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les Enluminures

AUTPERTUS PRESBITER (?),Vita seu Passio sancte Fortunatae; [ANONYMOUS], Vita seu Legenda beati Gaudiosi; Office for the Feast of Saint Gaudiosus

In Latin, decorated manuscript on paper
Italy, Campania, most likely Naples, c. 1565-1570

TM 366

22 ff., preceded and followed by a single modern paper flyleaf, quires likely misbound with last quire likely coming first, to be followed by middle quire then finishing with first quire, also perhaps missing a few leaves after f. 8 (collation: i8, ii8, iii6), on paper (watermarks close to Briquet, no. 5377, Naples, 1568; Salerno, 1567-1573; Naples, 1570), written in a rather upright humanistic minuscule alternating with passages in a slopping italic script in dark brown ink, on up to 20 long lines, ruled in blind (justification 135 x 97 mm.), flourished cadels for some capital letters, a few rubrics in pale red, some words underlined in pale red, some letters touched in pale red. Bound in a modern half-binding of rigid vellum, with pasteboards covered in marbled paper, smooth spine (Some internal restorations to paper, a few wormholes, over all in good legible condition). Dimensions 193 x 140 mm.

These two saints lives of Fortunata and Gaudiosus, accompanied by a liturgical office, help situate the manuscript in a restricted Neapolitan milieu, specifically in a convent dedicated to Saint Gaudiosus. A decidedly small group of manuscripts and an exceedingly rare imprint associate the same texts with each other and testify to a popular devotion focused on these two local saints. A critical edition of the text and a comparison of the surviving manuscripts with the sixteenth-century imprint have yet to be undertaken.


1. Script and watermarks all point to a Neapolitan or Campania origin for this manuscript. Most likely related to one of two foundations dedicated to San Gaudioso in Naples. Cottineau records two abbeys in Naples under the denomination of San Gaudioso. The first was a Benedictine monastery of San Gaudioso, of which Agnello served as an early abbot in the sixth century (Cottineau, II, 2034). The second was a female foundation named San Gaudioso that was founded by Stephen II, bishop of Naples (768-800) (Cottineau, II, 2035). Concerning this latter convent (monastero di San Gaudioso di Napoli), Cottineau quotes Mabillon, Annales ordinis sancti Benedicti...(1703-1739), I, 244: “[...] fuit et aliud in eadem urbe virginum coenobium S. Gaudiosi...”. This convent is also discussed at length in Filangieri, G., “Chiesa e monastero di San Gaudioso in Napoli,” in Documenti per la storia, le arti e le industrie delle provincie napoletane, IV, Napoli, 1888, pp. 397-485: “Antichissima è l'origine di questo monastero di donne sotto il titulo di S. Gaudioso, da non confondersi con l'altro fuori le mura, di cui fu abate S. Agnello.…” (p. 397). A church dedicated to Saint Fortunata (Basilica interna di santa Fortunata) was built within the walls of the convent of San Gaudioso by Stephen II, bishop of Naples, upon the transfer of the relics of Saint Fortunata (Tutini, 1634, p. 113: “Prima che la chiesa di Santa Fortunata si racciudesse dentro i chiostri di San Gaudioso”). Seventeenth-century provenance (see below) suggests that the manuscript may have originated in the second of the two foundations, the convent of San Gaudioso.

2. Early ownership inscription copied in a later 17th century hand in lighter brown ink and repeated twice in the inner margins on ff. 12 and 13: “Aurelia Carrafa.” Aurelia was a member (unidentified to date) of the famous Carafa family, which was native to Naples and counted amongst the most illustrious of Italy. The Carafa family was divided into a number of branches. The present Aurelia Carafa is related to the branch of the Princes of San Lorenzo, in particular to the descendants of D. Girolamo, Principe of San Lorenzo in 1654 who had a number of children, among them D. Aurelia who married D. Francesco Gargano, Principe di Durazzano. An earlier late 16th-century member of the Carafa family, a certain Gio. Antonio Carafa (Primo duca di Laurino) had a daughter named Enrichetta Aurelia Carafa who married Girolamo de Roggiero (see Aldimari, 1691, p. 366-367). This provenance is hardly a coincidence given the subject of the present manuscript, since the Carafa women had close ties to the convent of San Gaudioso, where they were often admitted as nuns. This is the case for instance of D. Beatrice Carafa, sister of Aurelia Carafa (who married D. Francesco Gargano). A later D. Luigi “hoggi Principe di San Lorenzo” had daughters D. Giulia and D. Giovanna, “monache in S. Gaudioso” and a D. Barbara “educando in detto monastero” (see Aldimari, 1691, p. 367).


