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Assigning the 'Pieces' of Dante's "Convivio": The Compiler's Notes in the Earliest Extant Copy

Beatrice Arduini
Textual Cultures
Vol. 3, No. 2 (Autumn, 2008), pp. 17-29
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30227868
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Assigning the 'Pieces' of Dante's "Convivio": The Compiler's Notes in the Earliest Extant Copy
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Abstract

In this essay I will consider a pivotal moment in the Convivio's early transmission: the transcription of the only verified fourteenth-century manuscript, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze (BNCF) II iii 47. My aim is to examine the system of marginal notes adopted by the codex's compiler in order to study the broader issue of the shape of the treatise in its early tradition, close to Dante's project, in particular in a manuscript transcribed by an atelier of at least nine copyists engaged in the 1350s to work simultaneously on various pieces of the text. This unusual copying method-for vernacular works-leads us to consider the exemplar, the now lost antecedent of BNCF II iii 47. The Convivio's fourteenth-century tradition, paltry and full of gaps, has been integrated into the fifteenth-century extensive manuscript tradition, but in the determined interest of the compiler of the BNCF II iii 47 project, we find the early foundation for the cultural changes the treatise would undergo in Laurentian Florence when Dante's abandoned work was codified into the philosophical and literary icon we read today.

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