TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Miscellany of texts for the Order of Friars Minors, [ANONYMOUS], Interrogationes de peccatis [Book of Penance]; GOTIFREDUS VITERBIENSIS, Excerpts from Liber memorialis or Memoriae seculorum; SANCTUS BERNARDUS, Excerpts fromIn laudibus virginis matris and other Marian sermons

In Latin, manuscript on paper
[Italy, Northern Italy and later Perugia (Umbria), c. 1410]

TM 67

80 folios, complete, mostly in quires of 8 and 12 (collation i-iii8, iv4, v-viii12, ix4), on paper (watermarks close to Briquet nos. 7872 [Milan, 1403] and 7875 [Milan, 1425]: “Joug” recorded in Northern Italy, according to Briquet: “La signification de ce filigrane n’est pas sure. Il varie de dimensions et vient de l’Italie septentrionale”), written in a tight gothic bookhand by at least 4 different scribes (ff. 1-28v; ff. 29-72v; ff. 73-77v; ff. 78-80v), on up to 38 long lines (justification 65 x 105 mm.), ruled in light red ink, catchwords, modern quire signatures, rubrics in red, some rubrics copied in the margin, paragraph marks in red, spaces left for planned initials (initials unfinished). BOUND IN AN ORIGINAL MONASTIC BINDING OF CONTEMPORARY REVERSE CALF over wooden boards, remnants of original leather straps, original smooth spine, paper title-piece with title in ink, remnants of metallic “nails” or “hinges” on bottom cover (used to fasten leather straps), spine damaged, some scruffing or wormholes to covers, some quires detached, but manuscript nonetheless preserves its interesting original condition. Dimensions 115 x 168 mm.

This unusual manuscript documents a critical moment in the historic struggle between the Conventuals and the Observants in the Franciscan Order, by bringing together diverse texts--including an unrecorded penitential tract and supporting papal bulls, indulgences, and extracts from canon law--that make a case for the Conventuals against the Observants, especially favoring their right to hear confession. In its original binding and perhaps made for the Monastery of Monteripido in Perugia, which played a role in this conflict, the manuscript also includes excerpts from the Italo-German chronicler Godfrey of Viterbo, whose work is still unedited, and from Saint Bernard.


1. Watermarks and annotations point to an Italian origin, probably northern Italy. Final leaves contain excerpts from papal bulls received by prominent Perugian members of Franciscan obedience and a monastery in Perugia (Umbria) in 1409: could this monastery be Monteripido ?; see Nicolini, U., Francescanismo e societa cittadina: l’esempio di Perugia, Spoleto, Centro italiano di studi sull’alto medioevo, 1992; Nicolini, U., “I Minori Osservanti di Monteripido e lo “Scriptorium” delle Clarisse di Monteluce in Perugia nei secoli XV e XVI," in Picenum Seraphicum, 8 (1971), pp. 100–130; see also Bistoni, M.G., “La bibliotheca del convento francescano di Monteripido in Perugia,” in Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, 66 (1973), pp. 378–404;

2. Added annotations on front pastedown, with references to papal entries in Siena: “M. CCCC. XL 3° die decima martii [10 March 1443] qui sanctissimum dominus noster papa Eugenius quartus intravit civitatem Senarum [Siena], fuit receptus cum magno triumpho […] cum novum cardinalibus eximatum fuit …”; and below: “Item die .xvii. supradicti menses intravit supradictam civitatem Nicolaus Parvuus [?] etiam cum magno honorem fuit et receptus…”; below: “Item die .xxviii. eiusdem mensis intravit patriarcha civitatem Senarum…”.


1. Manual of Penance
ff. 1-27, Manuale confessorum or Formula confessionis; rubric, Incipiunt interrogationes de peccatis et primo de furto; incipit, “[S]i unquam in oculto abstulit rem alienam sive alternis sive aparentibus…”; many rubrics: De rapina, De fraudelentia; De usura; De turpi lucro; De ludo; De symonia; De inhumanitate; De prodictione; De inquietudine; De injustia; De avaritia; De prodigalitate; De invidia; De odio; De ira etc.; explicit, “…prima autem diffinicio utrum mihi melior et certior.” [Not in Bloomfield, who records a number of similar treatises, mostly anonymous. See Bloomfield, no. 1402, Formula confessionis: “De peccatis et circumstanciis eorundem. Interrogationes que de scriptures sanctis et canonibus sacris in foro penitentie ad utilitatem confitentium fieri possunt et debent”; see Schulte, II, 527–534]

