Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts

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LJS 267 - De ludo schacchorum seu de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium ... [etc.]
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Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection: LJS 267 - De ludo schacchorum seu de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium ... [etc.]
De ludo schacchorum seu de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium ... [etc.] [manuscript].
[Italy], 1409.
Physical description:
175 leaves : parchment, ill. ; 190 x 122 (130 x 75-80) mm. bound to 200 x 135 mm.
Compilation, mostly in Latin, of religious, literary, historical, and natural-historical works, including classical and contemporary selections, as well as letters by humanist writers Francesco Petrarca and Donatus Albanzani. Over a quarter of the manuscript is devoted to the De ludo scachorum of Jacobus de Cessolis, a collection of sermons about the proper relationships between a king and various classes of subjects, compared to the rules of chess (f. 1r-56r). Other moderately substantial texts include descriptions of various geographic regions from Honorius of Autun's De imagine mundi (f. 61r-71r); a brief history of the Roman civil wars (f. 71v-92r); and the Computus of Bono da Lucca, which deals with the calendar, lunar cycles, and calculations for determining the date of Easter (f. 109r-124v). The manuscript is a palimpsest, with the lower text from the 14th century, probably legal.
Ms. codex.
Title for manuscript from closing rubric for predominant work (f. 56r).
Collation: Parchment, ii (18th-century paper) + 175 + ii (18th-century paper); 1¹⁰(-1) 2-3¹⁰ 4⁸(+1) 5-17¹⁰ 18⁸(-1); [1-175]; modern foliation in pencil, lower left recto. Catchwords lower center on the last verso of gatherings 1-15 except for gathering 11 (f. 108v).
Layout: Written in 26-42 long lines; ruled in lead and faint ink.
Script: Written in Italian Gothic script, mostly in the hand of Franciscus Gennay (f. 56r, 71r, 92r, 124v).
Decoration: 11 ink drawings illustrating the De ludo scachorum: the author in monastic habit at his desk (f. 1r); king and king chess-piece (f. 4r); judge and bishop chess-piece (f. 10r); knight and knight chess-piece (f. 12v); carpenter and pawn chess-piece (f. 24v); builder and pawn chess-piece (f. 27r); scribe and pawn chess-piece (f. 28v); merchant (f. 32v); innkeeper (f. 38r); city guard (?) with key and pawn chess-piece (f. 40v); and wasteful rogue with dice and perhaps coins (f. 43r). 5-line initial in red with infilling and ground of penwork in ink (f. 109r); 3-line initial in blue (f. 117r); rubrics and 2-line initials in red throughout; paragraph marks in red in De ludo scachorum and Computus (f. 1r-56r, 109r-124v); capitals touched with yellow throughout; occasional manicules added by later readers (for example, f.46v-47r).
Binding: 18th-century leather over pasteboards, spine and board edges gilt, marbled endpapers.
Origin: Written in northern Italy in 1409 (f. 71r).
Cite as:
LJS 267
Manuscript location:
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts University of Pennsylvania LJS 267
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