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les Enluminures

FRATER PETRUS, Sermones de tempore

In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
Southern Germany or Austria, c. 1300-1330

TM 455

i (paper) + 409 + i (parchment) + i (paper) folios on parchment (moderate quality, slightly fuzzy both sides, numerous original holes and repairs), modern foliation in pencil, top outer corner recto, complete (collation, i-vi12 vii10 viii-xiv12 xv8[-8, following f. 173, cancelled with no loss of text] xvi12 xvii12[-4, after f. 188, cancelled with no loss of text] xviii12[-1 before f. 197, cancelled with no loss of text]), quires are signed in roman numerals, middle, lower margin, quires 1-7, 13-14, and 16-17 at the end, and at the beginning in quires 8-12, quire 15 ends with a blank verso and is not signed, ruled visibly in ink, ruling varies depending on the scribe, some quires with no horizontal rules full across, others with single rules or the top two and bottom two horizontal rules full across, and all with single full-length vertical bounding lines, prickings outer and bottom margins, and sometimes in the top margin as well (justification, 129-127 x 96-95 mm.), written below the top line by as many as seven scribes in scripts ranging from an upright conservative gothic bookhand to quicker gothic scripts with some cursive elements in two columns of thirty-eight to thirty-two lines, changes of hand at ff. 83, 95, 143, 167, 174 and 186v, each sermon is numbered in the middle upper margin on the recto of the opening in red or black using both Arabic and Roman numerals, some notes for rubricator remain, majuscules in text highlighted in red, red rubrics, red paragraph marks (blue on f. 186), three- to two line red initials, in excellent condition with occasional slight soiling or stains at the fore-edge. Bound in early eighteenth-century cream-colored pigskin blindtooled in a panel design, with a central rectangular panel with a central fleuron stamp and floral stamps in each corner, and with double fillets forming an inner frame tooled with a floral vine pattern, and an outer with intricate palmettes and shell motifs, rounded spine with four raised bands and with two labels on spine, “Collationes spirituales”, and “Codex MS. Membranaceus seculi XIV”, in excellent condition, with very slight wear to edges and corners. Dimensions 177 x 130 mm.

This is the only complete manuscript of the unedited Sermones de tempore of Frater Petrus; the only other copy of these sermons, now in Uppsala, dated 1376, is incomplete. These sermons are apparently completely unknown to the scholarly community, and would be a splendid topic for a more thorough study. This is a well organized, legible manuscript, in excellent condition, which includes a table of the sermon themes, and an alphabetical index of the distinctions included in the sermons.


1. The overall appearance of the manuscript, details of the script, and its subsequent history suggest that it was copied in southern Germany or Austria in the early part of the fourteenth century, probably c. 1300-30. Unfortunately, there are almost no clues in the manuscript itself to tell us more about its origin. This is not a manuscript copied by a student or preacher for his own use, since it was copied by as many as seven different scribes. However, there is also no indication that this manuscript was copied in the context of a disciplined commercial shop, since details of the ruling and quire signature vary depending on the scribe. It is a clearly organized text, equipped with numbered sermons, an index of sermon themes and, significantly, an alphabetical index of distinctions within the sermons. These details suggest it may have copied for a house of friars or regular Canons, and used as a reference text for preaching.

2. Owner’s inscription, f. 1, read under ultraviolet by a previous cataloguer, “Ista liber est fratris …”;

3. in German were added at the end of the manuscript in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The manuscript remained in Germany into the early eighteenth century, when it was bound.


