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Brunelleschi’s Early Years in Vasari 28/02/2011

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There lived in Florence, as we are told, a man of good renown, very praiseworthy habits, and much activity in his affairs, whose name was Ser Brunellesco di Lippo Lapi, and whose grandfather, called Cambio, was a very learned person, the son of a physician famous in those times, and named Maestro Ventura Bacherini. Ser Brunellesco chose for his wife a young woman of excellent conduct, from the noble family of the Spini, with whom, as part payment of her dowry, he received a house, wherein he and his children dwelt to the day of their death. This house stands in a corner on the side opposite to San Michele Bertelli, after passing the Piazza degli Agli, and while Brunellesco there exercised his calling and lived happily with his wife, there was born to him in the year 1377 a son, to whom he gave the name of Filippo, after his own father, who was then dead. This birth he solemnized with all possible gladness.

As the infant advanced in childhood, his father taught him the first rudiments of learning with the utmost care, and herein Filippo displayed so much intelligence, and so clear an understanding, as to frequently cause surprise that he did not take pains to attain perfection in letters, but rather seemed to direct his thoughts to matters of more obvious utility, a circumstance which caused Ser Brunellesco, who wished his son to follow his own calling of a notary, or that of his great-great-grandfather very great displeasure.

Perceiving, nevertheless, that the mind of the boy was constantly intent on various ingenious questions of art and mechanics, he made him learn writing and arithmetic, and then placed him in the Guild of the Goldsmiths, that he might acquire the art of design from a friend of his. This was a great satisfaction to Filippo, who no long time after he had begun to study and practise in that art, understood the setting of precious stones much better than any old artist in the vocation. He also executed works in niello; among others, figures in silver, two prophets, namely, halflengths, which were placed over the altar of San Jacopo di Pistoia, and were considered very beautiful; these figures were made by Filippo, for the superintendents of the cathedral in that city. He also executed works in basso-rilievo, wherein he showed so complete a mastery of that art, as to make it manifest that his genius must quickly overstep the limits of the goldsmith’s calling. Subsequently, having made acquaintance with several learned persons, he began to turn his attention to the computation of the divisions of time, the adjustment of weights, and the movement of wheels; he considered the method by which they might best be made to revolve, and how they might most effectually be set in motion, making several very good and beautiful watches with his own hand.

Not content with this, Filippo was seized with an earnest desire to attempt the art of sculpture, and this wish took effect in such sort that Donatollo, then a youth, being considered of great distinction and high promise therein, Filippo contracted a close intimacy with him; and each attracted by the talents of the other, they became so strongly attached that one seemed unable to live without the other. But Filippo, who was capable of attaining excellence in various departments, gave his attention to many professions, nor had any long time elapsed before he was considered by good judges to be an excellent architect. This he proved in various works which served for the decoration of houses, as, for example, for that of the house of Apollonio Lapi, his kinsman, at the corner of the Ciai, towards the Mercato Vecchio, where he laboured industriously all the time that the edifice was in course of erection; and he did the same thing at the tower and house of Petraia at Castello, outside of Florence. In the palace of the Signoria also, Filippo distributed and arranged all the rooms occupied for the affairs of their office by the officials of the Monte. He therein constructed the windows and doors after the manner of the ancients, a thing not then very frequently done, architecture being in a very rude state in Tuscany.

There was at that time a statue of Santa Maria Maddalena to be executed in linden-wood, for the monks of Santo Spirito in Florence, and which was to be placed in one of their chapels; Filippo therefore, who had executed various small works in sculpture, being desirous of proving that he could succeed in the greater also, undertook to execute this statue, which, being completed and fixed in its place, was considered exceedingly beautiful; but in the subsequent conflagration of the church in 1471 it was burnt, with many other remarkable things.

Filippo Brunelleschi gave considerable attention to the study of perspective, the rules of which were then very imperfectly understood, and often falsely interpreted; and in this he expended much time, until at length he discovered a perfectly correct method, that of taking the ground plan and sections by means of intersecting lines, a truly ingenious thing, and of great utility to the arts of design. In these inquiries Filippo found so much pleasure that he executed a drawing of the Piazza San Giovanni, wherein he portrayed all the compartments of the incrustation in black and white marble, the foreshortening being managed with singular felicity and grace. He represented the house of the Misericordia in like manner, with the shops of the wafermakers and the arch of the Pecori, giving the column of San Zanobi on the other side. This work having been highly commended by artists, and all who were capable of judging in matters of the kind, gave Filippo so much encouragement, that no long time elapsed before he commenced another, and made a view of the Palace, the Piazza, the Loggia de’ Signori, with the roof of the Pisani, and all the buildings erected around that Square, works by which the attention of artists was so effectively aroused, that they afterwards devoted themselves to the study of perspective with great zeal.

