Thanks to the Warwick Transatlantic Fellowship, jointly sponsored by the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance and the HRC, I had the chance to spend three weeks in the US from 23rd March to 13th April. I spent the second and third week at the University of Notre Dame (Indiana), giving two research seminars. During the first week I conducted research at the Newberry Library in Chicago, where I focused my attention on the Manuscript collection, examining two items in particular: Case MS 128 and Case MS 90.1.
Case MS 128 contains the Liber epilogorum in gesta sanctorum by Bartholomew of Trent (13th c.). This item has not been thoroughly studied, and has not even been taken into consideration by the most recent editor of the text, Emore Paoli (Firenze: 2001). A first analysis suggests that the text in this item does not differ significantly from Paoli's edition: however, further investigations could confirm this hypothesis. I also briefly examined Case MS 16, a 13th century French Bible with some versified summaries attributed to the same Bartholomew of Trent.
I devoted most of my time to Case MS 90.1, a 15th century miscellany mostly compiled by a Franciscan Austrian friar, based in the convent of Tuscania in the Lazio region. It contains a series of moral treatises, works on vices and virtues and legislative Franciscan text. The most interesting part (ff. 13-21) presents a florilegium of moral sentences drawn from the works of classical authors such as Cicero and Ovid, church fathers (Augustine, Ambrose), as well as from both Latin works by Petrarch and Dante Alighieri's Commedia, whose excerpts are the only vernacular parts in the entire item. I was able to take pictures of the most relevant pages of the manuscript, to start transcribing them and to detect the various phases of composition and assembly of this fascinating item. Apparently, no bibliography exists on this item, except the Newberry catalogue's entry. Therefore, I am determined to write an article about it in the next future, providing a transcription and analysis of the florilegium, together with a thorough contextualization of the presence of Petrarch and Dante in the Franciscan moral thought and preaching.