TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Miscellany including THOMAS A KEMPIS, Imitatio Christi, book one; MARCUS OF REGENSBURG, Visio Tnugdali; H[ENRICUS] SALTERIENSIS, Tractatus de Purgatorio de Sancti Patricii; IOHANNES GOBI, Historia de spiritu Guidonis; Historia Udonis Magdeburgensis episcopi; PS-BEDE, De meditatione passionis Christi; BONAVENTURE, Lignum vitae; LUDOLF VON SUDHEIM, Reise ins heilige Land; Visio Philiberti; PS-ANSELM, Dialogus beatae Mariae et Anselmi de passione domini (Latin and Dutch versions); and other texts

In Latin, Low German, and Dutch, decorated manuscript on paper
Netherlands (Southeastern?) or Western Germany, c. 1460-1480

TM 625
  • 102.300 €
  • £89,500
  • $120,000


ii (modern paper) + i (smaller-format modern paper, folded, and glued onto a paper stub) + 222 + ii (modern paper) folios on paper, watermarks, angular “P” consisting of two lines above a cloverleaf, same type as Piccard Online 115886, no location, 1465; 115893, Arnhem, 1467-8; 115896, Duisburg 1470-1, and many others; letter “Y”, cross above, two lines with cloverleaf, same type as Piccard Online 29987, Rheine, 1467; 29992, Arnhem, 1461-2; 300017, Utrecht, 1470, and many others; and ff. 145-184v only, Bull’s head with eyes and note, above star, rod of one line, outline of nose open, same type as Piccard Online, 80673, Zaltbommel, 1461-2, 80672, Dordrecht, 1464, and 80671, Arnhem, 1462-3,modern foliation, 4-225, in pencil top outer corner recto, counting the two endleaves and the inserted slip following f. ii as ff. 1-3, apparently complete, but accurate collation impossible due to the binding, generally organized in quires of twelve, catchwords used as leaf signatures in many quires (i.e. first word of the following page copied in a very small script below the last word on the page), frame ruled in lead or brown crayon, with all rules full-length, and with a single pricking in the lower outer margin on the bounding line, layout varies: ff. 4-21, (justification 155 x 92-90 mm), 29-28 long lines; ff. 41v-62, (justification 155-153 x 92-90 mm.), 35-32 long lines; ff. 63-144v, (justification 156 x 95 mm.), thirty-two to thirty long lines; ff. 145-184v, (justification 148-145 x 90-85 mm.), thirty-three to thirty-two long lines; ff. 185 x 193v, (justification 142 x 80-78 mm.), twenty-eight long lines; ff. 194-215v, (justification, 155 x 70 mm.), thirty-two to thirty-one lines of verse; ff. 216-235, (justification 155 x 95 mm.), thirty to twenty-eight long lines, written by at least four scribes in expert cursive gothic bookhands: the first scribe copied ff. 4-21, and possibly ff. 63-144v (possible change of hand at f. 124v), scribe two, ff. 21v-62, and ff. 185-215v, scribe three, ff. 145-184v, and scribe four copied ff. 216-225, in a much less formal script, seven ORIGINAL TABS or place-markers made from strips of white leather glued on both sides of the leaf, and then tied together in a knot that projects from the fore edge (ff. 21, 58, 63, 115, 145, 185, 194; f. 179 has a leather strip, but no knot, perhaps because it does not correspond with the beginning of a text), blank spaces for two-line initials (guide letters visible), ff. 26-62, and 185-225, guide notes for rubricator, majuscules in text stroked with red, red underlining and rubrics, six- to two-line red initials, some water damage to bottom of first few leaves (ff. 4-6, very bottom margin repaired), and most of ff. 215-end (darkened, but text remains legible apart from the loss of a few words, ff. 224-225), quires reinforced, usually in the middle and around the outside with modern paper, f. 198 tear, lower margin along paper reinforcement, skillfully restored, ff. 204-225 with silk overlaid, occasional dirty smudges in the outer margins, otherwise in very good condition. Bound in modern half-tawed leather and exposed wood, two brass clasp-and catch fastenings, straps now missing, fastening back to front, spine with four raised bands, in excellent condition (some soiling and very slight wear along joints). Dimensions 211 x 143 mm.

