Treasures of Urbino

Here's a list of the latest rush of newly digitized manuscripts at the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. This release of 52 items was uploaded late on March 12 and brings the total number of Vatican Library works available on the internet to 1,839.

The oldest treasures this time are from the chapter library (Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.) which has only been part of the BAV since 1940.

Nearly half the items this week come from the great Renaissance library created by Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino, who died in 1482 after a rambunctious life as a brutal mercenary general (he never fought for free) and refined man of culture (he had his own team of scribes at Urbino and a library considered the greatest in Italy after the pope's).

A couple of centuries after his death, that envied library was integrated into the Papal Library at the Vatican in 1657. We are now all privileged to be able to read Federico's exquisite books online. Here is a fine illuminated capital "S" from one of them, Urb. lat. 348, in a passage explaining the word stemmata.
  1. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.A.13, Augustine of Hippo, sermons
  2. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.B.63, Bolognese missal, 14th century, with lustrous miniatures that are now attributed to a painter known as Pseudo-Niccolò. See his Risen Christ and an image described as defence of the book. See listing Ebner.
  3. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.C.103
  4. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.173, Augustine of Hippo?
  5. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.D.200, Nicholas of Lyra’s Quaestio de Adventu Christi and Contra Judaeos
  6. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.E.15
  7. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.F.16, liturgical (Salerno Pontificale) with wonderful initials, including the sun and moon:
  8. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.G.39
  9. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.G.42
  10. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.G.43, possibly the Elucidarium of Honorius Augustodunensis, 12th century
  11. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.H.26, Chinese?
  12. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.I.17, autograph? Gregory XVI (1837)
  13. Arch.Cap.S.Pietro.I.18.
  14. Borgh.14, liturgical
  15. Borgh.95, 14th century, legal, Arnoldus de Augusta
  16. Borgh.109, Thomas Aquinas, Summa
  17. Borgh.110, Thomas Aquinas, Summa
  18. Borgh.120, Thomas Aquinas, Quaestiones
  19. Borgh.154, Tancredus, 1185-1236, Opera, 13th-14th century
  20. Borgh.194, Tuscan translation of the poem De rerum natura by Lucretius (97-55 BC); check out the 2014 book by Ada Palmer on its influence in Renaissance Italy.
  21. Borgh.195, 18th-century European politics
  22. Borgh.230, Iohannes de Lignano, 1320-1383 Lectura super decretales
  23. Borgh.326
  24. Borgh.343
  25. Borgh.367, Il Governatore Politico e Christiano by Mezentius Carbonari
  26. Borgh.377, Scripturales
  27. Pal.gr.192, Hippocratic text
  28. Reg.lat.525, hagiography
  29. Reg.lat.554, universal chronicle, description of Holy Land, copy of BN lat. 4892?
  30. Urb.ebr.3
  31. Urb.ebr.13
  32. Urb.ebr.32
  33. Urb.ebr.35
  34. Urb.ebr.36
  35. Urb.ebr.41
  36. Urb.ebr.42
  37. Urb.ebr.43
  38. Urb.ebr.44
  39. Urb.ebr.45
  40. Urb.ebr.48
  41. Urb.ebr.49
  42. Urb.ebr.50
  43. Urb.ebr.52
  44. Urb.ebr.53
  45. Urb.ebr.54
  46. Urb.ebr.55
  47. Urb.ebr.56
  48. Urb.lat.19, Psalter
  49. Urb.lat.260, Columella's Roman-era treatise on agriculture (frontispiece below).
    This is one of about 40 copies deriving from Poggio Bracciolini's rediscovery of the work in Fulda, Germany, while he was in the north for the Council of Constance exactly 600 years ago. Poggio probably stole it, as it ended up in Milan in the early fifteenth century, where is it now Biblioteca Ambrosiana L.85 su; summary. At the end of the BAV copy is a fragment of Augustine, Retractationes.
  50. Urb.lat.348, Renaissance: poems, commentary on Horace: initial at the top of this post.
  51. Urb.lat.349, Homer in Latin
  52. Vat.lat.3836, Sermons of Augustine of Hippo, Leo the Great and others.
As always, if you see an unmarked gem here, or can explain to us the significance of one of these items to scholarship, or can point out an error, please add a comment in the box below. Most of these items have been discussed in scholarly literature that is not mentioned in the BAV's own very sketchy online bibliographies, but often with variant shelfmarks. Scholarly publications use a great variety of abbreviations to denote such manuscripts. For Arch.Cap.S.Pietro. above, try alternate searches using forms such as "cod. ..." or "cod. cap. ..." or "arch. cap. s. petri ..." or ACP.

If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to Digita Vaticana. [This is Piggin's Unofficial List 5.]

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