BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Marston MS 159 Hautecombe [?], s. XII med
Gregory the Great, Homeliae in Hiezechielem prophetam
ff. 1r-105v [Preface:] [Dilectissimo fratri] martino episcopo. Gregorius
episcope [?]. seruus seruorum dei. Homelias que in beato ezechiele propheta.
ita ut coram populo loquebar excepte sunt...epulas auidius redeatur.
[text, f. 1r:] [Dei omnipotentis] adspiracione. de ezechiele propheta
locuturus. Prius debeo tempora et modos aperire prophecie...qui necdum
a malo declinauit? Et sunt quidam qui sicut dictum est ab alimentis
M. Adriaen, ed., CC ser. lat. 142 (1971) pp. 3-308 (l. 453); Marston
MS 159 listed on p. xviii. The manuscript ends imperfectly in Book II,
Homilia 6, and contains the following irregularities. The third quire,
originally of eight leaves, is defective, with leaves 2 and 3 missing
after f. 17 (Book I, Homilia 5.2-12: "...ad largitatem misericordie ad
inte- // -diens suauitatis dei memoria pascitur..."); in addition, leaves
have been misplaced, presumably in rebinding, so that the text must now be
read: ff. 17 (-2 leaves), 20, 21, 18, 19, 22. Also, a portion of the text
has been omitted on f. 79r (Book II, Homilia 2.3-4: "...de his [added in
margin:] ad que rapta est extollatur // patriam reuiuescant. uerba uite
Parchment (poor quality: thick, holes, ends, repairs), ff. ii (paper) +
105 + ii (paper), 300 x 220 mm., greatly trimmed. Size of written space and
format of leaves vary considerably, but most leaves ruled in hard point with
single vertical and sometimes single horizontal bounding lines. Remains of
prickings in lower margins.
I-II 8, III 8 (misbound; 2 leaves missing; see text above), IV-X 8,
XI 4, XII 6, XIII 10 (-10). Quires signed i-vii only, center of lower margin,
recto, first leaf of gathering.
Written by multiple scribes in spiky early gothic bookhand.
Spaces left unfilled, f. 1r, for initials and headings at beginning of
prologue and text. Decorative monochrome initials and headings, which
extend the width of columns, of modest quality, in red (many
oxidized). Minor initials, 5- to 2-line, some with simple penwork designs,
headings, initial strokes in red.
Many leaves damaged along outer edges, now repaired, but with loss of text;
Binding: Italy, s. xix#i#n. Half bound in mottled brown calf with bright
pink paper sides. Two gold-tooled, brick red labels on spine: "Greg.
Pape. in Ezechiel." and "Saecul. XIII." Red edges. Bound in the same
distinctive style as Marston MSS 50, 125, 128, 135, 151, 153, 158, 197, also
from the Cistercian abbey of Hautecombe (see provenance).
Written in the middle of the 12th century, perhaps at the Cistercian abbey
of Hautecombe to which it belonged; early ex libris visible under ultra-violet
light in lower margin, f. 105v: ":liber sancte marie altecumbe:".
Located in the ancient diocese of Geneva, the abbey was founded toward the
beginning of the 12th century by monks from the abbey of Aulps (see R.
Clair, "Les origines de l'abbaye d'Hautecombe," Melanges a la memoire du
Pere Anselme Dimier [Arbois, 1982-87] tome II, v. 4, pp. 615-27).
Marston MS 159 has the characteristic bright pink binding of Monseigneur
Hyacinthe della Torre who acquired and rebound a group of twelve manuscripts
from this monastery at the beginning of the 19th century (see Leclercq,
1951, p. 75). Belonged to the Biblioteca del Seminario Metropolitano in
Turin (Leclercq, op. cit., p. 76, no. 16). Acquired from C. A.
Stonehill in 1957 by Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: [somp]nium. A sompnio
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 82, no. 159.
Barbara A. Shailor