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les Enluminures

Franciscan Vademecum, including [ANONYMOUS], Summa casuum conscientiae; Plainchant to Office of the Dead at Matins [excerpts]; JACOPONE DA TODI, LIONARDO GIUSTINIANI, and others, Laude to the Virgin and to Christ; for Requiem Mass

In Latin and Italian, manuscript on parchment and paper
[Italy, diocese of Urbania, Sant'Angelo in Vado (Marches) ?, c. 1450-75]

TM 72

118 leaves, on parchment (ff. 1-112) and paper (ff. 113-117) (collation i-iv8, vii 5[6-1]), catchwords, some contemporary numbering in red ink, rubrics in red, paragraph marks in red, ruled in light brown ink, written in a slanted italic hand (ff. 1-51) on up to 22 long lines (justification 90 x 65 mm.) musical 4-line staves traced in red ink, square musical notation (justification 100 x 60 mm.), alternating blue and red painted initials; one larger blue initial with red penwork (f. 54), annotation on last flyleaf: "Comprato a Camenno nel Febrajo 1840 "; unidentified stamp with crest on front flyleaf. Bound in a later half binding of light brown calf over pasteboards, smooth spine decorated with blind-stamped floral motifs, boards covered with marbled paper, traces of original tabs, overall in good condition, some internal staining or rubbing and parchment restorations. Dimensions 125 x 95 mm.

This unusual Franciscan Vademecum, composed as a practical manual and perhaps from an important monastic foundation in the region of Urbino, begins with an previously unknown treatise in Italian on moral dilemmas; it includes a significant section of polyphonic music for the Mass, as well as laude spirituali—songs of spiritual praise--by two noted Italian poets, thus echoing the advice of St. Francis that the itinerant preachers be “minstrels of God” in order to spread an accessible religious message to the average citizen.


Convent of Sant'Angelo in Vado, where it was in the sixteenth century. The text on front flyleaf describes the manuscript as follows: "E una miscellanea di cose teologiche, morali e liturgiche; vi sono poesie italiane in lode della B. Vergine, ed in fine I titoli e le sottoscrizioni per lettere secondi il grado delle persone. Questo manoscritto e del secolo XV, e ad uso di un religoso minorita della regolare osservanza." Use for the Order of the Friars Minor is confirmed by annotations quoting Franciscan patron saints on ff. 105-06: "[…] a sancto Francesco, sancto Antonio, Sancto Bonaventura, sancto Lodovico, sancto Bernardino … a sancta Lucia, a sancta Catherina, a sancta Chiara, a sancta Ursulina con tutta la sua devota compagnia …." The cultural tradition of the Franciscans in Urbino was deeply rooted, as there probably were "school" activities already in the late Middle Ages.

2. Franciscan Observants of Sant'Angelo in Vado (Marches). Early sixteenth-century annotations disclose direct references to the brothers of the Order of Friars Minor "de Sancto Angelo in Vado." There was a Franciscan Convent in Sant'Angelo in Vado founded before 1273 (custody of Montefeltre, province of the Marches; see Moorman, Medieval Franciscan Houses, 1983, p. 423; also Pellegrini, L., I Francescani nelle marche, secoli XIII-XVIe, Milano, Silvana, 2000; see below TEXT, ff. 114-117).

3. Back pastedown contains the following inscription: "Comprato a Camerino nel Febraijo 1840." Camerino is a town in the Marches, near Macerata.


1. Summa of Moral Dilemma
ff . 1-51, Summa casuum conscientiae (incipit in Latin, text in Italian); rubric, Incipit interrogatorium breve et utile scilicet; incipit, "Qui converti fecerit peccatorem ab errore vie sue […] salvabit animam suam a morte […] (Jac. 5, 20)" (the Latin incipit is recorded in Bloomfield, 1979, no. 4593, Dionysius Carthusianus [Lewis de Rickel], based on the Summa de vitiis et virtutibus, MS. Brussels, BR 2670-2682, ff. 3-116; printed Denys the Carthusian, D. Dionysii Carthusiani operum minorum tomus primus [-secundus]…, Apud sanctam Ubiorum Coloniam, J. Soter, 1532-1540 [Paris, BnF, D-1934]); incipit vernacular, "Questa [colecta conversio… meditate la confessione] laquale […] de la sciencia perche dove se versa […] pericula… "; " […] presentato che sera il penitente nanti de te adomanda queste cose infrascripte. Primo de che locho o terra viene, se altramente no lo cognosci. 2° Adomandole de che stato e conditione se sia… "; rubrics, Casus pape reservati; Casus reservati episcopis de jure; Casus qui in jure nulli reservantur…; rubric, Tabula alphabetica circa status in particulari […] [Abbatem / Abbatisses / Accusatores / Advocatos / Alchimicos…] (ff. 50v-51);

Although the present text is introduced by the same rubric that occurs in a Latin Summa by Denis the Carthusian, the text in Italian is evidently not a translation of the latter, but an independent treatise that remains unrecorded and unedited. Within the Franciscan milieu the treatise, or Interrogatorium breve et utile, text functions as a guide to moral activity, for abbots, abbesses, accusers, lawyers, alchemists, etc., as the alphabetical table enumerates.

