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New Library acquisition: Historia Fiorentina

December 01, 2009 • Categories: Library Acquisitions

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections recently acquired the following item: 

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Leonardo Bruni.  Historia Fiorentina.  Venice, Jacobus Rubeus, 1476.  

Leonardo Bruni initiated a new style of composing civic history in his Historiae Florentini populi.  Working from historical documents found in the Florentine city archives, Bruni worked on the text from 1415 until his death in 1444.  The result is a modern, humanistic work that stands in stark contrast to medieval-style chronicles that were frequently produced at the time.

Bruni's history covers the Roman period to the year 1404 in twelve books.  Book four contains the first printed account of the life of Dante, as compiled by Bruni through now-lost archival resources and correspondence.

This copy is from the first Italian vernacular publication of the text, translated by Donato Acciaiuoli and printed in 1476.   Leaf a2 features an elaborately interlaced vine-stem illuminated M and an acanthus leaf border with a coat of arms.