TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures


In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
Southern France or Spain, c. 1300-1330

TM 558


i (modern paper) + 236 (parchment) + i (modern paper), on parchment, late medieval foliation (in arabic numerals) beginning on f. 3, complete (collation, i-xii², xiii6, xiv-xix12, xx14), with signatures (quires one and two) and catchwords written in the center lower margin, some partially cut off, ruled faintly in blind with single vertical bounding lines and double horizontal bounding lines, visible (e.g., f. 108v) only on some leaves (justification, 160 x 115-110 mm.) with visible prickings in outer margins (doubled the number of lines in quires one-four), layout of 23-29 long lines, text written in brown ink below top line in Gothic textualis rotunda script in several hands, rubrics in red, paragraph markers in red and blue, puzzle initials in blue and red with pen flourishes in same, some extending in the form of a fish, others inhabited with faces, slight cockling and stains throughout and some wear to a few leaves with loss of ink, f. 1, darkened and stained. Bound in modern red leather over boards by Donald Taylor of Toronto, pages trimmed, stubs of modern paper reinforcements visible in gutter between gatherings, tail edge faintly inscribed, conf(..?), in excellent condition. Dimensions c. 220 x 160 mm.

An attractive copy of the most influential collection of exempla from the Middle Ages, distinguished by its attractive penwork initials (two in the form of fish), and early ownership by a Carmelite house. This version of Stephen’s text survives in only about a dozen manuscripts (the full text in about thirty-five). It is the only copy recorded for sale in the Schoenberg Database.


1. The support, script and style of decoration in the manuscript suggest a date and origin in Southern France or Iberia, probably in the opening decades of the fourteenth century, c. 1300-1330s. Paleographic distinctions include a compact, rounded style of script (in several hands) with short ascenders, including a very flat gothic “d.” The script also employs abbreviations such as an uncrossed Tironian 7 (et), associated with southern European manuscripts, but a “northern” uncrossed “q” with superscript “i” (qui); the combination is typical of Iberian gothic. See also “reverencia” for “reverentia” on f. 74v, “tercia” for “tertia” on f. 99v, “silencio” for “silentio” and “locucio” for “locutio” on f. 151, and on f. 144v, an escutcheon drawn in ink in the lower margin with the motto, “aut hic dices oia”, using “oia”, for “omnia” (Thomson, 1969, nos. 119, 120, 122).

2. Possibly once owned by a community of Carmelite monks, according to in an inscription on f. 235, now mostly erased, “Iste liber est fratris … ordinis beate maria de mons carmelus” (Pope, 1999; Stoneman, 1997, pp. 201-202). The Carmelites established houses in Europe in the mid-thirteenth century and gradually became known as the third order of mendicant friars, after the Franciscans and the Dominicans. The first houses in Catalonia were begun at Perpignan (1269) and Lleida (1278). By 1354 the Carmelites in this region had grown to form the “Province” of Catalonia, including all the houses under the crown of Aragon: Lleida, Barcelona, Perpignan, Majorca, Peralada, and Girona, Camprodón, Valls, and Manresa (Webster, 1999, pp. 7-9). The Carmelites, however, were only marginally supported by the Aragonese monarchs, who traditionally favored the Franciscans (Silleras-Fernandez, 2008, pp. 117-119). Thus the largest Carmelite houses were in locations where the other orders had a lesser presence, such as Peralada (Webster, 1999, p. 10-12).

3. Owned by Comte Paul Durrieu (1855-1925), an esteemed art historian especially recognized for his work on fifteenth-century manuscript illumination, including a controversial illuminated manuscript known as the Turin-Milan Hours, in which he discovered an illuminator of astonishing skill, whom he astutely associated with the panel painter Jan van Eyck. A curator in the department of paintings at the Louvre, Durrieu was also a discerning collector of illuminated manuscripts (Hindman and Bergeron-Foote, 2004, p. 3). His studies of manuscripts were so uniquely insightful that one can only wish to know what he might have written about this manuscript. Although extensive, the bibliography of Durrieu’s work does not include a study of this manuscript (Laborde, 1930).

