i (paper) + 315 + i (paper) folios on paper, quires reinforced with parchment strips in the center, original foliation in Arabic numerals top outer corner recto beginning with f. 3, supplemented by modern foliation in pencil, watermark, bell, chainline as midline, without additional motif, clapper merged with outline of brim, clapper peg shaped, similar to Piccard 40068, Heidelberg 1403, Piccard 40080, Nördlingen 1415, Piccard 40081, n.p. 1409, Piccard 40125, n. p. 1409, wanting two leaves at the beginning and at least one leaf at the end (collation, i12 [-1 and 2 before f. 3] ii-iv12 v10 vi-xxiii12 xxiv16 xxv12 xxvi14 [-14, following f. 315, with loss of text], no catchwords or signatures, unruled (justification, 170-153 x 115-98 mm.), copied in a bold cursive gothic bookhand by sev-97, 117v-123, and 273-276v, where parts of the top lines of text are illegible, outer and top fore-edge with dark stains. Bound in late-eighteenth or early-nineteenth century dark leather over heavy pasteboard, spine with three raised bands, in good, solid condition, boards bowed and covers with some cracks and scuffs. Dimensions 215 x 143 mm.eral scribes in thirty-three to twenty-seven long lines, initial letters touched with red, scriptural texts underlined in red, ff. 3, 65 and 92, top outer corner missing with loss of text, significant loss to the edges of leaves at the beginning through f. 12, and at the end from ff. 305, ff. 310-315 are extensively damaged, throughout, water damage to upper and outer edges resulting in stains, fading and brittle paper, stains affecting the top eight or so lines of text throughout, which are nonetheless usually legible, except ff. 63-66, 92
This is an interesting example of a collection of texts assembled for the personal use of a preacher, likely a Dominican. Each entry is centered on a biblical passage, some of which are labeled for particular liturgical occasions. The contents include passages that resemble sermons and those that include extensive citations from earlier commentaries, ranging from the Fathers to later scholastic authors. Included is a careful alphabetical index of topics, keyed to original folio numbers and marginal letters. The collection is unique; the texts have not been identified in other manuscripts.
1. The manuscript was certainly copied in Germany in the first half of the fifteenth century based on the evidence of the script. The watermark was a common one, but a comparison with similar watermarks supports a date in the first quarter of the fifteenth century, most likely in Southern Germany, possibly Heidelberg or Bavaria. The references to Dominican authors, including Thomas Aquinas and Hugh of St. Cher, as well as the liturgical pericopes chosen suggest that it may have been compiled in a Dominican milieu (discussed in more detail below).
2. Armorial bookplate, inside front cover, of the Rt. Rev. Charles Brodrick (1761-1822), Archbishop of Cashel from 1801-22.
ff. 3-9, [text begins imperfectly on f. 3, opening lines are damaged and difficult to read] incipit, “//nobis < > Idem secundum d 12 explora[bit]. Exponit illud pocius …”;
ff. 9v-10, incipit, “[N]olite locum dare diabolo, eph 4 [Ephesians 4:27], postil. Supra dixit <depon?> mendacis et loquis <veri?.> id est sanctis veraces et proficite in bono …”;
ff. 10v-13, incipit, “Dies mali sunt eph 5 B [Ephesians 5:16], A[ugustinus?] secundum 13 de uerbo domini .. Ex quo lapsus est Adam etc. et iob maledixit diei pereat dies in quo natus sum, Gregorius 4 moralia … In die sancto meo 48. [Followed by thirteen biblical passages using “die”] In malo possulent me dies afflictionis, iob 30 [cf. Job 30:16]; In diebus famis saturnalibus, ps 36; Defecerunt in vanitatie dies eorum ps 77 … Die dominico nil agendum est …”;
ff. 13v-14v, incipit, “Omnis tribulatio est a deo, summo bono capitulo xi, Bona et mala <?> mors paupertis et honestis a deo sunt. <Ideo?> indubitantur est bona. … Secunda est capitulo in summo bono in quo nulla[?] esse patuit …”;
ff. 15-27v, incipit, “Erat quidam regulus Jo 4 [John 4:46], Gregorius liber I mo[ralia] c. 5a, De communis homo eo ipso quod homo est …, f. 17v, [margin: K] Gregorius in omelia, Noluit me ad regulam …, f. 18, [margin: L] Hoc ergo cogitate. Fratres …, f. 23, [margin: S] De reditu peccatorum, Al<bertus?> liber 4, su[mma?]. C. 89, ponunt exemplum de seruo …” [ends mid f. 27v; remainder blank];
ff. 28-32v, incipit, “Accipite armaturam dei, Eph 6[:13], Postil … Accipiet id est accipere faciet, Armaturam zeli illius id est matheus 3, induit se iudas … ; f. 28v, Secunda arma sunt precepta … f. 29, [top margin, De sanctis<?> marie virginis], Et Ursula …” [Ends top f. 32, with short added paragraphs, f. 32rv, blank lines left between paragraphs];
ff. 33-37v, incipit, “Abeuntes pharisaei consilium inierunt, Mt. 22 [Mt. 22:15]. Ieronimus in omelia inserunt <?> se iustos … et ihesum capiat in sermone et <?> eum presidis <?> cum ipsi timentes papam eum apprehendere …” [ends mid f. 37v, remainder blank];
Possibly for the twenty-third Sunday after Trinity, Dominican Use.
