Blondus: Romae instauratae libri III.

The rediscovery of the ancient world in the Renaissance era went in pair with the admiration and exploration of the ruins. One of the most important areas was located at the very heart of Rome. Flavio Biondo (†1463), the secretary of Pope Eugene IV with a special interest in history, made an archeological evaluation of Ancient Rome on the request of the Pope. This was the first comprehensive work of this sort. The author identified the buildings with the help of ancient sources and methods of archeology like area exploration and the analysis of inscriptions and medals. Rome Restored is an interesting memory of the contemporaneous era as well, with sometimes pictorial descriptions of the deplorable conditions of the ancient ruins: there were cow fairs held at the one-time Forum Romanum, and the Colosseum served as a stone mine if not dwelled by robbers. Flavius Blondus’s work is a definite step towards exact scientific research with only a little influence of the medieval work Mirabilia urbis Romae that summarized the highlights of the city for pilgrims. The author made use of the descriptions of late Rome as reflected by the catalog-like structure of his work. The final conclusion, by all means, is the praise of Christian Rome, the city of the Popes.
The codex was copied by Piero Cennini in Florence in 1467. For this reason, we assume that it was probably brought to Hungary by Peter Garazda who belonged to the same circle of friends as Cennini and owned several manuscripts of his hand. The decoration could be made at the workshop of Francesco di Antonio del Chierico. Later the manuscript entered the royal library of Buda where the “First Heraldic Painter” added King Matthias’s coat of arms. (Edina Zsupán)

Source: The Corvina Library and the Buda Worskhop: [National Széchényi Library, November 6, 2018 –February 9, 2019] A Guide to the Exhibition; introduction and summary tables: Edina Zsupán; object descriptions: Edina Zsupán, Ferenc Földesi; English translation: Ágnes Latorre, Budapest: NSZL, 2018, p. 190


Shelfmark: Armadio I. No. 1.
Country: Hungary
City: Győr
Keeper location: Győr Diocesan Treasury and Library
Author: Blondus Flavius Forliviensis
Content: Romae instauratae libri III
Writing medium: parchment
Number of sheets: 106 fol.
Sheet size: 154 x 240 mm
Place of writing: Florence
Date of writing: 1467 ("Excriptus Florentie VI. Idus Iulias MCCCCLXVII.", f. 102r)
Scriptor: Petrus Cenninius (unsigned)
Illuminator: Workshop of Francesco di Antonio del Chierico
Place of illumination: Florence
Date of illumination: 1467
Crest: King Matthias' Hungarian and Bohemian royal coat-of-arms; "first" heraldic painter, Buda, late 1480s
Binding: onetime, blind-tooled Italian Renaissance leather binding (with moderate gilding), with golden edge
Language of corvina: Latin