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PHILIPPUS DE MONTE CALERIO, Postilla super evangelia dominicalia or Sermones dominicales (part, thirty-nine sermons)

In Latin, manuscript on paper
Northern Italy, Emilia Romagna?, c. 1340-1375

TM 555

ii (paper) + 96 + ii (paper) folios on paper, watermark, two circles on top of each other with a cross above, Online Piccard, 22404, Lucca 1331, 22408, Bologna 1329, 2243, Bologna 1345, 22432, Lucca, 1350, and a cup-shaped flower and two leaves with three stems, same type as Online Piccard 127193, no place 1361, 127229, Como 1388, and 127227, Xanten 1349, modern foliation in pencil top outer corner recto, now bound out of order, correct order: ff. 1-50v, 83-96v, 51-82v, wanting at least one gathering at the end (collation, i16 ii18 iii-v16 vi14), decorated horizontal catchwords center lower margin (erased in quire three, f. 50v), no leaf or quire signatures, but the scribe wrote catchwords at the bottom of each verso, ff. 83v-89v, frame ruled in hardpoint with the top horizontal rule full across and single full-length vertical bounding lines (justification, 218-208 x 162-157 mm.), written in a small cursive gothic bookhand in two columns of 43-34 lines probably by several scribes, guide letters and blank spaces for two-line initials throughout, first and last leaves darkened and stained, first fifteen leaves stained by damp in the outer margins, top margin, f. 1, and top outer corner, ff. 1-3, and f. 82, damaged, a couple of worm holes on ff. 1-3, with slight loss of text, otherwise legible throughout with the inner folios generally in very good condition. Bound c. 1990 in modern red leather over pasteboard by Donald Taylor of Toronto, spine with four raised bands lettered in gilt, “Sermones dominicales,” “S. XIV”, in excellent condition; unbound when acquired by Pope in 1983. Dimensions 296 x 220 mm.

This is a hitherto unidentified manuscript of part of the important sermon collection on the Sunday Gospels written in the early fourteenth century by a Franciscan in Padua, probably copied close to the author’s lifetime. Despite its popularity in the later Middle Ages and early modern period, there is no critical edition, and the author and these sermons are little known to the English-speaking scholarly community (not included in Schneyer, Repertorium, or its continuation). This is a large format copy of a very interesting and influential example of mendicant preaching in Italy.


1. The evidence of the script and watermark indicate that this manuscript was copied in northern Italy in the fourteenth century; the text dates c. 1330, and the watermark evidence in particular suggests that this is an early copy of the text, probably copied within the lifetime of the author, or shortly after, c. 1340-1375. It bears all the hallmarks of a working copy, valued for its contents, and certainly not for show; the paper is rather coarse, and the script, while regular and easily read once one becomes accustomed to it, is both a cursive gothic bookhand – a more quickly written script than a formal bookhand -- and very small to save space, despite the rather large format of the manuscript. Although spaces were left for colored initials and rubrics by the scribe, they were left blank, and marginal notes by the scribe take their place. Throughout there are annotations, probably by the scribe, highlighting passages within the text (“figura” and “moraliter”). There are also a few nota marks and occasional short comments by contemporary readers. All the evidence suggests that this was probably a copy for use in a Franciscan Convent.

2. “Proprietà di F. Pacinora, 1872,” on ff. 1 and 96, in ink, boxed in darker ink.

3. Belonged to Joseph Pope (1921-2010) of Toronto, investor banker and prominent collector of medieval manuscripts, who acquired it from Bernard M. Rosenthal, San Francisco, in 1983; Bergendal Collection MS 58 (described in Pope, 1999; brief description in Stoneman, 1997, p. 189; an account of the collection is given in Pope, 1997; see also Online Resources, Bergendal Collection).


Now bound out of order, the correct order should be I. ff. 1-50v; II. ff. 83-96v; III. Ff. 51-82v.