ff. 38-42, incipit, “Beati pauperes spiritu, Mt 5[:3]. <Crisostomus?>. Omnis artifex per <?> suam opportunitate operis uidens gaudet … ; f. 38v, Ambrosius de officio. Beatudine dominico consistere …” [Ends mid f. 42; remainder blank];
ff. 42v-47v, incipit, “Loquente ihesu ad turba accessit et adorabat eum dicens domine filia mea Mt 9 [Mt 9:18], marcus 5, lu 8, Quod cecidit ad pedes eius …; f. 45v, Wil, Tres legimus mortuos a domino sustinatos, scilicet unicum filium vidue … et hic filiam et lazarum ad sepulcrum, Io xi, In quo conditur …”;
Possibly for the twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity, Dominican Use.
ff. 48-55v, De sancto martiro, incipit, “Crescentes in scientia dei in omni virtute, primus .., col. 1 [Colossians 1:10], In omni opera bono fuctifician[?], id est bonus in maius bonum seu melius …; f. 50v, Accepit ihesus panem, Est panis tribulationis …”;
ff. 56-62v, incipit, “Jeronimus, prologi beati ad paulinum, festina …”; f. 56v, Adventus domini …, incipit, “Hodie fratres celebramus …”;
ff. 63-64v, beginning very faded, citing Matthew 5; ends f. 64v with a long list of citations;
ff. 65-70v, [beginning stained and difficult to read], Feria 3, …; f. 67v, incipit, “Anima que peccaverit ipsa morietur, Eze 18 [Ezekiel 18:4], De hac Gregorius xv mor. c 17, 18. Dolores dividet furoris sui iob 44 [Job 21:17] …; f. 68v, Numquam uotis mee est mors peccatorum uide primum sententiarum in fine …; f. 70, Erat dies festis iudeorum et ascendit ihesus …”;
ff. 71-82v, incipit, “Post hec abiit Jesus trans mare galileae quod est tiberiadis et sequebatur eum multitude magna Io 6a [John 6:1-2], Crisostomus … sed secundum more hebraicum …; f. 71v, In hoc ewangelio ostendunt se christus modum cum sublevasset [cf. John 6:5], Beda ut discamus …”; f. 82, list of biblical passages including the words “panis” and “tribulationis”;
ff. 83-89, Dominica i adventus, incipit, “Gregorius in moralia 18 …; f. 86, Cum appropinquasset ihesus .. [Mt 21:1-9] …; f. 86v, Hora est iam nos de somno surgere, Ro. 13[:11] …”; [ending top f. 88v; remainder and f. 89 blank];
ff. 89v-92, beginning with a citation from Gregory, Moralia; ending mid f. 92, remainder blank;
ff. 92v-100v, new hand for most of the folio, then previous scribe resumes; [ending mid f. 100v, remainder blank];
ff. 101-112, begins with citation from Gregory; f. 103v, incipit, “Cum audisset Iohannes [Mt 11:2-10] … (citing Gregory, Moralia c 37b)”; [ending mid folio, remainder blank];
Gospel reading for the third Sunday in Advent.
