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Book/Printed Material Letter to Philocrates. Epistula ad Philocratem (Lateinische Ãœbersetzung des Mattia Palmieri)

About this Item


  • Letter to Philocrates.

Other Title

  • Epistula ad Philocratem (Lateinische Ãœbersetzung des Mattia Palmieri)


  • Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443--1490), developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corviniana, in its day one of Europe's finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library was dispersed and much of the collection was destroyed, with the surviving volumes scattered all over Europe. This codex, one of eight manuscripts originally in the Corvinus Library and now preserved in the Bavarian State Library, contains a text that recounts, in the form of a letter, the legendary history of the origins of the Greek translation of the Pentateuch. Written by Aristeas, the pseudonym for an anonymous Jew from Alexandria, the text was translated by Mattia Palmieri (1423--1583), humanist, politician, and secretary to the Holy See, who also composed a preface addressed to Pope Paul II. The manuscript bears the crest of Matthias Corvinus and the portrait of Ptolemy II, who was said to have commissioned the translation of the Pentateuch into Greek. The Bibliotheca Corviniana Collection was inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register in 2005.


  • Aristeas Author.
  • Palmieri, Mattia, 1423-1583 Translator.

Created / Published

  • Buda : [publisher not identified], 1480.


  • -  Italy
  • -  400 B.C. to 300 B.C
  • -  Bible
  • -  Bible. Old Testament
  • -  Codex
  • -  Illuminations
  • -  Memory of the World


  • -  Title devised, in English, by Library staff.
  • -  "BSB shelfmark: Clm 627"--Note extracted from World Digital Library.
  • -  Original resource extent: II + 81 + I leaves, vellum : illustrations ; 17.2 x 12.5 centimeters.
  • -  Original resource at: Bavarian State Library.
  • -  Content in Latin.
  • -  Description based on data extracted from World Digital Library, which may be extracted from partner institutions.


  • 1 online resource.

Source Collection

  • Bibliotheca Corviniana

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 2021667661

Online Format

  • compressed data
  • pdf
  • image

Additional Metadata Formats

IIIF Presentation Manifest

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: [Original Source citation], World Digital Library

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Aristeas Author, and Mattia Palmieri. Letter to Philocrates. [Buda: Publisher Not Identified, 1480] Pdf.

APA citation style:

Aristeas Author & Palmieri, M. (1480) Letter to Philocrates. [Buda: Publisher Not Identified] [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Aristeas Author, and Mattia Palmieri. Letter to Philocrates. [Buda: Publisher Not Identified, 1480] Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.