[f. 1, blank but ruled]; ff. 1-203v, One-hundred and forty-seven sermons; ff. 1-87, sermons 1-63, as listed in Schneyer, 4:57-579, with the following exceptions: sermon 7 in Schneyer is actually two sermons, listed as 7 and 8 in this manuscript; Schneyer does not include the manuscript’s sermons 18, 19 and 60, and sermon 58 in Schneyer is actually two sermons, numbers 62 and 63 in this manuscript; ff. 87-203v, eighty-four sermons, not listed in Schneyer; sermon 83 is followed immediately by 85, and sermon 124 is followed immediately by sermon 128, although the omitted sermons 126 and 127 are included in the list of themes on ff. 203v-204

f. 1v, [1] incipit, “Da mihi sedium tuarum assistricem sapientiam [Wisdom 9:4], et sequitur post pauca, ‘mecum sit et mecum laboret’, Sapientie ix [Wisdom 9:10], Hoc uerbum continuatum dupliciter potest intellegi, vel quod sic verbum colloniste, petentis sibi in laboris adiutoris ….”;

f. 2v, [2] Lectum de prohemio collationis, incipit, “Da mihi domini sedium tuarum assistricem sapientiam … Sapientie ix [Wisdom 9:4]. Hoc verbum esse sancta matris eccclesie divinam clementiam invocantis ...”;

f. 4, [3] Collatio generalis de aduentum domini, incipit, “Quis ibit nobis et dixi ecce ego mitte me, ys vi [Is 6:8], Due propositiones ponuntur in hoc verbo una intrrogativa et alia responsiva …”

f. 5, [4] Dominica prima in aduentum, incipit, “Nunc proprior est nostra salus, ad ro xiii [Romans 13,21], Sancta mater ecclesia uidens suarum fidelium animos …”;

sermons 5 and 6;

f. 8v, [7] Dominica ii de Ewangelium, incipit, “Tu es qui venturus es … mt xi [Mt. 11:13], Johannes Baptista propheta et plus quam …”;

f. 10, [8] [rubric omoitted], incipit, “Ecce ego mitto angelum meum, [Mt. 11;10], Licet hoc dominus malachim prophete …”;

sermons 9-17;

f. 22, [18] Inter circumcisione, incipt, “Apparuit gratia Dei salutaris omnibus hominibus erudiens nos, ad tyt ii [Titus 2:11-12], Circa incarnacionem dei …”;

f. 23, [19] In circumcisione domini, incipit, “Postquam impleti sunt dies octo ut circumcideretur puer vocatum est nomen eius Iesus, luc ii [Luke 2:21], Secundum hugonis liber de sacramentis tria videndum esse …”;

sermons 20-59;

f. 80v, [60] Item in cena domini, incipit, “Quilotus est non indiget ut lavet sed est mundus totus, io xiii [John 13:10], In hoc uerbo osendit dominus sanctos vndecim apostolos …”;

sermon 61;

f. 84v, [62], In die pasche, incipit, “Pascha nostrum immolatus est christus [1 Cor 5:7], Apostolus sciens christianos perturbatos …”;

f. 85v, [63] Dominica pascha, incipit, “Iesum quaeritis Nazarenum crucifixum surrexit non est, mt. xvi [Matthew 16:6], Sancte matheus que dominum …”;

f. 87, [64] Dominica prima post pascha domini, incipit, “Pater uerbum et spiritu sanctus et hii tres unum sunt, primo io v [cf. 1 John 5:8], In hoc verbo primo facie occurit nobis …”;

f. 89, [65] Dominica prima post pascha, incipit, “Venit Iesus et stetit in medio et dicit eis pax vobis, io xx [John 20:19], Dominus suos apostolus turbatus de sua …”;

f. 90v, [66] Dominica secunda post pascha, incipit, “Christus passus est pro vobis relinquens exemplum ut sequamini vestigia eius, prima petri ii [1 Peter 2:21], Beatus petrus in hoc uerbo recolit beneficium …”;

f. 92, [67] Dominica secunda post pascha, incipit, “Ego sum pastor bonus et congosco meas io x [John 10:14], In hoc uerbo dominus comendat actionis …”;

f. 93v, [68] Dominica tercia post pascha, incipit, “Fraternitate diligite deum timete regem honorificate, primo petri ii [1 Peter 2:17], In hoc verbo beatus petrus docet tria nos ab omnium parte ordinacia …”;

