiis assentire non ausi work of that author--whoever he
sunt, vel quia forte per eam might be--in such a way that he
tempestatem nondum tales extarent thinks that what-ever has been
appositiones//23v//aut, si antiquis added to the real ending is
voluminibus insertae sunt, facile entirely foreign and superfluous
deprehenditur recentioris librarii and that it does not derive from
manu descriptas. Iisdem sane the same author. The third case is
indiciis nonnunquam percipi licet something one often happens to see:
Juvenalis codices vetustissime in volumes of the sort that were
scriptos, in quibus illa postrema written long ago, these
satyra vel non inscripta est vel counterfeits [suppositiones], which
alius scriptione supposita. the Greeks call 'paragram-mata,'
 either do not exist--maybe because
 the learned scribes of those works
 did not dare permit the same
 foolishness, or maybe because up to
 that time such additions did not
 yet exist--or, if they were
 inserted in ancient volumes, you
 easily detect that they were
 written in by the hand of a more
 recent scribe. Through these same
 indications one may sometimes
 detect the codices of Juvenal that
 were copied earliest--in them the
 final satire was either not written
 in or was counterfeited in the hand
 of another.
[6] Sed quanquam a nobis de [6] Now, our more important
Rhetoricorum veterum appositione disputation at the moment concerns
praesens ac maior disputatio est, the forgery [appositio] of the
hoc tamen in loco veluti 'old' Rhetoric; still, before I
praesentiori deprecor, me confutare move on, kindly permit me to refute
patiamini cuiusdam commentatoris in the prolix, pompous argument of a
Juvenalem verbosam et superbam certain commentator on Juvenal. His
contentionem. Nomen aberat, sed ex name has disappeared, but we learn
audacium grege paedagogorum from the herd of audacious
accipitur super eadem satyra de qua pedagogues that he wonders why many
nunc mentio est se mirari plerosque say that the satire that we have
asseverantes eam non esse just been discussing is not by
Juvenalis; caeterum, duo se habere Juvenal; moreover, he has two
argumenta cur Juvenalis esse arguments why we should believe it
crederetur: unum, quod in is by Juvenal. One, it is known
longinquam militiam relegatum that, because of the hatred of the
poetam constaret odio Paridis mime Paris, the poet was banished
pantomimi, in cuius exercitio, ut into faraway military service. So,
se suosque milites adhortaretur in the exercise of his military
fortasse dissimulans, munia rei service, in order to encourage
militaris extulisse. Iam hoc himself and his soldiers, though
repulsione dignum, quasi perhaps he was dissembling, he
nesciamus--quicunque fuerit illius extolled military duties. Now, this
satyrae supplantator--eiusdem argument deserves to be rejected,
protectorem inermem et ieiunum as if we did not know--whoever the
qualencunque sibi occasionem false author of that satire might
vendicasse. Neque enim sine colore be--that the unarmed, scrawny
vel lineamento pictor effingit. protector of the same [false
Reliquum est quod sibi firmissimum argument] had seized any
repperisse diceret, Servium, opportunity for himself [to argue
doctissimum auctorem, ex eadem his case]. For even a painter does
satyra versum allegare Juvenalis, not bring things to life without
ubi dicitur 'expectandus erit qui color or line. The remaining
lites inchoet annus. Haud equidem reason, he would say, is the one he
memini carmen hoc in Servio found his strongest: that the most
percurrisse. Quod si ab eodem learned author Servius quoted one
utique exempli gratia sit of Juvenal's verses from that same
allegatum, commentatoris satire, where he cites 'I must
imprudentiae indulgendum censeo, await the season which begins the
non tam forte quaerentis an disputes.' (4) Now, I don't
Juvenalis esset, quam ad remember at all having come across
expositionis suae propo situm this line in Servius. But if he
adducentis. cited it, just as an example, I
 think we have to concede it to the
 commentator's [Servius's]
 imprudence, and realize that he was
 not trying to discover whether or
 not it was authentically by Juvenal
 but rather was adducing it to make
 a point in his exposition.
[7] His annectit Commentator ille [7] The painstaking commentator
sollicitus, nam et in reliquarum attaches it to the Satires. For
quoque satyrarum expositione satis even in the exposition of the
perturbate contendit nullas eos remaining satires, he contends,
sese habere rationes qui non rather confusedly, that those who
Juvenalis esse dicerent quam ut say this satire is not by Juvenal
sapientiores ob id viderentur. O have no grounds other than making
stultissimam propositionem cum themselves seem wiser for doing so.
neglectissima ratione, perinde ac A very foolish proposal, lacking
turpe sit quotocuique doctissimo all reason, just as it would be
eam satyram Juvenalis profiteri, unseemly for someone, however,
modo ipsius foret! At cur reliquas, learned, to assert that the satire
quae Juvenalis sunt, eius esse is by Juvenal provided that Juvenal
concedimus? An quia per hanc was the author! But why should we
confessionem insipientiores haberi concede that the rest, which are by
velimus? Sed quid circuitionibus Juvenal, are authentic? Is it
opus? Stili ratio manifestat because we want to be thought
gravitatisque mirificae (f) rather foolish on account of this
Juvenalis, qua penitus illa vacat admission? But why do we need
satyra; quae ab imperitis non circumlocutions? We have an
discernitur. Vel ex hoc, quod argument based on literary style
praeter Juvenalis morem brevior that is clear, and there is also
existat, nec enim imperiti differre Juvenal's wondrous gravitas, which
putant Gualterii carmen a is completely absent from that
Virgiliano, quandoquidem utrunque satire, something that goes
sex pedibus incedit. unnoticed by the unlearned. Or how
 about this [argument]: that it is
 shorter than Juvenal's custom.
 Really, the inexperienced think a
 poem of Walter of Chatillon is no
 different from a Virgilian one,
 since each of them runs for six
 feet. (5)
[8] Nunc inepta adiectione [8] Now, having given above a
tripliciter supra demonstrata, quo threefold demonstration of the
facilius primae adum//24r// inept addition, so that I may more
brationis tegumentum exolvam quare easily dispel the cloak of the
Rhetorica vetera, licet ficta, non first pretense as to why the Old
sic ex composito ficta videantur, Rhetoric, though forged, does not
haec una iam prima incepta ratio seem to be deliberately forged,
valebit, scilicet, opus per se this one argument, already
existens non cuivis insertum operi considered, will apply: the work,
Ciceronis nec alia magis causa sibi which is self-standing, has not
consentiens quam vocabuli rhetorici been inserted into any work of
similitudine. Habet enim distincta Cicero, nor is it congruent with
volumina cum prologis, ut non tam it, for any reason stronger than
facile commisceri potuerit the similarity of the word
quemadmodum satyra satyrae, fabula 'rhetoric.' For it has distinct
fabulae, epigramma epigrammati e books with prologues, so that it
vestigio subdi potuisset. Quodsi could not have been so easily
nonnunquam duo Rhetoricorum commingled [with Cicero's work] as
volumina veterum et novorum, ut a satire might at once be attached
opinamini, in eadem tabularum et to a satire, a fable to a fable,
chartae compaginatione eademque or an epigram to an epigram. Even
scriptura simul iuncta concernatur, if sometimes the two volumes of the
(8) non tamen in simili Rhetoric--the 'old' and the 'new,'
appositionis specie consistunt, uti in your opinion--are contained
modo de satyris vel epistolis together in the same framework of
dictum, sed alterum ab altero opus book-covers and pages, and even if
dignoscitur, ita tamen ut unius they are joined together by the
etiam auctoris possint adiudicari. same handwriting, still, they do
Etenim paria saepe volumina eiusdem not coexist in the same kind of
scriptoris colligantur, ut De forgery-by-addition [appositio]
Amicicia, Senecturte, Paradoxis, that I was just talking about
vel ut De Arte Amandi et Remedio about regarding the satires or the
Amoris.Adumbratur ergo fallaci letters. Rather, [in this case],
quae tamen eodem fere pacto ut de the one work is distinguished from
Juvenali et reliquis iam dictis the other, in such a way,
interpretari possit. nevertheless, that they can be
 [erroneously] judged to be by one
 and the same author. Indeed, a
 writer's closely associated works
 are often collected, such as
 [Cicero's] On Friendship, On Old
 Age and the Paradoxes of the
 Stoics, or even [Ovid's] Art of
 Love and Remedy of Love. Therefore,
 the deceit is inserted as a
 pretense [adumbratur]. Still, it
 can be understood in almost the
 same way as Juvenal and the rest
 of the works discussed above.
[9] Secunda adumbratio est ex eo [9] The second pretense derives
ipso auctore novo descendens, qui from that same 'new' author, who
minimum sane differt, quanquam certainly differs very little from
differat, a Ciceronis eloquio. In Cicero's diction, although he was
qua re non mirandum. Potuit enim [a] different [author]. There is no
facile vel priscorum quippiam need to be wonderstruck at this.
Romanus vel Romani stili peritus, For he, or any ancient Roman, or
ut iurisconsultor praecipue, vel any man learned in the Roman
quisquis ille phantasticus literary style, as a jurisconsult
Tullianis lectionibus assuetus, in particular would be--or whoever
simillimum orationis genus that fantasist, immersed in
effingere. Poterat etiam Plinius Ciceronian reading, was--could
minor; poterat Hieronymus ac imitate the exact same type of
Quintilianus in primis, eoque style. (6) The younger Pliny could
facilius, quod ex rhetorica arte also do it, so could Jerome, and
Ciceronis omnia fere praecepta et so, above all, could Quintilian,
quoscunque locos libuit excerpere who in fact could do it much more
potissimeque in iudiciale genere easily since he allowed himself to
sustulit. Vario deinde ordine excerpt nearly all the precepts and
confundens quo magis crederetur whatever commonplaces he pleased,
Tullium ex seipso (haud iniuria) especially in the judicial genre.
propria transtulisse, uti Next, [the second pretense] jumbles
Virgilius aliquando de apibus et things together in a motley
pereuntibus in proelio seu arrangement, so we would instead
figuris hominum deorumque medio believe that Cicero had (not
conspectu evanescentibus, eosdem unreasonably) borrowed from his own
variis locis commemorat versus, work, as Virgil sometimes recycles
quod frequentius facit Homerus. the same verses--about bees and men
At ego per Herculem multo minus perishing in battle, or indeed
crediderim. Sed (o audaciam images of men and of gods fading in
stulticiamque muliebrem!) quid plain sight--in different places,
haec tandem sibi vult laboriosa something Homer does rather
quidem sed inanis prorsus frequently. Now I, by Hercules,
ostentatio? Nonne hoc simile est, would be much less credulous. Yet--
ut inter quasdam stolidissimas what rashness and female stupidity!
aves ferunt, quae, aliarum ovis --what does this industrious but
incubantes, simul foetus proprios certainly senseless ostentation
alienis parentibus deferunt mean? Is this not the same thing
nutriendos? they say happens among certain very
 stupid birds who, incubating the
 eggs of others, at the same time
 hand over their own newborns to be
 nourished by other parents?
[10] Expeditis igitur duabus in [10] Now then, since two arguments
hac fallacia contentionibus, hinc pertaining to this deception have
pro confutationis tertio loco been explained, let me put forward,
argumenta subiiciam, quibus as the third refutation, arguments
proculdubio illud opus Ciceronis which will make you realize without
non fuisse cognoscetis. //24v// any doubt that the work was not
Idem De partitionibus rhetoricis written by Cicero. You should
ad filium, ut arbitramini, a me understand that my view is the same
dictum intelligatis, quod opus est regarding the work On Rhetorical
dissimulatoris. Est enim apud Partitions addressed--as you
Tullium ingeniosa quaedam nec suppose--to his son, which is the
reprehendenda sui ipsius gloriandi work of a dissembler. For Cicero
consuetudo, ut in singulis fere has a certain clever and
eius operibus aliorum quae unobjectionable habit of priding
antiquius scripserit mentio himself, so that, in nearly all of
sentiatur, qua pene omnia his works, he mentions other works
cognoscimus quot ab eo sint edita. he wrote previously. Because of
Aliquis igitur vel potius iste this we know almost all of the
demonstret qui Rhetorica illa works that he published. So let
confinxit, sicubi apud Tullium ulla anyone, or rather that man who
de iisdem praescriptis Rhetoricis confected that Rhetoric, show
mentio feratur, quam satis existimo whether there is any mention of the
hunc hominem cupidissime same 'previously written' Rhetoric
subornaturum, si occasio in Cicero's work. I rather think
successisset aliqua mendacia that this man would have been very
Tullianis prologis inserendi. Sed eager to supply this sort of cross-
quid effingeret fallax falsusque in reference, had there been any
tot iam Ciceronis exemplaribus quam chance of inserting some
latissime diffusis? Ergo nec falsehoods into Cicero's prologues.
Rhetorica vetera a Tullio unquam But would this deceitful and
memorantur, nec nova quidem, ac fraudulent person reproduce this in
prudenter, cum alia non prius such numerous, widely diffused
edidisset. Quo fit ut Tulliana ad copies of Cicero's writings?
Herennium vetera potius et quidem Therefore, neither the 'old'
ridicule, quia antiquiora fuerint, Rhetoric nor the new is anywhere
istius autem nova, quia recentiora noted by Cicero, and prudently,
dicere debeamus. Sed fac illa prius since he had not previously
edidisse. Numquid ideo tam absurde, published another Rhetoric. Whence
improbe, contumeliose Herennium ad it happens that we have to say,
tantum virum accessurum seu, rather, that Cicero's Rhetorica ad
quantumvis familiarem, Herennium is the 'old' one--also
rogitaturumque arbitremur, ridiculous of course, because it
praesertim aliis negociis amicorum would be older [than something
impeditum (ut ipse testatur), qui else, which it is not], and
pro familiaribus sedulo operam moreover, we have to say that the
navaret, ac philosophiae potius Rhetoric [i.e., the 'forged' De
studiis incubiturum si quid ocii inventione] of that man [the
praestaretur, si a Tullio iandudum forger] is new, because it is more
de rhetorica arte conscriptum recent. But assume that the latter
extitisset? Unde tantus furor, one [the 'forged' On Invention] had
tanta postulantis immodestia? Quod come out first. Are we really
si tale quicunque orare non debuit, supposed to think that Herennius
multo minus exorare debuerat. would approach such a great man in
 this absurd, insolent, and
 insulting fashion? Or that such a
 great friend would ask Cicero so
 insistently, especially since
 Cicero, who diligently worked for
 his friends, was occupied with the
 affairs of other friends, as he
 himself testifies, and since he
 would rather throw himself into the
 study of philosophy if any moment
 of leisure became available? [Would
 Herennius really have asked him
 this] if Cicero had already written
 a work about the rhetorical art?
 Where did such madness come from,
 such immodesty in making demands?
 But if no one should have pleaded
 such a case, much less should he
 have won it.
[11] At videte, obsecro, ut alia [11] But look, please: 'one deceit
fallacia aliam trudit. Fac engenders another.' (7) Assume that
Herennium petiisse. Nunquid subinde Herennius had tried. Are we really
temeritati eius Ciceronem to think that Cicero would
obsecuturum putemus, et frustra immediately comply with his
geminum laborem assumpturum? Potuit temerity and take on a twin labor
sane amico desipienti Tullius in vain? Certainly, Cicero could
sapienter respondisse: 'Quid tibi have wisely responded to his
vis, homo? Quid me vexas? Quid witless friend: 'What do you want
obtundis? Iandiu a me rhetorica for yourself, my good man? Why are
scis edita. EX iis sume quae you bothering me? Why do you din my
postulas.' Eadem ratione De ears? You know that long ago I
officiis, De oratore, de caeteris published a Rhetoric. Take from it
operibus suis cuipiam novum insuper what you demand.' He responded to
opus flagitanti respondendum fuit. anyone demanding a new work with
Nec enim Herennii causa constat a the same argument in On Duties, in
Cicerone prolata, quamobrem ex On the Orator, and in his other
priscis rhetoricis dicendi artem works, Clearly, there is no reason
consequi nequiret. Enimvero (h) si why Herennius could not have
diligentius prologi seriem learned the art of speaking from
advertitis--'tamen tua nos, Cai the ancient Rhetoric brought out by
Herenni, voluntas commovit ut de Cicero. Of course, if you pay
ratione dicendi conscriberemus'-- attention more carefully to the
satis adverti potest antea non order of the prologue--'in spite of
scripsisse. Non enim dixit all this, your will, Gaius
'rescriberemus vel denuo vel Herennius, moves us so that we
iterum,' aut 'quid simile might write about the rule of
scriberemus.' Sequitur vero, 'Et speaking' (8)--it is obvious that
eo studiosius hoc negocium he had not written before [on this
suscepimus, quod te non sine causa subject]. For he did not say 'that
velle cognoscere rhetoricam we might rewrite' or 'anew' or
intelligebamus.' Quam scilicet 'that we might write something
rhetoricam artem videtur prius similar.' But then he follows up:
//25r// non nisi per Graecorum 'And we have assumed this task the
nebulas cognovisse, aut si ex more earnestly, for we understood
aliis forte, non a Tullio adhuc that you, not without good cause,
praeceptore didicerat. wanted to learn rhetoric.' (9) He
 seems not to have known this
 rhetorical art before, unless it
 was through the mists of the
 Greeks, or if perhaps he knew it
 from others, he had not learned it
 up to this point from Cicero as his
[12] Haec, inquam, si pauca [12] In my view, if you ponder
consideretis, nullo pacto Tullium these matters a bit, it will in no
vobis apparebit aliud in rhetoricis way seem to you that Cicero had
opus composuisse. Denique Tullium composed another work about
fac non illius voluntati, ut ipse rhetoric. Finally, assume that
inquit, sed importunitati morem Cicero changed his conduct not
gessisse et rhetorica tandem alia because of his [Herennius's] will,
rescripsisse. Unde tanta praesertim as he himself says, but because of
in oratore dissertissimo his importunity and that Cicero had
taciturnitas? Tanta de se at last written another Rhetoric.
negligentia qui omnium suorum Where does such silence come from,
operum in prooemiis tam curiosas especially in an orator who is so
cur ea scribat reddere solet loquacious? Such neglect of himself
approbationes? Non aliqua saltem from someone who, in the prefaces
excusatiuncula assignanda fuit of all his works, usually gives
quare, ad quid, in quo causarum such careful proofs as to why he
genere priora conscripsisset; writes them? Would he not at least
quamobrem illud opus deterius, have had to give some small
imperfectius, obscurius, justifications as to why, for what
incuriosius praemisisset; quid nunc purpose, or in which genus of
utilius, copiosius, dissertius (i) causes he had written the earlier
praesertim aliis officiis vel Rhetoric; or on what account he
negociis familiaribus tantopere passed that work over as worse,
occupatus aggrederetur? Si enim more imperfect, more obscure, less
probabile opus fuerat, cur et aliud careful; or why, now, though he was
ab eodem genere et nomine so occupied, especially with other
subiunxit? Si non probabile, cur duties or with the affairs of his
vos illud in primis commendare friends, he might now set about
soletis? Aut cur Victorinus, ut doing this more usefully,
asseritis, illa tempestate copiously, learnedly? And, if the
doctissimus, super eo commentarios work had been credible, why did he
annotavit, frustra laborem also add another one, of the same
assumens, quando quidem (j) super genre and name? Of the work is not
novo opere multo commodius ac credible, why are you accustomed to
certius id munus obire potuisset?" acclaim it as if it were in the
Videbantur cuncti, quia vera front rank? Or why did Victorinus,
diceret, sententiae principis a man most learned in his day, as
assentiri. you agree, write commentaries on
 it, thereby taking upon himself a
 labor in vain, when he certainly
 could have undertaken this task
 much more aptly and with more
 certainty on the new work?" Because
 what he said was true, all seemed
 to agree with the prince's opinion.

