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les Enluminures

BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX, et al., [Miscellany] De consideratione libri quinque ad Eugenium II, Tractatus contentionis anime et corporis defuncti

In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
[Italy, Florence, dated 1484]

TM 94

204 folios [preceded by two flyleaves; ff. 200 and 200 bis counted twice: folio numbered 200 really f. 201], complete [lacking ff. 133 and 185, likely blank ( collation: ([II] parchment flyleaves + i10, ii10, iii10, iv10, v10, vi10, vii10, viii10, ix10, x10, xi3 [4-1], xii10, xiii10, xiv9 [10-1], xv10, xvi10, xvii10, xviii10, xix10+1, xx10, xxi9 [10-1]), complete, written in brown ink in a very regular rounded italianate script on up to 25 long lines (justification 75 x 110 mm), catchwords, ruled in plummet, headings or textual excerpts underlined in red ink, some rubrics in red, paragraph marks in alternating red or blue, 2 to 4-line high painted initials in red or blue, LARGE PAINTED OPENING INITIAL IN PINK GREEN AND BLUE ON GOLD GROUND, with blue infill highlighted with white tracery, colored acanthus leaves in blue and green, flowers and gold besants extending in the left, top and bottom margin, two angels or winged putti on either side of a green laurel crown, likely destined to receive arms or portrait, left wanting; annotations on first flyleaf (fol. I): “Iste liber est [monaster] ( ?) angelorum […]. Ave Maria gratia plena... “; small unidentified armorial drawing on verso of first flyleaf (fol. Iv); index copied on second flyleaf (fol. II): “ In hoc volumine infrascripti tractatus continentur… “; annotations on verso of second flyleaf (fol. IIv) (see provenance below for transcription) Bound in a later calf half-binding (Eighteenth century), back gilt and sewn on three raised thongs, titlepiece reads in French: “ S. Bernar. opusc. mss. s[ur] vel[in] du 15. siecl[e], boards covered in marbled paper (Some ink fading, generally still fully legible; some parchment restorations to certain folios, with no text apparently missing). Dimensions 125 x 185 mm.

Interesting compilation of texts mostly on monastic reform with an unusually detailed original provenance, signed by an unknown (?) scribe who converted from the mendicant to the Camaldolese order, taking his vows at the famous Florentine monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli, and who meticulously records the progress of his transcription of the volume over the course of an entire month.