f. 94v, [69] Dominica iii post pascha, incipit, “Videbo vos et gaudebit cor vestrum et gaudium vestrum nemo tollit a vobis, io xvi [John 16:22], Hoc est verbum domino ad discipulos responsos de passione sua …”;

f. 96v, [70], Dominica iiii post pascha, incipit, “Abicientes omnem [maliciam: expunged] inmunditiam et abundantiam malicie cum mansuetudine suscipite insitum verbum … anime vestros, Iacobus primo [James 1:21], Beatus iacobus volens animas fidelium expoliaminus …”;

f. 98, [71] Dominica quarta, incipit, “Suscipite insitum verbum quod potest salvare animas vestras Iac primo [James 1:21], In hoc uerbo apostolus Iacobus tria facit, primo nos incitat ad uerbi domini …”;

f. 99, [72] Dominica quinta, incipit, “Omne donum perfectum desursum est descendens a patre luminum, Iacobus primo [James 1:17], Donum gratie gratvite describuntur in hoc uerbo dupliciter ab apostolus iacobus, …”;

f. 100, [73] Item in die penthecostes, incipit, “Ille arguet mundum de peccato … io xvi [John 16:18], Illud quod habet influere omnium bonitatem et suum contrarium …”;

f. 102, [74] Do. v, incipit, “Si quis autem putat se religiosum esse non refrenans linguam suam sed seducens cor suum huius vana est religio, religio munda et inmaculata apud Deum et Patrem haec est visitare pupillos et viduas in tribulatione eorum, iac primo [James 1:26-27], In his uerbo apostolus ponit tres status religiosarum …”;

f. 103, [75] Dominica v, incipit, “Exivi a patre et veni in mundum iterum relinquo mundum et vado ad patrem, Io xvi [John 16:28]. Per hec domini uerborum christus tria notificat ….”;

f. 104v, [76] Dominica v, incipit, “Exivi a patre et veni in mundum Io. xvi [John 16:28]. Licet nulla spem motus radat mundum …”;

f. 106, [77] [rubric omitted; In ascensione], incipit, “Non est vestrum nosse tempora vel momenta quae Pater posuit in sua potestate …. actuum primo [Acts 1:7], Dominus adiscit …”;

f. 107, [78] Ascensione domini, incipit, “Hic Ihesus qui assumptus est a vobis in celum sic veniet, act primo [Acts 1:11], Lucas ewangeliste et apostolice scriptor historie contumans …”;

f. 108v, [79] In ascensione domini, incipit, “Assumptus est in celum et sedit a dextris dei illi autem profecti predicaverunt ubique [Mark 16:19-20], In hoc verbo in ascensione domino legendo notatur tria …”;

f. 109v, [80], Dominica infra octauam ascensione, incipit, “Estote prudentes et vigilate in orationibus ante omnia mutuam in vobis caritatem continuam habentes, prima petri iiii [1 Peter 4:7-8], In hoc uerbo beatus apostolus petrus ad tria vertunt genera nos hortatur …”;

f. 111, [81], Item infra octauam, incipit, “Cum venerit paracletus quem ego mittam vobis a patre spiritum veritatis qui a patre procedit, Io. xv [John 15:26], Dominus tria facit in hoc uerbo de sancte spriritus …”;

f. 112, [82], In die penthecostes sermo primus de epistola, incipit, “Repleti sunt omnes spiritu sancto et ceperunt loqui uariis linguis, act. ii [Acts 2:4], Spiritus sanctus donum hodie apostolis datum describitur …”;

f. 113, [83], In die penthecostes,sermo ii, incipit, “Paraclitus autem spiritus sanctus mittet pater in nomine meo ille vos docebit omnia [John 14:26], Circa spiritum sanctum hodierna die apostolus …”;

f. 114 is numbered 84, but there no new sermon on this folio;

