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les Enluminures

ANTONIO LOSCHI (LOSCO) Inquisitio super XI orationes Ciceronis, ad fratrem suum Astolfinum de Marinonibus

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on paper
[Italy, perhaps Pavia, c. 1395-1410]

TM 90

178 folios (preceded and ending with 4 blank flyleaves; last 8 ff. blank), on paper (2 types of paper: 1. watermarks close to Briquet, no. 2743, Boeuf ailé, à tete nimbée, Siena, 1367 or Florence, 1378 [confirmed in Piccard, Wasserzeichen Verschiedene Vierf├╝ssler, 1987, p. 218, no. 1176–1179, Florence, circa 1376; see also Moisin, Filigranes des XIIIe et XIV e s., Zaghreb, 1957: “Cette marque d’origine italienne se rencontre de 1376 à 1407”]. 2. watermark found in Piccard, Wasserzeichen, Blatt, Blume, Baum, 1982, no. 185–236, mostly found in paper made in Pavia; our watermark closest in size to ones dated Pavia 1390–1410), complete, mostly in gatherings of 10 and 8 (i10, ii8, iii-viii10, ix-xii8, xiii-xvi10, xvii14, xviii14), contemporary quire signatures, ruled in light brown ink, catchwords, written in brown ink in a very regular gothic Italian bookhand with humanistic traits, on up to 26 long lines (justification 133 x 94 mm.), numerous 2-line initials in red, 8 very delicate painted initials (ff. 1, 55, 75v, 85, 106v, 117, 131v, 156v) in pink on blue grounds, with white tracery decoration, infill of gold with rinceaux and foliate motifs in white, blue, green and red. Bound in contemporary half-binding of overturned dearskin, oak wooden boards left uncovered, back sewn on 3 thongs, unidentified shelfmark label at the bottom of spine, leather fastened to boards with small nails and reinforced with a strip of parchment, three pink leather straps fixed to upper cover with rosette stamped nails (straps wanting metallic clasps), brass catches on back cover decorated with openwork trefoil designs (some marginal wormholes, never affecting text); leather split in two points; thongs split and upper board loose but held by leather; interesting original condition. Dimensions 200 x 140 mm.

This is a very early copy, contemporary with the author’s lifetime and produced in close milieu of the author, of Lochi’s commentaries on Cicero’s speeches, which are still unedited in modern times. The present exemplar on paper is beautifully illuminated, in pristine condition, and preserves its original binding.


1. Watermarks and style of painted initials all point to an Italian origin. The watermarks indicate an origin in or near Pavia c. 1395-1410 and thus contemporary with the author’s lifetime. It is interesting to note that Andrea Loschi was sent to study law in Pavia and was then hired to serve the Visconti c. 1391, when he started to write his Inquisitiones on Cicero’s speeches (see Pastine, 1915, pp. 836-839). Pavia was controlled by the Milanese Gian Galeazzo Visconti (1315-1402).

2. Private Collection, Europe.


ff. 1- 6, Antonio Loschi, Preface to Inquisitio super XI orationes Ciceronis; incipit, “Magna res est eloquentia frater insignis atque optime maiorque profecto quam illorum capere ingenia possint...”; explicit, “…fuisset enim hoc opus inutile vanus labor”;

ff. 6–24, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro C. Pompeio; incipit, “Cicero creatus praetor romanus…”; explicit, “… fidem, virtutem, justiciam articulus est”;

ff. 24–55, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro Milone; incipit, “Situs [sic for Titus] Anius Milo civis romanus…”; explicit, “…fidem virtutem justiciam articulus est.”;

ff. 55-75v, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro C. Plancio; incipit, “Genus Plancius civis romanus exequestur ordine...”; explicit, “…Non opibus contendo etc. Articulus est”;

ff. 75v-85, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro P. Silla; incipit, “Silla et Antonius romani cives petentes ambo consulatum per ambitionem obtinuerunt ...”; explicit, “…Magnis curis molestiis doloribus etc arti[culus]”;

ff. 85–91v, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro Aulo Licinio; incipit, “Aulus Licinius archias poeta…”; explicit, “…res gestas etc. Repetitio”.

ff. 91v–96, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro Caesare; incipit, “Marcellus civis romanus…”; explicit, “…molestiis doloribus etc. arti[culus]”;

ff. 96v-106v, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro Q. Ligario; incipit, “Quintus Ligurius civis romanus...”; explicit, “…propria fecit hominis ut Quintilianus art[iculus] [est]”;

ff. 106v-117, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro rege Deiotaro; incipit, “Deiotorus res amicissimus....”; explicit, “…ceteri novis affinitatibus etc. contentio est sententiarum”;

ff. 117–132v, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro Aulo Cluentio; incipit, “A. Cluentius abitus et statuis…”; explicit, “…ceteri novis affinitatibus etc. contentio est sen[ten]tiarum (?)”;

ff. 132v-140, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro Publio Quintio; incipit,“Quintus et Sex[tus] Nevius romani cives societatem...”; explicit, “…narrare in parte epistolein narratione. Deo gratias Amen”;

ff. 140v-146, Antonio Loschi, In orationem pro L. Flacco; incipit,“Lucius Flaccus cuius romanus unus de adjutoribus…” ; explicit, :“ …Miseremini familiae jud[ices] miseremini etc [?] repetitio. Deo gratias Amen ” [[G iii] of Venice, J. de Colonia, 1477];

ff. 146v-156v, Unidentified argumentum to Cicero; incipit, “De exornationibus rethorice breviter in unum locos artis collegi…“;

ff. 156v-170, Unidentified argumentum to Cicero; incipit, “Cum omnis commode et perfecte elocutionis...”; explicit, “… nec appellari ab eo poterat”;

ff. 170v-178v, blank.

