TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Collection of Sermons (Sermones de sanctis et de commune sanctorum), by unidentified authors; one by SIGOBOTTUS [SIBOTO]

In Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment
Austria?, c. 1300-1330

TM 410

i (modern paper) + 30 +i (modern paper) folios on parchment, modern foliation in pencil, bottom outer corner recto, missing the first two quires, single leaves after ff. 1 and 10, leaves in the last quire, and an unknown number of quires at the end (collation, i3 [original structure uncertain, missing a leaf between 1 and 2] ii4, iii6 [-4, following f. 10, with loss of text])iv- v8 vi2[original structure uncertain, possibly originally a quire of 8, missing 1-2 and 5-8]), horizontal catchwords, inside lower margins, quires signed in roman numerals, middle, lower margin, the first quire signed “III”, ruled in ink, with the first, third, penultimate, bottom, and on some folios the middle two horizontal rules full across, and with single full-length vertical bounding lines, prickings in outer and top margins (justification 140 x 92 mm.), written in dark brown ink, in a mature gothic bookhand in forty-one to forty-two long lines, red paragraph marks and rubrics in red, five- to three-line alternately red and blue initials throughout, two larger initials, seven-line parti-colored in red and blue (ff. 5v and 6v), in good condition, f. 2, bottom corner stained with some loss of text, throughout, with some internal staining or thumbing. Bound in pink-dyed pigskin over wooden boards, back sewn on three raised thongs (rebacked), boards tooled in blind in a saltire motif, in outer border a set of fleur-de-lis stamps, rosettes and deployed eagle stamps in central compartments, brass clasps and catches, binding restored with boards largely remounted, entirely rebacked, pastedowns and endleaves renewed. Dimensions 180 x 120 mm.

A treasure trove of material for future research, the sixty sermons were probably never printed and are unstudied. Only one sermon by a named author has been identified, and only fourteen have been found in other manuscripts. Direct and uncomplicated, some emphasize the moral example and lives of the saints, others focus on the duties of priests, the sacraments, and the Lord’s Prayer. Each sermon begins with a theme from the Bible, sometimes explaining the content of scriptural texts directly and often citing texts from the Bible as authoritative proof.


1.Determination of the origin of manuscript is rendered somewhat difficult by the fragmentary nature of this codex. An Austrian origin and a date in the opening decades of the fourteenth century is suggested by the script and decoration, as well as the choice of sermons, represented in other collections all clearly of Austrian origin, in particular Cod. Zwettl 312 (see C. Ziegler, Zwettl, 1996-1997, pp. 26-29; see also the similar collection, Zwettl, Cod. 396, III (see Ziegler, 1996-1997, pp. 310-311). The Cistercian Abbey of Zwettl is located in Lower Austria, in the diocese of St-Pölten, eighty miles northwest of Vienna; it was founded in 1138 by Count Hadmar I of Kuenring, with Herrmann, a monk from Heiligenkreuz, as its first abbot (1137-47). The foundation was confirmed by Innocent II (1140), and grew rapidly, soon becoming one of the most important monateries in the order.

The relationship with the Zwettl manuscript, as well as the order of the sermons included in the first section of the manuscript (discussed below, text) are suggestive of a Cistercian origin, and the question of whether this particular manuscript was copied in a Cistercian monastery certainly deserves to be explored in greater depth. Two of the saints included support an origin in Austria; Oswald, a seventh century king from Northumbria, was widely venerated in Southern Germany and Austria (F 5 August), and Aegidius, a very popular saint throughout Europe, was the patron of Styria in Austria (F 1 September)

2. Early inscription in upper margin, fol. 6: “Noli timere quia in nostro adventu pax vobiscum...”, simply copying the line in justified text placed below.

3. European Private Collection.


f. 1, Sermon, begins imperfectly, incipit, “[...] Dic ut sedeant hii duo filii ...tandem in sede et in dextera et regno”;

ff. 1rv, Sermon, rubric, De sancto oswaldo, incipit, “Cor regis in manu dei est quocumque... Prov. [Proverbs 21:1]. Quia rarum est quod reges et principes sanctificantur... //” [ending imperfectly];

Zwettl. 312, fol. 114v; Zwettl. 396. fol. 88v.

