Onofrio Steccuti de’ Visdomini was born in Florence in 1338 ca., entered the Augustinian order and
became a magister in theology at Paris not later than 1372. Subsequently he was elected bishop of
Volterra in 1384 and of Florence in 1390. In 1400, probably for political reasons, pope Boniface IX
removed Onofrio from Florence and trasferred him to the see of Comacchio; but he renounced and
retired to religious life in the Augustinian friary of Santo Spirito in Florence, where he died in 1403.
Several works have been attributed to Onofrio, only one appears to survive: a hitherto unpublished
Rethorica, a sort of handbook based on Cicero’s De inventione and ad Herennium. It is known by
a unique manuscript, Ambr. B 161 sup., copied in the middle of the XV century for the Augustinian
friary of Santa Maria Incoronata in Milan. In this MS, beside Onofrio’s Rhetorica, there are: ps.
Aristotle, Rhetorica and Plutarch, Apophthegmata in the latin translation by Francesco Filelfo;
Frontinus, Strategemata and Sicco Polenton, Liber Exemplorum.
The Augustinian friar Andrea Biglia wrote his Commentarii betwen 1432 and 1435, expressing his
opinion on the decline and loss of Christendom and Christian faith in the East. The work, which has
never been published, is transmitted by two late 16th-Century MSS (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana,
Vat. lat. 5298 and Roma, Bibl. Angelica, 1136). They offer two slightly different redactions. The
second one (Vat. lat. 5298) is unfinished, but its readings appear to be changes aiming at a stilistical
The De rebus antiquis memorabilibus basilicae S. Petri Romae by Maffeo Vegio (1407-1458) gives
a picture of St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican before the radical restoration decided by pope Nicholas V
(1447-1455). The treatise has always been considered as a collection of inscriptions and antiquarian
data about the Constantinian temple. The identification of classic and medieval sources has now
given a key to the writer’s historical workshop and to his project. Vegio’s treatise aims at re-establish -
ing the literary genre of the descriptiones basilicarum, not ignoring the most recent theories of
humanistic historiography but not discarding the medieval bibliographical tools. The result is a book
hovering between past and present but still an important contribute to the historiographical thought
in the Italian Quattrocento.
In the wake of past attempts to identify Pomponio Leto’s birthplace in different locations in Southern
Italy a fresh review of the evidence is offered, including the lives by the Pomponian disciples Petrus
Marsus, Michael Fernus and Marcus Antonius Sabellicus; Giovanni Pontano’s and Pietro Ranzano’s
accounts; records by contemporary diarists; a heading in a manuscript; and sixteenth-century histories.
It is suggested that Pomponio’s own phrase ut Calaber noster Ennius was intended to give news of
Ennius’ origins thanks to the rediscovery of Silius’ Punica. The sources for Pomponio’s origins are
then reassessed and a strong case is made for Teggiano in Campania.
Giovanni Mattia Tiberino, a physician and humanist, was born in Chiari, near Brescia; he is known
for his role in the affair of Simone of Trento, a baby who was found murdered in the irrigation ditch
of this city at Easter 1475. The local Jewish community was immediately accused of his death; the
baby was honoured as a martyr and called “beato Simonino”. The years that Tiberino spent at the
court of the prince-bishof of Trento Johannes Hinderbach, promoting the young martyr’s cult, are
relatively investigated. Other biographical aspects are less known, and documents are scanty. A
welcome addition are six autograph letters preserved in Chiari, Biblioteca Morcelliana, Fondo
Ludovico Ricci, busta 17 (olim Arm. Mss. A II 8), ff. 60-65, which are here edited. Three of the
letters are in Latin, and three in the vernacular. They provide information on Tiberino’s curriculum
studiorum, his economical situation, his friends in Chiari and relationships with his native town.
A copy of an edition of Lucretius printed by Misinta in Brescia in 1496 was sold at auction in
London in 1900. Neither this nor any other copy of this edition can be located, and it has been
suggested that it may have been a ‘ghost’ generated by a cataloguing error. The authors present
compelling new evidence that there was no error. They discuss the ownership of the unique copy
and consider the probable nature of the text. The very fact that there was a fifth incunabular edition
of Lucretius, printed, like the editio princeps, in Brescia, is of considerable interest, and it is to be
hoped that a copy (or ‘the copy’) will come to light.
Two early 16th-century manuscripts of the Trivulzio family’s private library in Milan, MSS Triv.
2079 and Triv. 2096, transmit works composed by Arcangelo Madrignani and Francesco Scauro and
dedicated to Gian Giacomo Trivulzio (1440-1518). Both MSS appear to have been written by the
Milanese copyist Giovanni Battista Lorenzi and are to be added to the corpus of manuscripts attributed
to his hand by Albinia de la Mare and Jonathan J.G. Alexander. Moreover two parchment documents
held in the Archivio di Stato of Milan (Diplomi e dispacci sovrani, Milano, cart. 9, s. d. and Cimeli,
cart. 1, c 20, 1 oct. 1511) are here identified as written by the same copyist. In 1515 Lorenzi was
a secretary of Massimiliano Sforza.
