Pliny, Letters fragment

Accession number: 
MS M.462
Pliny, Letters fragment
Italy, ca. 490-499.
20th century vellum in slipcase edged with red leather.
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1910.
6 leaves (1 column, 27 lines), bound : vellum ; 287 x 180 mm
The original manuscript was in France at least by ca. 1380 (dated with reference to the inscription on folio 51); owned by the Abbey of Saint Victor Library in Paris up to 1505 (foliated by the librarian Claude de Grandrue and listed as missing/stolen in the 1514 catalogue); discovered around 1500 at the Saint Victor Library by the Dominican Fra Giovanni Giocondo of Verona, who initially transcribed some of the letters and sent them to Aldus Manutius in Venice, and later borrowed or simply removed the manuscript from the abbey in 1505 and perhaps sold it to Aloise Mocenigo, the Venetian ambassador in Paris, who took it to Venice and lent it to Aldus Manutius; by the 18th century the manuscript had been fragmented and the surviving 6 leaves were purchased by Marchese Francesco Taccone of Naples (1763-1818); sold by his heirs to Tammaro de Marinis in 1910; purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) from De Marinis through Alexandre Imbert but shipped by Quaritch, in 1910.

Ms. epistolae; written in Italy at the end of the 5th century.
The six leaves comprise folios 48-53 of a larger manuscript of this text, the Codex Parisinus, which Aldus Manutius used for his 1508 edition of Pliny's Letters. In the preface to this edition Aldus thanks the Venetian ambassador in Paris, Aloisio Mocenigo, for having provided him with this manuscript (see Lowe & Rand, A sixth-century fragment..., p. 37).
A late 14th-centuryinscription on the upper margin of folio 51 (A tous ceulz qui ces presentes lettres verront et orront / Jehan de Sannemeres garde du scel de la provoste de / Meaulx & Francois Beloy clerc Jure de par le Roy / nostre sire a ce faire Salut sachient tuit que par. ) refers to Jehan de Sannemeres, keeper of the seal of the provosté of Meaux, mentioned in two documents in the Royal Belgian Archives at Brussels (see Rand, 1926, p. 343) dated 19 September and 4 November 1381.