The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Page 43

And so may it please our great Author that I may demonstrate the nature of man and his customs, in the way I describe his figure.

[Footnote: A preparatory note for the passage given as No. 798, 11. 41--42.]


This writing distinctly about the kite seems to be my destiny, because among the first recollections of my infancy, it seemed to me that, as I was in my cradle, a kite came to me and opened my mouth with its tail, and struck me several times with its tail inside my lips.

[Footnote: This note probably refers to the text No. 1221.]


[When I did well, as a boy you used to put me in prison. Now if I do it being grown up, you will do worse to me.]


Tell me if anything was ever done.


Tell me if ever I did a thing which me ....


Do not reveal, if liberty is precious to you; my face is the prison of love.

[Footnote: This note seems to be a quotation.]


Maestro Leonardo of Florence.

[Footnote: So Leonardo writes his name on a sheet with sundry short notes, evidently to try a pen. Compare the signature with those in Nos. 1341, 1348 and 1374 (see also No. 1346, l. 33). The form "Lionardo" does not occur in the autographs. The Portrait of the Master in the Royal Library at Turin, which is reproduced--slightly diminished--on Pl. I, has in the original two lines of writing underneath; one in red chalk of two or three words is partly effaced: lionardo it... lm (or lai?); the second written in pencil is as follows: fatto da lui stesso assai vecchio. In both of these the writing is very like the Master's, but is certainly only an imitation.]

Notes bearing Dates (1369--1378).


The day of Santa Maria della Neve [of the Snows] August the 2nd 1473. [Footnote: W. An. I. 1368. 1369. This date is on a drawing of a rocky landscape. See Chronique des Arts 1881 no. 23: Leonard de Vinci a-t-il ete au Righi le 5 aout 1473? letter by H. de Geymuller. The next following date in the MSS. is 1478 (see No. 663).


On the 2nd of April 1489, book entitled 'Of the human figure'. [Footnote: While the letters in the MS. notes of 1473 and 1478 are very ornate, this note and the texts on anatomy on the same sheet (for instance No. 805) are in the same simple hand as we see on Pl. CXVI and CXIX. No 1370 is the only dated note of the years between 1480 and 1489, and the characters are in all essential points identical with those that we see in the latest manuscripts written in France (compare the facsimiles on Pl. CXV and p. 254), so that it is hardly possible to determine exactly the date of a manuscript from the style of the handwriting, if it does not betray the peculiarities of style as displayed in the few notes dated previous to l480.--Compare the facsimile of the manuscripts 1479 on Pl.LXII, No. 2; No. 664, note, Vol. I p. 346. This shows already a marked simplicity as compared with the calligraphy of I478.

The text No. 720 belongs to the year 1490; No. 1510 to the year 1492; No. 1459, No. 1384 and No. 1460 to the year 1493; No. 1463, No. 1517, No. 1024, 1025 and 1461 to the year 1494; Nos. 1523 and 1524 to the year 1497.


On the 1st of August 1499, I wrote here of motion and of weight.

[Footnote:1371. Scrissi qui. Leonardo does not say where; still we may assume that it was not in Milan. Amoretti writes, Memorie Storiche, chap. XIX: Sembra pertanto che non nel 1499 ma nel 1500, dopo il ritorno e la prigionia del duca, sia da qui partito Lionardo per andare a Firenze; ed e quindi probabile, che i mesi di governo nuovo e incerto abbia passati coll' amico suo Francesco Melzi a Vaprio, ove meglio che altrove studiar potea la natura, e soprattutta le acque, e l'Adda specialmente, che gia era stato l'ogetto delle sue idrostatiche ricerche. At that time Melzi was only six years of age. The next date is 1502; to this year belong No. 1034, 1040, 1042, 1048 and 1053. The note No. 1525 belongs to the year 1503.]


On the 9th of July 1504, Wednesday, at seven o'clock, died Ser Piero da Vinci, notary at the Palazzo del Podesta, my father, --at seven o'clock, being eighty years old, leaving behind ten sons and two daughters.

