Panorama of Rome in 1457

Postcards of Rome are two a penny, but panoramic views of the city in the early Renaissance are special. This week's surprise digitization at the Vatican Library is a miniature painted from near the Vatican in or just before 1457. Arnold Esch captions it as below (my translation):
An unusual perspective on Rome, more or less the view that would be seen from Pope Pius II's apartment. Until this period, it had been usual to do landscapes from Monte Mario, and these tended to be idealized rather than actual views. This is the first realistic panorama of Rome, a miniature for a manuscript of Euclid completed in 1457 that had been commissioned by Francesco del Borgo, Pius II's architect.

The view is from the Vatican garden above the papal palace, with, at center, the Cortile del Maresciallo (with the Capella Magna in front, the small tower of the east facade behind) and the Campanile of St Peter's, towards the city in the curve of the Tiber River. At left is a footpath to the Castell San Angelo and the Tiber, in the center the dome of the Pantheon, with the trees of the Capitol on both sides and St Maria in Ara Coeli and the Senatorial Palace; at right in foreground the northern slope of the Gianicolo.
Anthony Grafton adds in the Rome Reborn catalog that the image may have been the first view of Rome to use new methods by Leon Battista Alberti to plot positions of buildings accurately. For a comparison, check out this reconstruction on Tomaso Paynim's blog: I think the miniature is from a standpoint on the high ground at left. San Angelo is at right.

Here are the newly digitized manuscripts, including tweeted annotations from the eagle-eyed @LatinAristotle
  1. Ott.lat.3385.pt.1
  2. Reg.lat.1452, eTK incipits: A philosophis astronomiam sic diffinitam accepimus (14C); Philosophis astronomiam sic diffinitam accepimus
  3. Reg.lat.1494
  4. Reg.lat.1508
  5. Reg.lat.1514
  6. Reg.lat.1518
  7. Reg.lat.1534
  8. Reg.lat.1536
  9. Reg.lat.1538
  10. Reg.lat.1543
  11. Reg.lat.1615 ,
  12. Reg.lat.1640
  13. Urb.lat.1104
  14. Urb.lat.1106
  15. Vat.lat.1420
  16. Vat.lat.1884
  17. Vat.lat.1950
  18. Vat.lat.2019
  19. Vat.lat.2112 , Aristotle, Problemata (tr. Bartholomew of Messina), HT to @LatinAristotle
  20. Vat.lat.2155
  21. Vat.lat.2178 ,
  22. Vat.lat.2180
  23. Vat.lat.2207
  24. Vat.lat.2218
  25. Vat.lat.2224, panoramic view of Rome (above) in Euclid Geometry
  26. Vat.lat.2225, eTK incipit: Circa dictum Campani in quo dicitur quod magnitudo (15C) (Nicole Oresme)
  27. Vat.lat.2230, HT to @gundormr: Vitruvius, On Architecture
  28. Vat.lat.10293
New in color (previously online in black and white only): Vat.lat.2185, eTK incipit: Cum in singulis scientiis secundum by 14th century author English mathematician Richard Suiseth, also known as The Calculator. Another manuscript of the same work arrived online last week.

In Heidelberg eight Vatican manuscripts of the Pal.lat. series are newly online:
  1.  Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1947 Katalog der Privatbibliothek Ludwigs VI. (1584)
  2. Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1948 Katalog der Palatina in Rom, lateinische (sowie griech., hebr. und arabische) Handschriften
  3. Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1952 Sammelband: Verzeichnis lat. und griech. Autoren, Alexander de Villa Dei, Pflanzenglossar, Rezepte, Metrik (Fragm.), de iure naturali, tituli decretalium (12.-16. Jh.)
  4. Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1953 Luther, Martin: Apophtegmata etc. (Johannes Aurifaber?)
  5. Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1954 Luther, Martin: Opera diversa (Schülerabschrift?)
  6. Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1955 Luther, Martin: Diverses lat. und deutsch ; Briefabschriften
  7. Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1956 Katalog der Palatina (1581). Geschichte (1581)
  8. Vatikan, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Pal. lat. 1959 Theologische Sammelhandschrift (1. Hälfte 15. Jh.)
This is Piggin's Unofficial List number 136. If you have corrections or additions, please use the comments box below. Follow me on Twitter (@JBPiggin) for news of more additions to DigiVatLib.

No comments :

Post a Comment