One of the oldest and most beautiful surviving copies of Dante’s “Inferno” is preserved in Italy in San Daniele del Friuli, near Udine. It is part of the astonishing collection of over 12,000 manuscripts owned by the Biblioteca Guarneriana, one of Europe’s most ancient public libraries, founded in 1466 by scholar ad humanist Guarnerio d’Artegna.
The manuscript – catalogued as “ms. Fontaniano 200” – was copied in the XIVth century. It is fully illustrated with high quality miniatures, and containes two commentaries of Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece: one, written in Latin, by Graziolo de’ Bambaglioli, the other composed in Italian “volgare” between 1324 and 1334 by an anonymous but very intriguing author.
Guarneriana’s Codex 200 has been studied by several scholars and is now available in a very accurate fac-simile edition by Italian publisher Roberto Vattori which will be presented, together with two important fac-simile editions of Longobard manuscripts by Capsa Ars Scriptoria (Codice Cividalese XXVIII, Paolus Diaconus’s “Historia Langobardorum”, and Codex Cavensis 4, “Leges Langobardorum), during the “MEDIOEVALIA: Medioevo e Medioevi in Guarneriana” Conference on October 22, 2016.
Guarneriana has also launched the brand new manuscript digitization project “TECA DIGITALE”, which gives full online access to 13 of the most important codices which are part of the collection: among them, Ms. Fontaniniano 200, Peter Lombard’s Liber Sententiarum (ms 42 ), the “Bizantine Bible” (ms 3), Augustin’s De Civitate Dei (ms 8), Brunetto Latini’s Tresor (ms 238), Cicero’s Orationes (ms 59), and works by Seneca (ms 7).