ff. 27-27v, Added annotations on the Ten commandements followed by lists of virtues and vices;

ff. 28-28v, On dancers: their right to sacraments, their sins; incipit, “Utrum c[h]oreatrices possint accedere ad sacram comunionem…”; explicit, “…dei de sabbati observacione”; f. 28v: On those who defend singing and dancing: “Ad illud quod objecit quod cantus chorearum non est malum etc. Dicendum quod si cantus non sit malus in se, est tamen malus […] concurrencium quod sunt excitacio ad lascivam per vocatio ad libidinem inpedimentum cultus dei…”

Many manuals of confession are extant, of which a certain number are recorded by Bloomfield and these and others are studied by Michaud-Quantin and Teetaert. Their texts aid priests and believers in the preparation of a good confession. The structure of these manuals is nearly always fixed: they enumerate a list of sins, such as those against the Seven Virtues, against the Ten Commandments, etc., followed by commentaries. The present manual is not recorded in the scholarly literature.

2. Godfrey of Viterbo
ff. 29-53, Godfrey of Viterbo, Testimonia omnium prophetarum [Excerpts from the Liber memorialis or Memoriae seculorum]; rubric, Incipiunt deam prophetarum de Christo Jhesu; incipit, “Scribo prophetias veterum signabo…”; second rubric, Incipiunt testimonia omnium prophetarum super omnia opera Christi per singulos articulos fidei Christiane ad judeorum et hereticorum confusionem et catholice …; incipit, “Cum omnes veteris testamenti ystorias…”; explicit in red, “Explicit tractatus prophetarum deo gratias super omnis oppositionibus in deorum vel hereticorum” [Godfrey of Viterbo, Pantheon, 1559, col. 322-370; Stegmüller, 2610];

ff. 53–66v, Godfrey of Viterbo, Excerpts from the Liber memorialis or Memoriae seculorum; rubric, Incipit de origine et vita et morte uniuscujusque prophete et de patria et de actibus et de locis sepulture uniuscujusque. Incipiunt nomina omnium prophetarum et interpretatio nominum et vita et mors et tempora eorum et genus et acta et loca sepulture uniuscujusque prophetarum secundum Ysidori et Jeronimi auctoritatem et primo de David (fol. 53); incipit, “David rex et propheta de genere iuda filius Jesse…”; explicit in red, “Explicit interpretatio nominum prophetarum et patrum veteris testamenti secundum Ysodorum actore Gotifredo Viterbiense secundum Ysidorum et Jeronimum. Dictis et assignatis patribus veteris testamenti Dicamus etiam novi testamenti patres et originem et vitam et obitum uniuscujusque” (ff. 57v-58) [Godfrey of Viterbo, Pantheon, 1559, col. 370-377]; another rubric, Explicit de hiis. Incipit de imperatoribus et de sanctis sub temporibus eorum. Explicit tractatus de nativitate et obitu et predicatione sanctorum patrum qui in novo testamento principales sunt secundum Ysidori auctoritatem et Gotifredi Viterbiensis positionem. Deo gratias (fol. 61v); Incipit, “Ecce habes o Lector nonam libri memorialis particulam…”(f. 61v) [Godfrey of Viterbo, Pantheon, 1559, col. 378-411]

Godefrey of Viterbo (c. 1120-1196) is an Italian chronicler who evidently spent his early years at Viterbo, although he was educated in Germany. He served as secretary to the Emperor Frederick I for most of his life, and following his death he enjoyed the patronage of Emperor Henry VI. His works include: the Speculum regum, a history of the world beginning with the deluge and intended to reconcile the Romans with the Germans, and the Memoriae seculorum, both written for Henry VI and the Pantheon, a revision of the latter work. There is also the metrical work, Gesta Frederici I and the Gesta Heinrici VI.

Excerpts from the Memoriae seculorum, especially concerning Old Testament prophets, are included in the present manuscript. Written in verse and prose, the chronicle professes to record the history of the world from the creation until 1185. Quite popular in the Middle Ages, this chronicle was continued by several writers. There is no modern edition.

