Epistolarum familiarium libri VIII
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Epistolarum familiarium libri VIII

Autore: RICCI, Bartolomeo (1489-1569)

Dati tipografici: Bologna [Antonio Manuzio], 1560


8vo. (8), 186 [i.e. 176] leaves (57-66 omitted in numbering). †8, A-Y8. Later vellum over boards.

Edit 16, CNCE 47594; G. Antonelli, Bibliografia Ricciana, ossia catalogo bibliografico delle opere di Bartolomeo Ricci da Lugo, (Ferrara, 1841), p. 28.

 

FIRST EDITION of the major collection of letters of Bartolomeo Ricci. The volume is dedicated to Ricci's native town, Lugo (Patriae Suae), and to the ‘Reader' from Lugo (Lugiensis Lectori).

Ricci, who since many years was expecting to publish his correspondence, instructed his friend Paolo Manuzio to print it. But the latter, for unknown reasons, could not undertake the printing. Ricci then turned to Antonio Manuzio, Paolo's brother, who was active in Bologna (cf. lib. III, ep. 40, addressed to Marco Gandolfi on July 27, 1557, l. 70r). The actual printing began in November 1557 and lasted until 1560. Ricci moved to Bologna to overlook it. The humanist Girolamo Zoppio offered to correct the proofs. Ricci later thanked him in a letter that appeared in his second letter collection (Epistolarum familiarum libri IV, 1562, lib. IV, ep. 38, see item, no. XXX) (cf. A. Lazzari, Un umanista romagnolo alla corte di Ercole II d'Este. Bartolomeo Ricci da Lugo, Ferrara, 1914, pp. 126-127).

The collection is of particular interest, as it shows, through lively and colorful Latin, the author's rich cultural relationships he had with all the major humanists of his time and also because it describes in great detail the daily life at the court of Ferrara. In this particular aspect, two letters addressed to Alfonso Calcagnini (leaves 156v and 158r) are of peculiar relevance. They contain the first descriptions of the games of soccer and pall-mall, preceding by one or two years the famous treatise by Antonio Scaino, Trattato del gioco della palla, published in 1555.

“L'epistolario [del Ricci] ha una notevole importanza storica per la quantità di notizie che contiene sugli avvenimenti del tempo e anche sulla vita minuta di ogni giorno [...]; né i contemporanei lesinarono la loro ammirazione al Ricci per la stupefacente abilità con cui seppe valersi del latino per descrivere con esattezza e proprietà aspetti della vita contemporanea. Il che possiamo constatare direttamente anche oggi dalle due lettere che in questa sede ci interessano, quella sul gioco del calcio e quella sul gioco della pallamaglio, in voga a quel tempo a Ferrara e praticato soprattutto nell'ampia via degli Angeli, e che è a capostipite dei nostri attuali giochi del croquet e in parte del golf” (C. Baschetta, Sport e giochi. Trattati e scritti dal XV al XVIII secolo, Milano, 1978, pp. 262-263).

The letters (298 overall) are arranged in groups by the recipient's name. They span over a period that goes from 1513 to 1558, but rarely bear place and date.

 

(Book I:)

Bembo, Pietro. Venezia, July 1, 1532 (l. 1r)

from eid. Padova, July 21, 1532 (l. 2r)

id. (l. 3r)

id. Ravenna, May 7, 1539 (l. 3v)

from eid. Padova, May 24, 1539 (l. 4v)

Navagero, Andrea. Venezia, February 13, 1513 (l. 4v)

id. Venezia (l. 5r)

id. (l. 5v)

id. (l. 6r)

Corner, Giovanni (l. 6r)

id. 1538 (l. 8v)

Abiosi, Agostino. Lugo, June 1, 1535 (l. 9r)

id. (l. 10v)

id. (l. 11r)

id. (l. 11r)

id. (l. 11v)

id. (l. 12r)

id. (l. 12r)

id. (l. 12v)

id. (l. 13v)

id. Ferrara, October 21, 1557 (l. 14v)

id. (l. 15r)

id. (l. 15v)

id. (l. 16r)

Valeriano, [Giovanni] Pierio (l. 16v)

Maggioli, Alessandro (l. 16v)

Corner, Giorgio (l. 17r)

Carrara, Agostino (l. 17v)

Portulacchi, Giulio (l. 18r)

id. (l. 18v)

id. (l. 19r)

id. (l. 19r)

Portulacchi, Girolamo (l. 19v)

Decurionibus suis Lugiensibus. Venezia, February 4, 1534 (l. 19v)

 

(Book II:)

Brasavola, Antonio Musa (l. 21r)

