Anonymous, Historia di Pisa di Ranieri Sardo Cittadino Pisano (c. 1430)

This text is the continuation of Ranieri Sardo’s chronicle finished in 1399, though it was composed by another writer at a somewhat later date (ca. 1430). Instead of a chronological series of historical events, it presents an abridged building history of the city since biblical times, a detailed description of the major buildings on the Piazza del Duomo, and then a sort of inventory of other buildings in the four quarters of the city. Clearly, the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Camposanto and the Leaning Tower are highlighted because they represent the symbolic center of the city and are visual reminders of its glorious past during a historically difficult moment, when Pisa had come under Florentine dominion. As one of the main monuments of the Piazza, the Camposanto is praised for its marble walls, its sarcophagi, and its wall paintings. As in the older chronicles, the name of the Camposanto is explained by the origin story of its holy earth, here said to have been taken from Jerusalem in the crusader period. / DG

Source: Unpublished manuscript, fifteenth century. Florence, Bibliotheca Nazionale, Codice Magliabechiano, Classe XXV, ms. 491, fol. 196-207.

Edition: Igino Benvenuto Supino, Arte Pisana (Florenz: Fratelli Alinari, 1904), 307.

Transcription
“E apresso tra l’ Duomo e San Giovanni sì v’è il Chanpo Sancto, choperto di piombo, dove sono grandissime quantità di sepolture in sul piano di marmo, chon meravigliose istorie nelle mura dipinte ed èvi grandi quantità di sepolture di rilievo.

 

E nel mezo di decto luogho, allo scoperto, in sul piano della terra, vi sono grandi quantità di sipolture di rilievo sopresse da terra; le quali, innanzi che Chanpo Santo fusse facto, le dicte sepolture stavano dintorno dintorno dal Duomo di fuori, di sopra a cierti muricciuoli di marmo achosta alla chiesa; dapoi furono messe in decto luogho.

La lungheza di questo Chanpo Sancto si è passi 200 per lo lungho, et per lo largho passi 67; et vi sono 5 altari murati dove si dicie messa: 3 altari sono in testa et due in due chapelle. El dicto Chanpo Sancto da’ pisani si fu messo della Terra Sancta asai quantità quando acquistorono Gerusalem; ed à due porti, l’una istà senpre serrata ed è chosa di marmo choperta di pionbo, ed è chosa maravigliosa.”

Translation
And close to the Cathedral and San Giovanni there is the Camposanto, covered with lead, where huge numbers of tombs can be found inserted into the floor from marble, and marvellous scenes painted on the walls, and huge numbers of sculpted tombs [= the antique sarcophagi] raised above the earth.

 

Before the Camposanto was built, the foresaid tombs stood outside around the Duomo, on certain small walls along the church. Later they were put in the aforementioned place.

 

 

The measures of this Camposanto are 200 footsteps on the long side, and 67 footsteps on the narrow side, and there are 5 altars where masses are celebrated: three altars are on the front side [= the wall of the eastern gallery] and two in two chapels [= the Cappella Ammannati and the Cappella Aulla in the north gallery]. The Pisans put a huge amount of Holy Earth [Terra Sancta] in the foresaid Camposanto when they conquered Jerusalem. And it has two gates of which one is always locked. And it is made of marble and covered with lead, and a marvelous affair.