(a) dissertius] disertius W.
(b) a ludi magistris] in quo solent moraliter erudiri. Nam si Catonianum
est, quo pacto in eodem de Virgilio, Ovidio, Lucano, mentio facta, qui
citra Catonem tempora prodierunt AB.
(c) nam et ... currentibus] quoniam de vero ac graeco hodie tractavimus,
ultimam fabulam, quam puer legebam de pueris cum lepore ludentibus,
alieno metri et stili genere paedagogice adiunctum AB.
(d) Enimvero] Eninvero V. W.
(e) uti] ut W.
(f) gravitatisque mirificae] gravitas mirifica W.
(g) concernatur] concerna<n>tur W.
(h) Enimvero] Eninvero W.
(i) dissertius] disertius W.
(j) quando quidem] quandoquidem W.
(1) Here, A and B add: "For if it is of Catonian times, how can there be
mention made in the same work of Virgil, Ovid, and Lucan, who lived on
this side of the times of the Catos [i.e., later than both Catos]?"
(2) For the passage, "No more than the final fable--tacked on at the
end--is by the Latin Aesop (for even boyhood times come to mind), which
is about boys running with a hare" A and B present an expanded version
which reads: "No more than the final fable--which I read as a boy, is
about boys running with a hare, and is pedantically adjoined in a
foreign meter and genus of style--is by the Latin Aesop, because we are
talking about the true and Greek Aesop."
(3) Cicero, De officiis, 1.145.
(4) Juvenal, Satires, 16.42.
(5) I.e., is written in dactylic hexameter.
(6) The Latin oratio is here used in the sense of "style" or "elocution/
diction" as in Cicero, Or., 19.64.
(7) Ter., Andr. 778f.
(8) Ps.Cic., Rhet. Heren., 1.1
(9) Ibid.

