BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 404 Northern France, s. XIII/XIV
Rothschild Canticles (in Latin)
Restricted material. May not be seen without the permission of the appropriate curator.
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The following entry was researched and written by J. Hamburger.
1. f. 1r Unidentifed arms, later addition; ff. 1v-4r, 5r, 6v-7r,
8r, 9r, 10r, 11r have tinted drawings added s. XIV^^1;
ff. 12v-105v Emitte agnum domine dominatorem terre de petra
deserti ad montem filie syon...Bernardus orauit domine duc me ubi
es. dixit ei barnarde non facio quoniam si ducerem te ubi sum
annichilareris michi et tibi. ff. 4v, 5v-6r, 7v, 8v, 9v, 10v,
11v-12r, 13v, 15v-16r, 17r, 18r, 19v-20r, 21v-22r, 23v-24r,
25v-26r, 27v, 28v-29r, 30v, 31v, 32v-33r, 34v-35r, 36v-37r, 38v-39r,
40v-41r, 42v-43r, 44v-45r, 46v-47r, 48v-49r, 50v, 51v, 52v, 53v-54r,
55v-56r, 57v-58r, 59v-60r, 61v-62r, 63r, 64v-65r, 66v-67r, 68v-69r,
70v-71r, 72r, 73v-74r, 75v-76r, 77v-78r, 79v-80r, 81v-82r, 83v,
84v-85r, 86r, 87r, 88v-89r, 90v-91r, 92v-93r, 94v-95r, 96v-97r,
98v-99r, 100v-101r, 102v-103r, 104v-105r, 106v blank; f. 107r and
upper portion of 107v are erased (see art. 8)
A florilegium comprised of a series of meditations and prayers.
The text, apparently a unicum, is a cento of biblical, liturgical,
and patristic citations, with some additional material spuriously
attributed to St. Bernard. The most important sources are the
Song of Songs, the other Wisdom books, the Prophets, and, in the
Trinitarian section, Augustine's De Trinitate. With the exception
of f. 14r, the text occurs only on alternating versos. For a more
complete description of the text and layout, see M. R. James,
Description of an Illuminated Manuscript of the XIIIth Century in
the Possession of Bernard Quaritch (London, 1904), which is, in
part, inaccurate, and J. F. Hamburger, "The Rothschild Canticles,"
Ph.D. dissertation, Yale University, forthcoming, which will
include an edition of this text.
2. ff. 107v-112v [Unidentified tract on the vices and virtues:]
Sub superbia continentur hec qui secuntur. Inanis gloria que est
est appetitus laudis humane...Caritas est uirtus quam homo
diligit deum super se et super omnia propter deum et proximum suum
sicut se ipsum propter deum.
3. ff. 113r-114v In damasco
erant diuerse herbe de natura speciali...adam erat pauperrimus
hominum quia mandatum dei trangressus est et promeruit mortem.
Tract on the monstrous races; R. A. Wisby, "Marvels of the East in the
Weiner Genesis and in
Wolfram's Parzifal," Essays in German and Dutch Literature, ed. W.
Robson-Scott (London, 1973) pp. 9-10 and n. 40; J. B. Friedman,
The Monstrous Races in Medieval Art and Thought (Cambridge, Mass.,
1981) p. 94, 214, n. 25, and 233, n. 12; and H. W. Janson, Apes
and Ape-Lore in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (New York,
1957) p. 94.
4. ff. 115r-119v [Seven exempla:] Nota quod quidem nobilis
mulier cum esset in ecclesia tempore hyemali quedam paupercula
mulier post tergum suum gemebat pre angustia frigoris...[final
exemplum, f. 119r:] Nota de
clerico dormienti cui uidebatur quod demones ducerent animam eius
ad infernum...vidit ibi omnia peccata sua que confessus est
5. ff. 120r-121r [Excerpts attributed to John Chrysostom,
Augustine, and Bernard, from an unidentified florilegium:]
Crisostomus otium mors est et uiui hominis sepultura ...
Augustinus in epistola ad yponenses. si modo tanta custodia
tanta intentione cum magno labore agitis ne in aliquos cruciatus
transitorios incidatis. ff. 122r, 123r tinted drawings;
ff. 121v, 122v, 123v blank
6. ff. 124r-132r Acceptio personarum iudicare digne de subditis
nequeunt qui in subditorum causis sua uel odia uel gratiam
secuntur...postremus gradus est omnium uitiorum peremptorius ut
de hoc mundo credas te cotidie migraturum. f. 132v blank
Excerpts from the Pharetra, a florilegium probably composed by
an anonymous Franciscan working before 1264 (see R. H. and M. Rouse,
Preachers, Florilegia and Sermons: Studies in the "Manipulus florum"
of Thomas of Ireland [Toronto, 1979] pp. 41 and 204-205). For a
printed edition of the text, see Bonaventure, Opera omnia (Vatican City,
1596) v. 6 (Part 8) pp. 103-208.