Ludolf of Sudheim’s Journey to the Holy Land (the only copy of the Low German translation in private hands, and one of only nine identified copies), and an extensive Meditation on the Life of Christ in Low German (possibly unique) would be important in any context; here their interest is increased by their inclusion in a carefully thought-out Miscellany that reflects the spirituality of the Modern Devotion and includes the Imitation of Christ, five visionary texts describing journeys to Heaven and Hell (one copied twice), and six texts on the Passion of Christ.


1. Written in the Netherlands, probably in the Southeastern region, or in neighboring Western Germany, c. 1460-80, as indicated by the languages in the manuscript and the watermarks, although two of the watermarks are admittedly very common in Germany and the Netherlands in this time period; the Bull’s head watermark found only on ff. 145-184v, the text by Ludolf of Sudheim, as well as the script and layout, suggests the possibility of an independent origin for this section, contemporary with the remainder of the manuscript. Further study of the Low German and Dutch dialects represented here would likely shed further light on this manuscript’s origin. The mixture of Latin and vernacular texts in a manuscript from this region, as well as the texts included here – the Imitatio Christi, and texts related to visions of the After Life and the Passion of Christ, suggest it may have been copied for a religious house associated with the Devotio Moderna, or one influenced by their spirituality.

The Historia spiritu Guidonis is the only text with a fair number of comments in a fifteenth-century hand (ff. 47v, 52v 55v 56, and a scrap of paper with notes in a similar hand glued in the outer margins on f. 52), as well as single words written in leadpoint throughout; evidence of use in the remainder of the manuscript consists primarily of minor soiling and stains, as well as the contemporary place markers or tabs, suggesting that this was a miscellany intended and used for meditation and prayer, or perhaps for reading aloud in a devotional setting.

2. Belonged to Rev. A. d. Wagner (1824-1902) of Brighton, who was a noted collector with a library of more than 12,000 volumes; his ink stamp, f. 4.

3. Belonged to Rev. Cecil Deedes (1843-1921), prebendary and librarian of Chichester Cathedral; his note, on a paper slip from an earlier binding glued inside front cover, recording the acquisition of the volume at Wagner’s sale, June 1902.

4. Belonged to Edward Croft-Murray (1907-80), former keeper of prints and drawings at the British Museum; his ownership note, in ink, dated August, 1920, below Deedes’ note (inside front cover, see above). In another hand on the same slip, “F. F. 3”; list of contents glued in on a stub following front flyleaf, f. ii, in ink in two hands (from Deedes and Edward Croft-Murray?)

5. Maggs, London, Cat. 1167 (1993), no. 10; purchased by J. R. Ritman.

6. Belonged to Joost R. Ritman (b. 1941), Amsterdam, the Dutch businessman and distinguished collector of art and books, who acquired it from Maggs in 1993; Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica MS 179; bookplate, front flyleaf, f. i; described in Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections (see Online Resources).


ff. 4-21v, De imitatione christi et contemptu omnium vanitatum, incipit, “Qui sequitur me non ambulat in tenebris dicit dominus. Hec sunt verba christi … Tantum proficies quantum tibi ipsi vim intuleris Amen.” Explicit quedam ammoniciones ad spiritualem vitam satis utiles. Et sequitur Capitula. Jeronimus, incipit, “Certe nil tam nocet hominum quam mala societas … Nullus potest compararius huic thesauro. Qui bonam inuenit societatem inuenit. Diuiciis affluit” [ten lines of verse;]; f.20v, chapter list, incipit, “De imitacione christi et contemptu omnium vanitatum mundi, capitulum 1 … De feruenti emendacione totius vite nostre, capitulum 25;” f. 21, Crisostimus, incipit, “Cum male conscientie est semper pusillaminis et timidus est …” [three lines of verse; ends top f. 21, remainder blank];