[Footnote: This statement of Ser Piero's age contradicts that of the Riassunto della portata di Antonio da Vinci (Leonardo's grandfather), who speaks of Ser Piero as being thirty years old in 1457; and that of the Riassunto della portata di Ser Piero e Francesco, sons of Antonia da Vinci, where Ser Piero is mentioned as being forty in 1469. These documents were published by G. UZIELLI, Ricerche intorno a L. da Vinci, Firenze, 1872, pp. 144 and 146. Leonardo was, as is well known, a natural son. His mother 'La Catarina' was married in 1457 to Acchattabriga di Piero del Vaccha da Vinci. She died in 1519. Leonardo never mentions her in the Manuscripts. In the year of Leonardo's birth Ser Piero married Albiera di Giovanni Amadoci, and after her death at the age of thirty eight he again married, Francesca, daughter of Ser Giovanni Lanfredi, then only fifteen. Their children were Leonardo's halfbrothers, Antonio (b. 1476), Ser Giuliano (b. 1479), Lorenzo (b. 1484), a girl, Violante (b. 1485), and another boy Domenico (b. 1486); Domenico's descendants still exist as a family. Ser Piero married for the third time Lucrezia di Guglielmo Cortigiani by whom he had six children: Margherita (b. 1491), Benedetto (b. 1492), Pandolfo (b. 1494), Guglielmo (b. 1496), Bartolommeo (b. 1497), and Giovanni) date of birth unknown). Pierino da Vinci the sculptor (about 1520-1554) was the son of Bartolommeo, the fifth of these children. The dates of their deaths are not known, but we may infer from the above passage that they were all still living in 1505.]


On Wednesday at seven o'clock died Ser Piero da Vinci on the 9th of July 1504.

[Footnote: This and the previous text it may be remarked are the only mention made by Leonardo of his father; Nos. 1526, 1527 and No. 1463 are of the year 1504.]


Begun by me, Leonardo da Vinci, on the l2th of July 1505.

[Footnote: Thus he writes on the first page of the MS. The title is on the foregoing coversheet as follows: Libro titolato disstrafformatione coe (cioe) d'un corpo nvn (in un) altro sanza diminuitione e acresscemento di materia.]


Begun at Milan on the l2th of September 1508.

[Footnote: No. 1528 and No. 1529 belong to the same year. The text Vol. I, No. 4 belongs to the following year 1509 (1508 old style); so also does No. 1009.-- Nos. 1022, 1057 and 1464 belong to 1511.]


On the 9th of January 1513.

[Footnote: No. 1465 belongs to the same year. No. 1065 has the next date 1514.]


The Magnifico Giuliano de' Medici left Rome on the 9th of January 1515, just at daybreak, to take a wife in Savoy; and on the same day fell the death of the king of France.

[Footnote: Giuliano de Medici, brother to Pope Leo X.; see note to Nos. 1351-1353. In February, 1515, he was married to Filiberta, daughter of Filippo, Duke of Savoy, and aunt to Francis I, Louis XII's successor on the throne of France. Louis XII died on Jan. 1st, and not on Jan. 9th as is here stated.-- This addition is written in paler ink and evidently at a later date.]


On the 24th of June, St John's day, 1518 at Amboise, in the palace of...

[Footnote: Castello del clli. The meaning of this word is obscure; it is perhaps not written at full length.]


Miscellaneous Notes.

The incidental memoranda scattered here and there throughout the MSS. can have been for the most part intelligible to the writer only; in many cases their meaning and connection are all the more obscure because we are in ignorance about the persons with whom Leonardo used to converse nor can we say what part he may have played in the various events of his time. Vasari and other early biographers give us a very superficial and far from accurate picture of Leonardo's private life. Though his own memoranda, referring for the most part to incidents of no permanent interest, do not go far towards supplying this deficiency, they are nevertheless of some importance and interest as helping us to solve the numerous mysteries in which the history of Leonardo's long life remains involved. We may at any rate assume, from Leonardo's having committed to paper notes on more or less trivial matters on his pupils, on his house-keeping, on various known and unknown personages, and a hundred other trifies--that at the time they must have been in some way important to him.