I. ff. 1-50v:

ff. 1-4, Dominica prima septuagesima, incipit, “Simile est regnum celorum homini patri familias qui exiit primo mane conducere operarios in vineam suam, Mt. 20[:1]. [Nos] uidemus per experientiam quod quando aliquis ex labore suam magnum expectat premium …”; Dominicale fratris Filipi de Monte Calerio,... [s.n. 1498] (available online at Gallica, Online resources below), the sermons in this printed edition are numbered, and this corresponds to number Evangelium 19.

ff. 4-7v, Dominica sexagesima, incipit, “Cum turba plurima convenirent et de civitatibus properarent ad yesum dixit per similitudinem exiit qui seminat etc, luc. 8[:4]. Nos uidemus per experientiam in istis corporibus[?] quod quando aliquam agens influit in aliquam subiecta diuersa …”;

This begins with the same pericope as the sermon for Evangelium 20 in the 1498 edition, but the text of the introduction is different; the remainder of the sermon has some similarities to the text in the printed edition, but the differences are notable.

ff. 7v-11, Dominica quinquagesima, incipit, “Assumpsit yesus duodecim discipulos suos et ait illis ecce ascendimus ierosolymam luc 18[:31]. Tria sunt inter alia que pertinent ad bonum medicum, primo est quod cognoscat infirmitatis moribus, secundum quod ….”;

Evangelium 21 (1498 ed.).

ff. 11-15, Dominica prima in quadragesima, incipit, “Ductus est yesus in desertum, Mt. 4[:1]. Sciendum est quod secundum sententiam sanctorum primus homo et per consequens totum genus humanum …”;

Evangelium 22 (1498 ed.).

ff. 15v-19v, Dominca secundus in quadragesima, incipit, “Et post dies sex assumpsit yesus petrum iacobum et iohannem fratrem eius, Mt [17:1]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quando alicui homini aflicto promittitur aliqua futura pro certo remuneratio et consolatio …”;

Evangelium 23 (1498 ed.).

ff. 19v-24v, Dominica 3, incipit, “Erat yesus eiciens demonium et illud erat mutum, luc 11[:14]. Rationabile est et congruum ut homo qui debet laudati ab aliis …”;

Evangelium 24 (1498 ed.).

ff. 24v-29, Dominica 4, incipit, “Abiit yesus trans mare Galilee quod est Tyberiadis, Io. 6[:1]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod officium boni medici habentis aliquem infirmum …”;

Evangelium 25 (1498 ed.).

ff. 29-32, [Dominica de passione], incipit, “Quis ex uobis arguet me de peccato, Jo. 8[:46]. Nos videmus per experientiam quod inter alia qui desiderant homo est scire …”;

Evangelium 26 (1498 ed.).

ff. 32-35, Dominica in ramis palmarum, incipit, “Cum appropinquasset yesus ierosolimis et venisset tehsage [sic] etc. Mt 21[:1]. Diuersitas oppinionum fuit …”;

Evangelium 27 (1498 ed.).

ff. 35-38v, Dominica resurrectionis domini, incipit, “Maria Magdalena et Maria Jacobi ... Mar. 16[:1]. Nos videmus per experientiam quod unusquisque lectatur [sic] in presentia illius quem diligit ..”;

Evangelium 28 (1498 ed.).

ff. 38v-42, Feria 2, incipit, “Duo ex discipulis yesus ibant … Luc. 24[:13]. Rationabile est et ualde congruum quod res notabiles maxime …”;

Evangelium 29 (1498 ed.).

ff. 42-44, Feria 3, incipit, “Stetit yesus in medio discipulorum … Luc 24[:36]. Nos vidimus per experientiam quod unaquaque res quanto a pluribus …”;

Evangelium 30 (1498 ed.).

ff. 44-47v, Dominica in octava pascha, incipit, “Cum esset sero die illo … Io. 20. Bonus prelatus debet erga suos subditos inter alia …”;

Evangelium 31 (1498 ed.).

ff. 47v-50v, Dominica 2 post pascha, incipit, “Ego sum pastor bonus, Io 10[:11 or 14]. Nos uidemus loquendo naturaliter quod vnaquem res potest …”;
Evangelium 32 (1498 ed.).

ff. 50v, ff. 83-86, Dominica 3 post pentec, incipit, “Modicum et iam non videbits me, Io. 16[:16]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quia res amata presens diligitur et delectate …; Ratio autem comparator viro secundum//”

Evangelium 33 (1498 ed.), although the rubric added in the margin identifies this as a sermon for the third Sunday after Pentecost, this is likely an error, since the text agrees with the third Sunday after Easter in the 1498 edition. Since the manuscript is bound out order, the text begins on f. 50v, and then continues on f. 83, concluding on f. 85v.