Thomas a Kempis, Imitatio Christi, Book one, followed by a list of chapters and two short verses, here ascribed to Jerome (text with the same incipit found in Krakau, Bibl. Jagiellonska, Cod. 518), and Chrysostom (no other sources identified); ed. Pohl, 1904, and Lupo, 1982; this manuscript includes only the first of the four books. Delaissé, 1956, is a diplomatic edition of Brussels, Bibliothèque Royale, MS 5855-61, copied by Thomas a Kempis in 1441, but many manuscripts of the Imitatio differ in the number of books they include and in their order. The earliest dated copy of Book one was copied in 1424; all four books can be found in a dated manuscript from 1427. The Imitatio Christi (“The Imitation of Christ”) has been called “the most influential devotional book in Western Christian History” (Van Engen, 1988, p. 8), and it survives in as many as 750 Latin manuscripts as well as in numerous translations.

Thomas a Kempis (1379/80-1471), now generally (but not universally) accepted as the author of this work, was part of the second generation of the Devotio Moderna after Geert Groote, the founder of this religious movement. The Imitatio Christi encapsulated the spirituality of the Devotio moderna, or the New Devout, especially their emphatic emphasis on Christ, the importance of the Bible, the recommendation of the use of the vernacular for religious writings, and their focus on the interior life and a calm withdrawal from the world.

ff. 21v-34v, Visio Tondali de diuresis penis et gaudiis animarum, incipit, “Uenerabili ac domino deuote deo domne Cunegundi dei dei [sic] dono abbatisse frater gerons sibi deuotus famulus …. Cum multi sunt vocati … post obitum deliciis paradisi, amen.” Deo gracias;

Brother Marcus of Regensburg, Visio Tnugdali (“The Vision of Tondal”); note the prologue here mentions “Cunegundus” in place of the usual abbess “G”, and lists the author’s name as “frater gerons”, in place of “frater Marcus.”

The Latin text survives in at least 157 manuscripts from the twelfth to the nineteenth century with over half dating from the fifteenth century, most now in German or Austrian collections; Palmer 1982 lists 157 (pp. 5-10, 15 and p. vi, not including this one), plus eleven additional copies, now lost. Several printed versions of the Latin text exist, but the only critical edition so far is Wagner 1882, using only seven early manuscripts; see also the Latin text in de Pontfarcy, 2010 (based on Ghent, Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent MS 316); English translation in Piccard, 1989. Widely considered the most important example of the visionary journey to the Other World from the High Middle Ages, known for its rather gruesome visions of punishments of Hell, and for the famous copy of a French translation illuminated by Simon Marmion c. 1470 for Margaret of York (now in the Getty museum; see Online Resources).

Written in Latin c. 1149 by Marcus of Regensburg, this account of the visionary voyage of an Irish knight named Tnugdalus (or Tondal or Tundal), who fell asleep for three days, and was led by an angel through Hell and Heaven. It was written in the twelfth century by an Irish monk in Regensburg, who states that he heard the story from the knight himself, and then wrote it down in Latin for Gislia, the Abbess of Regensburg; in addition to the many Latin manuscripts, it was translated into many vernaculars – German (ten different translations in thirty-two surviving manuscripts; German translations studied in Palmer, 1982), French (eleven French versions, including translations by Jean de Vignay, David Aubert and Regnault le Queux; see de Pontfarcy, 2010, pp. xiv-xv), as well as Dutch, Spanish, Icelandic, English, and Italian (the text was one of Dante’s important sources). In the fifteenth century there are numerous copies from the Low Countries and Northern Germany, testifying to its popularity among clerics influenced by the Devotio moderna; meditation on death and the afterlife was an important element of their spirituality. In southern Germany and Austria, many copies were produced in monasteries associated with the Benedictine and Augustinian reform movements of Kastl and Melk.

