Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Plut.40.52
(L'Acerba etas)


Produced: 14th century
Current Location: Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence, Italy
Manuscript Type: Encyclopedia
Language: Italian
Folios: 84
Author: Cecco d'Ascoli
Illustrated: Yes
Media: Parchment
Dimensions: Height: 19 cm Width: 27.5 cm
Folio 51v


This is an early manuscript of L'Acerba etas by Cecco d’Ascoli (1257-1327), a compendium of natural science, including the order and influences of the heavens, the characteristics and properties of animals and precious stones, and the causes of phenomena such as meteors and earthquakes.

The Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana manuscript description, based on the printed catalog produced by Angelo Maria Bandini (1726-1803) incorrectly divides the text into two parts: L'Acerba and an anonymous De physionomia liber. The manuscript contains only the L'Acerba; the mislabeled Physionomia is an integral part of that text and is also by Cecco d’Ascoli.

The section on animals and birds, possibly based on the Physiologus, starts on folio 31r (Book III). It includes an Aviary (book of birds) and Lapidary (book of stones, with stones shown mounted on rings). It is fully illustrated with finely executed colored drawings.

Additional Descriptions

Additional description 1
Additional description 2

Editions and Facsimiles

Printed editions

The Bitter Age (English translation)
L' Acerba etas

Printed facsimiles

Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato

Digital facsimiles

Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana