BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Beinecke MS 551
Eastern part of the Southern Low Countries (?), s. XII 2
Bible, Capitulare, Gregorialis
1. ff. 1r-168v Old Testament, incomplete. Most books have Prefaces or Argumenta as
listed in Stegmueller (numbers between parentheses) and Capitula as indicated hereafter. [f. 1r:]
Job, with Preface (344); [f. 14r:] Proverbs, with Capitula and Preface (457); [f. 25v:] Ecclesiastes,
with Capitula; [f. 29v:] Canticles (inc.: Vox optantis Christi adventum ...); [f. 31v:] Wisdom of
Solomon, with Capitula (in the Capitula another hand has added the Christian meaning to certain
titles, e.g. "De sanctis martyribus", "De ydolatris"); [f. 39v:] Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach
(Ecclesiasticus), with Capitula and Preface (26); the text is followed by the Prayer of Solomon;
[f. 61r:] Isaiah, with Preface (482); [f. 83r:] Jeremiah and Lamentations, with Preface (487); [f.
111r:] Ezekiel, with Preface (492); [f. 136v:] Daniel, with Preface (494); [f. 148r:] Minor
Prophets, with Preface (500). Text ends f. 168v in Mal. 4:5 (... Ecce ego mittam vobis Helyam
2. ff. 169r-296r New Testament. [f. 169r:] Two Prefaces to the Gospels (581, beginning
incomplete: // notatas invenies qui aut quot ..., and 596) and Argumentum (601) ; [f. 170v:]
Matthew with Argumentum (590-591) and Capitula; [f. 181v:] Mark, with Preface (607); [f.
193v:] Luke, with Preface (615) and Capitula; [f. 210v:] John, with Preface (624) and Capitula;
[f. 229r:] Capitula and Prefaces (651, 670) to the Epistles of St. Paul; [f. 231r:] Romans, with
Preface (674) and Capitula; [f. 238r:] 1 Corinthians, with Argumentum (685); [f. 244r:] 2
Corinthians, with Argumentum (700) and Capitula; [f. 248v:] Galatians, with Argumentum (707)
and Capitula; [f. 251r:] Ephesians, with Argumentum (715) and Capitula; [f. 253r:] Philippians,
with Argumentum (728) and Capitula; [f. 254v:] Colossians, with Argumentum (736) and
Capitula; ends incomplete fol. 255v, Col. 3:12 (... dilecti, viscera misericordie //); [f. 256r:] 1
Thessalonians; begins incomplete 1 Thess. 2:5 (// sicut scitis, neque in occasione ...); [f. 257r:] 2
Thessalonians, with Argumentum (752) and Capitula; [f. 258r:] 1 Timothy, with Argumentum
(765) and Capitula; [f. 260r:] 2 Timothy, with Argumentum (772); [f. 261r:] Titus, with
Argumentum (780) and Capitula; [f.262r :] Philemon, with Argumentum (783) and Capitula ; [f.
262r:] Hebrews, with Argumentum (793) and Capitula; [f. 267r:] James, with Capitula, and
Preface to the Catholic Letters (809); [f. 268v:] 1 Peter, with Capitula; [f. 270v:] 2 Peter, with
Capitula; [f. 271v:] 1 John, with Capitula; [f. 273r:] 2 John, with Capitula; [f. 273r:] 3 John, with
Capitula; [f. 273v:] Jude, with Capitula; [f. 274r:] Revelation, with Preface (835) and Capitula;
[f. 281r:] Acts, with Preface (640) and Capitula.
3. ff. 296v-297v Dominica infra octabas Domini. Ad Galatas "Quanto tempore". -
Euuangelium. "Erat Ioseph" in XXX IIII fol. In die Circumcisionis. Ad Titum "Apparuit
benignitas. - Euuangelium "Postquam consummati sunt" in XXXIII ... Expli[ci]t de Dominicis.
In natali sancti Stephani "Stephanus plenus" , quere in Actibus XX. - Euuangelium:
"Dicebat Ihesus turbis Iudeorum", LIIII ... Thome apostoli. Ad Ephesios "Iam non estis". -
Evangelium "Tomas unus de XII", XL [l. LX].
Register of Epistle and Gospel readings (Capitulare); the Temporale begins on the First Sunday
after Christmas and ends on the Fourth Sunday of the Advent; the Sanctorale begins with St.
Stephen (26 Dec.) and ends with St. Thomas the Apostle (21 Dec.). For the Epistles the Bible
book and the incipit are given, for the Gospels the incipit and the folio-number (see below).
4. ff. 298r-301v Incipiunt exceptiones ex opusculis beati Gregorii pape de evangelio
secundum Matheum. De eo quod per incarnationem suam Christus diabolum captivavit, Moral. l.
XXXIII. Liber generationis Ihesu Christi filii David, Moral. l. XXVIII. De lapide angulari qui fecit
utraque unum: Ieconias genuit Salatiel. De virginitate beat@ Mari@, Moral. l. VIII: Non cognovit
Ioseph Mariam donec peperit ... Hodie mecum eris in paradiso// [Luke 23:43].
