TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

BERNAT DE GRANOLLACHS, Lunarium ab anno 1491 ad annum 1550 [and] ANIANUS, Computus cum commento [and] ANONYMOUS, Liber destructionis Ierusalem

In Latin, incunables on paper; and in Catalan, manuscript on paper
France [Lyons, Johannes Siber, 1491] and France, [Lyons: Jean du Pré, 24 January 1490] and Catalonia, c. 1475-1500

TM 645

i + 92 + i (collation: first incunable a-c8+d10, wanting d10; second incunable a-e8, wanting e6 and e7; manuscript i13/8) incomplete, paper (190 x 130 mm) trimmed, watermarks for first incunable (ff. 1-33) “roue dentée” Briquet 13374 (Grenoble, 1489 and Valence, 1493) and “tête de cerf” similar to Briquet 15542 (Sion, 1452) and Briquet 15544 (Catane, 1488), watermarks for second incunable (ff. 34-71) “cloche” similar to Briquet 4115 (Lyon, 1515) and “fleur de lis” not found in Briquet, watermarks for manuscript (ff. 72-92) “armoiries deux pals” Briquet 2066 (Palerme, 1473-1476) and “sirène” Briquet 13871 (Verceil and Biella, 1473), first incunable Gothic Type Haebler classification M18 and M95 (9:100G and 10:74G), second incunabula Gothic Type Haebler classification M19 and Roman Gft2112 (6:120G and 5:81B), manuscript written in Gothic cursive script in brown ink, no ruling (writing space 155 x 97 mm), 30-34 lines per page, single column text throughout, printed signatures in incunabula, second incunable has modern pencil foliation in upper right hand corner in pencil (1-40), second incunabula has marginal comments and numbering in modern pencil in lower margins, 5-line capital “A” with rubrication and flourishes on f. 72r, manuscript rubrication of initials and some majuscule letters, first incunable has printed running headers, decoration for the first incunable includes 22 small woodcut moons (19 x 19 mm) at various states of waxing and waning, decoration of the second incunable includes eight (ff. 38v, 39r, 41v, 42r, 43v, 44r, 54v, 55r) large woodcut hands for learning calculations (145 x 105 mm), one woodcut calendar with sun and stars on f. 51v (94 x 94 mm), one circular woodcut calculating table on f. 58r (100 x 100 mm), and one woodcut printer’s mark on f. 71v (48 x 48 mm), f. 71v has modern incunable description in cursive hand in pencil, first incunable lacking final blank folio d10 (33 out of 34 leaves), second incunable lacking folios e6-7 with woodcut tables (38 out of 40 leaves), manuscript is lacking final five folios from line 1415 onward (21 out of 26 leaves), ff. 1v, 2v, 35v, 39v, 43r, 45r, blank, f. 33 damaged by cutting losing two lines of text, f1rv has brown stain damage, f. 52r ink stain lower margin, ff. 1-13 have small worming damage to lower spine edge, f. 92 slight worming damaging text, light browning and wear to edges throughout. Bound in eighteenth-century vellum binding over cardboard, 5 raised bands on spine, book block partially separated from binding, dark leather title description with tooled, gilded title “GRAMO. TRACT” pasted within the second compartment, red coloring to edges of paper, paper flyleaves and pastedowns, seventeenth or eighteenth-century description of Grannolach’s work on front pastedown in Italian (“Incunabula 1491. L’autore Barcellonese fa credere che questa Edizione possa essere Spagnuola e forse di Barcellona stessa.”), auction mark lot number from Reiss and Sohn in pencil (“Sch. 4422”) on front pastedown, bibliographic information in pencil on front pastedown (“I: GW 11312 II: GW 1958 III MS”), late sixteenth or early seventeenth-century title in cursive script using brown ink on recto side of front pastedown (“Bernardini de Gramolachiis Barchinonensis Artium, et Medicinae Magister, en Nobilissima Arte Astrologiae Tractatus In quo Coniunctiones, et Oppositiones Lune Cuiuslibet mensis in quolibet anno Facilime experiri possunt incipiendo Ab anno Domini Mcccclxxxxi usque ad annum Mcccccl. Deinde additus Liber Qui Compotus inscribitur”), modern manuscript description in cursive hand in pencil on recto side of rear pastedown (“il ms e di 21 (ventiun) carte.”). Dimensions 196 x 139 mm.

