Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 56 Italy, s. XIV1


1. [Title on the front parchment flyleaf in ink in a 16th century hand:] Biblia Sacra. Legas attente Velim/ ut/ Consequeris Sapientiam Domini. ff. 1r-2v A Bible in the usual order as described by N. R. Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, vol. 1 (Oxford, 1969) 96-97. Prologues in parentheses as listed in Stegmüller, Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi (Madrid, 1950-): General Prologue (284, beginning imperfectly, first leaf missing: //ut intelligeres te in scripturis sanctis. . .); Prologue to the Pentateuch (285); Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy; Joshua (311 + 307); Judges; Ruth; 1 Kings (323); 2 Kings; 3 Kings, 4 Kings; 1 Chronicles; 2 Chronicles; 1 Ezra (the Prayer of Menasses is included as a prologue to Ezra + 330); 2 Ezra; Tobit (332, beginning: Cromatio et Heliodoro episcopis iheronimus presbiter. . .); Judith (335, another prologue: Arphasath itaque rex medorum superatis multis gentibus Ehcbathanis ciuitate exuit. . .Judith quoque expletis centum xxv annis fine optimo vitam finiuit.); Esther (341 +343); Job (349 + 344 +457); Psalms absent; Proverbs (456 + 455); Ecclesiastes (462); Song of Songs; Wisdom (468); Ecclesiasticus (Ecclesiasticus 1.1-4 considered as prologue); Isaiah (482 + 480); Jeremiah (487); Lamentations; Baruch (491); Ezechiel (492); Daniel (494); Prologue to Minor Prophets (500); Hosea (504); Joel (511); Amos (515); Obediah (519 + 517); Micah (526); Nahum (528); Habakkuk (530, beginning: Amplexans qui uel. . .and ending et predicare + 529); Zephaniah (534 + 532); Haggai (538 + 535); Zechariah (539 + 540); Malachai (543 + 544); 1 Maccabees (552, ending: ducibus atque legionum + 550 + 551); 2 Maccabees; Matthew (595); Mark (607); Luke (615, beginning: Lucas syrus nacione antiocenus + Luke 1.1-4 treated as prologue); John (624); Romans (670); 1 Corinthians (690 + 685 as a postscript at end); 2 Corinthians (697, "ad Corinthiis" missing from explicit + 699); Galatians (707); Ephesians (715); Philippians (728); Colossians (736, ends: et onesemum acolitum); 1 Thessalonians (748); 2 Thessalonians (752, ending: et onesimum acolitum); 1 Timothy (765, ending: scribens ei de ab athenis); 2 Timothy (772); Titus (780, ending: anathopoli scribens ei); Philemon (783); Hebrews (793); Acts (633 + 631); James (807 + 809); 1 Peter (816, ending: frater andree apostoli e.o.); 1 John (822); 2 John (823); 3 John (824); Jude (825); Apocalypse (834 + 829). f. 407v ruled but blank.

2. ff. 408r-432v Aaz apprehendens uel apprehensio. . .Zuzim consciliantes [sic] eos uel consciliatores [sic] eorum. Expliciunt interpretationes. Deo gratias. Amen.

Usual dictionary of Hebrew names; Stegmüller, no. 7709.

3. ff. 433r-435v Dominica prima de aduentu. Ro. xiii. . .

Item ad Ioannem. Ego sum panis uiuus. fi. In nouissimo die.

Gospel and Epistle readings for the liturgical year with the temporal, sanctoral, common of saints, and votive masses.

Parchment, ff. iv (modern paper) + i (parchment) + 435 + iv (modern paper), 212 x 157 (131 x 90) mm. Article 1 is written in two columns of 50 ruled lines with a double vertical bounding line bisecting the outside margin and a single vertical bounding line bounding the outer and inner edge of the text; the text is divided into two columns by three bounding lines, the third running in the middle of the center margin; double horizontal bounding lines as well as an extra pair of lines bisecting both the top and bottom margin; the top margin lines contain the running head both recto and verso. Additionally three horizontal ruling lines within the text (lines 24-26) are extended full length across the margin. Articles 2 and 3 are written in three columns of 60 ruled lines with double horizontal bounding lines with an additional set of double lines bisecting the top and bottom margin; double verticle bounding lines with three lines between each column; inconsistently the horizontal lines 30 and 31 extend full length across the page. All bounding lines full length in ink; ruling in ink. Prickings visible for bounding lines, occasionally for rulings.

112 (-2), II-XIII12, XIV14, XV-XVI12, XVII10, XVIII-XXXIV12, XXXV-XXXVI14. Horizontal catchwords in gutter inside lower margin bounding lines; remnants of additional (original?) catchwords along lower edge of page in the center of the margin may occasionally be seen, most have been trimmed. Leaf signatures in quire XXXIX (a-f) in red.

Article 1 is written in a very small, neat, gothic bookhand below the top line by several scribes; contemporary textual and marginal corrections throughout are in black ink, a few other corrrections and notes in later hands. Articles 2 and 3 are written in a gothic cursive below the top line.

First page of prologue probably containing either an illuminated initial or a larger miniature has been excised. The text of Genesis begins with a large historiated initial extending the full length of the page filling the center margin. Depicted is a three-quarters view of a nimbed saint holding a book, with six more saints behind him extending up the initial, head and shoulders visible. Acanthus leaves with circular gold terminals form the top and bottom of the initial. The whole is skillfully painted in red, blue, pink, and a dark gray-green. The remainder of the text is decorated with skillfully drawn red and blue initials; the penwork extenders are either red if the initial is blue, or purple if the initial is red. Books and prologues begwin with 12- to 7-line initials decorated with ornate extensions, cut-outs, and infilling (note delightful sketches in extensions on ff. 135r and 286v); chapter initials are somewhat smaller and less ornate but still have decorative penwork extensions. Chapter numerals and running heads in alternating red and blue letters; paragraph marks in article 2 alternate red and blue, in article three, red. Guide letters for rubricator visible, notes to rubricator on f. 337r.

Ink has been rubbed off; many pages scarcely legible.

Binding: Late 18th-century vellum with leather lacing and remnants of leather straps. On spine in brown ink: "S 4," "Biblia Sacra," and "Codex." Over the words "Biblia Sacra" in black ink inside a decorative penwork frame: "Biblia del Sec XIII." Goodhart MS # in ink on paper label taped to spine.

Written in Italy in the first half of the 14th century. Early provenance unknown. An impression of some sort of armorial or library seal may be seen in the lower margin on f. 2r; the lower margin of the first leaf has been removed. On inside cover in lead: "06519" and "$250." The recto and verso of the front end papers are filled with a closely written critical examination of Eminentissimi D. D. Aloisii Maria Ungarello C. R. S. Pauli Anno MDCCCXXXII." In the library of Howard L. Goodhart (bookplate), and given by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (bookplate) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: scripturarum

Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 400, no. 56.

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Last Update: June 6, 2003