Manuscripts in the Classroom -- Medieval Manuscript Exhibit: Home
During the Spring 2023 semester, the OSU Library and the OSU Center for the Humanities will be working with Les Enluminures to sponsor an exhibit of medieval manuscripts. The works will be available by appointment at the OSU Library.
Manuscripts slated for exhibit
- Bible (Vulgate Bible)Publication Date: c. 1260-1275Latin Vulgate
In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
England, c. 1260-1275
Small portable Bibles containing the complete Old and New Testaments were one of the greatest achievements of thirteenth-century book production. This English example was copied by numerous scribes, and decorated in a number of styles. The ten handsome illuminated initials decorate the Minor Prophets, an unusual choice. Textual evidence links it to both the Dominicans and Franciscans. Notable here are the numerous additions that show how this was used, including the contemporary table of introits and Mass lections, and numerous marginal notes from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries.
- PsalterPublication Date: c. 1240-1260In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
Southern Germany (diocese of Constance or Augsburg), c. 1240-60
Almost certainly copied for lay use, this German illuminated Psalter includes historiated initials depicting both Saint Francis and Saint Dominic, canonized only decades before the manuscript was produced. Artistically, it is related to important illuminated south German Psalters now in Liverpool and Schaffhausen. It is still bound in an early binding (with some restoration), and there are numerous signs of use throughout, including evidence that it was used to teach children to read. Unusual and intriguing damage to the initials of Francis and Dominic warrants closer attention.
- Book of HoursPublication Date: c. 1480Book of Hours (Use of Rome?)
In Latin, illuminated manuscript, on parchment
Southern Netherlands, Ghent or Bruges, c. 1480
4 full-page miniatures; 8 historiated initials
Homespun realism characterizes this Book of Hours from the southern Netherlands. Painted by three artists, the manuscript is in fine condition with full-page pictures with generous margins and full-page pictures introducing the main textual sections. A Dutch-influenced artist painted one miniature and a historiated initial. A Flemish artist contributed the other full-page pictures. And, the animated and charming historiated initials are by a third hand.
- HymnalPublication Date: c. 1475-1500, 1564Hymnal (Cistercian use?)
In Latin, manuscript on parchment and paper with musical notation
Southern Netherlands (Eastern Flanders), c. 1475-1500, 1564
An attractive liturgical manuscript with musical notation almost certainly made by and for nuns, with a signed and dated addition (1564) by a female scribe or owner. Its beautiful roll-stamped pigskin binding is characteristic of the style, techniques, and iconography of the mid sixteenth-century at the border region of modern-day Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Based on its openwork repairs completed at the parchment-making stage, it was probably made at a convent where women were involved in the entire bookmaking process.
- Portable BreviaryPublication Date: c. 1460-1480Portable Breviary (Augustinian Use)
In Latin, manuscript on parchment
Northern France, Paris?, c. 1460-80
Only fragments of this Augustinian Breviary are preserved here. Included are parts of the Psalter, Hymns, parts of the Common of Saints, and the Office of the Dead and Hours of the Virgin. Originally it probably also included a calendar, and Offices for the Year, arranged according to the Temporale and Sanctorale. The two remaining illuminated initials indicate that this was likely once an illuminated manuscript of considerable elegance.
- Divinarum institutionum libri VII byPublication Date: c. 1450-1475LACTANTIUS, Divinarum institutionum libri VII (Divine Institutes)
In Latin, manuscript on paper
Central Italy (perhaps Rome), c. 1450-1475
One of the lesser-known Latin Fathers, Lactantius was neglected during the Middle Ages, but enjoyed exceptional popularity in the Renaissance as the “Christian Cicero.” The work is valued by modern biblical scholars (there are 73 quotations from the Vetus Latina). Distinctive for its unusually large dimensions (360 × 255 mm), this codex – on good paper stock by a single scribe in an elegant, clearly legible hand – boasts generous margins teeming with contemporary marginalia. Frequent scribal emendations, as well as space left for addition of initials, titles, rubrics, and passages in Greek, offer a glimpse into the working process of a Renaissance copyist.
- Sermones de Tempore et de Quadragesima [Sermons for the Temporale and for Lent] byPublication Date: c. 1275-1300NICHOLAS OF GORRAN, Sermones de Tempore et de Quadragesima [Sermons for the Temporale and for Lent], sermons excerpted from the Sermones de Sanctis [Sermons for the Feasts of Saints]
In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment
Northern France, Paris?, c. 1275-1300
A very early collection of the still unedited sermons of the influential Dominican preacher and royal advisor Nicholas of Gorran, this manuscript is an extremely important witness, having been copied during the author’s lifetime, possibly even with his supervision. Changes to this volume early on may reveal Nicholas’s intentions as he shaped these sermons at the Dominican convent of Saint-Jacques in Paris. Handsomely decorated, with a charming illuminated initial depicting the author receiving Christ’s blessing, this was quite possibly made for a recipient of some importance.
- Commentary on Peter Lombard's First Book of the SentencesPublication Date: 1479 (?)Commentary on PETER LOMBARD’S First Book of the Sentences, related to PAULUS VENETUS, Super primum sententiarum Johannis de Ripa Lecturae Abbreviatio
In Latin, decorated manuscript on paper and parchment
Northern Italy, 1479 (?)
This is an important manuscript, one that opens up complex textual issues warranting further study. The manuscript presents an abbreviated version of the lengthy commentary on the Sentences of Peter the Lombard by the fourteenth-century Franciscan theologian, Johannes de Ripa. In fact, our text corresponds most closely with the version of Ripa by Paul of Venice, written shortly before 1402 at Padua and known in a single manuscript, which was the basis of the modern edition.
- Franciscan MiscellanyPublication Date: c. 1450-1475BARTOLOMEUS DE RINONICO, De conformitate vitae beati Francisci ad vitam domini Ihesu (excerpt); THOMAS A KEMPIS, De imitatione Christi, (excerpt, book four only); PSEUDO-AUGUSTINE, De dignitate sacerdotum; [ANONYMOUS], De officio et tempore septuagesime; PSEUDO-JOHN OF CAPISTRANO, Animadversiones circa sacrosanctum missae sacrificium, in Italian translation
In Latin and Italian, manuscript on parchment and paper
Southern Italy (Lanciano?), c. 1450 –1475
This small-format Franciscan miscellany, in a contemporary blind-stamped binding, includes an excerpt from Bartolomaeus de Rinonico, a classic and rare Franciscan text by an Italian friar, and Book IV of the great Imitatio Christi, evidence of its dissemination into Italy and readership by Franciscans. The Italian translation of a text on the Mass, known in only one other manuscript, and the text on the Divine Office at Septuagesima, perhaps unique to this manuscript, are of particular importance and the miscellany warrants further study for its unusual contents.