Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 15 IFJM The Visconti Semideus

 Fed Ex delivered today's package directly from Russia! It has quite a history and I am so excited it can end up in my museum for a few weeks.

Julio is coming over to construct a glass display case that can sit in the middle of the room. Then, I will need to choose which page to leave open. Argh, that will be tough.

Here is a sketch of the cover. The actual book will remain in the packaging until the glass display case is built.



I first read about this manuscript from a book by Christopher de Hamel called "Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, Twelve journeys into the Medieval World" circa 2016.

The Visconti Semi Deus is a practical treatise for princes on armaments and warfare, composed by a humanist and lawyer. His name was Cantone Sacco and was from a city near Milan called Pavia. He wrote it for Filippo Maria Visconti who was to become the Duke of Milan.

In it he explains methods for doing battle on the high seas. A handbook that is quite useful for the princes studying about how to keep their kingdom safe from invaders. One such story is about putting venomous snakes in pottery and then throwing them on to your enemy's ships in the hope that the pottery breaks and the snakes go about biting the sailors! 

This book made it into several hands over the years and I have taken the following notes to detail the books journey's over the centuries finally arriving to Russia.