1. Unusually well-recorded original provenance is signaled in the manuscript, which was written by the scribe Joannes de Burgundia while he was a friar at the abbey of Santa Felicita a Fatone in Borgo San Lorenzo. Joannes then converted to the Camaldolese order, taking his vows at the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence, where he brought with him the manuscript. He died at the affiliated Camaldolese abbey of San Pietro de Cerreto, which possessed the book at the time of his death. Not only is the early provenance extremely detailed, so too are the dates of transcription. The scribe records his activity of copying over the course of a month. He began the manuscript on 1 November 1484 and finished it in a single month, on 1 December 1484: he finishes copying ff. 1-70 on 1 November 1484; then ff. 71-102v on 8 November 1484; ff. 103-127, on 20 November 1484 and finally, ff. 127v-184, 1st December 1484. On f. 115v, the scribe provides supplementary information on his location: “1484, 20a novembris in plebe sancte felicitatis vallis faltone.” This would be Santa Felicita a Faltona (Borgo San Lorenzo). Added annotations on f. IIv: “Guido P. sancte [a]edis angelorum [holy house of angels] optimo lectori salutem. Hoc quoque quod cernis divinum sane & multiplex opus nostra opera lector ut pleraque alia sancte huic angelorum edis […] accesit leges hic quicquid aut animam reficit aut corpus moderatur. Habe hoc premanibus vel assidue non parum proficies. Ubi autem profeceris […] perhenni munere nostri domnique Johannis scriptoris de Burgundia te nec pigeat inter preces tuas aliquando memini me. Vale. “ A second hand records: “Hunc librum manu propria scriptum reliquit nobis frater Joannes de Burgundia olim ordinis predicatorum postea ordinis nomen camaldulensis ac professus hujus monasterii S. Maria de Angeliis qui obiit in abbatia nostra S. Petri de Cerreto” [This book was given to us by brother Joannes de Burgundia formerly of the order of the preachers and after of the order of the Camaldolese where he took his vows at the monastery of S. Maria degli Angeli and died in our abbey of S. Peter of Cerreto”]. A third hand writes: “Hic liber fratris Eugenii est Florentis.” San Pietro Cerreto was a Camaldolese abbey (See Cottineau, I: “Cerreto Guidi, Cerretense, San Pietro, abbaye de Camaldules, 1059 par Bonica; unie à Ste-Marie des Anges de Florence en 1413 par Jean XXIII, diocèse de Voleterra, province de Florence” [col. 658]; also on Santa Maria degli Angeli: “Santa degli Angeli, Angelorum se B. Mariae de Angelis, monastère de Camaldules, 1294” [col. 1156]). Johannes de Burgundia, is referred to as “scriptoris de Burgundia” and is likely the scribe of the present manuscript. (See Benedictins du Bouveret, Colophons de manuscrits…, which records two scribes named Iohannes de Burgundia, though it is unclear without further research whether they are the same scribes: no. 9102 “Amen. Amen. Deo gratias. Explicit…quod scripsit fr. Iohannes de Burgundia pro eius anima lector deum roget / Modena Camp. 13. s. 15”; no. 9103 “a.d. 1458…opus istud in civitate Venetiarum et in loco s. Francisci ad Vinea per me fr. Iohannem de Burgundia de civitate Bizontinensi… / Besançon, 22, f. 182v; Mss. datés, V, p. 3” [Bouveret, III, 1973, p. 207]). The manuscript was given to Santa Maria degli Angeli as confirmed by inscriptions of ff. IIv and I.


f. II, Table of contents: “In hoc volumine infrascripti tractatus continentur / Devotissimi Bernardi ad Eugenium papam de consideratione libri quinque / Carta prima… “;

ff. 1-70, Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), De consideratione ad Eugenium papam libri ; rubric, Liber sancti Bernardi ad Eugenium papam de consideratione optimus precipue prelatis; [Book I] incipit liber primus, “Subit animum dictare aliquid quod te papa beatissimi Eugeni vel edificet vel delectet… “; ff. 11v-25v, incipit liber secundus, “Memor promissi mei quo ecce… “; ff. 25v-38, incipit liber tertius, “Finis superioris libri huic principium ponit… “; ff. 38-41v, incipit liber quartus, “Si mihi plemus innotuisset amantissime Eugeni… “; ff. 41v-70, incipit liber quintus, “Libri superiores et si de consideratione… “; explicit, “[…] At orando forte quam disputando dignius queritur et muenitur facilius. Proinde is sit finis libri sed non sit finis querendi. Prima novembris 1484. Devotissimi Bernardi liber de consideratione ad Eugenium papam explicit “; [Leclercq et al., 1957, vol. 3, pp. 293-493; Bernard, Five Books…, 1975].

Bernard here gives advice on managing multiple responsibilities to Pope Eugene III, who was a Cistercian monk. On this work, see J. Leclercq, H. M. Rochais, C. H. Talbot, eds., S. Bernardi Opera, Rome, 1957, vol. III, pp. 393-493; Bernard of Clairvaux (John D. Anderson and Elizabeth T. Kennan, translators), Five Books on Consideration: Advice to a Pope (The Works of Bernard of Clairvaux Volume Thirteen [13]), Kalamazoo, 1976; see also Jacqueline, Bernard, “Le Pape d'après le livre II du "De consideratione ad Eugenium Papam" de Saint Bernard de Clairvaux”, in Studia Gratiana,14, 1967, pp. 219-239; Jacqueline, Bernard, Papauté et épiscopat selon saint Bernard de Clairvaux, Saint-Lô, 1963; see also edition in Bernard de Clairvaux, Opere di San Bernardo. A cura di Ferruccio Gastaldelli--Trattati, Milan, 1984, “De consideratione ad Eugenium papam,” pp. 726-939.

