Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/585

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scholars were producing learned work in various branches of Roman archaeology. A permanently valuable service to Latin epigraphy was rendered by Jacopo Mazochi and his collaborator Francesco Albertini in Epigrammata Antiquae Urbis Romae (1521), where some use was made of earlier collections by Ciriaco of Ancona and Fra Giocondo. Andrea Fulvio published in 1527 his Antiquitates Urbis Romae. The Urbis Romae Topographia of Bartolommeo Marliano appeared in 1537. Such books, though their contents have been mostly absorbed or transmuted in later works, claim the gratitude which is due to indefatigable pioneers.

The buoyancy and animation of the Renaissance in Italy were sustained throughout by the joys of discovery, and of these none was keener than the delight of acquiring manuscripts. Petrarch was the leader in this as in other ways. He was prepared to undertake any trouble, in his own person or through emissaries, for the sake of finding a new classical book, or a better copy of one which was already known. The first of his epistles To Marcus Tullius Cicero expresses the feelings stirred in him by reading the orator's Letters to Atticus, Brutus, and Quintus, which he had just been fortunate enough to unearth at Verona: he was not destined to know the Epistolae ad Familiäres, which were found about 1389 at Vercelli. Petrarch had a quaint and lively way, which was copied by his immediate successors, of personifying the hidden and neglected manuscripts of the classics as gentle prisoners held in captivity by barbarous gaolers. The monastic or cathedral libraries of Italy were the places which first attracted research. Boccaccio's account of his visit to the Abbey of Monte Cassino in Apulia, recorded by a pupil, vividly pictures the scandalous treatment of the books there, which the monks ruthlessly mutilated for the purpose of making cheap psalters, amulets, or anything by which they could earn a few pence. But the quest was not confined to Italy. Italian or foreign agents of the Roman Curia had frequent opportunities of prosecuting research in the libraries of northern Europe. Thus Poggio's journey to the Council of Constance in 1414, in the capacity of Apostolic Secretary, enabled him to visit several religious houses in Switzerland and Swabia. At the Abbey of St Gall he discovered, to his intense pleasure, the Institutions of Quintilian, previously known only through a defective copy found by Petrarch at Florence. The place in which the books were kept is described by Poggio as a sort of dungeon, foul and dark, at the bottom of a tower. Quintilian, he says, "seemed to be stretching out his hands, calling upon the Romans," and praying to be saved from the doom to which barbarians had consigned him. Some other classical authors, including Valerius Flaccus, were found by Poggio on the same occasion. He was, indeed, one of the most fortunate of the searchers. Among his rewards were Cicero's speech for Caecina, Lucretius, Silius Italicus, Manilius, Columella, Vitruvius,