Antiquariat Büchel-Baur

Verband Deutscher Antiquare e. V.International League of Antiquarian Booksellers

Robert-Koch-Weg 9

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At the bottom of page 95 verso is a further contemporary note in manuscript: 







                        De dipsade divae Lucretiae Borgiae

                             Dipsas eram: sum facta tago dum proluor aurum

                        Ludat ut in nostro Borgias orbe manus.


The snake existence of the divine Lucretia Borgia.


I was a snake, I was forced to live life as a snake; as long as I was kept so, I touched gold, and the hand of the Borgias continued to play in this world.


The text is possibly an allusion to Lucrezia's first marriage to Giovanni Sforza who bore a snake as part of his coat of arms, and perhaps to a gold ring with this snake motif.

Marriage is then seen as a political means of exercising power.



The contents page (Fol. A III verso) has a reference to this additional verse with page number and written in the same handwriting as the two-line verse and also with a further note:





                                       "In Saxum paraenetice in ultima charta".


This is an indication that the verse was printed on the last page of Hercules Strozza's, In Saxum paraenetice, pub. Ferrara by Laurentius de Rubeis and dated post-1499 [BSB/Inc. S-600; BMC VI, 614].


We would like to thank Prof. Dr. H. Spilling of the Württembergischen Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart for her help with transcription and translation of this text into German and for providing literature references.


This kind of literary puzzle was popular during this period and also in the artistic circles surrounding Lucrezia and was used frequently. S. Schüller-Piroli presents two further examples (p. 126 and 128/9): One is Strozzi's epigram „Ad Bembum de Lucretia“, in which he plays with the name of the princess („Lux“ – „Retia“, in this copy p. 147 recto, line 2) and another to a coin, which using an allegorical illustration and enigmatic combination of letters probably represents a homage to Lucrezia. The Dypsade distich links to a series of similar texts of the elder Strozzi (p. 146 verso), the first of which also has a caption above „De dypsade divae lucretiae borgiae“.