BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 25 Southwestern France, s. XII 1 and XIV-XVI
Calendar; Martyrology; Benedictine Rule
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I. 1. ff. 1r-46v Calendar-obituary for the year giving the names
of nuns, lay sisters, and benefactors of the Benedictine abbey of
Notre-Dame de Saintes in Charente Inferieure in Southwestern France.
The main body of this section dates from the fourteenth century, but
was still being supplemented in the sixteenth century, with the latest
datable obituary apparently that of Anna of Rohan, abbess of Notre-
Dame, 1484-1523 (f. 7r, a later replacement leaf). Text is missing
one leaf at end.
II. 2. ff. 47r-128v In christi nomine incipit epistola cromatij et
eliodori episcoporum. ad iheronimum prebiterum [sic]. Domino sancto
fratri iheronimo presbitero cromatius et heliodorus episcopi in domino
salutem. Cum religiosissimus augustus theodosius mediolanensium urbem
fuisset ingressus...dei martiribus exhiberi. Rescripcio iheronimj
presbiterj. Cromatio et helidoro episcopis iheronimus presbiter.
Constat deum nostrum omni die martyrum sanctorum triumphis exhibere...
[f. 48v:] in celesti gloria fecit esse sublimes. Breuiarium ex
nominibus apostolorum uel loquorum ubi predicauerunt ubi orti uel
ubi occisi seu ubi sepulti sunt. de sancto petro. Symon qui
interpretatur hobediens. petrus agnoscens filius iohannis frater
andree... [f. 50v:] cui datur euangelij predicatio in iudea.
Expliciunt feste apostolorum. Liber Kalendarius per annj
curriculum. Mensis ianuarius habet dies xxxi. luna xxx. Iam
prima dies et septima fine minatur. Kalendas ianuarij. Circumcisio
domini nostri ihesu christi. Rome. nathale almachij martyris...
gladio cesa est. Reciare. sancti hermetis exorciste. Explicit
A version of the Usuard Martyrology; PL 123.601-992; 124.9-858;
the body of the text written in the 12th century with some later
marginal additions. The martyrology proper preceded by the Epistle
of Chromatius and Heliodorus to Jerome, his reply, and a section
devoted to the Twelve Apostles.
3. ff. 128vr-168v Incipit prologus regule sancti benedicti abbatis.
Ausculta o filia precepta magistri. et inclina aurem
cordis tui. et ammonicionem pii patris libenter excipe...que supra
commemorauimus doctrine uirtutumque culmina. deo protegente
Rule of St. Benedict, feminine version with contemporary
interlinear glosses and corrections; the text of this manuscript
discussed by H. Feiss, OSB, "Care for the Text: A Twelfth-Century
Glossed Rule of Benedict for Notre-Dame de Saintes," American
Benedictine Review (forthcoming).
Consists of two distinct parts, both on thick parchment
250 x 198 mm., preceded by fragment of a liturgical manuscript with
musical notation arranged along a single red line that serves as
Part I: ff. 1-46 (incorrect foliation in first quire: 1-8,
stub only foliated 46), format irregular due to numerous additions
to text. I 7 [?], II-V 8, VI 6 (-6, f. 46, with text). Quire
and leaf signatures (e.g., bj, bij, etc.) lower right corner,
recto. Some signatures, left of center in lower margin, verso.
Written in a variety of scripts ranging from gothic bookhand to batarde.
Initials, dates and headings in red. This part of the manuscript
has been extensively patched and repaired.
Part II: ff. 47-168, written space: 180 x 140 mm., 23-24 long
lines. Single or double horizontal (sometimes triple lower) and
vertical bounding lines; ruled in hard point on flesh side. Remains of
prickings in upper, lower and outer margins. I-X 8, XI 2 (ff. 127-128),
XII-XVI 8. Same types of signatures and catchwords as in Part I.
Written in elegant late caroline/early gothic bookhand. Two decorated
initials, ff. 47r and 129r, 6-line, in red, green and blue. Decorative
headings in brown ink touched with red and green, or red touched
with blue. Small initials, 4- to 1-line in red, some with foliage
scrolls in red or contrasting color. Headings in red.
Binding: France, s. xv [?]. An early resewing on three double,
twisted, tawed skin supports laced into wide grooves in oak boards and
pegged with rectangular or square pegs.
Covered in brown sheepskin with corner tongues, blind-tooled
with diagonals in an outer frame. Spine leather wanting. Leather on
boards much worn.
Written for the Benedictine abbey of nuns at Notre-Dame de Saintes in
Southwestern France. Part II, copied in the first half of the 12th
century, exhibits Spanish influence with respect to both its script
and decoration; Part I consists of one leaf (f. 2) contemporary with
Part II, but the remainder was primarily written (recopied from earlier
manuscript?) in the first half of the 14th century, with extensive
additions dating up to and including the 15th-16th centuries.
Parts I and II were probably bound together in the 15th century.
For information and bibliography on the abbey, see Gallia christiana,
rev. ed. (Paris, 1883) v. 2, 1127-31; Cottineau, v. 2, 2927-28;
T. Grasilier, ed., Cartulaires inedits de la Saintonge, v. 2 =
Cartulaire de l'abbaye royale de Notre-Dame de Saintes de l'ordre de
Saint-Benoit (Paris, 1871). Belonged to Acton Griscom (De Ricci,
v. 2, p. 1160, no. 2). Purchased from Lathrop C. Harper in 1956
by Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: [Part I:] Obiit aquilina
[Part II:] palmam
Bibliography: De Ricci, v. 2, p. 1160, no. 2 (while in the Griscom
collection); Faye and Bond, p. 67, no. 25.
Exhib. Cat., pp. 185-86, no. 12.
P. Johnson, Equal in Monastic Profession: Religious Women in
Medieval France (Chicago, 1991).
H. Feiss, "Care for the Text: A Twelfth-Century Glossed Rule of
Benedict for Notre-Dame de Saintes," The American Benedictine Review
43:1 (1992): 47-56.
H. Feiss, "'Consecrated to Christ, Nuns of This Church Community'":
The Benedictines of Notre-Dame de Saintes 1047-1792," The American
Benedictine Review 45:2 (1994): 269-302.
Barbara A. Shailor