Interesting hybrid miscellany of scientific and historical texts, combining two incunables and one manuscript together in a single codex. The two incunables are treatises on lunar and solar cycles, both quite rare, and the second one illustrated. The third part of the miscellany contains a near-complete copy—one of five known (the others in European collections)—of a Catalan translation of the Liber destructionis Ierusalem. This vernacular manuscript provides a crucial link to vernacular culture and crusade mythology in the later Middle Ages. 


1. Manuscript written in the last quarter of the fifteenth century in one the Catalan speaking regions of the Kingdoms of Aragón based on language, paleography, and watermarks.

2. f. 1r has sixteenth-century handwritten ex libris belonging to an unidentified Discalced Carmelite Convent of Santa Teresa: “Conventus. Sa. Teresie. Carmel: Discal:”

3. f. 71v has late sixteenth or early seventeenth-century handwritten ex libris belonging to Lazarus Ferolis (1550?-1600?) above the printer’s mark woodcut: “Lazarus Ferolis”.

4. Pickering and Chatto Booksellers (London).

5. New York, Sotheby’s, 13 December 2000, lot 55.



f. 1r, Title page; “Ad inueniendum nouam lunam et festa mobilia Liber perutilis.”

ff. 2r-33r, Bernardus de Granollachs, Lunarium ab anno 1491 ad annum 1550, incipit, “Incipit tractatus multum vtulis per cicunspectum virum domini. Bernardinum de gramollachs barchinonensis, artium et medicine magistrum ex nobilissima arte astrologie ex tractatus in quo coniunctiones et oppositiones lune cuiuslibet in quolibet anno facillime experiri possunt incipiendo ab anno, domini, M.cccc.lxxxxi, usque ad annum domini, M.cccc.l. durans.”; explicit, “Et ita verissime habebitur vera hora ac tempus coniunctionum et oppositionum ac eclipsium.”


f. 34r, Title page; “Compotus cum commento.”

ff. 35r-70r, Anianus, Computus cum commento, incipit, “Liber qui compotus inscribitur; una cum figuris et manibus necessariis tam in suis locis quam in fine libri positis Incipit feliciter. Ux orta est iusto. Psalmista. Ista verba possunt dupliciter considerari. Primo possunt dici de deo qui lux est vera.”; explicit, “...sequens premissis addit vnum Anno bissexti vult vna dies superaddi.” 

f. 70v, [Anianus?], [Versus quibus plura ad compotum necessaria cognoscuntur], incipit, “Que vix antiqui potuerent scribere libris”,; explicit, “Uere nouo decorantur floribus arua.” 

f. 71r, Printer’s register.


ff. 72r-92v, Anonymous. Liber desctuctionis Ierusalem, incipit, “Apres doze ans: que ihesu christus fou leuat en la cros en iherusalem”; explicit, “ vengada la mort de Nostre Senyor ihesu xrist e car foren tornats sans e saus amb los gens. Cant climent non seynat.”

