BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 27 (olim Z109.073) England, s. XV^^in
Speculum humane salvationis, etc.
1. ff. 1r-2r Tabula super speculum humane saluacionis. Aubacia
quedam in prologo. Absalon suspenditur. 25....
2. ff. 2r-6v Incipit prohemium cuiusdam noue copulacionis [sic]
cuius nomen et titulus est speculum humane saluacionis. Expediens
uidetur et utile quod primo...In xlv^^to capitulo agitur de septem
gaudiis eiusdem gloriose uirginis. Et sic terminantur capitula huius
libelli et uoluminis. Expliciunt capitula super speculum humane
3. ff. 7r-90v Incipit speculum humane saluacionis. In quo patet
casus hominis...Quod nobis omnibus prestare dignetur, dominus noster
ihesu christe,/ Qui cum patre et spiritu sancto est imperpetuum
J. Lutz and P. Perdrizet, eds., Speculum humanae salvationis, 2
vol. (Mulhousen and Leipzig, 1907).
4. ff. 91r-104v Hic incipiunt meditaciones de passione domini, et
primo ponitur meditacio, de cena domini. Secundo, de passione generali
et cetera infra patet per ordinem. [A]dueniente et minime te tempore
miseracionum et misericordiarum domini...Benedictus dominus deus
israel, quia uisitauit et fecit redempcionem plebi sue. Explicit, et
cetera. [f. 104v, a prayer now only faintly visible under ultraviolet
light, beginning: Christus factus est pro nobis...]
M. J. Stallings, Pseudo-Bonaventura's Meditationes de passione
Christi (Washington, D. C., 1965) pp. 87-130 (line 22); Beinecke MS 27
seems to belong to the h family.
Parchment (thick, furry), ff. 104 (original pagination in red on
ff. 7r-90v), 280 x 190 (203 x 129) mm. Written in 33-34 lines of verse
on ff. 2v-90v, 36 long lines on ff. 91r-104v and 2 columns of 33-34
lines on ff. 1r-2r; ruled in ink, single vertical and horizontal
bounding lines, full across (on ff. 7r-90v a 16-line space in the upper
right corner of each folio, recto and verso, is left unruled for
illustration). Prickings in outer, upper and lower margins; an
additional pricking in the center of the outer margin marks the lower
edge of space reserved for illustrations.
I-IV^^8, V^^8 (-1 following f. 32; -8 following f. 38), VI^^8 (-1
following f. 38; -3, 4, and 5 following f. 41), VII^^8, VIII^^8 (-1
following f. 48; -8 following f. 54), IX^^8, X^^8 (-1 following f. 62, -3
following f. 63), XI-XIV^^8, XV^^8 (-5, 6, 7 and 8 following f. 104).
Catchwords below written space, to right (most trimmed); signatures
throughout (e. g., di, dii, diii). A new series of signatures (same
form) begins on f. 92r (beginning of quire XIV).
Written by two scribes in similar gothic textura bookhands. Scribe
1 (ff. 1r-90v) in brown ink. Scribe 2 (ff. 91r-104v) in a darker ink
and more compressed script. A few marginal comments and corrections of
The manuscript originally contained 192 miniatures, of which 29
have been entirely and 1 (f. 53r) partially removed. The remaining
miniatures, comparable to New York, Pierpont Morgan Library MS 766
(County of York, s. XIV^^ex) and Oxford, Bod. Lib. MS 758 (Norfolk,
1405; see Paecht and Alexander, v. 3, no. 794) are drawn in light brown
ink and tinted in brown and yellow washes with touches of red. The
miniatures on ff. 7r-38v have been redrawn in black ink by a second
hand, related in style to Oxford, Bod. Lib. Don. d. 85 (s. XV^^in;
Paecht and Alexander, v. 3, no. 803. Compare especially f. 38v, Sampson
and the Philistines with fig. 803a). A dirty tan ground has been added
to miniatures on ff. 67v and 68r.
The subjects of the miniatures are as follow: (Chapter 1) f. 7r
Good and Evil angels/Lucifer thrown into hell-mouth, f. 7v Creation of
Eve, f. 8r Marriage of Adam and Eve, f. 8v Temptation of Eve; (Chapter
2) f. 9r Fall, f. 9v Expulsion, f. 10r Adam delving and Eve spinning,
f. 10v Noah's Ark; (Chapter 3) f. 11r Annunciation to Joachim, f. 11v
Vision of Astyages, f. 12r Closed Garden and the Sealed Fountain, f.
