Latino Latini, Sirleto, and the last, lost manuscript of Eusebius’ “Gospel Questions”

One problem with a project that runs on is that you forget stuff.  And I realise, with irritation, that I have done just this.  For my own benefit, here is the matter again.

Eusebius’ work on problems in the gospels, and their solutions, is lost.  But for a moment in the 16th century, it looked as if it might be recovered.  Angelo Mai, in the 1st edition of his publication of the fragments, refers (p. xii) to a letter by the scholar Latino Latini (Latinus Latinius) to Andreas Masius. In this he says:

Sirletus scire te vult, in Sicilia inventos esse libros tres Eusebii caesariensis de evangeliorum diaphonia, qui ut ipse sperat brevi in lucem edentur.

Sirleto wants you to know that in Sicily there may be found three books by Eusebius of Caesarea on the differences in the gospels, which he hopes soon to publish.

I would like to get this letter translated and include it in my translation of the remains of this work.  But… where to find it?

Mai gives the reference: Op. Tom. II, p. 116.  This seemingly helpful note is in fact deeply unhelpful, because it is too brief.  No work named “Opera” exists. 

A google search here reveals that this letter should be dated 1663.

The following item might seem to be it:

Epistolae, conjecturae, et observationes sacra, profanaque eruditione ornatae / Ex Bibliotheca Cathedralis Ecclesiae Viterbiensis a D. Magro … collectae …, Published: Romae : Viterbii, 1659-1667. Physical desc.: 2 v. ; 23 cm. (4to) Other names: Magri, Domenico, 1604-1672.

But in fact I have examined a copy of this at Cambridge University Library (shelfmark Acton.c.49.128), and it contains no such text, although it does include letters to Masius.  Another book of the same title exists at Durham.  I don’t know of another work by this writer which could be it.  His only other work, Bibliotheca Sacra et Profana, also in 2 volumes, is perhaps the only possibility.  I am hampered by these books being in rare books rooms, and themselves being rare!  A copy exists at Oxford, which may be read only in Duke Humphrey’s reading room (shelfmark S 67 Th).  Another is at Satan’s Seat, the British Library (shelfmark 1492.i.14).

I shall resume the struggle soon!  Perhaps the Cambridge copy is defective somehow.  I suspect, tho, that everyone has taken Migne’s reference, borrowed from Mai, and no-one before me has ever checked this!

Later: Mai probably used the Vatican collection.  Why not check there?  I find, by searching on “latini, latino”, two editions of the letters.

Author : Latini, Latino, 1513-1593.
Title : Latini Latinii … Epistolae, coniecturae & observationes sacra profanaque eruditione ornatae. Ex bibliotheca cathedralis ecclesiae Viterbiensis, a Dominico Magro … studio ac decennali labore selectae … Tomus secundus.
Publication : Viterbii, ex typ. Brancatia, apud Petrum Martinellum,
Date of publication : 1667.
Physical description : xii, 213 p. 1 tav. 22 cm.
Language : Latin
Date of record : 950117 
No.   Department   Call number  
1   MAG   Stamp.Chig.IV.947


Author : Latini, Latino, 1513-1593.
Title : Latini Latinii … Epistolae, coniecturae et observationes sacra, profanaque eruditione ornatae … a Dominico Magro … studio ac labore collectae …
Publication : Romae, typis Tinassij,
Date of publication : 1659-1667.
Physical description : 2 v. in 1 24 cm.
Language : Latin
Date of record : 950117
No.   Department   Call number  
1   MAG   Mai.XI.P.VII.30    
2   MAG   R.G.Teol.IV.4185    
3   MAG   Stamp.Barb.Y.X.75-76    
4   MAG   Stamp.Ferr.IV.4011    

Interesting that the call number, or shelfmark, of the latter includes one in a “Mai” collection!  Who knew that Mai’s books were at the Vatican?  Not me, that’s for sure.  But this does tend to suggest the existence of two different editions, printed at different places in the same year.


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