I have endeavoured to make these 'Miscellaneous Notes' as complete as possible, for in many cases an incidental memorandum will help to explain the meaning of some other note of a similar kind. The first portion of these notes (Nos. l379--l457), as well as those referring to his pupils and to other artists and artificers who lived in his house (1458--1468,) are arranged in chronological order. A considerable proportion of these notes belong to the period between 1490 and 1500, when Leonardo was living at Milan under the patronage of Lodovico il Moro, a time concerning which we have otherwise only very scanty information. If Leonardo did really--as has always been supposed,--spend also the greater part of the preceding decade in Milan, it seems hardly likely that we should not find a single note indicative of the fact, or referring to any event of that period, on the numerous loose leaves in his writing that exist. Leonardo's life in Milan between 1489 and 1500 must have been comparatively uneventful. The MSS. and memoranda of those years seem to prove that it was a tranquil period of intellectual and artistic labour rather than of bustling court life. Whatever may have been the fate of the MSS. and note books of the foregoing years--whether they were destroyed by Leonardo himself or have been lost--it is certainly strange that nothing whatever exists to inform us as to his life and doings in Milan earlier than the consecutive series of manuscripts which begin in the year 1489.

There is nothing surprising in the fact that the notes regarding his pupils are few and meagre. Excepting for the record of money transactions only very exceptional circumstances would have prompted him to make any written observations on the persons with whom he was in daily intercourse, among whom, of course, were his pupils. Of them all none is so frequently mentioned as Salai, but the character of the notes does not--as it seems to me--justify us in supposing that he was any thing more than a sort of factotum of Leonardo's (see 1519, note).

Leonardo's quotations from books and his lists of titles supply nothing more than a hint as to his occasional literary studies or recreations. It was evidently no part of his ambition to be deeply read (see Nrs. 10, 11, 1159) and he more than once expressly states (in various passages which will be found in the foregoing sections) that he did not recognise the authority of the Ancients, on scientific questions, which in his day was held paramount. Archimedes is the sole exception, and Leonardo frankly owns his admiration for the illustrious Greek to whose genius his own was so much akin (see No. 1476). All his notes on various authors, excepting those which have already been inserted in the previous section, have been arranged alphabetically for the sake of convenience (1469--1508).

The passages next in order contain accounts and inventories principally of household property. The publication of these--often very trivial entries--is only justifiable as proving that the wealth, the splendid mode of life and lavish expenditure which have been attributed to Leonardo are altogether mythical; unless we put forward the very improbable hypothesis that these notes as to money in hand, outlay and receipts, refer throughout to an exceptional state of his affairs, viz. when he was short of money.

The memoranda collected at the end (No. 1505--1565) are, in the original, in the usual writing, from left to right. Besides, the style of the handwriting is at variance with what we should expect it to be, if really Leonardo himself had written these notes. Most of them are to be found in juxtaposition with undoubtedly authentic writing of his. But this may be easily explained, if we take into account the fact, that Leonardo frequently wrote on loose sheets. He may therefore have occasionally used paper on which others had made short memoranda, for the most part as it would seem, for his use. At the end of all I have given Leonardo's will from the copy of it preserved in the Melzi Library. It has already been printed by Amoretti and by Uzielli. It is not known what has become of the original document.

Memoranda before 1500 (1379-l413).


Find Longhi and tell him that you wait for him at Rome and will go with him to Naples; make you pay the donation [Footnote 2: Libro di Vitolone see No. 1506 note.] and take the book by Vitolone, and the measurements of the public buildings. [3] Have two covered boxes made to be carried on mules, but bed-covers will be best; this makes three, of which you will leave one at Vinci. [4] Obtain the.............. from Giovanni Lombardo the linen draper of Verona. Buy handkerchiefs and towels,.... and shoes, 4 pairs of hose, a jerkin of... and skins, to make new ones; the lake of Alessandro. [Footnote: 7 and fol. It would seem from the text that Leonardo intended to have instructions in painting on paper. It is hardly necessary to point out that the Art of illuminating was quite separate from that of painting.]

