FRANCESCO PETRARCA, 1304-1374
De remediis utriusque fortune, Dialogue 65 (excerpt)
Italy (perhaps Pisa), 16th century
Mellon MS 32, f. 54r
This excerpt from Petrarch’s De remediis utriusque fortune is a curious fish out of water in a manuscript made up of alchemical and occult texts that range from John of Rupescissa’s consideration of the fifth essence to a treatise on the immortality of the soul, anonymous alchemical recipes, and instructions on the properties and planting of fruits and nuts. The Petrarch excerpt is a discussion of the ideal wife and marriage.
Mellon MS 32 was owned in the 16th century by Mariano Campo, a public notary who worked for the tiny church of Santa Maria della Spina along the river Arno in Pisa. He seems to have wanted to cover all bases for his domestic life, from domestic bliss to eternal salvation, with a bit of alchemy added in.