Ego Marcus Paulo volo et ordino

Cod. Lat. V, 58 (=2437), no. 33; parchment, 1324 (1323 according to the Venetian calendar)

Marco Polo’s Will is a fascinating and priceless manuscript written on sheepskin parchment and dated 1323, according to the calendar then in use in the Venetian Republic.

The document was certified as authentic after lengthy in-depth paleographic investigations and restoration work. It belongs to the vast collection of Venice’s Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, and today it is last of the few surviving documents pertaining directly to Marco Polo.

The Marciana Library, scientific manager of the project titled “Ego Marcus Paulo Volo et Ordino: The Secrets of Marco Polo’s Will” and Scrinium’s co-publisher of this work, arranged for and directed the chemical and physical analyses of this ancient and fragile document.

Once the material analyses were concluded, Scrinium conducted the high-resolution photography operations that made it possible to obtain a scientifically perfect replica of the original document. A team made up of internationally renowned scholars and researchers selected and coordinated by curator Dr. Tiziana Plebani produced the previously unpublished essays presented in the elegant bilingual book (in Italian and English) that accompanies the facsimile of the ancient parchment. To provide a Chinese perspective on the topic, the Confucius Institute of Venice kindly offered its valuable specialist consultancy which finally led to the publication and translation from Chinese into Italian of the excellent historical essay by Prof. Zhang Xiping. The publication, brought out in a limited edition of numbered and certified copies, contains the first correct and complete diplomatic edition of Marco Polo’s will, thereby making a major contribution to the knowledge, interpretation and appreciation of this unique historical document.

Published jointly by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism | Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana and Scrinium

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“Exemplar” edition: 185 copies

Availability: copy available | Price: subject to private negotiation

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