New Library acquisition: Manuscript fragment of Jacopo della Lana commentary

Author: Tracy Bergstrom

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

Manuscript fragment on vellum of Jacopo della Lana’s commentary to Dante’s Commedia. Four folia, dating to the mid-14th century, of Northern Italian origin.

Frag I 48 02v 03r

This vellum fragment comes from a dismembered manuscript of the Commento by Jacopo della Lana, and contains his commentary to Inferno I, 37 - II, 62. The manuscript fragment itself consists of four leaves, which were later re-purposed as a book binding. The fragment can now be found under shelfmark Frag. I. 48 in Rare Books and Special Collections.

Jacopo della Lana’s commentary appeared at the early date of 1324-8, and is the first known commentary on the entirety of the Commedia (two previous commentaries by Jacopo Alighieri and Graziolo Bambaglioli examined only Inferno). The first appearance in print of Jacopo della Lana’s commentary occurred in a Venetian edition of 1477 but the colophon of this edition mistakenly attributes the text to Benevento da Imola, perhaps a name that would have been more resonant to its audience. A copy of the 1477 edition is the earliest printing of the Commedia within the Zahm Dante collection, and can be found at call number Special Collections Vault PQ 4302 .A77 1477.