ff. 112v-122v, Thome apostoli, …; ff. 113, Vigilia nativitate, incipit, “Cum esset desponsata [Mt 1:18-21] …”; f. 117, De Nativitate, incipit, “Ewangelium, uobis gaudium, Gamf[redus], quod christus ut …”;
ff. 122v-128v, incipit, “Navis que pape rome fugam ingrediatur …; f. 123, Erat pater eius et mater mirantes super his que dicebantur de illo et benedixit illis symeon et dixit ad mariam mater eius, lu 2 g [Luke 2:33-34] …; f. 125v, Wil. Presens ewangelium 5 continet, primo ioseph et marie …, secundus symeonis ..”; [Ends mid f. 128v; remainder blank];
ff. 129-134, incipit, “Postquam consummati sunt dies octo [Luke 2:21], Gamfredus … [also citing Thomas Aquinas] …; f. 129v, Cum natus esse ihesus in bethleem [Matthew 2:1], Gamfredus …”; f. 130v, Vidimus stellam eius in oriente [Matthew 2:2], Gamfredus, In hec uno verbo tria commendata sunt …”; [Ends mid f. 134; remainder blank];
Commentaries on the Gospel pericopes for the Octave of the Nativity (Luke 2:21) and the Epiphany (Matthew 2:1).
ff. 134v-141, incipit, “Nuptie facte sunt in Chana Galilaee die tertio, Jo 2 [John 2:1], Post dignitatem …”;
Commentaries on the Gospel pericope for the first Sunday after the Octave of Epiphany (John 2:1).
ff 141v-148, Dominica ii post oct epiphany, incipit, “Cum descendisset de monte secute sunt eum turbe multe et ecce leprosus veniens adorabat eum dicens domine si uis potes me, Mt 8 a [Matthew 8:1-2] … Haymo, Cum domine in monte sedet …”;
ff. 148-153v, Incipit, “Ascendente Ihesu in naviculam …[Matthew 8:23] …”;
Commentary on the Gospel periscope for the third Sunday after the octave of Epiphany.
ff. 153v-178v, incipit, “Postquam impleti sunt dies purgationis .. secundum legem Mosi, lu. 2 [Luke 2:22] ..; [Ends mid f. 178v; remainder blank];
ff. 179-203, incipit, “Tu es petrus, mt. 16[:18], uel ecce nos reliquimus, mt. 19[:27], marcus 10, lucas 18, Ieronimus, Quia tamen me confessus …; f. 189, Conuertimini ad me in toto corde uestro, Joel 2 b [Joel 2:12] …; f. 194, Cum ieiunatis nolite fieri, Mt 6[:16], Hugo de sancta victori super illo et …”; [f. 203v, blank];
ff. 204-279, incipit, “Egressus Ihesus secessit in partes tyri et sidonis, mt. 15[:21], Super 169 t, duo egressus Christi, Gregorius magnus in omelia mulier <?> peccati …”; [Ends near bottom, f. 279; remainder blank];
ff. 279v-302v, incipit, “Ego sum pastor bonos, Ganf, Io 10 …”; [Ends top f. 301; remainder and ff. 301v-302, blank; f. 302v, five lines of text, now faded and mostly illegible];
ff. 303v-315v, incipit, “Abiit ihesus <bi?> sinae galiee, 71; Abeuntes pharisei consilium …, 33, … Venire dei ad nos 164, quatuor modis 164 x … ”//; [ff. 312-315v, are damaged, with loss of text];
Alphabetical index keyed to the original folio numbers and the marginal letters, now ending imperfectly; entries include the biblical pericopes, liturgical occasions, words found in the biblical text according to different interpretations, and simple topics such as “Apis, 62 x”, (that is, bees); on f. 61v, “apis” is copied in the margin, alongside a section of the text that is indeed discussing bees; empty lines were left between groups of letters for additional entries.
This description is only a brief summary of the contents of this manuscript, which consists of a lengthy collection of commentaries, sermons, and other materials, organized around biblical pericopes. The collection seems best described as a handbook of texts to be used by a preacher when composing sermons. It is equipped with a detailed alphabetical index, and the manuscript includes original foliation in Arabic numerals, as well as letters copied in the margins for reference. Each series of letters begin at a new section of text with “a” and then are placed as needed through the text as needed, so some sections might be marked through “g” for example, whereas other sections continue further through, ending perhaps at “x.” The contents suggest that compiler was quite learned and had access to numerous sources. Further study might lead to the identification of its main sources and clarify its method of organization. The script is highly abbreviated and not easy to read, but it is a vigorous and attractive cursive.