12v Balaam's prophecy of the star; (Chapter 4) f. 13r Birth of the
Virgin, f. 13v Tree of Jesse, f. 14r Closed Door, f. 14v Temple of
Solomon; (Chapter 5) f. 15r Presentation of the Virgin, f. 15v Golden
Table, f. 16r Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter, f. 16v Queen of Persia
in the hanging garden; (Chapter 6) f. 17r Marriage of Mary and Joseph,
f. 17v Marriage of Sarah and Tobias, f. 18r Tower of Baris, f. 18v
Tower of David; (Chapter 7) f. 19r Annunciation, f. 19v Burning Bush,
f. 20r Gideon's fleece, f. 20v Rebeccah gives drink to Eliezar;
(Chapter 8) f. 21r Nativity, f. 21v Dream of Pharaoh's butler, f. 22r
Aaron's rod, f. 22v Octavian and the Tibertine Sibyl; (Chapter 9) f.
23r Adoration of the Magi, f. 23v Magi see the star, f. 24r Three
mighty men bring water to David from the well of Bethlehem, f. 24v
Throne of Solomon; (Chapter 10) f. 25r Presentation of Christ in the
Temple, f. 25v Ark of the Covenant, f. 26r Seven-armed candelabra, f.
26v Presentation of Samuel; (Chapter 11) f. 27r Flight into Egypt, f.
27v Egyptian's image of the Virgin and child, f. 28r Child Moses casts
down Pharaoh's crown, f. 28v Dream of Nebuchadnezzar; (Chapter 12) f.
29r Baptism of Christ, f. 29v Brazen vessel, f. 30r Naaman washes in
the Jordan, f. 30v Ark borne over Jordan; (Chapter 13) f. 31r Three
temptations of Christ, f. 31v Daniel destroys Bel and the Dragon, f.
32r David slays Goliath, f. 32v David kills the lion and the bear;
(Chapter 14) [two miniatures missing: Penitence of Mary Magdalen and
the Penitence of Manasses], f. 33r Return of the prodigal son, f. 33v
David and Nathan; (Chapter 15) f. 34r Entry into Jerusalem, f. 34v
Jeremiah weeping over Jerusalem, f. 35r Triumph of David, f. 35v
Heliodorus repulsed from the Temple; (Chapter 16) f. 36r Last Supper,
f. 36v Fall of manna, f. 37r Passover--Jews with the Paschal lamb, f.
37v Abraham and Melchizedek; (Chapter 17) f. 38r "Ego sum" Men sent to
arrest Jesus fall backwards, f. 38v Samson kills 1000 Philistines with
the jawbone of an ass [four miniatures missing: Shamgar kills 600 men
with an ox-goad, David kills 800 men, Betrayal of Christ and Joab kills
Amasa]; (Chapter 18) f. 39r David plays before Saul, who tries to kill
him, f. 39v Sacrifices of Cain and Abel/ Cain kills Abel, [eight
miniatures missing: Mocking of Christ, Jews spit on Hur, Noah mocked by
Ham, Blinding of Samson, Flagellation, Achior bound to a tree, Lamech
beaten by his two wives, Job beaten by his wife]; (Chapter 21) f. 40r
Christ crowned with thorns, f. 40v Zerubbabel points to Appemen and
Concubine of Darius [two miniatures missing: Shimei casts stones at
David, and Hanun, King of Ammon, insults David's ambassadors]; (Chapter
22) f. 41r Bearing of the Cross, f. 41v Isaac carries the wood for his
sacrifice, f. 42r Wicked husbandmen kill the heir, f. 42v Spies with
the grapes of Eshcol; (Chapter 23) f. 43r Christ nailed to the Cross,
f. 43v Tubalcain smites the anvil and Jubal invents music, f. 44r
Isaiah sawn in two, f. 44v King of Moab sacrifices his first-born son;
(Chapter 24) f. 45r Christ crucified, with Mary, her heart pierced by a
sword, John, and the two thieves, f. 45v Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the
tree, f. 46r Death of Codrus, King of Athens, f. 46v Eleazar Maccabaeus
kills the elephant [two miniatures missing: Christ on the Cross mocked