f. 114v, [85] Feria secunda in penthecoste, incipit, Filium suum unigenitum misit deus in mundum, Io iii [John 3:17], In hoc uerbo circa missione filii domini in mundum tria facit …”;

f. 115v, [86], Dominica prima post penthecostes, incipit, “Estote misericordes sicut pater vester misericors est et nolite iudicare, luc vi [Luke 6:36-37]. Dominus uolens nos inducere ad opera miseraciones …”;

f. 117, [87], Dominica prima, incipit, “Non est discipulus super magistrum perfectus autem omnis erit sicut magister eius, luc vi [Luke 6:40], In precedente themate hortatur est nos apostolus ad miseratione benignitatem …”;

f. 118v, [88], [rubric omitted, Dominica ii], incipit, “In hoc cognoscimus caritatem domini quoniam ille pro nobis animam suam posuit et nos debemus pro fratribus animas nostras ponere, prima io. iii [1 John 3:16], In hoc beatus Iohannes apostolus tria facit, primo excelsum caritatis …”;

f. 119v, [89], Dominica secunda post penthecostes, incipit, “Misit servum suum hora cene dicere invitatis ut venirent quia iam parata sunt omnia, lu xiiii [Luke 14:17], Sub similitudine huius homins patrisfamilias ad cenam suam …”;

f. 121, [90], Dominica tertia, incipit, “Humiliamini igitur sub potenti manu Dei ut vos exaltet, prima petr v[1 Peter 5:6], In hoc uerbo beatus petrus hortatur nos ad cordis humilitatem ….”;

f. 122, [91], Dominica tertia, incipit, “Aduersarius vester diabolus tamquam leo rugiens circuit quaerens quem devoret, prima petr v [1 Peter 5:8], Apostolus petrus volesn vnumquamque fidelem ad pugnam simper pari …”;

f. 123v, [92], Dominica tertia post penthecostes, incipit, “Congratulamini mihi quia inveni ovem meam quae perierat luc xv [luc 15:6], Sicut mulier rem amissam …”;

f. 125v, [93], Dominica iiii, incipit, “Ipsa creatura liberabitur a servitute corruptionis in gloriose, ad ro viii [Romans 8:21], In hoc uebro apostolus triplicem hominis exprimit condicionem …”;

f. 126v, [94], De eodem, incipit, “Uanitati subiecta est creatura non volens sed propter eum qui subiecit in spem [Romans 8:20], Apostolus uidens in solo domino fixionis …”;

f. 128, [95], Dominica iiii, incipit, “Preceptor per totam noctem laborantes nichil cepimus in verbo autem tuo laxabo rete, luc v [Luke 5:5], Petrus piscator et predicator sciens dominum …”;

f. 130, [96], De eodem, incipit, “Per totam noctem laborantes nihil cepimus, luc v [Luke 5:5], Peccati status vilissimus …”;

f. 131, [97], Dominica v, incipit, “Non reddentes maledictum pro maledicto sed e contrario benedicentes quia in hoc vocati estis ut benedictionem hereditate possideatis, prima petri iii [1 Peter 3:9], Vbi docet apostolus tria, prima docet humane maledictionis …”;

f. 132, [98], Dominica quinta, incipit, “Nisi habundaverit iustitia vestra plus quam scribarum et phariseorum non intrabitis in regnum celorum, mt v [Mt 5:20], In quo uerbo dominus tria facit …”;

f. 133, [99], Dominica vi,incipit, “Vetus homo noster simul crucifixus est ut destruatur corpus peccati, ro vi [Romans 6:6], Veritatem hominem appelat apostolus …”:

f. 134v, [100], Dominica vi, incipit, “Vetus homo noster simul crucifixus est ut destruatur corpus peccati, ro vi [Romans 6:6], Vbi apostolus circa sanctum[?] peccati tria describit …”:

f. 136, [101], Dominica sexta, incipit, “Misereor super turbam quia iam triduo sustinent me, mc viii [Mark 8:2], In hoc uerbo describitur tria, primo ex parte domino …”;

f. 137, [102] [rubric omitted], incipit, “[I]am triduo sustinent me nec habent quod manducent et si dimiseros eos deficient in via, marci viii [Mark 8:2-3], Tri hec dicuntur ponit primo turbarum popularum …”;

f. 138, [103], Dominica vii, incipit, “Nunc autem liberati a peccato servi autem facti estis deo, ro vi [Romans 6:22], Presentis gratie status in hoc uerbo tria est descriptus …”:

