Saturday, October 01, 2005

Alexander by Rufus by Petrus

Quintus Curtius Rufus rose from a dubious background to the ranks of Roman nobility during the reigns of Tiberius Caesar Augustus and Caligula in the first century A.D.

As a Roman senator, in the years before his death Rufus recorded the life of Alexander the Great [De gestis Alexandri Magni], basing his account largely on a biography by Cleitarchus who was a contemporary of Alexander. Although this introduced some mistakes into Rufus's novel-like work, it is notable for both having survived mostly intact for 2 centuries and for containing relatively simple latin phrasing.

The images here are details from a 1467 copy made of De gestis Alexandri Magni by Petrus Cenninius in Florence. It has been owned by the National Széchényi Library of Hungary since 1830.
[large jpeg of whole cover]
"The codex has a gilded Corvinian leather binding designed around a central ornament." I found the Florentine embellishments in the title page depicted here to be spectacular, although my poor photoshoppery perhaps isn't doing the details justice as accoutrements to this entry. But definitely check out the large jpeg links.

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