To Masaccio in particular, who was his friend, Filippo taught this art, the painter being then very young; but that he did much credit to his teacher is sufficiently manifest from the edifices depicted in his works. Nor did he fail to instruct those who worked in tarsia, which is a sort of inlaid work, executed in woods of various colours; the efforts of these artists he stimulated so powerfully, that from this time a better method prevailed, and many useful improvements were made in that branch of art, wherein, both then and at a later period, various excellent works were produced, from which Florence derived both fame and profit during many years. Messer Paolo dal Pozzo Toscanelli returning to Florence about this time, and being at supper with some of his friends in a garden, invited Filippo also; who, hearing them discourse of the mathematical sciences, formed an intimate acquaintance with the philosopher, from whom he acquired the knowledge of geometry; and although Filippo possessed no learning, he yet reasoned so well, by the aid of his practical experience, that he frequently astonished Toscanelli.

Thus labouring perpetually, Brunelleschi next turned his attention to the Scriptures, and never failed to be present at the disputations and preaching of learned men. From this practice he derived so much advantage, by help of his excellent memory, that the above-named Messer Paolo, alluding to him, was accustomed to say that, to hear Filippo in argument, one might fancy oneself listening to a second Paul. At the same time he gave earnest study to the works of Dante, with whose description of localities, and their respective distances, he made himself very familiar, and frequently availed himself of them in his conversations, when he would cite them by way of comparison. Nor, indeed, were his thoughts ever occupied otherwise than in the consideration of ingenious and difficult enquiries; but he could never find any one who gave him so much satisfaction as did Donato with whom he had often held confidential discourse; these two artists found perpetual pleasure in the society of each other, and frequently conferred together on the difficulties of their art.

Now it happened in those days that Donato had completed a crucifix in wood, which was placed in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence, beneath the story of the girl restored to life by St. Francis, a picture painted by Taddeo Gaddi, and he desired to have the opinion of Filippo respecting his work; but he repented of having asked it, since Filippo replied that he had placed a clown on the cross. And from this time there arose, as is related at length in the life of Donato, the saying of ‘Take wood then, and make one thyself’. Thereupon Filippo who never suffered himself to be irritated by anything said to him, however well calculated to provoke him to anger, kept silence for several months, meanwhile preparing a crucifix, also in wood, and of similar size with that of Donato, but of such excellence, so well designed and so carefully executed, that when Donato, having been sent forward to his house by Filippo, who intended him a surprise, beheld the work (the undertaking of which by Filippo was entirely unknown to him) he was utterly confounded, and having in his hand an apron full of eggs, and other things on which his friend and himself were to dine together, he suffered the whole to fall to the ground, while he regarded the work before him, in the very extremity of amazement. The artistic and ingenious manner in which Filippo had disposed and united the legs, trunk, and arms of the figure was alike obvious and surprising to Donato, who not only confessed himself conquered but declared the work a miracle. This crucifix is now placed in the church of Santa Maria Novella, between the chapel of the Strozzi family and that of the Bardi da Vernio, and is still greatly praised by the judges of modern times.

The talents of these truly excellent masters being thereupon appreciated, they received a commission from the Guild of the Butchers, and that of the Joiners, to prepare the two figures, in marble, required for the niches appropriated to those guilds among the number surrounding Or San Michele. These figures, Filippo, being occupied by other affairs, suffered Donato to execute alone, which he did to great perfection. After these things and in the year 1401, it was determined, seeing that sculpture had reached so elevated a condition, to reconstruct the two doors of the church and baptistery of San Giovanni, a work which, from the death of Andrea Pisano to that time, there had been no masters capable of conducting. Wherefore, this intention being made known to those sculptors who were in Tuscany, they were sent for, their appointments were given to them, and the space of a year was allowed for the preparation of a story by each master. Among these artists Filippo and Donato were also invited, and each of them was required to prepare a story, in concurrence with Lorenzo Ghiberti Jacopo della Fonte, Simone da Colle, Francesco di Valdambrina, and Niccolo d’Arezzo.