ff. 35-47v, De Purgatorio patricii, incipit, “Patri suo preoptato in Christo domino abbati de Sartis frater N monachorum minimus cum continua salute … Tunc nicholaus inde ascendens supra puteum se restitutum invenit et omnia que sibi contigerant narrans post xxv dies in domino feliciter quieuit etc.”;

H[enricus] Salteriensis (H[enry] of Sawtry or Saltrey) (fl. 1150), Tractatus de Purgatorio Sancti Patricii (“Treatise on the Purgatory of St. Patrick”); survives in a least 150 manuscripts in a number of different versions (Easting, 1991 and Warnke, 1938, discuss two main groups); the text in this manuscript appears to end differently than the usual printed version (text at f. 47 top, cf. Jenkins, 1903, ed. p. 65, end of section XXIII); note also the use of frater N (instead of “H”) at the beginning and Nicholaus at the end; on f. 37, Owein is “Ewende.”

Latin text edited in Easting, 1991, based on three manuscripts; also printed in Warnke, 1938; Jenkins, 1903; and in Migne, PL 180.977-1004; English translation in Piccard, 1985. Easting mentions a projected critical edition by Jean-Michel Picard and Yolande de Pontfarcy, which apparently has not appeared, so a full critical edition that takes into account the large corpus of manuscripts remains to be done. Manuscripts (an incomplete list) in Hayes, 1967, vol. 2, 455-456 and 1979, v. 1, 673-6; see also Easting, 1991, pp. lxxiv-xc, Palmer, 1982, pp. 410-412, and White-Le Goff, 2006.

The Tractatus de purgatorio Sancti Patricii (“The Treatise about Purgatory of St. Patrick”) written by H[enry] de Saltrey (or of Sawry), c. 1180-1184, tells of the successful penitential journey of the sinful knight, Sir Owain to Purgatory at Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland. It was a tremendously popular text, surviving in numerous Latin manuscripts, and in translations and adaptations in almost every European vernacular, including a number of Middle English versions, and a French translation by Marie de France (fl. 1175-90), Espurgatoire S. Patriz. It combines the tradition of the otherworldly journey of vision literature with an account based on an actual place. Patrick’s Purgatory is the name of an Irish pilgrimage site on an island in a lake, Lough Derg, where there is a cave revealed to St. Patrick as an entrance to Purgatory; popular in the Middle Ages, it remains a modern pilgrimage site.

ff. 47v-58, Incipit disputatcio inter priorem et spiritum guidonis, incipit, “Augustinus in libro de fide ad petrum dicit miraculum est … Anno sue incarnationis m ccc xxiii xvi die mensis decembris in ciuitate alesti qui aim barona vocatur … Obiit quidam ciues nomine guido de coruo … super hoc foret et sciendum prior autem dicte domus nomine Iohannes gobi … compleuit in purgatorio quam requiescat, amen in pace.” Amen. Explicit disputacio inter priorem et spiritum Gwydonis deo gracias;

Iohannes Gobi, or Jean Gobi, the younger (d. c. 1350), Historia de spiritu Guidonis; Eleazer, 2010, discusses the Latin transmission in fifty-one manuscripts, which he groups into four main versions (with additional subgroups); the text in this manuscript appears to belong to the group he calls A1, in seven manuscripts, not including this one; Eleazer prints an edition of the Middle English version, and the Latin text in a different version, classified as “Q”; Latin text printed in Schleich, 1898, also the “Q” version; French translation in Polo 1984; see also Palmer 1982, pp. 404-5; and Kaepelli, 1970-, no. 2370.

