Aelius Donatus and His Grammar Book

#1
I was talking with a friend about about some illustrations in 'Italian Renaissance Illuminations' by J.J.G Alexander.
There is a series of Miniatures from Moral and Grammatical texts.
The ones that interested us were ones painted by Gian Pietro Birago who signed the miniatures in Brescia 1471-73 and were illustrating 'Grammatica del Donato' (Aelius Donatus a 4th Century Grammarian).
They are Maximilian In Triumph, A Picnic in a garden, Choosing Virtue in preference to Vice, Maximillian receiving a book from His Tutor. Several other illuminations have been lost or stolen.
These pictures were commission for a luxury book by Ludovico il Moro Sforza for his son.
Some of the works because of the History have been included in the Sforza hours
http://www.manoscrittilombardia.it/uplo ... 8_2009.pdf
This shows two of the pictures.
I would like to discuss the relationship between Ars Minor/Major Grammatica and the Tarot cards.
We noticed that there is a similarity between the illustrations and cards, at least the Tarot de marseille types.
The Grammatica Figurata of Mathias Ringmann was first printed in 1509. This work was an attempt to enliven Donatus' Ars Minor by printing up illustrated card sets for each grammatical rule. Apparently the children would have a card set. The rules are not explained at length, but a few hints are scattered here and there in the work. The final section on "Exclamations" has a sentence on how to figure out which student has won. Each card represented a part of speech, a gender, a case, or a tense, etc. Depending upon the teacher's questions a student would play the appropriate card or cards. It is wacky and interesting even if it is of questionable pedagogical value. Long believed to be lost, one copy of Grammatica figurata was found and reprinted in 1905.[1] Of particular interest are Ringmann's digressions on assorted subjects, from the prevalence of gambling among the German priesthood to the reasons behind his refusal to illustrate full-frontal nudity.
These books became so popular, that printing presses were making pictures for books at an amazing rate.

This subject may well have been covered before, so any insight would be appreciated.
Here is the main thrust of my enquiry..written by Irene Mittelberg
Grammar is an elaborate symbolic system. It belongs to the group of abstract concepts and intangible entities that we treat in our thinking and speech as objects with certain properties, sub-categories, and relations to other concepts. In doing so, we seem to rely on certain mental representations of grammar and a figurative vocabulary to seize its structures and mechanisms. The aim of this study is to make out the metaphorical concepts underlying grammatical terms such as 'construction of a sentence', 'word classes', or 'hierarchy of constituents' by investigating how the corresponding mental models might have been imprinted in the collective memory of speakers. In order to get a grasp on such a process of cultural mediation, I will take into account not only the metaphorical language, but also pictorial representations which have remained prominent throughout the academic history of grammar as one of the seven liberal arts. If we assume that both linguistic expressions and visual images reflect human conceptualization, it seems plausible that they can illuminate as well as complement each other. When we consider, for instance, the fact that metaphors, personifications, and allegories can take shape by linguistic and pictorial means of expression, it makes it seem worthwhile to explore not only linguistic, but also visual evidence.
One of the Texts of the grammtica for Sforza was ...An Emperor is a Noun, a Governor is an Adjective.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Aelius Donatus and His Grammar Book

#2
Triumph of M. Sforza Birago.jpg
Triumph of M. Sforza Birago.jpg (32.95 KiB) Viewed 3513 times
Here is the triumph of Maximillian....
The inscription reads "The Count has subjugated all the world so he rides in triumph in this pleasant Chariot."
The third figure from the left is holding a clapper board/rattle- Like the instrument I think The Bateleur in the Cary Yale sheet is holding.
Folio 3 is now lost but some other illustrations have gone into other works like missals etc. It is hard to follow Pietro Birago's works.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Aelius Donatus and His Grammar Book

#3
Here are two more from Sforza Grammatica
I believe what is left from the Book is at Trivulziana Library, Milan.
Ars grammatica.jpg
Ars grammatica.jpg (166.77 KiB) Viewed 3509 times
Donato illumination.jpg
Donato illumination.jpg (11.44 KiB) Viewed 3509 times
All I have to is find the Latin Grammar book of Aelius Donatus.
I have found a translation of Force only.
As I have said before my Latin is rusty, to say the least.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Aelius Donatus and His Grammar Book

#4
Well The Latin Grammar Book opens with Nouns.

The name(Noun) is what?
With the case of the body of the thing, or, properly speaking, part of speech, signifying community.
Names that happen?
Six.
About what?
Quality construction on a number of case examples.
The quality of the names in which it is? -Is stated to be twofold: for either he is, and the proper name is said to be of one, or of many, an appellative. (Singular and Plural)
Comparison of how many stages are there? Three.
Who? Positive, or as a learned man, COMPARATIVE, so that the more learned, the superlative, as the most learned of. Which names are alike? Appellative only significant quality or quantity. COMPARATIVE step which serves to chance? Ablative without a preposition, we say 'it better. "Superlative whom? Genitive plural only: for we say 'learned poets'.
How many kinds of names?
Four.
About what?
The masculine, as here, Master, the feminine, and in order that this Muse, neuter, that this may be a bench(Like a table or chair etc), common, and that here and this is a priest.
A Priest or Sacerdos has four Names
1.Priest
2. Here is a priest
3. This Priest
4. Oh Priest (ablative as in Praise)

and so the Nouns go.....
I was taken with the Four examples.....Him, Her, The Muse and the Priest- Plus the Student and teacher.
I will keep going with the translation.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Aelius Donatus and His Grammar Book

#5
Here is what Wikipedia says about Ars Grammatica
Donatus's Ars GrammaticaTwo Ars Grammatica circulate under the name Donatus. The first, the Ars Minor, is a brief overview of the eight parts of speech: noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, participle, conjunction, preposition, and interjection. (Nomen, pronomen, verbum, adverbium, participium, coniunctio, praepositio, interiectio). The text is done entirely in a question and answer format. "How many numbers does a noun have?" "Two: singular and plural."
Donatus's Ars Major is only a little longer, but on a much more elevated plane. It is a list of stylistic faults and graces, including tropes such as metaphor, synecdoche, allegory, and sarcasm. Donatus also includes schemes such as zeugma and anaphora.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

Re: Aelius Donatus and His Grammar Book

#6
Whew! I am not very good....I cannot work out where the 12 illlustrations go and whats missing.
I do know the directly after the Chariot in Triumph is the grammer lesson on Love, Then choosing Virtue over Vice.
I know those who learnt Latin in the grammer way that lasted for centuries....you will remember Amo, amas, amat, amor... etc
So Donatus starts with ut amo amas As I Love you....As (preposistion) I (pronoun) Love (Verb and Noun) You (pronoun).
Then 'Love is bitter'...Amor amaris.. How is Love? (The Noun) it is bitter (the adjective) etc....The I love, you love, we love, they love etc......
All very boring in a way.
~Lorredan
The Universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Phillpotts

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