Veterani after Federico
After Federico’s death, Veterani often took up the manuscripts he himself had copied years before, annotating them with memoirs relating to his own activity or the happy time in which Federico ruled; he recalls, for example, the birth of Guidubaldo (Urb. lat. 1324, f. 1r). Praise and regret for his lord are entrusted to the little notes, but he also writes nostalgic verses: «[...] quello mi piango e mai ho ‘l viso asciutto [...]», Urb. lat. 351, f. CCCLXXXIIr (published by Guasti, Inventario della Libreria Urbinate, VI, p. 131); post obitum [Federici] vitam mihi ace(r)bam putavi, quo cum interiisse satius erat, cum omnis spes omneq(ue) refugium meum interiisse cognovi et expertus sum», Urb. lat. 419, f. 161r; «[…] heu spes omnis mea periit illo decedente», Urb. lat. 420, f. 288v).
Urb. lat. 351, f. CCCLXXXIIr
In Urb. lat. 326, in view of the sad consideration that every hope dies with Federico, there is a sad acknowledgment of not having been paid for the production of the manuscript on account of the sad event: «sed heu miserrima(m) sortem meam cum paulo post eo defu(n)cto spes premiu(m) facultas o(mn)iaq(ue) simul defu(n)cta s(un)t» (f. 219v).
Urb. lat. 326, f. 219v
In other verses Federico is called «dominum qui me nutriit» and Veterani states «Ne careat lacrymis liber hic, post fata Feretri, hic me subscripsi, cumque dolore gravi […]», Urb. lat. 368, f. 188r (published by Guasti, Inventario della Libreria Urbinate, VI, pp. 131-132). A long composition in praise of Federico is added to f. 1v of Urb. lat. 1324, which contains the Ethica Nicomachea translated by Giovanni Argiropulo: Veterani states that this manuscript, evidently by virtue of its content, was particularly dear to Federico, who always kept it with him: «fuerat manibus nocte dieque suis, militiae atque domi […] sub pulvinari domini vel saepe manebat».
Urb. lat. 1324, f. 1v
In Urb. lat. 1193, a collection of writings in praise of the duke signed by Veterani, he claims to have made a portrait of Federico, pasted on f. 3r, under a military tent, probably designed by himself and surrounded by some decorations, two cherubs and a heraldic oak. Next to the image, he added a Latin text in praise of the lord of Urbino, in 1523: «A costui, già da tempo, io Veterano, lo affermo, fui vicino ed ebbi l’onore di stringere spesso la sua destra; conobbi ogni aspetto del suo agile corpo che in nessuna sua parte era eccessivamente pallido. Se dunque ora dimora con i celesti, è giusto che noi possediamo il nostro duca in un monumento di marmi dorati. Or ora l’ho dipinto e vi ho aggiunto un carme: se qualcuno chiede perché mai sotto una tenda, sappia che spesso egli prese riposo sotto il cielo aperto, che sopportò i geli e l’ardente sole, intento alla fatica. Lo scudo gli era guanciale, parco fu nel cibo, contento anche di sola acqua e di pomi; e questi furono spesso i piaceri del signore che ritornava vittorioso» (original translation given in Sangiorgi, Iconografia federiciana, p. , which attributes the portrait «in all probability» to Franco de’ Russi; it is excluded that the portratit may have been made by Veterani. The text was published for the first time by Cinquini, Spigolature, p. 118).
Urb. lat. 1193, f. 3r
Three couplets were also attributed to Veterani, which are located on the walls of the Ducal Palace hall that housed the library. The couplets summarizes the arrangement and classification of the volumes belonging to the collection (see Guasti, Inventario della Libreria Urbinate, VI, pp. 133-134; on its production of verses by Veterani, see also Nachod, The Inscription, pp. 98-105; Michelini Tocci, I due manoscritti urbinati, p. 211 nt. 3).
Now having reached an elderly age, he assumes the role of librarian under Guidubaldo. Between 1508 and 1521 he compiled an inventory that follows the Indice vecchio compiled by Agapito (and annotated in the margins in several places by Veterani himself), but without making significant progress in comparison to this. It is not clear how much rhetoric there is in the statements contained in his personal remarks, but it is certain that in these years his role has certainly been greatly reduced. Michelini Tocci traces the following portrait: he was «completely set aside, with almost no salaries, although he was still at an active age. But, as an affectionate and faithful servant, he could not separate himself from those books. He remained in the library, and he vented by exercising his gracious muse in verses that praised the past and bitterly criticized the present [...]. With the coming of the new century, Agapito disappears, the old Veterani remains alone among the books taking his sad reprisal, making another inventory out of Agapito’s inventory that he would never have been able to do alone, recording the failures brought about by Valentino and then by the Medici soldiers, recording loans while his pen grew ever more tired» (Michelini Tocci, Agapito, pp. 274-275; see also Stornajolo, Codices Urbinates Graeci, pp. XXIV-XXVIIII).