Historia de Spiritu Guidonis (“The Story of the Spirit of Guy”) is a first-person account by the Dominican Jean Gobi the Younger (the nephew of another Jean Gobi, also a Dominican) of his experiences with the spirit of Gy in the Southern French town of Alés, or Alais, from late December 1323 to 12 January 1324. There are numerous versions of the story in both Latin and the vernacular (including English, French, German, Italian, Swedish, Irish, Welsh and Spanish). It tells of the ghost or spirit of Guidonis, who returns after his death and haunts his wife. She goes for help to the local Dominican prior, Jean Gobi, who engages the ghost in a series of discussions about the afterlife, focusing especially on the doctrine of purgatory and the efficacy of prayers and Masses said for the dead. In contrast with tales such as the Vision of Tundal or the Purgatory of St. Patrick, this presentation is a hopeful one, emphasizing the comforting links between the living and the dead.

ff. 58-62, Incipit prodigium Udonis Archiepiscopi Magdeburgensien, incipit, “Anno domini nonagentesimo quinquagesimo Ottone tercio imperante apud … et seuerissimam ulcionem. Deus det nobis suam pacem, amen” [Ends top f. 62; remainder and f. 62v, blank];

Historia Udonis Magdeburgensis episcopi (“Legend of Udo of Magdeburg”); printed Schönbach, 1902, 2-9; and in Öhgren, 1955; printed in the fifteenth century (Hain 15909), it circulated widely collections of Latin exempla, and in many vernacular versions, including German and Dutch; see Palmer, 1982, pp. 412-414.

There was no historical Archbishop Udo of Magdeburg. His legend is based on two different sources, which were combined and attached to his name by the end of the thirteenth century. It tells the cautionary tale of his life. Udo rose in the clerical ranks to become Archbishop thanks to the abilities granted to him by the Virgin Mary, but nonetheless led a wicked life (even indulging in an affair with an Abbess). A canon of his cathedral then had a vision that revealed Odo’s decapitation as a punishment for his wickedness – an event which turns out to be true. Further visions reveal the gruesome fate of the Archbishop’s soul as it is tortured by demons.

ff. 63-114v, incipit, “O Gy alle de dar gaet by den weghe merket vnde seyt oft enich lyden ende bedroffnisse is gelijck mynen lidene… vaders an den ouer sern throne. To wel ken trone mote vns brengen de vader de sone vnde hillige geyst. Amen. God hebbbe loff vnde ere unde sy ghebenedyet ewelike”, Amen;

Meditations on the Life of Christ, in Low German; this is an extensive text that certainly calls for further research; at this point no further manuscripts have been identified.

ff. 115-117v, incipit, “Fasciculus myrre dilectus meus michi inter verba mea commorabor [Song of Songs, 1:12]. Loquitur anima deuota designans se christi amaritudinem simul collectam iugiter in suo pectore … etiam quicumque memoriam tuam per meditationem mortis christi reformare … et dona sancti spiritus et multa similia etc”;

Latin meditations on the Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension of Christ; also in Darmstadt, Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek, HS 396, from St. Barbara’s Cologne; some similarities to Gerardus de Zutphania, De Spiritualibus ascensionibus (Gerard Zerbolt de Zutphen (1367-1398), was one of the earliest followers of the Modern Devotion).

ff. 118-128, Contemplaciones circa passionem christi, incipit, “Septies in die laudem dixi tibi rogasti me ut aliquem modum contemplandi in passione christi … eiusdem rei et domini nostri ihesu christe. Qui viuit et regnat in secula seculorum;

Ps-Bede, Meditationes de Passione Christi or De meditatione passionis Christi per septem diei horas, circulated most often as Bede’s, although there are no manuscripts earlier than the fourteenth century; also circulated with attributions to Augustine, Bonaventure, and Bernard of Clairvaux; printed in Migne, PL 194:561-568 (see Predigt im Kontext, Online Resources); Bestul characterizes this text as “a systematic, schematically organized manual showing how to participate spiritually in the Passion of Christ” (Bestul, 1996, pp. 54-56, 190).