Ruggeri, Bonifacio. Ravenna (l. 21v)

id. Ravenna, February 6, 1539 (l. 22r)

id. (l. 22r)

id. (l. 22v)

Eletti, Giovanni Battista. Bereguardo, October 7, 1539 (l. 24r)

id. (l. 24v)

Lampridio, Benedetto (l. 25r)

Orio, Ippolito (l. 25v)

id. (l. 26r)

Corradi, Sebastiano. Ferrara (l. 26r)

id. (l. 26v)

id. (l. 27r)

id. (l. 27v)

id. (l. 28r)

id. (l. 28v)

id. (l. 29v)

id. (l. 30r)

id. (l. 30v)

id. (l. 30v)

id. (l. 31r)

Pistofilo, Bonaventura (l. 35r)

id. Venezia (l. 35r)

Costi, Gottardo (l. 35r)

id. Ferrara, December 27, n.y. (l. 35v)

Porto, Bartolomeo (l. 36v)

id. (l. 36v)

Reni, Giovanni (l. 37r)

Sabelli, Lazzaro. Bologna, October 15, 1557 (l. 37v)

 

(Book III:)

Maffei, Bernardino (l. 38r)

id. Ferrara, September 10, 1544 (l. 38v)

id. (l. 38v)

from eid. Roma, May 25, n.y. (l. 39r)

id. (l. 39v)

Bonamico, Lazzaro. Ferrara, October 27, n.y. (l. 40v)

id. (l. 41r)

Amaseo, Romolo (l. 41r)

id. (l. 41v)

id. (l. 42r)

Manuzio, Paolo. Lugo (l. 42v)

id. (l. 43v)

id. Ravenna, March 25, 1538 (l. 44r)

id. Ferrara (l. 44r)

id. (l. 45r)

id. (l. 46r)

id. (l. 47r)

id. (l. 47r)

id. (l. 48r)

from eid. Venezia, December 12, n.y. (l. 49r)

id. From Villa Ricciola, July 7, 1557 (l. 50r)

id. (l. 50v)

Cesano, Gabriele (l. 51r)

id. (l. 51r)

Gonzaga, Galeazzo (l. 51v)

id. (l. 51v)

id. (l. 52r)

Mirogli, Bartolomeo (l. 52v)

id. (l. 54r)

Griffoli, Jacopo (l. 54v)

id. (l. 55r)

Ferri, Filippo (l. 55v)

id. (l. 56r)

id. (l. 56r)

Tiberti, Aurelio (l. 67r)

Abiosi, Bartolomeo (l. 67r)

Buoni, Jacopo (l. 67v)

id. April 1, 1554 (l. 68r)

Sisenio, Francesco. (l. 68v)

Gandolfi, Marco. Ferrara, July 27, 1557 (l. 70r)

Corner, Marco (l. 70v)

id. (l. 71r)

Fantoni, Vincenzo and Fantoni Giovanni Maria (l. 71v)

Angeli, Antonio (l. 72v)

Magnani, Giulio (l. 73r)

Braschi, Filippo. Epitaph, January 3, 1557 (l. 74r)

Palanteri, Girolamo (l. 74r)

Brusantini, Alessandro (l. 74v)

 

(Book IV:)

Madruzzo, Cristoforo (l. 75r)

Maggi, Vincenzo (l. 76r)

id. (l. 76v)

id. (l. 77r)

id. Ferrara, October 7, 1557 (l. 77v)

id. Ferrara, February 3, 1557 (l. 78r)

id. Ferrara, January 13, 1558 (l. 79v)

id. (l. 80r)

id. (l. 80v)

Pigna, Giovanni Battista (l. 81r)

id. (l. 81v)

id. (l. 82v)

id. (l. 85r)

id. (l. 85v)

id. (l. 87r)

id. (l. 90r)

id. (l. 90v)

id. (l. 91r)

id. (l. 91v)

Lollio, Alberto (l. 92r)

id. (l. 93r)

id. (l. 93v)

id. (l. 94r)

id. (l. 94v)

id. (l. 95r)

id. (l. 95v)

id. (l. 96r)

Lusitano, Antonio (l. 96v)

Robortello, [Francesco] (l. 98r)

Foschini, Giovanni Battista. Ferrara, November 29, n.y. (l. 98v)

id. (l. 99r)

Porto, Francesco (l. 99v)

Commenduni, Antonio. Ravenna, July 15, 1537 (l. 100r)

 

(Book V:)

Flaminio, Marco Antonio (l. 101r)

id.  (l. 101v)

id.  (l. 102r)

id.  (l. 102v)