Exceptiones ex opusculis Gregorii papae de Novo Testamento (Gregorialis), incomplete. For each
biblical passage or theme the corresponding passage in the works of Gregory the Great is
indicated. This short catalogue should not be confused with part 3 of the much more extensive
work of Alulfus of Tournai (d. 1141), Stegmueller 1203-1225. The text begins already at the
bottom of f. 297v but makes a new start f. 298r. The end of Luke and the following books of the
New Testament are missing.
Parchment, ff. II (paper) + 301 + II (paper), 180 x 125 mm. Heavily trimmed at the top.
The manuscript is in disorder and many leaves have changed places. Running titles in artt. 1-2,
often trimmed away, and short horizontal catchwords at the extreme right, added by a later
There are three series of quires: (1) I-XXI 8 (ff. 1-168 = art. 1) ; quire signatures "I"-"XXI" in the
middle of the lower margin of the last page of the quires; (2) XXII 8 (- 1, ff. 169-175), XXIII 8
(ff. 176, 219-224, 177), XXIV-XXVIII 8 (ff. 178-217), XXIX 8 (ff. 218, 225-231), XXX 8 (ff.
236, 237, 232-235, 238, 239), XXXI-XXXII 8 (ff. 232-255), 1 f. missing , XXXIII 8 (ff. 256-
263); quire signatures "I"-"XII" at the same place as in (1) but in unusually large and elaborate
foliate frames of various designs; most of these signatures have disappeared when the lower
margins of ff. 175, 177, 193, 201, 209 and 217 where crudely cut out (maybe because of the
decorations?); original foliation "I"-"LXIII" in the upper outer corner of all verso pages of quires
XXII-XXIX, i.e. the Gospel section (f. "I" is missing before f. 169 and f. "XXIV" occurs twice,
on ff. 185v and 186v); (3) XXXIV-XXXVII 8 (ff. 264-297), XXXVIII 4 (ff. 298-301); quire
signatures without frames "XIII"-"XV" (quires XXXIV-XXXVI), "XVII" (quire XXXVII, no
text is missing).
Pricked and ruled with lead for one column of 38 lines above top line (ruling type 16, 142 x 93
mm.); there are occasionally two columns for Capitula sections and through artt. 3 and 4.
Pricking in the inner margins is observed in quire I.
Probably written by two hands in small Praegothica: hand A copied ff. 1r-61r, 17 (i.e. up to the
end of Ecclesiasticus); hand B, marked by the lengthening and curving of descenders on the
bottom line, seems to have copied the rest. Many passages are written on erasure.
There is little uniformity in the decoration. Heightening of majuscules in red. Plain initials in red,
blue or green and numerous large decorated Romanesque initials of various types in the same
colours. Historiated initials on a rectangular background on ff. 1r (7 lines, Jerome writing on a
scroll), 1v (9 lines, Job on the dunghill with his friends) and 32r (Solomon with scroll);
zoomorphic initials on ff. 15r, 26r, 29v; the large initial on f. 15v is cut out. Artt. 3-4 have no
decoration. Walther Cahn (typewritten note in the Beinecke files) localizes the manuscript in the
Mosan region or northeastern France and dates it no later than 1150-1170.
Limp vellum binding, damaged. Handwritten title on spine "Manuscript Bible".
This complicated small-size manuscript may originally have been vols. 2 and 3 of a three-volume
Bible, the Psalms being contained in vol. 1 and Macabbees perhaps in the lost final part of vol. 2.
The decoration, rich in the first pages, becomes more common farther on. The manuscript's
interest consists in its having been adapted for liturgical use, partly from the beginning, partly by
alterations made while work was going on. This is especially visible in the Gospels, where the
beginning of the pericopes is entered into the Biblical text, marked by initials (for "In illo
tempore") and rubrication, and interrupting the text. In many cases a rubric is added indicating
the feast at which the pericope is to be read during Mass. The passages on erasure are probably
due to difficulties encountered in adapting the text to this use when it had not been observed
from the first. In the Epistles of St. Paul the beginning of the pericopes is written in the margins
(e.g. "Fratres, ..."). Similarly "In diebus illis" is often written in the margins of Acts. In the
Biblical books in which the chapters are numbered, the numbering is sometimes confused. Art. 3
and the special foliation of the Gospel section were added in order to make possible the liturgical
use of the book as a lectionary. It should be noted that in Job (art. 1) the corresponding numbers
of the books of Gregory the Great's Moralia in Iob are written in the margins, thus connecting
this section with art. 4.
On the front pastedown a pencil note on the manuscript, dated Sept. 1904, the numbers "1335"
and "2469" and the price "200.-".Purchased from Lessing Rosenwald??, Munich, by Professor
Sumner McK. Crosby. Gift of Professor Crosby, December 1974.
Quires Folios Signatures Content
I-XXI 1-168 I-XXI art. 1
XXII-XXXIII 169-263 I-XII decorated art. 2
XXXIV-XXXVII 264-297 XIII-XVI ("XVII") artt. 2-3
XXXVIII 298-301 - art. 4