BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Marston MS 158 Northern Italy, s. XI/XII
Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam
1. f. 1r Decretum urbani pape. Anno dominice incarnationis
milesimo x. c. v.#t#o. Indictione iii. celebrata est placentie sinodus
presidente domino urbano papa...Tercium uero et quartum in septembri et
decembri more solito Fiat.
Acts of the synod of Piacenza, March 1095 (Urban II), chs. 1-14; J. D.
Mansi, ed., Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio... (Venice,
1775) v. 20, cols. 804-06; C. J. Hefele and H. Leclercq, Histoire des
conciles 5,1 (Paris, 1912) p. 388, n. 2.
2. ff. 1v-136v In isto codice Sunt Sancti ambrosii expositi Sancti
[sic] secundum lucam libri x. Scripturi in euangelii librum quem lucas
sanctus. pleniore quadam rerum dominicarum distinctione digessit. stilum ipsum
prius exponendum putamus...Nam quod tangitur corpus est. quod palpatur. corpus
est. in corpore autem resurgimus. Seminatur enim corpus animale. surgit//
quire signature: R
Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam; M. Adriaen, ed., CC 14
(1957) pp. 1-400. The text breaks off at p. 394, line 1601, in the printed
text and is therefore lacking the concluding 179 lines. The manuscript has
been carefully corrected by several contemporary hands.
Parchment, ff. i (paper) + 136 + i (paper), 343 x 230 (255 x 163) mm.
2 columns, 35 lines. Double vertical bounding lines, with an additional
ruling between columns. Three upper horizontal bounding lines; usually
three, sometimes two, lower horizontal bounding lines. Ruled in hard point
on hair side before folding. Prickings (small slashes) in upper, lower
and outer margins.
I-XVII 8. Quire signatures (e.g., A, B, C, etc.) with symmetrically arranged
dots and lines on four sides in center of lower margin, verso.
Numerous pen and ink initials of good quality, 8- to 3-line, drawn in
red. The initials are constructed of thick vine stems, divided in half and
swelling at the ends, issuing sprouts of intertwining stylized foliage.
On f. 10v the letter E is formed from a bird and its extended wing; on ff.
75r and 103r the initials terminate in animal heads. The
most important initials, ff. 1v, 13r, 36v, 62r, 75r, 114r, 115v and 119v, are
touched with patches of ochre and summary modelling in the same color. The
overall design owes its inspiration to Ottonian art, especially the style of
St. Gall and Reichenau (see Exhibition Catalogue, p. 184, no. 10). Similar
initials appear in Oxford, Bodleian Library, Canon. Pat. Lat. 227 (see
Paecht and Alexander, vol. 2, no. 14) and Paris, B. N. lat. 4450 (see Avril and
Zaluska, p. 66, no. 112, pls. XLV-XLVI), all assigned to Northern Italy and
tentatively dated to the end of the eleventh or beginning of the twelfth
century. On f. 1v the continuation capitals are filled in with red and
ochre (cf. Abbey MS J. A. 7350 in Abbey MSS, pp. 3-6, no. 1, pls. I-IIa).
Plain initials and headings in red. Remains of instructions to
the rubricator along outer edge perpendicular to text (e.g., ff. 119v, 120v).
Binding: Italy, s. xix#i#n. Half bound in brown calf with bright pink paper
sides that have been covered with tan paper; edges spattered blue-green. Two
gold-tooled labels on spine, the first left blank and the lower one reading
"Saecul XII." Bound in the same distinctive style as Marston MSS 50, 125, 128,
135, 151, 153, 159, and 197, also from the Cisterican abbey of Hautecombe (see
Written in Northern Italy at the end of the 11th or the beginning of the 12th
century; the manuscript was owned by the Cistercian abbey of Hautecombe soon
thereafter when its ex libris ("liber sancte marie altecumbe"), s. xii-xiii,
was added in the lower margin of f. 136v, thus indicating that the manuscript
was already incomplete at this early date. A second ex libris was added in the
15th century: "Liber sancte marie de alta comba." Marston MS 158 has
the characteristic bright pink binding of the books of Monseigneur Hyacinthe
della Torre who acquired and rebound a group of twelve manuscripts from
Hautecombe at the beginning of the 19th century (see Leclercq, 1951,
p. 75). Belonged to the Biblioteca del Seminario Metropolitano in
Turin (Leclercq, 1961, p. 183). Purchased from Arthur Rau of Paris in 1957 by
L. C. Witten (inv. no. 1447), who sold it the same year to Thomas E. Marston
secundo folio: edidit
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 82, no. 158.
Exhibition Catalogue, p. 184, no. 10.
Barbara A. Shailor