7. f. 133r [Moral sayings, including verses on the confession of
sins:] Omnis mulier fornicaria est quasi stercus in uia
comes...Illa autem aggrauant peccatum et hoc scitur per hos uersus.
Aggrauat ordo locus peccata scientia tempus. Etas conditio
numerus mora copia causa et modus in culpa status altus lucta
8. ff. 133v-140v Quid est predestinatio. predestinatio est ea
ordinatio que ante creatum seculum quosdam ad suum regnum
preordinauit...[f. 139v, mid-page:] Scriptum est pater non portabit
iniquitatem filii nec filius patris. Si filii parentibus//
[text continues without a break on f. 139v:] //leti sunt. De
absentibus amicis solliciti. Cum autem omnes simul ueniunt
amplius gaudebunt...[f. 140v:] Si autem uelociter contigerit pro alterius
sancti merito fit ut sancto Mart// [text completed in
another hand, s. XV?:] //ino episcopo anima latronis apparuit
cuius altare destruxit.
Two excerpts from the Elucidarius attributed to Honorius
of Autun, Book II.28-45 and Book III.27-30; PL 172.1109-76. See
Y. Lefevre, L'Elucidarium et les lucidaires, Bibliotheque des
ecoles francais d'Athenes et de Rome 180 (Paris, 1954). Ultra-violet
photography has revealed that the passage from Book III originally
continued on f. 107r-v with the words "anima latronis" and
continued through III.32. The passage probably was erased after
the manuscript was misbound (see physical description).
9. ff. 141r-142r [Five exempla:] Item beatus bernardus. cum
esset in quodam castro et haberet socium secum intrauit lectum cum
autem deberet dormire domina domus uenit ad lectum suum...Item non desperet
peccatrix sed beatam uirginem habeat in memorie et cito
resiliet a peccato. ff. 142v-144v originally left blank; ff. 142v
and 144v covered with indecipherable notes in faint lead
[?]; ff. 143r and 144r with added drawings of Hermit Saints.
10. ff. 145r-149r Excerpts from Ecclesiastes 2.16-8.5 and
Hebrews 11.1-12.15. ff. 149v-152v originally left blank; ff.
150r, 151r, 152r with added drawings of Hermit Saints.
ll. ff. 153r-160v Excerpts from Proverbs 11.1-15.4.
12. ff. 161r-166v [Biblical passages, with excerpts attributed to
John Chrysostom, Gregory, Augustine, Bernard, and the glossa
ordinaria, possibly from a glossed Bible:] Job qui dicit etiam si
occiderit me sperabo in eum...Tertio amandus est quia benefitiis
suis [?] meruit. bernardus multum de nobis deus meruit.
13. ff. 167r-174v Proverbs 30.1-31.31; Jerome, Prologue to
Ecclesiastes, Memini me hoc ferme... (Stegmueller, v. 1, no. 462); excerpts
from Ecclesiastes 1.1-2.16.
14. ff. 175r-182v Excerpt from Ezekiel 3.19-20; excerpts from
15. ff. 183r-185v [Tract on the death and assumption of the
Virgin:] Maria uixit post mortem domini xiiijs annis vs ebdomadis
preceptis...quesierunt et non inuenerunt sed capillos
16. f. 186r-v [Tract on the Ten Commandments and the Seven
Sacraments:] Hec sunt x precepta domini que deus scripsit in
duobus tabulis lapideis...Quattuor de istis sacramentis possunt
iterari tria non possunt iterari.
17. f. 187r-v [Tract on the five signs of the Epiphany:] In
epiphania domini erant v signa...tunc erat xxxij annorum et xiij
dierum postea uixit ihesus usque ad parasceuen.
18. f. 188r-v Iheronimus in octauo libro super ezechielem...deus
qui est sapientia et monitor tocius philosophie in libro
The Penitence of Solomon; see H. Weisweiler, Das Schriften der
Schule Anselms von Laon und Wilhelm von Champeaux in deutschen
Bibliotheken, Beitraege zur Geschichte und Theologie des
Mittelalters, v. 33, 1-2 (Muenster/Westfalen, 1936) p. 238, and
A. Derolez, Lambertus qui librum fecit: Een codicologische Studie
van de Liber Floridus-Autograaf (Ghent, Universiteitsbiliotheek,
Handschrift 92), Verhandelingen van de koninklijke Academie voor
Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van Belgie, Klasse der
Letteren, 40, no. 89 (Brussels, 1978) p. 159.