All these stories being completed within the year, and placed together to be compared, were all found to be beautiful, but with certain differences. One was well designed, but imperfectly executed, as was that of Donato; another was admirably drawn, and carefully finished, but the composition of the story was not good, the gradual diminution of the figures being neglected, as in the case of Jacopo della Querela; a third artist had betrayed poverty of invention, and his figures were insignificant, which was the defect of Francesco di Valdambrina’s specimen; but the worst of all were those of Niccolo d’Arezzo and Simone da Colle; while the best was that of Lorenzo di Cione Ghiberti, in whose work perfection of design, delicacy of execution, rich invention, knowledge of art, and well-finished figures, were all combined. Nor was the story of Filippo greatly inferior to that of Lorenzo: the subject was Abraham proceeding to sacrifice Isaac, and among the figures was that of a servant, who, whilst he is awaiting his master, with the ass feeding beside him, is drawing a thorn from his foot. This figure merits considerable praise. All these stories having been exhibited together, and Filippo and Donato not being satisfied with any, except that of Lorenzo, they judged him to be better adapted to execute the work than themselves or the masters who had produced the other stories. They consequently persuaded the syndics, by the good reasons which they assigned, to adjudge the work to Lorenzo, showing that the public and private benefit would be thus most effectually secured. Now this was, in truth, the sincere rectitude of friendship; it was talent without envy, and uprightness of judgment in a decision respecting themselves, by which these artists were more highly honoured than they could have been by conducting the work to the utmost summit of perfection. Happy spirits! who, while aiding each other, took pleasure in commending the labours of their competitors. How unhappy, on the contrary, are the artists of our day, labouring to injure each other, yet still unsatisfied, they burst with envy while seeking to wound others.

Filippo was requested by the superintendents to undertake the work, in concert with Lorenzo, but he would not consent to this, desiring rather to be the first in some other art, than merely an equal, and perhaps secondary, in that undertaking. Wherefore he gave the story in bronze, which he had prepared, to Cosimo de’ Medici, who caused it at a subsequent period to be placed in the old sacristy of San Lorenzo, and at the back of the altar, where it still remains. That of Donato was given to the Guild of the Money-changers.

Cosimo Speaks to the Signory after the Proclamation of Exile 21/02/2011

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Cosimo gave this speech in 1433: it is recorded in Fabroni (Ross trans).

If I thought that this my misfortune and terrible ruin might serve to bring peace to this blessed people not only would exile be acceptable but I should even welcome death, if I were sure that my descendants, Signori, might pride themselves on my having been the cause of the wished-for union of your Republic. As you have decided that I am to go to Padua, I declareth at I am content to go, and to stay wherever you command, not only in the Trevisian State, but should you send me to live amongst the Arabs, or any other people alien to our customs, I would go most willingly; and if your Lordships command me to discover the origin of the ill, as a beloved son is bound to obey his father’s wishes and a good servant the orders of his masters, o would I obey you for the peace of your people. One thing I beg of you, O Signori, that seeing you intend to preserve my life, you take care that it should not be taken by wicked citizens and thus you be put to shame. I do not so much fear the pain of death as the abominable infamy of undeserved assassination, for a violent death is the manifest sign and outcome of a bad life, and I have not led the life of a villain, but of an honest and good merchant. Even if I have not been faultless I have always tried to merit the love of good men, because my actions were good. As, however, disaster comes to me by your orders, I accept it as a boon, and as a benefit to me and to my belongings. Have a care, O Signori, that those should not have their way who are in the Piazza with arms in their hands and anxiously desire my blood, without regard for my innocence. My pain would be small, because such a death being over in a short time cannot be very painful or hard to bear; nothing is so brief as death. But you would earn perpetual infamy by having made me a promise which was broken by villainous citizens: infamy is worse than an innocent death. If I go to the Trevisian State, I leave my heart and my soul with you, and shall only be happy when I can do something for the good of your people, as I pray you and every good citizen to do. Every trouble will be easy to bear as long as I know that my adversity will bring peace and happiness to the city. I know, and this is no small comfort to me, that I never permitted wrong to be done to any one. I never frequented the Palace save when I was summoned; I never roused hatred of the Republic amongst your subalterns because I never ill- treated them; I always declined to be nominated an official, which is often prejudicial to the body and hurtful to the soul; with no small pride I affirm that none can say my ill-behaviour ever caused a city to rebel or to be taken from you; on the contrary our money bought several: ask your soldiers how many times they were paid by me for the Commune with m y own money, to be returned to me when convenient to the Commune. Never have I been found wanting when the Commune could be enlarged, and although I am exiled, I shall ever be ready at the call of this people. In conclusion, Signori, I pray God to keep you in his grace and in happiness in this fortunate Republic, and to give me patience to bear my unhappy life.

