TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Manuscripts in the Curriculum

Program Description

For anyone studying the Middle Ages, there is no substitute for hands-on experience of actual medieval manuscripts.  Les Enluminures has come up with an entirely new idea.  We are sponsoring a program to enable colleges, universities, and other educational institutions in North America to borrow a select group of original manuscripts of a very wide range dating from the thirteenth century onwards to be used for teaching. The program makes this material available for exhibition and classroom use during a segment of the academic year (semester, quarter, or summer session).  Although public display of the manuscripts is encouraged, central to the philosophy of the new program is the integration of real manuscripts into the curriculum in courses where students can work closely with original material under the guidance of a professor. 

The pilot program runs for three years, starting in January 2017.  There are three loan periods annually.  There is a nominal cost only to contribute towards the out-of-pocket expenses of the program.  The fee covers:  insurance, shipping, exhibition materials (archival cradles), labels, study guides, and one-time participation of one of our specialists.  One of the international specialists of Les Enluminures (Drs. Christopher de Hamel, Sandra Hindman, Laura Light, or Emily Runde) will visit the campus during the loan period to deliver either a public lecture or an in-depth seminar (or both) of the choosing of the institution.  The original manuscripts are accompanied by study guides and full descriptions to be used at the discretion of the professor(s).

For further information, please contact: sandrahindman@lesenluminures.com

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Manuscripts on the list

RAYMUNDUS DE PENAFORTE, Summa de poenitentia [Summa de casibus poenitentialis]

In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
Northern France, Paris, c. 1235-1250

Very early copy of the second recension of Raymond of Penafort’s penitential handbook likely dating close to its composition in c. 1234-1236 and not including the fourth book on marriage. The extensive corrections to the text are of particular interest given its early date. Of Parisian origin, it may have been associated with the Dominican Convent of St. Jacques or have been owned by a student at the University. In the fourteenth century it belonged to the Augustinian Canons of St. Denis at Reims, one of the most important religious foundations in Reims.

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TM 580
at curatorial service

LOTARIO DEI SEGNI (POPE INNOCENT III), De miseria humanae conditionis [On the Misery of the Human Condition]

In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
Southern France or Spain, c. 1300-1325

The influence of this text, written by one of the greatest medieval popes while he was still a cardinal, on the thought of the Middle Ages can hardly be exaggerated. It survives in an exceptionally large number of manuscripts and was found in most monastic libraries, in the schools, and in princely collections. It was cited often by both Latin and vernacular authors, including such diverse authors as Christine de Pizan, St. Bernadine of Siena, and Chaucer. This copy was once owned by the noted art historian Comte Paul Durrieu.

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TM 557
at curatorial service

Register of oaths of homage and fealty owed to the Lord of Vence for the fiefdom of Vence (Provence)

In Latin, manuscript on paper
Southern France, likely Vence, c. 1330-1340

Although a fragment, this register is precious, gathering the oaths and homages owed to members of the Villeneuve family (Barons de Vence) by inhabitants of Vence (just north east of Nice) and surrounding localities (Saint-Paul de Vence, Villeneuve-Loubet). Such registers were central to the medieval social network, confirming the local lord’s power.

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TM 730
at curatorial service

Noted Choir Psalter and Hymnal (incomplete)

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
Northern Italy (Padua or Venice?), c. 1350-1400

This is a handsome, carefully copied Choir Psalter with musical notation; the manuscript is now missing numerous leaves (presumably including the leaves with illuminated initials, only one of which now remains), and is bound out of order, but still represents the opportunity to acquire a very fine liturgical manuscript from Northern Italy from the fourteenth century. The remaining illuminated initial and the very fine pen initials witness the fact that this was originally a deluxe manuscript.

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TM 725
at curatorial service

SAINT BENEDICT, Regula sancti Benedicti and SAINT AUGUSTINE, Regula sancti Augustini episcopi

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
Northern Italy (?), c. 1350-40, with 19th- or 20th-century added miniatures

This charming, attractively written pocket-sized manuscript contains an extremely rare pairing of texts: the two greatest foundation documents of early Western monasticism. Monks were not allowed to own personal property such as books, and this suggests that the present manuscript was perhaps written for a wealthy layperson. Yet, there is clear evidence that a Benedictine monk or abbot owned the volume in the fifteenth century.

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TM 388
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JEROME (Saint), [Vitae Patrum] Vita Pauli primi eremitae; Vita Malchi monachi captivi; Vita Hilarioni

In Latin, manuscript on parchment
[Italy, c. 1425]

Attractively written manuscript in pocket format and with clean wide margins of Saint Jerome’s lives of Paul, Malchus, and Hilarion, writings of considerable narrative charm which exercised an enormous impact on later hagiographic literature and which continued to be widely read throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.

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TM 87
at curatorial service

ANONYMOUS, confessional manual; ANTONINUS FLORENTIUS (ANTONINO PIEROZZI), Confessionale, Book II

In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
Northern France, c. 1450-1500

The text in this manuscript, one of the most important confessional manuals of the Middle Ages, is here condensed into a convenient and practical guide for the instruction of inexperienced confessors. This is an elegantly copied, large-format manuscript of this popular text, still preserved in its original blind-stamped binding, setting it apart from numerous copies that were practical manuals for humble friars. Its French provenance (most surviving copies of Antoninus’s text are Italian in origin) adds to its interest. 

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TM 771
at curatorial service

IOHANNES CHRYSOSTOMOS, De laudibus beati Pauli homelia, Latin transl. by ANIANUS CALEDENSIS; PSEUDO-DIONYSIUS AREOPAGITA, Epistola Dionysii Areopagitae ad Timotheum de morte apostolorum Petri et Pauli, Latin transl. (Anonymous); GREGORIUS NAZIANZENUS, Orations (2, 17, 26), Latin transl. by RUFINUS AQUILEIENSIS; PSEUDO-AMBROSIUS or PSEUDO-GERBERTUS REMENSIS [GERBERT D’AURILLAC, POPE SYLVESTER II], Sermo de informatione episcoporum

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
Italy, Ferrara, c. 1450-1460

With its white vine illumination and fine humanistic script, this elegant manuscript presents an interesting combination of texts, mostly Latin translations of the Greek Fathers of the Church. It was written and illuminated for the noted bibliophile Francesco de Lignamine, Bishop of Padua, praised by Vespasiano da Bistucci. Francesco’s library of some 212 manuscripts bequeathed to the Capitolo del Duomo in Ferrara is well documented. Two other codices in Padua and Ferrara include the same sequence of texts and merit further study in comparison with the present codex.

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TM 469
at curatorial service

BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX, Apologia ad Guillelmum abbatem; monastic texts here attributed to Bernard by ARNULFUS DE BOERIIS, ALGER OF LIEGE, and unidentified authors; and BASIL OF CAESAREA, Admonitio ad filium spiritualem

In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
Iberian Peninsula, c. 1450-1500

St. Bernard’s impact on the intellectual and monastic life of the Middle Ages calls for further research. Manuscripts such as this one, which collect a number of texts under the name of Bernard of Clairvaux, offer an important resource for this still-neglected aspect of Cistercian studies. In addition to Bernard’s Apologia, this manuscript includes three other such texts related to monastic life. These texts have not been studied by modern scholars. They were probably copied for reading in a Cistercian monastery as part of the spiritual education of the monks.

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TM 419
at curatorial service

Portable Breviary (Augustinian Use)

In Latin, manuscript on parchment
Northern France, Paris?, c. 1460-80

Only fragments of this Augustinian Breviary are preserved here. Included are parts of the Psalter, Hymns, parts of the Common of Saints, and the Office of the Dead and Hours of the Virgin. Originally it probably also included a calendar, and Offices for the Year, arranged according to the Temporale and Sanctorale. The two remaining illuminated initials indicate that this was likely once an illuminated manuscript of considerable elegance.

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TM 259
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ANTONINUS FLORENTINUS (ANTONIO PIEROZZI), Confessionale [version: Defecerunt scrutantes scrutinio] and other texts

In Latin and Italian, decorated manuscript on paper.
Northern Italy (Florence, Milan?), dated 14[6]2

This pocket handbook of confession contains texts to assist the confessor in his practical and daily tasks, notably the popular manual for confessors named Confessionale-Defecerunt. The additional textsthat complete the Confesionale are also of special interest, including an extract on women’s dress codes and the appended model of confession redacted in the vernacular. If the date of 1462 given in two colophons is correct, the present manuscript was assembled only a few years after the death of Antoninus de Florentia, canonized in the sixteenth century.

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TM 498
at curatorial service

THOMAS A KEMPIS, Imitatio Christi

In Latin, manuscript on paper
Austria (Tirol) or Southern Germany, c. 1469-1491

This is an attractive copy of one of the most enduring expressions of the spirituality of the Modern Devotion. It includes a coat-of-arms that demonstrates it belonged to the Austrian Benedictine monastery of St. Georgenberg while Kaspar II Augsburger was Abbot, and as such it is an interesting demonstration of the dissemination of this text. In its neat hybrida script, numbered tables of chapters (here following each of the four books), and careful explanatory rubrics, it is a good example of up-to-date fifteenth-century bookmaking.

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TM 602
at curatorial service

CHERUBINO DA SPOLETO, Sermones quadragesimales

In Latin with occasional Italian, decorated manuscript on paper and parchment
Italy (Florence, Naples or Fabriano?), c. 1475-1525 (probably before c. 1500)

The Lenten sermons of Cherubino da Spoleto, here in a carefully written, very legible copy, cover topics ranging from the defense of the faith to condemnations of clerical simony to elaborate denunciations of fornication and the “vanities of women.” This is an important manuscript since it includes almost the complete sermon cycle (these sermons were previously known in only a single complete copy, manuscripts with excerpts, and a printed edition of 1502 and 1511). There is no modern critical edition, or modern study of these sermons.

