Manuscripts

Franciscan Copy of Gregory the Great’s Homilies on the Gospels

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Gregory the Great, Homilies on the Gospels. Two folios on vellum. Italy, 1275-1300: 135 mm x 98 mm (justification, 88 mm x 69 mm). Single column, 16 lines. Foliated 173 and 183 in a medieval hand, in addition to which each page is lettered a or b. The letters suggest that an index of the contents was prepared. The size of the folio and informality of the script are classic features of Franciscan manuscripts of this date. Furthermore, because the Franciscans were a preaching order, it makes sense that a friar would carry a book of Patristic homilies with him. No decoration. Text: This text of homilies actually served as an extended Gospel commentary. It can be found most conveniently in J.-P. Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. LXXVI, cols. 1256-58.  Our leaves cover: Fol. 173, 1133D manibus pauperibus … 1134B flagella tolleravit (Homily XV); fol. 183, 1264B percussi [sic] et territi … 1134D delectationem vel (Homily XXXV). It seems to me that, because there is simply too much material to occupy ten folios, this manuscript must have contained excerpts from the homilies rather than a complete run of them. Provenance: comes with an EU export license allowing permanent export. Condition: excellent, bright and fresh, with minor cockling where hinges were removed.

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