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De legibus, De senectute, etc., 1400 - 1454

Identifier: Gordan MS 3


Table of contents: f. 1r Contains miscellaneous nearly-contemporary notes relating to the text in various hands, f. 1v Ruled but blank; M. T. Ciceronis de Legvm Emendationibvs, Marivs libellus incipit; Principio tractato in Rhetoricis, caput 1; Ci[cero] de senectute; Four-line mnemonic device for the seven roman military ranks; brief list of the seven ages of man from infant to child followed by a list of seven ages of the world; Totius cronice Epylogus et Supputatio; Ex lactantio sententie philosophorum de summo bono; Cicero De Senectute Hic finitur. Versus Emilii Probi; Ex epistolis Q. Curtii Inc.: Sartonius S.P.D; De paradoxis sequitur; Paradoxa Ciceronis Hic Finita Sunt.


  • Creation: 1400 - 1454


1 volumes

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Written in Italy before 1454. Notes by early owners on f. 1r: “1454 mense Novembri post diem Omnium Sanctorum, quo primum scolam linquens Perusium petii” and in another hand: “emitur Perusii iste liber cum Terentio et Bucolicorum et Georgicorum libris flor. 3 et bl. XI.” Further down a “Memoria” includes the date 1458 From an unidentified sale by Sotheby (catalogue entry on inside front cover); No. 23 in the collection of W. H. H. Newman (bookplate), Buffalo, New York; Maggs, Cat. 542 (1930), n. 196, facs. Acquired by Howard L. Goodhart in 1934.


  1. Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Other related names

  1. Sotheby, dealer
  2. Newman, W. H. N., former owner
  3. Maggs Bros. Ltd., bookseller
  4. Goodhart, Howard Lehman, former owner
  5. Goodhart, Howard Lehman, donor
  6. Gordan, Phyllis Goodhart, owner
  7. Gordan, John Dozier Jr., owner

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Left by Howard Lehman Goodhart to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

Physical Description

Articles 1, 3, and 10 make up the original text, written by a single scribe above the top line in a hybrida script; marginal and interlinear notes and corrections have been added in several hands. The remaining articles have been added later in a variety of humanistic cursive and hybrida bookhands by different scribes.

Paper support (watermarks in gutter: unidentified horse; Briquet lettre G 8204; and Briquet lettre R 8936).

Quarter pig-skin over original oak boards, diamond-shaped brass catch on front cover stamped with the pascal lamb above a flower, remains of clasp on back cover. Boards have some worm damage. In ink on small paper label on spine: “Ms. #3”.

ff. 106, 215 x 144 (138 x 83) mm.

Article 1 written in 19 lines ruled with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines in ink, slight remains of prickings in all three margins; article 2 written in c. 30 lines over ruling for article 1; article 3, ff. 61r-70r written in 15 ruled lines with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines in ink; on ff. 70v-91v in 18-19 ruled lines with double vertical bounding lines in hardpoint, remains of pricking throughout; articles 4-9 written in long lines on blank pages following article 3; article 10 written in 21 lines on pages variously ruled ink and hardpoint, remains of pricking; article 11 included in lower margin on final page of article 10.

Hybrida and humanistic script written by several scribes

The decoration in this MS, limited to the Cicero texts, is primitive, probably added after the completion of the book. The De Legibus begins on f. 2r with a 6-line penwork initial in blue and red. On f. 61r an elaborate, if primitive, 4-line red and black decorative initial “A” depicts a winged dragon, drinking from a chalice out of which grows an elaborate acanthus leaf and thistle, the overgrown acanthus leaf, twisting like a vine, extends along the top margin and down the outer margin the full length of the text; on f. 94r a 5-line red and black penwork initial with modest feather and wing extensions introduces the Paradoxa. Additionally there are simple red openwork initials: 3-line on f. 67 v and 2-line on 84v; solid red initials: 3-line on f. 94v and 2-line on ff. 62r and 71r. Spaces for 4-line initials as well as two lines for chapter heading left unfilled on ff. 21 and 44v; spaces for 2-line initials left unfilled on ff. 98r, 100r, 101v, 104r. Character’s names, a few chapter headings, and sentence markers also in red.

Modern foliation.

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