BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Marston MS 154 Paris, s. XIV 1/4
William of Melitona, Commentarius in Ecclesiasticum
1. ff. 1r-9v Abicere 164/ abiectio 243/ abisac 145/...zelare
mulierem 44/ zelare gloriam 47/ zmaragdus. 188. f. 10r-v ruled but
Alphabetical index for art. 2 with folio references entered in red; this
index is a 15th-century addition on a complete gathering inserted at the
beginning of the volume.
2. ff. 1r-293v [medieval foliation] Sapiencia edificauit sibi
domum...[Prov. 9.1]. Sicut eternus artifex sua potentia spiritum
rationale de nihilo produxit in esse...[f. 2v:] Multorum nobis et
cetera. operi principali duo prohemia siue prologi proponuntur...et
dabit uobis mercedem in tempore suo. quam nobis prestare dignetur...amen.
Explicit super ecclesiasticum.
Stegmueller no. 2938.
3. ff. 293v-295r Abstinendum est a multis. fo. ccxvi. co. ij./ accedit quis
ad deum duplici cordis cur [?]. fo. 9. co. 4./...christus comparatur
nebule. fo. cxxviij. col. ij./ christus columpna. propter. virtutem fo.
cxxviij. co. iij. f. 295v blank
Alphabetical index for art. 2 with folio and column references; the
entries correspond to key phrases entered in the margins of the text.
Parchment (poor quality, yellow and speckled on hair side), ff. 304
(medieval foliation for art. 2, 1-293) + ii (contemporary parchment
bifolium; ii = back pastedown), 325 x 208 (240 x 146) mm. 2 columns, 48
lines. Single vertical and single upper horizontal bounding lines. Two
additional rulings in upper, lower and outer margins; one additional
ruling in inner margin. Remains of prickings in all margins for bounding
I 10 (art. 1; later addition), II-XII 12, XIII 14, XIV-XXV 12, XXV 4.
Catchwords, in rectangular red frames, lower margin near gutter, verso.
Leaf signatures, perhaps written in two stages: the one in Roman
numerals, in black; the other letters of the alphabet, in red, both in
lower right corner, recto.
Written in neat gothic bookhand for arts. 1 and 2; art. 3 written in
inelegant gothic text hands.
One historiated initial of fine quality on f. 11r, 9-line, reddish
brown with white filigree against blue ground with white filigree, edged
in gold, showing the author and three companions, presenting a book to a
seated monarch dressed in a blue robe against a reddish ground with
geometric designs in blue, black and red. Terminals of initial extend as
a bar border into inner margin, blue and reddish brown against
reddish-brown and blue grounds with white filigree and touches of gold.
Border terminates in lower margin in a spray of spiky ivy, blue with gold
leaves. The decoration and figure style is representative of Parisian
work of the first quarter of the 14th century and can be compared to
Paris, B. N. lat. 14563 (cf. C. de Hamel, A History of Illuminated
Manuscripts [Boston, 1986] p. 123, pl. 117); it also resembles the early
work of Jean Pucelle, in such manuscripts as the Bible of Robert de
Billyng (Paris, B. N. lat. 11935) dated 1327 (see H. Martin, La miniature
francaise du XIIIe au XVe siecle [Paris, 1923] pl. 34, fig. XLIII).
Flourished initials, 6- to 3-line, blue or red with red and/or blue
penwork designs, often extending the entire length of the text column.
Running titles in red and blue. Paragraph marks alternate red and blue.
Biblical passages underlined in red. Initials touched with red. Remains
of instructions to rubricator.
Binding: Spain, s. xv. Early [?] resewing on four tawed skin, slit straps
or double cords laced into grooves in wooden boards. Beaded, red, green and
natural color secondary endbands are sewn on tawed skin cores laced into the
boards. The spine is lined with vellum between supports. Front and back
(mostly concealed by another parchment leaf) pastedowns from a liturgical
manuscript with neumes (Spain, s. XII). Remains of contemporary rectangular
label on lower board: "Holcot super eccl***/ cum."
Covered in brown sheepskin, blind-tooled with
a central panel and alternate concentric frames filled with rope interlace
with red bordering fillets. Spine: supports defined with double fillets on
the spine and an X with a central cross-bar in the panels. There are four
fastenings, the catches on the lower board, the clasp straps fastened with
Written in Paris in the first quarter of the 14th century, from a
stationer's exemplum secundum pecias. The pecia notation runs as
follows (we give the numbers of those marks visible in margins or those
that can be reconstructed with reasonable certainty): f. 43r 13; f. 47r
14; f. 51r 15; f. 54r 16; f. 58v 17; f. 62v 18; f. 66v 19; f. 78r 22; f.
105r 29; f. 109r 30; f. 113r 31; f. 132r 36; f. 135v 37; f. 143r 39; f.
150v 41; f. 154v 42; f. 165v 45; f. 169r 46; f. 172v 47; f. 175v 48; f.
179r 49; f. 183r 60 [sic]; f. 187r 51; f. 191r 52; f. 195r 53; f. 210r
57; f. 236r 64; f. 251r 68; f. 261v 71; f. 269r 73; f. 272v 74; f. 280r
76; f. 283v 77; f. 207v 78 [?]. Early ownership inscription, s. xiv-xv, of the
bishop of Saragossa, visible under ultra-violet light on verso of rear
flyleaf: "Iste liber est episcopi Ces. ag." The manuscript was probably
rebound while at Saragossa in the 15th century. Purchased from C. A. Stonehill
in 1957 by Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: [table, f. 2:] caro
[text, f. 2:] uidemus
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 81, no. 154.
Barbara A. Shailor