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les Enluminures

ALBERTANUS BRIXENSIS, ROBERTUS GROSSTESTE, PETRARCHUS et alia, Miscellany of Theology, Rhetoric, Diplomacy, Astrology, and Literature

In Latin, decorated manuscript on paper
Italy, probably Florence, c. 1355-1365 (?) and after 1374

TM 92

155 folios (preceded by [4] blank paper folios and [1] parchment folio, ending with [1] parchment folio and [4] blank paper folios), on paper (with the exception of last numbered folio 155 on parchment) (watermarks close to Briquet, n° 7643–7645: Huchet, Florence, 1357 and 1364; Briquet, no. 8924–8925: Lettre R et croix, Arezzo et Florence, 1358, 1368), mostly in large quires, collation (i24 ; ii30 ; iii26 ; iv24 ; v26 ; vi24, vii1 [last parchment folio]), complete, quire signatures, catchwords, early foliotation in upper righthand corner, written in dark brown ink in an abridged Italian semigothic cursive script on up to 30 long lines (justification 140 x 210 mm.), change of hand from ff. 148v-155ruled in plummet, rubrics in red, paragraph marks in alternating red and blue, numerous 2–line high painted initials in blue or red, with red or purple pen flourishing extending into the margin, some marginal corrections or annotations ; mnemonic schematic diagrams of theological and legal notions following text on ff. 118v and 119v (these illustrate Robert Grosseteste, Templum Dei); contemporary table of contents copied on first parchment flyleaf : "[1] De doctrina dicendi et tacendi; [2] Liber consolationis et consilii, etc…" ; contemporary or near–contemporary inventory [list of 100 items] copied on last parchment flyleaf : "[beginning illegible]… un pesse, un resto d’aio, un citro…un specchio, una fodra di pele…un corno, una stagnada…una valise, un mortaro…un tanburlo, una arpa…un cimbalo, una trombeta… un galo, una occha…una bombarda…una borsa…un corvo" ; drawing of a musical instrument in bottom margin of fol. 155v (lute) ; on upper pastedown the following annotation in pencil: "Coll[ationné] compl[et] G. Martini / Evodspeed’s ( ?) Bookshop, Boston, 31 ott[obre], 1917." Bound in a later, likely sixteenth-century, limp “hollandaise" vellum binding, smooth spine, title in brown ink on upper spine leather ties still present (lacking one tie on bottom board), traces of early printed material used to reinforce binding found beneath the pastedowns (watermark of blank flyleaves close to Briquet nos. 900-901: no match, but paper is clearly second half of 16th century), binding and contents in very sound condition. Dimensions 292 x 217 mm.

This interesting miscellany includes an unusual compilation mostly of rhetorical (school?) texts, certainly made in Italy and datable to the mid-fourteenth century. The core of the manuscript includes a collection of most of Albert of Brescia’s works, including his sermons which are much rarer than his rhetorical writings. These are combined with other secular (Petrarch), religious, and scientific (Ptolomy and Thabit ibn’Qurra) works for an unknown use, perhaps in a monastic school setting. Some of the texts are unedited, and a few remain unidentified.


1. Watermarks, script, certain passages and notes in Italian all point to an Italian origin c. 1355-1365. The last date quoted in the manuscript seems to be 1311. However, the mansucript could have received added elements after 1374, since Petrarch’s translation of Griseldis is dated 1374 (note the change of script and added parchment folio). The exchange of letters included on ff. 138v-140v could contain more precise elements concerning for whom this manuscript was made or where it was compiled.

2. Private Collection, Europe.


ff. 1-37, Albertano da Brescia, Liber de doctrina dicendi et tacendi, rubric, In nomine patris filii et spiritus sancti. Incipit liber de doctrina dicendi et tacendi quem composuit dominus Albertanus. Deo gratia; incipit, "Initio et medio ac fini mei tractatus..."; explicit, "Explicit liber consolacionis et consillii quae Albertanus [...] Brisienssis de hora sancte Agathe compilavit atque chonpossuit MCCXLVI [1246] in mensibus aprilis."