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TM 681
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PROCESSIONAL (Use of the Cistercians)

In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment with later paper additions
Germany, Lower Rhineland (?), c. 1475-1500 [after 1476]

This is a typical Cistercian Processional from the area of the Lower Rhine; small in size, it is attractively illuminated with gold initials, and includes neatly transcribed Hufnagel notation. Internally conflicting evidence--text addressed to monks and an ownership inscription by a nun--suggests a possible provenance within a double or a multiple monastery. Further research on the choice of antiphons and comparison with other Germanic and Netherlandish Cistercian Processionals could yield a more precise localization to a specific abbey. Some vernacular notes in German and Dutch add to its interest.

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TM 192
at curatorial service

CLÉMENT PRINSAULT, Traité du blason

In French, illuminated manuscript on paper
Northeastern France or Low Countries (Flanders or Hainaut), c. 1480-1500

Notable for its formal script and its extensive decorative program, this copy of Prinsault’s Treatise on Heraldry is unusually fine.  It detailed table of chapters at the beginning and its epilogue are both possibly unique.  Ninety-six painted shields vary in number and content from the program of illustration found in other copies, and lacking the usual captions, they suggest that this was a collector’s copy rather than a practical teaching manuscript.  The book’s earliest owner may have resided in the Duchy of Burgundy, since many of the shields belong to families there.

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TM 818
at curatorial service

Statutes and Ordinances of the Order of St. Michel

In French, illuminated manuscript on parchment
France (probably Paris), c. 1500-1530 (perhaps c. 1523-1528)

Chivalric orders were an important part of political life in many European countries in the late Middle Ages, often continuing into the modern era. This is a fine copy of the document that defined the practices and rules of the royal Order of St. Michel (the French counterpart to the Burgundian order of the Golden Fleece). Written in an elegant script and adorned with illuminated initials, this example was probably copied at the Renaissance court of King Francis I. Although copies are not rare in public collections, they seldom come on the market.

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TM 742
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ANONYMOUS, [Rolls of Arms], The Genealogie Royall and Lineall Discent of all the Kinges and Queenes of England; followed by other Rolls of Arms, including the Dunstable [Stepney?] Roll of 1308 and others

In English and Anglo-Norman, illuminated manuscript on paper
England, necessarily after 1558 but prior to 1603, c. 1590-1600

Collection of rolls of arms, some known and published, others that merit further study and comparison with other similar manuscripts made in the later Elizabethan period, perhaps by heralds associated with the College of Arms. Finely drawn and colored, this collection of rolls of arms is a good example of circa 1600 Elizabethan heraldic production. The combination of these particular rolls is found in other manuscripts, but all that we have located are in public collections.

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TM 627
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Euchologion [Missal and Ritual of the Orthodox Church]

In Greek, manuscript on paper
Greece, c. 1600-1630 AD

All Greek manuscripts are rare on the market, even liturgical ones. In spite of its relatively late date, the present manuscript merits further study and may be of interest to liturgical scholars (the text of each Euchologion is diffferent). This volume is further noteworthy for three reasons: first, its old binding is well preserved; second, in spite of its late date, its handwriting imitates calligraphic hands of the late Byzantine period; third, it belonged to the little-known but noteworthy Italian bibliophile Emilio Pittaluga.

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TM 616
at curatorial service

Noted Antiphonal (Franciscan Use)

In Latin, decorated manuscript on paper
Southern Europe (Spain or Portugal?), after 1728, before 1854

This modern Antiphonal was carefully copied, and includes the same square notation on four-line staves found in medieval music manuscripts since the thirteenth century. Certain details of the text and decoration suggest it may have been copied in Spain or Portugal. It includes numerous colorful and charming decorated initials that make it a delightful volume to peruse, and this unusual and attractive artifact would be an interesting item to add to any collection centering on the history of the book.

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TM 751
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HIERONYMUS TOCHTERMANN, Calligraphic Alphabet

Illuminated parchment sheet
Germany, Augsburg, 1734

This wonderful alphabet sheet shows off the skill of the master calligrapher and schoolmaster, Hieronymus Tochtermann, who copied it in Augsburg in 1734. The letters, many highlighted in gold, are decorated with flowers, stars, leaves and other motifs; some are delicately colored. At least seven manuscript copy books by Tochtermann, dating from 1729 to 1754, survive in Germany and New York (two in the Butler Library of Columbia University), as well as single sheets. This one is accompanied by an amusing jingle that the scribe used elsewhere as well.

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TM 848
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Missal with Anaphoras and Litanies 

In Ge’ez and Amharic, decorated manuscript on parchment with musical notation
Ethiopia, c. 1850

Ethiopian manuscripts are remarkable products of a living scribal culture that has survived from the fourth century until today.  Their bindings often preserve structures similar to early Christian books from the fourth to the seventh centuries; their tradition of liturgical music is a living example of a system transmitted through oral teaching, with some use of notation.  Noteworthy features of this Missal are the musical notation or cantillation marks (melekket or “signs”), two diagrams, and a colorful frontispiece.

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TM 495
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