ff. 51v-52v, Music (Plainchant): Office for the Dead at Matins,Third Response from Matins for the Dead; incipit, "Domine quando veneris iudicare terram… ";

ff. 53-53v, blank;

ff. 54-73, Music and : Mass to the Virgin [ ?] and miscellany of to the Virgin and plainchant; incipit, "Veni sponsa redemptoris spes et vita peccatoris… "; Prayer: "Domine Yhesu Christe inocentie restitutor et amator… "; rubric (fol. 54v), Incipiunt Letanie gloriosissime et immaculate Marie matris Yesu Christi; followed by litany to the Virgin in polyphony (ff. 55v-61v), incipit, Sancta maria ora pro nobis; Prayer: "Deus pater opus gloriam majestatis… " (ff. 61v-62); Prayer to S. Sebastian: "Omnipotens sempiterne Deus… "; Plainchant: "Benedicamus domino… "; ff. 62v-73, Laude in polyphonic notation, some identified [Leonardo Giustiniani (1387-1446); Jacopone da Todi (1230-1306)]: 1. "O Maria diana stella / Che reluci piu che sole… " [see Tenneroni (1909), p. 186, "Manoscritti minori" (V1, "Varia" 574 della V. Emanuele, Laudi Adesp (Anonymous))]; 2. "Matre de Christo / Gloriosa et pura… " [see Tenneroni (1909), p. 150, "Marc. 5" and Hamilton 348 nella biblioteca R. Bibl. Di Berlino: Laude del beato frate Jacopone da Todi, de Leonardo Justiniano de Venezia (XVth c.); see also Morpurgo (1929), no. 429, attributed to Leonardo Giustiniani]; 3. "Ave virgina beata / Tu viola eterna nata… "; 4. "Ave deli supremi celi / Alta regina Maria… "; 5. "Ave tempio d’amor / Sacrata ancilla… " [see Tenneroni (1909), "Marc. 4" / Marciana, Cl. IX 77, Libro della laudi fatte per piu devote persone (appartenuto alla Comp. dei Battuti di S. Zenobio in Firenze (XVth c.)]; 5. "Maria virgina bella / Matre del salvatore… " [see Morpurgo (1929), no. 484, refers to Lamma, E., "Intorno ad alcune rime di Lionardo Giustiniani", in L’Ateneo Veneto, serie XVI, vol. II (1892), pp. 175-199] ; 6. "Adoro te signore / Che pendi in la croce… " [see Carboni (1977), no. 28, p. 10 / attributed to Jacopone da Todi and kept in BAV, Chigi L. IV 120, fol. 9v; see also Morpurgo, no. 14 (Jacopone)] ; 7. "Piangeva l’anima mea / Con gran dolore" [see Inventari… (1894), p. 30]; 8. "O Jesu dolce / O infinito amore… " [see Tenneroni (1909), p. 184, "Marc. 5" / Marciana, Cl. IX 182, dated 1477, a messer Lonardo (Leonardo Giustiniani); see also Moschetti, A., I Codici Marciani contenenti laudi di Jacopone, Venezia, 1888];

The standard music of the western Latin Church was plainsong or Gregorian chant. Although chant-based and used already in the twelfth century, polyphonic music is not common in ecclesiastical and monastic settings even as late as the fifteenth century. In fact, the Church issued a series of pronouncements against music and its extreme use in church rituals, and it was only after 1324 in Avignon that Pope John XXII issued a decree on polyphonic music in church services, giving precise instructions on the intervals, types of chanting, and the ways of performing church music during the mass. Especially in the fourteenth century and continuing in the fifteenth Italian composers were instrumental in furthering the use of polyphonic music, e.g., the Florentine, Francesco Landini (1325-97).

In the first part of this section of the manuscript (e.g., f. 55v), polyphonic music for the Mass of the Virgin is included. In the second section of this part of the manuscript are laude spirituali attributed to two important Franciscan poets, Jacopone da Todi (died c. 1306) and Lionardo Giustiniani (died 1466).

Polyphonic music fit with the mission of the Franciscans. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) urged his followers to be "minstrels of God." His followers thus found that sacred poetry set to popular tunes provided a means of spreading an accessible religious message to the average citizen. In the fifteenth century, there arose a genre of vernacular religious songs called laude spirituali--songs of spiritual praise. "Laudesi" companies were formed for the purpose of holding religious services which used these songs as the centerpiece of their worship, with the multiple verses and refrains most often addressed to the Virgin Mary, Christ, or the Saints.

