Repertorium Pomponianum
Libri manuscripti

Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, B 131 sup.

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In this fifteenth-century Martial the text of the epigrams is accompanied by a copious commentary, added in the margins by a number of contemporary students of the Roman poet. Moreover, glued to the binding of the book we find a copy of a letter to Pomponio Leto from Niccolò Perotti (a. 1472), in which the latter ridicules Domizio Calderini's reading of a verse of Martial (cp. Charlet 2006).
In 1903 Remigio Sabbadini studied the manuscript in his Spogli Ambrosiani Latini. He transcribed a number of the notes, and because of the similarity of some of them to lemmata in Niccolò Perotti's Cornu copiae (cp. Perotti 1989-2001) he concluded that the commentary was produced by scholars of Perotti's circle. The fact that a copy of Perotti's letter to Pomponio was glued into the manuscript seemed to support the theory (Sabbadini 1903, 339). Ever since Sabbadini published his article, scholars of Martial and Perotti - and compilers of manuscript catalogues - have repeated Sabbadini's attribution of the commentary (cp. e.g. Kristeller, Iter, I, 296; Hausmann 1980, 252, n. 11; Ambrosiana Inventory, I, 129).
However, a closer examination of the glosses Sabbadini attributed to Perotti's influence shows that rather than quoting Perotti's Cornu copiae they are compiled using the same sources as Perotti did in the equivalent lemmata, e.g. Giovanni Tortelli's De orthographia. At least one gloss quotes Pomponio's unpublished commentary on Martial in the BAV, Ottob. lat. 1188 (on Mart. I 55,5, f. IXr; for Pomponio's commentary in this ms., cp. Pade 2011b), and the handwriting of some of the glossators decidedly shows Pomponian traits, as for instance uncial 'g'. One of the glossators is Angelo Campano (probably the younger brother of Gianantonio). Angelo Campano had studied with Lorenzo Valla, and in 1475 he copied Valla's Latin translation of Thucydides in the present ms 43 E 23 of the Biblioteca Corsiniana in Rome. Probably also the other annotators belonged to Pomponio's circle in Rome (cp. Pade 2008).

Description of manuscript

Material: paper
Format: mm. 292 x 252
Foliation: ff. 168 + flyleaves
Origin: Rome
Date: s. XV 2/2
Scribe: Several Italian hands. Pliny's letter and the text of Martial are in a semi cursive humanist hand; the annotations are in several cursive hands, some of them Pomponian. One of the annotators is Angelo Campano.
Decoration: (ff. Ir-v) gold and white vine stem initials in section c.
Content: Section a) bifolium glued to binding with extracts from and notes on Martial in a Pomponian hand; section b) ff. i-ii, bifolium with letter of Niccolò Perotti to Pomponio Leto, ridiculing Domizio Calderini's reading of Martial, and notes on Martial and on the history of the manuscript. This section was inserted in the codex by Antonio Olgiato, librarian of the Biblioteca Ambrosiana around 1604; section c) ff. i-clxviii, quinions, letter of Pliny on the death of Martial (ep. 3,21, f. Ir); Martial with notes by several contemporary hands (f. Iv ss.).
Bibliography: Sabbadini 1903, 329-42; Kristeller, Iter, I, 296; Ambrosiana Inventory, I, 129; Pade 2008.
Marianne Pade
21. 9. 2008
This entry can be cited as follows:
Marianne Pade, "Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, B 131 sup.," Repertorium Pomponianum (URL:,