Bernat de Granollachs (d. 1487?) was born in the first half of the fifteenth-century to an important but minor noble family dedicated to medicine in Barcelona.  He studied medicine at Barcelona then received his master’s in Montpellier, where he travelled in 1440. Returning to Barcelona, he became noted for his astronomical studies among the local elite. His most famous work, the Lunarium ab anno 1491 ad annum 1550, consists of an important set of charts calculating the phases of the moon, including eclipses and movable feasts, from 1491 to 1550.  The difficulty in calculating the solar and lunar calendars led to the popularity of Granollachs’ work, especially given the importance of movable religious feast days like Easter and for novice astronomers. The first printed Lunari appeared in Catalan circa 1485 in Naples, followed by translations into Italian and Latin and Castilian. The utility of the charts quickly led the Lunarium to becomeone the most published texts (42 incunabula editions in five languages) at the end of the Middle Ages. Other authors seized on its popularity, and copied his tables verbatim into their own works, such as the almanac produced by Andrés de Li known as the Repertorio de los tiempos. Ironically, Granollachs’ work was not original, but copied the erudite Jewish astronomer Jacob ben David Bonjorn of Girona (b. 1333). Bonjorn, who served as one of the royal astronomers of King Pere el Ceremoniós of Aragón, created the set of tables for the city of Perpignan that calculated the true syzygies (conjunctions and oppositions of the sun and the moon) for 31 years starting in 1361. Bonjorn’s own work, later translated into Latin, Catalan, and Greek, was in turn based on the writings of Levin ben Gerson (d. 1344). 

The present edition printed by the Swiss printer Johannes Siber was one of three editions that he completed at Lyons in 1491 (ISTC ig00340500; GW 11312). This is one of only two known exemplars of the 1491 Siber edition that survive, the other being at St. Andrews University Library.    

Very little is known about Master Anianus. Scholars believe that he was a French Benedictine monk, likely living at the monastery of Aniane near Montpellier during the second half of the thirteenth century. Anianus’s Computus cum commento attempted to make the difficult calculations of the lunar and solar calendars more accessible for those who needed to understand them for church festivals and calendars by simplify the mathematics into mnemonic verse. He also designed a memory system using the digits on the hand to help make the mathematical calculations more accessible to novice scholars. His work therefore does not rely on complex algorithms, but instead on calculating devices using the joints of the hand and the different spaces on the palm.  Beginning in 1485, the large number of illustrated editions of Anianus’s book demonstrates its popularity and importance for calculating the calendar. Jean du Pré, the publisher of this edition, was a well-known and productive printer in Paris, who periodically moved his press to regional centers such as Lyons and Nantes to increase his profits and expand his business interests. 

This copy of du Pré’s 1490 edition (ISTC ia00736500; GW 1958) is the last of three editions published by the Lyonese printer, the first being in 1488.  It is one of six other known exemplars of this edition, all located in Europe. 

The Liber destructionis Ierusalem, also known by its French title La vengeance de nostre Seigneur, is an apocryphal history of the destruction of Jerusalem under the Flavians. The medieval version changes Roman history from one of political and military retribution for revolting against the Empire, to one of punishing the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. For the transformation to take place, medieval writers concocted a story describing the miraculous cure of Vespasian by a relic of Christ. This miraculous cure led Vespasian to punish the Jews for their treatment of the founder of Christianity after the saint had visited Rome and preached to the people. Although earlier stories of the destruction of Jerusalem circulated in Latin in Europe as the Gesta Pilati or Vindicta Salvatoris, the Catalan variation derives primarily from the later fourteenth- and fifteenth-century French prose versions derived from the original twelfth-century poem. The prose version proved highly popular in Europe, being translated into Provencal, Catalan, Castilian, and Portuguese. The popularity of the text led it to be printed three times in the Iberian Peninsula during the 1490s, but not in Catalan. This manuscript is one of five known copies of the Liber destuctionis Ierusalem in Catalan, two being held in the Biblioteca de Catalunya (MS 710 and 991), one in the Arxiu de la Corona d’Aragó (MS Ripoll 155), and one in the Paris, BnF (MS esp. 509).


Bohigas i Balaguer, Pere. “El repertori de manuscrits catalans de la Fundació Patxot. Missió de Paris, (1926-1927)”, Estudis Universitaris Catalans 15 (1930), pp. 92-139 and 197-230.

Bohigas i Balaguer, Pere. “El repertori de manuscrits catalans de la Fundació Patxot. Missió de Paris, (1926-1927)”, Estudis Universitaris Catalans 16 (1931), pp. 82-111 and 213-310.

Bufarull y Mascaró, Próspero. “Sitio, toma y destrucción de Jerusalén por el emperador Vespasiano”, in Colección documentos inéditos del Archivo General de la Corona de Aragón 13, pp. 9-55, Barcelona, L. Benaiges, 1847.