Sell what you cannot take with you. Get from Jean de Paris the method of painting in tempera and the way of making white [Footnote: The mysterious looking words, quite distinctly written, in line 1: ingol, amor a, ilopan a and on line 2: enoiganod al are obviously in cipher and the solution is a simple one; by reading them backwards we find for ingol: logni-probably longi, evidently the name of a person; for amor a: a Roma, for ilopan a: a Napoli. Leonardo has done the same in two passages treating on some secrets of his art Nos. 641 and 729, the only other places in which we find this cipher employed; we may therefore conclude that it was for the sake of secrecy that he used it.

There can be no doubt, from the tenor of this passage, that Leonardo projected a secret excursion to Naples. Nothing has hitherto been known of this journey, but the significance of the passage will be easily understood by a reference to the following notes, from which we may infer that Leonardo really had at the time plans for travelling further than Naples. From lines 3, 4 and 7 it is evident that he purposed, after selling every thing that was not easily portable, to leave a chest in the care of his relations at Vinci. His luggage was to be packed into two trunks especially adapted for transport by mules. The exact meaning of many sentences in the following notes must necessarily remain obscure. These brief remarks on small and irrelevant affairs and so forth are however of no historical value. The notes referring to the preparations for his journey are more intelligible.]

salt, and how to make tinted paper; sheets of paper folded up; and his box of colours; learn to work flesh colours in tempera, learn to dissolve gum lac, linseed ... white, of the garlic of Piacenza; take 'de Ponderibus'; take the works of Leonardo of Cremona. Remove the small furnace ... seed of lilies and of... Sell the boards of the support. Make him who stole it, give you the ... learn levelling and how much soil a man can dig out in a day.


This was done by Leone in the piazza of the castle with a chain and an arrow. [Footnote: This note must have been made in Milan; as we know from the date of the MS.]



Callias of Rhodes, Epimachus the Athenian, Diogenes, a philosopher, of Rhodes, Calcedonius of Thrace, Febar of Tyre, Callimachus the architect, a master of fires. [Footnote: Callias, Architect of Aradus, mentioned by Vitruvius (X, 16, 5).--Epimachus, of Athens, invented a battering-enginee for Demetrius Poliorketes (Vitruvius X, 16, 4).--Callimachus, the inventor of the Corinthian capital (Vitr. IV, I, 9), and of the method of boring marble (Paus. I, 26, 7), was also famous for his casts in bronze (Plin. XXXIV, 8, 19). He invented a lamp for the temple of Athene Polias, on the Acropolis of Athens (Paus. I, 26, 7)--The other names, here mentioned, cannot be identified.]


Ask maestro Lodovico for 'the conduits of water'. [Footnote: Condotti d'acqua. Possibly a book, a MS. or a map.]


... at Pistoja, Fioravante di Domenico at Florence is my most beloved friend, as though he were my [brother]. [Footnote: On the same sheet is the text No. 663.]


On the 16th day of July.

Caterina came on 16th day of July, 1493.

Messer Mariolo's Morel the Florentin, has a big horse with a fine neck and a beautiful head.

The white stallion belonging to the falconer has fine hind quarters; it is behind the Comasina Gate.

The big horse of Cermonino, of Signor Giulio. [Footnote: Compare Nos. 1522 and 1517. Caterina seems to have been his housekeeper.]



Any one who spends one ducat may take the instrument; and he will not pay more than half a ducat as a premium to the inventor of the instrument and one grosso to the workman every year. I do not want sub-officials. [Footnote: Refers perhaps to the regulation of the water in the canals.]


Maestro Giuliano da Marliano has a fine herbal. He lives opposite to Strami the Carpenters. [Footnote: Compare No. 616, note. 4. legnamiere (milanese dialect) = legnajuolo.]


Christofano da Castiglione who lives at the Pieta has a fine head.


Work of ... of the stable of Galeazzo; by the road of Brera [Footnote 4: Brera, see No. 1448, II, 13]; benefice of Stanghe [Footnote 5:Stanghe, see No. 1509.]; benefice of Porta Nuova; benefice of Monza; Indaco's mistake; give first the benefices; then the works; then ingratitude, indignity and lamentations.


