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0058 Marco Polo : vol.1
Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 58 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000271
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Z • SIZE AND BINDING • PAPER • WRITING • DATE ,MARCO POLO nearer we arrive at what his fellow-prisoners in Genoa had the good fortune to

hear at first hand."

The manuscript is written on laid paper, the page measuring 213 mm. X 140 mm., the writing occupying approximately 164 mm. X 91 mm., the outer margin being about 33mm., and the tail usually 34mm.. The book consists of an independent title written on paper like that of the rest of the manuscript probably in the seventeenth century (fol. Ir°, verso blank, cf. pl. 31), and of twelve gatherings consisting respectively of io, io, 10, 12, 10, 10, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12, 12 leaves, numbered (in modern pencil) 2 to 135. The number of lines to a page varies from 26 to 28 in the gatherings 1, 4, 5, and 9 ; 24 lines in 6 and 7 ; 23 or 24 in 8 ; 27 in 2 and 3 ; 28 in io and II ; and 25 to 3o in 12, the last leaf having 13 lines on the recto and the verso blank. The margins contain a large number of notes in the same hand as the text (pl. 33). These are usually, and especially in the first half, religious—adorant ydola, &c., and there are many cases of the single word nota, which in 1795 was transcribed as non. On fol. 2r° (pl. 32), so high up that it did not appear on the photographs from which the present text was printed, is written in a rather later hand : Incipit liber domini Marci Pauli veneti. The writing is judged by Sir Sydney COCKERELL and Professor E. H. MINNS to have been done in Italy about the year 1470. The Italians in 1795 dated the manuscript about 1400, and the scholars at Toledo to day assign it to the first half of the fifteenth century.' There are two fly-leaves at either end, of eighteenth century paper (one of them watermarked A.M.G. in a shield), and the first of these leaves is inscribed ` 4 ' in the top left corner, ` 1163' in the bottom left corner, and `Cajon 49 Num zo Zelada' in the middle. The volume is bound in marbled brown calf with the ribs gilded, and is lettered

on the back MARC.PAUL.OP. in the second panel with ZELADA'S crest and F X   Z
(Francesco Xaverio de Zelada) in the lowest panel. The figures 49 .20, which indicate the shelf and number of the book in the Zelada Collection at Toledo, appear again on a paper label pasted on the back of the volume (p1.36). The book is entered with these numbers in the manuscript Catalogue of the library made by L. FRíAS and copied by Joaquin and Juan VILLALOBOS in 1808 and still in use.

1 Don A. GUISASOLA wrote on lo May 1936 that he and Dr Don Agustin Millares CARLO, Professor at the Central University, had examined the book together and "we believe that it is of the beginning of the fifteenth century". On the other hand Don Martin de la TORRE, Librarian of the National Library at Madrid, is reported in 1932 to have informed

Senor Pedro LONas that he thought the MS. dated from the first half of the sixteenth century.