by the Jews, and Michal derides David]; (Chapter 25) f. 48r Death of
Absalom, f. 48v Evilmerodach cuts the body of his father Nebuchadnezzar
into 300 pieces; (Chapter 26) [two miniatures missing: Deposition and
Jacob mourns Joseph]; f. 49r Adam and Eve mourn Abel, f. 49v Naomi
mourns her husband and sons; (Chapter 27) f. 50r Entombment, f. 50v
David laments Abner, f. 51r Joseph in the Pit, f. 51v Jonah cast into
the Sea; (Chapter 28) f. 52r A four-level depiction of Hell--Hell of
the descendants of Abraham, of Purgatory, of the non-baptized children,
and of the damned and demons, f. 52v Three children delivered from the
fiery furnace, f. 53r [partially cut out] Daniel in the lions' den fed
by Habakkuk [f. 54v, one miniature cut out: The ostrich delivers its
young]; (Chapter 29) f. 54r Christ tramples on Satan, f. 54v Benaiah
slays the lion in the pit [two miniatures missing: Samson and the lion
and Ehud kills Eglon]; (Chapter 30) f. 55r Virgin overcomes the Devil/
Arma Christi, f. 55v Judith kills Holofernes, f. 56r Jael kills Sisera,
f. 56v Tomyris kills Cyrus; (Chapter 31) [two miniatures missing:
Harrowing of Hell and Moses leads Israel out of Egypt]; f. 58r Abraham
delivered from the fire of the Chaldees, f. 58v Lot escapes from Sodom;
(Chapter 32) f. 59r Resurrection, f. 59v Samson carries off the gates
of Gaza, f. 60r Jonah cast up by the fish, f. 60v Cornerstone, (Chapter
33) f. 61r Ascension, f. 61v Jacob's ladder, f. (62r Lost sheep brought
back, f. 62v Translation of Elijah; (Chapter 34) [two miniatures
missing: Pentecost and the tower of Babel]; f. 63r Moses receives the
Ten Commandments, f. 63v Elisha supplies the widow with oil; [two
miniatures missing: Virgin visits the holy places and Return of
Tobias]; f. 64r Finding of the lost piece of silver, f. 64v Michal
married to Phaltiel; (Chapter 36) f. 65r Assumption of the Virgin, f.
65v Ark brought home, f. 66r Woman clothed with the Sun, f. 66v Solomon
sets Bathsheba on his right hand; (Chapter 37) f. 67r Virgin, baring
her breasts, intercedes for mankind, f. 67v Abigail appeases David, f.
68r Woman of Tekoa appeases David, f. 68v Wise women cast out head of
Sheba to David; (Chapter 38) f. 69r Virgin as the defender of mankind,
f. 69v Thearbis, princess of Sabba, defends her city against Moses, f.
70r Abimelech killed by the woman of Thebes, f. 70v Michal helps David
escape; (Chapter 39) f. 71r Christ displays his wounds to God the
Father, f. 71v Antipater shows his wounds to Julius Caesar, f. 72r
Virgin shows her breast to Christ [Christ is seated on the conventional
globe, to which have been added (s. xvi?) several numbers], f. 72v
Esther intercedes for her people; (Chapter 40) f. 73r Last Judgment, f.
73v Parable of the talents, f. 74r Parable of the ten Virgins, f. 74v
Writing on the wall; (Chapter 41) f. 75r Torments of Hell, f. 75v David
punishing the men of Rabbath, f. 76r Gideon punishing the men of
Succoth, f. 76v Pharaoh and his army drowning in the Red Sea; (Chapter
42) f. 77r Mary and the saints in heaven, f. 77v Solomon and the Queen
of Sheba, f. 78r Feast of Ahasuerus, f. 78v Job feasting with his
children; (Chapter 43) f. 79r (Miraculum de passione Christi) Christ
bearing the Cross appears to the Hermit in his tower, f. 79v (Vespers)
Last Supper, f. 80r (Compline) Agony in the garden [the artist has
added in the margin a lamp dangling from the upper bounding line], f.