ff. 1-8v, Autpertus Presbiter (?), Vita seu Passio sanctae Fortunatae [Life or Passion of Saint Fortunata, 9 lectiones out of 12], heading, Passio sancte Fortunate v[irginis] et m[artiris] [et postea legenda sancti Gaudiosi] (these last words added by another later hand); incipit, “Igitur sacratissime virginis forunate cesarea palestine cespis patria fuit... [...] Lectio secunda. Temporibus nanque dyocletiani et maximiani imperator persequtio...”; explicit, “[...] et neminem tuorum fallis qui me [...]” (ends incomplete, with leaves missing after f. 8, missing pp. 455-456 of edition published in Acta sanctorum. Octobris VI)[published in Officium S. Fortunatae.... (Naples, 1568), sign. A 2v-E 3; Acta sanctorum. Octobris VI, pp. 453-456; see also Biblioteca Hagiographica Latina [BHL]..., 1898-1899 (reprint Société des Bollandistes, 1992), no. 3081: “Passio adscripta Autperto presb[iter]”];

The present Passio sancte Fortunate was spuriously attributed to Petrus Subdiaconus Napolitanus [Pietro Suddiacono O.M.], a hagiographical writer of the tenth century. Recent scholarship on Pietro Suddiacono, however, no longer includes this Passio amongst the corpus of hagiographical works attributed to the author: “Rigetto della passione di Fortunata (BHL 3081)” (Angelo, 2002, pp. LVI-LVII). Although firm authorship of this Passio still remains to be proven, the work has been ascribed to Autpertus, a Neapolitan priest of the tenth century (see Acta sanctorum. Octobris VI, p. 453: “Passio ex officio proprio deprompta auctore Autperto Presbytero”; see also Aubert, DHGE, XVII, col. 1181-1182).

ff. 9-16, Vita seu Legenda in duodecim lectiones [Life of Saint Gaudiosus (12 lectiones)], heading, Incipit legenda beati Gaudiosi episcopi et confessori; incipit, “Lectio prima. Exivit homo ad opus suum de sinu patris in uterum matris...”; explicit, “[...] quem nobis concedat salvator qui est benedictus per infinita secula. Amen. Finitur legenda sancti Gaudiosi episcopi et confessoris incipitque legenda sancte fortunate virginis et martiris” [published in Officium S. Fortunatae... (Naples, 1568), sign. Iv – K 4v; Acta sanctorum.Octobris XI, pp. 906-909; Ughelli, VIII, 490-496; see BHL, no. 3281];

f. 16v, Six prayers to Saint Gaudiosus, “1. Ecce dilectus a deo qui in fine suo probatus est in verbis suis fidelis; 2. In omni opere dedit confessionem sancto et excelso in verbo glorie.... [...]. 6. Deus qui beati Gaudiosi maritis langores plurimos...”;

ff. 17-22v, Office for the Feast of Saint Gaudiosus (26 or 27 October), heading, In festo sancti Gaudiosi episcopi et confessoris. In primis vesperis ant[iphona]; incipit, “Sedenti super cathedra exultet cum ecclesia populus clamore...”; In primo nocturno (f. 18v); In secundo nocturno (fol. 19v); Cantici (f. 20v); Oratio (f. 22v), incipit, “Deus qui clara regis preconia in beato servo tuo Gaudioso multiformiter...per eudem christum dominum nostrum. Finis” [published in Acta Sanctorum. Octobris XI, pp. 903-906; recorded in U. Chevalier, Repertorium..., tome IV (Louvain, 1912), no. 40882, who lists the Office as published in Officium S. Fortunatae...(Naples, 1568); also recorded in Dreves, 1894 (Analecta hyminca medii aevi, 17), pp. 106-108];

