The Greek Library of Saints John and Paul (San Zanipolo) at Venice
Giochino Torriano, superior of the community of San Zanipolo at Venice and later Governor General of the Dominican Order at Rome, began collecting Greek manuscripts to aid in his instruction of noble young Italians. This collection became serious when he acquired several volumes of the famed teacher John Argyropulus late in the 1480s. This study traces the growth of the collection through the 1490s, negotiations with the Venetian Senate to join Torriano’s books with the sequestered collection of Cardinal Bessarion, dissolution of the collection after the death of Torriano in 1500, its use early in the 16th century by Marcus Musurus, and final abandonment of the San Marco Library plan. Reconstruction is based upon notes and inventories made by Torriano himself (a recent discovery by Susy Marcon of the Marciana), Janus Lascaris, Martin Richter (unpublished), Conrad Gesner , Girolamo Vielmi (unpublished) and Filippo Tomasini which permit identiification of many manuscripts separated from those now maintained at the Marciana, presently housed in modern collections of northern Europe. This study will be especially interesting to students of the Renaissance, to those with an interest in the growth of early libraries and text historians.