A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Lat. misc. c. 93

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)

Letter book and zibaldone; Italy (Cremona), c. 1459–1461


Summary of Contents: Fragmentary letter book and zibaldone of Giovanni Bargellina, keeper of the seals for the Duke of Milan in Cremona

Copies of letters, public and private dated between July 1459 and June 1461.

a. (fol.1–1v, 2)

to the Officials of the Balia of Siena. Eleven letters, dated 16 (?) November 1459 – 22 June 1461, concerning Antonius de Michaelibus of Siena (podestà of Cremona April 1459–April 1461);

b. (fol.2)

copy of safe-conduct issued by Francesco Sforza, Duke of Milan, for his familiaris Andreas de Cingulo, Milan, 4 July 1459

c. (fol.2v, 3v)

letters to the cardinal of S. Cecilia ‘de Pistorio’ (Niccolò Forteguerri of Pistoia, cr. March 1460) (i) nd., addresses him as papal legate; (ii) dated 26 Sept.1460. See also items 1h, 6c below

d. (fol.2v, 4v–5, 6–6v)

three letters to Michael Bonicius ‘ducali cancellario’, all n.d. See also item 6a below

e. (fol.2v)

to the bishop of Cremona (Bernardo de' Rossi, 1458–1466), n.d. See also items j, k, p below

f. (fol.3)
Rubric: Magnifico domino Benedicto de Curte futuro presidi Cremon.

Two letters, n.d. Benedictus was podestà from April 1461

g. (fol.3–3v, 4–4v, 5–5v, 9v–10)

five letters to Ser Filippo of Pistoia, chancellor of Agnolo Acciaiuoli: i n.d.; ii 26 Sept. iii 2 Oct. 1460; iv 15 Oct. 1460; v 29 May [1461?]. Bargellina addresses him as ‘Philippe frater’

h. (fol.4)

to Dominicus, canon of Parma, secretary of the Cardinal of S. Cecilia (cf. item c above), 27 Sept. 1460

j. (fol.5v–6)

to the Archbishop of Milan (Carlo of Forli ?) ‘per Iohannem Bargellinam in favorem R. d. Episcopi Cremonensis’, n.d.

k. (fol.6v)

‘Regratatio in personam d. Bernardi de Rubeis Episcopi dignissimi Cremonensis venerantibus missam suam novellam per Iohannem Bargellinam’, n.d.

l. (fol.7–7v)

to Antonio Bargellina (brother of Giovanni), 24 Nov. 1460

m. (fol.8)

‘Domino Guidoni Parato ducali phisico’, sending him his ‘hystorias’, 4 Feb. 1460/1

n. (fol.8)

‘d. Carolo Marchioni Palavisino et Episcopo Laudensi’, 12 April 1461

o. (fol.8, 8v, 9)

five letters to the Duke of Milan from the ‘Officials of Cremona’ (Benedictus de Curte, Potestas, Galeas de Castiliono, Referendarius, Johannes Bargellina, Officialis Bullarum), concerning distinguished visitors to the city, dated 17 April, 20 April, 10 May, 12 May and 16 May 1461

p. (fol.8v)

‘Oratori illustrissimi domini Marchionis Mantue destinati ad venerandam missam novam d. Episcopi Cremonensis per Iohannem Bargellinam nomine prefati d. Episcopi responcio’ n.d.

q. (fol. 8v–9)

‘Domino Iustiniano de Cavitellis ducali vicario generali’, 2 May 1461

r. (fol.9v)

to an unnamed correspondent, addressed as ‘Spectabilis tanquam frater honorande expressing his hope that a dispute would be settled in which ‘Jacobus Lucensis’ (probably meaning Jacopo Ammannati, el. bishop of Pavia, July 1460) is involved. Dated 15 May 1461.

Language(s): Latin
2. (fol.10)
Rubric: Sermo recitandus in die Iovis sancta per Iohannem Bargellinam recitatus per Baptistam natum suum
Incipit: Animadverti mihi quibus ingenii viribus
Explicit: a domino consequamur. Amen.
Language(s): Latin

Letters not by Bargellina:

a. (fol.11)

Guido P. to Antonius Reginus

Incipit: Feriis pasce, cum in insula nostra
Explicit: Ex Perusio XI kld. Septembris
b. (fol.11)

Leonardus Iustinianus to Benedictus Bursa

Incipit: Summa cum voluptate legi nuper litteras tuas
Explicit: Vale ex me et B. filio. Ex Venetiis kld. Iuniis
c. (fol.11v–12)

‘Cardinali Venetiarum’ (Francesco Condolmer, cr. 1431, d.1453). The writer, who would like to obtain a benefice from Pope Eugenius IV, must be Gaspar of Perugia (see the next letter) who is perhaps to be identified with Gaspar de' Rossi, bishop of Frigento 1424–1455

Incipit: Cum veterem tuam erga me caritatem
Explicit: Vale et me commendatum habe.
d. (fol.11v)

‘Iulianus prestantissimo iureconsul to Gaspari Perusino’. Reports the reception of Gaspar's letter by the Cardinal of Venice

Incipit: Nosti que tecum ipse commentatus fuerim
Explicit: Vale et me ut soles ama
e. (fol.12)

‘Bartholomeus Pascasius S. d. (Iohanni) Thebaldo (Bargelline) suo predilecto’ (words in brackets inserted above the line)

Incipit: Etsi apud me epistula tua intervallo quidem longo
Explicit: ut aliquem postremum suscipiam haustum

Items a and e perhaps link up with MS. Vat.lat.8088, fols.63, 67 (cf. P. O. Kristeller, Iter italicum II, 1967, p.385).