3. Saint Bernard
ff. 66v-71, Saint Bernard, Excerpts from In laudibus virginis matris and other Marian sermons; general rubric, Incipiunt capitula exceptionum quarundam collectarum de opusculum beati Bernardi de summis verbis et in laude beate marie virginis. Capitulum primum; first rubric, De dignitate et excellentia beate dei genitricis Marie in sermone de assumptione. Capitulum primum (a); incipit, “Quondam est quod me magis delectet…”; rubric, In sermone de assumptione (b); rubric, In expositione super missus est (c); rubric, In sermone de nativitate eiusdem virginum (d); second rubric, De ineffabili sceptii et admirabili partii ipsius virginis. In sermone de assumptione; Incipit, “Quis explicare queat…”; explicit, “…infirmitas roborans”; rubric, In sermone de annunciatum (a); rubric, In sermone de virgini domini (b); rubric, In sermone de penitencie (c); rubric, In sermone quondam de natali; third rubric, Ratio quare beata virgo Maria matris stella nuncupatur. In expositione super Missus est. Capitulum .iii.; fourth rubric, Quicquod gratie in nobis est mediante beata virgine […] In sermone nativitatis eiusdem. Capitulum quartum; fifth rubric, De pietate et misericordia eiusdem beatissime virginis. In sermone de assumptione. Capitulum .v.; sixth rubric, De laude virginis. In sermone de vigilia domini. Capitulum .vi.; explicit, “…de supervis educeret”; [See Martelet (1985) for dispersed excerpts]

ff. 71-72v, Saint Bernard, Excerpts from his Letters; rubric, Incipiunt auctoritates quedam memoria digne excerpte de opusculis beati Bernardi. In epistula ad Robertum; Incipit, “Dolor nimius non deliberat non verecundatur non consulit rationem…” [Ed. Leclercq, Bernard, Lettres (1997), Letter 1, p. 58 et sq.: “ […] dolor quippe nimius non deliberat non verecundatur…” (p. 58)]; rubric, In epistula ad Adam monachum [Ed. Leclercq, Bernard, Lettres (1997), Letter 7, p. 150 et sq.]; rubric, In epistula ad Drogonem [Ed. Leclercq, Bernard, Lettres (1997), Letter 34, p. 336 et sq.]; rubric, In epistula ad magistrum Ugonem [Ed. Leclercq, Bernard, Lettres (2001), Letter 77, p. 310 et sq.]; rubric, In epistula ad Sugerium abbatem [Ed. Leclercq, Bernard, Lettres (2001), Letter 78, p. 368 et sq.]; rubric, In epistula ad Ogerium canonicum [Ed. Leclercq, Bernard, Lettres (2001), Letter 87, p. 470 et sq.]; explicit, “…et illud quia utrobique [?] periculum;"

The most important writings of Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) are found in his letters, which constitute a valuable collection of church history. Four hundred and eight-two letters survive by him, some of considerable length. The letters included here number among some of the more important ones, including those to the monk Adam and to Abbot Suger.