19. ff. 189r-190r Vnde uerissime apparet quod sicut oculus
uespertilionis se habet ad lucem...uide ergo ipsum
purissimum esse si potes et occurret tibi quod ipsum non potest
cogitari. ut ab alio acceptum. (f.189r) Dicendo cum dyonysio ad
deum trinitatem. summitas superessentialis et superdeus
superoptime christianorum inspector...Benedictus dominus in
eternum et dicet omnis populus fiat fiat amen. (f. 190r) O herte
vrunt timothee wachte dat niemen ongeleerde dese dincen hore...o
herre leid ons in dat heimeliche verborgen onbekinte clare
stilnisse der lutren gemoude di ougen nies [?] en hant [to which is
added, in the same hand:] Animalia sancta ambulabant ante facies
eorum vbi erat impetus spiritus illic et ambulabant. ff. 190v-192v
Two abridged excerpts from Bonaventure, Itinerarium mentis in
deum, chapters 5.4-5 and 8.4, to which has been added a paraphrase
of the Pseudo-Dionysius, De mystica theologia, chapter 1.1, in
Ripuarian dialect of Middle High
German. The compiler recognized that the second excerpt from the
Itinerarium is itself a paraphrase of chapter 1.1 of the e mystica
theologia. No complete Low German
translation of De mystica theologia is known. Another,
non-identical Low German paraphrase of chapter 1.1 occurs in a
Sammelhandschrift in Kloster Ebstorf (Niedersachsen), MS IV, 12,
ff. 297v-298v, for which see W. Stammler, "Meister Eckhart in
Norddeutschland," Zeitschrift fuer deutsches Altertum 59, N. F.
47 (1922) p. 206. All three passages added, s. XIV^^1, on folios
originally left blank. ff. 190v-192v blank
Parchment, of uneven quality in arts. 2-19, ff. iii (modern
parchment) + 192 (+ 2 unfoliated blanks between ff. 96 and 97), 118 x
84 mm., severely trimmed.
Art. 1: ff. 12v-105v. 118 x 85 (ca, 99-85 x 54) mm. Written by Scribe 1
(see below) in 18-20 long lines; ruled in hard point on text pages
only, single vertical bounding lines, single or double horizontal
bounding lines, full across, at top of written space; many text pages
without rulings for text. Prickings for vertical bounding lines in
lower margin. I^^4 (+ 5 leaves: two bifolios, ff. 1 and 2 and ff. 4 and 9, and a
single leaf, f. 3), II^^4 (+ 2 leaves, ff. 11 and 14), III^^6 (-2, loss of
facing text on f. 16v, originally conjoint with f. 20, now attached to
f. 17, a singleton), IV^^8 (-6, loss of miniature facing text on f. 26v,
stub now between ff. 24v and 25r), V-VI^^8, VII^^8 (-7, loss of text facing
miniature on f. 51r), VIII^^8, IX^^8 (-4, loss of miniature facing text on
f. 62v), X^^8 (-6, loss of miniature facing text on f. 71v), XI^^8, XII^^8 (-4,
loss of text facing miniature on f. 86v; ff. 84 and 86 inverted),
XIII^^8, XIV^^4, XV^^8.
Arts. 2-18: ff. 107v-188v. 118 x 84 (ca. 93-85 x 53-55) mm. Arts.
4-5, 6 (ff. 124r-125r), 9-18 written by Scribe 1 in 17-21 long lines;
ruled in hard point (except gatherings XVI, XVIII-XX, ruled in lead), single
vertical bounding lines, double horizontal bounding lines, full across,
at top of written space, single lower horizontal bounding line, some
full across. Prickings for vertical bounding lines in lower margin.
Arts. 2 and 6 (ff. 125v-132r), 7-8 written by Scribe 2 in 16-19 long
lines, ruled in lead, single vertical bounding lines, single horizontal
bounding lines. Prickings in lower margin for vertical bounding lines
remain on some folios; in gathering XIX (arts. 7-8) there are
prickings in the upper margin 53 mm. apart that do not, however,
correspond to either the vertical or the horizontal lines. The anomaly
suggests that the gathering was ruled and written upside down. XVI^^6,
XVII^^8 (+ 2 leaves, ff. 113 and 114; the stub of f. 113 now appears between ff.
