Aristotle in Pieces: A Medieval Manuscript’s Journey from Italy to Pasadena

Book historian Lisa Fagin Davis traces the journey of three pieces of a medieval manuscript written by Aristotle from 13th-century Italy to 20th-century America and The Huntington.

In 1912, rare book dealer Wilfrid Voynich bought a medieval manuscript in Rome, a collection of philosophical texts by Aristotle translated into Latin. Today, the book is in pieces … three pieces, to be exact. One part is at the Newberry Library in Chicago, the second belongs to the University of Illinois, and the third came to rest at the Huntington Library.

In this lecture, book historian Lisa Fagin Davis will tell the tale of these three manuscripts, tracing their journey from 13th-century Italy to 20th-century America in order to answer the question, “How did three manuscripts become one, and how did one become three?”