Denison University Leaf 39

Otto Ege provided the following description for leaves from this manuscript:

Livy's History of Rome (T. Livii ab Urbe Condita Libri). Italy; Middle 15th Century. Latin Text; Humanistic Script.

The known part of Livy's great life work, the History of Rome, was completed about the year 9 A.D. The finished work consisted of one hundred and forty-two books, of which only thirty-five are extant. These books are regarded as one of the most precious remains of Latin literature.

One of the outstanding characteristics of the scholars and scribes of the Italian Renaissance was their great interest in Latin literature. Through their influence, many copies of the classics were made from the few 9th and 10th century manuscripts available. These earlier manuscripts had been written in a carolingian or pre-gothic script to which the 15th century humanistic calligraphers assigned the name antiqua littera. The letters were not really of antiquity, since minuscule letters were not known before the time of Charlemagne. In the 15th century, this carolingian script became the inspiration not only for manuscripts like this leaf, but also, shortly thereafter, for the fine roman types designed by the printers in Italy.

Size: 22.5 x 16 cm

Observations: The vellum is very well prepared, though some rubbing of the ink has cast a shadow over the text block of some pages. The script is crisp, clear, and without adornment; an exception is the Denison leaf, with its striking initial "H." [Mention the scribe's identification, etc.]

Text: This leaf contains text from Livy's History 26:51 to 27:1. The English translation is that of Cyrus Edmonds (1850), via Project Gutenberg.

Reconstruction Note! In Ege's original manuscript, this leaf was followed by what is now Leaf 39 in the Ohio University portfolio.

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Denison Leaf 39 Recto
Denison Leaf 39 Recto

Denison University Leaf 39 Recto

+ Denison Leaf 39 Recto Transcription

nauium simulacris naualis pugnae experiebantur. Haec extra urbem terra marique corpora simul animosque ad bellum acuebant; urbs ipsa strepebat apparatu belli fabris omnium generum in publicam officinam inclusis. Dux cuncta pari cura obibat: nunc in classe ac nauali erat, nunc cum legionibus decurrebat: nunc operibus adspiciendis tempus dabat, quaeque in officinis quaeque in armamentario ac naualibus fabrorum multitudo plurima in singulos dies certamine ingenti faciebat. His ita incohatis refectisque quae quassata erant muri dispositisque praesidiis ad custodiam urbis, Tarraconem est profectus, a multis legationibus protinus in uia aditus, quas partim dato responso ex itinere dimisit, partim distulit Tarraconem, quo omnibus nouis ueteribusque sociis edixerat conuentum. Et cuncti fere qui cis Hiberum incolunt populi, multi etiam ulterioris prouinciae conuenerunt. Carthaginiensium duces primo ex industria famam captae Carthaginis compresserunt: deinde, ut clarior res erat quam ut tegi ac dissimulari posset, eleuabant uerbis: necopinato aduentu ac prope furto unius diei urbem unam Hispaniae interceptam, cuius rei tam paruae praemio elatum insolentem iuuenem immodico gaudio speciem magnae uictoriae imposuisse: at ubi adpropinquare tres duces, tres uictores hostium exercitus audisset, occursuram ei extemplo domesticorum funerum memoriam. Haec in uolgus iactabant, haudquaquam

+ Denison Leaf 39 Recto Translation

...made trial of the manageableness of their ships by mock sea-fights. Such exercises, both by sea and land, without the city prepared their minds and bodies for war. The city itself was all bustle with warlike preparations, artificers of every description being collected together in a public workshop. The general went round to all the works with equal attention. At one time he was employed in the dock-yard with his fleet, at another he exercised with the legions; sometimes he would devote his time to the inspection of the works, which were every day carried on with the greatest eagerness by a multitude of artificers both in the workshops, and in the armoury and docks. Having put these preparations in a train, repaired the walls in a part where they had been shattered, and placed bodies of troops to guard the city, he set out for Tarraco; and on his way thither was visited by a number of embassies, some of which he dismissed, having given them answers on his journey, others he postponed till his arrival at Tarraco; at which place he had appointed a meeting of all his new and old allies. Here ambassadors from almost all the people dwelling on this side the Iberus, and from many dwelling in the further Spain, met. The Carthaginian generals at first industriously suppressed the rumour of the capture of Carthage; but afterwards, when it became too notorious to be concealed or dissembled, they disparaged its importance by their language. They said, that "by an unexpected attack, and in a manner by stealth, in one day, one city of Spain had been snatched out of their hands; that a presumptuous youth, elated with the acquisition of this, so inconsiderable an advantage, had, by the extravagance of his joy, given it the air of an important victory; but that as soon as he should hear that three generals and three victorious armies of his enemies were approaching, the deaths which had taken place in his family would occur to his recollection." Such was the tone in which they spoke of this affair to the people, though they were, at the same time...

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Denison Leaf 39 Verso
Denison Leaf 39 Verso

Denison University Leaf 39 Verso

+ Denison Leaf 39 Verso Transcription

ipsi ignari quantum sibi ad omnia uirium Carthagine amissa decessisset.


[1] Hic status rerum in Hispania erat. in Italia consul Marcellus Salapia per proditionem recepta Marmoreas et Meles de Samnitibus ui cepit. ad tria milia militum ibi Hannibalis, quae praesidii causa relicta erant, oppressa: praeda—et aliquantum eius fuit—militi concessa. tritici quoque ducenta quadraginta milia modium et centum decem milia hordei inuenta. ceterum nequaquam inde tantum gaudium fuit quanta clades intra paucos dies accepta est haud procul Herdonea urbe. castra ibi Cn. Fuluius proconsul habebat spe recipiendae Herdoneae, quae post Cannensem cladem ab Romanis defecerat, nec loco satis tuto posita nec praesidiis firmata. neglegentiam insitam ingenio ducis augebat spes ea quod labare iis aduersus Poenum fidem senserat, postquam Salapia amissa excessisse iis locis in Bruttios Hannibalem auditum est. ea omnia ab Herdonea per occultos nuntios delata Hannibali simul curam sociae retinendae urbis et spem fecere incautum hostem adgrediendi. exercitu expedito ita ut famam prope praeueniret magnis

+ Denison Leaf 39 Verso Translation

...far from ignorant how much their strength had been diminished, in every respect, by the loss of Carthage.


[1.] Such was the state of affairs in Spain. In Italy, the consul Marcellus, after regaining Salapia, which was betrayed into his hands, took Maronea and Meles from the Samnites by force. As many as three thousand of the soldiers of Hannibal, which were left as a garrison, were here surprised and overpowered. The booty, and there was a considerable quantity of it, was given up to the troops. Also, two hundred and forty thousand pecks of wheat, with a hundred and ten thousand pecks of barley, were found here. The joy, however, thus occasioned, was by no means so great as a disaster sustained a few days afterwards, not far from the town Herdonea. Cneius Fulvius, the consul, was lying encamped there, in the hope of regaining Herdonea, which had revolted from the Romans after the defeat at Cannae, his position being neither sufficiently secure from the nature of the place, nor strengthened by guards. The natural negligence of the general was now increased by the hope that their attachment to the Carthaginians was shaken when they had heard that Hannibal, after the loss of Salapia, had retired from that neighbourhood into Bruttium. Intelligence of all these circumstances being conveyed to Hannibal by secret messengers from Herdonea, at once excited an anxious desire to
retain possession of a city in alliance with him, and inspired a hope of attacking the enemy when unprepared.

For more information, contact Dr. Fred Porcheddu.