4. Belonged to Joseph Pope (1921-2010) of Toronto, investor banker and prominent collector of medieval manuscripts, who acquired it from Bruce Ferrini of Akron, Ohio in August 1989 (an account of the collection given in Pope, 1997); Bergendal Collection MS 94 (described in Pope, 1999, and online, Bergendal Collection; brief description in Stoneman, 1997, pp. 201-202, when it was still bound with De miseria humane conditionis by Pope Innocent III, which was re-numbered as Bergendal MS 121 when the texts were separated and rebound; available at this site as TM 557).


ff. 1-3, [Table of contents], incipit, “Prima pars de timore domini. Primus titulus … Octavus titulus … Secundus pars de dono pietatis. Titulus primus …Titulus sixtus … Tercia pars de dono scientie … Primus titulus … Titulus nonus … Quarta pars de dono fortitudinis. Titulus primus … Titulus octavus … De peccato omissionis … Titulus vicesimus primus …”, Explicit capitula;

f. 3, [Preface], Incipit liber pantheon, incipit, “Quoniam ordinare materias edificationi utiles quam in hoc opere intendimus proponimus secundum vii dona septiformis gracie spiritus sancti a quo est omnis ordo et edificacio animarum … (Bloomfield 1979, p. 425, no. 4994; Welter 1927, pp. 222-223)”;

ff. 3 v-47v, [Part I, the Gift of Fear], De timor mundano qui habent vii capitula. Primus titulus, incipit, “Primus titulus de timore est de speciebus eius, que sunt timor mundanus, et humanus, servilis, naturalis, inicialis, filialis sive castus, reverencie ... “;

ff. 47v-99v,[ Part II, the Gift of Piety], Secunda pars de dono timoris et quibus exemplis cognoscitur quod verbum dei deo placeat titulus i, incipit, “Dicto de hiis que pertinent ad donum timoris dicendum est nunc de hiis que pertinent ad donum pietatis …”;

ff. 99v-150v, [Part III, the Gift of Knowledge], Tercia pars de huius que pertinent ad donum scientie, titulus i, incipit, “Tercia pars huius operis est de hiis que pertinent ad donum scientie, per spem et notandum quod sicut donum timoris peccatoris a malo retrahit …”;

ff. 151-235,[ Part IV, the Gift of Strength], Quarta pars de dono fortitudinis et de pertinentibus ad temptationem carnis tractat, incipit, “In quarta parte huius operis dicitur sive dicendum et de hiis que pertinent ad donum fortudinis Iste liber est fratris …ordinis beate maria de mons carmelus. Explicit liber panteon [f. 236-236v, ruled but blank].

See also Pope, 1999, Bergendal MS 94, for the full table of capitula.

The text of Liber Pantheon represents one of several known versions of a collection of exempla, or moralizing anecdotes for sermons, compiled by the French Dominican Stephanus de Borbone, at some time between c. 1250 and his death c. 1261 (Berlioz, 2002, pp. XV-XXXI; Schmitt, 2009, pp. 11-13).

Along with the development of the mendicant orders, collections of exempla grew in the thirteenth century, encouraged by the policies of the Fourth Lateran Council of 1214, which convened to combat the spread of heresy (Gregg, 1997, p. 3). Stephanus of Borbone, himself an Inquisitor, followed the Council’s recommendation for preachers to focus on popular themes, many of which were traditionally arranged in mnemonic groups of seven: the Seven Deadly Sins, the Seven Virtues, the Seven Sacraments, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, the Seven Petitions of the Pater Noster, and the Seven Works of Mercy (Gregg, 1997, p. 3). Stephanus of Borbone’s text, which at his death was completed only to the beginning of Book 5, was intended to be organized in seven books according to the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Fear, Piety, Knowledge, Fortitude, Counsel, Understanding, and Wisdom (Schmitt, 2009, p. 14). This seven-part methodology reflected not only the recommendations of the Fourth Lateran Council but also the author’s Dominican training, which he received at the University of Paris.

