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les Enluminures

Miscellany,Vita et transitus Hieronymi (Life and death of St. Jerome) [PSEUDO-EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA, Epistola de morte Hieronymi (On the Death of Jerome); PSEUDO-AUGUSTINUS, Epistola ad Cyrillum de magnificentiis Hieronymi (On the Magnificence of Jerome); PSEUDO-CYRILLUS [Cyril of Jerusalem], Epistola de miraculis Hieronymi (On Jerome’s Miracles)]; and ANDREAS CAPELLANUS, De amore (On Love), book 3, De reprobatione amoris (On the Condemnation of Love)

In Latin, decorated manuscript on paper
Central Italy, c. 1440-1460

TM 1090

ii + 90 + ii (front and back flyleaves, two parchment leaves, folded, from 14th-century Italian documents, unfolded dimensions, c. 212-209 x 277-270, copied in cursive gothic scripts, some damage to the outer leaves, but ff. i verso-ii, front and back, are largely legible, apart from damage at the gutters), folios on paper, watermark, unidentified shape, and letter, possibly ‘N’, too partial for identification but similar to Piccard online 28955, Rome 1450, parchment guards in the middle of each quire, complete (collation i-iv14 v12 vi12 [-11 and 12, cancelled blanks] vii12), horizontal catchwords middle lower margin, no signatures, ruled in blind (probably on a ruling frame), with double full-length bounding lines (justification 137 x 90-85 mm.), written in an attractive running humanistic script in twenty-nine long lines, majuscules stroked in red, red rubrics and side notes, two- to one-line red initials, four-line red initial on f. 1v, water damage throughout (text remains legible), a few side notes very faded, bottom outer corners ff. 42-46 damaged (chewed), with very minor damage continuing to f. 60, f. 76 tear in outer margin, first folio has been repaired. Contemporary, likely ORIGINAL BINDING of alum tawed reverse leather dyed yellow over rounded wooden boards, extending slightly beyond the book block, extensive modern repairs including modern spine with three raised bands and modern pastedowns, fastened front to back, straps and clasps are missing, but two decorative brass catches with the lamb of God remain on the back board, both covers spotted and stained, but in good, sturdy condition. Dimensions 217 x 140 mm.

This is a curious miscellany, combining popular texts on St. Jerome with a portion of Andreas Capellanus’ treatise on courtly love.  Andreas’s text has fascinated scholars since the nineteenth century, sparking lively debates over the author’s intention.  This hitherto unrecorded copy offers one more clue to its reception in the Middle Ages. De amore is extremely rare on the market (only five records in the Schoenberg Database, three from the nineteenth century, and two from the twentieth century, one a German translation). The volume still preserves its original binding including two parchment documents from the diocese of Rieti as flyleaves.


1. Copied in the fifteenth century, c. 1440-1460, based on the evidence of the script, in central Italy, perhaps in the diocese of Rieti; two fourteenth-century Italian documents, on parchment, and in Latin, were folded and used as flyleaves at the front and back.  These documents can be localized based on their references to the city of Rieti (about seventy kilometers northeast of Rome), to the Benedictine monastery of San Salvatore Maggiore, and to the lord of Rocca Sinibaldi (a town not far from Rieti); the document used as the back flyleaf includes at date, 135<?>.  Rieti and its archives were the subject of extensive research by Robert Brentano (Brentano, 1981, 1994).

2. Throughout, there are formal “side notes” keying the reader to the contents, certainly contemporary, in red on ff. 1-40, and then on ff. 45v-55 (very faded, some illegible), and on ff. 67v-78 in black ink, with red highlights or underlining; there are fewer notes in the Andreas Capellanus text, f. 79 to end, but this also contains scattered annotations (in black with one in red); a few pointing hands.

3. Intriguing signs of use including odd black marks on f. 30 (presumably something was set down on the page), and rust marks on ff. 13v-14 (from a metal bookmark?).

4. Front flyleaf, f. 1, owner’s inscription in black ink (18th century?), “Pertinet a Bibliot<thece?> <…?>.”


ff. 1v-38v, [f. 1, blank], Incipit Epistola Beati Eusebii Ad Sanctum damasium portuensem episcopum <et> ad theodonium [sic] Romanorum senatorem de morte gloriosissimi confessoris hyeronimi doctoris eximii, incipit, “Patri reuerendissimo Damasio portensem episcopo et christianissimo Theodonio [sic] Romanorum senatori … Vale igitur Ieronime gloriose nostri … Et in futuro gaudia que iam tu possides adipisci.  Amen,” Explicit Transitus sanctissimi Ieronymi;

Ps.-Eusebius of Cremona’s letter to Bishop Damasus and the Roman senator Theodosius describing the death of Jerome; first published in Latin in Rome 1468 (GW 12421, Hain 8551) and many times after; BHL 3866; Cavallera, 1922-, II, 144-145; Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 22:239-282.

ff. 38v-45v, Incipit Epistola Beati Augustini ypponensis Episcopi Ad Beatum Cyrillum secundum yerosolomitanensis Episcopum de laudibus gloriossimi Jeronomi doctoris eximii Epistola foeliciter incipit, incipit, ““Gloriosissimi christiane fidei athlete sancte matris Ecclesie lapidis angularis … Non enim suo aliqualiter de fraudatur desiderio,” Finis;

Ps.-Augustine’s letter to St. Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, concerning the appearance of Jerome’s spirit to him, often referred to as the Epistola de magnificentiis Hieronymi ad Cyrillum; BHL 3867; published Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 22:282-289.

ff. 45v-78v, Incipit epistola sancti cyrilli ierosolimitani episcopi ad beatum Augustinum doctorem eximium de miraculis beati Jeronimi doctoris exmimii, incipit, “Uenerabili viro episcoporum eximio Augustino yponensi presuli Cirillus Iherosolymitanus pontifex … Mei Augustine karissime in tuis orationibus memor esto,” Finis;


Ps.-Cyril of Jersalem’s Letter to Augustine concerning the miracles of Jerome; BHL 3868; printed Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 22:289-326.

These three letters purporting to be by three contemporaries of St. Jerome (c. 347-420), St. Eusebius of Cremona (d. 423), St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), and Bishop Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 313-386), often circulated together.  They were enormously popular and survive in more than four hundred manuscripts, most of which are fifteenth century (see Lambert, 1970, vol. III B no. 903; Rice, 1985, p. 219 says none date before 1300; against this, see Bauer, 1981, who states six are thirteenth-century, without listing the manuscripts), and were printed in eleven Latin editions before 1501 (GW 2949, 9446-9454, M-07937); they were translated into numerous vernacular languages, including Tuscan, Sicilian, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Catalan, Danish and English, which circulated in manuscripts and print; listed in BHL, 3866-3868; printed Migne, Patrologia latina, vol. 22, cols. 239-326.

Modern scholars agree that they were written much later than Jerome’s lifetime, although there has been some debate over exactly where and when.  The evidence supports the theory that they were probably written in Rome at the end of the thirteenth or early in the fourteenth century, in the circle of Santa Maria Maggiore; and internal evidence points to an author close to the Dominican Order (Rice, 1985, pp. 49-50, p. 63 and 218-19; see also Lanzoni, 1920, pp. 37-8). The remnants of Saint Jerome were believed to have been transferred in the late thirteenth century from the Holy Land to the “cappella del presepio” (the Chapel of the Holy Crib) in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.  It is therefore logical to argue that there would have been in Rome, around Santa Maria Maggiore, the intellectual and spiritual impetus to compose works related to the saint’s death.

The first is a long letter describing Jerome’s last hours and death, the second letter from is about Jerome’s magnificentiae (i.e. his titles to glory and veneration), and the third describes Jerome’s miracles before and after his death.  All three answered medieval readers’ avid curiosity about the details of Jerome’s death, and became the foundational texts for the cult of Jerome in fifteenth-century Italy (on the cult of Jerome, see Rice, 1985).  Jerome in these letters is a virtuosic ascetic and a powerful worker of miracles. The impact of these letters extended beyond the written word; preachers used the letters in their sermons, artists represented them in their frescoes, paintings, and manuscript illuminations.

ff. 79-90v, Incipit liber de reprobatione amoris, incipit, “Igitur que ad tue petitionis ... Vana et gloriam feminam … et que verba cuncta de se ipsa prolata non credat aut ad suas pertinentia,” Laudes.

Andreas Capellanus, De amore, book 3, De reprobatione amore (On the Condemnation of Love); our manuscript includes most of book 3, Trojel, ed., 1892, pp. 313-350 [ending about ten pages before the end of book 3, ed., pp. 313-361].  Note that the compiler of this miscellany deliberately chose just this section from Andrew’s work; there is no evidence that this manuscript ever included more of the text.

On Love by Andreas Capellanus, or Andrew the Chaplain, is one of the most famous texts written during the Middle Ages; it explores what we now call “courtly love,” a particular form of courtship celebrated in medieval literature.  Inspired by Ovid, it includes three books, the first two praising courtly love, and the last, excerpted here, condemning it.  Almost everything about this work has been disputed in the scholarly literature, including the identity of the author. Many scholars have suggested that it was written in the late twelfth century, in the 1180s, by a chaplain at the court of Henry the Liberal (1127-1181), probably for his wife, Marie of France (1145-1198), countess of Champagne and Troyes, the daughter of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204); others have suggested that it was written in Paris at the beginning of the thirteenth century (Dronke, 1994). 

Andrew’s work was popular during the Middle Ages, despite its condemnation in 1277 by Stephen Tempier, the Bishop of Paris.  It survives in thirty-seven manuscripts in Latin (listed in Arlima, Online Resources; see also Karnein, 1958; Roy, 1958; Roy, 1993).  Some scholars interpreted Andrew’s work as a codification of the “rules” of courtly love, which is itself was seen either as an actual practice or a purely literary convention.  Particularly vexing to modern thinkers is the contrast between Andrew’s first two books and the third book, suggesting to some that at least part (or all) of the treatise was intended ironically, or simply as an entertainment.  Many recent discussions have underlined the idea that Andrew, in common with other writers from the later twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, wanted to assemble a comprehensive treatment of the subject of love, drawing on ancient sources, the Bible, and contemporary writings; far from being troubled by the contradictions within his work, he and his contemporaries would have been delighted by the dialectic presented by them.

A key part of modern studies of On Love, are discussions of its reception in the Middle Ages (for example, see Karnein, 1985; Roy, 1985; Monson, 2005), leading to a greater attention to the manuscript circulation of the text.  The manuscript described here, to our knowledge unknown to historians of the text, thus offers significant new evidence relevant to discussions of how the medieval audience viewed Andrew’s text.  Both its Italian origin (most of the surviving fifteenth-century witnesses to the text are from Germanic countries), and the context of this selection from book three are relevant.  Pairing Andrew with Jerome is particularly interesting since Andrew’s marshalling of the evidence against love (or at least against “courtly love”) includes many harshly misogynistic statements that contrast strongly with opinions expressed in books one and two; Jerome’s writings about women were just as complex. 


Andersen-Wyman, Kathleen. Andreas Capellanus on Love? Desire, Seduction, and Subversion in a Twelfth-Century Latin Text, Studies in Arthurian and Courtly Cultures, New York, 2007.

Bauer, Erika.  “Hieronymus-Briefe,” in Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon, ed. K. Ruh et. al., III, Berlin and New York, 1981, cols. 1233-1238.

Benton, John F. “The Court of Champagne as a Literary Center,” Speculum 36 (1961), pp. 551-591.

[Bollandists]. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina: antiquae et mediae aetatis ediderunt Socii Bollandiani, Brussels, Société des bollandistes, 1898-1901 [cited here as BHL].

Brentano, Robert. A New World in a Small Place:  Church and Religion in the Diocese of Rieti, 1188-1378, Berkeley, 1994.

Brentano Robert. “Correspondances at Rieti: the International Church and Face of Christ,” Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome. Moyen-Age, Temps modernes 93 (1981), pp. 179-188.

Cavallera, Ferdinand. Saint Jérôme; sa vie et son oeuvre, Louvain, and Paris, 1922-.

Dronke, Peter. “Andreas Cappellanus,” Journal of Medieval Latin, 4 (1994), pp. 51-63.

Fros, Henricus. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis: novum supplementum, Brussels, 1986.

Karnein, Alfred. De Amore in Volkssprachlicher Literatur: Untersuchungen Zur Andreas-Capellanus Rezeption, Heildelberg, 1985.

Lambert, Bernard. Bibliotheca Hieronymiana manuscripta. La tradition manuscrite des œuvres de Saint Jérôme, Steenbruges, Martinus Nijhoff, 1969-72.

Lanzoni, F. “La leggenda di S. Girolamo,” in Miscellanea geronimiana, ed. V. Vannutelli, Rome, 1920, pp. 37-38.

Linde, Cornelia. How to Correct the Sacra Scriptura: Textual Criticism of the Bible between the Twelfth and the Fifteenth Century, Oxford, 2012 (pp.49-57, cult of Jerome).

Monson, Don A. Andreas Capellanus, Scholasticism, and the Courtly Tradition, Washington, D. C, 2005.

Parry, John Jay, tr., The Art of Courtly Love by Andreas the Chaplain, New York, 1941-.

Brentano Robert. Correspondances at Rieti : the International Church and Face of Christ. In: Mélanges de l'Ecole française de Rome. Moyen-Age, Temps modernes, tome 93, n°1. 1981. pp. 179-188.

Rice, E. Saint Jerome in the Renaissance, Baltimore, London, 1985.

Roy, Bruno. “À la recherche des lecteurs médiévaux du De amore d'André le Chapelain,” Revue de l'Université d'Ottawa 55 (1985), pp. 45-73.

Roy, Bruno and George Ferzoco. “La redécouverte d'un manuscrit du De amore d'André le Chapelain,” Journal of Medieval Latin 3 (1993), pp. 135-148.

Russo, Daniel. Saint Jérôme en Italie, Paris and Rome, 1987.

Trojel, E., ed.  Andrea Capellani regii Francorum, De Amore libri tres, Copenhagen, 1892, editio altera, Walther Bulst, Munich, 1964 (reprint, 1972).

Vannutelli , V., ed. Miscellanea Geronimiana : scritti varii pubblicati nel 15 centenario dalla morte di San Girolamo, Rome, Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1920. See in particular F. Lanzoni, “La leggenda di S.Girolamo,” pp. 19-42, available online

Andreas Capellanus on Love, éd. et trad. ang. Patrick Gerard Walsh, London, 1982.

Online Resources

Bibliotheca hagiographica latina manuscripta (hagiographical manuscripts relevant to Jerome)

Andreas Capellanus, De amore
IntraText CT-Text; Liber Tertius, De Reprobatione Amoris

André Le Chapelain, ARLIMA, Archives de littérature du Moyen Âge, listing


TM 1090