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Giovanni Pico della Mirandola




Giovanni Pico della Mirandola

Mirandola 1463 - Firenze 1494


Bibliography: Pichiana: bibliografia delle edizioni e degli studi, a cura di L. Quaquarelli e Z. Zanardi, Firenze, Olschki 2005; N. Tirinnanzi, Pico della Mirandola, in Il Contributo italiano alla storia del Pensiero. Filosofia, Roma, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 2012.

Studies on the library: G. Busi, "Chi non ammirerà il nostro camaleonte?". La biblioteca cabbalistica di Pico della Mirandola, in Id., L'enigma dell'Ebraico nel Rinascimento,Torino, Nino Aragno 2007, pp. 25-45.
Following the arrest in 1489 of Flavio Mitridate, the converted Jew to whom Pico had entrusted the translation of cabbalistic texts, several volumes were confiscated that were meant for the count: it seems that they remained in Rome, without entering Pico's library, and they are now conserved at the Biblioteca apostolica Vaticana (mss. ebr. 189; 190; 191; Chig. A VI 190).



Della biblioteca di Giovanni Pico, in F. Calori Cesis, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola detto la Fenice degli Ingegni, Mirandola, Tipografia di Gaetano Cagarelli 1897, XII, 190 p., 1 ritr., 24 cm, pp. 31-76

The catalogue, one of the unpublished documents brought forward by the author of the monograph to support the biographical information, is a transcript of a paper codex in folio of the Archivio Estense of the late 15th century. Even though Pico had intended the Library of S. Marco in Florence to inherit his books, they were given to the Earl Antonio Pico who at the end, on 13 February 1498, gave them up to Cardinal Domenico Grimani. The catalogue was compiled in Florence on the occasion of this sale by Antonio Pizzamano. It consists of 1190 titles of works; some of them come with an inventory number and some are unidentifiable. The only division criterion refers to the box where they were contained. Only in a few cases this criterion goes along with a linguistic uniformity (cf. pp. 58, 60 and 62 for libri greci e hebraici) or with an uniformity of arguments (p. 44 for Logicha). In some cases it is stated whether the work is printed or handwritten and, in the latter case, whether is a parchment manuscript or a paper codex. Information about the size and the characteristic of the codex is given more rarely. The index is missing; the introduction, quite poor, consists of just a few historical notes.


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P. Kibre, The library of Pico della Mirandola, New York, Columbia University Press 1936, pp. 115-297

The catalogue, an appendix (pp. 115-297), is a transcript of the cc. 263r-269v of a manuscript of the 16th century (Vat. Lat. 364) including the Inventarium librorum Io. Pici Mirandulae, perhaps a copy of an inventory compiled before Pico’s death. The manuscript belonged to Fulvio Orsini and is kept in the Vatican Library; however it is not related to the catalogue of the works owned by Pico and published by Calori Cesis (in Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, detto la fenice degli ingegni, cf. supra), which is discussed in the monographic part by the editor, P. Kibre. The Vatican’s catalogue consists of 1697 titles of both printed books and manuscripts, usually along with their authors and classified in a progressive and continuous sequence introduced by the modern editor. We can also find the number of the volume, that of the box where the books were contained and sometimes the information whether the codex is a parchment manuscript or a paper codex. P. Kibre attempts to identify the possible copies of the supposed several ante mortem editions of the printed works. There are no inner distinctions of the volumes. The proper catalogue ends at n. 1132, since the works from n. 1133 to n. 1697 – organized in a stampa (nos. 1148-1289), a penna (noa. 1290-1305), in iure a stampa (nos. 1306-1341), again a stampa (nos. 1342-1354), Libri ecclesiastici (nos. 1355-1427), in papyro a manu (nos. 1428-1439), in philosophia (nos. 1440-1477), a manu in bambasina (nos. 1478-1500), a stampa in bambasina (nos. 1501-1504), in carta bona a mano (nos. 1505- 1510), a mano in carta bona (nos. 1511-1521), again a papyro a mano (nos.1522-1530), in humanita a penna e carta bona (nos.1531-1585), in papyro (nos. 1586-1605), (nos. 1606-1669), (nos. 1670-1671), quinterni desligati in carta bona (nos. 1672-1677), in papyro quinterni (nos.1678-1697)- refer only to the texts kept in box n.17, which appear also in other boxes; therefore they represent a repetition. Thus, there are sixty correct titles less in comparison to the list provided by Calori Cesis. However it is possible that Pico did not actually own all of the mentioned works, but that some of them were sixteenth-century additions. There is a cumulative index of the names of the monographs and of the appendix. The editor’s analysis of Pico’s collection, which constitutes the first part of the volume, is very rich.


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