f. 70v, blank

ff. 71-78v, Bernard of Clairvaux [attributed to], Tractatus contentionis anime et corporis defuncti; heading underlined in red, Devotissimi Bernardi tractatus contentionis anime et corporis defuncti; incipit, “Noctis sub silentio tempore brumali / Deditus quodam modo sompno spirituali / Corpus carens intro spiritu vitali… “; explicit, “[…] Propter hoc displicuit scribis et prelatis / Talia si sustines sustinebis gratis. Explicit”;

ff. 79-83v, [Anonymous], Informatio devota et utilis religiosorum; heading underlined in red: Informatio devota et utilis religiosorum et primo ad matutinas; incipit, “Canente horologio mox in momento et quasi in ictu oculi surgens… “; explicit, “[…] Primam vocem nos audire Christus donet ne in fine dampnemur cum impiis / Sed in celis collocemur angelisque sociemur in eternis grandiis Amen”;

ff. 83v-84v, Bernard of Clairvaux [attributed to], De memoria mortis; heading, Bernardus de memoria mortis; incipit, “Cum sim modo moritur… “; explicit, “[…] sed in celis collocemur angelisque sociemur in eternis gaudiis Amen “;

ff. 84v-87v, Bernard of Clairvaux, Formula honeste vite; heading underlined in red, Devotissimi Bernardi epistola ad quemdam discipulum suum que dicitur formula honeste vite; incipit, “Petis a mi frater karissime… “; explicit, “[…] quia profectus tuus gaudium est meum et corona in domino. Amen. Explicit formula honeste vite. 1484” [published in PL,184, 1167-1173, Formula honesta vitae].

ff. 87v-89, Sunday Prayer; heading, Oratio dominica devota; incipit, “Pater alme verax deus… “; explicit, “[…] cum sanctis agminibus. Amen ”; [Chevalier, U., Repertorium Hymnologicum…, Tome II, Louvain, Polleunis, 1897, p. 299, no. 14646: XIVe saec. Ms. Oxford, Bodl. Can. misc. 21. 1];

ff. 89-90, Aegidius Magnus (Colonna), Prayer to the Holy Face; heading, Oratio ad vultum sanctum; incipit, “Salve sancta facies nostri redemptoris… ”; explicit, “[…] Sed fruamur requie cum beatis Amen ”; [Chevalier, U., Repertorium Hymnologicum…, Tome II, Louvain, Polleunis, 1897, p. 522, no. 18189: Facies Christi; Mss. Cambrai, 416; Munchen, I, 7074; Oxford, Bodl. Ashm. 1291; Paris, Mazarine, 469];

ff. 90-91, Prayer to the Virgin Mary; heading, Salutatio devota beate virginis; incipit, “Salve mater salvatoris vas electum creatoris decus celi civium… ”; explicit, “[…] celi tradens gaudia. Amen ”;

ff. 91-91v, Prayer to the Virgin Mary; heading, Alia salutatio beate virginis; incipit, “Ave virgo florens rosa: semper recens et formosa… ”; explicit, “[…] Ascendit per infinita seculorum secula Amen ”;

ff. 91v-92v, Prayer to the Virgin Mary; heading: Alia salutatio; incipit, “Ave virgo virginum que verbo… ”; explicit, “[…] Amen dicant omnia que poscunt juvamen / Amen sit per secula seculorum Amen ”; [Chevalier, U., Repertorium Hymnologicum…, Tome I, Louvain, Lefever, 1892, p. 133, no. 2271: Beata Maria, 1436];

ff. 92v-95, Bonaventure, Prayer to the Virgin Mary; heading: Sequitur alia salutatio beate virginis; incipit, “Salve virgo virginum stella matutina… ”; explicit, “[…] Dignetur post in gloria sua collocare ”;[Chevalier, U., Repertorium Hymnologicum…, Tome II, Louvain, Polleunis, 1897, p. 529, no. 18318: Beata Maria, Saint Bonaventure; Munich, MS I. 18548];