Paleario, Aonio. Ferrara, October 1, n.y. (l. 104r)

id. Ferrara, November 30, n.y. (l. 105v)

id. (l. 105v)

id. July 31, 1552(l. 106r)

id. (l. 107r)

id. (l. 107r)

id. January 1, 1556 (l. 107v)

Antimaco, Marco Antonio (l. 108r)

Valentino, [Filippo] (l. 108v)

Trotti, Ercole (l. 109r)

Antimaco, Fabio (l. 109r)

id. (l. 109v)

id. (l. 109v)

Spolverini, Francesco (l. 110r)

id. (l. 110r)

id. (l. 110v)

id. (l. 111r)

Nascimbeni, [Nascimbene] (l. 111v)

Bocchi, Achille (l. 112r)

Bonaccioli, Alfonso (l. 112r)

Pirro, Diego (l. 112v)

Nigrisoli, Antonio Maria (l. 113v)

Porta, Silvio (l. 113v)

Ferri, Antonio (l. 114r)

Tasso, Bernardo (l. 114v)

Ariosto, Virginio and Ariosto, Giovanni Battista (l. 115r)

Brasavola, Renato (l. 116v)

Contuli, Giovanni Battista (l. 117v)

 

(Book VI:)

Corner, Luigi (l. 118r)

id. Ravenna, October 22, 1538 (l. 119r)

id. (l. 119v)

Ricci, Giovanni (l. 120v)

from eid. Roma, May 8, 1554 (l. 121r)

Loredan, Bernardino and Loredan, Pietro (l. 121v)

id. (l. 122r)

Loredan, Bernardino. (l. 122v)

id. (l. 123v)

id. (l. 123v)

Zanchi, Basilio. (l. 123v)

Luigini, Francesco. (l. 124r)

id. (l. 124v)

Rossetti, Alfonso (l. 124v)

id. (l. 125r)

id. (l. 125r)

Zanchi, Girolamo. Ravenna (l. 125v)

Acciaoli, Jacopo (l. 126r)

Passetti, Prospero (l. 126v)

id. (l. 127r)

id. (l. 128r)

Ressetti, Fabrizio (l. 128v)

Suffrini, Antonio (l. 129r)

Ressetti, Fabrizio (l. 129v)

Putti, Ippolito de' (l. 129v)

Bonomi, Giovanni (l. 130r)

Faletti, Girolamo (l. 130r)

id. (l. 131r)

id. (l. 131v)

id. (l. 132r)

id. (l. 132r)

id. (l. 132v)

id. (l. 133r)

id. (l. 133v)

id. (l. 134r)

id. (l. 134r)

id. (l. 134v)

id. (l. 135r)

Cato, Ludovico (l. 135r)

Putti, Ippolito de' (l. 135v)

Cato, Renato (l. 136r)

Cantelli, Giovanni Battista (l. 136v)

id. (l. 137r)

Ambrosi, Francesco (l. 138v)

id. (l. 139r)

Mirogli, Ettore (l. 139v)

id. (l. 140r)

Comasini, [?] (l. 140r)

Contrari, Ercole (l. 140v)

id. (l. 140v)

Mosti, Alfonso (l. 141r)

Scaligero, Giulio Cesare. Ferrara, March 15, 1556 (l. 142r)

Grifo, Sebastiano. Ferrara, March 15, 1556 (l. 142v)

 

(Book VII:)

Saracco, Battista (l. 143r)

id. (l. 143v)

id. (l. 144r)

id. (l. 144v)

id. Bereguardo, October 26, 1549 (l. 144v)

id. (l. 145r)

id. (l. 145v)

id. March 30, 1552 (l. 146r)

id. (l. 146r)

id. (l. 146v)

id. (l. 146v)

id. (l. 147r)

id. (l. 147v)

id. (l. 147v)

id. (l. 148v)

id. (l. 148v)

id. (l. 153r)

id. (l. 154r)

id. (l. 154v)

Calcagnini, Alfonso (l. 155r)

id. (l. 156r)

id. (l. 156v)

id. (l. 158r)

Calcagnini, Ercole (l. 159v)

Calcagnini, Tommaso (l. 160r)

id. (l. 160v)

id. (l. 161v)

Cospi, Tommaso. Bologna, October 15, 1557 (l. 162r)

id. (l. 162v)

id. (l. 162v)

Fabri, Matteo (l. 163r)

 

(Book VIII:)

Calcagnini, Celio. Lugo (l. 163v)

