BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Marston MS 266 Southern France or Spain, s. XIII 1/3
Durand of Huesca, Biblical Distinctiones
1. f. i recto Short quotations in a contemporary hand from Lev.
24.15-16 ("Homo qui maledixerit...morte moriatur"); Dan. 3.96
("A me ergo positum est...et domus eius vastetur"); Isidore of Seville,
Etymologiae 20.4.2, on the verb fingere: "Fingere enim est
facere...et vas fictile dicitur"; f. i verso unidentified 3-line text
beginning "deus diligit eos qui diligunt eum...."
2. f. 1r-v [A]lta supernorum/ de stirpe creata deorum/ Alloquor ista
chorum/ sermonis arte decorum/ Lux. dux. sermonis/ distinctio fons
rationis/ Artibus et donis/ locuples sceptrum salomonis/...Alfa sit
in primis summis qui regnat et imis/ Cum sit sublimis/ donis me ditet
Rhymed life of Peter of Capua (d. 1214), in quatrains, composed by
Durand of Huesca (ca. 1160-1224?). For a detailed discussion of the texts in
this manuscript see M. A. Rouse and R. H. Rouse, "The Schools of the
Waldensians: A New Work of Durand of Huesca," forthcoming, 1991. The first and
third lines of each quatrain are placed on the left, the second and fourth in
the center, and the common ending for all four verses on the right. The three
columns are connected by a network of lines across the page.
3. ff. 1v-284r [Table of words for the letter A:] Incipiunt capitule prima
littera. i Alpha. ii Altissimus. iii Altum. iiij Absconditum.
v Arguere. vi Aduentus christi...cxv Aliud. cxvi Amen. cxvij Apotheca.
[text, f. 2r:] Alpha deus est. vnde apocalypsis [i added above]. Ego sum
alpha et omega. et cetera. Alpha est prima littera alphabeti...[f. 284r:]
Zizania...hereticum hominem post primam et secundam ammonitionem de uita.
f. 284v blank, but with pen trials and quotations.
Durand of Huesca, Biblical distinctiones, which according to R. H. and
M. A. Rouse (op. cit.) is an early 13th-century revision of Peter of Capua's
Alphabetum in artem sermocinandi. Marston MS 266 is apparently the
only known witness to Durand's revision. The text is
arranged alphabetically with one chapter per word numbered in Roman numerals.
Each letter of the alphabet is preceded by table, also numbered in Roman
numerals. The text appears to be in progress since the scribe has left space
at the end of most letters for additional material and since the tables that
precede each letter and the actual contents of the chapters do not correspond
to one another (e.g., the table for the letter C runs from i. creatio through
cxx. cortex, whereas the text ends with entries for lxxxiij. casus,
lxxxiiij. compedes, lxxxv. confessio, none of which are listed in the table;
there are, however, forty additional entries in the table [lxxxi cataracta
through cxx cortex] that are not in the text, although some space was allotted
on ff. 41v-42v). Other pages were left blank after the letters D (ff. 53r-54v),
F (f. 81v, followed by stub between ff. 81-82), G (stub between ff. 88-89),
H (f. 96v), I (f. 108v), N (f. 136v), O (f. 145r-v), P (f. 162v), Q (stub
between ff. 164-165), S (f. 195v, followed by 2 stubs), T (f. 228v),
X (f. 278v), Y (ff. 281v-282r). All the stubs were presumably blank.
At least one quire containing most of the text for the letter M lost between
ff. 128 and 129.
Parchment, ff. ii (parchment: i = pastedown; ii = flyleaf) + 284, 250 x 177
(162 x 125) mm. 2 columns, 31 lines. Double vertical outer bounding
lines, full length; 3 rulings between columns; ruled in lead or crayon.
Prickings in upper, lower, and outer margins.
I-VIII 10, IX 10(-2, 10, both blanks), X-XIII 10 (at least one quire lost
here), XIV-XVI 10, XVII 10 (-7, blank), XVIII-XIX 10, XX 10 (-9 10, both
blanks), XXI-XXVIII 10, XXIX 8 (+ 1 leaf added at end). Catchwords center of
Written in a fine early gothic bookhand by several scribes, above top
Nice penwork initials, 7- to 3-line, for each letter of the alphabet,
blue with red or vice versa. Smaller initials, 2-line, in similar but
less intricate designs for chapter divisions. Chapter numbers, some initials,
plain line fillers, and text divisions in red. Ornamental border, in red,
encloses common ending for verses on f. 1r-v. Spaces for rubrics
left unfilled. Majuscules in text stroked with pale yellow.
Beginning and end of codex worm and rodent damaged.
Binding: Place and date uncertain. Fragmentary binding. Resewn with a
chain stitch and the spine lined with coarse cloth. Plain, wound endbands and
paste boards (composed of paper and parchment fragments of manuscripts),
that once were covered with brick red tawed skin. Traces of two ties.
Outline of rectangular label, now missing, on upper cover.
Written in the first third of the 13th century in Southern France or Spain
to judge from certain Spanish features in the script and decoration
(e.g., tironian et with long horizontal stroke; tall, vertically oriented
ampersand with small, angular top loop; style of initials on ff. 61r, 63r,
109r, 199r, 240r); it is likely, given the nature and presentation of the
text and the date of the manuscript, that Marston MS 266 is
a fair copy made at Durand's request, and belonged to either him or one of
his companions. Effaced inscription (Arabic
or Hebrew?) on f. 284v. Purchased from Enzo Ferrajoli, Barcelona, in 1959 by
L. C. Witten (inv. no. 2541), who sold it the same year to Thomas
E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: Alpha
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 95, no. 266.
Barbara A. Shailor