f. 2, Conclusion of a sermon for the Assumption?, beginning imperfectly], incipit, “//nec moraliter, De secundo … nos quam assumat in celum. Pater et filius et spiritus sanctus”;

ff. 2-2v, Sermon, rubric, Item de assumptione, incipit, “Beatam me dicent omnes generaciones [Luke 1:48]. Optime conuenit uel competit beate virgini hoc uerbum in hac sollempnitate. Nam hodie per eius gloriosam assumptionem assumpta sunt benedicto ipsi. Nota ergo quod hodie in quatuor est beneficata beata uirgo. ...”;

f. 2v, Sermon, rubric, Item in assumptione, incipit, “Que est ista que progreditur [Canticles 6:9]. Considerandum est quare his quatuor pulchritudinis comparetur betata virgo marie ...”;

f. 3, Sermon, rubric, Item de beata maria, incipit, “Sol octies maior est quam terra ut multi <philosophi?> probant ..”;

ff. 3-3v, Sermon, rubric, De sancto Bartholomeo apostolo, incipit, “Magnificavit eum in timore... [Ecclesiasticus 45:2]. Legitur quod apostolus dispersis per universum mundum gracia predicationis. Beatus Bartholomeus ingressus in yndiam …”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 121v; and Zwettl 396, fol. 91v.

ff. 3v-4, Sermon, rubric, Item de eodem [Saint Bartholomew], incipit,“In omnem terram exivit... Ps. [Psalm 18:5]. Si canticum amorem haberemus ad fidem Christiana”;

ff. 4-4v, Sermon, rubric De sancto augustino, incipit, “Ecce sacerdos magnos... [Ecclesiasticus 50:1]. In verbis istis commendatur quidam pontifex qui sunt in ierusalem nomine Ioiadas cuius providencia ...”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 125.

ff. 4v-5, Sermon, rubric, De sancto egidio, incipit,“Dedit illi scientiam sanctorum... [Wisdom 10:10]. Illud thema conuenit beato Egidio quem dominus exaltauit dono triplicis gratie … ”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 127v.

ff. 5-5v, Sermon, rubric, De sancto egidio, incipit,“In fide et lenitate … et induxit illum in nubem [Ecclesiasticus 45:4] In istis uerbis commendatur beatus Egidius a quinque …”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 127vb.

ff. 5v-6, Sermon, rubric, De nativitate gloriose virginis marie, incipit,“Egredietur virga de radice yesse... Ysa.[Isaiah 11:1]. Virga est uirgo beata que egressa est id est nata de radice esse id est de genere …”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 128.

ff. 6-6v, Sermon, rubric, Item de eisdem, incipit,“In hoc cognoscent omnes... [John 13:35]. Isti duo discipuli spiritualiter se inuicem dilexerent quia simul in una prouincia predicaverunt …”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 136rv.

ff. 6v-7, Sermon, rubric, De omnibus sanctis, incipit,“Vidi turbam magnam... [Apocalypse 7:9]. Legitur etiam in Psalmus, Laudate dominus in sanctus eius ..”;

ff. 7-7v, Sermon, rubric, De omnibus sanctis, incipit,“Suspice celum et contemplare sidera Job [Job 35:5]. In uerbis istis horatur uos ad duo, Primo ad diuinam altitudinem contemplandam ...”;

ff. 7v-8, Sermon, rubric, Pro defunctis, incipit, “Sancta et salubris est cogitatio pro defunctis exorare ut a peccato soluantur [2 Maccabees 12:46]. Duabus de causis orandum est pro defunctis …”;

ff. 8-9; Sermon, rubric, Pro defunctis, incipit, “Miseremini mei miseremini mei saltim vos amici mei quia manus Domini tetigit me, Job [19:21]. Heri peregi apud nos legacionem omni sanctorum ut scilicet in eis laudetis deum. Hodie ago apud uos legacionem officium animarum que sunt in purgatorio ….”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 139v.

f. 9, rubric, Nota qualiter possis subvenire animabusin purgatorio, incipit, “Notandum quod quatuor sunt que possunt homines monere ad subueniendum his qui in purgatorio sunt ….”;

f. 9rv, Sermon, rubric, De sancto Martino, incipit, “Benedicionem omnium gencium dedit illi. Ecclesiasticus [44:25]. Tema istud optime conuenit beato martino. Primus duos fuit miles inter laycos, abbas inter monachos, ultimo …”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 144rb.

ff. 9v-10, Sermon, rubric, De eodem, incipit, “Ecce descripsi eam tripliciter, Prov. [22:20]. In hoc uerbo mater ecclesia describit nobis vitam beatam Martini …”;