II. ff. 83-96v:

ff. 83-85v, conclusion of the sermon for Dominca 3 post pascha, see above.

ff. 85v-87v, Dominca 4 post pascha, incipit, “Vada ad eum qui misit me …, Io 16[:5]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quando aliquis recedit a persona quoniam diligit …”;

Evangelium 34 (1498 ed.).

ff. 87v-90v, Dominica 5 post pascha, incipit, “Amen amen dico uobis … Io 16[:20]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quatuor sunt inter alia que faciunt hominem gratiosum …”;

Evangelium 35 (1498 ed.).

ff. 90v-94, In ascensione domini, incipit, “Recumbentius xi discipulos …, Marcus16[:14]. Quia inter magistrum et discipulum et prelatum et subditum et dominum et servuum est …”;

Evangelium 36 (1498 ed.).

ff. 94-96v, Dominica infra octava ascensione, incipit, “Cum venerit paraclitus quem ego vobis …. Jo. 15[:26]. Proprietas very amici est …, Amen.”
Evangelium 37 (1498, ed.).

III. ff. 51-82v:

ff. 51-54v, In pentacosten, incipit, “Siquis diligit me sermonem meum …, Jo.14[:23]. Sciendum quod loquendo de vera amicitia …”;
Evanglium 38 (1498 ed.).

ff. 54v-56, Feria 2, incipit, “Sic deus dilixit mundum …, Io. 3[:16]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quando aliquam nouum et solitum sit in aliqua regione homines regionis illius sepius et longo …”;

Evangelium 39 (1498 ed.).

ff. 56-58, Feria 3, incipit, “Amen dico uobis qui non intrat per hostium ... Jo 10[:1]. Sciendum est, quantum ad presens est spectat quod 4 sunt de ratione boni magistri …”;

Evangelium 40 (1498 ed.).

ff. 58-61v, Dominica prima post pentecosten, incipit, “Estote misericordes sicut … luc. 26 [Luke 6:36]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod bonus magister discipulos suos instruit …;

Evangelium 41 (1498 ed.).

ff. 61v-66v, In festo corporis christi, incipit, “Caro mea uere est cibus .., Io. 16 [John 6:56]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quando res in se est nobilior et pretiosior …”;

Evangelium 42 (1498 ed.).

ff. 66v-72v, Dominica 2 post pentec., incipit, “Homo quidam fecit cenam magnam ..., luc 24 [Luke 14:16]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quando aliquis magister[?] est potens in diuitiis …”;

Evangelium 43 (1498 ed.).

ff. 72v-75v, Dominica 3 post pentec., incipit, “Erant adpropinquantes ad yesum peccatores …, luc 15[:1]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod quando est aliquis infirmatis grauiter et scit aliquem bonum et paruum medicum …”;

Evangelium 44 (1498 ed.).

ff. 76-79v, Dominica 4 post pentec., incipit, “Factum est autem cum turba ... [Luc. 5: ]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod 3 sunt inter alia propter que aliquis potest alium sequi et sibi rationabiliter …”;

Evangelium 45 (1498 ed.).

ff. 79v-82, Dominica 5 post pentec., incipit, “Nisi habundauerint iusticia vestra plusquam …, Mt. 5[:20]. Nos uidemus per experientiam quod si aliquis uult ire ad aliquam locum omnem quod per uiam rectam …”;
Evangelium 46 (1498 ed.).

ff. 82rv, Dominica 6 post pentec., incipit, “Cum turba multa esset …, Mt 8[:1]. Secundum sententiam philosophi filus habet tria a patre naturali … si cum humanitate culpam//”

Evangelium 47 (1498 ed.), here ending imperfectly at the end of the quire.

Philippus de Monte Calerio ( Moncagliere or Moncalieri), Postilla super evangelia dominicalia dominicales (that is, Postills, or Commentaries on the Sunday Gospels), or Sermones; thirty-nine sermons from Septuagesima Sunday (the third Sunday before Lent) through the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, where it breaks off imperfectly. There is no modern critical edition of these sermons, nor is there a complete modern study with a census of the surviving manuscripts (not listed in Schneyer, 1969-1980, or the continuation, by Hödl and Knoch, 2001, although a few single sermons are found in Schneyer); Martel, 1990, pp. 107-108, C53, lists fifteen manuscripts, not including this one, and Murano, 2005, no. 782, pp. 695-6, listing six manuscripts, three not included in Martel (partial lists, cf. Mohan, 1978, 390*-391*, and Schneyer, 1965, pp. 117, 260, 447, and 450).

