TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Breviary, Proper of the Temporal

In Latin, manuscript on paper
[Southern Germany or Austria, c. 1490-1500]

TM 135

i + 31 + i folios, complete (collation impracticable on account of tight binding), on paper ( watermarks: Briquet nos. 467-468, “Ancre dans un cercle,” Venice, 1495 and Pistoia, 1493; Venice 1497; and (Briquet no. 2511, Balance dans un cercle, Florence, 1494; Erlau, 1495; Arnoldstein, 1500; Fabriano, 1501), paper size (280 x 200 mm.), partial modern foliation in pencil on ff. 2r, 10r, 11r, 12r, 13r, 20r, 30r, and 31r in upper right margin, primarily written in an angular Gothic script on 30 long lines in black ink with supplemental text written in mid sixteenth-century semi-cursive humanist script in brown ink, two column text with guidelines on fore and spine edge and upper and lower margins (justification 205 x 65 mm), ruled in pencil, no catchwords or signatures, rubrics in red, versals and 2-line initials in red lombards, 3-line initials in red lombards with ascenders and descenders, all initials with blue wash on f. 1r, ONE LARGE DECORATED INITIAL on f. 1r (52 x 45 mm.) with a brown, yellow, and black geometric diamond pattern surrounding the blue, red, and white letter “I” which exhibits acanthus traits, several guide letters for the rubricator appear throughout, corrections to text in two contemporary gothic hands on ff. 2r, 3r, 3v, 6r, 8v, 10r, 10v, 18v, 19r, 21r, 22v, 23r, 23v, 24r, 25r, 25v, 26r, 26v, 27r, 27v, 28v, and 31r, corrections to text by rubricator on ff. 2r, 9v, 14r, 18r, and 30v, rubricator error on f. 13r, rubricator lacuna on ff. 6v, 10v and 31r, marginalia in two contemporary gothic hands on ff. 24v, 26r, 27v and 28v, marginalia in mid sixteenth-century semi-humanist script on ff. 8v, 14v, 15v, 29v, and 30r, very slight worming on spine edge and upper margin, slight to moderate foxing, water stains in upper margin from ff. 20-31 with no affect on text, medieval repairs to paper on ff. 1, 3, 24 and 25. Bound in modern brown calf, spine rounded, bumps on edges and slight wear to cover, modern heavy bonded paper used as guard pages and pastedowns. Dimensions 290 x 216 mm.

Complete in itself, though beginning with the feast of the Trinity, this large-scale Breviary opens with an unusual painted initial and, whereas some saints point to the area of Salzburg in Austria, the manuscript may have been made for use by a member of the secular clergy rather than in a monastic foundation.


1. No indication in text. A provenance in southern Germany or Austria can be conjectured on the style of the decoration and by the prominence of certain saints. Bishop Rubert of Salzburg (March 27), Saint George Martyr (April 24), Saint Walpurgis (May 1), and Saint Mauricius of Agaunum (Sept. 22). The paper, from northern Italy or Germany, is consistent with this proposed origin.

2. USA, Private Collection


ff. 1-31v, Temporal for the liturgical year.