Sermons, rubrics: f. 10rv, De sancta Katherina ; ff. 10v-11, Item de sancta Katherina [ending imperfectly]; f. 11, Sermon for St. Nicolas, rubric lacking, beginning imperfectly; f. 11rv, Item de eodem; ff. 11v-12v, De sancta Lucia virgine ; ff. 12v-13, De sancto Thoma apostolo; f. 13; De sancto Thoma apostolo;

f. 13v, Sermon, rubric, Item de apostolis, incipit, “Nimis honorati sunt amici tui deus [Psalm 138:17]. In uerbis propositis quadruplex invenitur utilitatis …”;

ff. 13v-14, Sermon, rubric, De Martiribus, incipit, “Sancti per fidem vicerunt regna etc. Ad Hebr.[11:33]. In verbis istis notant v. circa bonos martires. Primum est vite ipsorum mundicia …”;

Zwettl 312, fol. 156va.

f. 14rv, Sermon, rubric, De confessoribus, incipit, “Sint lumbi vestri precincti etc. [Luke 12:35]. Littera precipit nobis dominus in hoc ewangelio scilicet castiatem corporis …”;

f. 14v, Sermon, rubric, De virginibus, incipit, “Advenit regni virgines post eam proxime eius, Ps.[44:15]. Circa virginem istam notatur quadruplex dignitas in verbis istis …”

ff, 14v-15, Sermon, rubric, In dedicatione ecclesie, incipit, “Ingressus ihesus peramulabat ierycho [Luke 19:1]. Iericho interpretatur luna et signetur mundum … Luna semper crescunt et decrescit sic mundus …”;

Schneyer VII:566, no. 2 and VIII:608, no. 2, in Clm 5988 (s. XIII); Clm 2704, f. 9; and Clm 15510, f. 133. See also Schneyer IX:830, no. 13, Vorau SB 161 (s. XIV).

f. 15rv, Sermon, rubric, Item de dedicatione, incipit, “Domus mea domus orationis vocabitur [Is 56:7]. Est domus exterior que construitur ex lapidus …”;

f. 15v, Sermon, rubric, De sancto Georio martire, incipit, “Milicia est uita hominis super terram [Job 7:1]. Ita legitur in Job. Licet hec uerbum competat …”;

ff. 15v-16, Sermon, rubric, De sacerdotibus, incipit, “Augustinus describit triplicem dignitatem sacerdotis. Priumus dicitur sacerdos quasi sacrum dans. Dat enim sacram penitentiam et confessionem. ..”;

ff. 16-17v, Sermon rubric, De dedicacione ecclesie. Sermo bonus, “Domine, dilexi decorem domus tue. [Psalm 25:8]. Triplex est domus dei....”;

Schneyer, V:408, no. 116, Siboto (Sigibottus) OP; see also Schneyer, VII:236, no. 841, Sermones Fratrum minorum, MS Graz, Univ. 176.

ff. 17v-18, Sermon, rubric, In cena domini, “Vos mundi estis sed non omnes [John 13:10]. Hoc videlicet dominus facta cena ... ”;

Schneyer, VIII, 611, “Themata distinctiones”, XIVe s., Sermones anonymi, Clm 6005; Clm 23387a, f. 41v, and Vorau 120, f. 59v.

Sermons, rubrics: f. 18rv, Sermo pro defunctis; ff. 18v-19, De diebus rogacionum;

f. 19rv, Sermon, rubric, Item in rogationibus expositio super pater noster, incipit, “Petite et accipietis... [Luke 11:9-10]. Petere debemus septem...”;

Schneyer, II:781; Schneyer, VIII:561, no. 131, XIII-XIVe s., Sermones anonymi, Clm 2631; Schneyer, VIII:669, no. 884, XIVe s., Sermones anonymi, Clm 9593.

ff. 19v-20, Sermon, rubric, De pentecoste;

f. 20, [no rubric or intitial], incipit, “Bernardus. Septem sunt dona spiritus sanctus. Donum timoris est ut deum timentes a malo recedamus … “; ending with a prayer, “Angele qui meus es custos pietate superna …”;

f. 20rv, Sermon, rubric Incipit aliud opus sermonum. Primo sermo de apostolis, incipit, “Ego sicut oliua fructificavi in domo Domini [Psalm 51:10]. Id est in sancta ecclesia uel in hoc mundo. Si omnes sancta propter merita et sanctitate ipsorum ab hominibus sunt honorandi …”;