The connection between biblical commentaries and sermons in the Middle Ages was a close one, as, indeed, it is today. From the early days of the Universities, the duty of a master of theology was threefold – to lecture, that is to comment on the Bible, to engage in disputation, and to preach (see Smalley, pp. 208-9). The texts included in this manuscript are hard to classify, but overall, they seem to be what we may call “preachable” material to be used in the composition of sermons, and illustrate the close interrelationship between commentaries on the Bible and sermons.
All of the texts here are based on biblical passages, and the contents vary from texts organized like sermons or homilies, to others consisting of extensive quotations from a wide variety of authors, ranging from Patristic authors including Ambrose (d. 397) for example on f. 38v, Chrysostom (d. 407) ff. 38 and 71, and Gregory the Great (d. 604) ff. 13v, 15, 17v, 67v, 89v, and 103v, to medieval authors such as Bede (d. 735) f. 71v, Thomas Wallenus (d. 1160), the Cistercian Abbot of Melrose f. 70v, and Hugh of St. Victor (d. 1141) f. 194; the number of Dominicans may be significant, including Albertus Magnus (d. 1280) f. 236, Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274) ff. 129, 131v, and a source which is most likely Hugh of St. Cher (d. 1263) ff. 9v, 28. The identity of some of the sources is not immediately clear, including William (f. 45v, 125v) and Gamfredus (that is, Gaufridus or Godefroid) ff. 144, 154, 277v, 279, who is cited frequently. There even a mention added on f. 261 in another hand to a text on astronomy and astrology, “De arte magica astronomia astrologia …”
The scriptural pericopes chosen here for the first and third Sundays in Advent (see f. 86, Cum appropinquasset ihesus .. [Mt 21:1-9]), and ff. 103v-112, Cum audisset Iohannes [Mt 11:2-10]), agree with Dominican liturgical usage (see O’Carroll, 1997, p. 360). This is unfortunately not absolute evidence that this manuscript was made for Dominican use, since other liturgical uses shared these readings. These readings do show, however, that the manuscript was not made for Franciscan or Roman Use, which by the fifteenth century was widely used. Together with the citation of Dominican sources, this liturgical evidence may indicate that this text was compiled by a Dominican; further research would be needed to verify this suggestion.
The author(s) of this collection, which appears to be unique to this manuscript, has not been identified, but the idea of arranging commentaries or other materials according to liturgical occasions was a practical one, as evidenced by two sixteenth-century collections of commentaries arranged according to liturgical pericopes: an edition of the Postills of Hugh of St.Cher arranged according to the liturgical year, and one of the Epistles and Gospels for Lent from the commentaries of Nicholas of Lyra and others (see below, Hugh of St. Cher, 1506 and Nicholas of Lyra, 1519; Kaske, 1988, p. 69).
Dahan, Gilbert. L’exégèse chrétienne de la Bible en occident médiéval, Xiie-Xive siècle, Paris, Cerf, 1999.
Hauser, Alan J, and Duane F. Watson. A History of Biblical Interpretation, Grand Rapids, Michigan, William B. Eerdmans Pub, 2003.
Hugonis de Sancto Charo … Postilla super epistolas et evangelia de tempore quam de sanctis per totum anni circulum, Paris, Iohan Petit, 1506.
Kaske, Robert E, Arthur Groos, and Michael W. Twomey. Medieval Christian Literary Imagery: A Guide to Interpretation, Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1988.
Kienzle, Beverly Mayne. The Sermon, Typologie des sources, 81-83, Turnhout, Brepols, 2000.
Longère, Jean. La prédication médiévale, Paris, Etudes augustiniennes, 1983.
Nicholas of Lyra. Postilla seu expositio litteralis et moralis Nicolai de Lyra ordinis minorum super epistolas et evangelia …, Venice, 1519
O’Carroll, Mary E. A Thirteenth-Century Preacher’s Handbook: Studies in Ms Laud Misc. 511, Toronto, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1997.
Smalley, Beryl. The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages, Oxford, Blackwell, 1984.
Spicq, Ceslas. Esquisse d’une Histoire de l’exegèse Latine au Moyen Âge, Paris, 1944.
Stegmüller, Fridericus. Repertorium biblicum medii aevi, Madrid, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1950-61, and Supplement, with the assistance of N. Reinhardt, Madrid, 1976-80.
Repertorium biblicum online:
Sermones.net: Édition électronique d’un corpus de sermons latins médiévaux:
Medieval Sermons and Homilies; Bibliography, by Professor Charles Wright, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: