BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 387 England or Northern France, s. XIII^^2/4
Restricted material. May not be seen without the permission of the appropriate curator.
1. f. i recto Table of contents, from Genesis to Apocalypse, added s. xv;
folio references correspond to numbers added by the same hand on the verso of
each leaf of text.
2. f. i verso Prologue to Ecclesiastes, Stegmueller, v. 1, no. 462, added s.
3. ff. 1r-383v Bible in irregular order; 3 Ezra and Baruch completely
omitted as well as many prologues. The text includes chapter divisions
introduced in the revision of Stephen Langton, either within text or in margins;
contemporary corrections in margins are on additional guide-lines carefully
ruled in lead and enclosed by decorative lines, in red. In parentheses,
references to the prologues as listed in Stegmueller, v. 1: General Prologue
(284); Prologue to Pentateuch (285), Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers,
Deuteronomy; Joshua (311, 307); Judges; Ruth; 1 Kings (323), 2 Kings, 3 Kings,
4 Kings; 1 Chronicles (328, 327), 2 Chronicles; Proverbs; Ecclesiastes (no
prologue, although rubric appears: Incipit prologus in ecclesiasten, with
text of Proverbs 31 immediately following); Song of Songs; Wisdom (468);
Ecclesiasticus; Job; Tobit (332); Judith; Esther (341 + 343); 1 Ezra (330),
2 Ezra; 1 Maccabees (551), 2 Maccabees; Ezekiel (492); Daniel (494); Isaiah
(482); Jeremiah (485 + 487); Lamentations; Prologue for Minor Prophets (500),
Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,
Zechariah, Malachi; Psalms (414, 430); Matthew (595, 601, 596, 590), Mark (607),
Luke (620, followed by Luke 1.1-4 treated as a prologue), John (624); Acts
(640); Catholic Epistles (809); Romans, 1 Corinthians (684), 2 Corinthians
(700, ending: emendatos ostendens), Galatians (707), Ephesians (715),
Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2
Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews; Apocalypse.
2. ff. 383v-420v Aaz apprehendens...eos uel consiliatores eorum.
Expliciunt interpretationes hebreorum nominum secundum Remigium.
Index of Hebrew names generally attributed to Stephen Langton;
Stegmueller, v. 5, no. 7709.
3. f. 420v Materia euangelorum. Matheus. De genealogia domini...De hoc
quod discipuli non ieiunant.
Parchment, ff. ii (paper) + i (contemporary parchment) + 420 (foliation of s.
xv, 1-420, on verso, between rulings for running headings) + ii (paper),
285 x 185 (198 x 112) mm., trimmed. 2 columns, 53-55 lines. Single vertical
bounding lines with additional ruling between columns. Triple horizontal
rulings at top, bottom and sometimes through center of written space, full
across. Double horizontal lines, upper margin, for running headings. Single
vertical line, outer margin. Ruled in lead. Prickings in outer margin for
running headings, and in upper and lower margins for vertical rulings
(some also visible in inner margins for text rulings).
I^^10 (+ 1 leaf added, f. i), II-XVIII^^10, XIX^^4, XX-XXIII^^8,
XXIV-XL^^12. Remains of quire signatures in center of lower edge and of
catchwords, to the right of signatures.
Written in a small gothic textura, ff. 1-210v above top line, ff. 210r-420v
below top line, by several scribes.
Fine historiated and ornamental initials, closely related in style and
iconography to the initials in the Scripps Bible in the Detroit Institute of
Arts (see C. Selby, "An English Bible from the Thirteenth Century," Bulletin
of the Detroit Institute of Arts, 38 [1958-59] pp. 29ff.; P. Barnett, "A Pair
of Thirteenth-Century Bibles: The Ruskin Bible at Yale and the Scripps Bible in
the Detroit Institute of Arts," Gazette, 55  pp. 1-13, fig. 1 of f.
175v, fig. 3 of f. 233r; Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 191-92, no. 19, pl. 7, f.
22v) and to the iconography of Princeton University Library, Garrett 28
(England, s. XIII^^3/4). See A. L. Bennett, The Place of Garrett 28 in
Thirteenth-Century Illumination, unpublished Ph.D. Thesis (Columbia
University, 1973) ch. 3. Historiated initials for most books and some
prologues, 12- to 4- line (without ascenders or descenders), blue, brown,
orange, green, pink and gold with leafy and geometric designs, many with long
bar and/or dragon ascenders and descenders; foliate vine serifs, some inhabited
with animals or grotesques, against gold grounds; framed in thin bands of green
The subjects are as follow:
f. 1r Jerome at writing desk inspired by an angel (Prologue),
f. 4v full page vertical format for the Seven days of Creation, with
additional scenes of God warning Adam and Eve, the Temptation, Expulsion,
delving, Birth of Cain or Abel, Cain killing Abel (Genesis), f. 22v Moses
going into Egypt (Exodus), f. 37v God giving the commandments to Moses
(Leviticus), f. 47v Moses and Aaron (Numbers), f. 60v Moses leading the
Israelites across the Red Sea (Deuteronomy), f. 70v Joshua and the lion (Prol.
to Joshua), f. 71r Death of Moses (Joshua), f. 77v Death of Joshua (Judges),
f. 85r Elimelech, Naomi and two children, 21-line vertical format (Ruth), f. 86r
Grotesque (Prol. to 1 Kings), f. 86v The call of Samuel (1 Kings), f. 96v
Suicide of Saul; Amalekite relating the news to David (2 Kings), f. 104r David
and Abishag (3 Kings), f. 113v King Ahaziah on deathbed and consulting
Beelzebub (4 Kings), f. 123r Adam and descendents (1 Chronicles), f. 131v
Solomon praying at Gideon (2 Chronicles), f. 141v Solomon as teacher, wielding
a switch (Proverbs), f. 147v Solomon with a scroll and staff (Ecclesiastes),
f. 150r Nimbed saint and personification of Ecclesia (Song of Songs), f. 151r
Solomon, with scroll, addressing a group of people (Wisdom), f. 155v Jesus ben
Sirach seated between a youth and an angel (Ecclesiasticus), f. 168r Job on the
dunghill (Job), f. 175v Centaur with bow (Prol. to Tobit), f. 175v Tobit healed
by Tobias, with angel Raphael beside him; Tobias taking fish from Tigris River
(Tobit), f. 178v Judith and Holofernes (Judith), f. 182v Man with a whip on a
camel-like animal (Prol. to Esther), f. 186r Grotesque bitten by a dragon (Prol.
to 1 Ezra), f. 189v Grotesque (Prol. to 2 Ezra), f. 194r Two entwined dragons
(Prol. to 1 Maccabees), f. 194r Six soldiers on horseback (1 Maccabees), f. 203r
Seated and haloed figure with messenger (2 Maccabees), f. 209v Vision of four
beasts; Ezekiel in bed (Ezekiel), f. 225v Grotesque (Prol. to Daniel), f. 226r
Daniel in lions' den brought food by Habakkuk, with angel above (Daniel), f.
233r Rabbit eating its tail (Prol. to Isaiah), f. 233r Isaiah sawn in half
vertically (Isaiah), f. 249r Dragon biting its back (Prol. to Jeremiah), f. 249r
Dragon biting its back (Prol. to Jeremiah), f. 249r Jeremiah's vision of the
boiling cauldron (Jeremiah), f. 267r Jeremiah lamenting (Lamentations), f. 269r
Owl (Prol. to Hosea), f. 269r Hosea and Gomer (Hosea), f. 271r Joel preaching
(Joel), f. 272r Amos with flock and angel above (Amos), f. 273v Obadiah called
by God (Obadiah), f. 274r Jonah cast to the whale (Jonah), f. 274v Micah
preaching (Micah), f. 276r Nahum prophesying at Nineveh (Nahum), f. 276v
Habakkuk commanded to write the vision (Habakkuk), f. 277r Zephaniah and God
(Zephaniah), f. 280v Malachi and five Levites at altar with sacrificial lamb
(Malachi), f. 282r David and Goliath; David and musicians (Psalm 1), f. 285r
David standing with kneeling man pointing to his eyes (Psalm 26), f. 287r
God and kneeling man (David ?) pointing to lips (Psalm 38), f. 289r God with a
scroll, fool with a club (Psalm 52), f. 290v David in deep waters; God above
(Psalm 68), f. 293r David praying; God above blessing (Psalm 80), f. 295r Two
musicians (Psalm 97), f. 297v Trinity [?] (Psalm
109), f. 303v Virgin and Child (Matthew), f. 313v Mark inspired by angel (Prol.
