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[Torelli’s academic lectures on RVF 290 and 355]


Current Location

Biblioteca Palatina

Parm. 637
sixteenth century
Mode of exegesis
Related to Petrarch's

RVF 290, 355


Accademia degli Innominati, Parma


Physical Description: Format

317x208 mm. (fols. 63: 290x177 mm., fols. 64-71: 213x150 mm.); I + 213 fols.

Physical Description: Textblock

paper; sixteenth-century cursive hands (two scripts in Petrarch-related section: anonymous hand for fols. 64-71 and Torelli’s hand for fols. 72r-88r); single lines or small sections of Petrarch’s poems set on left, with prose text of lecture distributed across the page beneath either every single line or section of text.

Title Page

<inc> Onde torniamo a trouar il tempo senz’inganni; Restano le due sentenze (fol. 64r)

Internal Description

fol. 63r: title page written in pencil (‘Degli Inganni del tempo, e Degli auuisi del tempo’);
fol. 63v: blank;
fols. 64r-69v: Pomponio Torelli’s incomplete academic lecture on tricks of time inspired by RVF 355 (<inc> [ex abrupto] Onde torniamo à trouar il tempo senz’inganni; Restano le due sentenze, dalle quali credo, che meglio si scopriranno gl’Inganni del tempo; <exp> l’anima si fà bella quando ella è sola, et com’è più sola più si troua dal Diuin raggio accompagnata, che l’assicura da gl’Inganni del tempo, De quali hauemo per hora ragionato à bastanza secondo l’uso Academico);
fols. 70r-71v: an incomplete version of Torelli’s academic lecture on warnings of time inspired by RVF 290 (‘De gl’auuisi del tempo’; <inc> Souuiemi studiosi Academici d’hauerui altre uolte in questo stesso luogo discorso sopra gl’Inganni del tempo con l’occasione del sonetto del Petrarcha che comincia ‘Ò tempo, ò ciel uolubil, che fuggendo’; <exp> Procede dunque il tempo immediatamente dall’anima adornata di tutte le ragioni, et cagiona il moto celeste, et com’egli con cert’ [the sentence is left unfinished at the bottom of the fol.]);
fols. 72r-88r: Torelli’s academic lecture on warnings of time inspired by RVF 290 (‘De gl’auuisi del tempo’; <inc> Souuiemi studiosi Acad[emi]ci d’hauerui altre uolte [—] loco discorso sopra gl’inganni del tempo con l’occas[—] sonet[t]o del Pet[rar]ca che comincia ‘Ò tempo, ò ciel uolubil, che fuggendo’; <exp> et con cosi degna aut[ori]ta di sopremo Poeta imporremo fine à q[uest]o n[ost]ro discorso degl’auuisi del tempo 1 Che ’l tempo prouiene dall’Anima 2 Ch’è causa del moto corporeo 3 Ch’egli è perfettiuo 4 Che più di uigore acquistiamo co ’l processo degl’anni che con la giouentù 5 Che il tempo è cagione dell’arti ed delle scienze 6 Ch’è uero mezzo alla immortalità \ felicita \).
Other contents:
The ms. includes a series of Torelli’s personal and academic writings, connected to his activity as a member of the Accademia degli Innominati of Parma. The extensive prose material includes: expositions on poems (exposition on sonnet ‘Ninfa, sopra ogni ninfa Eva preclara’, fol. 39r-62r); critical works related to his activity as a tragedian (numerous brief writings on tragedies by Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca the Younger, fols. 148r-169r); and a miscellany of various Latin prose writings, mostly in the form of annotations (including a transcription and commentary of Horatian ode I, 24, fols. 113r-116v; annotations on time, fols. 117r-118r; annotations on matrimony, fols. 122r-124r; annotations on Plato’s Laws, fols. 136r-146r). For a complete list of Torelli’s writings in this ms., see Denarosi 2003, 423-24.

Material Copy


Biblioteca Palatina

Parm. 637
Copy seen by

Torelli’s two academic lectures on RVF 355 and 290 are intimately linked. Both are philosophically-informed expositions on the emphemeral quality of time and its effects on the lives of human beings. The first lecture draws a moral distinction between Dante, who was able to master the deceptions of time, and Petrarch, who lost himself in them. Since the lecture starts in medias res, the links between this exposition and RVF 355 are not immediately obvious. Yet, the beginning of the second lecture, where Torelli recalls the previous academic lecture on Petrarch’s RVF 355, provides a direct confirmation of the link. The intention is to disambiguate the apparent discrepancies on the idea of time stemming from the two Petrarchan sonnets and from philosophical theories, and also to teach how human beings can employ time fruitfully. Torelli elaborates his ideas from a Christian perspective, considering time as a positive element because it frees the soul from the constraints of the body and reconnects human beings with God. The conclusions reached in the lecture are quoted again and summarised in the final section (cited in the explicit). First quatrain of RVF 290 is quoted at fols. 70v, 72r, 79r.
At fol. 64r: the text of the lecture is preceded by a title written by a later hand ‘Frammento delle due lezioni degli Inganni del Tempo; e degli Auuisi del Tempo Pomp[onio] Tor[elli]’.