The complete text of this work includes sermons for Sundays and feasts of the liturgical year from the first Sunday in Advent to the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost (sixty-five sermons in the 1498 printed edition); this manuscript includes thirty-nine sermons, beginning with the sermon for Septuagesima Sunday (the third Sunday before Lent), and continues through the sixth Sunday after Pentecost, where it breaks off imperfectly at the end of the quire. Not all manuscripts of these sermons include the full liturgical year. They were often copied in two parts, and it seems possible that this manuscript always began as it does now with Septuagesima Sunday (a theory supported by the darkened first leaf).

The manuscript transmission of these sermons and their relationship with Philip’s Sermones quadragesimalia is complex; soon after their composition around 1330 abbreviated versions began to be copied (discussed in Fontana, 2009, pp. 241-244, especially 243-244, discussing an abbreviated version including some of the Lenten sermons, which might be closely related to the sermons in this manuscript). Given the lack of a modern critical edition, or even of complete descriptions of any of the surviving manuscripts, it is impossible to place the text of this manuscript within this textual tradition. The contents, however, do generally agree – with notable differences – with those of the 1498 printed edition, which is described in its title as “abbreviatum.”

The first printed edition appeared in Milan in 1498 (Philippus de Monte Calerio, Dominicale seu Compendium Postille abbreviatum per fratrem Ionselmum de Canova de Cumis, Mediolani, per magistrum Uldericum Scinzenzeler, 1498, Hain 11593, Goff P-626; GW M33177); subsequent editions in Paris, 1500 (Goff P-627; GW M33180), and in the sixteenth century, Lyon, 1510, 1515, 1541, etc. The relationship between these editions and the manuscript tradition has not been studied. The widely disseminated edition by Jonselmus Canova (available online at Gallica; see Online Resources, below) is described in its title as “abbreviated”; as noted above, a comparison of its text with the text in this manuscript indicates that the printed edition, while useful for identifying the sermons, may differ from the manuscript text.

One of the interesting features of this sermon collection is that it was disseminated by pecia, a method of book-production developed in the thirteenth century in Paris and other universities, in which exemplars were divided into independent quires (or peciae, that is “pieces”) and were rented for copying, thereby greatly expanding the available exemplars for popular university texts. Most texts that were copied by this method survive in a substantial number of manuscripts. Murano, 2005, no. 782, pp. 695-6, lists six manuscripts of these sermons (Assisi, Sacro Convento 238 (part one), and 245 (part two), Florence, BML, Conv. Soppr. 347, Oxford, Bodl., Laud. Misc 281, Todi, Bib. communale 61, and Vatican, Chigi C.VII.199) that include evidence that they were copied by this method, most likely in Paris. The manuscript described here is not a pecia manuscript. Further study is necessary to address the interesting question of whether the manuscripts of this text copied in Italy preserve a recension independent of those descending from the pecia exemplars in Paris.

Little is known about the author, Philippus de Monte Caleri, also known as Philippe de Moncalieri, or de Moncaglier (d. c. 1344). He was likely born at Moncalieri, near Turin, and entered the Franciscan order in the Genoa province. By 1330 he was the lector of the Franciscan studium at Padua, and subsequently taught in Milan. He was appointed penitentiary by Pope Benedict XII on 1 March 1336, probably keeping that position until his death around 1344.

Philip states that he composed his Postilla super evangelia dominicalia as lector at the Padua studium in 1330. In common with a number of other Italian preachers from the first half of the fourteenth century, the Dominican, Giovanni de San Gimignano (d. after 1333), and the Franciscans, Francesco degli Abbati of Asti and Giàcomo di Bianchi of Alessandria (Smalley, 1960, pp. 273, 274-276), Philip likes to begin his sermons with generalizations drawn from real-life experience; following his statement of the Gospel theme, almost all the sermons begin “Nos videmus per experientiam” (“We see through experience”), and then continues with a general statement. The sermon for the first Sunday in Pentecost, for example, uses the example of a good teacher who is careful to adapt his lessons to the abilities of his students; his use of examples mentioning doctors and medicine is also noteworthy (see ff. 7v, 24v, and 72v). The structure of his sermons is rhetorically simpler than the sermons following the university (also known as the modern or thematic) form. Phillip comments on the entire Gospel passage, rather than concentrating on a single short theme. The links between biblical exegesis and sermons is always important in the medieval sermons; here, the interconnection of the two genres is evident in the two titles used for this collection, both “sermones” and “postillae” (the term often used for commentaries), and these sermons do in fact function as commentaries on the Gospel readings for each Sunday, explaining in distinct sections the literal or historical sense, the tropological or moral sense, and the allegorical or spiritual sense of the biblical pericope.