Cosimo recalls his imprisonment 24/01/2011

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1433 from Cosimo’s Diary

On the election of the new Signory (September 1433) it was rumoured that during their rule great changes were to be made. News was sent to me in the Mugello, where I had been for some months in order to escape from the contests and divisions in the city, that my presence was necessary. So on the 4th of September I returned, and on the same day visited the Gonfalonier and the others, as well as Giovanni dello Scelto who I thought was my friend, and who was under obligations to me, as were also the others. When I told them what I had heard, they denied it, and told me to be of good cheer, as they hoped to leave the city in the same condition as they found it when their time was up. On the 5th they called a council of eight citizens, saying they desired their advice on certain matters. They were Messer Giovanni Guicciardini, Bartolommeo Ridolfi, Ridolfo Peruzzi, Tommaso di Lapo Corsi, Messer Agnolo Acciaioli, Giovanni di Messer Rinaldo Gian-figliazzi, MesseRinaldo degli A1bizzi, and myself Cosimo. So although as has been said, it was reported that a revolution was imminent yet, having their assurances and believing them to be my friends I did not credit it.

On the morning of the 7th, under colour of the said council they sent for me; and when I arrived at the Palace I found most of my companions and we talked together. After sometime I was told by order of the Signory to go upstairs and by the captain of the infantry I was put into a room called the Barbaria, and locked in.

On hearing this the whole city rose. During the day a council was held by the citizens who had been summoned and the Gonfalonier told them I had been detained for a good reason which would be explained another time, and that the Signory desired no advice on this point, and so dismissed them. And the Signori banished me to Padua for a year. This decision was at once made known to my brother Lorenzo, who was in the Mugello, and to Averardo, my cousin, who was at Pisa. The news was also sent to Niccolo da Tolentino, captain of the Commune, who was my good friend. Lorenzo came to Florence that same day, and the Signori sent for him, but he being warned why they wanted him, left at once and returned to Trebbio. Averardo also left Pisa in haste, as they had given orders to seize him. Had they taken us all three, we should have been in an evil plight.

Niccolo da Tolentino on hearing the news came to Lastra with his company in tending to raise the city, so that I might be released. At the same time, when it was known in the mountains of the Romagna and in other places, great numbers of foot-soldiers went to Lorenzo. But the captain and Lorenzo were advised not to make a disturbance, or evil might befall me so they desisted. Although this advice was given by relations and friends and in all sincerity yet it was not good for had they advanced at once I should have been free, and he who was the cause of all would have been undone.

We may, however, say that all was for the best, as in the end good came of it, and more honour to me, as I shall relate hereafter. My friends being averse as I have said to create any disturbance the captain returned to his quarters pretending that he had come for another reason, and Lorenzo went to Venice with my sons taking with him all he could of money and small valuables. And the Signory banished Lorenzo to Venice for a year, myself to Padua for five years, and Averardo to Naples for five years. Then on the 9th the bell was rung for a parliament, and those who had been the cause of all assembled on the Piazza with much infantry. Twenty-three citizens were also summoned verily a small number, and but few of the people were present, because in truth the mass of the citizens were ill-pleased.

Vasari on Fra Angelico 03/01/2011

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c. 1550

Fra Giovanni Angelico da Fiesole, whose secular name was Guido, deserves to be held in most honourable remembrance, both as an excellent painter and illuminator, and also as a perfect monk. He might have lived comfortably in the world, earning whatever he wished by his art, in which he excelled when still young, but being by nature good and serious, for his satisfaction and quiet, and also principally to save his soul, he entered the order of the Preaching Friars. There are in the convent of San Marco in Florence some choir books illuminated by his hand, which are so beautiful that nothing could be better, and some others like them, which he left at San Domenico of Fiesole, painted with incredible patience. It is true that in these he was aided by an elder brother, who was also an illuminator and skilled in painting. One of the first of this good father’s paintings was in the Certosa of Florence, our Lady with the Child in her arms and angels at her feet singing and playing. He also painted in fresco in Santa Maria Novella.

