bonæ litteræ: occasional writing from David Rundle, Renaissance scholar


To begin in good humanist style: most erudite reader, though we may never have met and though thousands of miles may separate us, we have been brought together by the honour you have paid me by visiting this modest site, and for that kindness of spirit I am heartily grateful.

What you will find here are comments on intellectual and cultural matters relating mainly to the Renaissance, but certainly not confined to that. It grows out of my own scholarly interests which do not fit easily into current academic boundaries: a Renaissance scholar who, by necessity, straddles the ‘Middle Ages’ and the ‘early modern era’, an historian of Europe who also works on the part of the shared civilization that lies north of the English Channel. At the same time, I am sometimes an historian of political thought, sometimes an historian of the book, and sometimes an old-fashioned palaeographer. The range of my interests is reflected by my involvement with three learned societies: I was for many years a Council member of the Society for Renaissance Studies, and, for five years, I was the Executive Officer to the Society for the Study of Medieval Languages and Literature, who publish Medium Ævum; I am also an Hon. Editor for Oxford Bibliographical Society (which has some exciting monographs about to appear). You can find out more about my publications and research from other pages on this blog.

If you are wondering why this site is titled as it is, you can read my explanation in one of the first posts here.

I should explain two points: there is another David Rundle, who is a committed Liberal and involved in Oxford politics. I sometimes try to persuade people he is no more than my twin brother (my parents having given us both the same forename) but I have to admit that he is me. My other life once had its own blog, where I pontificated on current affairs of state. That site, which was set up before this one, has now become moribund, though I do wonder about reviving it. One insight I have learnt from writing there is that I will never master the art of incessant blogging. So, the second point is that you will find reading this site is not a burdensome commitment: as the subtitle states, you have a promise that the writing will only be occasional.

Si vales bene, valeo.

6 Responses

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  1. Ruth Wilkinson said, on 27 July, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    What is the difference between humanism and renaissance humanism?

    What impact would a strong self-held religious belief have upon a historian of humanism? Would it influence his/her views to a lesser or greater extent?

    What is the relevance of renaissance humanism today?

    Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
    (Hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,
    Parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.

  2. David Rundle said, on 12 March, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Please allow me to comment on your introduction. There is yet another David Rundle, who, far from Oxford politics or Renaissance literature, wishes to make his proper introductions. David Rundle, of Washington D.C., published Information Security professional and storm chaser, is quite humbled and impressed by the scholarly publications of his cognomen, and hopes that his own meager publications can someday be on par. Very pleased to make your aquaintance, David. :)

  3. John McManamon, SJ said, on 26 July, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Dr. Rundle,

    I just found on-line your excellent description of Trinity College cod. O.9.8, in which you describe a list of orations by early Italian humanists. Among them was a funeral oration for an Andrea phisicus. The oration was written by Nicolaus de Leonardis / Niccolò Leonardi, another phisicus and is sometimes conserved in the form of a letter to Francesco Barbaro and Andrea Giuliani (cf. Ludwig Bertalot’s comments on the Udine manuscript).

    Here is the scheda on the oration/letter that I have been working on for an Incipitarium I hope to post on-line soon. I hope that you will forgive me if I point out that it was listed in the appendix to my book (p. 277) but in a place difficult, I admit, to find.

    Best wishes for your own scholarship,


    John McManamon, SJ
    History Department
    Loyola University Chicago

    Admonuistis me viri ornatissimi ea

    1. Author: Leonardis, Nicolaus de / Leonardi, Niccolò (ca. 1370-after 1452)

    2. Subject: Andrea (physicus Venetiarum)

    3. Title: “Oratio habita in funere clarissimi viri magistri Andreae phisici Venetiarum.”

    4. Place: Venice?

    5. Date: Unknown

    6. Manuscripts:

    Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, cod. Lat. folio 613, fols. 96v-98 (inc: Admonuistis me praesentia vestra).
    Udine, Bibl. Arcivescovile, cod. 70, fols. 19-20v.
    Vatican City, BAV, cod. Ottob. lat. 3021, fol. 22 (Nicolaus de Leonardis phisicus Ornatissimis viris Francisco Barbaro et Andree Iuliano S. p. dicit)
    Venice, Bibl. Nazionale Marciana, cod. Marc. lat. XIV.12 (4002), fols. 119v-20v.

    7. Printed editions:

    8. Cataloguing / Bibliography:

  4. James R. ADAMS said, on 11 September, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Hello Dr. Rundle,
    I hope you will accept greetings and an enquiry from an unlettered primitive (American). In pursuing an entirely un-Humanist tangent, English 15th century trade with ICELAND, I came across the posting on Cambridge: Trinity College. MS.O.9.8, and the conjunction of the names Thomas Candour, William Gray and James Goldwell. These all intersect with my target Henry Sharpe, prothonotary of the King’s Council, who was admitted to the cubicularium of Nicholas V six weeks before Candour (in 1447), who helped Gray obtain the bull confirming Eton’s privileges and who served on a diplomatic mission to the King of Denmark with Jacobus Goldwell (1465), Can anyone tell me anything about Sharpe? I am trying to piece together his career for my own nefarious ends.

    Also is it possible to obtain a copy of your DPhil thesis? It sounds extremely interesting.

    With best regards,

    James Adams

  5. bonaelitterae said, on 18 September, 2016 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks, James, and apologies for the late response. Sharpe is an interesting character – the best summary of his career is Emden’s in BRUO. His career intersects with Gray’s and (later) Goldwell’s but also with John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester.
    As to my thesis, if you follow the links to the right, all chapters are available. But there is no mention there of Sharpe – though he does get a paragraph in the book I am presently finishing.
    Good luck with your researches!

  6. […] Frequent visitors to this site might realise that I have a long-term project to reconstruct the history of the library of that most ostentatious of fifteenth-century English collectors, the royal prince, Humfrey. This is long-term not in the sense that a funding body might imagine, taking three or so years; this is one which is being undertaken (on and off) over decades. It might prove a life-time’s work, if my life is long enough. As readers of this site will know, I make no apologies for offending the gods of REF: I am a devotee of slow scholarship. […]

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