Pope Nicholas V (1447-1455) established the papal library in the Vatican as a resource available to
scholars and cared by librarians. Since the Vatican library official foundation by Sixtus IV in 1475,
the librarian kept registers for books given on loan, which are the main source both on readers and
on librarians themselves. The two first registers have been edited by M. Bertòla in 1942. The present
research in the Vatican Archives has brought to light documents which add information on librarians
(bibliothecarii) and other officials of the library (custodes) for the years 1449-1554. The policy of
appointments and details of their biographies may now be better settled. Many of them are renowned
humanists: Giovanni Tortelli, Cosme de Montserrat, Andrea Bussi, Bartolomeo Platina, Cristoforo
Persona, Giovanni Lorenzi, Tommaso Inghirami, Filippo Beroaldo jr, Girolamo Aleandro, Fausto
In 1506 Pietro Bembo decided not to follow a political career in the Republic of Venice, and to
devote himself to study. He did not succeed to settle in Rome, but, thanks to Elisabetta Gonzaga,
he was received by the Duke of Urbino, where he lived until 1512. These years were crucial for the
preparation of Prose della volgar lingua and his collection of Rime. The letters he wrote in this
period are considered, and throw light upon the working out of his literary ideas, where Petrarch
was a dominating model and which eventually brought him to turn away from the courtly life. For
this reason later in his life he may have eliminated a good number of letters written in these years.
Some dubious datations of his epistolary are discussed.
In 1628 the podestà of Brescia, the Venetian patrician Domenico Ruzzini, asked the town-council
for permission to study the Liber potheris, a thirteenth-century cartulary collecting the oldest
documents of the municipality. Ruzzini looked for a medieval treaty between the emperor Frederic
II and the communes of the second Lombard League (1232), which is copied in the Liber potheris.
Ruzzini’s aim was both historical scholarship and political interest: the knowledge of the traditional
rights, possessions and privilege of the city clergy and institutions was important for his government.
I Fasti Sacri by Sforza Pallavicino (1607-1667) is an unfinished poem about the feasts of the saints
listed in the Calendar of the Roman church. In this work Pallavicino, like other authors of the same
period, tried to match epic genre with religious matter, following Tasso’s example, and taking into
consideration the debate about religious poetry in Barberini’s circle along with the teachings of Jesuit
scholars. The poem has a complex textual history, since it has been preserved in two different versions.
The first is a manuscript and the second an incomplete set of proofs. Part of the text has been printed
in an anthology, Scelta di poesie italiane, Venice 1686, in a pre-arcadic environment. This little
known poem almost completely disappeared after author’s entered the Jesuit order in 1637. The
article provides information on the work within the context of seventeenth-century sacred poetics.
The article aims at giving a general view of the legal regulation of the lakes of Insubria in the
Modern Age (16th-18th centuries). The lakes (Verbano/ Maggiore, Como, Varese, Ceresio, Mezzola)
were controlled by the Milanese government under the Spanish and Austrian rules, and later also in
part by Switzerland and by the King of Sardinia. The magistracy in charge, fishing rights and fish
trade regulations are investigated in the light of documents preserved mainly in the State Archives
of Milan and Como, and in the archive of the Borromeo family at Isola Bella.
The Biblioteca del Capitolo Metropolitano is the oldest library related to the Cathedral of Milan.
The library collections, which include 9th-century MSS, are particularly important for the history of
the Ambrosian liturgy. Documents preserved in the archive of the Metropolitan Chapter of Milan
shed light on the history of the library since the death of saint Charles Borromeo (1584) until the
20th century. Most relevant sources are the series of minutes of the Chapter meetings; the canons
deliberated over the library administration. Cash-books provide information on bequests, acquisitions,
expenses for maintenance and cataloguing, etc. Other documents are letters of scholars asking permission
to study MSS: among these G.P. Puricelli, M. Lupo, G. Tiraboschi, M. Magistretti, A. Ratti (Pio XI).
Before the great Italian poet Giovanni Pascoli (1855-1912) was appointed University Professor of
Latin and later of Italian, he taught in several Italian high schools. In 1893, the Secretary for Education,
the journalist and writer Ferdinando Martini, wishing to improve the teaching of Latin in Italy,
appointed Pascoli as a member of a committee of specialists in this field. Pascoli, who was elected
president of the committee, wrote a famous report criticizing the excess of grammar and erudition
and the lack of a true “reading” of authors. The paper shows that Pascoli’s statement must be
understood within the framework of the cultural struggle concerning the teaching of Latin and Greek
in the first decades of the recently unified Italy: the “local” tradition (i.e. practical teaching of Latin,
particularly in Central Italy and Catholic schools) was challenged by a different approach, particularly
in the North of the country. This was of German origin and placed the emphasis on grammar
and philology. Many years later, in 1922, a letter of Giovanni Giolitti, who in 1893 was Prime
Minister, shows the influence of Pascoli’s ideas, as well as of other disputes regarding the teaching
of Greek in Italian high schools.