80v (Matins) Betrayal of Christ, f. 81r (Prime) Christ before Pilate,
f. 81v (Terce) Flagellation, f. 82r (Sext) Condemnation of Christ and
Pilate washing his hands, f. 82v (None) The Crucifixion; (Chapter 44)
f. 83r (Miraculum de dolore Christi et sue gloriose matris) A monk, his
hands and feet pierced by nails and his heart by a sword, f. 83v
Presentation in the Temple, f. 84r Flight into Egypt, f. 84v Christ in
the Temple, found by Mary and Joseph, f. 85r Mary observes the Betrayal
of Christ, f. 85v Crucifixion, with Mary's heart pierced by a sword, f.
86r Lamentation, f. 86v Mary surrounded by objects recalling events
from the life of Christ; (Chapter 45) f. 87r (Miraculum de septem
gaudiis beate marie) Mary appears to the sick priest, f. 87v
Annunciation, f. 88r Visitation, f. 88v Nativity, f. 89r Adoration, f.
89v Presentation, f. 90r Christ among the Doctors, f.90v Coronation of
the Virgin. 2-line calligraphic initials, blue, at the beginning of
each chapter and "figura" or type (I-initials, 6-10 lines; at the
bottom of the page, e.g., f. 29v, the I breaks and runs beneath the
lowest line of text), with elaborate, angular penwork and flourishes,
in red (some, e. g., ff. 17r and 21r, with faces). On ff. 91r-104v 2-
line blue initials, plain; spaces for some initials, including a 6-line
initial on f. 91r, left blank. 1-line red or blue initials, some of the
blue with red penwork. Capital A's in each Amen alternate red and blue.
Guide-letters for initials throughout. Paragraph marks, blue. Tituli,
inscriptions in miniatures, chapter numbers, and pagination in red
throughout. Guide-numbers for pagination still visible, especially on
The parchment is worn and dirty, with many torn and slashed
folios. Apart from the folios which are missing entirely, the upper
portions (with miniatures) on ff. 47, 53 and 57 have been removed.
Binding: s. xv. Dutch or German? Sewn on six double, tawed cords
laced into beech boards and pegged in three holes. Endband cores laid
in grooves and pegged. There is an inner cover of pink, tawed skin.
Over this is a chemise of thin, white tawed skin stitched to a heavy
outer, tawed pigskin cover which extends about 25 mm. at the head, 70
mm. at the fore-edge, and was whip-stitched at the edges. The tail edge
has been cut down. Two straps are attached to the upper cover and
tacked to the extending skin at the fore-edge with a narrow, tawed
thong. There are two square marks where pins were attached to the lower
cover. The original sewing cords have broken and have been replaced, a
part of the book resewn, and part of the chemise pocket cut away. The
ends of the fastening straps and the endbands are wanting. The binding
was described by Dorothy Minor in The History of Bookbinding, 525-1950
A. D., an Exhibition held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 1957, p. 55.
Written in England at the beginning of the 15th century, as
indicated by the style of the miniatures. The Meditationes de passione
Christi were added to the volume in the 15th century by a different,
but contemporary, scribe on blank folios in the last quire of the
Speculum (ff. 91-92) and on two new quires (XIV-XV). Presented to Yale
in 1714 by Elihu Yale (note on front cover: "Yale College Library,
1715"); believed to be the first illuminated medieval manuscript in any
American collegiate library. Signature of John Bentley (f. 57r, s. xvii
or xviii?). Several annotations by Ezra Stiles, Professor of Divinity
and President of Yale University from 1778 to 1795 (ff. 25r, 40r, and
90r; on f. 90v, "Januarii 26th 1793. Perlegi hunc Librum Ezra
secundo folio: [table, f. 2:] Octauianus cesar
[text, f 3:] Et hec oblacio
Bibliography: De Ricci, v. 1, p. 167, no. 27.
Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 211-12, no. 37.
W. H. McCarthy, "An Exhibition of Bookbindings," Gazette 7 (1932),
p. 15 and illustration of binding.
Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Baltimore:
Walters Art Gallery, 1949) pp. viii and 51, no. 139.
A. L. Kellog, "Susannah and the Merchant's Tale," Speculum 25
(1960) pp. 275-76 and fig. 3 (of f. 11r).
T. E. Marston, "The Speculum humanae salvationis," Gazette 42
(1968) pp. 124-30.
C. E. Lutz, "The 'Gentle Puritan' and the 'Angelic Doctor',"
Gazette 52 (1978) pp. 122-26.
Barbara A. Shailor