Chabás Bergón, José. “Interactions between Jewish and Christian Astronomers in the Iberian Peninsual”, in Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures, ed. Gad Freudenthal, pp. 147-154, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Chabás Bergón, José and Antoni Roca i Rosell. El “Lunari’’ de Bernat de Granollachs. Alguns aspectes de la història de l’astronomia a la Catalunya del Quatre-cents, in Publicacions de la Fundació Salvador Vives Casajuana 91, Barcelona, Fundació Vives i Casajuana, 1985.

Chabás Bergón, José and Antoni Roca i Rosell. “The Early Printing of Astronomy: The Lunari of Bernat de Granollachs”, Centaurus 40/2 (1998), pp. 124-134.

Chabás Bergón, José and Beranrd R. Goldstein. A Survey of European Astronomical Tables in the Late Middle Ages, Leiden, Brill, 2012.

Chabás Bergón, José and Beranrd R. Goldstein.  Astronomy in the Iberian Peninsula: Abraham Zacut and the Transition from Manuscript to Print, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 90/2, Philadelphia, American Philosophical Society, 2000.

Delbrugge, Laura. “Capitalizing on the Stars: Medieval Almanacs as Popular Science”, Actes de la VI trobada d’història de la ciència i de la tècnica, pp. 301-305, Barcelona, Societat Catalana d’Història de la Ciència i de la Tècnica, 2002.

Delbrugge, Laura. “From Lunar Charts to Li: Considerations of Marketability and Concepts of Authorship in the Evolution of Bernat De Granollachs’ Lunari”, Catalan Review 22 (2008), pp. 219-229.

Domínguez Prieto, César. “The Transmission of the Legend of the Destruction of Jerusalem in Medieval Hispanic Literature, I: Miragres de Santiago”, in Papers of the Medieval Hispanic Research Seminar 26, pp. 9-23, London, Department of Hispanic Studies - Queen Mary and Westfield College, 2000.

Font i Sagué, Norbert. Història de les ciènces naturals a Catalunya del sigle XI al XVIII, Barcelona: La Hormiga de Oro, 1908.

Hernado Delgado, Josep. “La destrucció de Jerusalem. La venjança que féu de la mort de Jesucrist Vespasià e Titus son fill”, Miscel·lània de Textos Medievals 5 (1989), pp. 1-116.

Herzog, Hans. Ein zürcherische Incunabeldruckr Johannes Siber, Bopp, 1921.

Hook, David. The Destruction of Jerusalem: Catalan and Castilian Texts, London, King’s College London Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies, 2000.

Hook, David. “The Legend of the Flavian Destruction of Jerusalem in Late Fifteenth Century Spain and Portugal”, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 65/2 (1988), pp. 113-128.

Kusukawa, Sachiko. “A Manuel Computer for Reckoning Time”, in Writing on Hands. Memory and Knowledge in Early Modern Europe, ed. Claire Richter Sherman, pp. 28-34, Seattle, 2000.

Navarro Brotóns, Víctor, Vicente L. Salavert Fabiani, Victoria Rosselló, and Víctor Darás Román, eds. Bibliographía physico-mathemática hispánica (1475-1900), vol. 1, Valencia, Instituto de Historia de la Ciencia, 1999.

Smith, David Eugene. Le comput manuel de magister Anianus, Paris, Editions E. Droz, 1928.

Smith, David Eugene. Rara Arithmetica. A Catalogue of Arithmetics Written before the Year MDCI with a Description of those in the Library of George Arthur Plimpton of New York, Boston, Ginn and Co., 1908.

Wordsworth, Christopher. The Ancient Kalendar of the University of Oxford from Documents of the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Century, in Oxford Historical Society 45, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1904.

Online resources

Dawn of Western Printing

Philobiblon: Catalogue of Iberian Manuscripts

Medieval and Renaissance Astronomy

Liberknecht’s Calendar Tools for Medieval Calendars