Literature: Albertano da Brescia, Liber de doctrina dicendi et tacendi : la parola del cittadino nell'Italia del Duecento, a cura di Paola Navone, Florence ed. del Galluzzo, 1998 (Per verba : testi mediolatini con traduzione no. 11); Albertano da Brescia, Explicit liber de doctrina loquendi et // tacendi, ab Albertano causidico Brixi//ensi, ad instructionem suorum filiorum, compositus. // Impressum per me Gerardum Leeu, per Del // gratiam, in oppido Antwerpiensi, an//no Domini M.CCCC.LXXXIV, die quarta octobris, Anvers, 1484 (Hain, 400; Goff, A-196) [First printed Basel, Martin Flach, 1474; Goff, A-193]; Paola Navone, “La Doctrina loquendi et tacendi di Albertano da Brescia. Censimento dei manoscritti,” in Studi Medievali 35/2 (1994), pp. 895-930. Navone lists 238 Latin manuscripts; Angus Graham, “Albertanus of Brescia: A supplementary census of Latin manuscripts,” in Studi Medievali 41/1 (2000), pp. 429-445. Graham list 323 manuscripts.

ff. 37-95, Albertano da Brescia, De amore et dilectione Dei; rubric, Incipit liber de amore dilecionem dei et prossimi et aliarum rerum de forma […] liber primus...; incipit, "Initium mei tractatus in nomine domini a quo cunta bona procedunt"; explicit, "Explicit liber de amore et dilectione dei…quem Albertanus Causidicus Brisiensis de hora sancte agathe compilavit ac scripsit cum […] in carcere domini imperatoris Federici in civitate Cremone in quo portus fuit cum esset capitanius ( ?) guardi ad defendendum locum ipsum ad utilitatem comunis Brixiensis anno domini M. CC. XXXVIII [1238]…."

Literature: the text is available electronically on http://freespace.virgin.net/angus.graham/Albertano.htm

ff. 95v–104v Albertano da Brescia, Sermones; Sermon 1, rubric [transcription incomplete]: Hic est sermo quen [sic] Albertanus Chausidicus Brixienssis de sancta agata composuit…et quosdam notarios super confirmacione vite […] tempore domini [Manueli de Madio ( ?)] potest […] M. CC. XLIII [1243] in domo iuxta […] domini Petri Causidici in die sancti Nicholay; incipit, "Congregatio nostra sit in nomine domini a quo est omne datum optimum…"; explicit, "…sine fine vivit et regnat amen"; Sermon 2: rubric, Sermo secundum super inluminacione super spirituali incorporali refectione…; incipit, "Orate fratres ut misterio sue…"; explicit, "…ille nos perducat sine fine vivit et regnat in secula seculorum amen"; rubric, De omnibus ordinibus hominum in hoc seculo viventium (?); incipit, "Episcopi attendite dei verba discernite / Vobis preceperit dominus …"; explicit, "Expliciunt ritium domini Patri Damiani heremite et episcopi de omnibus ordinibus"; [in red] : "Explicit liber de Albertini deo gratias amen."

Literature: Sermon 1 published in Fe d’Ostiani, L. F., 1874; Sermons 2–5 published in Ferrari, M., Sermones quattuor: Edizione curate sui codici bresciani, Lonato: Fondazione Ugo da Como, 1955; see also Ferrari, M., "Intorno ad alcuni sermoni inediti de Alberto da Brescia" in Atti del Istituto Veneto di scienza, lettere ed arti, CIX (1951), pp. 69–93; Schneyer, Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters…, vol. I, pp. 84–86, records 12 manuscripts. These orations were apparently adressed to Brescian lawyers and Franciscan Friars when they assembled at Midlent for the purpose of feeding the poor.

ff. 104v-106v, Pantaleon Barbo, Sermon; rubric, Sermo quem dominus Pantaleon Barbo miles composuit et edidit super incarnatione et nativitate domini; incipit, "Factum est cum essent ibi / Maria suum peperit filium primogenitum…"; explicit, "virtus et gloria domino deo nostro sit in secula seculorum amen."

Not recorded in Schneyer.

ff. 106v–117v, Robert Grosseteste, Templum Dei; rubric, Incipiunt distinctiones domini Roberti Grosi Capitis linconiensis que vocantur Templu Dei; incipit, "Templus Dei sanctum est quod estis vos ad Corinthices…"; Explicit "…servitute est esse in temperantia."; "Expliciunt distinctiones domini Roberti Grossi Capitis linconiensis episcopi que vocantur Templu Dei. [in red] Explicit Templum Dei dei deo gratias."

