|Original kept||National Library of Spain, MSS/17805|
|Format||285 x 190 mm|
|Illumination||95 miniatures of high iconographic interest|
|Binding||Bound in leather embossed with gold|
Without a doubt, the 17805 manuscript of the National Library of Spain is one of the richest illuminated examples about the famous epic of Troy’s war that are being kept at that Library, written by the notorious italian lawyer, poet and historian known as Guido delle Colonne. The manuscript arrived to the Library after the Pascual de Gayangos funds were bought at 1899. It was written on parchment paper, showing red ink for the incipit and black ink for the rest of the book. The language used is latin. The manuscript contains ninety three miniatures with high iconographic value, generally on the upper or lower part of the sheets, which are illuminated with various colours, and beatiful initials embossed with burnished gold. Two of the miniatures, corresponding with 3r and 27r sheets, are historiated initials. Also some sheets are beautifully adorned with vegetal decorations around the text.
It was determined by Buchtal in his famous study that the manuscript’s origin is Venice. This author connects this codex with a series of miniatures on the parchment sheets which forms a chess table when a rock crystal is put on top of them, which is known to be a venetian technique. Additionally, his investigation includes a series of interesting observations like the direct relationship between the codex and some works of the venetian painting in the second quarter of the XIV century. There is also included the presence of two additional components which helps to date the manuscript even further; the clearly influence of Paolo Veneciano and the plenty of details matching with some works of Renaissance. All of this taken into consideration, the codex is dated between 1340 and 1350.
How the manuscript arrived to Spain is still a hypothesis but it is believed that the events during the campaigns in Italy in XVI century had something to do with it. Buchtal assures that the book belonged to Alvar Gómez de Castro.
The leaves present on the cover and front pages of the manuscript can shed light to this matter; an anagram and a text in latin tell that the book belonged to Marqués de Navas.
This work provides something besides the narration of the Troy’s destruction by greek hands, that no other one had treated till then and that is a description with all detail of the customs, traditions, leisures of the city, etc.
The facsimile edition of Historia Civitatis Troiane is complemented by a case for its conservation and a complementary study book made by subject matter experts.
This facsimile is an unique edition of 510 books numbered and authenticated by notarial deed.
Source: Carmen Garcia Beteta.