ff. 73v-104v, Music: Office for the Dead at Matins,Introductory Invitatorium and plainchant to Psalm 94 ; incipit Invitatorium: "Regem cui omnia vivunt. Venite adoremus"; Psalm 94: "Venite exultemus… "; explicit, "Gloria laus et hominis Israel es tu […] (lacks ending ?)";

ff. 105-105v, Guidelines for penance [ ?]; incipit, "Fateve consigno de la sancta croce et rendieve in colpa a lo omnipotente dio… "; rubric, Deinde aspergat eam aqua benedicta et tradat ei stolam et introducat eum in ecclesiam dicendo: Ingredere templum domini et adora filium virginis…;

ff. 106-108v, Ballad, in the vernacular; incipit and explicit, "Trenta foglie have la rosa / Maria dolce et beata / Dal’angelo salutata / Brancha bella et odorosa… // O clemens, O Pia / O benigna Maria / De la piu fresca rosa / Biancha bella & odorosa" [unrecorded in available literature; A ballad entitled "O rosa bella" is attributed to Leonardo Giustiniani];

ff. 109-112v, Prayer for Absolution (Absoute) [Requiem Mass]; incipit, "Non intres in iudicium cum servo tuo domine quia nullus apud te justificabitur… "; explicit, " …vitam et misericordiam tribuisti mihi et visitatio tua custodivit spiritum meum";

f. 113, Four staves traced in red ink; first stave contains notes and "[B]enedicamus domino… ";

f. 113v, Liturgical annotations: "[…] rubrica festorum mobilius… ";

ff. 114-117, Sixteenth-century annotations: formulae used in correspondence to adresss various categories of clerics or officials compiled by Frater Jacobus de Sancto Angelo in Vado, Franciscan monk; rubric, Pro episcopo...; incipit: "Splendidissmo vel reverendo... [signed frater Jacobus de Sancto Angelo]" ; another rubric, Pro guadiano vel priore; incipit: "Honorabile presbiter in Christo post humiles ac filiales commendationes vel post sincere charitatis affectum salutem & omne bonum...[signed: frater Jacobus de sancto Angelo...]"; another rubric, Pro guardiano; incipit: "Honorabile presbiteri fratre H. de Urbino or[dinis] minorum obs...."; rubric, Pro doctoris utriusque juris; incipit: Magnifice et egregie utriusque juris doctor debita...Excellentissimo ac egregio juris utriusque doctori Domino Federico Clavariis de Sancto Angelo..." ; rubric, Pro minica & abbatissa; incipit, "Honeste ac venerande Marie Magdalena de mondaino ordine sancte
clare vel tertii ordinis almi francesci cenobii sancti bernardini sancti Angeli in Vado..."; example of discourse used during chapeter elections / rubric, fol. 116v: Pronunciatio; incipit, "In Dei nominee Amen. Hec est electio discreti loci sancti de sancto Angelo mittendi ad provinciale capitulum ... celebrata in refectorio anno Domini M. D. XX [1520] die 29 martii & imprimis frater H. habuit unam vocem, frater N tre voces...ego frater Jacobus de sancto Angelo in Vado...";

f. 117v, Annotations in a later hand [on paper]: "Egregio ac generoso viro domino Jacobo Perozo de Camerino benefactori suo colendissimo nobili ac gratioso juveni Adriano Fuscho de Exio amico e benefactori suo deditissimo...[...] " Reverendo in tempo domino Spino Clavario (?) de Sancto Angelo in Vado...";

f. 118, Annotations (Standard formulae for letters (?)): "Objectia mitendi fratres pro negotia locorum. In Christo sibi carissimus fratri .N. de tali loco & fratri .N. loco eiusdem ordinis ac loci urbini [Urbania ?] guardianus...";


Ageno, F. Jacopone da Todi. Laudi, trattato e detti, Florence, F. Le Monnier, 1953.

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.

Carboni, Fabio. Incipitario della lirica italiana dei secoli XIII-XIV. Vol. 1, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana: Fondi Archivio S. Pietro-Urbinate latino, Citta del Vaticano, Biblioteca apostolica vaticana, 1977; Vol. 3., 1983.

Chevalier, Ulysse. Repertorium hymnologicum. Catalogue des chants, hymnes, proses, séquences, tropes en usage dans l'église latine depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours..., Bruxelles, Société des Bollandistes, 1920.

Galli, Giuseppe. Laudi inedite dei disciplinati umbri, scelte di sui codici più antichi, Bergamo, 1910.

Morpurgo, S. Le Opere volgari a stampa dei secoli XIII e XIV, indicate e descritte da F. Zambrini. Supplemento, con gli indici generali dei capoversi, dei manoscritti, dei nomi e soggetti, Bologna, N. Zanichelli, 1929.

Ricotti, Egidio, Il convento e la chiesa di S. Francesco di Assisi in Urbino. Padova, 1954 [gives details of the library and scriptorium on pp. 5-26]

Tenneroni, Annibale. Inizii di antiche poesie italiane religiose e morali, con prospetto dei codici che le contengono e introduzione all Laudi spirituali, Florence, L. S. Olschki, 1909.

Varanini, G. ed. et alia. Laude cortonesi dal secolo XIII al XV, con uno studio sulle melodie cortonesi di Giulio Cattin, [Florence], L.S. Olschki, 1981.

Online resources

On Sant'Angelo-in-Vado

On Jacopone da Todi

On Plainchant

On Christian Burial

On the Liturgy of the Office of the Dead