284 ff., preceded and followed by  paper flyleaves, double contemporary page numbering (Roman numerals ff. I-CXVI, followed by Arabic numbers, ff. 1-156), main texts apparently complete (collation: i8, ii-x10, xi26, xii-xix20), composite gatherings of paper and parchment with inner and outer bifolia of gatherings of vellum and all other leaves of each gathering of paper, some catchwords and quire signatures, watermarks of paper close to Briquet, “Ancre accosté de la letter t gothique,” no. 424: Troyes, 1463; Châlons-sur-Marne, 1466, written in brown ink by a single scribe in a cursive bookhand on up to 42 long lines (justification 115 x 80 mm), paragraph marks in red, some capitals stroked in red or 1-line high capitals entirely in red, numerous 2- to 3- line high initials painted in red, passages underlined in red, some rubrics in red. Nineteenth-century imitation binding of brown morocco over pasteboards [imitating southern German bindings], signed binding [Hardy, former student of Niedrée, Paris], back sewn on 5 raised thongs, central panel filled with curved branches and fleurons (suggestive of a tapestry pattern), with outer border roll showing arms with three fleur-de-lys, edges gilt (Good condition). Dimensions 145 x 115 mm.
Unusual florilegia that associates very different texts on exegesis, spiritual and theological edification, and logic and grammar, some quite rare, others unedited and even unique. With a firm fifteenth-century monastic provenance and owned by a specific monk, a gift to him from the Provincial of the order, the manuscript calls for further study, not just on the rare texts, but on the intellectual renewal of the French Celestines in the fifteenth century.
1. Watermarks as well as script suggest a French origin for this manuscript, likely copied in the Ile-de-France region, for a monk of the Celestines of Limay-les-Mantes [Mantes-la-Jolie, Seine-et-Oise] located just west of Paris. Contemporary or near-contemporary inscription on f. 1v reads: "Iste liber monasterii [celestinorum] prope medu[n]tam concessus ad usum fratris Desiderii Coneti per reverendum in christo patrem fratrem Florimundum deReffugio provincialem ordinis [celestinorum]. Ista est F[lorimundi] de Refugio [paraph]." Although clearly meant to be scratched out, the name “celestinorum” can still easily be made out. This is the convent of the Celestines of Limay (Benedictine congregation), near Mantes-la-Jolie, founded by Charles V in 1376. The manuscript was once the property of a certain Brother Desirius Conetus [Desiré Coignet] who received it from the Provincial of the Celestine Order, named Florimond de Reffuge (between 1459 and 1462). In addition, a second inscription confirms this early monastic provenance: “Iste liber est [celestinorum] prope medu[n]ta[m]” (f. 282v) [See Cottineau, I, 1615: Limay, Ste-Trinité, Célestins, founded in 1376; Durand et Grave, La chronique de Mantes, 238-240]. There is another manuscript ordered by the same Florimond de Reffuge, in Paris, Bibl. Mazarine, MS. 992, with the following inscription: "Iste liber fuit scriptus per quemdam secularem expensis et de pecuniis provincie et ideo reddatur provinciali Celestinorum provincie Francie quem fecit scribi r[everendus] p[ater] in christo fr[ater] Florimundus de Refugio tempore sui provincialatus" (see Bouveret, II, no. 4129 ; Cat. des mss. datés, I, p. 267 ; A. Molinier, Catalolgue des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Mazarine, 1885, I, p. 433). The manuscripts belonging to libraries of the Celestine Order are discussed in L. Delisle, Cabinet des manuscrits…, II, pp. 248-251. Delisle quotes another manuscript having belonged to the convent of Mantes, Paris, BnF, MS fr. 5734: "Iste liber est monasterii Celestinorum Sancte Trinitatis prope Meduntam."
f. 1, blank;
f. 1v, Ex-dono inscription (see Provenance above);
ff. 2-5, [Pseudo-Saint Augustine], Questiones partim in Genesim partim alio; incipit, "Queritur quid in celi terreque nomine significatur quando dicitur: In principio creavit deus…Interrogatio. Queritur unde sit factum istud firmamentum…"; explicit, "[…] primus homo peccasset queritur idem Enoch et Helyas";
In principio database records 6 manuscripts containing this text, a number of which are attributed to Augustine in the manuscripts themselves (in particular Paris, BnF, MSS lat. 2083, 2725, and 10358). Although fifteenth-century contemporaries considered this text to be part of the canonical list of Augustine’s works, this attribution is no longer accepted The work is now considered part of the Pseudo-Augustinian corpus (on Augustinian apocrypha, see B. Blumenkranz, “La survie médiévale de saint Augustin à travers ses apocryphes,” Augustinus Magister, II, Paris, pp. 1003-1018). Unpublished, the Questiones partim in Genesim partim alio are not listed in Stegmüller, although the text offers commentaries on points and passages of the Scriptures.