ff. 20v-21, Sermon, rubric, Item de apostolis, incipit, “Nimis honorati sunt amici tui deus [Ps. 138:17]. Karissimi dignum est ut quos deus honoravit. Nos etiam debemus honorare quia psalmus dicit …”;

f. 21rv, Sermon, rubric, De uno martire, incipit, “Iustum deduxit dominus per vias rectas … [Widsdom 10:10]. Festa sanctorum martyrum ideo celebrantur …”;

ff. 21v-22, Sermon, rubric, De martiribus, incipit, “Reddet deus mercedem laborum sanctorum et deducet etc. [Wisdom 10:17]. Verba ista sunt nobis fidelibus sive chistiana valde consolationis …”;

f. 22rv, Sermon, rubric, De uno confessore, incipit, “Qui sequitur me non ambulet in tenebro … [John 8:12]. Festa sanctorum confessorum libenti <?> celebrare debemus quia dant nobis cognitionem peccatorum …”;

f. 22v, Sermon, rubric, Item de confessore, incipit, “Beatus servuus quem cum venerit dominus … [Mt 24:46]. Verba ista bene convenerunt aulam prelate habenti curam animarum …”;

ff. 22v-23, Sermon, rubric, De confessoribus, incipit, “Vigilate quia nescitis … Mt.[24:42]. Loquitur dominus ad prelatos sive ad eiscopus ut vigilent et subdit …”;

f. 23rv, Sermon, rubric, Sermo de virginibus;incipit, “Virgo cogitat que dominus sunt … Apostolus [1 Cor 7:34]. Festa sanctarum virginum cum summa devotione et studio celebrare …”;

ff. 23v-24, Sermon, rubric, Item de virginibus, incipit, “Que parate errant intraverunt cum eo ad nuptias, Mt [25:10]. Bene dicit parate errant id est purgate a maculis peccatorum …”;

ff. 24-25, Sermon, rubric, De dedicatione, incipit, “Venit filiius hominis querere et salvuum facere … luc [19:10]. Dedicationis ecclesiarum cum reverencia et devotione frequentare debemus propter multa bona …”;

ff. 25-26, Sermon, rubric,, incipit, “Sancta et salubris est cogitatio pro defunctis exorare … Macc [2 Macc. 12:46]. Hodie karissimi celebramus officum defunctorum. Ideo pro defunctis exorare debemus ut per orationes nostras …”;

f. 26, Sermon, rubric, De mortuis, incipit, “Nota quod sunt iii genera homini morienti, moriuntur in deo, alii cum deo, alii sine deo …”;

Sermons, rubrics: f. 26rv, Sermo de defunctis; f. 27rv, Item de mortuis;

ff. 27v-28v, Sermon, ending imperfectly, rubric, De dignitate sacerdotis, incipit, “Accede ad altare et immolo pro peccato tuo … et pro populo [Leviticus 9:7]. Ita verba sunt scripta in Levit. ix. Que verba dixit moyses ad aaron summum sacerdotem. De quo diligenter notandum est quod dicit … vnde//”;

f. 29, Sermon, beginning imperfectly, incipit “ //dampnare potes tu numquam … cor autem meum uigilat”;

ff. 29-30 Sermon, rubric lacking, incipit, “Quasi stella matutina in medio nebule, Eccle. 50[:6]. Quasi stella de beatus N propter sacram eruditionem … pallens lucifer ortu”;

Discussion of stars, citing Alfraganus, Boethius and Pliny (see f. 29v); cf. Paris, BNF, lat. 9613, f. 81v, incipit, “Quasi stella … Beatus Nicolaus comparatur ….”

f. 30, Sermon, rubric, De virgine, incipit, “Virgini se continenti v sunt neccessaria. Honestas conseruationis externus …”;

f. 30rv, Sermon, rubric, De viduis, incipit, “Nota vera vidua debet habere …”;

f. 30v, Sermon, rubric, De sancto Johanne Baptista, incipit, “Aput te laus mea in ecclesia magna. Ps.[21:26]. In iohanne baptista completum est illud Salamonis prov. x. Memoria iusti cum laudibus [Proverbs 10:7]. Sunt in perfectione iustus beatus iohannes ….//” [Ends imperfectly at the bottom of the page].

