Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

MS 49 Italy, probably Tuscany, c. 1400-50

St. Jerome, Epistulae; Seneca, De Clementia; Franciscus de Mayronis, Sermo de corpore Christi; Giovanni da Calvoli, Meditationes; Pseudo-Eusebius, Epistula de morte S. Hireronymi; Pseudo-Seneca, De quatuor virtutibus; Pseudo-Augustinus, Epistula ad Cyrillum; Pseudo-Cyrillus, Epistula ad Augustinum, etc.

1. ff. [i verso- ii v] Giovanni da Calvoli, Meditationes vitae Christi [chapter 72] Quando dominus noster Jhesus Christus mortem suam matri predixit

Inc.: Hic potest interponi meditatio valde pulcra…

Expl: …et ipse in dicta domo facerent Pasch.a

2. ff. [iv-vi] Table of contents

3. ff. [1]-32 Pseudo-Eusebius of Cremona: Epistula de morte Sancti Hieronimi (lacking first folio; ed. Migne, PL 22,
col. 239-281)

4. f. 32v-38 Pseudo-Augustinus, Epistula ad Cyrillum de laudibus beati Hieronymi. (ed. Migne, PL 22, col. 281)

Inc.: Gloriosissimi christiane fidei athlete sancte matris et desie lapidis…

Expl: aliqualiter defraudatur desiderio.

5. ff. 38v-66 Pseudo-Cyrillus, Epistula ad Augustinum de miraculis beati Hieronymi (ed. Migne, PL 22, 289-326)

Inc.: Venerabili viro episcoporum eximio Augustino Yponensi presuli …

Expl: ... carissime in tuis orationibus memor esto.

6. ff. 66v-73 St. Jerome, Epistula ad Nepotianum (ed. Migne, PL 22, col. 527)

Inc.: Petis a me Nepotiane carissime litteris transmarinis…

Expl: ... quod talis est confitebitur.

7. ff. 73v-90v St. Jerome, Epistula ad Eustochium (ed. Migne, PL 22, col. 394)

Inc: Audi filia et vide...

Expl: ... non cooperient eam.

8. ff. 91- 95 St. Jerome, Epistula ad Heliodorum monachum (ed. Migne, PL 22, col. 348; CSEL, 54, pp. 44-62)

Inc: Quanto amore et studio contenderim ut pariter...

Expl: ...tunc labor durus est.

9. ff. 95-98v St. Jerome, Epistula ad Paulinum presbyterum (epistula 58; ed. Migne, PL, 22, col. 52; CSEL, 54, pp. 527-41)

Inc: Bonus homo de bono thesauro cordis

Expl: ...militantem per te salutari volo.

10. ff. 99-102v Pseudo-St. Jerome, Epistula ad Occeanum (epistula 42)

Inc: Estoronius Eusebius Jeronimus Occeano…

Expl: …nec latro violentus eripere.

11. ff. 102v-108, Excerpts from St. Jerome, Adversus Jovinianum Admonitio

Inc: Recurram breviter grecas et latinas…

Expl: ...exemplis quod de servi.

12. ff. 108v-112 St. Jerome, Epistula ad Furiam de viduitate servanda (epistula 54; ed. Migne, PL 22, col. 527)

Inc: ... Obsecras litteris et suppliciter deprecans…

Expl: ... oculi cordis fatentur archana.

13. ff. 112-116v St. Jerome, Epistula consolatoria ad Paulam de morte Blesillae (epistula 39; ed. Migne, PL 22, col. 473)

Inc: Quis dabit capiti meo aquam…

Expl: …sorore cum matre amen.

14. ff. 116v-126 St. Jerome, Epistula ad Demetriadem virginem (epistula 130, ed. Migne, PL 22, col. 1124)

Inc: Inter omnes materias quas ab adolescentia usque ad hanc etatem…

Expl: …quarum imitatio forma virtutis est.

15. ff. 126-131 St. Jerome, Epistula ad Laetam de institutione filiam (epistula 107)

Inc: Apostolus Paulus scribens ad corintheos…

Expl: …regnis celestibus offerendam

16. ff. 131-134 St. Jerome, Epistula ad Sabinianum diaconum cohortatoria de paenitentia (epistula 147)

Inc: Parce queso anime tue…

Expl: …istius illecebris fugiendis.

17. ff. 134-140v St. Jerome, Epistula ad Rusticum monachum

Inc: Nichil est christiano felicius…

Expl: … sed magna sunt premia.

18. f. 140v-141 St. Jerome, Epistula ad Antonium monachum Haemonae (epistula 12, ed. in Migne, PL 22, col. 345)

Inc: Dominus noster humilitatis magister…"

Expl: …valde in Domino.