Continuing, with sermons 104-120;

f. 166, [121], Dominica xiii, incipit, “Ite ostendite vos sacerdotibus et factum est dum irent mundati sunt, lu xiiii [Luke 14:14], Sub nomine leprosorum a deo …”;

f. 167v, [122], Dominica xiiii post penthecostes, incipit, “Spiritu ambulate et desiderium carnis non perficietis caro enim concupiscit adversus spiritum et spiritus adversus carnem, Gal v [Galatians 5:16-17], Quoniam homo plus est rationaliter quam animalis …”;

f. 169, [123], Dominica xiiii post [sic], incipit, “Considerate lilia agri quomodo crescunt, Mt vi [Mt 6:28], Sub lilorum prouocat nos ut consideremus vitam …”;

f. 170v, [124], Dominica xv, incipit, “Bonum facientes non deficiamus tempore enim suo metemus non deficientes, gal vi [Galatians 6:9], In hoc uerbo apostolus tria genera hominum hortatur ad perfectum …”;

f. 171v, [125], Dominica xv, incipit, “Propheta magnus surrexit in nobis et quia deus visitavit plebem suam, lu vii [Luke 7:16], In hoc verbo describit ewangelista cognitorem …” [ends mid column b, f. 173; remainder and f. 173v, blank];

Sermons 126 and 127 are not included here, although their themes are listed at the end of the manuscript.

f. 174, [128], Dominica xvi, incipit “In caritate radicati et fundati ut possitis comprehendere cum omnibus sanctis, Eph iii [Ephesians 3:17-18], In hoc uerbo beatus apostolus fidelibus habitu caritatis radicatis et fundatis …”;

sermons 129-149;

f. 202, [150], [rubric omitted: Dominica xxiiii], incipit, “Finem loquendi omnes pariter audiamus deum time et mandata eius observa hoc est omnis homo, eccles capitulo ultimo et in verbo ultimo [Ecclesiastes 12:13], [S]apiens ecclesiastes cum diu … quod pro nobis concedat ihesus christus domini presentis et uirginis matris filius qui in trinitate perfecta vivit et regnat eternaliter. Amen.

ff. 203v-204v, Incipiunt themata collationum huius libri et sunt cl, incipit, “Emitte domine sedium tuarum, i …. Finem loquendi omnes partier, cl. Iste sunt collationes dominicales in uniuerso centum et quinquaginta.

ff. 204v-207v, A bibunt peccatores a domino tripliciter, cxlii a; Ab eundum est a deo [peccato, added] tripliciter, cxxxiii b; … Vox deserta Iohannis baptista tripliciter, xiiii, a; Vulnus peccati est triplex, cxviii a. Et sunt in vniuerso quadrigente et xliiii distinctiones partier[?] diuisiones et deuersiones[?] per auctoritates probaciones, Explicit liber .

Back flyleaf, two prayers in German, added in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries: incipit, “Maria zart fon edler Art en Ross am allen doren/ du hast auch macht her wider bracht …”; and “Maria rayn du eyn …”;

This is the only complete manuscript of the Sermones de tempore of an author known only as “Frater Petrus.” These sermons were known to Schneyer in only one manuscript, Uppsala, Universitätsbibliotek, which is incomplete, and includes only the beginning of the sermon cycle (see Schneyer, vol. 4, pp. 574-579; and Andersson-Schmitt, 1988, pp. 274-277). The Uppsala manuscript is dated 1376 on f. 68v; it has tentatively been described as German, although it includes no information about its origin or later owners. In addition to the sermons by Frater Petrus, it includes numerous texts and prayers, including works by Bonaventure, Anselm of Canterbury, and sermons by the Franciscan author, Franciscus de Mayronis (c. 1280-1327).

