The manuscript contains the Apologeticum, copied by Politian's pupil and first editor of his Miscellaneorum centuria, Tristano Calco, followed by a copy by Calco of a letter to him from Angelo Politiano. A copy of this letter reappears in the Paris lat. 2616 Ms. as a preface, and in the Pamelius edition of 1583/4.
Petitmengin gives the background. Calco wrote to Politian on 31st December 1489 for help in completing his own copy of the Apologeticum, as the exemplar he had stopped just before the end at 50:12. The letter was published by I. Maïer, Les manuscrits d'Ange Politien, Genève: Droz (1965), p.414. Politian wrote back on 12th January 1490 with a list, and lent him his own Apologeticum to complete the work (now BL Addit. 21187). This letter was published among the letters of Politian in 1498 (Epist. IV, 5). The exchanged ended when Calco returned the copy, today lost, on which he had written some corrections, and commented on the difficulties of the text. The letter of the 20th October 1490 was also published by Maïer (p.416).
Bibliographic starting points. Not checked:
On Merula, perhaps the best place to begin is an article by Vincenzo Fera, Tra Poliziano e Beroaldo: l'ultimo scritto filologico di Giorgio Merula, Studi umanistici, 2 (1991), 7-41.
On Tristano Calco, see Dizionario biografico degli italiani, vol. 16, pp. 537-41.
I inspected this myself on 1st May 1999 - all details on this page by me. I apologise for the poor quality of the images, which are taken from prints of the microfilm, but the British Library make anything better impossible.
BL Catalogue Entry : Nothing exciting, so I didn't retype it.
MS is discussed in Add.MS.21187 - Catalogue of Dated & Datable Manuscripts, A.G.Watson, 1984, p.59. Not checked
Microfilms Available? Yes - Microfilm # 82878. 71 folios.
Binding : Leather. Front cover and back have a triple line in gold a few millimetres in from the edge forming a rectangle.
Spine : A bit frayed, with more gold decoration. 5 sewing bulges. Paper label with 152 on it at the top. Then in small capitals TERTULLIANI | APOLOGETICUS | MUS. BRIT| IURE EMPT[.]NIS | 21,187 | PLUT. | CLII.D. (The dividers are the line breaks.) Another paper label at the bottom with D.12 on it.
End-leaves : Marbled endleaves stuck to inside of cover on one side and card end-leaf on the other.
Material details : On fairly thick paper. Size is folio: 10.5 inches tall x 7.75 inches wide. The text is 170mm high x 93mm, with large margins on the outer edge. A few worm holes, but not significant. Pencilled folio numbers in top right-hand corner of rectos replacing ink ones which are 3 greater and have been crossed out.. Often the original brief chapter headings in red had been crossed out and a longer title placed in the margin (e.g. Ch.4). Generally the text has a bleached out look - the red of the headings and the black of the text have assumed a similar tone, although the letter at the end is as black as new. Few abbreviations.
Ultra-violet : Not Applicable.
|0||21,187 at the centre top. Otherwise blank both sides.|
|1r||Faint red stamp for British Museum, with a crown between the words. Otherwise blank.|
At the top is a handwritten note in a double box in ink:
Underneath this are some numerals, one of which appears to be
Lots of writing, which looks a lot like scribbles! Samples: Est Tristani ; Soghi ; Cornelius Cotta.
At the foot of the page:
|2v||The words Cornelius Cotta appear at the top of the otherwise blank page.|
Begins with the following in very bleached out red ink : Q. SEPTIMIJ FLORENTIS TERTVLLIANI APOLLOGETICVS
Then a large S in red followed by DE IGNORANTIA. CAPUT 1 | INON licet uobis RO. Imperij antistitites in aperto et edito fere ... (with ipso in small letters above the gap between edito and fere). The text continues.
At the foot of the page in a rough hand is Bibliotheca Coll. S. Barnabe followed by a large red square British Museum stamp.
|...||The work is divided into 46 chapters, the last being very long.|
|69r||Work ends with ... damnamur a uobis; a deo absoluimur ./. | FINIS|
|70r||A short note at the top of the page in the handwriting of the following letter (presumably Politian's), in much blacker ink, quoting Eusebius' Chronicon on Tertullian.|
|70v||Begins Angelus Politianus Tristano Chalco suo S. | ... and goes on to reply to a letter from Chalci; De Tertulliano quod | requiris. and then lists the works he knows, all of which we have.|
|71r||The letter continues, ending at the foot of the page with Vale Floretie pridie Idus Januar 1490.|
|71v||Blank apart from a red British Museum 'crown' stamp.|
|...||6 blank endleaves.|
Pierre PETITMENGIN, Tertullien entre la fin du XIIe et le début du XVIe siècle, in M. CORTESI (ed), Padri Greci e Latini a confronto: Atti del Convegno di studi della Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino. Firenze: SISMEL (2004). pp. 63-88. Checked.
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