19. ff. 141- 148 St. Jerome, Alexandri Regis Magni Macedonum et Dindimi Bragmanorum Regis per litteras collatio (ed. Migne, PL 101, col. 1366 et sq.)

Inc: Sepius ad aures nostras fando…

Expl: …aut invidie quod meliore praestantur.

20. ff. 148-156 Pseudo-Seneca, De copia verborum [De quatuor virtutibus] (See Fohlen, 1980)

Inc: Quisquis prudentiam sequi desideras tunc per rationem recte vives si omnia...

21. ff. 156v-167v Seneca, De clementia, Proemium, III 1 - III 24 (See Sénèque, De la clémence, texte établi et traduit par F. Préhac, Paris, 1967, pp. 2-6, 15-47)

Inc: Scribere de clementia nero cesar...

22. ff. 167v-170 Seneca, De clementia, I 1 - II 5 (See Sénèque, pp. 7-15)

Inc: Ut de clementia...

23. ff. 170-173 Pseudo-Seneca, De remediis fortuitorum (See Palmer, pp. 28-64)

24. ff. 173v-187v Franciscus de Mayronis, Sermo de corpore Christi (ed. Sermo de laudibus sanctorum et dominicales per totum annum cum aliquibus tractatibus, Venice, Per Pelegrinum de Pasqualibus, 1493; Mohan, p. 236; and Schneyer, p. 130, no. 927)

Inc: Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum...

Expl: ...regnat in sempiterna. amen. finis.

25. ff. 188-189v Notabilia bona et utilia. This short text gives point by point useful advice to all Christians: about attending sermons, demons, the devil, hunting, etc.

Inc.: Nota quod in quatuor casibus redemit dimissa…

Expl: …in celestibus deberet desiderare.

Parchment. Latin. [6]+ 189 folios out of 190 (lacking the first folio, with beginning of text), otherwise complete, foliated in upper margin in red ink, mostly in quires of 10 (i6, ii9, iii-xx10), ff. [3], [6v] and 190 blank), ruled in hard point, catchwords, written in brown ink on 31 long lines (justification: 155 x 85 mm). Dimensions: 207 x 138 mm.

Written in an elegant humanistic script copied by a single scribe. Numerous marginal annotations or corrections, tiemarks in the margins, maniculae pointing to specific passages in text.

Rubrics and paragraph marks in red, catchwords in lower margin, headings in red, , alternating red and blue 2-line initials, 17 larger initials (3 to 6-line high) marking the beginning of various texts, some calligraphed with penwork in pale red and blue extending in the margin.

Binding: Modern calf half-binding sewn on four thongs, parchment-like paper over cardboard boards, pastedowns and flyleaves in parchment.

Written in Italy, probably Tuscany, c. 1400-50. Beautifully written and attractively decorated monastic compilation, probably transcribed in a Franciscan milieu, including works by influential fourteenth-century Franciscans such as Giovanni da Calvoli and Franciscus de Mayronis, although the body of the work comprises the Letters of Saint Jerome and hagiographic texts on Jerome preface the letters. Unusual for its compilation of texts, otherwise known but rarely brought together in this fashion. The many texts in the manuscript can be divided into five sections. 1) An opening fragment from Giovanni da Calvoli's (John of Caulibus) Meditations on the Life of Christ (chapter 72, on the death of Christ) points at the outset to a Franciscan context. The author was active in the fourteenth century and possibly still alive c. 1376. The work is "the first comprehensive biography of Christ containing regular and extensive interpolations of extra-Gospel narration ... and the most widely read Franciscan work after the Fioretti" (ed. Corpus Chrsitianorum, p. ix). 2) A small group of texts by early Christian writers on the hagiography of Saint Jerome. 3) A large group of letters by Saint Jerome, some spurious, including the most famous letter he wrote to Eustochium, daughter of one of Jerome's female followers, who decided to become a nun. 4) A small group of works attributed to Seneca or Pseudo-Seneca, who had a direct influence on early Christian thought. 5) Sermons of Franciscus de Mayronis (1288-c. 1328, Piacenza), an influential Franciscan doctor, minister, preacher, counsellor, and writer. Thse are followed by a short group of precepts for all Christians. Although none of the texts is rare, the compilation is unusual, carefully constructed, handsomely written and decorated, and appears to be unprecedented.

Provenance: Manuscript probably copied in a Franciscan environment (because of the particular combination of texts), and most likely in central Italy (on the basis of the script and the delicate penwork decoration). Unidentified erased stamp on first folio of first quire containing table of contents. Howard Lehman Goodhart Memorial Fund.

Description based, with thanks, on the description provided by Les Enluminures, Ltd.

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Last Update: February 21, 2007