Rhetoricorum ad C. Herrenium libri. 

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[Cicero, Marcus Tullius]


Rhetoricorum ad C. Herrenium libri. 






Illuminated manuscript on vellum, in Latin. Small quarto (182mm x 131mm). The Rhetoricorum, incorrectly attributed to Cicero, is followed by an alphabetical word index here also attributed to Cicero. France, first half of the 15th century, probably between 1410-1430. With 244 leaves (32 blank) plus two contemporary flyleaves at front, complete, gatherings of 8 leaves throughout, with catchwords, 15 lines, written in dark brown ink in carefully written humanist script with some gothic features, capitals touched in yellow, paragraph marks in red or blue, approximately 160 decorated initials, 2-line, in red or blue with penwork in black or red, plus approximately 450 1-line initials with similar penwork in the index of words, ten large initials, six 3-line, the rest 4-line, in divided red and blue with elaborate penwork infilling and marginal extensions in red and black, illuminated initial on f.1, 4-line in coloured ivyleaf pattern on burnished gold ground and supporting full-length ivyleaf border extending into upper and lower margins. Bound in 18th-century Danish mottled calf, spine lettered in gilt, Lehn family gilt armorial device stamped in gilt on upper cover. Housed in a leather backed clamshell box by James Brockman. 

Probably written in the South of France; the vellum is italiate and the script (appropriately for a classical text) has clear humanistic features. The decoration is certainly French. 

The 'Rhetoricorum ad Herrenium' is a treatise on rhetoric in four books composed about 84 B.C. and addressed to a certain Giaus Herrennius. The author is unknown but in late antiquity and the Middle Ages it was attributed to Cicero. The beginning and end of the text correspond with the Delphine edition of Cicero's Works printed by Valpy in 1830.


From the collection of Alan Feinstein