This manuscript contains three texts related to the cults of Saint Fortunata and Saint Gaudiosus. All three are apparently published in the very rare imprint Officium sanctae Fortunatae virginis et martyris, et sancto Gaudiosi episcopi et confessoris, Neapoli, apud Giosephum Cacchium et socios, 1568 [80 pages (40 ff.)], of which only two copies are recorded, both in Italy (Vatican, BAV, Stamp. Bard. C. I. 74; and Naples, Biblioteca nazionale Vittorio Emmanuele III, S.Q.31.B. 0040). Watermarks in the present manuscript confirm a date contemporary with the imprint (Naples, 1568); comparison with the imprint might allow for a better appreciation of whether or not this manuscript is indeed a copy of the edition.

From Caesarea in Palestine, St. Fortunata was a virgin martyr (quoted in The Marble Calendar of Naples, and in the Roman Martyrology, feast 14 Oct., see Online Resources). She was the sister of the martyrs Carponius, Evaristus, and Priscian. She surrendered her soul to God after she enduring the rack, fire, wild beasts, and other tortures in the time of the persecution of Diocletian. She was honored in the Cathedral of Patria (Liternum) before her body was transferred by Stephen II, bishop of Naples, to the basilica constructed in the convent of San Gaudioso (Aubert, DHGE, vol. XVII, col. 1181). The two saints were thus venerated at San Gaudioso, which would account for the association of texts in known manuscripts.

There are a number of saints named Gaudiosus (see Aubert, DHGE, vol. XX, cols. 46-49), two of whom were particularly venerated in Naples. Confusion exists regarding their identities, however. The Roman Martyrology, in fact, lists the following with the name Gaudiosus: Gaudiosus, bishop of Salerno (feast 26 Oct.) and Gaudiosus, bishop of Abitinae in Africa (feast 27 Oct.), who came to Campania during the persecution of the Vandals and who died a holy death in the monastery that bears his name. There is in Naples a catacomb named after Gaudiosus. At first it would seem that the present Life and Office of Saint Gaudiosus is related to Saint Gaudiosus of Salerno since the Vita speaks of Gaudiosus, the son of the Duke of Naples Theophilactus (666-670), and refers to him as bishop of Salerno. However, it remains possible that the two saints Gaudiosus are one and the same, since there apparently is no Gaudiosus on the list of bishops of Salerno (see Aubert, DHGE, vol. XX, col. 48) and the close feast dates October 27 and 28 may simply be the result of a confusion.

We have been able to identify only six other manuscripts that associate the lives of Saint Fortunata and Saint Gaudiosus. These are: 1) Vatican, BAV, MS Reg. lat. 497, f. 88 (see Wilmart, 1945); 2) Vatican, BAV, MS Reg. lat. 1794, 82 ff. (the Passio sanctae Fortunatae is followed by an Officium, most likely missing in the present manuscript; see Poncelet, Catalogus Codicum hagiographicorum..., 1910, pp. 407-408; Salmon, Manuscrits liturgiques latins..., 1968, I, no. 311, p. 152, dated 16th century; Vian, 1998, p. 630: this manuscript belonged to the the Order of the Teatini in Rome, San Andrea della Valle); 3) Vatican, BAV, MS Vat. Lat. 6076, ff. 55-57v (Poncelet, Catalogus Codicum hagiographicorum ..., 1910, p. 178); 4) Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, MS H 13, ff. 124-130 : “[...] per Autpertus ad Stephanum episcopum Puteolanum”; 5) Zurich, Zentralbibliothek, MS Rh. 81 (from Rheinau, 10-11th century), f. 196 (see Mohlberg, Katalog der Handschriften der Zentralbibliothek... (1952), p. 496, no. 449); 6) Klosterneuburg, Bibl. Der Chorherrenstifts, MS. 707. Another manuscript apparently contains only the Passio sanctae Fortunate: Naples, Bibl. Naz., Cod. XV AA 14, f. 17 et sqq. (see A. Poncelet, “Catalogus codicum hagiographicorum latinorum Bibliothecarum Neapolitanarum,” in Analecta Bollandiana 30 [1911]), p. 212).