4. Papal Bulls, indulgences, and excerpts from canon law, concerning the right of hear confessions of members of the Orders of the Friars Minor
ff. 73-77, as follow, ff. 73-73v, Papal Bull of John XXII, dated Avignon, August 29, 1331; incipit,“[J]ohannes episcopus servus servorum Dei. Dilectus in Christo filliis generali et provincialibus ministris ac universis custodibus, guardianis et singulis fratribus de ordine fratrum minorum… Filliationis vostris ordini nostro bullas concessas per nostros predecessores…”; explicit, “…datum Avinioni ano .xv. nostri pontificatum…” [Eubel, Bullarium Franciscanum, V, no. 928, pp. 506–507: “Confirmat indulgentias fratribus Minoribus a summis pontificibus hucusque concessas”]; ff. 73v, Papal Indulgence; incipit,“[Prima] indulgentiarum accedentum ad loca fratrum minorum circa devotionis in solempnitatibus beate marie virginis et beatorum francisci antoni lodovici et beate clare et in consecrationibus ecclesiarum et altarum…”; ff. 73v-74v, Excerpts from the Decretalis extravagans of pope John XXII; incipit, “Extravagans papae Johannis .xxii.. Quod fratres minores possunt audire confessiones et Christi fideles…”; explicit, “Copia bulle pape Alexandri quarti contra capitulos formatos ne fratres paupertatum possent dare […]”[ see Extravagantes tum viginti D. Joannis Papae XXII…, Romae, In Aedibus Populi Romani, 1584]; f. 74v, Angelus de Ballionibus, mendicant archbishop of Perugia, receives copy of papal letters from Gotifredus de Empel, prior of the Dominican monastery of Coblenz [Baillionibus or Baglioni was an important family in Perugia; for its various members see Tabarelli, Documentazione notarile perugina sul convento di Moteripido nei secoli XIV e XV, 1977, pp. 206; Bistoni (1966) records a documents in which Francesa Baglioni de Perusia leaves books by will to the biblioteca di Monteripido (Will dated 1484, Bistoni (1966), p. 400)]: incipit, “[I]n nomine domini Amen. Noverint universi et singuli…nos Angelus de Ballionibus…doctor et archipresbiter ecclesie perusiensis [Perugia, Italy]…inspeximus quondam bullam sine litera apostolica nobis per venerabile religiossum [?] nostrorum fratre Gotfridum de Empel priorem conventus Confluentus [Coblenz, dioc. Trier] ordinis praedicatorum Treveranis diocesis…”; ff. 74v-77, Papal bull of Alexander V, Perusia, October 12 1409: incipit, “Alexander epicopus servus servorum dei. Venerabilibus fratribus patriarchis, archiepiscopis, episcopise et dilectis filiis electis. Regans in excelsis triumphans ecclesia…”; explicit, “…datum Perusii quarto idus octobis pontificatus nostri anno primo etc.” [Eubel, C., Bullarium Franciscanum, VII, no. 1191, pp. 420–423: “Condemnat quasdam erroneas propositiones, quibus fideles retrahuntur, quominus fratribus Mendic. confiteantur”; the bull printed in Eubel was delivered on the same day in Pisa]; f. 77, Vidimus of the previous papal bull seen by Angelus, archbishop of Perugia: incipit, “[P]ost hujus modi siquidem bulle visionem inspectionem et presentationem nos auditor Angelus prefatus ad suprafati fratris Gotfridi de Empel coram vobis constituti instantiam et petitionem sub tam bullam sive literam[…] datum et actum Pistorii in domibus nostris solite residentiesitis proprie monasterium frati [?] santi Dominici ordinis predicatorum, presentibus ibi venerabili ac religioso viro et discreto fratre Marcho de Ballionibus de Perusio et ordinis de sancti Johannis Jerosolimitam, Martino Gotstalburg et Johanne Vorde [?] de Dotimcheum clericum Osnaburgensis (Osnabrück, Westfalia) […] Sub anno a nativitate Domini M. CCCC. IX [1409] indictione sancta die vero mercurii .xx. mensis novembris hora tertiarum vel quarti pontificatus sanctissimii in Christo patris et domini nostri Alexandri divina providentia pape quinti anno primo. ”

f. 77v, Added text : "Quos omnes quod transitus per viam atendite et videte… ";

5. Miscellaneous texts related to liturgical use
ff. 78-79v, Notes on feasts of the liturgical calandar, for each month (January to S
September); incipit, “In circumcisioni Domini non sit aqua commemoratio…”; explicit, “…De mense septembris…in sequentem dominicam…”.

ff. 80-80v, Notes on colors to be worn for various feasts; incipit,“Tabula super indumenta que […] romana ecclesia secundum decretiis Innocentii Tertii [Innocent III]. De nigris […]; De albis […]; De rubeis […]; De viridibus…”.

The texts gathered here, especially the penitential manual and the papal bulls, suggest that the manuscript was made during a particularly intense period of conflict within the Franciscan Order between the Observants and the Conventuals, a conflict that lasted three centuries and was only definitively resolved in a bull issued in 1517. In essence, the Observants stood for the strict observation of the rule and the vows of poverty and against the right to hear confessions, whereas the Conventuals favored the right of friars to hear confessions, to accept money for preaching and to own their own property. The present manuscript dates just before the era of the popularity of St. John Capistran, an ardent Observant, in the region of Perugia. John was charged with heresy in 1429, and after this Pope Martin V conceived the idea of uniting the Conventual Friars Minor and the Observants, and a general chapter of both bodies of Franciscans was convoked at Assisi in 1430. A resulting union did not last long. The following year the Observants held a chapter at Bologna, at which Joh was the moving spirit.