He was so beloved by Cosimo de’ Medici that when the church and convent of St Marco were built, he caused him to paint in it all the Passion of Jesus Christ, with many of the Saints. They say that for the figure of St. Cosimo Fra Giovanni drew from life his friend the sculptor, Nanni d’Antonio di Banco. Below he painted St. Domenic at the foot of a tree, and in medallions among the branches all the popes, cardinals, bishops, saints, and doctors who had belonged to the order of the Preaching Friars. In these the friars aided him by sending to different places and obtaining portraits from life. He also painted a picture for the high altar of San Domenico of Fiesole, but this has been retouched by other masters and injured; but other pictures there by him have been better preserved, and there are a number of little figures in celestial glory, which are so beautiful that they seem really in Paradise, and no one who sees them can ever weary of looking at them.

But beyond all that Fra Giovanni ever did is a painting in the same church of the Coronation of the Virgin in the midst of a choir of angels and an infinite number of saints, which it gives one a wonderful pleasure to look at, for it seems as if blessed spirits could look no otherwise in heaven, at least if they had bodies, and they are all so lifelike and so sweet; and the whole colouring also of the work seems to be from the hand of a saint or an angel, so that it was with good reason that he was always called Fra Giovanni Angelico.

By so many works the name of Fra Giovanni became famous in all Italy, and Pope Nicholas V sent for him, and made him paint the chapel of the palace where the Pope hears mass, and also illuminate some books, which are most beautiful. And because Fra Giovanni seemed to the Pope, as he was indeed, a man of most holy life, quiet and modest, when the archbishopric of Florence fell vacant he adjudged him worthy of the rank; but the friar, hearing of it, prayed his Holiness to give it to another, because he did not feel himself apt at governing men, and said that his order had another friar, loving to the poor, learned, skilled in government, and God-fearing, whom the dignity would much better become than it would him. The Pope hearing this, and perceiving that what he said was true, granted him the favour, and so Fra Antonino, of the order of Preaching Friars, was made Archbishop of Florence, a man of such holiness that he was canonised by Adrian VI. in our days. And this great goodness of Fra Giovanni was in truth a rare thing, thus to give up a dignity and honour offered him to one whom in sincerity of heart he judged more worthy of it than himself. And would to God that all religious men would spend their time as this truly angelical father did, in the service of God and to the benefit of the world and their neighbours.

Fra Giovanni was a simple man and most holy in his habits, and one day when Pope Nicholas V desired him to dine with him, he had scruples of conscience about eating meat without his prior’s leave, not considering the Pope’s authority.

He would not follow the ways of the world, but lived purely and holily, and was a great friend of the poor. He painted constantly, and would never represent anything but the saints. He might have been rich, but did not care about it, saying that true riches are nothing else than being content with little. He might have governed many, and would not, saying it was less troublesome to obey, and one was less liable to err in obeying. It was in his power to hold dignities among the friars and elsewhere, but he did not esteem them, affirming that he sought no other dignity than to escape hell and attain to Paradise. He was most kind and sober, keeping himself free from all worldly ties, often saying that he who practised art had need of quiet and to be able to live without cares, and that he who represents the things of Christ should always live with Christ. He was never seen in anger by the friars, which is a great thing, and seems to me almost impossible to believe; and he had a way of admonishing his friends with smiles. To those who sought his works he would answer, that they must content the prior, and then he would not fail. To sum up, this father, who can never be enough praised, was in all his works and words most humble and modest, and in his paintings facile and devout; and the saints whom he painted have more the air and likeness of saints than those of any one else. It was his habit never to retouch or alter any of his paintings, but to leave them as they came the first time, believing, as he said, that such was the will of God. Some say he would never take up his pencil until he had first made supplication, and he never made a crucifix but he was bathed in tears.

