Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday primary source #11 - Italian chancellery history

For those interested in early modern Italian diplomatic history...

Title: Memorie istoriche di diversi luoghi, ed altro. Other title: Memorie storiche di diversi luoghi, ed altro

Other title: History as seen from an Italian Chancellery : unpublished manuscript codex, 1565-1614.

Physical Description: 1 v. (529 ff. ; folio, 34.5 x 23 cm)

Note: Bound in contemporary quarter vellum and cartonato, title on spine, text in neat chancellery hands.

Summary: This unpublished manuscript is from the diplomatic archive of an Italian chancellery, probably compiled in the opening decades of the 17th century. It covers a geographically diverse area of interests from England to China, from Mecca to Poland. The 70-odd texts (letters, news reports, laws, travel narratives) are organized by geographical region, beginning with Poland, Russia and Eastern Europe, then Turkey and the Mediterranean battleground, Britain, and the Savoie. Taken together, the collection offers insight into Italian diplomatic interests at the beginning of the 17th century and the manner in which these were recorded in official circles. Summary: Within the text are oddities, such as an account of the Chinese city of Quinsai (Hangzhou) based on Marco Polo and later accounts by Jesuits and Christian merchants, a description of a Haj from Alexandria to Mecca, and, bound in the same section as various documents relating to the Princedom of Savoie, an etiquette manual for pages in the service of a prince. Summary: The collection of documents relating to England and Scotland numbers some 100-odd pages. It includes texts written by Filippo Pigafetta and Placido Ragazzoni. There is a copy of the Treaty of London (1604), a supplication of 1601 by England's Catholics to the King, and a public defense by Sir Robert Cecil against accusations of intrigue against the crown (1606)

MSS CODEX 0093 F 1 Manuscript Collection -- Request at Special Collections Desk

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brought to you by...
Sarah Sussman, curator of French and Italian Collections