Árpád Mikóművészettörténész, ELKH Bölcsészettudományi Kutatóközpont Művészettörténeti Intézet / art historian, ELKH Research Centre for Humanities, Institute of Art History, H-1078 Budapest, Tóth Kálmán utca 4., Hungary
Wholly new aspects have lately enriched the research of the Buda library of King Matthias Corvinus, Bibliotheca Corvina. the library – in the last years of its history – is regarded as a self-contained new entity. Research has adopted a far more complex approach than earlier, including the differentiation of the Buda scribes, the recognition of the text critical work of the humanists and of course the activity of the book-binders. Of particular importance are the new investigations of Edina Zsupán, who has managed to prove that several important Corvina manuscripts were copied in Buda. they include the ransanus codex (Budapest, OSzK, Cod.Lat.249), the Beda Venerabilis Codex (Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 175), the philostratus (Budapest, OSzK, Cod. Lat. 369) and the Averulinus corvinas (Venezia, Bibioteca nazionale Marciana, Lat. VIII. 2 [-2796]), as well as the nagylucse psalter (Budapest, OSzK, Cod. Lat. 369) adapting to the corvinas in all respects. the material of the folios of each is a more roughly finished Central European parchment and the copiers could be identified on the basis of the individual features of their handwriting. However, no names can be attached to them for the time being.
Unexpectedly, a datum was found in a diploma in which a certain Nicolaus, alias scriptor librorum serenissimi Mathiae regis can also be read about. the datum was found in a formularium, so the information about the missilis is defective, but the protagonists can be identified. the letter was written to archbishop cardinal tamás Bakócz who was in rome at that time (1512–1514), and the writer of the letter was probably the bishop of Gyulafehérvár Ferenc Várdai (1513–1524), who asked that in view of the merits of magister senis, he should kindly try and get a papal promissory deed for some church stipend for his frater germanus, magister Nicolaus alias scriptor librorum serenissimi Mathiae regis. this magister senis, the only person actually named in the letter, is Filippo Sergardi (philippus de Senis) (1466–1536), a cleric with lots of curial stipends born in Siena. He visited Hungary as a member of cardinal pietro Isvalies’ legation (1500–1503). He established close relations with the cardinal and archbishop of Esztergom tamás Bakócz and other Hungarians. this nicolaus was his relative, who used to be the scribe of King Matthias’ books.