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les Enluminures

PETRUS BRUNICHELLUS or DE RUPE MAURA, O.E.S.A., [Scriptural Excerpts from the Liber super historijs novi et veteris Testamenti iuxta ordinem alphabeti ordinatus]

In Latin, decorated manuscript on paper
Northern Italy (Veneto? Friuli?), c. 1425-1450

TM 243

34 ff. [32 + 2 ff.], preceded by 2 flyleaves and followed by 37 blank pages, complete (collation i-ii10, iii12 [14-2, last 2 ff. of quire likely cancelled]), on paper (watermarks close to Briquet, “Triple Mount with patriarchal cross,” no. 11693: Udine, 1425 and Vicenza, 1426; see also similar types in Piccard, all Padua or Udine, c. 1425-1450), ruled in plummet, written in a humanistic libraria script, in brown ink, on up to 30 lines (justification 160 x 120 mm.), catchwords, rubrics in red, references to scriptural passages underlined in red, numerous 2-line high painted initials in red, a few 16th century pentrials. Nineteenth-century quarter binding of dark green goatskin, with covers, pastedowns and first flyleaves in marbled paper, smooth spine, gilt title on spine, corners in goatskin. Dimensions 225 x 157 mm.

This manuscript is composed of excerpts from a large fourteenth-century biblical commentary by a relatively little known author, who was an Augustinian friar. Organized alphabetically around themes from “abstinence” to “zeal”, the work most likely served as a tool for preachers and could even accompany the larger biblical commentary. Manuscripts of this still-unedited text are relatively rare (none in American collections) and other copies of the excerpted work are untraced.


1. Script and watermarks suggest a Northern Italian origin for this manuscript, perhaps Padua or Udine (see Briquet, no. 11693, and Piccard, see link below).

2. A dated table of contents has been added at the end of the manuscript, with a heading that reads: Tabula operis fratris Petri Brunicheli abrevitatium scriptus per me Johannem Bidlakem 24. die julii 1599 [Table for the abridged work by Brother Peter of Bruniquello, written by John Bidlake, 24 July 1599]. This could suggest the manuscript was in possession of an Englishman towards the end of the sixteenth century. The surname “Bidlake” is quite common in Devonshire.


ff. 1-32v, Petrus de Bruniquello, Abridged version of the Liber super historiis novi ac veteris testamenti juxta ordinem alphabeti, rubric, Incipit opus fratris petri brunicheli abreviatum. De abstinentia; incipit, “Comunia manue concepture filium filium proprii liberatorem angelus apparens. Judicium 13”; rubrics, De abstinentia, De accidia, De ambiciosis etc.;explicit,“[…] pro ipso altari. Matheus 23.Explicit totum istud brevo opus deo gratias”;

ff. 33-33v, Added alphabetical table, compiled in 1599, heading, Tabula operis fratris Petri Brunicheli abrevitatium scriptus per me Johannem Bidlakem 24. die julii 1599;

ff. 34-34v, blank.

Petrus de Bruniquello (or Brunichellus, de Bruniquel, de Rupe Maura [Roche Maure, Drôme region, near Montélimar]) was an Austin Friar, later Bishop of Città Nuova, in Istria (1312-1328; Petrus de Bruniquello dies in 1328) [see Italia Sacra, vol. V, col. 238]. He was most likely a Frenchman (as suggested by one of his appellations in the Vintimiglia manuscript, quoted by Stegmüller but without a shelfmark), member of the Austin Friars (an order which produced many exegetes and theologians) and author of a number of Biblical commentaries as well as the Liber super historiis novi ac veteris testamenti juxta ordinem alphabeti. De abstinentia, written in 1319, and dedicated to Berengario Fredol, Bishop of Tusculano (1309-1323). This is confirmed in the Prologue: “Reverendo in Christo patri ac domino domino suo praecipuo domino Berengario divina providential episcopo Tusculano….” The Liber super historiis novi ac veteris testamenti… begins with a chapter on Abstinence: “Abstinentes voluit Deux esse primos parentes. Dixit enim Adae…” (See Stegmüller, IV. no. 6435 who records 10 manuscripts, all in European collections; Zumkeller, 1966, p. 348, no. 749, who records 4 other manuscripts of which only one is known to Stegmüller, thus bringing the number of extant manuscripts to 13).

The present manuscript appears to be an abridged version of this text if we follow the title supplied in red on the first leaf, but is in fact a compilation of some of the scriptural quotations included in his magnum opus, beginning with Abstinence and ending with Good zeal followed by Indiscrete or inappropriate zeal (De zelo bono; De zelo indiscreto). We have found no other copy of this abridgment, which is in itself quite useful granted the voluminous nature of the original work to which it refers. This abridged version, or compilation, was perhaps a reader’s aid to the Liber super historiis…, or a vademecum of appropriate scriptural quotations referring to the chapters of the larger work, too voluminous to handle.

Both the Liber super historiis novi ac veteris testamenti juxta ordinem alphabeti and the present compilation are unedited, and a thorough study on Petrus de Bruniquello as well as an examination of the manuscript tradition of his works should provide interesting information on this little known author, popular within his order of Augustinian Friars.


Disdier, M. T. “Pierre de Bruniquello,” in Dictionnaire d’histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, Paris, Letouzey, 1937, vol. X, col. 948.

Mazzuchelli, G. M. Gli scrittori d’Italia cioè Notizie storiche e critiche intorno alle vite e agli scritti dei letterati italiani, Brescia, 1753-63, vol. II, pp. 2223-2224.

Stegmüller, F. Repertorium biblicum medii aevi, Commentaria: Auctores N-P, Madrid, 1955, vol. IV.

Ughelli, F. Italia Sacra… editio secunda…, Venice, 1720, vol. V.

Zumkeller, A. Manuskripte von Werken der Autoren des Augustiner-Eremiteordens in mitteleuropäischen Bibliotheken, Wurzburg, 1966.

Online resources

On Petrus de Bruniquello

Piccard, Watermarks