Literature: Robert Grosseteste, Templum Dei. Edition from MS. 27 of Emmanuel College, Cambridge by Joseph Goering and F.A.C. Mantello, Toronto, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 1984 (Toronto Medieval Latin Texts, no.14). The critical edition records some 90 extant manuscript copies. The Templum Dei was a popular text. It contained practical information and useful commonplaces presented in mnemonic form (charts, diagrams, lists) as a handbook for priests and clerics charged with "cura animarum (care of souls)."

ff. 118, 119, blank;

ff. 118v; 119v, Robert Grosseteste, Templum Dei; Schematic diagrams .

ff. 121v-129, Laurentius de Aquileia, Practica dictaminis (1269-1304); rubric, Incipit pratica sive ars dictaminis magistri Laurentii Neapoli ad utilitatem rudimentum [?] compilata; Salutationes ad dominum papam; incipit, "Santissimo / Beatissimo…"; explicit, "Explicit ars dictaminis Laurentii Neapoli deo gratias amen."

Literature: Lexikon des Mittelalters, vol. V, 1977, col. 1759–1760; P. Paschini, Studi Aquilensi offerti a G. Brusin, 1953, pp. 407–422; K. Jensen, “The Works of Lawrence of Aquileia,” in Mansucripts, 17 (1973), pp. 147–153; Glorieux, La Faculté des arts et ses maitres au XIIIe siècle, 1971, p. 245. Parts of speech and concepts are linked to each other by means of horizontal lines that branch out. Text reads over double pages and gives examples of how to address the various dignitaries such as the pope, the cardinals, archbishops, judges, "sapientes" et passim…

ff. 129v-132, Unidentified Ars dictaminis; rubric, Incipit theorica sive ars dictaminis super quinque partibus theorice de inventione matrice sive materie intellectu; incipit, "Sicud cuius[…] prudentis ita pro loquentis…"; Explicit "Explicit theorica sive ars dictaminis deo gratias amen."

ff. 132v-134v, List of opening verses grouped thematically (De humili verbo / De malo filio / De bona societate / De fide / De invidia / De largitate…); rubric, Versus de materiis datis in scolis circa versificandi; another rubric (fol. 134) Versus de ludo scacorum; incipit, "Qui cupit egregium scacorum discere ludum…"; explicit, "…Suggerit et [inactum ( ?)] si viam nullla ( ?) patet."

ff. 135-137, Letter sent by Charles d’Anjou to Peter III of Aragona, upon loosing Sicily in 1282; rubric, Hec est epistula quam misit Rex Karolus quando perdidit Ceciliam domino Petro; incipit, "Si de sane mentis consideratione librata tuum…"; explicit, "…mirifici nostri exercitus abstentare."; rubric, Responsiva; incipit, "Formose pulcritudinis…"; explicit, "…et effusio sanguinis innocentium."

ff. 137-138, Letter of the Cardinals to the recently elected pope Clement V (Bertrand, archbishop of Bordeaux); rubric, M. CCC IIII [1304] mortuus est papa Benedictus die VII junii in Perusio et sepultus est apud ecclesiam sancti dominici et post mortem eius intraverunt cardinales carcere secundum eorum consuetudinem…et elegerunt archiepiscopum Burdagalensis nomine Bertrandus quod vocatus fuit papa Clemens .V. et ecce litera sive epistula quam miserunt ei cardinales quia ipse erat in partibus suis…; incipit, "Sanctissimo patri et domino. Domino Bertrando archiepiscopi Burdagalensi divina providentia…"; explicit, "…valere cupimus iterum supplicamus. Data Perusii .vi. die Junii"

Literature: On Bertrand de Got, see http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04020a.htm

ff. 138-138v, Letter of the Emperor Henry VII to the citizens of Bologna; rubric, Epistula quam misit dominus Imperator civitati Bononiense eo tempus quo venit in Lombardiam Tusciam et Romam per corona verbo pape Clementi .V. et asotiatus a tribus cardinalibus sub annis MCCCXI [1311]; incipit, "Henricus rex romanorum et semper augustus fidelibus…"; Explicit "…nolimus alios saracenos"