Ferrini, Bartolomeo (l. 164v)

id. (l. 165v)

id. Ravenna, September 28, 1539 (l. 165v)

id. (l. 167v)

id. (l. 168v)

id. (l. 171r)

Mosti, Agostino (l. 171v)

id. (l. 171v)

id. (l. 172r)

Giraldi, Lilio Gregorio. (l. 172v)

id. (l. 173r)

id. (l. 174r)

Trotti, Ferrante (l. 175r)

id. (l. 175v)

id. (l. 176r)

Magnoli, Pan[dolfo] (l. 176v)

Nizzoli, Mario. July 25, n.y. (l. 177r)

id. (l. 177v)

id. January 13, 1548 (l. 178r)

id. (l. 178v)

Friggimela, Giovanni Francesco. (l. 179r)

id. (l. 180r)

Ferri Muccini, Giovanni Battista (l. 180v)

id. (l. 180v)

id. (l. 181r)

id. (l. 181v)

id. (l. 181v)

id. (l. 182r)

Nobili, Flaminio (l. 182r)

id. July 28, 1552 (l. 182v)

Campeggi, Camillo (l. 183r)

Possevino, Antonio (l. 183r)

id. (l. 183v)

id. (l. 184r)

Bolognetti, Alber[to] (l. 184v)

id. (l. 185r)

Bolognetti, Francesco (l. 185v)

 

The main sources for the life of Bartolomeo Ricci are his three collections of letters: the present one, Epistolarum ad Herculem Atestium ac ad reliquos Atestios libri duo (Venezia, 1554), and Epistolarum familiarum libri IV (Ferrara, 1562, see item no. XXX).

Bartolomeo, born at Lugo (Ravenna) in March 1489, was the son of Cornelio Ricci, a member of a declining noble family. He had his first instruction from Urbano Rassetti. Between 1513 and 1520 he continued his studies in Padua and Venice, where he met Andrea Navagero, who recommended him to Marcus Musurus and who introduced him to the Latin culture. In the same period he also attended in Bologna the lessons of Romolo Amaseo. From 1521 to 1525 he lived as a school teacher in Cittadella, then became tutor in the house of the Venetian nobleman Giovanni Corner (1525-1535), brother of Caterina, the former queen of Cyprus. In 1532, during a fire that destroyed the Corner palace, Ricci lost the manuscript of his first major work, the Apparatum latinae locutionis, which was almost ready for print. It took him one year to rewrite the text and it was finally published in 1533. Two years later he was invited to teach literature in Lugo. After a short stay of a year there he decided to move to Ravenna, where he remained until 1539. During a serious illness in 1538 he wrote to Paolo Manuzio entrusting him with the publication of his writings, and he also gave his library to Agostino Albiosi. In 1539 Celio Calcagnini secured him an appointment at the court of Ferrara as tutor of Alfonso, son of Ercole II d'Este, to whom he wrote a letter explaining the teaching methods he hoped to employ, based on the personality of the pupil.

In Ferrara Ricci became one of the main protagonists of the local cultural life, which rotated around the Accademia degli Elevati and later the Accademia dei Filareti. He met and had cultural exchanges with all the major humanists who populated the town in the 1540's and 1550's, like Alberto Lollio, Celio Calcagnini, Lilio Gregorio Giraldi, Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinzio, Ercole Bentivoglio, Bartolomeo Ferrini, Vincenzo Maggi, and Silvio Antoniani, later appointed secretary to Carlo Borromeo. Soon after his arrival, he expressed his view on Ciceronianism in his most important work, the treatise De imitatione, printed by Paolo Manuzio in 1541 and again, in an enlarged edition, in 1549. In this work, praised by Roger Ascham in The Schoolmaster, he took up a theme already developed by Angelo Poliziano and Pietro Bembo, arguing that imitation was not a mechanical exercise, but a vital link between the individual and the past.

While living in Ferrara, Ricci remained in correspondence with the friends he had known in the past years in Padua, Venice, and Bologna: Giovanni Battista Ramusio, Marcantonio Flaminio, Pietro Aretino, Giulio Cesare Scaligero, Paolo Manuzio, Benedetto Ramberti, Giulio Camillo Delminio, Benedetto Lampridio, Luigi Priuli, Sperone Speroni, Aonio Paleario, and many others. Ricci aspired unsuccessfully to the position of court historian, that had been assigned to Gaspare Sardi before him and then to Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinzio, Girolamo Falletti, and Giovanni Battista Pigna. Ricci spent his last years teaching privately at home and as a tutor of Luigi d'Este. He died in Ferrara in 1569 (cf. A. Lazzari, op. cit., passim).


Epistolarum familiarium libri VIII