Manuscrits des classiques latins de la bibliothèque Farnèse

Project type
Exploratory project
Scientific coordinator
Angela Cossu
Selected in

In the 16th century, the Farnese library housed the largest collection of books in Rome. At the crossroads of a network of exceptional scholars, this library benefitted from continuous acquisitions, thanks to the patronage of Pope Paul III Farnese and his nephews. The extent of the collection, which consisted of thousands of volumes, was the embodiment of both cultural and political power. In order to explore this library and assess its role in the intellectual life of Renaissance Rome, this project aims to produce digital editions of the 16th and 17th c. inventories of the collection. These documents attest to the collection’s development and physical displacement over time, in accordance with the shifting fortunes of the Farnese family. These new editions will enable the digital cataloguing of 154 manuscripts of Latin classical texts, which were the heart of the Renaissance collection, and are currently stored at the Biblioteca Nazionale in Naples. This novel corpus study will explain the role of these books within the larger collections of the Farnese Palace and their use by humanists up through the 17th c. Ultimately, this work will pave the way for the development of a "Virtual Farnese Library", for which the manuscripts from the Latin classical collection would form the core of the digitisation of the Farnese manuscripts.

Armes du pape Paul III Farnèse

Armes du pape Paul III Farnèse dans le ms Paris, BnF, latin 8880 (f. 182v)