A full study of these lives and the related offices remains to be undertaken so as to better understand the repeated association of these two saints both in the group of manuscripts and in the sixteenth-century imprint. This discrete body of works—in manuscript and print—testifies to a lively popular devotion within Neapolitan religious foundations, especially within the convent of San Gaudiosus. The relationship with the convent of San Gaudiosus and its scriptorium and/or library merits further research.


Acta sanctorum octobris...Tomus VI..., Tongerloe, 1794 [Reprint Brussels, 1970] [AASS Oct VI].

Acta sanctorum octobris...Tomus XI..., Bruxelles, 1864 [reprint Brussels, 1970] [AASS Oct XI].

Aldimari, Biagio. Historia genealogica della famiglia Carafa..., Naples, A. Bulifon, 1691.

Angelo, E. d'. Pietro Suddiacono napoletano. L'opera agiografica, Tavarnuzze, 2002.

Aubert, R. ”Fortunata, sainte,” in Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XVII, Paris, 1971, col. 1181-1182.

Aubert, R. “Gaudiosus, évêque d'Abitinae” and “Gaudiosus, évêque de Salerne,” in Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XX, Paris, col. 47-48.

Bibliotheca hagiographica latina : antiquae et mediae aetatis, Brussels, Société des Bollandistes, 1992 [reprint ed. 1898-1899] [BHL].

Bresciano, Giovanni. Neapolitana: Contributi alla storia della tipografia in Napoli nel secolo XVI, Halle, 1905.

Chevalier, U. Repertorium hymnologicum: catalogue des chants, hymnes, proses, séquences, tropes en usage dans l'Eglise latine..., Tome IV, Louvain, 1912.

Dreves, G. M. Hymnodia Hiberica. Liturgische Reimofficien aus spanischen Brevieren, Leipzig, 1894 [Analecta hymnica medii aevi, 17].

Mazzocchi, A. S. De sanctorum neapolitanae ecclesiae episcoporum cultu dissertatio..., Naples, J. Raymundi, 1753.

Officium sanctae Fortunatae virginis et martyris, et sancto Gaudiosi episcopi et confessoris, Neapoli, apud Giosephum Cacchium et socios, 1568 [80 pages (40 ff.)], rare imprint with two copies known: Vatican, BAV, Stamp. Bard. C. I. 74; Napoli, Biblioteca nazionale Vittorio Emmanuele III, S.Q.31.B. 0040].

Poncelet, A. Catalogus Codicum Haiographicorum latinorum Bibliothecae Vaticanae, Brussels, 1910.

Salmon, P. Les manuscrits liturgiques latins de la Bibliothèque vaticane..., Vatican, 1968.

Tutini, Camillo. Notitie della vita e miracoli di due santi Gaudiosi, l'uno vescovo di Bittinia e l'altro di Salerno, e del martirio di S. Fortunata e fratelli, e del loro culto e veneratione in Napoli, Naples, O. Beltrano, 1634.

Ughelli, F. Italia sacra sive de episcopis Italiae,, 9 vol., Rome, 1644-1662.

Vian, P. “Manoscritti di chiese teatine romane nei fondi Reginense Latino e Reginense Greco detoo di Pio II della Biblioteca Vaticana. 1. S. Andrea della Valle,” in Miscellaea Bibliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae VI. Collectanea in honorem Rev.mi Patris Leonardi Boyle O.P., Vatican, 1998 [Studi e Testi, 385], pp. 577-663.

Wilmart, A. Bibliothecae Apostolicae Vaticanae...Codices Reginenses latini, II: codices 251-500, Vatican, 1945.

Online resources

Saint Gaudiosus of Naples:

Saint Fortunata:

On the Complesso di San Gaudioso (Naples):

On the Carafa family, branch of the Dukes of Laurino and san Lorenzo:

On the prelates from the Carafa Family:

The Marble Calendar of Naples

The Roman Martyrology