Included in this manuscript are sixty sermons (the manuscript begins with the third quire and is missing an unknown number of quires at the end, as well as a few leaves internally, so five of these sermons now begin or end imperfectly). The text of forty-seven of these sermons (listed above by their opening words) has been examined for this description. The author of only one sermon has been identified by name; the sermon on ff.16-17v, is by Sigibottus or Siboto, a Dominican Preacher from Vienna, whose sermons probably date from the end of the thirteenth century. Many of the sermons in this manuscript are quite brief, consisting of little more than outlines. It is therefore noteworthy that this sermon, which the scribe calls a “sermo bonus” in the rubric, is one of the longest in the collection. Three other sermons have been identified in additional manuscripts listed in Schneyer’s Repertorium (listed below); all three are anonymous. Ten of the sermons in this manuscript are also found in Cod. Zwettl 312, also dating from the fourteenth century (see Provenance above). The manuscript deserves to be carefuly compared with the Zwettl manuscript as well as with other Austrian collections of sermons, including Cod. Zwettl 396, which includes two sermons also found in Zwettl 312 and the manuscript described here.

These sermons included appear to be from two sources, since the sermon on f. 20 begins “Incipit aliud opus sermonum” (i.e, Here begins another sermon collection). The sermons on the first twenty folios are arranged in an idiosyncratic order, beginning with sermons for the feast of St. Oswald (5 August), continuing with the Assumption (15 August), and other feasts from the summer and autumn, continuing with St. Nicholas (6 December) and concluding with the Apostle Thomas (21 December), and then continuing with sermons from the Common of Saints. The liturgical year in the later Middle Ages began in Advent, and it was common for sermon collections to reflect this and begin collections for the Sanctorale with the feast of Andrew on November 30. This collection clearly never began with Andrew; instead, the saints that remain suggest it probably once began after Christmas, perhaps with Stephen on December 26, a practice often found in Cistercian manuscripts. This possible link with Cistercian practice is especially interesting given the relationship between this manuscript and Cod. Zwettl 312.

Medieval sermons, especially learned sermons preached in University contexts, can be difficult for modern readers to follow, and can seem far removed from actual religious practice. These sermons, in contrast, are quite readable and would repay careful study. It is easy to imagine a preacher using them as the basis for actual sermons. Sermons for the feasts days of saints include details from their lives; the sermon for St. Catherine on f. 10v, for example, begin with an account of her youth; the sermon for St. Bartholomew mentions his mission to India (f. 3). The sermon for St. Oswald on f. 2, a seventh-century king of Northumbria, begins with a blunt statement that kings and princes are rarely saints. Pastoral concerns dominate; the sermon on f. 22v, is said to be suitable for the hall of a prelate with the care of souls; there are sermons discussing the Sacraments, a discussion of the dignity of priests (f. 15v), as well as practical sermons on praying for the dead (ff. 7v and 25), helping souls in purgatory (ff. 8-9), and a commentary on the Lord’s Prayer (f. 19v).

The sixty sermons included here represent a treasure-trove of material for future research. Only one sermon by a named author has been identified, and only fourteen have been found in other manuscripts. It is likely that all of these sermons, the majority of which are short, abbreviated texts, but which also include lengthier sermons, have never been printed or studied by modern scholars. Their content is of particular interest, since they are direct and uncomplicated; some emphasize the moral example and lives of the saints, others focus on the duties of priests, the sacraments and the Lord’s Prayer. Each begins with a theme from the Bible, and their content is linked to this theme in a straightforward fashion. Some explain the content of scriptural texts directly; texts from the Bible are also cited throughout as authoritative proof.


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.

Longère, Jean. La prédication médiévale, Paris, Etudes augustiniennes, 1983.

Schneyer, Johann Baptist. Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters für die Zeit von 1150–1350, Münster 1969–1990.

Ziegler, Charlotte. Zisterzienserstift Zwettl Teil IV Codex 301-424 : Katalog der Handschriften des Mittelalter, Zwettl, Scriptorium Ordinis Cisterciensium,1996-1997.

Ziegler, Charlotte (ed.), Liturgie und Buchkunst der Zisterzienser im 12. Jahrhundert: Katalogisierung von Handschriften der Zisterzienserbibliotheken, Franfurt am Main, P. Lang, 2000.

Online resources

Klösterreich (Zwettl Abbey):

Obrecht, E. “Cistercian Abbey of Zwettl, “ in The Catholic Encyclopedia, New York, Robert Appleton Company, 1912:

Knapp, Fritz Peter, “Sibote (Siboto, Sibito, Sigibottus)”, Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchen Lexikon:

Sermones.net: Édition électronique d’un corpus de sermons latins médiévaux:

Medieval Sermons and Homilies; Bibliography, by Professor Charles Wright, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

John M. Howe, Texas Tech University, Sermons; Bibliography: