Select manuscript from this collection: Cod. Bodmer 1  Cod. Bodmer 52 Cod. Bodmer 54  V-7.2  45/207

Country of Location:
Country of Location
Library / Collection:
Library / Collection
Fondation Martin Bodmer
Cod. Bodmer 53
Manuscript Title:
Manuscript Title
Quintus Curtius, The Life and Deeds of Alexander the Great
Parchment · 168 ff. · 40 x 29 cm · Burgundy · about 1470-1475
Manuscript Summary:
Manuscript Summary
This French translation of the story of Alexander, destined to belong to Charles the Bold, was commissioned by Vasco da Lucena, "the Portugese", a retainer of the Infanta Isabella, who was married to Philip the Good. This revival of the work by Quintus Curtius Rufus, which is augmented by texts from Plutarch, Valerius Maximus, Aulus Gellius and Justin, allows the author to liberate the Macedonian conqueror from legends perpetuated by the medieval tradition. The Miroir des princes portrays a model of a hero shaped within the framework of the humanistic movement initiated by the dukes of Burgundy in the late middle ages. CB 53 was copied in Burgundy and may be fairly accurately dated only a few years after the translation was made; it was decorated with miniatures in the artistic circle of the Master of Marguerite of York (ca. 1470-1475). (mes)
Standard description:
Standard description
Vielliard Françoise, Manuscrits Français du Moyen Âge, Cologny-Genève, 1975, pp. 133-137.
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DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
DOI (Digital Object Identifier
10.5076/e-codices-cb-0053 (
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Permanent link
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IIIF Manifest URL
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How to quote:
How to quote
Cologny, Fondation Martin Bodmer, Cod. Bodmer 53: Quintus Curtius, The Life and Deeds of Alexander the Great (
Online Since:
Online Since
(Concerning all other rights see each manuscript description and our Terms of use)
Document Type:
Document Type
15th century
Figurative, Fully Painted, Gold / Silver, Initial, Margin, Ornamental, Penwork, Text Block
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felixokelly · 07/25/2021, 21:25:13

The illustrations in this are set out sparingly but are fascinating in their portrayal of Alexander and how the artist intends to fit him into the mold of an idealised Prince.

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"Quintus Curtius [History of Alexander] with an English translation by John C. Rolfe (2 voll., Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1971-76)" (in Latin and English). Hathi Trust Digital Library.

felixokelly · 07/25/2021, 21:42:11

This is a translation of the work by Quintus Curtius that this manuscript was originally based on.

Die schönsten Seiten der Schweiz. Geistliche und weltliche Handschriften / Trésors enluminés de Suisse. Manuscrits sacrés et profanes, M. Bernasconi Reusser, C. Flüeler, B. Roux (ed.), Cinisello Balsamo (Milano) 2020, 370-371, Nr. 97 (N. Ducimetière).

McKendrick S., The History of Alexander the Great : An Illuminated Manuscript of Vasco da Lucena’s French Translation of the Ancient Text of Quintus Curtius Rufus, Malibu (Calif.), 1996.

Collet Olivier, « Alexandre : recherche d’une identité », Splendeurs de la cour de Bourgogne. Récits et chroniques, édition établie sous la direction de Danielle Régnier-Bohler, Editions Robert Laffont, Paris, 1995, pp. 483-627.

e-codices · 08/08/2013, 14:03:25

Extraits de l’Histoire du bon roi Alexandre et des Faits du Grand Alexandre, traduits du moyen français, présentés et annotés par Olivier Collet, traduction des Faits du Grand Alexandre. Roman en prose, écrit par Vasque de Lucène en 1468, traduction partielle d’après le CB 53, pp. 565-627.

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