Cicero (106-43 BCE)
Tusculanae Disputationes, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on paper [Tuscany, probably Florence, second half 15th century].
A fine, complete, dated humanist copy - signed by the scribe Pietro Landino - of the great Roman statesman, lawyer and scholar’s foray into Greek philosophy, composed shortly after the death of his daughter Tullia.

233 x 168mm. 110 leaves, complete, collation: 1-1110, catchwords survive, 28 lines in a humanist script, ruled space: 150 x 90mm, initials in blue, rubrics and marginal name references in red, one illuminated white-vine initial extending into border (some foxing and spotting, a few scattered wormholes, some dampstaining to gutters, some gutters reinforced). 18th-century vellum over pasteboards (a little browned, spine peeling).

(1) Written by Pietro de Landini of Volterra: colophon on f.110 ‘M. T. Ciceronis Tusculanarum questionum liber quintus ex et ultimus explicit scriptus per me Petrum de Landinis Vulterranum Anno d[o]m[in]i 14?4’ (Colophons, no 15,656). The third digit of the date has been changed to a ‘1’, but the watermark (a flower) is close to Briquet 6659 (Pistoia, c.1484). Early catalogues linked Petrus de Landinis to Cristoforo Landino (1424-1498), the celebrated commentator of Dante, humanist and tutor of Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother Giuliano, who studied at Volterra under Angiolo da Todi.
(2) Paulus de Bargalglis: ownership inscription on f.110: ‘Hic liber est Pauli de Bargalglis’. There is a mention of a Paolo Bargagli in Siena in 1444 (see Siena e il suo territorio nel Rinascimento, II, 1987, p.38).
(3) 17th-century inscriptions on f.1v, including one that suggests that the altered date in the colophon is not recent: ‘Continet Codex iste Ciceronis Questiones Tuscukanas, scriptus fuit a Petro Landino anno 1414 - ut in fine habetur’.
(4) Aloisio (Luigi) Baroni (1726-1809), Servite monk: his ownership inscription ‘Volumen 22 Bibliothecae F Aloysii de Baronis 1749’ on f.2. A Lucretius humanist manuscript illuminated in much the same style as the present lot was no 61 in Baroni’s library (New York, Morgan Library MS. M. 482). Other manuscripts owned by him are Cambridge, Gonville and Caius, MS 770 (813); a Justinus was Quaritch, 1864, no 28, reoffered in Cat. 231, 1866, no 46.
(5) Guglielmo Libri (1803-1869), celebrated polymath, bibliographer, and thief: his sale at Sotheby’s, Catalogue of the Extraordinary Collection of Splendid Manuscripts [...] formed by Guglielmo Libri, 29 March 1859, lot 260 to:
(6) Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), English antiquary and book collector who amassed the largest collection of medieval manuscript material in the 19th century: his MS 16302; sold at the Phillipps sale at Sotheby’s, 10 June 1896, lot 292.
(7) Quaritch, A Catalogue of Illuminated and Historical Manuscripts and Choice and Valuable Books, 1896, no 50.
(8) Gustav Emich (1843-1911), Austrian zoologist and entomologist: his sale Vienna, Gilhofer & Ranschburg, Katalog der Sammlung Hoffrat Gustav R.v. Emich, 17 March 1906, lot 16.
(9) Unidentified 19th-century heraldic bookplate with motto ‘Ut arundo’ on inside upper cover.
(10) Colker MS 5; acquired in 1944 from Maggs; Faye & Bond, Supplement to de Ricci’s Census (1962), p. 516.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, Tusculanae Disputationes ff.2-101.

Regarded as the most intensely felt and expressed of all Cicero’s philosophical works, written by Cicero between 45 and 44 BCE while mourning the death of his daughter in his Tusculan villa, the Tusculan Disputations take the form of dialogues between friends, examining through a Stoic lens the various states of happiness, including consideration of death, grief and suffering, and their possible amelioration through philosophy and virtue.
Special notice
No VAT on hammer price or buyer's premium.
Please note this lot is the property of a consumer. See H1 of the Conditions of Sale.
Brought to you by

Related Articles

Sorry, we are unable to display this content. Please check your connection.

More from
The Collection of Marvin L. Colker
Place your bid Condition report

A Christie's specialist may contact you to discuss this lot or to notify you if the condition changes prior to the sale.

I confirm that I have read this Important Notice regarding Condition Reports and agree to its terms. View Condition Report