(A) See Witten; and Frigge.

(B) Decembrio had ideated a much earlier redaction in only three books by the late 1440s (corresponding to the present bks. 1, 2, and 5), which he had hoped to dedicate to Leonello; Decembrio mentioned it in a 1447 list of his works, "partly finished, partly still incomplete" ("partim edita, partim adhuc imperfecta") in MS Milan Biblioteca Ambrosiana Z 184 sup., fol. 49v. Any trace of this earlier version seems to be lost; see Frigge, 27-28, and Baxandall, 306.

(C) For example, Heinrich Steiner, the editor of A, writes (CLXIV r): "Literary Polish, dear reader, we offer to you here (as we promised), a book certainly approved by the calculation of the most learned men, most worthy to read, as well as most useful. If only we had had the very autographon corrected by the author, so that we could have offered you a 'polished' polish! We happened upon--for shame!--a most corrupt exemplar which, in that bit of time in which it had to be printed, could not be corrected, restored, and fully made right." "Politiam literariam, optime lector, tibi hic (ut polliciti sumus) exhibemus, librum sane doctissimorum virorum calculo probatum, lectuque dignissimum, tum utilissimum. Uti nam [alpha][upsilon][tau][omicron][gamma][rho][alpha][phi][omicron][nu] ipsum autoris emendatum habuissemus, ut politam policiam offerre potuissemus! Incidimus in exemplar, proh dolor, corruptissimum, quod eo temporis spatio quo imprimendum erat, emendari, restitui atque ad plenum corrigi non potuit."

(D) Scarcia Piacentini, 253, n. 26, cit. Witten 10; see Frigge, 30-56.

(E) Frigge, 46-56; Witten, 17-26; see also della Guardia, 36, and Viti, 483.

(F) Both Perry and Witten maintain that the Basel edition (distinguished by editorial interventions of high quality) depends primarily on the Augsburg edition, though they do not exclude the possibility that its editor may have seen the hyparchetype or another manuscript dependent on it. Frigge maintains, with good arguments, that the Basel editor corrected the Augsburg edition simply ope ingenii without recourse to another missing manuscript (though see Frigge, 41).

* Thanks to Jill Kraye, for a meticulous reading of an earlier draft of this piece; to John Monfasani, for suggesting the project years ago; to an anonymous reader for this journal; and to Anthony F. D'Elia, Paul F. Grendler, Elizabeth M. McCahill, Michael Reeve, and Marcello Simonetta for many valuable suggestions.

(1) Chartier; Grafton, 1983-93; Grafton, 1997; Kallendorf, 1-30; Petrucci, 1995.

(2) Decembrio, ed. Witten, On the dialogue, see Balsamo; Baxandall; Biondi; della Guardia; Frigge; Grafton, 1997, 19-49; Gundersheimer; Monfasani, 1987; Perry; Ross; Tateo, 1992a; Witten.

(3) Vespasiano, 1:46-47: "Et per questo Cosimo de' Medici avendo a ordinare la libreria di Sancto Marco, iscrisse a maestro Tomaso, gli piacessi fargli una nota come aveva a stare una libreria." Ibid., 2:177-80 (life of Cosimo) and 2:238 (life of Niccoli), for other relevant sources.

(4) Ullman and Stadter; Kent, 171-78.

(5) See Petrarch's testament, ed. Mommsen, 229-35.

(6) Petrarca, 1975, 2:1025-1151; English translation in Cassirer, Kristeller, and Randall.

(7) For the most recent treatment of Petrarch with full bibliography, see Witt, 2000.

(8) Petrucci, 1995, 214; on the Carrara, Kohl, 1998.

(9) Nauert, 24-28; Witt, 2000.

(10) Witt, 1983; De Rosa; and Ullman, 1963.

(11) Salutati, 49 (2.6); Grafton, 1997, 23; Celenza, 1996, 271.

(12) Ullman and Stadter, 293: "Ad hec omnes libros suos tam sacros quam gentiles, tam grecos quam latinos aut barbaros, quos undique magna industria diligentia studio ab adulescentia nullum laborem subterfugiendo nullis impensis parcendo coegit, sanctissimo cenobio Sancte Marie de Angelis ... legavit, cum monachis ibidem Deo servientibus, tum etiam omnibus civibus studiosis usui futuros...." (my emphasis).

(13) Ullman and Stadter, 3-27.

(14) Sozomeno da Pistoia, cited in Gargan, 172: "in quodam loco communi et acto ad studendum in eis [libris] omnibus studere volentibus in illis."

(15) Ibid.: "cum vellet ipsos in perpetuum stare ad communem usum volentium in ipsis studere in loco acto et deputato per dictos operarios in civitate Pistorii et in ipso tali loco omnes ligati simul et ordinati."

(16) Vespasiano, 1:560, cited in Gargan, 173. See also Sabbadini, 1917, and Piattoli.

(17) Gargan, 173, citing according to Casanova: "... que sit communis volentibus ire ad legendum." For Mattia Lupi, see Davies, 6-21, and 9-10, on the library.

(18) Gargan, 173.

(19) Celenza, 1996; Konig; Lombardi and Onofri.

(20) Orsini, "Testament," in Celenza, 1996, 277-78, [section]14, "... et ut cultus divinus in utrisque dictarum ecclesiarum augeatur et in dicta ecclesia Sancti Petri nec non in Urbe Romana multiplicentur, quantum fieri poterit, viri litterati et scientifici."

(21) Ibid., 278, [section]15.

(22) Ibid.: "... fiat una libraria cum fenestris ferratis et vitratis et cum scannis et tabulis necessariis tam ad sedendum quam ad ponendos libros et fiant cathene necessarie ferree et cum astis ferreis, sicut fieri solitum est in aliis librariis, ubi dicti libri ponantur."

(23) Ibid., 278, [section][section]16-17: "Volo etiam quod dicti libri ponantur in dicto loco et deputentur per capitulum continuo unus vel duo beneficiati qui habeant et teneantur dictos libros custodire die noctuque, sicut fiet in librariis sitis in locis mendicantium Florentie et Bononie, et melius, si potest ... et quod dicti duo beneficiati sint presbiteri et bone fame et conversationis honeste, qui etiam habeant curam animarum parochianorum dicte ecclesie Sancti Blasii...."

(24) Ibid., 278-82, [section][section]18-32.

(25) Ciaralli.

(26) Petrucci, 1995, 204.

(27) Clanchy.

(28) Petrucci, 1995, 139, 206. Petrucci suggests a possible affiliation to high medieval scholastic book design; the high-medieval mendicant library space, he writes, "... also may have been influenced, more subtly and unconsciously, by the visual model of the page of the scholarly codex constructed out of two dense columns of text with lines separated by a narrow intercolumnar space and surrounded by margins: as spaces were left empty in the book for the interventions of the reader, so the lateral and central spaces in the library were left empty to allow for the movements of the public of scholars" (206).

(29) For the origins of humanist scripts, see Ullman, 1960; De la Mare; and Casamassima, especially 539-40, who notes that the term "littera antiqua" was used well before late fourteenth- and fifteenth-century humanists, already in the thirteenth century, to refer to Caroline minuscule. See also Rizzo, 1973, 119-22; and Petrucci, 1995, 195-96.

(30) Ullman and Stadter, 15.

(31) Kent, 178; Caplow, 2:540-41.

(32) See the "Decision of the Trustees of the Library, 6-24 April, 1441," in Ullman and Stadter, 299-304, at 302: "In primis quod dictus Cosmus promictat satisfacere omnibus et singulis creditoribus dicti Niccoli ... deinde solvere omnes impensas que ad ornanda dicta volumina et operienda catenisque adnectenda necessaria essent" (my emphasis).

(33) Petrucci, 1995; and Radding, ix.

(34) Vespasiano, 1:386: "... et a lui solo e bastato I'animo di fare quello che non e ignuno che l'abbia condotto da anni mille o piu in qua, d'avere fatta fare una libraria, la piu degna che sia mai stata fatta da quello tempo in qua."

(35) Kohl, 1992; Kristeller. On Parentucelli and his library, see Manfredi, 1994.

(36) Parentucelli, cited in Gargan, 174: "De studiis autem humanitatis, quantum ad grammaticam, rhetoricam, hystoricam et poeticam spectat ac moralem, que auctoritate digna sunt, vobis credo esse notissima. Ego autem, si bibliothecam conditurus essem, cum omnia a me haberi non possent, vellem ista precipue non deesse" (my emphasis).

(37) Nicholas V, cited in Muntz and Fabre, 47-48, and Boyle, 1991, 73, n. 17: "Jamdiu decrevimus atque id omni studio operam damus ut pro communi doctorum virorum comodo habeamus librorum omnium tum latinorum tum grecorum bibliothecam condecentem pontificis et sedis apostolice dignitati...."

(38) Sixtus IV, cited in Boyle, 1991, 73, n. 17: "Ad decorem militantis ecclesie, fidei catholice augmentum, eruditorum quoque ac litterarum studiis insistentium virorum commodum et honorem...." Boyle (1991, 1993, and 2000) argues for the importance of Nicholas V in the founding of the Vatican Library.

(39) See Antonovics (especially important because he identifies a number of the Cardinal's books through inventories); Luciani; Strnad; Mols; Morpurgo-Castelnuovo, especially 85-116; Denifle, 316-17; Renazzi, 152-55; Catalanus, 129-30, 155; Vespasiano da Bisticci, 1:159-67; Baptista Poggio di Poggio Bracciolini.

(40) The Cardinal had ca. 2000 volumes according to Poggio Bracciolini's son Baptista, who wrote an interesting Life of Capranica; see Baptista Poggio di Poggio Bracciolini, 350, col. 2; the number probably reflects the total number of works, rather than volumes; see Antonivics, 149-50, nn. 4-5; for the library rules, see Capranica, 1705, 7-11. The original exemplar for the editions of Capranica's Consitutiones seems to have been MS Vat. Lat. 7309, of the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vatican City.

(41) See Rouse, for the library of the Sorbonne; and Ullman, 1955, 41-53, for the way this model influenced Italian Renaissance life.

