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Constructing Identities in a Music Manuscript: The Medici Codex as a Gift*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

Tim Shephard*
University of Nottingham


The motet manuscript known as the Medici Codex is associated by modern scholarship with the 1518 marriage of Lorenzo II de' Medici and Madeleine de la Tour d'Auvergne. It was once thought that the manuscript was made in France and given to Lorenzo by Francis I, but now it is almost unanimously agreed that it was made in Rome under the patronage of Pope Leo X. Since this revision, no one has put forward a detailed view of how the manuscript relates to the circumstances under which it was given and to the individuals involved, or how it functions as a gift. This study places the manuscript in the context of other gifts associated with the marriage to arrive at such a view.

Copyright © 2010 Renaissance Society of America

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It is a pleasure to acknowledge with gratitude the kind help and suggestions of Bonnie Blackburn, Anthony Cummings, James Munk, Philip Weller, and the Articles Editor and an anonymous reader for this journal in the preparation of the present study. My work on the Medici Codex more generally has been greatly assisted by the generous, often critical, advice of Stanley Boorman, David Fallows, Joshua Rifkin, and Peter Wright, to whom I also extend my thanks. Translations are the author's unless otherwise credited.


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