ff. 128v-144v, incipit, “Christo crucifixus sum cruci [Galatians 2:19]. Verus dei cultor, Christique discipulus qui salvatori omnium … Hec nunc per crucem tuam petimus obtinere. Ad laudem sanctissimi nominis tui … per infinita secula seculorum, amen”;

Bonaventure, Lignum vitae; ed. Opera Omnia VIII:68-86, and pp. xxxix-xlix, edited from 29 manuscripts, and listing a further 175 manuscripts; English translation, Cousins, 1978; see also Bestul, 1996, pp. 43-45, and 189.

The Lignum vitae is a meditation on the life, Passion and Resurrection of Christ presented in three books. Bonaventure focuses on concrete details of the suffering of Christ and of Mary to inspire love for the crucified Christ.

Bonaventura da Bagnoreggio (ca. 1217- 1274), or St. Bonaventure, also called the “Seraphic Doctor” was born in Italy, in Bagnorea near Orvieto. He studied at the University of Paris, earning his Master of Arts in 1242, and entered the Franciscan Order in 1243. He continued his studies in the Theology faculty, and in 1257 he became Regent Master of theology, and shortly thereafter, also in 1257, Minister General of the Franciscans. He was appointed cardinal-bishop of Albano in 1273. He was the author of numerous works (including lives of St. Francis, a Commentary on the Sentences of Peter the Lombard, biblical commentaries, sermons, and mystical treatises), in addition to his two great works on the Passion – the Lignum vitae and the Vitis mystica – expressing the Franciscan devotion to the suffering humanity of Christ.

ff. 145-184, incipit, “Guder lude is vele die eews ghelbest heb ben ouer meer ende dar hilige land … dat beueel ick mallic na syne[m] wyllen. Amen. ”Hyr eyndet dat bueck des hiligen landes [Ends mid f. 184v, remainder blank];

Ludolf von Sudheim, Reisebuch, or Reise ins Heilige Land, the contents are very similar to the Low German translation of the Latin, De itinere terrae sanctae (“Journey to the Holy Land”), ed. Staplemohr, 1937, based on one manuscript (then Hamburg, Staats und Uniersitätsbibliothek Cod. Geogr. 15); see also Röhricht, 1890, pp. 76-79; Bulst-Thiele, Verfasserlexikon, 2nd ed. 5:984-986, and Schnath, 1964 (see also Schnath in Online Resources). Handschriftencensus (Online Resources), lists nine manuscripts of this Low German translation, including this one, the oldest dating c. 1400; Stapelmohr, 21-53, lists eight manuscripts, with descriptions – not including this one. There is an English translation of the Latin version, Stewart, 1895. The language in this manuscript deserves careful study, since it appears closer to Dutch than to Low German.

The text is complete and appears to follow the text printed in Staplemohr’s edition closely, but the scribe may have been working from a defective exemplar since there is a small section of the text omitted; the text ends a few lines from the bottom, f. 152v (Staplemohr, ed., p. 106, line 2); the scribe left f. 153 blank; copied three lines on f. 153v, then crossed them out in red, and resumed the text mid f. 154, Van der stat nymociensis, incipit, “Nyet vere van paphcus …” (ed. p. 108, line 7).

This account of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land was written first in Latin c. 1350, describing the journey to the Near East in 1336-1341 by Ludolf von Sudheim (or von Suchem; he is also known as Ludolphus Clipeator or Ludolf Schilder), the rector of the parish church in Sudheim near Lichtenau (Westphalia), where he served under Bishop Baldwin of Steinfurt of Paderborn (1340-61); previously he held a position in the diocese of Osnabrück, where Gottfried von Osnabrück was Bishop (1321–49). It was a popular text; the Latin version, the first pilgrimage report printed in Germany, survives in two versions, the earlier, dedicated to the Bishop of Osnabrück survives in four manuscript, and a longer version dedicated to the Bishop of Paderborn in forty manuscripts, as well as translations into High German and Low German (see Simon, 2004; Schnath, Online Resources, and Staplemohr, 1937, pp. 19-20).