Cosimo’s Library 13/12/2010

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Vespasiano da Bisticci c. 1480, Le Vite

When Cosimo had finished the residence and a good part of the church [San Lorenzo], he fell to thinking how he should have the place peopled with honest men of letters; and in this way it occurred to him to found a fine library; and one day when I happened to be present in his chamber, he said to me: ‘In what way would you furnish this library?’ I replied that as for buying the books it would be impossible, for they were not to be had. Then he said: ‘How is it possible then to furnish it?’ I told him that it would be necessary to have the books copied. He asked in reply if I would be willing to undertake the task. I answered him, that I was willing. He told me to commence my work and he would leave everything to me; and as for the money that would be necessary he would refer the matter to Don Archangel, then prior of the monastery, who would draw bills upon the bank, which should be paid. The library was commenced at once, for it was his pleasure that it should be done with the utmost possible celerity; and as I did not lack for money I collected in a short time forty -five writers, and finished 200 volumes in twenty-two months; in which work we made use of an excellent arrangement, that of the library of pope Nicholas, which he had given to Cosimo, in the form of a catalogue made out with his own hands.

Coming to the arrangement of the library, in the first place there is the Bible and the Concordance, with all their commentaries, as well ancient as modern. And the first writer who commenced to comment on the Holy Scriptures, and who indicated the manner of commenting to all the others, was Origen; he wrote in Greek, and St. Jerome translated a part of his works, on the five books of Moses. These are the works of St. Ignatius the martyr, who wrote in Greek, and was a disciple of St. John the Evangelist; most fervent in his Christian zeal, he wrote and preached and for this won the crown of martyrdom. There are the works of St. Basil, bishop of Cappadocia, a Greek; of St. Gregory of Nazianzus, of Gregory of Nyssa, his brother, of St. John Chrysostom, of St. Athanasius of Alexandria, of St. Ephraem the Monk, of John Climacus, also a Greek; all the works of the Greek doctors that are translated into Latin are there. Then follow the holy doctors and holy writers in Latin, beginning with the works of Lactantius, who was very ancient and had praiseworthy qualifications; Hilary of Poitou, a most solemn doctor; St. Cyprian of Carthage, most elegant and saintly; the works of Tertullian, the learned Carthaginian. Then follow the four doctors of the Latin church, and all their works are here; and there is no other library that has these works complete. Then begin the works of St. Jerome; all the works of St. Gregory, the moral doctor; all the works of St. Bernard the Abbot, of Hugh of St. Victor, of St. Anselm, of St. Isidore, bishop of Seville, of Bede, of Rabanus Maurus. Coming then to the modern doctors, of St. Thomas Aquinas, of Albert Magnus, of Alexander of Hales, of St. Bonaventura; the works of the Archbishop Antonino of Florence, that is, his Stimma.

Coming to the philosophers, all the works of Aristotle, both his moral and natural Philosophy; all the commentaries of St. Thomas and Albertus Magnus on the philosophy of Aristotle, and still other commentators upon the same; his Logic and other modern systems of Logic. In canon law, the Decretum, the Decretals, Liber Sexius, the Clementines, the Summa of the bishop of Ostia; Innoceutius; Lectures of the bishop of Ostia on the Decretals; Giovanni Andrea, on Liber Sextus, and an anonymous lecture on the Decretum, and still other works on canon law by the abbott of Cicilia and others. Of histories, all the Ten of Livy; Caesar’s Commentaries; Suetonius Tranquillus, The Lives of the Emperors; Plutarch’s Lives; Quiutus Curtius, the Deeds of Alexander the Great; Sallust, De bello Jugurthino et Catilinario; Valerius Maximus, The Memorable Deeds and Sayings of the Ancients; Emilius Probus, Great Leaders of Foreign Peoples; a history by Ser Zembino, who commenced at the beginning of the world, and came down to pope Celestine, a work of great information; the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphili, and De temporibus  the Historiale of Vincenzo; all the works of Tully in three volumes; all the works of Seneca in one volume; Quintilian, De institutione oratoria, and the Declamations; Vocabulista; Nonius Marcellus; Pompeius Festus; the Elegantiaeoi Valla; Papias; Uguccione; Catholicon. Poets: Virgil, Terence, Ovid, Lucan, Statius, the tragedies of Seneca, Plautus. Of grammarians, Priscian. And all the other works necessary to a library, of which no one was wanting; and since there were not copies of all these works in Florence, we sent to Milan, to Bologna and to other places, wherever they might be found. Cosimo lived to see the library wholly completed, and the cataloguing and the arranging of the books; in all of which he took great pleasure, and the work went forward, as was his custom, with great promptness.