Manuscripts

Handsome Folio in University Format of Peter Lombard’s Sentences

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Peter Lombard (d. 1160), Sententiae. Single folio on vellum. Southern France, probably Provence, perhaps Montpellier, ca. 1275: 227 mm x 165 mm (justification, approx. 108 mm x 70 mm). Double column, 31 lines. Very wide, clean margins intended for glossing—a distinctive format for university books of the thirteenth century. The manuscript has been carefully annotated so that it is easy to identify the book, distinction, and chapter. Decoration: Alternating red and blue multi-line initials with contrasting penwork; running heads in red and blue. Foliated 124. Text: These are handsome fragments of a supremely important encyclopedia of the Middle Ages. The Sentences became a basic theological textbook in medieval universities when its contents were re-organization by Alexander of Hales in the 1220s. Its influence lasted until the sixteenth century. Contents: Fol. 124, Book II, Dist. 36, cap. 4 (partial), 5-8, 9 (partial). Provenance: Apparently, the parent manuscript of these folios has been sold individually for about two decades, since one leaf of it survives at Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, GA. A substantial remnant comprising 41 folios of this manuscript was recently sold at Christie’s, Paris (3 November 2020 lot 7). It was said at the time to have been bound in nineteenth-century sheepskin. The image at Christie’s shows comprehensive contemporary glossing in some of the margins.

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