106 and 107; the stub of f. 114 appears between ff. 122 and 123; f. 114
may have been part of a bifolium as its stub shows traces of several
letters), XVIII^^8 (+ 2 leaves, a bifolium, ff. 123 and 132, added by Scribe
he completed the gathering), XIX^^8, XX^^4, XXI-XXII^^8, XXIII^^6, XXIV-XXV^^8,
XXVI^^6 (+ 4 leaves, a singleton, f. 183, at the beginning of the gathering, and
three singletons, ff. 187-189, at the center, between ff. 186 and 190).
Art. 19 written by Scribe 3 on unruled blanks.
The gatherings containing arts. 2-19 are evidently misbound. The
correct order can be partially restored as follows: XXV, XXII, XXIV,
XXI (arts. 10-14: Biblical excerpts). The erased passage from the
Elucidarius (art. 8) on f. 107r-v indicates that XVI originally
followed XIX. The date of the addition to art. 8 at the end of XIX
suggests that the manuscript was misbound as early as the fifteenth
century, perhaps during rebinding. The use of scraps and the evidence of
the original pastedown in XXVI (arts. 15-19) suggest that it always
occupied the final position. The order of the gatherings containing
arts. 3-6, and 9, as well as their placement relative to the others,
Written by three scribes. Art. 19 (ff. 189r-190r) written by
Scribe 3 in an informal gothic bookhand, no later than s. XIII/XIV.
Scribes 1 and 2 collaborated on the rest of the manuscript: arts. 1,
3-5, 6 (ff. 124r-125r), 9-18 written by Scribe 1 in a neat, but somewhat
irregular gothic bookhand, arts. 2, 6 (ff. 125v-132r), 7-8 written
by Scribe 2 in an undisciplined gothic bookhand. Minor corrections in
various hands throughout; erasures of several brief passages in art.
1 (e.g., f. 95v, with a note added: hunc locum necesse est).
The manuscript is outstanding for the quality and complexity of its
program of illustration. In its original state it included at least
fifty full-page miniatures, of which forty-six survive,
one-hundred-and-sixty smaller miniatures, and forty-one historiated
initials. Twenty-three tinted drawings were added on blank and added
folios at a later date (s. XIV^^1). The decoration is the work of at least three
artists. The miniatures, initials, and marginal decoration are the work of two
hands, one of whom contributed only two full-page miniatures (ff. 61r
and 64r) that depend on the style usually associated with the name of
Master Honore. The other, predominant hand works in a flatter, more
linear style associated with Northeastern France. Among the most
closely related manuscripts are a Book of Hours, Baltimore, Walters Art
Gallery MS 90, which can be localized to the diocese of Therouanne,
and a Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum historiale, Boulogne, Bibliotheque
Municipale MS 131, written in 1297 for Eustache Gomer of Lille, abbot
of St.-Bertin (we thank M. A. Stones for bringing the manuscript in
Boulogne to our attention). (For these and other related manuscripts
see M. A. Stones, "The Illustration of the French Prose Lancelot in
Flanders, Belgium and Paris, 1250-1340," Ph.D. dissertation [University
of London, 1971] v. 1, pp. 208-24; "Sacred and Profane Art:
Secular and Liturgical Book Illumination in the Thirteenth Century,"
The Epic in Medieval Society: Aesthetic and Moral Values, ed. H.
Scholler (Tuebingen, 1977) pp. 100-112, esp. p. 108, n. 27; "The
Minnesota Vincent of Beauvais Manuscript and Thirteenth-Century Book
Decoration," The James Ford Bell Lectures, no. 13 (Minneapolis, 1977).
Full-page miniatures, in art. 1 only, some divided into two or three
registers, in blue or orange frames, surrounded by a narrow gold band,
with orange lozenges at the corners, each with an ivy spray, in black
ink with five gold leaves; predominantly blue or vermilion tesselated
or tooled gold grounds; two (ff. 25r and 55r) with fleurs-de-lis in
lozenges (see Provenance). On each text page in art. 1 there is a
smaller miniature, 9- to 5-line, with a witness who gesticulates
towards the full-page miniature on the facing page; each miniature in a
blue and/or pink frame with gold squares in the corners. Almost every
folio in arts. 2-18 with at least one small miniature 10- to 5-line,
framed as above. Arts. 11 and 14 illustrated almost
exclusively with historiated initials, 6- to 4-line, blue, pink
and/or orange against grounds of the same colors, with short ivy
branches extending from the serifs, many with grotesque terminals. M.