Chiliarch--captain of 1000.


A legion, six thousand and sixty three men.


A nun lives at La Colomba at Cremona; she works good straw plait, and a friar of Saint Francis. [Footnote: La Colomba is to this day the name of a small house at Cremona, decorated with frescoes.]


Needle,--Niccolao,--thread,--Ferrando, -lacopo Andrea,--canvas,--stone,--colours, --brushes,--pallet,--sponge,--the panel of the Duke.


Messer Gian Domenico Mezzabarba and Messer Giovanni Franceso Mezzabarba. By the side of Messer Piero d'Anghiera.


Conte Francesco Torello.


Giuliano Trombetta,--Antonio di Ferrara, --Oil of .... [Footnote: Near this text is the sketch of a head drawn in red chalk.]


Paul was snatched up to heaven. [Footnote: See the facsimile of this note on Pl. XXIII No. 2.]


Giuliano da Maria, physician, has a steward without hands.


Have some ears of corn of large size sent from Florence.


See the bedstead at Santa Maria. Secret.


Arrigo is to have 11 gold Ducats. Arrigo is to have 4 gold ducats in the middle of August.


Give your master the instance of a captain who does not himself win the victory, but the soldiers do by his counsels; and so he still deserves the reward.


Messer Pier Antonio.


Oil,--yellow,--Ambrosio,--the mouth, --the farmhouse.


My dear Alessandro from Parma, by the hand of ...


Giovannina, has a fantastic face,--is at Santa Caterina, at the Hospital. [Footnote: Compare the text on the same page: No. 667.]


24 tavole make 1 perch. 4 trabochi make 1 tavola. 4 braccia and a half make a trabocco. A perch contains 1936 square braccia, or 1944.


The road of Messer Mariolo is 13 1/4 braccia wide; the House of Evangelista is 75.

It enters 7 1/2 braccia in the house of Mariolo. [Footnote: On this page and that which faces it, MS.I2 7la, are two diagrams with numerous reference numbers, evidently relating to the measurements of a street.]


I ask at what part of its curved motion the moving cause will leave the thing moved and moveable.

Speak to Pietro Monti of these methods of throwing spears.


Antonio de' Risi is at the council of Justice.


Paolo said that no machine that moves another .... [Footnote: The passage, of which the beginning is here given, deals with questions in mechanics. The instances in which Leonardo quotes the opinions of his contemporaries on scientific matters are so rare as to be worth noticing. Compare No. 901. ]


Caravaggio. [Footnote: Caravaggio, a village not far from the Adda between Milan and Brescia, where Polidoro and Michelangelo da Caravaggio were born. This note is given in facsimile on Pl. XIII, No. I (above, to the left). On Pl. XIII, No. 2 above to the right we read cerovazo.]


Pulleys,--nails,--rope,--mercury,--cloth, Monday.



Maghino, Speculus of Master Giovanni the Frenchman; Galenus on utility.


Near to Cordusio is Pier Antonio da Tossano and his brother Serafino. [Footnote: This note is written between lines 23 and 24 of the text No. 710. Corduso, Cordusio (curia ducis) = Cordus in the Milanese dialect, is the name of a Piazza between the Via del Broletto and the Piazza de' Mercanti at Milan.. In the time of il Moro it was the centre of the town. The persons here named were members of the noble Milanese family de'Fossani; Ambrogio da Possano, the contemporary painter, had no connection with them.]


Memoranda after 1500 (1414--1434)


Paul of Vannochio at Siena ... The upper chamber for the apostles.

[4] Buildings by Bramante.

The governor of the castle made a prisoner.

[6] Visconti carried away and his son killed. [Footnote 6: Visconti. Chi fosse quel Visconte non sapremmo indovinare fra tanti di questo nome. Arluno narra che allora atterrate furono le case de' Viconti, de' Castiglioni, de' Sanseverini, e de' Botta e non improbabile che ne fossero insultati e morti i padroni. Molti Visconti annovera lo stesso Cronista che per essersi rallegrati del ritorno del duca in Milano furono da' Francesi arrestati, e strascinati in Francia come prigionieri di stato; e fra questi Messer Francesco Visconti, e suo figliuolo Battista. (AMORETTI, Mem. Stor. XIX.).]

