Manuscripts

How the Game of Chess Reveals Human Morality

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Jacobus de Cessolis, Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium super ludo scacchorum. One continuous bifolium on vellum. Italy, ca. 1400: 250 mm x 179 mm (justification 172 mm x 124 mm). Double column, 29 lines. Decoration: one pierced three-line initial U in red one; alternating red and blue pilcrows. Text: Ernst Köpke, “Jacobus de Cessolis,” Mittheilungen aus den Handschriften der Ritter-Akademie zu Brandenburg 59 (1879), i-vii and 1-36: 11.26 assistere … 13.12 captivos (including part of the section beginning De rochis [“On rooks”]). This is one of the most fascinating texts of the Middle Ages. The Dominican Jacobus used chess as a metaphor of human moral (and immoral) behavior, and for the character of noblemen. Fascinating spontaneous annotations made by a reader or readers.

PRICE: $2950

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