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Medieval Music Database

La fiera testa che d'uman si ciba

canonic madrigal by Niccolò da Perugia with text by Francesco Petrarca?


Florence: Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Palatino 87 (Squarcialupi Codex), fol. 95v (3/2);
Milan: Biblioteca Trivulziana 193, fol. 266v (text);
Parma: Biblioteca Palatina, Parmense 1081, fol. 91v (text).


Il Codice Squarcialupi edited by F. Alberto GALLO, Lucca: Libreria Musicale Italiana, 1992.


1. MARROCCO, W. Thomas. Fourteenth-Century Italian Cacce, Cambridge/Massachusetts: The Medieval Academy of America, 1942, p. 50.
2. Der Squarcialupi-Codex Pal. 87 der Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana zu Florenz, edited by Johannes Wolf and H. Albrecht, Lippstadt: Kistner and Siegel, 1955, p. 152.
3. Italian Secular Music: Anonymous Madrigals and Cacce and the Works of Niccolò da Perugia, edited by W. Thomas Marrocco, Monaco: Editions de L'Oiseau-Lyre, 1972. Polyphonic Music of the Fourteenth Century VIII, p. 141.
4. KELLY, Stephen K. The Works of Niccolò da Perugia, 2 vols., Ph.D. dissertation, The Ohio State University, 1974.

Text Editions

CORSI, Giuseppe. Poesie musicali del Trecento, Bologna: Commissione per i testi di lingua, 1970, p. 96.


1. THIBAULT, Geneviève. 'Emblèmes et devises des Visconti dans les oeuvres musicales du Trecento', L'Ars nova italiana del Trecento III: Certaldo 1969, 1970, p. 152.
2. BAUMANN, Dorothea. Die dreistimmige italienische Lied-Satztechnik im Trecento, Baden-Baden: Valentin Koerner, 1979. Sammlung musikwissenschaftlicher Abhandlung no. 64, passim.
3. GALLO, F. Alberto. 'The musical and literary tradition of 14th century poetry set to music', Musik und Text in der Mehrstimmigkeit des 14. und 15. Jahrhunderts, edited by U. Günther and L. Finscher, Kassel: Bärenreiter: 1984, pp. 55-76.
4. CILIBERTI, Galliano. Prodizione, consumo e diffusione della musica in Italia nel tardo medioevo, Perugia: Centro di Studi Musicali in Umbria, 1989, p. 20.


La fiera testa che d'uman si ciba
pennis auratis volitum perquirit:
sovr'ogni Italian questa preliba.

Alba sub ventre palla decoratur
perchT del mondo signorie richiede.
velut eius aspectu demonstratur.

Cist fier cimiers et la flamma che m'art
soffrir m'estoit que son fier leopart.


The fierce head feeding on a human being
tries hard to fly with golden feathers:
it excels over every Italian.

It has an ornamental white ball under its belly
because it seeks dominion over the world.
as is shown by its appearance.

I have to suffer this fierce helmet and the flame
which burns me, because I am a proud leopard.

Text revision and translation © Giovanni Carsaniga

Content Approved by: MMDB Director
Last updated: Wednesday, 19 March 2003

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