Giovanni della Rosa deprived of his money.

Borgonzio began ....; and moreover his fortunes fled. [Footnote 8: Borgonzio o Brugonzio Botta fu regolatore delle ducali entrate sotto il Moro, alla cui fuga la casa sua fu pur messa a sacco da' partitanti francesi. (AMORETTI, l. c.)]

The Duke has lost the state, property and liberty and none of his entreprises was carried out by him.

[Footnote: l. 4--10 This passage evidently refers to events in Milan at the time of the overthrow of Ludovico il Moro. Amoretti published it in the 'Memorie Storiche' and added copious notes.]


Ambrosio Petri, St. Mark, 4 boards for the window, 2 ..., 3 the saints of chapels, 5 the Genoese at home.


Piece of tapestry,--pair of compasses,-- Tommaso's book,--the book of Giovanni Benci,--the box in the custom-house,--to cut the cloth,--the sword-belt,--to sole the boots, --a light hat,--the cane from the ruined houses,--the debt for the table linen, --swimming-belt,--a book of white paper for drawing,--charcoal.--How much is a florin ...., a leather bodice.


Borges shall get for you the Archimedes from the bishop of Padua, and Vitellozzo the one from Borgo a San Sepolcro [Footnote 3: Borgo a San Sepolcro, where Luca Paciolo, Leonardo's friend, was born.]

[Footnote: Borges. A Spanish name.]


Marzocco's tablet.


Marcello lives in the house of Giacomo da Mengardino.


Where is Valentino?--boots,--boxes in the custom-house,...,--[Footnote 5: Carmine. A church and monastery at Florence.] the monk at the Carmine,--squares,--[Footnotes 7 and 8: Martelli, Borgherini; names of Florentine families. See No. 4.] Piero Martelli,--[8] Salvi Borgherini,--send back the bags,--a support for the spectacles,--[Footnote 11: San Gallo; possibly Giuliano da San Gallo, the Florentine architect.] the nude study of San Gallo,--the cloak. Porphyry,--groups,--square,--[Footnote 16: Pandolfini, see No. 1544 note.] Pandolfino. [Footnote: Valentino. Cesare Borgia is probably meant. After being made Archbishop of Valence by Alexander VI he was commonly called Valentinus or Valentino. With reference to Leonardo's engagements by him see pp. 224 and 243, note.]


Concave mirrors; philosophy of Aristotle;[Footnote 2: Avicenna (Leonardo here writes it Avinega) the Arab philosopher, 980-1037, for centuries the unimpeachable authority on all medical questions. Leonardo possibly points here to a printed edition: Avicennae canonum libri V, latine 1476 Patavis. Other editions are, Padua 1479, and Venice 1490.] the books of Avicenna Italian and Latin vocabulary; Messer Ottaviano Palavicino or his Vitruvius [Footnote 3: Vitruvius. See Vol. I, No. 343 note.]. bohemian knives; Vitruvius[Footnote 6: Vitruvius. See Vol. I, No. 343 note.]; go every Saturday to the hot bath where you will see naked men;

'Meteora' [Footnote 7: Meteora. See No. 1448, 25.],

Archimedes, on the centre of gravity; [Footnote 9: The works of Archimedes were not printed during Leonardo's life-time.] anatomy [Footnote 10: Compare No. 1494.] Alessandro Benedetto; The Dante of Niccolo della Croce; Inflate the lungs of a pig and observe whether they increase in width and in length, or in width diminishing in length.

[Footnote 14: Johannes Marliani sua etate philosophorum et medicorum principis et ducalis phisic. primi de proportione motuum velocitate questio subtilissima incipit ex ejusdem Marliani originali feliciter extracta, M(ilano) 1482.

Another work by him has the title: Marlianus mediolanensis. Questio de caliditate corporum humanorum tempore hiemis ed estatis et de antiparistasi ad celebrem philosophorum et medicorum universitatem ticinensem. 1474.] Marliano, on Calculation, to Bertuccio. Albertus, on heaven and earth [Footnote 15: See No. 1469, 1. 7.], [from the monk Bernardino]. Horace has written on the movements of the heavens.

