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MS 191: Works by Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II), late 15th century

Identifier: MS 191


MS 191 contains two texts by the fifteenth-century Italian, Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II from 1458-1464). The volume is divided into two parts, the first containing letters by Piccolimini, and the second, the text De miseria curialium. These will be described separately, under 'MS 191/ff. 1-97' and 'MS 191/ff. 99-115'.
Writing A fine, uniform minuscule, written on fine vellum, with wide margins. The volume has suffered much damage and loss though, so many leaves are stained and worn to illegibility.
Illumination The initials in Part I (ff. 1r-97v) are of burnished gold on grounds of lake, blue or green with gold scroll work. All have suffered much from damp. The initial at the beginning of Part II (ff. 99r-115v), on f.99r, is gold with a vine design prolonged in the margin, the colours being green, blue, and lake, but it also has been blurred by damp.


  • late 15th century


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

An Italian manuscript, on the evidence of script and illumination, but with no indications of early ownership. A modern hand writes on the fly-leaf, The date of this book is 1443 as seen on 1st page. The date in question, which, since rebinding, appears on f. 2r, is the date when the particular letter was written, the script being of a considerably later date. There are two other pencil marks on the fly-leaf, the number 2801 and A.G. prince 15s.
The manuscript bears the old reference "Laing 369", which means it was a part of the Laing collection before being moved to the MS collection around the beginning of the 20th century.

Previous reference

Laing 369

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland's catalogue: Aeneas Silvii Epistole.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Library as a part of the David Laing Bequest in 1878.

Physical Facet

Material: vellum

Binding: Modern, repaired 1913.

Collation:a9, b2, c10, d8, e8, f2, g8, h2, i3, k2, l6—v6, x1=115.


28.9 cm X 19.7 cm


Secundo folio: sui Regis
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 115, 36 lines to a page

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
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