(42) Capranica, 1705, 7: "Nunc ad ordinationem studii predicti collegii et suppositorum eius accedimus. Et primo a libraria sumentes initium volumus, et mandamus quod in camera quae est in medio domorum nostrarum versus orientem quae habet tres fenestras ferreas, fiat libraria de libris nostris quos eidem collegio dedimus et damus; quos volumus catenatis esse ligatos in scannis secundum convenientem ordinem, ita ut libri sacrae theologiae sint in una parte, libri iurium in alia, libri vero philosophiae in alia, libri gentilium et rhetoricorum in alia secundum quod rectori et scolaribus videbitur expedire, ita ut per omnia ille modus servetur in libraria qui servari solet in aliis librariis collegiorum et monasteriorum" (my emphasis).

(43) Ibid., 8 and 11.

(44) Ibid., 10: "Si vero aliquis notabilis vir in predicta [dicta, 1705 ed.] libraria voluerit studere vel aliquid videre, possit introduci per aliquem de scolaribus habentibus claves, et qui introduxerit eum teneatur stare cum eo et attendere, ne quid fiat ibidem quod fieri non liceat. Et nullo modo eum in libraria solum dimittat...." (my emphasis).

(45) Baptista Poggio, 350: "Decrevit et in ea [i.e., domo] et bibliothecam ad communem doctorum hominum utilitatem, congestis ibidem libris, quod magna impensa in omni doctrinarum genere ad duo millia voluminum coegerat tum optimos, tum pulcherrimos, et ut qui domum eam incolerent, quique studiosi forent, pro arbitrio illis uti possent" (my emphasis).

(46) For patronage, see Kent; Kent and Simons, eds.; Robin.

(47) Petrucci, 1988 and 1995, 218-25.

(48) Petrucci, 1995, 218-21.

(49) Gundersheimer, 92-126; Frizzi, 3:489-508; Pardi; Bertoni, 1903, 7-11, 95-113; Ibid., 1921; Fava, 23-40; Barotti, 1:27-44; Garin, 402-31. For a contemporary laudatory account of Leonello, see Johannis Ferrariensis, 30-34.

(50) Gundersheimer, 66-91; Dean, 23-27.

(51) On the Council, see the studies in Castelli, ed., 1992; Gill, 1959, especially 176-78, for the financial situation; Gill, 1964; Hefele, 7.2:951-1051. For Este political consolidation and its connections with landholding, see Dean.

(52) Johannes Ferrariensis, 31: "... Marchio vir illustris [namely Niccolo], Guarinum Veronensem, virum profecto in utraque lingua, graeca scilicet et latina, callentem .... gratia, benivolentia, donis illicere, quo Leonelli animum humanitatis studiis expoliret exornaretque curavit" (my emphasis).

(53) Grendler, 99-106; Gundersheimer, 100-01; Visconti, 15; Pardi, 1903, 7, 35-36, 46-48, 63; Denifle, 324; Johannis Ferrariensis, 33.

(54) Viti, 1987a, 1987b, and 1987c; Hankins, 1990, 1:105-54; Simonetta, forthcoming, on Pier Candido.

(55) Viti, 1987a, 1987b, and see below in introduction to text and translation.

(56) Viti, 1987a; Scarcia Piacentini, 250-51, 258, 270-71; and Reeve, 1991, 124-28 and 148-57, who publishes the 1458 letter of invitation of Carlos de Viana (+1461) to Angelo at 125, as well as Angelo's "Virgilian panegyric" to Carlos at 149-57. De Viana's letter of invitation suggests that, while in Spain, Angelo may have served as a bibliographer and court librarian, or in more modern terms as a library consultant; "From the time we once encountered you, Angelo, the greatest desire has come upon us of assuming you into our princely environment, since you would easily be able to fill our library with famous authors, by means of your learning in buying books or rather by copying them with your own hand, as we greatly desire--and this, certainly, to your financial profit. Therefore, given that we, on our own instigation, want you immediately to be the prefect of our library, the guardian of our books, and our teacher in the studia humanitatis, you will take care, Angelo, that, as far as is convenient for you to do, you release yourself of all other obligations and appear, so that you can come to us as soon as we have arrived in Barcelona; we shall soon take care that an appropriate income be established for our scribe." "Ut te quondam vidimus, Angele, incessit nos vel maxima cupido asciscendi tui in principalem nostram, quippe qui facile poteris tua doctrina in coemundis codicibus, vel transcribendis tua manu pocius, ut magnopere cupimus, et id quidem tuo emolumento, autoribus illustribus bibliotecam nostram replere. Curabis itaque, Angele, quandoquidem nostro proprio motu te ex nunc bibliotece nostre prefectum, cus todem librorum, et in studiis humanitatis preceptorem nostrum volumus, ut te (quod tuo commodo fiat) ceteris omnibus exuas et pares ut quam primum Barchinone fuerimus ad nos, qui mox librario nostro stipendium conveniens consignari curabimus, venire possis" (125).

(57) The petition is in Archivio di Stato di Milano, Autografi 125, 16, and is edited in Cappelli, 111-17. It is entitled: "Supplicatio Angeli Decembrii infelicissimi ad illustrissimum dominum ducem Mutinensem." Borso was at the time the "dux Mutinensis," i.e., the Duke of Modena, as well as Marquis of Ferrara. My thanks to Marcello Simonetta for pointing me toward this source.

(58) Cappelli, 112: "Sane libri ceteraque scripta carissima quorum precipue nulla adhuc exempla sunt edita, et quae--horribile dictu est--ignorantium barbarorum cathenis retineri facili quidem impendio extorqueri poterunt, ut audio, cum sex aureorum redemptione; quinetiam reliquum ornatus corporis instrumentum tametsi pro supplicantis bene vestiendi consuetudine pretiosum, et, ne utique deplorandum, ab erudito viro non tam est omnino negligendum...."

(59) Ibid.; there is a photograph of the list of books in Piacentini, tav. 2. I have added section numbers to the list and collated it against the manuscript mentioned in n. 57., "[1] Omnia opera Ovidii minora, in duobus voluminibus vetustissime et pulcherrime scripta ac circumscripta. [2] Opera Horatii, empta Florentie, pulcherrime transcripta. [3] Herodotus et Thucydides, sed Thucydides non completus, traducti per Laurentium Vallam pape Nicolao. [4] Epistole Plinii cc xxiiii et tres libri Plinii maioris de medicinis. [5] Item Ilias Homeri per eundem [i.e., Vallam] traducta. [6] Item Evangeliorum collecta et disputationes per eundem contra interpretes. [7] Comedie Plauti xx non perfecte. [8] Lucanus antiquissimus. [9] Iustinus et Plinius de viris illustribus in uno volumine. [10] Martialis antiquissimus; deficiebat primus quaternus. [11] Donatus antiquissimus in Greco, et cum eo quoddam opusculum metricum, quod dicebatur esse Virgilii de bello nautico Augusti cum Antonio et Cleopatra, quod incipit 'armatum cane musa ducem belloque cruentam Egyptum,' etc. [12] Commentum super tragediis Senece. [13] Declamationes Quintiliani, et cum eo rhetoricorum quidam libri eiusdem Quintiliani non prius visi. [14] Duo vocabularia in Greco et Latino simul. [15] Servius antiquissimus, cum Aegysippo in littera qua dicitur longubarda. [16] Aulus Gellius cum optimo greco. [17] Quaedam orationes Tullii defensorie antiquissime. [18] Plereque scripturae optimae grece in grammatica percipienda et quedam orationes demosthenis, et ars metrica grece optima. [19] Plurimi quaterni ad quantitatem ultra duarum rismarum papyri, in quibus curiose transcripseram hec commentaria passim in hispania comperta, scilicet, super omnibus operibus Horatii, super Iuvenali duo diversa commentaria optima, et super Terentio, Virgilio, Persio optime et breviter, et super Dante et Petrarcha. [20] Unus saccidus plenus mearum epistolarum, electarum orationum, sermonum, epigrammatum, aliorumque collectorum grece et latine. [21] Liber quem ego composui de omnibus religionibus et ceremoniis nondum editus. [22] Item liber mirabiliter inceptus de arte Augurandi, et quid in quo[que] Augurio veteres censuere. [23] Quinterni chartarum pro scribendo circiter xxx, et quedam ornamenta pro scribendo pulcherrima ut picta thece calamarie barbarico more, et documenta conficiendi pigmenta omnium colorum. [24] Unum digestum vetus pretiosum quod portabatur cuidam hispano studenti bononie in eadem mea sarcina." [19] rismarum: A "risma" was an Italianate medieval Latin term for a bundle of paper; Du Cange, s.v.

