BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 509
Northern Italy, s. XIV 1 ??
John Waleys, Communiloquium
1. ff. 1r-3v De re publica in communi, informatione personarum ex quibus
Ex quibus et qualiter constituitur res publica, 9. ... Quibus modis iuvantur anime defunctorum,
147. De statu defunctorum, varietate et quibus prosunt suffragia mortuorum, 147.
Table of contents referring to the folio numbers. The chapters are not numbered and the
Distinctiones have been added in the margins by a later hand.
2. ff. 4r-7v Cum in [sic] collectionis huius que potest dici summa collectionum sive
communiloquium sint septem partes, ad maiorem evidentiam processus cuiuslibet partis capitula
in primis prenotantur. Prime vero partis sunt distinctiones X, quarum prima distinctio est de re
publica in communi et informatione personarum ... Qui vero dignatur inspicere hanc
collectionem per horum titulorum sive capitulorum inspectionem poterit sequentium
comprehendere processum et ordinem.
Summary of the work.
3. ff. 7v-148r Incipit colloquium a fratre Iohanne Vallense ordinis Fratrum Minorum
editum. Rubrica. [prologue :] Cum doctor sive predicator evangelicus sapientibus et insipientibus
debitor sit, Salvatore mandante eidem "Predicate evangelium omni creature", sedula cum
diligentia studere debet, ut sciat omnes instruere doctrinaliter et admonere
Septima pars de ammonitione communi et de morte, ut sint parati erga mortem, et de partibus
sive spectantibus ad illam. [f. 9v, text :] Distinctio Ia de re publica in communi informatione
personarum ex quibus constituitur. Rubrica. Et quoniam res publica, ut est dictum, est velut
quoddam corpus compaginatum ex membris, princeps enim vel dominans obtinet locum capitis ...
quibus alii succedentes subtiliora adinvenerunt sic inspiciens processum huius collectionis
subtiliora et doctiora et utiliora Salvatoris gratia illuminante studeat adinvenire. Explicit collatio
comuniloquii. Deo gratias. f. 148r blank
John Waleys (John of Wales, Iohannes Gallensis), Communiloquium sive summa collationum ad
omne genus hominum, printed Lyon, 1511, ff. 1r-139v, etc. Glorieux, Repertoire 322a;
Parchment (goatskin), ff. II (paper) + 148 + I (parchment) + II (paper), 270 x 195 mm. Original
foliation partly in Roman, partly in Arabic numerals, in the top corner of the verso pages; a
second foliation, in Arabic numerals, has been added in the fifteenth century in the top corner of
the recto pages for ff. 1 to 41 only. Although the original foliation was intended to mark the
opening (verso + facing recto), it is understood in the following in the usual manner to mark recto
+ corresponding verso. The opening ff. 140v-141r is very dirty and damaged.
The outer side of the quires is flesh side. I-XIV 10 (ff. 1-140), XV 10 (- 9, - 10; ff. 141-148).
Signatures of the type "ai"-"av" "+" in the lower corner of the recto pages of quires I-XIV; in
quire XV they consist on the contrary of horizontal strokes in red ink augmenting in number
from 1 to 5, followed by x. Horizontal catchwords written by the scribe in the middle of the
Very light ruling traced in crayon or lead for two columns of 40 lines below top line (ruling type
47, 201 x 137 mm., intercolumnar space 9 mm.), all lines crossing the intercolumnar space; in
some quires they also cross the inner margin.
Written by a single scribe in Southern Gothica Textualis Libraria which, however, differs from
Rotunda by the absence of Textus Praescissus features. A few rubrics are added in Gothica
Cursiva, e.g. ff. 63v and 64v. Instructions for the rubricator are written in thin Gothica Cursiva
Currens in the lower margins, mostly lost due to trimming.
Headings in red. Alternately red and blue paragraph marks. The decoration consists of (1)
alternately red and blue flourished initials, 2 lines; (2) flourished litterae duplices, 3-5 lines, at the
opening of the Distinctiones; they have marginal extensions ("J-staves") in pen and ink over the
full height of the text area ; (3) on f. 4r a damaged foliate initial on a gold, red and blue
background, containing a hybrid, with floral extensions featuring a hybrid head and a hybrid. On
f. 37r there is a coarse pen and ink drawing of a sword in the margin, probably related to a
Hermogenes quotation in the text about murder.
Binding s. XVII: sprinkled brown leather over cardboard, the covers simply decorated with blind
fillets. Spine with five raised bands and two gold-tooled red leather title-labels with the
inscriptions "MS. VALLENS. COMMUNILOQ." and "TRACT. DE RE PUBLICA." Red
edges. The spine was reinforced by means of two strips of parchment from an English archival
document s. XV/XVI in which the names William Holborn, Robert Ball "nuper de
Letheringham" and others appear.
The text has been corrected (see the note "corr." at the end of quire II, f. 20v).
Numerous and sometimes extensive marginal notes by the scribe; there are also marginal notes by
later Italian hands , "Nota" marks and pointing hands. Among the scribbles on the verso of the
parchment fly-leaf at the end: "Quoniam non est in morte qui memor sit tui" (Ps. 6:6), repeated
several times upside down (Italian hand s. XVI).
The handwriting (apart from some features) and the spelling ("magestatem", f. 37rb) point
to Italy; also the beginning of a letter written in the lower margin of f. 117r (s. XV/XVI): "Al
molt magnifi...". The decoration, by contrast, looks Northern. The documents inserted in the
binding show that the manuscript was bound in England. At the top of the spine the shelfmark
"77" is written in ink. On the turn-in of the front cover is a label with the shelfmark "L.J.III.II",
corrected into "L.J.VI" (see also MS 507). From the library of the Tollemache family at
Helmingham Hall, Suffolk. Helmingham Hall sale, Sotheby's, 6 July 1961, lot 6. H.C. Drayton.
Purchased 20 Jan. 1972 from Alan G. Thomas on the E.J. Beinecke Fund.