Tragedies by Seneca


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Illuminated Facsimiles

Tragedies by Seneca

ALTERNATIVE TITLES – Tragedie di Seneca – Teatro di Seneca – Seneca dei Girolamini – Tragédies par Sénèque – Senecas Tragödien.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION – Codex on parchment, dimensions 320 x 230 mm, 229 folios (458 pages).
ORIGIN – Italy.
DATING – Last quarter of the 14th century.
FORMER OWNERS – In the 17th century, the manuscript belonged to the Neapolitan jurist and philosopher Giuseppe Valletta (b. 1636, d. 1714). A central figure in the cultural scene of Naples of his time, he was also a great bibliophile. His passion for books and his rich library – which amounted to over 15,000 books – earned him the epithet «Helluo librorum et Secli Peireskius alter».
PRESENT REPOSITORY – Upon Giuseppe Valletta’s death, his collection was transferred to the Biblioteca Oratoriana dei Girolamini in Naples, where the codex of Seneca’s Tragedies is still preserved, with the shelfmark C.F. 2.5.
GENRE – Literature.
CONTENT – The manuscript contains 10 tragedies by Lucius Annaeus Seneca (b. 4 BC, d. 65 AD): Hercules Furens, Troades, Phoenissae, Medea, Phaedra, Agamemnon, Hercules Oetaeus, Oedipus, Thyestes and Hyppolitus. Seneca was a Latin philosopher, writer and politician, famous – among other things – for being the tutor of the future emperor Nero (b. 37, d. 68), as well as his advisor in the early years of his reign. His Tragoediae are the only tragedies in Latin that have survived to the present day that are not in the form of mere fragments.
SCRIPT – Gothic.
DECORATION – The codex is richly decorated on 87 folios with tabular miniatures, decorative borders and friezes, decorated and historiated initials.
ILLUMINATOR – The miniatures are the work of the Master of the Seneca dei Girolamini – one of the most representative of the Angevin age.
STYLE – Gothic.

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles



Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document – The facsimile reproduces as close as possible the physical characteristics of the original document, with the aim to substitute it in the scientific research and in the libraries of the bibliophile collectors. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document. The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.
PublisherIstituto della Enciclopedia Italiana – Treccani (Rome, 2018).
Series – Tesori Svelati.
Limited edition – 290 hand-numbered copies, plus 10 unnumbered copies.
Certificate of authenticity – The certificate of authenticity with the copy number is attached to the colophon of the facsimile. It is signed by Massimo Bray (Director of the Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana) and Raffaele De Magistris (Director of the Biblioteca Oratoriana dei Girolamini).
Writing support material – Luxor aged like-parchment paper from Cartiere Fedrigoni.
Printing – The facsimile was printed in four colours plus overprints for opaque white, flexographic gold, paste gold and foil gold.
Binding – Full leather cover, gold decorations and friezes on both boards and spine.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian. Essays by Marco Cursi, Carla Maria Monti, Maria Perriccioli Saggese, Alma Serena Lucianelli, Massimo Bray.
Slipcase – Plexiglas case.
ISBN – 9788812007028.

Copyright photos: Illuminated Facsimiles

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