Language(s): Latin

Humanistic exercises (?)

Rubric: Cicero Marco Tullio Ciceroni Sal.
Incipit: Studeo mi pater tuis obtemperare preceptis
Explicit: gloria patris filius sapiens. Vale Athenis
Rubric: Marcus Tullius Cicero Ciceroni Sal.
Incipit: Quotiens mi fili scire velis me iocunde vivere
Explicit: seu mihil poteris consequi. Habes.||

The last word is a catchword. Not identifiable in Cicero's Letters, nor in the De officiis.

Language(s): Latin
Giovanni Bargellina, Hystoriae
Incipit: Cum per agrum Cremonensem iter eques facerem
Explicit: Ad bene tergendum multa laborat aqua. Finis.

Criticism of the podestà of Cremona for condemning a peasant to death after a family tragedy

Incipit: Magni (ut fertur) hoc anno a Teucrorum maximo fiunt apparatus, ingensque et numerosa instruitur classis ad Rhodi insulam (quod deus avertat) nequiter captivandum
Explicit: in hostes exitialis instrumenti genus accomodavit. Finis.

On the response of the council (‘Senatus’) of Cremona to the plea of the ambassadors of the knights of Rhodes for a subvention of grain to help in the defence of Rhodes

Rubric: Copia hystorie que facetia videtur. Fuit enim magna versutia excogitata, verum minus prudenter absoluta, rei eiusdem exitu plane demonstrante. Accidit Cremone in manibus mei Iohannis Bargelline ducalis Officialis Bullarum ibidem die prima februarii MCCCCLVIIJ’ (i.e. 1459 ?)
Incipit: Applicuit huc die prima presentis mensis Iacobus quidam laicus perghamensis
Explicit: sic eos ad luendam penam plerumque comitatur. Finis.

On the exploits of a confidence trickster disguised as a priest.

For these ‘hystoriae’ see also items 1m above and 6a below.

Language(s): Latin

Further official and private letters of Bargellina, probably all earlier in date than those in section 1.

to Michael Bonicius, ducal chancellor; i (fol.16–16v) n.d. Refers to Michael's report of the good reception of Bargellina's ‘hystoria’ by Christophorus Cambiagus; ii (fol.17–17v) n.d. Congratulates Michael on his appointment as Chancellor, and says he is sending him ‘Hystoriam quandam a me nuper editam (etsi facetia videtur)’ (probably item 5c above, dated February 1458/9); iii (fol.17v–18) n.d. Since his ‘opuscula’ have not been spurned, he now sends ‘hystoriam horribilis casus iam antiqui, et alias per me editi quem nuper ad me propositum (ut videbis) iterato descripsi’ (nos.5a, b above ?)


to the duke of Milan from the officials of Cremona, n.d.


‘Domino Episcopo Tianensi [Niccolò Forteguerri of Pistoia, el. 1458] per Iohannem Bargellinam’, n.d. Praises him for visiting Pistoia on his way to Mantua (presumably for the Congress of 1459)

(Cardinali de Columpna [Prospero Colonna, el. 1426, d.1463] per Iohannem Bargellinam nomine d. Antonii de Michaelibus de Senis potestatis Cremone', dated 31 May 1459

‘Duci Mediolani per Iohannem Bargellinam’, n.d.

Language(s): Latin
Wedding oration for ‘Jacobinus’ and ‘Marta … Montanorum decus’
Rubric: De re uxoria
Incipit: Cum multi sint que possimus laudare
Explicit: sapientissimos viros procreetis

The rest of fol.19, and fol.19v, is blank.

Language(s): Latin

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Franciscus Sfortia
Form: codex
Support: Paper. Watermarks: a crown with circle, close to Briquet 4733; half-unicorn, not in Briquet but cf. 9742–3; basilisk, not in Briquet but cf. 2646.
Extent: i + 19 leaves
Dimensions (leaf): 310–15 × 210–13 mm.
Dimensions (written): 230–5 × 125–35 mm.
Text space varies considerably


one quire, now of 18 leaves, with leaves (a bifolium ?) apparently missing after fols.6 and 12. Fols.i (blank flyleaf) and 19, a bifolium of thinner paper, were apparently the original outer covering


Long lines; no visible ruling; number of lines varies considerably, usually c.38–44


written by Giovanni Bargellina in a humanistic cursive hand of chancery type


Bought unbound; fols. i (a blank flyleaf) and 19, a bifolium of thinner paper, were apparently originally the outer covering.


Origin: c. 1459–1461 ; Italian, Cremona

Provenance and Acquisition

‘Ser Johannes de Bargelinis Florentinus’ was appointed to his post in Cremona in August 1457 and held it probably until 1468, his appointment having been renewed in 1459 with the support of bishop Niccolò Forteguerri (C. Santoro, Gli uffici del dominio sforzesco (1450–1500), Milan, 1948, p.413). He also signs himself ‘de Florentia’ in the first letter in this collection. He is however probably to be identified with ‘Johannes Bargellinus pistoriensis’ who wrote a letter to Sacramoro de' Rimini, the Milanese orator in Florence, from San Miniato in June 1468 (Florence, Arch. di Stato, Archivio Mediceo avanti il Principato, Filz., II, 300). The present MS. reveals his close links with Pistoia and a letter of Antonius Barglinus is to be found in Bodl. MS. Canon.Ital.19, fol.77v, in a miscellany of letters from Pistoia.

Purchased Sotheby's, 5 Dec. 1978, lot 43

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian library staff.

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.