(60) Viti, 1987a, 184.

(61) See Saygin; Celenza, 1999.

(62) See Cox, 1-8; Marsh, 1980; Snyder.

(63) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.2.2: "quam et ipsam elegantiam elegantiaeque culturam intelligi volumus." I shall cite according to Witten's edition and paragraphing throughout, with occasional recourse to MS Vat. Lat. 1794 (=V; see the introduction to the Appendix below). Here the "quam et ipsam" refers to Virgil's use of the word "polita" in his magnificent description of the Cyclopes forging iron into thunderbolts in Aeneid, 8.426-28: "his informatum manibus iam parte polita/fulmen erat, toto genitor quae plurima caelo/deicit in terras, pars imperfecta manebat."--"they had thunder shaped by their hands, part already finished, one of the many which the Father hurls down from all heaven, and a part remained incomplete" (trans. following the commentary of Fordyce, ad loc.). Clearly, Decembrio believes, "politia" is difficult to come by--it must be forged before it emerges.

(64) Biondi; Witten, 41-53.

(65) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.3.1: "In quibus officiorum rationibus politia litteraria versetur, supra monstratum. Nunc ad ipsius materias generatim accedamus. Placuit in primis A. Gellio, cuius imaginem et Quintiliani pariter pollicitus sum his libris imitari, Favorinum et quosdam paucos veluti frequentiores sibi magistros eligere. Mihi quoque in hac politia Leonellum principem Guarinumque Veronensem et qui cum eis clariores pauci disputare consueverant, deligendos institui." Witten, 41-43, offers an interesting discussion of Decembrio's relation to both Quintilian and Gellius, suggesting that though the Gellian connection is the deeper one, there are also significant parallel interests in De politia litteraria and Quintilian.

(66) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.3.2 (Guarino is speaking): "Quid mirum igitur, Feltrine, si in comparanda quoque bibliotheca--seu dici maius biblioplethi quod hic sermo verius ad librorum multitudinem superior autem ad eorum repositionem magis attineat--modus idem sit opportunus, ut ne libros plures tibi compares ac opus est, et ordo, ut alios aliis ad manum magis veluti praestantiores familiaresque magis habeas." maius] malis Witten; quod] quia Witten. Both variants on fol. 8v; the first may have been Witten's editorial choice, though it seems clearly to read "maius" in V--the final "ius" is similar to the final "ius" in "alius" three lines below and one can make sense of the Latin without resorting to the change; for "quod" the scribe uses a relatively consistent abbreviation, a "q" with a short extension up to the right of the bow, which can be seen on fol. 23r, line 2 and seven lines up from bottom; fol. 23v, line 12, where the abbreviation is used in a series of parallel constructions which make its extension to "quod" apparent; fol. 23v, four lines from bottom; and fol. 24v, two lines from bottom, etc. For "quia" the scribe uses a "q" with a more lengthy diagonal stroke that begins to the bottom left, passes through the letter, and ends with an extension to right, next to the bow of the letter, which can be seen on fol. 24v, middle, where it is used in a parallel construction ("quia antiquiora ... quia recentiora").

(67) Grafton, 1997, 28-32, has recently highlighted this passage; see also Gundersheimer, 108-09.

(68) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.3.3 (Leonello): "In quo sit attentius providendum, si seriatim ante ora libros pluteis appensos ac tanquam cathenatos servos habeas, ut in bibliothecis est monachorum."

(69) Ibid., 1.3.8 (Leonello): "Sunt enim, qui libros purpura, serico, margaritis auroque vestiant. Nam librorum pulchritudo ad legendum plerosque magis invitat, uti decora militem armamenta animosiorem efficiunt...." The final phrase, "uti ... efficiunt" is unattested as a proverb in Walther, 1963-67, Walther, 1982-86, and Singer; but in Singer 2:137-38 (i.e., "Buch," no. 4), there are a number of late medieval proverbs attesting to the notion that books are like weapons for students. On the Arthurian names of the children of Niccolo III d'Este (1383-1441)--"Leonello" = "Sir Lionel," etc.--see Tuohy, 7.

(70) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.3.3-5 (Leonello).

(71) Ibid., 1.3 (and 1.3.13 for Cicero and Sallust).

(72) Ibid., 1.3.16: "In quo quidem poeta tanta dicendi gratia copiaque a diis data tantaque elegantia est...."

(73) Ibid., 1.3.18-21.

(74) Ibid., 1.3.27: "Terentius ad imitationem aptior est, quoniam in rebus quoque communibus communi sermone fungitur."

(75) Ibid., 1.3.23-27. The sentiment is mirrored in De politia litteraria 2.17: "Ideoque cum Plautus seu iocosior sit, sive fabulosior, Terentius tamen astutior, qui risus etiam in cautelarum admirationem permutet, ad maiorem scilicet prudentiam, rerum discretionem accomodans...." For the connections between humanism and prudence, see Kahn.

(76) Hankins, 1992.

(77) Sabbadini, 1891 (1964), 142.

(78) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.4.4: "Post has Tullianas epistolas vel cum iis simul rhetorica ars ad Herennium perdiscenda. Nec multo post orationes evolvendae, in quibus [i.e., orationibus], ut suus auctor profitetur, maior vis est eloquendi. Nam ut ex rhetorica arte theoricam, sic ex iis praticam accipimus."

(79) Ibid., 1.5.5: "... qui historias scripserunt magis quam historice." This sentiment can be compared to a similar one voiced by Enea Silvio Piccolomini, the future Pope Pius II (and, one recalls, Decembrio's dedicatee) in his work on the Miseries of Courtiers: "Sunt qui veterum narrant historias, sed mendose atque perverse; claris auctoribus non creditur, sed fabellis inanibus fides adhibetur. Plus Guidoni de Columna, qui bellum Troianum magis poetice quam hystorice scripsit, vel Marsilio de Padua, qui translationes imperii quae nunquam fuerunt ponit, vel Vincentio Monacho quam Livio, Salustio, Iustino, Quinto Curtio, Plutarcho aut Suetonio, praestantissimis auctores, creditur." See Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini, 1928, 16; the treatise is also edited in Piccolomini, 1909, 1:453-87. Decembrio seems to employ the word historia here in the more ambiguous sense of the Italian storia, where the word can mean both "history" and "story," and he is also indebted, as one might expect, to the somewhat similarly ambiguous sense of the term found at times in antiquity, as, for example, in Aulus Gellius, NA 1.8.1, Cic., Att., 1.16.18, or Ovid, Am. 2.4.44. As to Piccolomini, his use of the phrase "magis poetice quam hystorice" can be compared to Pliny, Ep. 2.5.5, where Pliny writes that "descriptiones locorum non historice tantum sed prope poetice prosequi fas est." In both cases of Renaissance usage, our authors take the term historice--"historically"--to mean a style of discourse that is rooted in some sort of fact rather than fiction, as part of a recoverable past rather than a matter of human creation.

(80) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.6.1: "Hic cum Leonellus paululum resedisset, Feltrinus intercepit: 'Quid autem de Apuleio et Asino nostro aureo? De quo ut abundantius cum meis ridere possem, eum ego ipse in vernaculum sermonem transtuli. An non ea fabula ut plautina delectat?'" The character Feltrino often has the role in the dialogue of counter-foil to the Prince's excessive concern for a Latinate, classicizing elegance; see Ross.

(81) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.6.1: "Equidem inter fabulosa recipiendum arbitror. Cuius stilus ideo varius, incompositus, rigidus, quod auctori greco minor fuerit nostri sermonis familiaritas."