Literature: Bowsky, W.M. Henry VII in Italy, 1960. Entering the peninsula in 1310, Henry proclaimed himself above all parties and received the homage of leaders of both of the chief factions; in Jan., 1311, he was crowned king of the Lombards at Milan, a Guelph city. A revolt occurred in Milan, however, when Henry levied taxes on the city to support his army; although the revolt was suppressed, it drove Henry into the Ghibelline camp and precipitated war with the Guelph cities. Henry did not reach Rome until the following year, where on June 29, 1312, he was crowned Holy Roman emperor. Leaving Rome, he besieged Florence, but without success; in 1313, having allied himself with King Frederick II of Sicily, he pronounced the ban of the empire against King Robert of Naples, who opposed Henry's policy in Italy. While preparing to attack Robert, Henry died of fever. Henry VII's abortive Italian campaign only served to prove the futility of any attempt to revive the ancient imperial policy at a time when the papacy and S Italy were controlled by France and the N Italian towns were autonomous. Henry was succeeded by Holy Roman Emperor Louis IV.

ff. 138v-140v, Unidentified letters; rubric, Noveritis quod quondam invenis satis... ; incipit, "Reverendo patri suo et domino..."; rubric, Exordium; incipit, "Exime nobilitatis etc.
Cum ex dispositione capitis..."; rubric, Epistula misa ad maiorem; incipit, "Religioso viro fratri L.domini N. hostiensis episcopi..."

ff. 141-143, Tholomaeus (Claudius Ptolomaeus ?), Liber de proprietatibus signorum [On the properties of astrological signs]; rubric, Liber de proprietatibus signorum secundum Tholomeum de figura configuro arietis; incipit, "Vera figura arietis est sine lingua…"; explicit "…et de mastice est bona. Deo gratias amen."

Literature: Lexikon des Mittelalters, VII, col. 312.

f. 143v, blank;

ff. 144-148, Thabit ibn’Qurra (826–901), Liber de quinque imaginibus [Latin translation by Gherard of Cremona ? ]; rubric, Incipit liber Thebit Be[n]chorat de quinque ymaginibus et sunt generales; incipit, "Dixit Aburabem Beniclis [?] quia omnes orientales operabantur et non curarant de aliis..."; explicit, "Explicit liber Thebit Benchorat de ymaginibus. Deo gratias matrique sue amen."

ff. 148v-154v, Petrarch, Latin translation of Boccacio’s Griseldis [Johannes de Certaldo, quoted on folio 149]; see index on first parchment folio : "De eiusdem/cuiusdem uxoris Patientia & Constantia"; lacks rubric; incipit, "[L]ibrum tuum quem nostro materno..."; "Est ad Ytalicum latus occidentus vesalus ex apenini..."; explicit, "…hec muliercula passa est."

Literature: Morabito, R., "La diffusione della storia di Griselda dal XIV au XX secolo", in Studi sul Boccacio, 17 (1988), pp. 237-285; Petrarca, Francesco [Bufano, A. (ed)], Opere latine, a cura di Antonietta Bufano, Turin, II; Last story of Boccacio’s Decameron [Boccacio, Decameron, a cura di V. Branca, Turin 1980], Griseldis was translated into Latin by Petrarch in one of his letters to the same Boccacio (De oboedentia et fide uxoris, in Seniles, XVIII, 3) in 1374.

ff. 155-155v, Petrarch, Epistola; incipit, "[A]rsitus amor tui ut scribentem senex..."; explicit, "Explicit epistula domini Petrarce deo gratias amen".


Camargo, Ars dictaminis, ars dictandi, Turnhout, Brepols, 1991 (Typologie des sources du Moyen âge occidental, 60)

Leonardi Claudio, Giovanni Orlandi, "Aspetti della letteratura latina nel secolo XIII", Atti del primo Convegno internazionale di studi dell´Associazione per il Medioevo e l´Umanesimo latini (AMUL), Perugia 3-5 ottobre 1983 (Quaderni del Centro per il Collegamento degli Studi Mediavali e Umanistici nell´Università di Perugia 15), Perugia/Firenze 1986.

Online resources

Petrarch’s Griseldis


Thabit ibn’Qurra

Robert Grosseteste

Albert of Brescia