rubric, In sabbatis noctibus ad vesperas prius octavis trinitatis hymnus; incipit, Lux beata trinitas et principalis unitas... ; f. 2v, rubric, feria secunda hymnus; incipit, Somno refectis artubus...; f. 3r, rubric, feria tertia; incipit, Consors paterni lumini lux...; f. 3v rubric, feria quarta hymnus; incipit, Rerum creator optime...; f. 4r rubric, feria Quinta; incipit, Nox atra rerum contegit...; f. 4v rubric, feria sexta; incipit, tu trinitas vnitas orbem potentes...; f. 4v rubric, Sabbato hymnus; incipit, Summe deus clemencie mundi...; f. 5r, rubric, In adventum dominum ad vesperas; incipit, Conditor alme syderum...; f. 5v rubric, In sancta nocte ad vesperas hymnus; incipit, Ueni redempto[r] gentium ostende partum...; f. 6v, rubric, Iohannis euangeliste; incipit, Sollempnis dies aduenit quo virgo celum...; f. 7r, rubric, De innocentibus; incipit, Saluete flores martirium...; f. 7v rubric, In octava nativitatis domini; incipit, COrde natus ex parentis ante mundi exordium...; f. 7v, rubric, In circumcisione domini; incipit, Iesus refulsit omnium pius redemptor...; f. 8r, rubric, De eodem festo; incipit, A patre vnigenitus ad nos venit...; f. 8r rubric, In Epyphania dominus; incipit, Hostis herodes impie...; f. 8v, rubric, In purificatione; incipit, Quod chorus natum venerandus...; f. 8v, rubric, De sancto blasio; incipit, Sante blasi plebi tue subueni...; f. 8v, rubric, De sancto Benedicto; incipit, Xpiste fili ihesu summi mentes nostras visita...; f. 9r, rubric, In annuctiacione Sancta marie; incipit, Ave maris stella dei mater alma...; f. 9r rubric, De Santo Ruperto; incipit, Sante summe confessorum cum xpristo...; f. 9v, rubric, In septuagesima; incipit, Dies aboluti pratereunt dies obseruabilies...; f. 11r, rubric, In passione domini; incipit, Uexilla regis prodeunt fulget...; f. 12v, rubric, De Sancto Georgio; incipit, Martir egregie deo dilecte...; f. 12v, rubric, In inuencione sancte cruce; incipit, Salue crux sancta salue mundi gloria...; f. 13r, rubric, In ascensione; incipit, Festum nunc celebre magna quam gaudia...; f. 13v, rubric, In festo penthecoste hymnus; incipit, Ueni creator spiritus mentes tuorum visita...; f. 14r, rubric, De Sancto Johanne baptista; incipit, Ut queant laxis resonare fibris...; f. 14v, rubric, Petri et Pauli; incipit, Aurea luce et decore...; f. 15r, rubric, In divisione apostolorum, incipit, Iam bone pastor petre clemens...; f. 15v, rubric, De Beata maria magdalena; incipit, Ihesu xpiste auctor vite qui in tuo sanguine peccatum...; f. 16r, rubric, Walpurgis; incipit, Ave flos virginum regis celorum sponsa...; f. 16r rubric, In festo beati iacobi apostli; incipit, Hvius diei gloria det xpistus mundo gaudia...; f. 16v, rubric, In festo sancti laurentius; incipit, Martiris xpiste colimus triumphum...; f. 16v, rubric, In assumpcione marie; incipit, Quem terra ponthus ethera colunt adorant...; 17v, rubric, In decollacione baptiste; incipit, Asertor equi non ope regia nec morte dura...; f. 17v, rubric, In nativitate marie; incipit, Gaude visceribus mater in intimis felix ecclesia...; f. 18r, rubric, De sancto mauricio; incipit, Alma xpisti quando fides mundo passim traditur...; f. 18v, rubric, De sancta ursula; incipit, Xpisto celorum agmina dent laudes...; fol. 18v, rubric, Michaelis archangelis; incipit, Xpiste sanctorum decus angelorum...; f. 19r, rubric, De sancto dyonisio; incipit, Alma lux siderum robur martirium te decent omnia laudum...; fol. 19r, rubric, De omnibus sanctis hymnus; incipit, Xpiste per qui vnctus virtus sator et vocaris cuius oratur...; 19v, De Sancto Martino; incipit, Martine confessor dei valens vigore spiritus...; f. 20r, rubric, De sancta Elizabeth; incipit, Deus tuorum militum pauperum atque diuitum...; fol. 20r, rubric, De sancta Katherina; incipit, Xpiste redemptor omnium victor spes atque primum exaudi voces...; f. 20v, rubric, De sancto Andreo; incipit, Laus angelorum inclita spes conditorum...; f. 21r, rubric, De sancto nicolao, incipit, Plaudat leticia lux hodierna vox celi iubilet terra resultet...; f. 21r, rubric, De apostolibus; incipit, Exultet celum laudibus resultet terra gaudiis apostulorum...; f. 21v, rubric, de martiribus; incipit, Sanctorum mentis inclita gaudia pangamus...; f. 21v, rubric, de uno martire; incipit, Deus tuorurm militum sors et corona primum laudes canentes martiris...; f. 22r, rubric, de confessoribus; incipit, Deo patri sit gloria sancte confessor...; f. 22r, rubric, de virginibus, incipit, Ihesu corona virginum que mater illa concepta...; f. 22v, rubric, In dedicacione; incipit, Urbs beata Iherusalem dicta pacis visio...; f. 23v, rubric, In aduentu domini; incipit, Ecce dominus deus infortitudine ueniet...; f. 24v, rubric, In nativitate domini; incipit, Populus qui ambulat in tenebris vidit lucem magnam...; f. 25v, rubric, In quadregesima; incipit, Deducant oculi mei lacrimas per diem et noctem...; f. 26r, rubric, In sancte nocte pasce; incipit, Qvis est iste qui venit de edom...; f. 26v, rubric, de apostolis et martiribus; incipit, UOs sancti domini vocabimus...; f. 27r, rubric, de vno martire, incipit, Beatus vir qui in sapientia morabitur...; f. 27v, rubric, de virginibus; incipit, Audite me diuini fructus...; f. 28r, rubric, de corpore xpisti; incipit, Pange lingua gloriosi corporis...; f. 28v, rubric, De sancta barbara; incipit, Nouo decurrens lumine lasciuit sol in virgine claro...; f. 28v rubric, De sancta Anna; incipit, Ave vite vitis aua xpisti...; f. 29r, rubric, In visitatione marie, incipit, In maria vite viam matrem veram viventium pie venit...; f. 29v, rubric, De Conceptione beate marie virgine; incipit, Uirga de jesse generata stirpe virgo tu floris genitrix...; f. 30r, rubric, de sancta maria; incipit, Leo leonis catulus tu patris vnigenitus resurgens morte deuita...; f. 30r rubric, hymnus undecimus milium virginum; incipit, Gaude celestis curia que virginum tot milia laureata suscepisti...; f. 30r, rubric, de sancta dorothea; incipit, Festum nunc celebre seruet gens credula melodum glorie pangat mens sedula...; f. 31r [rubric missing] (de sancto achatio et socii); incipit, Fidelis vniversitas collaudat dei filium adest sacra festiuitas sanctorum decem milium (martirium)...; f. 31r, [in later mid sixteenth-century semi-cursive humanist script] margareta; incipit, Magne dies leticie nobis illuxit celitus quo margareta hodie rex.

