Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali

Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali

Florence (Italy) — Second quarter of the 14th century

Featuring 37 masterful miniatures and unique commentaries: the oldest extant copy of the famous Commedia by Dante Alighieri

  1. This 14th century codex is the oldest surviving specimen of the famous work by Dante Alighieri (ca. 1265–1321)

  2. The 37 miniatures originate from the work of various masters of the Italian Renaissance

  3. The miniatures and accompanying commentaries by inter alia Jacopo di Dante and Guido da Pisa make the codex a unique cultural treasure

Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali

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  1. Description
  2. Detail Picture
  3. Single Page
  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali

This manuscript of the famous work by Dante Alighieri is sprawling with famous names and superlatives: originating from the second quarter of the Trecento in Florence, it is considered to be the oldest illustrated version of the Divine Comedy. The wonderful visual decoration originates from several great masters of their craft, inter alia, from the circle of Bernardo Daddi and from the circle of Pacino di Bonaguida. It is not only its content – alongside the primary text, it contains the commentaries of Jacopo della Lana, Jacopi di Dante, Guido da Pisa, and a few other accompanying texts – that make this manuscript a valuable historical document, it is a significant testimonial to this outstanding work of world literature!

Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali

This manuscript of Dante Alighieri is sprawling with famous names and superlatives: originating from the second quarter of the Trecento in Florence, it is considered to be the oldest illustrated version of the Divine Comedy. The wonderful visual decoration originates from several great masters of their craft, inter alia, from the circle of Bernardo Daddi and from the circle of Pacino di Bonaguida. It is not only its content – alongside the primary text, it contains the commentaries of Jacopo della Lana, Jacopi di Dante, Guido da Pisa, and a few other accompanying texts – that make this manuscript a valuable historical document, it is a significant testimonial to this outstanding work of world literature!

The Comprehensive Content

Its artful arrangement already indicates the complexity of this manuscript: the primary text is written in two columns down the middle of the pages with the accompanying commentaries in glosses on the margins. These make the so-called Poggiali Codex a significant piece of evidence of the handwritten tradition of early Dante-commentaries. The manuscript contains the so-called Palatine Glosses. Italian and Latin glosses accompany the text of the Commedia along with the commentary by Jacopo di Dante, Dante’s son, as well as texts from Jacopo della Lana and Graziolo Bambaglioli: the Ottimo Commento, Anonimo Latino, and Anononimo Lombardo, as well as Guido de Pisa’s Declaratio.

Historically Significant Miniatures

Aside from this important position in literary history, the manuscript also enchants with its visual adornment. 37 miniatures (32 of them dedicated to the inferno), always arranged directly within the respective text, relate the events in colorful pictures. They are the work of various hands, among them were a master from the circle of Bernardo Daddi and a master from the circle of Pacino de Bonaguida (1280–1340). Colorful initials complete the artistic décor of the manuscript, which originates from the second quarter of the 14th century in Florence and is considered to be the oldest illustrated copy of the Divine Comedy.

The Template of the Poggiali

The manuscript, which is stored today under the shelf mark Ms. Pal. 313 in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale in Florence, is also known as the Poggiali-Codex. It was in the possession of Piero de Nero, a Florentine literati and politician of the late 16th century. From there it reached the library of the Guadagni family and finally came into the possession of Gaetano Poggiali (1753–1814), who used the manuscript as a template for his 1807 Commedia. This wonderful version of Dante not only offers a glimpse into this groundbreaking work of world literature, but also into its extremely interesting story within literary history.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Divina Commedia Pal 313
Palatino 313
Size / Format
236 pages / 31.5 × 22.0 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
Second quarter of the 14th century
Style
Language
Illustrations
37 miniatures attributed to the workshop of Pacino di Buonaguida
Artist / School
Previous Owners
Piero Del Nero, Guadagni family,
Gaetano Poggiali

Available facsimile editions:
Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali – Ms. Pal. 313 – Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (Florence, Italy)
Imago – Castel Guelfo, 2013
Limited Edition: 599 copies
Detail Picture

Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali

Canto XXXII and XXXIII

Canto XXXII: Dante and Virgil are crossing Cocytus, a frozen river in the Ninth Circle of Hell where sinners guilty of treachery are trapped in the ice. In the second ring, they see one sinner gnawing on the head of another. Canto XXXIII begins with the one doing the gnawing identifying himself as Count Ugolino and the man whose head he chews is Archbishop Ruggieri, who imprisoned Ugolino in a tower with his sons and denied them food, driving the starving man to eat the flesh of their corpses.

Palatino 313 - La Commedia di Dante Alighieri
Single Page

Dante Alighieri - Divine Comedy - Dante Poggiali

Charon the Ferryman

After entering through the Gate of Hell and passing by the uncommitted souls in the Ante-Inferno who sided with neither God nor Satan in the War in Heaven, Virgil leads Dante to the banks of Acheron, the river marking the border of Hell. There they meet Charon, whose job it is to ferry the dead across the river and who is depicted here as an old man with some demonic features.

Charon initially refuses to transport the living Dante across the river and tells him to stay away from the dead, but Virgil informs him that their journey is divinely ordained, so the ferryman concedes. Having crossed to the other bank, Virgil and Dante enter a castle with seven walls where the souls of great and virtuous figures born before Christianity dwell.

Palatino 313 - La Commedia di Dante Alighieri
Facsimile Editions

#1 Palatino 313 - La Commedia di Dante Alighieri

Imago – Castel Guelfo, 2013

Publisher: Imago – Castel Guelfo, 2013
Limited Edition: 599 copies
Binding: Leather
Commentary: 1 volume by Marco Veglia
Language: Italian
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
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