Collection ID: 0002 | Metadata type: TEI | TEI XML | Data

Ms. Codex 1156 Epithome artis epistolaris ... etc.


Epithome artis epistolaris ... etc.


Call number

Ms. Codex 1156
(3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6206., University of Pennsylvania, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts)

Alternate identifiers


University of Pennsylvania


Latin, with words and names in Ancient Greek and Hebrew


Written in either Ingolstadt or Freiburg im Breisgau, 1512 (f. 8r, 24r).


Epithome artis epistolaris, the predominant work, is a treatise on rhetoric and letter writing based on authors and sources ranging from classical antiquity to the Renaissance. Rhegius draws strongly on Cicero, Quintilian, and Poliziano, but also references Aristotle, Plutarch, Pliny the Younger, Ovid, Juvenal, Terence, Vergil, Horace, Lucretius, Caesar, Livy, Augustine, passages from Psalms and Exodus, Albertus Magnus, Erasmus, Giorgio Valla, Ermolau Barbaro, Heinrich Bebel, Franciscus Niger, and Ulrich Zasius; many of these references are noted in the margins. The treatise explores the classical tenets of rhetoric, including inventio, dispositio, exordium, and elocutio; marginal annotations also make reference in Greek to various tools of rhetoric, including metaphor and periphrasis. Although the authorship of Epithome artis epistolaris was originally uncertain, it has been attributed to Urbanus Rhegius early in his career (Rhegius' name appears multiple times throughout the manuscript in both Hebrew and Roman letters: see f. 6r-v, 8v, 9r, 16v). The predominant work is preceded by an excerpt from a medieval comedic poem, several pages of which have been removed, and several brief writings concerning rhetoric and philosophy.



Briquet Couronne 4902 (1520); although this watermark is cited from Trevise in 1520, Briquet lists many other extant sources from throughout central and eastern Europe in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.


28 leaves : 203 x 145 mm. bound to 212 x 157 mm


Paper, i (modern paper) + 28 + i (modern paper); 1¹⁴(-2, 3, 4, 5) 2¹⁴; modern pencil foliation, upper right recto, including the remains of the missing leaves.




Modern cloth, by Kurt Gabbel & Sons, Holland, Pa.


  • Ruled in drypoint.
  • Decoration

    Manicules in margins throughout.


  • Written in a humanistic script, except work 5, written in a "hasty cursive" (Zacour-Hirsch).
  • Provenance

    Subjects topical






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