(82) Ibid.: "Denique cum iam in omnium media turba consistimus, huius Asini mentio, quoniam abs te vulgaris effectus est, menti subiecit eos nunc libros memorare, quos apud uxores et liberos nostros nonnunquam hybernis noctibus exponamus." Perhaps there is also a subtextual resonance, regarding the illicit affair that Niccolo d'Este's second wife, Parisina (who in 1423 ordered a copy in French of Tristan and Iseult), had engaged in with her stepson, Ugo (one of Niccolo's many illegitimate sons); they were subsequently put to death in 1425, along with a suspected accomplice ("wives and children" indeed); see Gundersheimer, 78-79 and 86.

(83) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.6.2: "Caeterum vulgarium auctorum frequentissima sunt Dantis, Petrarchae Boccaciique volumina. Sunt et gallica hispanaque lingua intra nationem nostram advecta et pro multitudinis ingenio soluta consonantique ratione composita. Sed quid apud plebem compositionis vocabulo dignum?"

(84) Ibid.: "Cuius ideo generis auctores idiotas nominant, quod illiterate loquuntur conterraneo tantum usu contenti."

(85) On the language question, see Fubini, 1-53; Grafton, 2000, 169-71; Grayson; Mazzocco; McLaughlin, 1988 and 1995; Rizzo, 2002; Tateo, 1992b; Tavoni; Tunberg; and Celenza, 2004, chap. 6, for further discussion; more generally, see Burke; and De Mauro.

(86) For two different perspectives on the Bruni-Biondo episode, see the relevant sections in Mazzocco and Tavoni.

(87) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.6.2: "Nam a quo veterum unquam audivimus opus materno sermone compositum? Opinantur quidam non vernaculam et separatam, uti nunc est, apud antiquos loquendi fuisse consuetudinem, sed unum omnium Italiae civitatum idioma Latini, scilicet litteratique sermonis. Quod non procedit, si scriptorum plurimam in stilo differentiam advertimus, sequereturque magis nullas unquam puerorum scholas, nullos ludi magistros vel praeceptores apud veteres extitisse--quorum saepenumero mentionem ab iisdem fieri videmus--cum domestico sermone inter plebemque versando id quotidiano usu facile consequi potuissent."

(88) Defense of vernacular: see his Grammatichetta in Alberti, especially 3-12 and 15, who suggests that (10 [20]) despite the copia and beauty of the Latin language, there is no reason to deprecate "la nostra oggi toscana," and then goes on to provide a basic grammar (15-39); for the dedicatory letter of the Theogenius, which Alberti presented at the Certame coronario of Florence in 1441 (and for which no prize was awarded to any contestants because of a lack of good Latinity in the eyes of the judges); see ibid., 40-41, as well as Patota's excellent synthesis, with bibliography, at ibid., xlv-li; and Grafton, 2000, 219-21.

(89) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.7. For an overview of moral philosophy in the Renaissance, see Kraye, 1988.

(90) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.8.

(91) Ibid., 1.8.8: "... qui primus Mediolanensium aetate nostra Graecas litteras dicitur ex praeceptore Chrysolora didicisse ... Sic in historia transferri nunc audio Herodotum atque Thucydidem a Laurentio Valla." For Valla and Thucydides, see Pade, with bibliography at 260, n. 20.

(92) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.8.9: "Nam posteaquam vastata a barbaris infidelibus Constantini civitate caesoque eius imperatore, optimo viro, despotis frater Romam cum gentis eius reliquis confugisset, vix credibile est, quam multi nostrorum pene greci effecti sint, quasi in Attica vel in Achaia consueti, facultatemque compererint Graeca volumina pertractandi."

(93) Ibid., 1.9: "Ab eodem nonnulla de sacre legis scriptoribus; item in calce de nostre tempestatis auctoribus quedam breviter."

(94) Ibid., 1.9.2: "Verumenim sacrae legis volumina enumerare distuleram, non ut infimae, cum de re altissima sint, sed materiae a nostra remotioris." And, ibid., 1.9.3: "Sed, ut antea dixi, ad remotiora artibus et moribus nostris studia me distrahitis." See Biondi, 653-54.

(95) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.9. On Ambrogio Traversari and his work on the Church fathers, see Stinger; and for Jerome in the Renaissance see Rice.

(96) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.9.3: "... a bibliotheca nostra eo longius evagabimur."

(97) Ibid.: "Nobis quoque novi placent auctores, modo pro veterum more loquantur."

(98) On this question among humanists, see Speyer, who treats Angelo Decembrio and De politia litteraria at 33-35. For medieval background, see Troncarelli.

(99) The villa was begun by Leonello's grandfather, Alberto d'Este who ruled 1388-93 and completed by his father Niccolo III, who ruled 1393-1441 (Gundersheimer, 82); it was situated just outside the northern city walls of Ferrara (ibid., 262). Gundersheimer discusses (249-71) a text by Giovanni Sabadino degli Arienti, a presentation copy offered to Ercole d'Este, who ruled 1471-1505, in which there is contained a description of Belfiore. Cicero: Cicero's De inventione was routinely called the Rhetorica vetus (the "old" rhetoric) or the rhetorica prima (the "first" rhetoric) throughout the middle ages and the ad Herennium was known as the rhetorica nova (the "new" rhetoric) or the rhetorica secunda (the "second" rhetoric); see Murphy, 1974, 10 and 18 and passim. For citations to De politia literaria, 1.10, see the text and translation appended below.

(100) He also touched on the Letters of the younger Pliny and Quintilian's Institutiones Oratoriae.

(101) It is unsurprising that Niccolo questions Leonello as to why he omitted to mention both Cicero's De Inventione and Victorinus's commentaries on that work in the part 4 discussion on eloquence; both had been available in Italy from the eleventh century, and both were used in Italy in rhetorical curricula (Monfasani, 1988, 172 and 185). See also Kennedy, 105, as well as 90, highlighting the late ancient and medieval importance of Cicero's De inventione.

(102) See below for details; Witten, 90-93, in his otherwise excellent introduction, has misread Decembrio on this point.

(103) For surveys of various aspects of Renaissance textual criticism, see D'Amico, 1988a, 8-38 with bibliography at 210-11, n. 7; and Grafton, 1983-93, vol. 1; for humanist philological vocabulary, see Rizzo, 1973.

(104) The focus is on Cicero, despite the discussion of other authors; the discussion is taken, as the argumentum says (Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.4), "Precipue ex Tullianis operibus."

(105) Ibid., 1.4.2-3.

(106) Ibid., 1.4.4: "Post has Tullianas epistolas vel cum iis simul rhetorica ars ad Herrennium perdiscenda. Nec multo post orationes evolvendae, in quibus, ut suus auctor profitetur, 'maior vis est eloquendi.' Nam ut ex rhetorica arte theoricam, sic ex iis practicam accipimus."

(107) Ibid., 137, and at 1.4 ad init.

(108) Sabbadini, 1967 (1905), 2:214f.

(109) Ibid. and ibid., 2:184f.; Reeve, forthcoming, b.

(110) Mozley, 68.

(111) Cocheris, 1861, in his edition of La Vielle, which itself was a paraphrase of De vetula by the fourteenth-century Frenchman Jean Lefevre, announced his discovery of a text of the fifteenth-century Dutch scholar Arnold de Gheilhoven--part of which Cocheris found in the Bibliotheque Mazarine in Paris, part in the Bibliotheque Royale in Brussels--which suggested that Richard de Fournival was the author of De vetula. Gheilhoven wrote: "... quem librum scripsit magister Richardus de Furnivalle, cancellarius Ambianensis, et imposuit Ovidio." (Cocheris, xxxiv). Since then, de Fournival has been provisionally accepted as the author by Mozley (at 53) and others, such as Lehmann, 14. The two modern editions of De vetula, however, are in Klopsch and in Robathan, both of whom have reservations concerning Fournival as author (Robathan, 7, and Klopsch, 99). See also Reynolds, 422; and for the historiography (up to 1959) of medieval pseudo-Ovidian works, see Lenz.

(112) Klopsch, 78-84; Robathan, 1f. Robathan also offers (3, n. 16) various other instances of the Ovidian authorship of De Vetula being questioned by anonymous writers.