Despite the importance of these sermons, they have been little studied and are seldom mentioned in discussions of medieval sermons. They are certainly of interest to scholars studying medieval exegesis and preaching, as well as those investigating the educational methods in the Franciscan studium in Italy, but also, given their contents, they are likely to be of broader interest to social historians interested life in fourteenth-century Italy. A textual study, analyzing their transmission and their relationship to their fifteenth- and sixteenth-century printed versions is a desideratum.

The Schoenberg Database lists eleven copies, all in Italian and English institutions, but no sales. There are no recorded copies in the De Ricci’s Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada or the Supplement by Bond and Faye.


d’Avray, David. The Preaching of the Friars. Sermons diffused from Paris before 1300, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1985.

Bataillon, Louis-Jacques. La prédication au XIIIe siècle en France et en Italie. Etudes et documents, Aldershot, Variorum, 1993.

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.

Delcorno, C. “Medieval Preaching in Italy (1200-1500),” in The Sermon, ed. by Beverly Kienzle. Typologie des sources du moyen âge occidental 81-83, Turnhout, Belgium, Brepols, 2000, pp. 449-560.

Fontana, Emanuele. “Filippo da Moncalieri e le sue ‘Postille’ sui vangeli domenicali e quaresimali,” Franciscana 11 (2009), 223-356.

Hödl, L. und W. Knoch. Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters für die Zeit von 1350 bis 1500, electronic resource, Münster, Aschendorff, 2001.

Martel, Gérald de. Répertoire des texts latins relatifs au livre de Ruth (VII-XV e s.), Steenbruges and Dordrecht, 1990.

Murano, Giovanna. Opere diffuse per exemplar e pecia, Turnhout, Brepols, 2005, no. 782, pp. 695-6.

Péano, Pierre. “Philippe de Moncalieri,” Dictionnaire de spiritualité, Marcel Viller et al. ed., Paris, G. Beauchesne, 1983, vol. 12, pp. 1316-1317.

Pope, Joseph. One Hundred and Twenty-five manuscripts: Bergendal Collection Catalogue, Toronto, Brabant Holdings, 1999.

Pope, Joseph. “The Library that Father Boyle Built,” in A Distinct Voice: Medieval Studies in Honor of Leonard Boyle, O.P., ed. Jacqueline Brown and William P. Stoneman, Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1997, pp. 157-162.

Roest, Bert. Franciscan Literature of Religious Instruction before the Council of Trent, Leiden and Boston, Brill, 2004, p. 47.

Sbaralea, Joannes H. Supplementum et castigatio ad scriptores trium ordinum S. Francisci a Waddingo aliisve descriptos …, Bibliotheca historico-bibliographica 3, Rome, 1921, vol. 2, pp. 381-2.

Schneyer, Johannes-Baptist. Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters für die Zeit von 1150-1350, Münster, 1969-1980.

Schneyer, Johannes Baptist. Wegweiser zu lateinischen Predigtreihen des Mittelalters, Munich, Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 1965.

Smalley, Beryl. English Friars and Antiquity in the Early Fourteenth Century, Oxford, 1960, pp. 276-77.

William P. Stoneman. “A Summary Guide to the Medieval and Later Manuscripts in the Bergendal Collection, Toronto,” in A Distinct Voice: Medieval Studies in Honor of Leonard Boyle, O.P., ed. Jacqueline Brown and William P. Stoneman, Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1997, pp. 163-206.

Online resources

Bergendal Collection of Medieval Manuscripts

Dominicale fratris Filipi de Monte Calerio,... [s.n. 1498], Gallica

Sermones.net: Édition électronique d’un corpus de sermons latins médiévaux: http://www.sermones.net/

Medieval Sermons and Homilies; Bibliography, by Professor Charles Wright, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/cdwright/www/sermons.html

John M. Howe, Texas Tech University, Sermons; Bibliography: http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/howe/sermons.htm