The original version of Stephanus de Borbone’s text includes over 3,000 exempla to form a substantial treatise known as Tractatus de diversis materiis predicalibus (Kaepelli, 1970--, no. 3633; Bloomfield 1979, p. 423, no. 4973) for which a critical edition is still in progress (Books I and III published thus far, Berlioz, 2002, 2006; for an overview and exempla from all five books see Lecoy de la Marche, 1877). Although the original manuscript of the Tractatus has been lost, about thirty-five manuscripts have been identified as preserving the text in various recensions, beginning with the oldest and most complete manuscript, Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS lat. 15970 (Welter, 1927, pp. 221-222). Other versions of the Tractatus include manuscripts entitled Summa donorum (Berlioz, 2002, p. LXVII) and a translation into German, the Summa bonorum (Baumgarte, 1999).

The Liber Pantheon is an abridged and rewritten version of the Tractatus text, witnessed by about a dozen manuscripts of various local origins, but all from the fourteenth century (Bloomfield, 1979, p. 425; Berlioz, 2002, p. LXVIII, who cites the present manuscript as Bergendal 94). These are variously untitled, assigned the title Liber exemplorum, or self-entitled (Liber) Pantheon. Welter (1927, p. 222) associates with this group a manuscript from Spain, Madrid, Real Biblioteca del Escorial, Ms. N. III. 15, “De donis timoris et pietatis” (see also Antolin 1913, p. 153), but the Escorial manuscript is actually a version of a derivative work by Humbert of Romans (Boyer, 2008, p. XVII).

Stephanus of Borbone’s Pantheon, however,can be readily distinguished from other Latin texts by the incipit of the prologue: Tractatus: “Quoniam multi multipliciter, subtiliter et utiliter elaboraverunt auctoritas diversas veteris ac novi testamenti …”(Bloomfield 1979, p. 423, no. 4973); Summa donorum: [Same as the Tractatus]; Donis timoris: “Quoniam plus exempla quam verba movent, secundum Gregorium et facilius intellectu capiuntur …” (Bloomfield 1979, p. 426, no. 5001); Pantheon: “Quoniam ordinare materias aedificationi utiles quam in hoc opere intendimus proponimus …” (Bloomfield 1979, p. 425, no. 4994).

The scholarship on Stephanus de Borbone and his work is vast but unevenly distributed among specialists from various disciplines. The disparate texts preserving his work have not been completely sorted out, and the manuscripts representing the Liber Pantheon have not been studied as a distinctive group in order to develop a critical edition of the text. Thus the present manuscript has great value not only as an artistic artifact but also as a primary source in the study of the author and his contribution to medieval literature, history and culture.

The value of exempla collections to historians extends far beyond those primarily interested in preaching and pastoral care. Their use by historians studying the social history of the Middle Ages, to cite one example, is demonstrated by Jacques Berlioz’s study of natural catastrophes in the Middle Ages (Berlioz, 1997), and Jean-Claude Schmitt’s classic study of the holy greyhound (Schmitt, 2009). Current interest in the genre is demonstrated by the online index, Thesaurus Exemplorum Medii Aevi (Online resources), the recent colloquium (Polo de Beaulieu, Collomb and Berlioz, 2010) that brought together scholars from many different fields, and the series of critical editions, CCCML, Exempla medii aevi, five volumes of which have appeared since 2002.


Although limited to a palette of blue and red, the decoration of this manuscript is lively and engaging. It includes four decorated puzzle initials (ff. 3v, 47v, 99v, 151) in red and blue with elegant pen flourishes extending into the margins, with some rendered as fish in such great detail that the artist seems to have a particular species in mind (ff. 3v, 47v). A traditional symbol among the Christian faithful, the fish was a common image in the medieval illuminator’s repertoire of ornamental forms and figures -- see for example British Library MS Egerton 628 (Netherlands, last quarter 13th century; British Library, Online resources) or Columbia University Plimpton MS 116 (Italy, 14th century; Digital Scriptorium, Online resources). The manuscript also includes less elaborately decorated initials, alternating in blue and red with pen flourishes in the opposite color, some forming faces that inhabit the space within the initial (ff. 198v, 199). Running headings are written across the top margin (L[iber]on the versos; I, II, III, or IIII on the rectos) in alternating blue and red, some mistakenly mis-numbered (ff. 77, 79, 80, 81). Paragraphs marked in alternating blue and red and sentences with initials touched in red help the readers find their place in the text, which is hierarchically organized into books, titles (tituli), and chapters (capitula).