The Breviary is the composite book of the Divine Office, used both privately and in the performance of the office in common. Its importance resides in its liturgical as well as personal devotional use. Its importance to the Middle Ages rests on its ability to reveal local usage despite the increasing standardization of liturgical use prompted by the desire for uniformity.

This Temporal of the Breviary originates in Southern Germany or Austria. The lack of saints particular to any religious order suggests its preparation and use for secular clergy. It is unique for its beginning with the Sunday after the octave of the Trinity and the summer weeks rather than the customary period of Advent. However, Baümer noted in his study of the breviary that the medieval liturgists used the festival of the Trinity and Pentecost (and the confusion over the octave of the feast) as a marker for the beginning of the summer season prior to Advent. The Temporal lacks the calendar, ferial Psalter, common of the saints, and minor offices common to most breviaries. Despite this fact, the large initial suggests that the manuscript was composed as is, and does not constitute a fragment of a larger manuscript. If so, the manuscript might then only lack the calendar.


Baümer, S. Histoire du bréviare, 2 vols., Paris, 1905.

Batiffol, Pierre. History of the Roman Breviary. Translated by Atwell M. Y. Baylay, London, Longmans, Green and Co., 1912.

Salmon, Pierre. The Breviary through the Centuries, Collegeville, MN, Liturgical Press, 1962.