The text recounts Ludolf’s journey to the Holy land, Egypt and Syria, beginning with a discussion of Constantinople (f. 146), followed by descriptions of his voyage by sea including Sicily, Greece, and Cyprus; and then overland, describing Alexandria (f. 157v), Tripoli (f. 158), and continuing through the Sinai desert (ff. 168v-72v), including a note on the pyramids in Latin on f. 168v, visiting the monastery of St. Catherine’s, Bethlehem (f. 173), Jerusalem (f. 174v), then Jordan and Lebanon. The text was both a traveler’s report (based on his own observation and other sources), and a meditation on biblical history, and salvation, that was intended to help his readers to visualize the sites associated with Christ’s life and Passion and thus enrich their meditation and prayer.

ff. 185-193v, Colloquium Beati Ancelmi cum maria de passione christi, incipit, “Notandum est nobis quod beatus ancelmus longo tempore cum lacrimis orationibus et jeiuniis rogabat beatam mariam virginem …. Filio eius Ihesu Christo et compaciebantur sibi universi, Deo gracias”;

Pseudo-Anslem of Canterbury, Dialogus beatae Mariae et Anselmi de passione domini; printed in Schade, 1870, and Migne, PL 159:271-290; and often among Anselm’s works; extensive bibliography and list of approximately forty-nine manuscripts in Cardelle de Hartmann, 2007, R21, pp. 369-377; discussed in Bestul, 1996, pp. 53-54. There is still no critical edition of this popular text.

The oldest manuscripts of this text were written in the German Rhineland at the end of the thirteenth or early fourteenth century. It is a restrained account of the Passion written as a dialogue between Anselm of Canterbury and Mary that includes long extracts from the Gospels and other historical sources; later influence discussed in De Ros, 1949; the question of its author explored in Neff, 1986.

ff. 194r-197r, Disputatio inter spiritum et carnem, incipit, “Noctis sub silencio ipse brumali/ Deditus quodam ideo sompno spirituali/ … Ut nos christus protegat a pena tam graui/ Amen dicamus voce omnes cum suaui/” Explcit disputacio inter spiritum et carnem;

This was a widely disseminated thirteenth-century poem, here ending with slightly different last three lines compared to printed versions; known as the “Visio Philiberti”, it circulated under the name of many authors, none of which are considered likely by modern scholars, including Robert Grosseteste (1235-1253), Bernard of Clarivaux, and Walter Map (1140-c.1208-10); see Nigel Palmer in Stammler, Langosch, et al. Verfasserlexikon, 2nd ed., 10:412-418, with comprehensive bibliography; Walther, 1920, lists 132 Latin manuscripts; Walther, Initia 11894; text printed in Wright, 1841, pp. 95-106; and Von Karajan, pp. 85-98; online edition, CELT (Online Resources). The text circulated in many different versions, and was translated into German, and Low German, Irish, English, Scandinavian, French, an Italian.

This text relates the story of a dreamer who sees his soul as it leaves his body; the soul denounces his flesh for involving it in sins that will condemn the soul to hell; the flesh responds that the soul controlled the body and two demons carry the soul to hell.

ff. 197r-215v, Ancelmus to dude van den lyden vnses heren ihesu christi un[de] beghynnet al düs Ancelmus, incipit, “Ancelmus was eyn hillich man/ He hadde lange darn a ghescan/… Beide dach ende ock de nacht/ … De passio sal ancelmus heten/ Gad late vns des besten ghenem.” Amen;