Antonlín, P. Guillermo. Catálogo de los Códices Latinos de la Real Biblioteca del Escorial, Madrid, Imprenta Helénica, 1913.

Baumgarte, Susanne. Summa bonorum : eine deutsche Exempelsammlung aus dem 15. Jahundert nach Stephan von Bourbon, Berlin, Erich Schmidt Verlag, 1999.

Berlioz, Jacques. Catastrophes naturelles et calamites au Moyen Age, Micrologus Library 1, Florence, SISMEL, 1997.

Berlioz, Jacques and Jean-Luc Eichenlaub, eds. Stephani de Borbone, Tractatus de diversis materiis predicabilibus (Prologus, Prima Pars : De dono timoris), CCCM 124, Exempla medii aevi 1, Turnhout, Brepols, 2002.

Berlioz, Jacques, ed. Stephani de Borbone Tractatus de materiis predicabilibus. (Tertia pars), CCCM 124B, Exempla medii aevi 3, Turnhout, Brepols, 2006.

Bloomfield, Morton W. Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices, 1100-1500 A.D., Cambridge, MA, 1979.

Boyer, Christine. Humberti de Romanis de dono timoris, CCCM 218, Turnhout, Brepols, 2008.

Gregg, Joan Young. Devils, Women, and Jews: Reflections on the Other in Medieval Sermon Stories, Albany, State University of New York Press, 1997.

Hindman, Sandra and Ariane Bergeron-Foote. Three Illuminated Manuscripts from the Collection of Comte Paul Durrieu, Les Enluminures, 2004.

Kaeppeli, Thomas, O.P. Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi, Rome, 1970- .

Laborde, Comte A. de. Le Comte Paul Durrieu, 1855-1925, Paris, Editions Auguste Picard, 1930.

Lecoy de la Marche, A. Anecdotes historiques, légendes et apologues tirés du recueil inédit d’Etienne de Bourbon, dominicain du XIIIe siècle, Paris, Société de l’histoire de la France, 1877.

Polo de Beaulieu, Marie Anne, Pascal Collomb and Jacques Berlioz, eds. Le tonnerre des exemples: exempla et médiation culturelle dans l’occident médiéval. Actes de trois colloques, Rennes, Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2010.

Pope, Joseph. One Hundred Twenty-five Manuscripts : the Bergendal Collection, Toronto, Brabant Holdings, 1999.

Rouse, Richard H. and Mary A. Rouse. Preachers, Florilegia and Sermons: Studies on the Manipulus florum of Thomas of Ireland, Toronto, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1979.

Sackville, L.J. Heresy and Heretics in the Thirteenth Century, York, York Medieval Press, 2011.

Schmitt, Jean Claude. The Holy Greyhound, Guinefort, Healer of Children since the 13th Century, New York, Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Silleras-Fernandez, Nuria. Power, Piety, and Patronage in Late Medieval Queenship: Maria de Luna, New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Stoneman, William. “A Summary Guide to the Medieval and Later Manuscripts in the Bergendal Collection, Toronto”, A Distinct Voice: Medieval Studies in Honor of Leonard E. Boyle, O.P., Jacqueline Brown and William P. Stoneman, eds., Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1997, pp. 163-206.

Thomson, S. Harrison. Latin Bookhands of the Later Middle Ages, 1100-1500, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1969.

Tubach, Frederic C. Index exemplorum; A Handbook of Medieval Religious Tales, Helsinki, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1969.

Webster, Jill R. Carmel in Medieval Catalonia, Leiden, Brill, 1999.

Welter, J.-Th. L’Exempla dans la littérature religieuse et didactique du Moyen Age. Paris, Occitanian, 1927.

Online resources

British Library Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts

Digital Scriptorium

Callan, C. “Stephen of Bourbon”, in The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, Robert Appleton Company, 1912

Thesaurus Exemplorum Medii Aevi (searchable online index to medieval exempla)