«Propriis manibus ipse transcripsit». Il manoscritto London, British Library, Harley 5383

Laura Pani

Abstract


This paper deals with the manuscript London, British Library, Harley 5383. So far barely known as a 14th century copy of Paul the Deacon’s Historia Langobardorum, Harley 5383 is here proven to be an autograph by Giovanni Boccaccio. More precisely, it is a membrum disiectum of a major Boccaccio’s manuscript, two parts of which are better known and now kept at the Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence. The identification of Harley 5383 now allows us to virtually reassemble the whole Boccaccio’s ancient and medieval history book as it is described in the 15th century inventory of Santo Spirito library. It contains Orosius’ Historiae adversus paganos (Firenze, Biblioteca Riccardiana, 627), Paul the Deacon’s Historia Langobardorum (London, British Library, 5383 and Firenze, Biblioteca Riccardiana, 2975VI, ff. 70-74), Pasquale Romano’s Epistola de origine civitatis Aretii (Firenze, Biblioteca Riccardiana, 2975VI, ff. 75-76). Both Boccaccio’s handwriting features and a marginal note in Harley 5383 referring to the Black Death of 1348 show that the manuscript was copied in the early fifties of the 14th century, whereas it is not at the moment possible to establish when, where and why it was divided into three parts.

Keywords


Giovanni Boccaccio; Historia Langobardorum; autograph manuscripts


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Scrineum-12156

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