Dutch verse translation of the Latin prose text, Pseudo-Anslem of Canterbury, Dialogus beatae Mariae et Anselmi de passione domini (see above ff. 185-193v), closely related to the Low German version discussed in Hans Eggers in VL (1978), 373-5; and Bergmann, 1986, pp. 415-416 (M 37), with references to eight further manuscripts and printed editions; edited from one manuscript, Oldenburg, Landesbibl., Clm 74, in Lübben, 1876; and from a manuscript in Dessau in Cepková, 1982. The Handschriften Census (Online Resources) lists seven complete manuscripts and three fragments, not including the manuscript described here.

ff. 216-225, Incipit disputatio inter priorem et spiritum gwidonis, incipit, “Augustinus in liber de fide ad petrum dicit miraculum est … Anno incarnationis m ccc xxiii xvi die mensis decembris in ciuitate alesi que iam boronia vocavit … obiit quidam ciues nomine Gwido … complevit in purgatorio communi requiescat. Amen in pace etc.” Explicit disputatio inter priorem et spiritus Gwidonis. Deo Gratias [f. 225v, blank];

Johannes Gobius, De spiritu Guidonis in Latin; a second copy, in a hand not found elsewhere in the manuscript, of the text also found on ff. 47v-58.

f. 225, Brief notes on penance, fifteen lines (possibly the beginning of a longer work), incipit, Si quis positus in ultima ….”

The interest in studying manuscript Miscellanies as a genre dates back at least to the late 1990s, and continues today (for example, the international workshop “Manuscript Miscellanies: Composition, Authorship, and Use, organized by Lucie Doležalová in Prague in 2009, and the conference on vernacular miscellanies in late medieval Britain organized in London by Raluca Radulescu and Margaret Connolly in 2012). The manuscript described here is a particularly interesting example of a manuscript of this type. Its contents reflect some of the most important elements of the spirituality taught in circles associated with the Modern Devotion. Together with the Imitatio Christi, it includes five texts that tell of visionary voyages through heaven and hell (one in two copies), and six different texts – in Latin, Low German, and Dutch – related to the Passion of Christ. The mixture of vernacular (Dutch and Low German) and Latin texts reflects the linguistic realities of the Late Middle Ages, and from the perspective of modern scholarship, it should be noted that most of the Latin texts included here also circulated widely in many different vernacular translations, making them important to scholars studying vernacular culture. The inclusion of Ludolf of Sudheim’s Journey to the Holy Land in a Low German/Dutch version, is important, and highlights the probable use of this text as a focus of meditation and prayer that allowed its readers to visualize the actual places where Christ lived and died. It is also likely however, that this text, as well as the stories of the visionary journeys by Tondal and Sir Owain, and the thrilling “ghost” story, The Spirit of Guy, were also well-loved as entertainment.


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Online resources

Medieval Manuscripts in Dutch Collections (this manuscript described as Amsterdam, BPH MS 179)

Online edition of Foster, Edward E., ed. Three Purgatory Poems, Kalamazoo, Michigan, published for TEAMS by Medieval Institute Publications, 2004 (Gast of Gy, Sir Owain and the Vision of Tondale)

The Vision of the Knight Tondal (Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, MS 30)

Predigt im Kontext, UB Eichstaat; Ps-Bede, De meditatione passionis Christi per septem diei horas libellius

Handschriftencensus: Eine Bestandsaufnahme der handschriftlichen Überlieferung deutschsprachiger Texte des Mittelalters, description of this manuscript
and on Ludolf von Sudheim, Reisebuch and on

Ludolfus de Sudheim, De itinere Terrae Sanctae (with additional bibliography)

Schnath, Georg. “Ludolf von Sudheim”, Neue Deutsche Biographie 15 (1987), p. 302, Online edition

ARLIMA: Archives de litérature du Moyen Âge online, Ludolfus de Sudheim

“A Latin Dialogue of the Body and the Soul” (Visio philiberti), in Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition (CELT Online),

Handschriftencensus: Eine Bestandsaufnahme der handschriftlichen Überlieferung deutschsprachiger Texte des Mittelalters, “St. Anselmi Frgagen an Maria”