to Mark), f. 321r Grotesque (Prol. to Luke), f. 321r Luke inspired by angel
(Luke) f. 332r John inspired by angel (Prol. to John), f. 340v Christ with
Apostles (Acts), f. 353r Christ giving keys to Peter (Peter), f. 355r John
inspired by angel (John), f. 356v Peter and Paul (Romans), f. 360v Griffin
(Prol. to 1 Corinthians), f. 360v Peter and Paul (1 Corinthians), f. 364v
Peter and Paul (2 Corinthians), f. 367r Peter and Paul with hand of God
descending (Galatians), f. 368r Paul in prison handing scroll to Tychicus of
Chalkedon (Ephesians), f. 369v Paul in prison handing scroll to Jew
(Philippians), f. 371v Grotesque (Colossians), f. 372v Grotesque; bird biting
its back (1 Timothy), f. 373v Paul and messenger (2 Timothy), f. 374v Paul
preaching (Titus), f. 375r Paul preaching (Philemon), f. 375r Two
nimbed Apostles: Peter and Paul? (Hebrews), f. 378v John inspired by an angel
All other books and prologues with ornamental vine-scroll initials; 32-
(f. 182v) to 4-line, some incorporating men, animals and grotesques. Initials
for chapters, 6- to 2-line, red or blue or divided red and blue with blue and/or
red penwork flourishes, some with feather-like designs. Chapter numbers,
running titles alternating red and blue letters or numbers. Helical line
fillers, in red. Remains of instructions to rubricator.
Lower margin of f. 1 cut away; red ink has bled in certain sections of text.
Trimmed, with some loss of marginalia.
Binding: s. xix. Gilt edges. Brown, hard-grained goatskin, blind-tooled
with a gold-tooled title. Bound by H. Stamper (note on front pastedown).
Produced in England or Northern France in the second quarter of the 13th
century; agreement on the origin of the manuscript has not yet emerged among
art historians. N. G. Morgan (Early Gothic Manuscripts 1190-1250 [Oxford,
1982] p. 36, note 40) has suggested Northern France; A. Bennett (op. cit.),
however, believes that the Ruskin Bible was produced in England but served as
a transmitter of French iconography to England. There needs to be further
investigation of its distinctive iconography, and its relationship to both
13th-century Parisian painting and stained glass. Belonged to John Ruskin of
Brantwood (1819-1900; book label inside front cover); see J. S. Deardon, "John
Ruskin, the Collector," The Library 21 (1966) p. 132, no. 1; E. T. Cook and
A. Wedderburn, eds., The Works of John Ruskin, v. 12 (London, 1904) fig. 27
on p. 481 of f. 351v. Purchased from Arthur Severn in 1906 by C. W. Dyson
Perrins; see G. Warner, Descriptive Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts in
the Library of C. W. Dyson Perrins (Oxford, 1920) pp. 27-30, no. 6, with pl.
VII of ff. 22v, 209v, 175v, 77v; his sale (Sotheby's, 8 Dec. 1958, no. 5) to
Arthur Rau. Acquired from H. P. Kraus (Cat. 117, pp. 5-6) in 1968 by Edwin
J. Beinecke for the Beinecke Library.
secundo folio: non posse
Bibliography: Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 191-92, no. 19, with pl. 7 of f.
Illustrated Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts, exh. cat. (London,
Burlington Fine Arts Club, 1908) p. 119, no. 76.
Barbara A. Shailor