Renaissance Society and Culture

By John Monfasani; Ronald G. Musto | Go to book overview

Bruni's style.23 The other letter is a patronage request directed by Cosimo to Berto di Antonio Berti, the chancellor of Siena (Appendix B). Cosimo asks Berti to appoint Pier Marino Brancadori as praetor (i.e., podestà) of Siena. Berti, as it happened, was also a good friend of Bruni; Bruni dedicated his treatise De recta interpretatione ( 1424/26) to him.24 The letter to Berti displays less individuality, but it too could easily be Bruni's work. Neither letter is written in Bruni's or Cosimo's hand, so orthography provides little guidance in making an attribution.

In short, at least two and possibly four or more of Cosimo's surviving Latin letters were actually composed for him by Leonardo Bruni. What we can conclude about their relationship based on this information is another question. If Bruni did write the letter to Berti, it argues a certain level of political confidence between the two men. Otherwise, we can only say that political frictions between them, if they did exist, were not so heated as to prevent Bruni from performing small literary favors for Cosimo.


APPENDIX A
A Letter of Cosimo and Lorenzo de' Medici
to Carlo Malatesta (1429)

The work survives in the following six manuscripts:

A - Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana C 145 inf., fols. 271r-272v. Humanist miscellany, including some works of Leonardo Bruni. Humanistic cursive, s. XV 3/4. See P. O. Kristeller, Iter Italicum (Leiden: Brill, 1963-89), 1:320.

a - Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana M 40 sup., fols. 3r-5r. Humanist miscellany, including many works of Leonardo Bruni. Semihumanistic script, written in Northern Italy, s. XV 2/4. See ibid., 1:334. A later hand has added some stylistic improvements that cannot be authorial.

Bo - Bologna, Biblioteca Universitaria MS 2387, fols. 73v-75v. First sylloge of Pier Candido Decembrio's Epistolario. Humanistic cursive, written between 1443 and 1447. See V. Zaccaria,

____________________
23
The undated letter to the notary Anastasio Vespucci is printed in its entirety in A. M. Bandini, Catalogus codicum latinorum Bibliothecae Mediceae Laurentianae ( Florence: Typographia Regia, 1774-78), 3:552: "Frontini librum de re militari nuper a te mihi dono missum, quum voluptati meae satis fuerit eius ordinem ac disciplinam cognovisse, ad te nunc honesta de caussa remitto. Satis tibi gratiarum habeo, si tanti viri, quod mirum in modum cupiebam, de ipsa militia tuo munere sententiam cognoverim; nec sane tua apud me benevolentia ullo munerum testimonio eget; nihil enim aut auctoritatis aut facultatis apud me est quod a te alienum esse velim."
24
L. Bertalot, Studien zum italienischen und deutschen Humanismus, ed. P. O. Kristeller , Storia e letteratura,Raccolta di studi e testi, vols. 129-130 ( Rome: Edizioni di Storia e letteratura, 1975), 2:379. On Berto di Antonio Berti see G. Fioravanti, "Alcuni aspetti della cultura umanistica senese nel '400," Rinascimento, ser. 2, 19 ( 1979): 117-67, at 126n., 142-45, 154.

-65-

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