R. James, op. cit., describes the subjects, which are too numerous to
be listed here. Individual miniatures have been discussed by E. M.
Vetter, Die Kupferstiche zur Psalmodia Eucharistica des Melchior Prieto
von 1622, Spanische Forschungen der Goerresgesellschaft, 2nd series,
15 (Muenster/Westfalen, 1972) pp. 209-10, ff. 18v-19r; idem, "Virgo
in sole," Festschrift fuer Johannes Vincke (Madrid, 1963) v. 1, pp.
367-417, esp. 386-87 and fig. 9 of f. 64r, incorrectly identified as f.
63v; M. Levi d'Ancona, The Iconography of the Immaculate Conception in
the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (New York, 1957) pp. 24-25, fig. 6 of
f. 64r, incorrectly identified as f. 63v; M. Evans, "Allegorical Women
and Practical Men: The Iconography of the Artes Reconsidered,"
Medieval Women, ed. D. Baker (Oxford, 1978) pp. 305-329, esp. p. 319
and pls. 28-29 of ff. 6v-7r; idem, "The Geometry of the Mind,"
Architectural Association Quarterly 12, 4 (1980) pp. 32-55, esp. pp.
47, 55, and fig. 22 of f. 102r; P. Verdier, Le couronnement de la
Vierge: les origines et les premiers developpements d'un theme
iconographique (Montreal, 1980) pp. 84 and 95, n. 66, pls. 81a-b of ff.
64r and 73r; F. O. Buettner, Imitatio Pietatis: Motive der christlichen
Ikonographie als Modelle zur Veraehnlichung (Berlin, 1983) p. 124, n.
187, f. 73r; L. F. Sandler, "Jean Pucelle and the Lost Miniatures of
the Belleville Breviary," Art Bulletin 66, 1 (1984) pp. 73-96, esp.
pp. 82 and 91-92, pls. 11, 25, 26 of ff. 15r, 19r, and 40r (identified
inaccurately as the miniature complementing the text on f. 97v). For
the iconographic program, see the forthcoming dissertation by
Hamburger, op. cit.
Illuminated initials, 2- to 1- line, in art. 1 only, gold against
irregular blue or pink grounds, with white filigree, edged in black,
some of the 2-line initials with ivy borders, as above. The borders,
especially in arts. 2-18, are populated with grotesques and other
marginal illustrations, the majority apparently non-narrative and without
to the adjacent texts and miniatures, in the same style as the
miniatures by the predominant hand (see L. M. C. Randall, Images in the
Margins of Gothic Manuscripts [Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1966]
passim). Names of Hebrew letters in art. 13 in red.
Lower outer corners cut from ff. 167-192. Marginal decoration on many folios
severely trimmed. Gold has flaked off considerably from the full-page
miniatures on ff. 13r, 15r, 19r; some flaking of gold on ff. 6v, 18v, 25r,
34r, 44r, 51r.
Binding: ca. 1966. Bound in two volumes (I: ff. 1-96; II: ff. 97-192)
in native tanned vermilion Nigerian goatskin, by J. Greenfield, without any adhesive
touching the bookblock itself. Previously bound in brown leather in a single
Written in Northern France at the turn of the 14th century, as
indicated by the style of the decoration. The fleurs-de-lis in the
backgrounds of the miniatures on ff. 25r and 55r need not refer to a
member of the French royal house. Unidentified 19th-century coat of
arms on f. 1r: gules, three hares' heads proper, with the motto Tunc
satiabor. Collection of William Alexander Douglas, Duke of Hamilton
and Brandon. Given by him in 1856 to the Reverend Walter Sneyd,
according to a note formerly on a flyleaf no longer present in the
manuscript (see M.R. James, op. cit.,
p. 1, and Hidden Friends: The Comites Latentes Collection of
Illuminated Manuscripts, exh. cat., Sotheby's, 20-28 September 1985, no
page numbers, same page as entries 21-23). Sneyd sale, Sotheby's, 16
Dec. 1903, no. 513. Bernard Quaritch, London. Collection of Edmond
de Rothschild, MS 98 (his sale Paris, Palais Galliera, 24 June 1968, no.
1). Acquired from H. P. Kraus in 1968 as the gift of Edwin J.
Bibliography: Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 202-03, no. 29, pl. 12 of f. 84r.
A. N. L. Munby, Connoisseurs and Medieval Miniatures (Oxford, 1972)
R. W. Pfaff, Montague Rhodes James (London, 1980) pp. 195-96.
Barbara A. Shailor