Italian humanist Antonio Loschi (1346-1442) of Vicenza was secretary to the Duke of Milano and to the pope between 1406 and 1436. Loschi is famous for his quarrel with Coluccio Salutati expressed in his Invectiva in Florentinos. He also composed poems and letters (see Chicago, Newberry Library, MS 89.1).

He composed perhaps his most important work between 1391 and 1405 a series of Inquisitiones on eleven of Cicero’s speeches, thus participating in the rediscovery and interpretation of classical texts that characterized early humanism. In Texts and Transmission (p. 87): “ Many manuscripts from the late fourteenth century on, both Italian and French, have the same eleven speeches in the same order, and the likeliest reason for this uniformity is that a lost collection of Petrarch’s lies behind them.” The common order detailed in Texts and Transmission is the following: Manil., Mil., Planc., Sull., Arch., Caes., Cluent., Pro Quinctio, Pro Flacco. The order of Loschi’s Inquisitiones adopted in our manuscript is closer to the one presented in the first printed edition, Venice, J. de Colonia, 1477 (see table of contents, Venice, 1477, signature a1). The Inquisitio on Pro. Caes. Is not included in the 1477 index, although it is found in the text (begins on sig. D8 verso); this brings the number of inquisitiones to the announced eleven in the title. A second incunable edition dates 1492 (Goff A-1155).

There is no modern edition of Loschi’s Inquisitiones. Because Loschi’s text is often combined with Cicero’s speeches, a full accounting of the manuscript tradition would of necessity need to examine all the extant manuscripts of the speeches (see Sabbadini, 1914, for an earlier account of the commentaries).


Asconius Pedianus, Quintus. Commentarius in orationes Ciceronis per Asconium Pedianum. Georgii Trabezuntii de artificio ciceronianae orationis pro Quinto Ligario. Antonii Luschi Vicentini [...] inquisitio super XI orationes Ciceronis, ad fratrem suum optimum [...] Astolfinum de Marinonibus. Xiconis Polentoni argumenta super aliquot orationibus et invectivis Ciceronis, Venetiis, Per J. de Colonia et J. Manthen de Gerretzem, 1477 [Pellechet, 1400; Goff, A-1154] (Paris, BnF, RES- X- 284); Another edition, Venice, Christophorus de Pensis, circa 1492 [Goff, A-1155].

Cosenza, M. E. Biographical and Bibliographical Dictionary of the Italian Humanists and of the World of Classical Scholarship in Italy, 1300–1800, III, Boston, G. K. Hall, 1962, pp. 2030–2033.

Gualdo, Germano. “Antonio Loschi, segretario apostolico (1406-1436),” in Archivio Storico Italiano, 147 (1989), pp. 749-769. (for a complete bibliography on Loschi).

Losco, Antonio. In M. T. Ciceronis pro lege Maniliani argumentum... Marci Tullii Ciceronis Oratio pro lege Manilia, interpretibus Hieronymo Calvo atque Antonio Luscho, Vincentinis rhetoribus, recognita ab Joanne Vatello atque in locis pluribus interim enarrata ad foelices studiorum successus. Vaenalis est Parrhisiis in aedibus Petri Gaudoul, in via ad Divum Hilarium sub insigni Scuti Britanniae... ; ending : Commentariorum Hyeronymi Calvi et Antonii Luschi atque ita orationis Ciceronianae pro lege Manilia finis, decimo calendas januarias 1525, Paris, 1525.

Pastine, L. “Antonio Loschi umanista vicentino,” in Rivista d’Italia, 18 (1915), pp. 831–879.

Reynolds L.D. (ed.). Texts and Transmission : A Survey of the Latin classics / ed. by L. D. Reynolds; contributors P. K. Marshall, M. D. Reeve, L. D. Reynolds, R. H. Rouse etc…, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1983.

Sabaddini, R. Le scoperte dei codici latini e greci nel' secoli XIV e XV, Florence, 1905-14 (reprint 1967), pp. 122-23.

Sabaddini, R. “Orazioni commentate da A. Losci,” in Storia e critica di testi latini, Catania, 1914, pp. 21-26.

Online resources

Loschi manuscripts at the Beinecke Library, Yale University

Asconius Pedianus, Venice, 1477 [Super undecim Ciceronis orationes expositio [e-text]

Loschi manuscripts at the Beinecke Library, Yale University