BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 517
Northern Italy (Morimondo), s. XII/XIII and XIII med
Pseudo-Bede; Theological and ascetical notes
1. ff. 1r-113r [second prologue:] Quoniam eo auxiliante sine quo omnis actio et intentio cassa
est psalterium incepturi sumus ... ad humani generis consolationem et christiane religionis
instructionem. Nunc ad librum accedamus. [f. 2r, text :] Primus psalmus duabus de causis caret
titulo ... non caro non sanguis non corruptio sed homo spiritualis, nam sapere secundum carnem
mors est. f. 113v blank
Pseudo-Bede, Commentarius in Psalmos (CPL 1384; Stegmueller 1665; CPPM 2.2058). The
attribution of this commentary to Manegold of Lautenbach (recorded 1085-1103), proposed by
Morin in 1911, was contradicted by D. Van den Eynde in 1954 and W. Hartmann in 1972; see
Verfasserlexikon, v. 5 (1985), 1216-1217. The edition in PL 93. 479-1098 is incomplete but
mostly coincides with the text in our manuscript; for the final Psalms the manuscript seems to
offer a totally different commentary. Due to the loss of quires or leaves the following parts are
missing: Ps. 23:1-31:6 (PL 93.600-644); Ps. 44:14-50:21 (PL 93.723-754); Ps. 88:48-95:10; Ps.
131:8-147:14. The contents of the first quire, which is equally lost, is unknown. It may have
contained, in addition to other texts, the first prologue (PL 93.476-477). The lemmata are mostly
announced by means of a paragraph mark in the shape of gallows. There are numerous corrections
and Nota-marks; the long corrections and additions written vertically in the margins are
2. ff. 114r-133v Venite exultemus Domino [Ps. 94:1]. Salomon. Ad locum unde exeunt
revertuntur ut iterum fluant. Si fluximus per peccatum revertamur ad fontem...
In edificio materiali V sunt necessaria ...
IIII sunt genera hostiarum ...
Tigris exteriori interior, superiori inferior ...
[f. 114v:] In tuba quedam atenduntur que convenient predicatoribus ...
Circa columpnam tria considerantur, scilicet basis ...
Nota quod sic incipiunt tres psalmi ...
Est iubilus predicationis, exaltationis, laudis ...
Est mane salutis, pectoris, eternitatis ...
Est paupertas pene, culpe et gratie ...
[f. 115r :] Est solitudo culpe, gratie, excelentie ...
Compedum tria sunt genera : gratie, culpe, pene ...
[f. 133v] ... ad Gallathas "instruite in spiritu lenitatis" [Gal. 6:1]; fructus enim spiritus modestia
est, per quam iudiciis et factis modus servatur.
Unidentified definitions and theological and ethical discussions of Biblical terms and quotations
without apparent order, on behalf of preachers. Among the many subjects mentioned are St. John
the Baptist and St. Genovefa (in connection with the Shunammite woman and the prophet
Elisha). On f. 121v there is the note "sed sicut dicit beatus Bernardus non ideo Dominus eiecit
hominem de paradiso ut sibi faceret in terris aliam [sic] paradisum". The text was written by a
single hand at different times.
Composed of two parts, both on parchment, Part I of mediocre quality, Part II smaller, coarse,
uneven and presenting holes and many other deficiencies; ff. I (paper) + 133 + I (paper).
Part I: ff. 1-113, 245 x 170 mm. Outer side of the quires is hair side.
I-IX 8 (ff. 1-72), X 4 (ff. 73-76), XI 8 (ff. 77-84), XII 4 (- 2, ff. 85-87), XIII-XV 8 (ff. 88-111),
XVI 2 (ff. 112-113). Quire signatures in the form of capital letters in the middle of the lower
margin of the last page of each quire: "B"-"D" (quires I-III), "F"-"G" (quires IV-V), I-O (quires
VI-XI), "Q"-"T" (quires XII-XV). Quires are lost before f. 1 (A), between ff. 24 and 25 (E),
between ff. 40 and 41 (H), between ff. 84 and 85 (P), and a number of leaves between ff. 112
Pricking in the upper, outer and lower margins; ruled with hard point on hair sides for two
columns of 51 lines above top line, c. 210 x c. 142 mm., intercolumnar space 6 mm.; in quires
VIII-X the number of lines may vary between 50 and 55.
Written by various hands close to each other in small late Carolingian script, with sudden changes
in the shade of ink and sometimes badly following the lines. The handwriting on ff. 77-84 (quire
XI) and ff. 112-113 (quire XVI) has markedly different features.
The very simple decoration is uneven and consists of plain Romanesque initials, 2 or 3 lines, in
red ink; on f. 41r (Ps. 51) 5 lines; many initials are not executed or later coarsely added in black
Part II: ff. 114-133, c. 215 x c. 160 mm. The leaves are very irregular in size.
XVII 12 (ff. 114-125), XVIII 8 (ff. 126-133).
Pricking is visible on some leaves in the upper, outer and lower margins. Partly ruled in lead for
one column of c. 58 lines.
Written by a single hand in tiny Southern Gothica Textualis Currens in many different ink
shades. The scribe opens both quires with "Sancti Spiritus assit nobis gratia" in the upper margin
(cf. MS 519).
Binding s. XV: Brown sheepskin over heavy unbevelled wooden boards, blind-tooled with triple
fillets. Spine with three raised bands.
Part I has on its blank last page (f. 113v) the half erased inscription s.
XIII " Liber sancte Marie
***********"; between f. 133 and the rear fly-leaf there is a strip of parchment with the
inscription (s. XIII, doubtful reading) "**mo aba// de Morimondi se** lant obser** ut hic an**
alicui d**". Part I was written about 1200 at the Cistercian abbey of Morimondo. The
manuscript is obviously of great textual importance and is not a simple copy of an existing
exemplar. In addition to the many corrections, its structure betrays anomalies which may partly
point to simultaneous copying by several scribes, partly to editing: quire VI (f. 41r) opens with an
unusually large initial for Ps. 51; on the last page of quire X (f. 76v), the end of the commentary
to Ps. 80 is written in several stages and the greater part of the right-hand column is blank; the
next quire opens with Ps. 81; similarly the right-hand column of the last page of quire XII (f.
87v), where Ps. 100 ends, is largely blank and Ps. 101 begins in a darker ink shade on the first
page of the next quire.
Part II was compiled in Northern Italy, perhaps also in the abbey of Morimondo, at different
moments about the middle of the thirteenth century, probably by a preacher for his own use. The
binding is a typically Morimondo binding. The manuscript was MS 13 in the collection of S.
Harrison Thomson. Purchased from him in 1972 together with MS 518.
Bibliography: S. Harrison Thomson??
Quires Folios Signatures Content
- A ?
I 1-8 B Prologue II; Ps. 1-7
II 9-16 C Ps. 7-15
III 17-24 D Ps. 15-22
- [E] [Ps. 22-31]
IV 25-32 F Ps. 31-37
V 33-40 G Ps. 37-44
- [H] [Ps. 44-50]
VI 41-48 I Ps. 51-58
VII 49-56 K Ps. 58-67
VIII 57-64 L Ps. 67-71
IX 65-72 M Ps. 71-77
X 73-76 N Ps. 77-80
XI 77-84 O Ps. 81-88
- [P] [Ps. 88-95]
XII 85-87 Q Ps. 95-100
XIII 88-95 R Ps. 101-106
XIV 96-103 S Ps. 106-118 Zain
XV 104-111 T Ps. 118 Zain-129
XVI 112-113 - Ps. 129-131; 147-150