Spectacula Lucretiana


The Valencian Library owes its origins to the generous donation by his heirs in 1979 of the private library of Nicolau Primitiu. This copy of Spectacula Lucretiana belonged to Primitiu’s library. The work is a poem by Italian humanist, later a bishop and school teacher, Giovanni Battista Valentini Cantalicio, so-named after Cantalice, the Italian town where he was born in circa 1450. This beautiful manuscript contains more than 50 poems in Latin that the author wrote to celebrate the betrothal of Lucrezia Borgia—Alexander VI’s favorite daughter—to Alfonso d’Este, heir to Ferrara, in 1501. The court of Pope Alexander VI (originally Rodrigo Borgia) and his family, of Valencian origins, welcomed poets who would sing the praises of their lord and his heroic deeds in Latin texts of classical execution. The codex describes the lavish celebrations that took place in Rome to mark the betrothal. A true Renaissance gem, this beautiful specimen of a codex portrays the power and prestige that kings, princes, and popes enjoyed at the time. The importance of the manuscript rests not only on its delicate beauty, but also on its historical and literary value. It has 18 folios on fine vellum, bound in leather with gold engravings. The margins of the text are colored in gold and have historiated initials.

Last updated: October 17, 2017