[Footnote: Filosofia d'Aristotele see No. 1481 note.]


Of the three regular bodies as opposed to some commentators who disparage the Ancients, who were the originators of grammar and the sciences and ...


The room in the tower of Vaneri.

[Footnote: This note is written inside the sketch of a plan of a house. On the same page is the date 1513 (see No. 1376).]


The figures you will have to reserve for the last book on shadows that they may appear in the study of Gerardo the illuminator at San Marco at Florence.

[Go to see Melzo, and the Ambassador, and Maestro Bernardo].

[Footnote: L. 1-3 are in the original written between lines 3 and 4 of No. 292. But the sense is not clear in this connection. It is scarcely possible to devine the meaning of the following sentence.

2. 3. Gherardo Miniatore, a famous illuminator, 1445-1497, to whom Vasari dedicated a section of his Lives (Vol. II pp. 237-243, ed. Sansoni 1879).

5. Bernardo, possibly the painter Bernardo Zenale.]


Hermes the philosopher.


Suisset, viz. calculator,--Tisber, --Angelo Fossobron,--Alberto.


The structure of the drawbridge shown me by Donnino, and why c and d thrust downwards.

[Footnote: The sketch on the same page as this text represents two poles one across the other. At the ends of the longest are the letter c and d. The sense of the passage is not rendered any clearer.]


The great bird will take its first flight;-- on the back of his great swan,--filling the universe with wonders; filling all writings with his fame and bringing eternal glory to his birthplace.

[Footnote: This seems to be a speculation about the flying machine (compare p. 271).]


This stratagem was used by the Gauls against the Romans, and so great a mortality ensued that all Rome was dressed in mourning.

[Footnote: Leonardo perhaps alludes to the Gauls under Brennus, who laid his sword in the scale when the tribute was weighed.]


Alberto da Imola;--Algebra, that is, the demonstration of the equality of one thing to another.


Johannes Rubicissa e Robbia.


Ask the wife of Biagio Crivelli how the capon nurtures and hatches the eggs of the hen,--he being drunk.


The book on Water to Messer Marco Antonio.

[Footnote: Possibly Marc-Antonio della Torre, see p. 97.]


Have Avicenna's work on useful inventions translated; spectacles with the case, steel and fork and...., charcoal, boards, and paper, and chalk and white, and wax;.... .... for glass, a saw for bones with fine teeth, a chisel, inkstand ........ three herbs, and Agnolo Benedetto. Get a skull, nut,--mustard.

Boots,--gloves, socks, combs, papers, towels, shirts,.... shoe-tapes,--..... shoes, penknife, pens. A skin for the chest.

[Footnote: 4. Lapis. Compare Condivi, Vita di Michelagnolo Buonarotti, Chap. XVIII.: Ma egli (Michelangelo) non avendo che mostrare, prese una penna (percioche in quel tempo il lapis non era in uso) e con tal leggiadria gli dipinse una mano ecc. The incident is of the year l496.--Lapis means pencil, and chalk (matita). Between lines 7 and 8 are the texts given as Nos. 819 and No. 7.]

Undated memoranda (1435-1457).


The book of Piero Crescenze,--studies from the nude by Giovanni Ambrosio,--compasses, --the book of Giovanni Giacomo.



To make some provisions for my garden, --Giordano, De Ponderibus[Footnote 3: Giordano. Jordanus Nemorarius, a mathematician of the beginning of the XIIIth century. No particulars of his life are known. The title of his principal work is: Arithmetica decem libris demonstrata, first published at Paris 1496. In 1523 appeared at Nuremberg: Liber Jordani Nemorarii de ponderibus, propositiones XIII et earundem demonstrationes, multarumque rerum rationes sane pulcherrimas complectens, nunc in lucem editus.],--the peacemaker, the flow and ebb of the sea,--have two baggage trunks made, look to Beltraffio's [Footnote 6: Beltraffio, see No.

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