Penn in Hand: Selected Manuscripts

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LJS 60 - Mela, Pomponius - [Cosmographia]
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Mela, Pomponius.
[Cosmographia] [manuscript] / Pomponii Mel[a]e.
De chorographia
[Italy, between 1440 and 1450]
Physical description:
70 leaves : parchment ; 169 x 111 (116 x 68) mm. bound to 178 x 124 mm.
Geographical work describing the populated areas of Europe, northern Africa, and western Asia as known to the historian and geographer Strabo. Many leaves of the manuscript are palimpsests, the parchment having been formerly used for legal documents and washed for re-use. The earlier texts are occasionally faintly visible running perpendicular to the Mela text.
1. f.1r-1v: Proemium.
2. f.1v-26r: [Liber primus, Descriptio orbis]
3. f.26r-50r: [Liber secundus, Situs Europae]
4. f.50r-70v: [Liber tertius, Ambitus orbis, ora oceani et insularum eius]
Formerly owned by Antonio de Bonius (?), 1450 (inscription, f. 70v).
Formerly owned by Prince Baldassarre Boncompagni of Rome (no. 356 (306)).
Appears in J. Halle Antiquariat's cat. 50 (1914), no. 20.
Sold by Sam Fogg Ltd. (London) to Lawrence J. Schoenberg, Feb. 1997.
Deposit by Lawrence J. Schoenberg and Barbara Brizdle, 2012.
Related names:
Bonius, Antonio de, former owner.
Boncompagni, Baldassarre, 1821-1894, former owner.
Cities and towns, Ancient - Early works to 1800.
Geography, Ancient - Early works to 1800.
Form / Genre:
Manuscripts, Latin - 15th century.
Manuscripts, Renaissance.
Ms. codex.
Title from rubric (f. 1r).
Foliation: Parchment, 70 + ii; [1-70]; modern foliation in pencil, upper right recto (19th-century foliation with larger numbers, also in pencil, also upper right recto, skips f. 38 and f. 50; this earlier foliation and the note in pencil at the upper margin of the first page are both mentioned in the 1892 catalog of the Boncompagni library).
Layout: Written in 23-24 long lines; frame-ruled in lead.
Script: Written in a rounded northern Italian humanistic script.
Decoration: 1 6-line initial in blue with red acanthus-leaf decoration, ornamental frame, and extensions (f. 1r); 15 2- or 3-line initials in either red or blue; 5 of the red initials have penwork in black (f. 5r, 37v, 42r, 55r, 60r); marginal notations, mostly place names, in red or blue; rubrics in red.
Binding: 15th-century vellum over pasteboards.
Origin: Possibly written in northern Italy, before 1450 (date of ownership inscription, f. 70v); probably written between 1440 and 1450.
Indexed / Referenced in:
Described in Transformation of knowledge: early manuscripts from the collection of Lawrence J. Schoenberg (London: Paul Holberton, 2006), p. 130 (LJS 60).
Cite as:
LJS 60
Manuscript location:
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts University of Pennsylvania LJS 60

Find Related Items:

Collection: Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection
Collection: Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts
Facsimile: Yes
Illuminated: No
Illustrated: No
Notated: No
Language: Latin
Century: 15th century
Date: 1440
Genre: Codices
Genre: Manuscripts, Latin - 15th century
Genre: Manuscripts, Renaissance
Genre: Palimpsests
Subject: Cities and towns, Ancient
Subject: Geography, Ancient
Author: Mela, Pomponius
Related names: Boncompagni, Baldassarre, 1821-1894, former owner
Related names: Bonius, Antonio de, former owner
Page material: Parchment