Xenophon: De republica

As the title-page of the manuscript is missing, only the binding tells of its being a Corvina. It is an original gilded Corvina binding. The text that reads at the top of the rear binding table, the name of one of the translators, Filelfo and the author, is remarkable and revealing: “Philelfus” and “Scenofote”. (The mark upon the second ‘o’ is for a nasal sound, thus the pronunciation is “Scenofonte”.) In the translator’s name, the author applies a half-Italian variant instead of the regular Latin form (Philelphus), using f for ph; the name of the Greek author is written entirely in Italian. All that proves that the bookbinder was from Italy. An interesting step in the binding process of the Corvinas is recorded by the note “philelphus i Scenofonte” on f55 which means that the bookbinder received the ready-made and ordered quires with a specific written instruction. The author of the note was probably another Italian at the court, a humanist in charge of the uniformization of the library. Nevertheless, the manuscript had been copied much earlier, probably in Johannes Vitez’s environment. The miniature was illuminated by the “First Heraldic Painter”. (The entry written for the guide to the exhibition was made on the basis of Marianne Rozsondai’s and Edina Zsupán’s descriptions below: The CORVINA LIBRARY and the Buda Workshop. Exhibition Catalog. (Publication in progress.) Budapest: NSZL, 2019, Cat. H13)

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. 210     


Shelfmark: Cod. Lat. 422.
Country: Hungary
City: Budapest
Keeper location: National Széchényi Library
Author: Xenophon
Content: De republica Lacedaemoniorum
Translator: Franciscus Philelphus
Writing medium: parchment
Number of sheets: 58 fol.
Sheet size: 251 × 155 mm
Place of writing: Hungary (Buda? Esztergom?)
Date of writing: ca. 1470
Scriptor: Probably a Hungarian scriptor who had worked in the vicinity of Iohannes Vitéz and Regiomontanus.
Illuminator: "first" heraldic painter
Place of illumination: Buda
Date of illumination: late 1480s
Crest: Cut out, but originally it must have been King Matthais' Hungarian and Bohemian royal coat-of-arms
Possessor, provenience: Johannes Fabri, Bishop of Vienna (comp. bookplates); St. Nicolas College of the University of Vienna (1540); University of Vienna; Imperial Court Library, Vienna (1756); in line with the Venice Agreement (signed on November 27, 1932), it was returned to National Széchényi Library.
Entries: The red margin notes had been made by Johannes Gremper.
Binding: original gilded leather corvina binding; gauffered, gilded edge (probably in the late 1480s)
Language of corvina: Latin
Condition: Restored: NSZL, Mrs. László Ballagó, 1989–1990); Vienna 1910
Hungarian translation(s) of work(s) included in the corvina: Xenophón összes művei ; sorozatszerk. Németh György. Budapest : Osiris, 2001-2003.