ff. 5v-8v, blank;
ff. 9-13, Table of contents to the work on ff. 125-251v, "De trinitate Boetius / Utrum deus sit immutabilis / Utrum omnis creatura sit mutabilis / Utrum anima sit simplex vel composite […]”;
The present table of contents relates to the text by Johannes Scherl, his Commentary on Petrus Lombardus Liber Sententiarum, copied on ff. 125-251v. The numbers refer to the contemporary foliation in light brown ink, here in Arabic numbers, placed in upper right-hand corner of the manuscript. The present manuscript thus presented a double system of page numbering, one in Roman numerals (see below), the other in Arabic numbers.
f. 13v, blank;
ff. 14-15, Table of contents to the work on ff. 19-124v, set alphabetically, "De avaritia folio .viii./ De remediis contra avaritia folio .x. / De accidia folio .x. […]";
This table of contents concerns the text that immediately follows. The numbers refer to the contemporary foliation in light brown ink, in Roman numerals, placed in upper right-hand corner of the manuscript.
ff. 16-18v, blank;
ff. 19-107, Guillelmus de Lanicea, Dieta salutis, incipit,"Hec est via ambulate in ea nec ad dexteram nec ad sinstram…Primo igitur nota de peccato… " ; explicit, "[…] Ad quam dei lilius nos perducat. Amen" (published in Bonaventura, Opera Omnia, vol. VIII, Paris, 1866, pp. 247-358);
Guillelmus de Lanicea was a Franciscan friar about whom very little is known. His Dieta salutatis survives in many manuscripts. The author presents himself as a preacher and suggests that the task of the preacher is to direct sinners and to bring them back to the proper road. The Dieta Salutis reflects on sin in general, the nature and practice of penitence, the examination of the moral life, the theological and cardinal virtues, and the evangelical precepts. The work was apparently meant for memorization and is oriented to help preachers in their task of composing sermons. At the same time, the work is clearly also intended for the spiritual self-improvement of Franciscan friars.
The Dieta salutatis is often attributed to Saint Bonaventura, including in the numerous incunable editions (Cologne, 1474; Paris, 1497; Bergamo, 1497; Paris, 1499) and is furthermore published in Bonaventura, Opera Omnia, vol. VIII (Paris, 1866), pp. 247-358. It is now established that it is in fact the work of the Franciscan Guillelmus de Lanicea (see G. E. Mohan, 1976, p. 169; Bloomfield, 1979, no. 2301; W. Van Dijk, Dictionnaire de spiritualité, VI, 1967, 1218-1219).
ff. 107v-108v, [On the Kingdom of God], heading, De regno dei; incipit, “O vere regnum dei, regnum decoris et perfectissime…”;
ff. 109-112v, Petrus de Alliaco, Epilogus quadruplici exercitio spirituali, heading, Epilogus quadruplici exercitio spirituali; incipit, “Anima devota cupiens…”; explicit, “[…] est deus benedictis in secula. Amen” (see G. Mohan, 1975, p. 26; see entry “Ailly, Pierre,” in Dictionnaire de spiritualité, 1937, tome I, col. 256-260);
This ascetical and mystical treatise explores the four spiritual exercises or methods of mental prayer. Pierre d’Ailly (1350-1420) was a French theologian and philosopher, bishop of Cambrai and cardinal, chancellor of the University of Paris. The Epilogus… is discussed in L. Salembier (1886), p. 333-334, with 12 manuscripts listed on p. XLII and an incunable edition found in Tractatus et sermones Petri de Alliaco…, Strasbourg, 1490 (Hain, *848).