G.C. ALESSIO... [ET AL.], Esperimenti danteschi. Purgatorio 2009, a c. di B.
QUADRIO (L. Ciccone), p. 905 - M. RINALDI, Per l’edizione critica delle
«Expositiones et glose super “Comediam” Dantis» di Guido da Pisa. Recensio
dei manoscritti (L. Azzetta), p. 907 - G. FARAONE, Antonio Loschi e Antonio da
Romagno (A. Piacentini), p. 909 - J.G. DE SEPÚLVEDA, Epistolario, ed. I.J. GARCÍA PINILLA, J. SOLANA PUJALTE, introd. J. GIL, vol. VII, IX/1-2 (F. Forner), p. 912
- R.M. FERNÁNDEZ DE ZAMORA, Los impresores mexicanos del siglo XVI: su
presencia en el patrimonio cultural del nuevo siglo (E. Sandal), p. 914 -
ACCADEMIA AMBROSIANA, Classe di Studi sull’Estremo Oriente, Milano, «Asiatica
Ambrosiana. Saggi e ricerche di cultura, religioni e società dell’Asia», 1 (2009):
Culture e religioni in Asia, a c. di C. PICCININI (G. Merchionne), p. 916 - S.
COVINO, Giacomo e Monaldo Leopardi falsari trecenteschi. Contraffazione dell’antico,
cultura e storia linguistica nell’Ottocento italiano (M. Colombo), p. 918 -
D. BARTOLI, Il torto e ’l diritto del non si può dato in giudicio sopra molte regole
della lingua italiana esaminato da Ferrante Longobardi cioè dal P. D. B., a c. di
S. BOZZOLA (M. Colombo), p. 921 - I. PIAZZA, “Buoni libri” per tutti. L’editoria
cattolica e l’evoluzione dei generi letterari nel secondo Ottocento (M. Colombo),
p. 923 - A. CASCETTA, La tragedia nel teatro del Novecento (E. Elli), p. 925 -
M.L. PORZIO GERNIA, Giuliano Bonfante nella storia della linguistica (C. Milano),
R. CARDINI, Ortografia e consolazione in un Corpus allestito da L.B. Alberti. Il
codice Moreni 2 della Biblioteca Moreniana di Firenze (F. Della Schiava), p. 931 -
Lorenzo Valla e l’Umanesimo bolognese, a c. di G.M. ANSELMI, M. GUERRA (F.
Della Schiava), p. 932 - R.L. GUIDI, L’inquietudine del Quattrocento (A. Manfredi),
p. 933 - K. OLEJNIK, Władysław III Warnenczyk (1424-1444) [Ladislao III Varnense
(1424-1444)] (J.W. Wos´), p. 934 - R. REGIO, In Ovidii Metamorphosin
Enarrationes, I (Libri I-IV), a c. di M. BENEDETTI (E. Fumagalli), p. 935 - M.
BERNARDI, Lo zibaldone colocciano Vat. lat. 4831. Edizione e commento (P. Gresti),
p. 936 - Angelo Colocci e gli studi romanzi, a c. di C. BOLOGNA, M. BERNARDI
(P. Gresti), p. 937 - Repertorio delle traduzioni umanistiche a stampa. Secoli XVXVI,
a c. di M. CORTESI, S. FIASCHI (E. Fumagalli), p. 938 - P. STICHAUER, La
produttività morfologica in diacronia: i suffissi -mento, -zione e -gione in italiano
antico dal Duecento al Cinquecento (M. Passarotti), p. 939 - Splendida materia.
Arte nel Duomo di Como, a c. di E. BIANCHI, C. CASERO, percorso iconografico
a c. di A. STRAFFI (M. Sampietro), p. 940 - ARCHIVIO DI STATO DI CREMONA,
Inventario dell’Archivio storico del Comune di Cremona. Sezione di Antico Regime
(secc. XV-XVIII), a c. di V. LEONI (S. Manfredini), p. 941 - G. PETRELLA, Fra
testo e immagine. Edizioni popolari del Rinascimento in una miscellanea ottocentesca
(M. Colombo), p. 943 - Oriente e Occidente nel Rinascimento, a c. di
L. SECCHI TARUGI (E. Fumagalli), p. 944 - Carlo Dionisotti: la vita, gli studi, il
pensiero di un letterato del Novecento, a c. di C. CARENA, R. CICALA (M. Ferrari),
Mercoledì 4 dicembre in Università Cattolica un seminario per riflettere a partire dalla figura di Antigone sul valore della libertà e della disobbedienza civile intervallato da letture e performance artistiche.