These sermons have never been printed, edited, or, to my knowledge, studied in any fashion by modern scholars. An investigation of the text of about fifty of the sermons found only in the manuscript described here found no evidence that any of these sermons circulated independently in other collections, and Schneyer evidently did not find the fifty-eight sermons that also occur in the Uppsala manuscript in any other manuscripts. The name of the author survives only through the rubric on f. 150 of the Uppsala manuscript, “Incipiunt collationes fratris petri de aduentu domini ….” We know nothing about the author apart from this name.

A thorough study of the text of these sermons would enable us to understand more about their author and the probable context for which these sermons were written. The sermons follow the form of the scholastic or thematic sermon of the later Middle Ages; they begin with a biblical theme, which is used as the basis for the structure of the sermon. Divisions are emphasized, and indeed, are often delineated in this copy by red brackets. A brief examination of a few of the sermons suggests that sources other than the Bible seem to be infrequently quoted, and the sermons are more straightforward than many sermons written by university masters for a university audience. They also do not appear to have been directed primarily at a popular or lay audience, based on the lack of stories and exempla. It seems possible that they were written for a house of friars or regular canons, and meant to be used as model sermons that could be adapted by the preacher for different occasions.

The sermons in this manuscript are also organized so that information within each sermon was searchable. Each sermon was carefully numbered in the upper margins in red or black Roman or Arabic numerals. These numbers were used as references for the two indexes that are included at the end of the volume. The first index lists all the biblical themes in the order that they appear in the volume with the number of the corresponding sermon. The second index is an alphabetical index of the distinctions found in the sermons, identified by the number of the sermon, and a letter reference indicating where within the sermon the distinction is found. Biblical distinctions, or distinctiones, tracked the different meaning of a word or concept in different passages of the Bible. The use of the term in this index seems to include almost any passage in a sermon where a word is discussed according to a number of different meanings, for example, “Adoratio deuota sit tripliciter” (Devout adoration in three ways), but it also includes simpler topical entries, such as “Paraclitus spritus sancti”, or “Panis corporis Christi.” On ff. 1v-57v, 71-87, and 174-186, the scribe has added marginal notes of the distinction found on that folio, and written in the reference letters, both alongside the note, and in the margin of the text next to the appropriate passage in the sermon. Even without this marginal apparatus, however, the use of red brackets to highlight distinctions makes it possible to find the passage listed in the index quite easily.

This sermon cycle, based on the evidence of this new complete manuscript, was a well thought-out text, which included multiple sermons for each feast of the Temporal or Proper of time (the portion of the liturgical year which included the moveable feasts centered on Christ, and in particular his resurrection at Easter), beginning with Advent, the four weeks before Christmas, and concluding with the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost. It is an interesting historical puzzle that a work this long and carefully conceived survives in only these two copies (and indeed, in only one complete copy).


Andersson-Schmitt, Margarete and Monica Hedlund. Mittelalterliche Handschriften der Universitätsbibliothek Uppsala : Katalog über die C-Sammlung, Stockholm, Sweden, Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1988.

Bériou, Nicole. “Les Sermons latins après 1200”, in Beverly Mayne Kienzle. The Sermon, Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 81-83, Turnhout, Brepols, 2000.

Longère, Jean. La prédication médiévale, Paris, Etudes augustiniennes, 1983.

Schneyer, Johannes Baptist. Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters für die Zeit von 1150-1350, Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie und Theologie des Mittelalters 43, Münster, 1969-80.

Online resources

Sermones.net: Édition électronique d’un corpus de sermons latins médiévaux

Medieval Sermons and Homilies; Bibliography, by Professor Charles Wright, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

John M. Howe, Texas Tech University, Sermons; Bibliography