Bernard de Clairvaux. Lettres; texte latin dans “S. Bernardi Opera” par J. Leclercq et H. Rochais; introduction et notes par Monique Duchet-Suchaux, Paris, Cerf, 1997 [Lettres 1 à 41] et 2001 [Lettres 42 à 91].

Bernard de Claivaux. A la louange de la Vierge Mère [In laudibus Virginis Matris], texte établi par Dom Jean Leclercq, introduction, traduction, notes et index par Marie-Imelda Huille, Paris, Cerf, 1993.

Bloomfield, M.W. Incipits of Latin works on the virtues and vices, 1100-1500 A.D., including a section of incipits of works on the Pater Noster, Cambridge, Mediaeval Academy of America, 1979.

Eubel, C. Bullarium Franciscarium sive Romanorum Pontificum…,Tomus V, Benedicti XI, Clementis V, Joannis XXII monumenta, Romae, Typis Vaticanis, 1898 [and], Tomus VII, Urbani VI, Bonifatii IX, Innocentii VII, Gregorii XII, Clementis VII, Benedicti XII, Alexandri V, Joannis XXIII, Martini V, Rome, Vatican, 1904.

Godfrey of Viterbo. Pantheon, sive Universitatis libri qui chronici appellantur XX, omnes omnium seculorum et gentium... historias complectentes, per... Gottofridum Viterbiensem..., [Edidit J. Herold], Basel, J. Parci, 1559 [Paris, BnF, G-799 (2)].

Godfrey of Viterbo. Gotifredi Viterbiensis Gesta Friderici I. et Heinrici VI. imperatorum metrice scripta ex editione Waitzii in usum scholarum ex Monumentis Germaniae historicis recudi fecit Georgius Heinricus Pertz… [“Scriptores rerum germanicarum…”], Hannoverae, Impensis bibliopolii Hahnianii, 1872.

Humphreys, K.W. The Library of the Franciscans of Siena in the Late Fifteenth Century, Amsterdam, 1978.

Martelet, Bernard. Saint Bernard et Notre-Dame, textes réunis, traduits et présentés par Bernard Martelet, Paris, Médiaspaul, 1985.

Michaud-Quantin, Pierre. Sommes de casuistique et manuels de confession au Moyen Age, XII-XVI siècles, (Analecta medievalia Namurcensia. no. 13.), Louvain, 1962.

Migne, J. Patrologiae cursus completus omnium SS. Patrum, doctorum scriptorumque ecclesiasticorum sive Latinorum, sive Graecorum, Patrologia Latina [Godefridi Viterbiensis Chronicon cui titulus Memoriae saeculorum sive Pantheon], vol. 198, Turnhout, Brepols, 1995.

Moorman, J. Medieval Franciscan Houses, New York, Franciscan Institute, St. Bonaventura University, 1983.

Muratori, L.A. Rerum italicarum Scriptores, ab anno aerae christianae quingentesimo ad millesimum quingentesimum... Ludovicus Antonius Muratorius... collegit, ordinavit..., Milan, Societatis Palatinae, 1725, tome VII.

Nicolini, U. Francescanesimo e società cittadina: l'esempio di Perugia, Spoleto, Centro italiano di studi sull'alto medioevo, 1992

Schulte, Friedrich von. Die Geschichte der Quellen und Literatur des Canonischen Rechts von Gratian bis auf die Gegenwart, II, Stuttgart, Verlag von Ferdinand Enke, 1875.

Tabarelli, C. Documentazione notarile perugina sul convento di Moteripido nei secoli XIV e XV, Perugia, Fonti per la storia dell’Umbria, 1977

Teetaert, Amédée. “Quelques Summae de paenitentia anonymes dans la Bibliothèque nationale de Paris,” in Miscellanea Giovanni Mercati II, Vatican, 1946, vol. II [Letteratura medioevale], pp. 311-343.

Online resources

Life of Saint Bernard

On Books of penance

Some Letters of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (English)

Also on Godfrey of Viterbo

On Godfrey of Viterbo