ff. 112v-116, Guigo Carthusiensis, Scala claustralium sive Tractatus de modo orandi, heading, Tractatus sive epistula beati Bernardi de contemplatione; incipit, “Cum die quadam corporali manuum labore occupatus…”; explicit, “[…] impedimenta auferat a nobis. Amen” (published in PL, 184, col. 475-484; recent critical edition based on 9 manuscripts by Colledge, Walsh and Laporte, ed. (1970));
Guigo the Angelic or Guigues II the Carthusian (second half of the twelfth century) is the author of the Scala claustralium [Ladder of the Cloisters], sometimes called Scala paradisi or Tractatus de quatuor gradibus spiritualibus, which is a classic of monastic spirituality (on the literary tradition of the spiritual “ladder” with the monastery conceived as a spiritual ladder, see the article “Echelle spirituelle” in Dictionnaire de spiritualité, IV (1960), pp. 62-86). It was long misattributed to Saint Bernard (and edited as such in PL, 184, col. 475-484) but also Saint Augustine (see PL, 40, col. 997-1004). The attribution has since been secured by A. Wilmart, “Les écrits spirituels des deux Guigues,” in Revue d’ascétique et de mystique 5 (1924), pp. 59-79 and pp. 127-158, reprinted in Wilmart (1971), pp. 230-240 (On Guigo II the Carthusian, see Dictionnaire de spiritualité, Paris, 1967, VI, col. 1175-1176).
Composed in epistolary form, the work presents the four degrees of spiritual exercises (or progression in modes of prayer) necessary to attain true contemplation of God: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation. Wilmart had compiled a list of 93 manuscripts dating from the thirteenth to the end of the sixteenth century (see Colledge, Walsh and Laporte, ed., 1970, p. 11). The present copy begins without the prologue, “Dilecto suo fratri Gervasio…”
ff. 116-124v, [On Prayer and Contemplation], heading, De oratione et contemplatione; incipit, “Notandum quod perfectio spiritualis in te in tribus…Memoria ut in deum intendere…”; explicit, “[…] consilium, sapientium et paucorum”;
ff. 125-251v, Johannes Scherl, Commentaria in Sententias I-IV [Commentary on Petrus Lombardus, Liber Sententiarum], incipit Prologue Liber Sententiarum, "Cupientes aliquid de penuria ac tenuitate nostra cum paupercula in gazophilacium…"; ff. 125-157, commentary on Peter Lombardus, Book I with incipit, “Utrum praeter doctrinas philosophicas sit necessaria doctrina sacrae Scripturae. Solutio : Dicendum quod sic finis…“; ff. 157v-206v, incipit Peter Lombardus, Book II, “Creationem rerum…” followed by commentary, incipit, “Utrum sint plura prima…”; ff. 207-225v, incipit Peter Lombardus, Book III, “Hic enim rationis ordo postulat…”, followed by commentary, incipit, “Cum venit igitur plenitude…”; ff. 225v-251v, incipit Peter Lombardus, Book IV, “Samaritanus….”, followed by commentary, incipit, “Queritur utrum sacramenta fuerint necessaria…”; explicit, " […] vel putidus aut fetidus. Explicit liber quartus";
In his recension of commentaries on Petrus Lombardus’ Sententiarum, Stegmüller attributes the present commentary to the Dominican Johannes Scherl O.P. and quotes a single manuscript MS. Eichstätt 728 (see Stegmüller, 1937, no. 735). Johannes Scherl was chaplain at the monastery of Saint-Gall (see Kaeppeli, III, p. 10).
The present commentary on Petrus Lomabrdus’s Sententiarum is also attributed to Petrus Aureoli, Compendiulm sententiarum, presenting the exact same incipit as the above-described text (see Nîmes, BM, MS 38, described in Catalogue général des manuscrits…, tome VII, Toulouse – Nîmes, MS. 38, p. 548).
Peter Lombard (born Novara, Italy, c. 1100; died c. 1160-64) studied at Bologna, later at Reims and Paris. It is his “Sentences” that gave Petrus Lombardus a special place in the history of medieval theology. Divided into four books organized as a long series of questions, the work covers the whole body of theological doctrine and unites it in a systematized whole. It reveals a debt to Abelard, Hugh of St. Victor, and Gratian, whose Decretum dates from c. 1140. The “Sentences” became the most influential schoolbook of the Middle Ages, and it was required reading at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris. It enjoyed a great number of commentaries, recorded in Stegmüller (1937).
ff. 252-253v, Supplementary questions on distinctiones contained in Books I and II of Petrus Lombardus’s Sententiarum, incipit, “Que sequntur questiones desunt superius in diversis distinctionibus primi libri et secundi…“;
ff. 254-282v, [Anonymous?], [Tractatus logicae][Treatise on Logic], incipit, “Cum una queque scientia propositos habeant tertios….Logica est scientia recte docens diffinire…”; explicit, “[…] primus motus est ergo primus motor est”;
The present incipit is not recorded as such in Mohan (1952). There is an incipit “Oratio est vox significativa pluralitatem…” found on f. 254v, that could be related to Johannes Buridanus (Mohan, p. 426) or to a Tractatus logicae found in Metz, Bibliothèque Municipale, MS 643 (Miscellany interestingly made for the Celestines of Metz; described in Catalogue général des manuscrits…, tome V, Metz – Verdun – Charleville, no. 643, p. 221-222. In the Metz manuscript, there is an explicit that reads: “Explicit tractatus de suppositionibus, ampliacionibus et appellacionibus. Iste supposiciones sunt Johannis de Sancto Butone.” We have not found any other trace of this logician). The present text requires further study to identify properly its author.