(113) Quasten (Berardino), 4:241; Jerome, 1949-63, 1:41, n. 2 and 8:132, n. 1.

(114) Migne, v. 22, col. 1203, n. (d); col. 1220, n. (c); and col. 1224, n. (e).

(115) Sabbadini, 1967 (1905), 2:162, n. 32.

(116) Migne, v. 22, col. 1203, n. (d). On Erasmus separating out authentic from inauthentic works of Jerome, see Jardine.

(117) Pauly and Wissowa, 15.1, cols. 81-84; Der kleine Pauly, 3:1130; for editions, see those of Onnerfors; Schmitz; Wachtmeister; and Winkler.

(118) Sabbadini, 1967 (1905), 1:137f., 205, and 2:241.

(119) Leonello here is alluding to Jerome's De viris illustribus (of 392 CE), where Jerome calls Seneca a man "whom I would not place in the category of the holy if those letters, which are read by many, of Paul to Seneca and of Seneca to Paul, did not provoke me."--"Quem non ponerem in catalogo sanctorum, nisi me epistulae illae provocarent quae leguntur a plurimis, Pauli ad Senecam et Senecae ad Paulum," De viris illustribus, 12, in Migne, 23, col. 629, cited in Momigliano, 14. For an edition of the correspondence, see Bocciolini Palagi; and for a discussion, in addition to Momigliano, see Panizza; the latter are cited in Kraye, 2002, 67, n. 39; see also Reynolds, 360.

(120) See Momigliano and Panizza.

(121) See Boas, xli, and Duff and Duff, 2:585-89.

(122) Black, 173-74, 219-20, 225-28, 230-33; Boas, introduction.

(123) Sabbadini, 1967 (1905), 2:207.

(124) Phaedrus translated what was then the Aesopic corpus (itself probably collected and compiled by Demetrius of Phalerum in the fourth century BCE) and added some fables of his own. Phaedrus's work eventually became divorced from his name, and the collection he had partly translated, partly invented, became attributed, simply, to "Aesop." In late antiquity, it was reworked into prose. This prose collection of fables, in addition to taking on the name of Aesop, was called "Romulus." There are also a number of Latin fables written by Avianus (ca. 400 CE) coopted into "Aesop" and popular in medieval schools. It was not until Niccolo Perotti in 1460 compiled a collection of one hundred fables, sixty-four of Phaedrus and the rest of Avianus (whom he called Avianus-Aesopus) for his nephew, that Phaedrus as the "Latin Aesop" was given his due place in the history of the Aesopic corpus, although Perotti's work was not made widely available until Pierre Pithou printed it in 1596. It is difficult to discern exactly what Leonello has in mind, since there do not seem to be any fables in Phaedrus, "Romulus," or Avianus (as assembled by modern editors) about boys running with a hare, though there are many Latin fables with hares as central characters. See B. Perry, 1952 and 1965; Hervieux, ad indices; Duff and Duff, 669-76; Sabbadini, 1967 (1905), 1:147; Reynolds, 29-32, 300-02; and Marsh, 2000, with bibliography.

(125) For the meaning of the word adumbratio, see the introduction to the text and translation below.

(126) Friedlander, 1.

(127) Ibid., 1f: "missusque ad praefecturam cohortis in extrema parte tendentis Aegypti."

(128) Ibid.; de Labriolle and Villeneuve in Juvenal, 1967, v.

(129) Sabbadini, 1967 (1905), 1:11, n. 51 and 2:55.

(130) See Celenza, 2004, chap. 5.

(131) Servius, 1:234 (at Aeneid 2.102).

(132) Machiavelli, chap. 21, 291: "E ancora stimato uno principe, quando egli e vero amico e vero inimico; cioe quando, sanza alcun respetto, si scuopre in favore di alcuno contro ad un altro."

(133) Juvenal, 1895, 1901, 1931, 1932, 1967.

(134) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 1.10.2: "nam Veronensis aberat." This passage was highlighted by Monfasani, 1987, 115, who there made the suggestion that it might indicate Guarino's lack of assent for some or all of the positions maintained in part 10. This notion of absence finds a parallel later in the dialogue, in bk. 7 (Decembrio, ed. Witten, 7.76.1), when, in a discussion of Greek diphthongs, we are told that Leonello--almost always present at the proceedings--is absent; della Guardia, 7, suggests that this "absence" of Leonello may indicate that the Prince, though having had some Greek education from Guarino, was not as proficient a Hellenist as a Latinist.

(135) This mistake was first noticed by John Monfasani; see Monfasani, 1987, for bibliography, together with Monfasani, 1994, 1 (addenda et corrigenda). For the wide use of both in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, see Murphy, 1974, and Ward; for an examination of the ad Herennium problem, see Alessio, who correctly notes Decembrio's position.

(136) Leonello seems aware of the manuscript tradition of Cicero's rhetorical works, for the "old" and the "new" Rhetorica were indeed often found in the same volumes; see Sabbadini, 1967 (1905), 1:100 and 2:115.

(137) On Ciceronianism, see D'Amico, 1988b, 280-83; Monfasani, 1988, 186-94; ibid., 1999; Sabbadini, 1886; and see Black, 359-64.

(138) For repetition in Virgil, see Sparrow; in Homer, see Bowra.

(139) Hubbell, in Cicero, 1960, viii-ix. The works were, by most accounts, written roughly contemporaneously and each covered distinct parts in a rhetorical curriculum.

(140) See e.g. Cicero, De officiis, 1.2 and 1.3.

(141) De Oratore, 1.5; De inventione is not a complete textbook, since rhetorical manuals normally covered five subjects, invention (inventio), arrangement (dispositio), expression/style (elocutio), memory (memoria) and delivery (pronuntiatio) (Murphy, 11). De inventione covered only the first in detail, whereas the ad Herennium covered all five in bks. 2-4. It is true that Cicero did not mention it by name, but the "original" title was not in any case De inventione; the earliest title known is Rhetorici libri (Hubbell, in Cicero, 1960, x). An astute reader of De oratore would simply have to have concluded on his own that the reference was to the work that would come to be called De inventione.

(142) Monfasani, 1987, 112-15; ibid., 1988, 185f.

(143) Witt, 2000, 438; Celenza, 2004, chap. 4, with bibliography.

(144) For a schematic breakdown of the overall contents, see Witten, 28-31.

(145) Decembrio, ed. Witten, 2.16.1: "Mirum in modum, inquit, O iuventus, tuque in primis, Leonelle domine, in dies magis hac vestra disputandi solertia demulceor quam vos litterariam politiam appellatis, ac veri quidem vocabulo. Nam quid politius, quid argutius hisce humanitatis studiis? Est mihi in suburbanis quotidiana librorum conversatio, est et in hac urbe bibliotheca, ut vidistis, in agellum pendens viridissimum, non tanta forte librorum copia communita, uti Leonellus noster a politissimo domino habendam instituit. Neque unquam mihi tanta cum Graecis ut Latinis licteris fuit consuetudo, veruntamen multis utilibusque libris instructa. In iis Ciceronis omnia volumina praesertim philosophiae moralis uno in codice, et Terentium habeo correctissimum, in locis etiam difficilioribus expositionibus Donati circumscriptum legoque assidue. Nam quid melius facere possum senex et dives?"

(146) Terence, Eunuch, 791: "Nunquam ad te accedo, quin abs te abeam doctior."

(147) On this chapter, see Curran and Grafton.

(148) On this chapter, see J.P. Perry.

(149) On this chapter, see Baxandall.

(150) See Kristeller.

(151) See Gilmore; and Celenza, 2004, chap. 5; for a text that epitomizes this set of concerns, see Leonardo Bruni's treatise of the 1420s, De studiis et litteris, dedicated to Lady Battista Malatesta, where women are denied a public forum for their (limited) private reading. See Bruni, 1996, 249-79, especially 260, and for an English translation Bruni, 1987, 240-51, at 244.

(152) See Celenza, 2004, chap. 6.

(153) See Blair; and Moss. For a study of an early seventeenth-century figure representative of a final age of antiquarian polymathy, see Miller.


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Author:Celenza, Christopher S.
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