ff. 95-95v, Prayer to the Virgin Mary; incipit, “Deprecor te sancta maria mater dei… ”; explicit, “[…] et defunctis vitam et requiem sempiternam. Amen ”;

ff. 95v-96, Adam de Saint-Victor [ ?], Prayer to the Virgin Mary; heading: Salutatio virginis gloriose; incipit, “Ave mundi spes maria ave mitis ave pia… ”; explicit, “[…] Dum resurgam te visurus semper tecum sim mansurus. In eterna secula Amen ”; [Chevalier, U., Repertorium Hymnologicum…, Tome I, Louvain, Lefever, 1892, p. 117, no. 1974: Beata Maria, Adamus de Sancto Victore; Paris, BnF, MS lat. 1086 (XIIe saec.)];

ff. 96v-97, Prayer to the Virgin Mary; heading, Devotissimi Bernardi oratio ad beatam virginem; incipit, “O Maria mater pia / O benigna laude digna… ”; explicit, “[…] juncti simus et compacti. Amen ”; [Chevalier, U., Repertorium Hymnologicum…, Tome II, Louvain, Polleunis, 1897, p. 208, no. 13202: Beata Maria];

ff. 97-97v, Prayer; heading: Johannis pape tertii oratio; incipit, “Oro te piissime domine Jhesu Christe propter maximam caritatem… ”; explicit, “[…] ad gaudia eterne vite. Amen ”;

f. 97v, Prayer; heading: Johannis pape vigesimi secundi oratio; incipit, “Obsecro te dulcissime Jhesu Christe ut passio tua sit… ”; explicit, “[…] et solatium cordis mei in perpetuum. Amen ”;

f. 98-102v, John of Heisterbach, Auditorium monachale sive tractatus de confessione; rubric, Auditorium monachale; incipit Prologus, “Sequitur quondam brevis tractatus editus a magistro Johanne quondam abbate in Haysterbach ordinis cisterciensium ad petitionem quorundam simplicium monachorum… ”; incipit, “Circa primum est sciendum… ”; explicit, “[…] inquisiti delectationem non perpendat. Explicit 1484 novembris octava ”; [edition in Michaud-Quentin, Pierre, “L'Auditorium monachale de l'abbé Jean de Heisterbach,”, in Cîteaux, Commentarii Cistercienses, 15 (1964), pp. 125-143].

A fourteenth-century Carthusian, John of Heisterbach wrote his Auditorium monachale, a text that was widely circulated, as a juridical and pastoral guide, rather than a spiritual one, for Cistercians charged with hearing confessions. In it are a number of interesting details on the practice of the sacrament and on the difference between Cistercian law and the law of the Church in general (see Mikkers, E., “Jean de Heisterbach ”, in Dictionnaire de spiritualité, vol. VIII, col. 553).

ff. 102v-103v, Excerpts from the Fathers; incipit, “Excerpta ex decreto ubi auctoritates sanctorum patrum ponuntur… […] Ambrosius archiepiscopus. Doctos ac probos monachos… / Innocentius papa. Monachi qui presbiteratus honore dicati sunt… / Item Gregorius papa. Ex auctoritate huius decreti… / Item bonifacius papa. Sunt nonnulli nullo dogmate… “; explicit, “[…] erit potentior et excellectior ”;

ff. 104-115v, Hugo de Follieto, De claustro anime [excerpts]; incipit, “Hugo de Follieto sancti Petri corbioensis dicitur fuisse canonicus […]. E/piscopi nosri hodie domos non impares ecclesiis magnitudine… ”; explicit, “[…] in superfluitate amor seculi non amor celi ”; ff. 115v-122v, heading, De duodecim abusionis claustri; incipit, “Prima abusio est prelatus negligens… ”; explicit, “[…] et honorari volunt de ymagine scitatis… ”; ff. 122v-127, [De claustro anime] ; incipit, “De claustro anime et lateribus eius… ”; explicit, “[…] Hec omnia excerpta ex dicto libro Hugonis de Follieto de clastro anime. 1484, 20a novembris in plebe sancte felicitatis vallis faltone ” [Santa Felicita a Faltona]; [for the edition, see PL, 176, 1017-1182; see also Gobry, I., Le “De claustro animae ” d’Hugues de Fouilloy, Amiens, Eklitra, 1995, citing a list of manuscripts, of which 174 contain the De claustro animae, either complete or in excerpts, only 4 of them in North American collections].