ff. 283-284v, Alexander de Villa-Dei, Doctrinale, Excerpt from Pars III, Capitulum X, incipit:" […] Pandere proposui per versus sillaba quaeque / quanta sit et pauca proponam congrua metris […]" ; explicit: "[…] reicio refert distat re dant tibi longam" (published in D. Reichling, 1893, p. 100-102; list of manuscripts in Bursill-Hall, 1981).
This is an excerpt from Alexander de Villedieu’s Doctrinale puerorum, Pars III, Capitulum X, v. 1550-1617. The excerpt is doubled with contemporary interlinear gloss, underlined in red, copied in a cursive bookhand. A Franciscan friar, Alexander de Villedieu (c. 1170-1250) was Master at the University of Paris and the author of several grammatical, theological and mathematical treatises. Written c. 1200, the popular and didactic Doctrinale offered a versification of traditional Latin grammar and syntax; the versified grammar was composed in leonine hexameters and was thus easily memorized.
Bloomfield, M. Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices: 1100-1500…, Cambridge, Medieval Academy of America, 1979.
[Bonaventura]. S.R.E. Cardinalis S. Bonaventurae…Opera omnia…cura et studio A.C. Peltier. Tomus octavus, Paris, L. Vivès, 1866.
Bursill-Hall, G. A Census of Medieval Latin Grammatical Manuscripts, Stuttgart, 1981.
Colledge, E., J. Walsh, M. Laporte, ed. Guigues II. Lettre sur la vie contemplative : L’Echelle des moines ; Douze méditations, Paris, Cerf, 1970 [Sources chrétiennes, 163].
Cottineau, L.-H. Répertoire topo-biographique des abbayes et prieurés, Mâcon, 1935, tome I.
Delisle, L. Le Cabinet des manuscrits de la Bibliothèque impériale: étude sur la formation de ce dépôt…, Paris, 1868-1881.
Distelbrink, B. Bonaventurae scripta authentica dubia vel spuria…, Rome, 1975.
Durand, A. et E. Grave. Chronique de Mantes, ou Histoire de Mantes…, Mantes, 1883.
Lefebure, Paul. "Le monastère des Célestins de Limay," Mémoires de la Société historique et archéologique de l’arrondissement de Pontoise et du Vexin 44 (1935), pp. 93-116.
Kaeppeli, T. Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi, Volume III, I-S, Rome, 1980.
Migne, J.P. (ed.). S. Bernardi abbatis primi Clarae-Vallensis Opera omnia…, Patrologiae Latinae, tomus 184, Turnhout, Brepols, 1995 [PL, 184].
Mohan, G. E.,“Initia operum Franciscalium (XIII-XVs), A-C,“ Franciscan Studies 35 (1975), pp. [277-380].
Mohan, G. E.,“Initia operum Franciscalium (XIII-XVs), D-H,“ in Franciscan Studies 36 (1976), pp. [313-489].
Mohan, G. E.,“Incipits of logical writings in Latin (XIII-XIV),“ in Franciscan Studies 12 (1952), p. 426 et sq.
Reichling, D., ed. Das Doctrinale des Alexander de Villa-Dei. Kritisch-Exegetische Ausgabe…, Berlin, A. Hofmann, 1893.
Salembier, L. Petrus de Alliaco. Dissertatio inauguralis…, Insulis, Ex typis J. Lefort, 1886.
Stegmüller, F. Repertorium initiorum plurimorum in Sententias Petri Lombardi commentariorum, Freiburg, Herder, 1937.
Wilmart, A. Auteurs spirituels et textes dévots du Moyen Age latin, Paris, Etudes augustiniennes, 1971 [reprint of the 1932 edition].
On the Celestines of Limay-les-Mantes
On Guillelmus de Lanicea
On Petrus de Alliaco
Digital Text of Liber Sententiarum
An Electronic Database of Medieval Commentators on Aristotle and Peter Lombard’s Sentences