Little known reformer, Hugo de Follieto (born in Fouilloy near Corbie c. 1100; died c. 1174) became prior of the Canons Regular of Saint-Laurent-au-Bois (founded in 1105) in
the diocese of Amiens not far from the famous abbey of Corbie. Whereas he entered the monastery to follow a life of poverty, he found decadence instead, as he indicates in the prologue to De claustro animae. He composed his De claustro animae [Cloister of the Soul], as an allegorical explanation of the different parts of the cloister with a view toward monastic reform: Book I treats the religious life in general; Book IV the mystical meaning of the cloister; and Books II and III discuss the true monastic life that monks should follow—the cloister of the soul (see Darsy, F.-Irénée, Notes historiques sur la ville et l’abbaye de Corbie et sur l’ancien doyenné de Fouilloy, Amiens, 1870; Cook, Robert Francis, “Un manuscrit américain du De Claustro de Hugues de Fouilloy,” Scriptorium, 1979, p. 62-64; Abbe Peltier, “Hugues de Fouilloy, ” in Revue du Moyen Age Latin, 1946, pp. 25-44).

ff. 127v-130, Cyprian of Carthage [falsely attributed to], [Victor I, pope ?] “De Aleatoribus ” [On the Players]; heading underlined in red, Sancti Cipriani martiris opusculum de aleatoribus et de primo inventore et auctore earum; incipit, “Ne quis frater incautus denuo… ”; explicit, “[…] sacrificium diaboli inmolantibus penes auctorm manus polluet. Explicit ”; [see Cyprianus, S. Thasci Caecili Cypriani Opera Omnia, recensuit…G. Hartel, Pars III, Vindobonae, apud C. Geroldi, 1871, pp. 92-104; Victor I, pope, Libellum de aleatoribus inter Cypriani scripta conservatum, edidit et commentario critico, exegetico, historico instruxit Adolfus Hilgenfeld, Freiburg, 1889; Harnack, A., Der pseudocyprianische Tractat “De Aleatoribus,” die √§lteste lateinische christliche Schrift, ein Werk des r√∂mischen Bischofs Victor I (saec. II), Leipzig, 1888].

The little homily "De Aleatoribus" has had quite a literature of its own within the last few years, since it was attributed by Harnack to Pope Victor, and therefore took its place as the earliest Latin ecclesiastical writing. The controversy has at least made it clear that the author was either very early or not orthodox. It has been shown to be improbable that he was very early, and Harnack admits that the work is by an antipope, either Novatianist or Donatist.

ff. 130-132, Bernard Morlanensis [Bernard de Morlaix], Excerpt from De contemptu mundi [Scorn for the World]; heading underlined in red: De contemptu mundi versus et vitiis nascentibus in mundo; incipit, “Non bene discernis qui prefers… ”; explicit, “[…] Atque labore brevi requiem pete perpetis evi [ ?]. Finis ”; [Pepin, Ronald E., Scorn for the world: Bernard of Cluny’s De Contemptu Mundi, East Lansing, Colleagues Press, 1991; Bultot, R. “La doctrine du mépris du monde chez Bernard le Clunisien ”, in Moyen Age, 70 (1964), pp. 179-204; 355-376; complete edition in Flacius, Mathias Illyricus, Varia doctorum…, Basel, 1557; Chytraeus, N., Bernardi Morlanensis, monachi ordinis…, Bremen, 1597].

Bernard was a Cluniac monk during the abbacy of Peter the Venerable.

f. 132v, blank;

f. 133, lacking [probably blank];

ff. 134-178, Antoninus Florentinus, Postilla super evangelium Johannis; rubric, Postilla super evangelium Johannis fratris Antonini ordinis predicatorum; incipit, “Discipulus ille quem diligebat… ”; explicit, “[…] Quia visionem nobis concedere dignetur qui sine fine vivit et regit Yhesus Christus Dominus noster in secula seculorum. Amen ”;

ff. 178v-184, Liber Sententiarum; incipit, “Liber autem sententiarum dividitur in quatuor libros… ”; explicit, “[…] nec minuitur gloria bonorum. Explicit tabula super quatuor libros sententiarum brevis et utilissima die 4a decem[bris] ”; [Erroneously attributed to Bernard of Clairvaux according to PL, 184, col. 1135-1156, Liber Sententiarum: “Sequentes Sententias, quae Sermonibus Diversis in prioribus Editis subjiciebantur, Horstius, Bellarmini consilium secutus, in dubiorum operum classum ob styli diversitatem relegavit ”.].

f. 184v, blank;

f. 185, lacking [probably blank];

ff. 186-195, Excerpts on “Vices ”; heading, Excerpta exempla pulcherrima ex diversis libris. In vitis patrum. Contra luxuriosos; incipit, “Erat speciosa meretrix in partibus egipti propter quam multi se occidebant… ”; following headings: f. 186v, Ad quid valet memoria mortis; f. 187, Contra avaros et luxuriosos; f. 188, De timore servili; f. 190, De misericordia dei; f. 190v, De passione Christi; f. 191, Contra blasfematores; f. 191, Contra inhonorantes parentes; f. 191v, Contra peccatum luxurie; f. 192, Contra usurarios; f. 194, Sermo de mortuis;

Not in Bloomfield who records a single treatise entitled “De vitis Patrum ”, with a different incipit, “De periculo impediente pacem… ” (Oxford, Univ. Coll. MS 67, f. 122 and sq.) [Bloomfield, no. 2680].

f. 195v, blank;

ff. 196-204 [numbered 203], Excerpts from Isidorus of Seville (c. 560-636), On Etymologies; “Orbis secundum Ysidorum libro 14o ethimologiarum divisus est in tres partes sed non equaliter… ”; “Asia autem ex nomine cuiusdam mulieris est appellata secundum Vincentium Speculo historiarum… ”;


f. 1, a large initial in pink, green, and blue on a gold ground is surrounded by blue and green floral decoration with gold besants; the two winged putti who hold a green laurel crown supporting a shield left blank are at the bottom of the page.

This decoration is inconsistent with that of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the 1480s (see Levi d’Ancona, 1994, pls. 74ff), which makes it likely that the decoration was instead completed where the manuscript was transcribed, at the nearby Santa Felicta a Fatone or elsewhere in the Florentine environs.


Bernard, Saint [Krabinger, J. G.]. S. Bernardi…de Consideratione libri V ad Eugenium III. Accedant duae ejusdem epistolae, una ad totam curiam romanam, quandoque elegerunt abbatem S. Anastasii in papam Eugenium, altera ad dominum papam Eugenium recens in pontificem assumptum, Landishuti, J. Thomannus, 1845.

Farulli, P. Istoria cronologica del monastero degli Angeli di Firenze, Lucca, 1710.

Gobry, I. Le “De claustro animae ” d’Hugues de Fouilloy, Amiens, Eklitra, 1995

John of Heisterbach. Michaud-Quentin, Pierre [ed.], “L'Auditorium monachale de l'abbé Jean de Heisterbach,” in Cîteaux, Commentarii Cistercienses, 15 (1964), pp. 125-143.

Levi d’Ancona, M. The Illuminators and Illuminations of the Choir Books from Santa Maria degli Angeli and Santa Maria Nuova and Their Documents, Florence, 1994.

Levi d’Ancona, M. Miniatura e miniatori a Firenze dal XIV al XVI secolo. Documenti per la storia della miniatura, Florence, 1962.

Online resources

On the monastery of Santa Felicita a Faltona (Borgo San Lorenzo)

On Saint Cyprian of Carthage:

On Bernard of Clairvaux:

On Bernard of Clairvaux: