Digital Commonwealth

Bible : Old and New Testament

Item Information

Bible : Old and New Testament
Title (uniform):
Former owner:
Chevalier, Nicholas
Former owner:
Morris, William, 1834-1896
[ca. 1250–1299]
Manuscripts, Latin (Medieval and modern)
Writing, Gothic
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
Collection (local):
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction)
451 leaves : parchment, ill. ; 318 x 230 (215 x 155) mm.
Terms of Use:
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Notes (ownership):
Provenance: Unidentified arms of early owner on f. 4v (or three roses argent); used from the 16th century on for birthnotes by one Durant family, living near Montargis (see inscriptions, partially effaced, final folio recto and verso); Nicolas Chevalier (1562-63), his arms were on the former old calf binding (see William Morris sales catalogue); William Morris, his sale (London 1898, n. 169; SDBM 39991) to Pickering (Pickering description inside front cover).
Notes (acquisition):
Immediate source of acquisition: Acquired by Sydney Cockerell for BPL in December 1900, accessioned 29 April 1901.
Notes (citation):
Ricci, S. de. Census of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada, vol. I, page 917
Ms. codex.
Title devised by cataloger.
Secundo folio: intelligunt. Taceo …
Origin: Written in France in the second half of the 13th century.
Currently shelved under call no. MS f Med 1; formerly BPL G.401.11.
In Latin.
Bibliography: Haraszti, Z. "Medieval Manuscripts in The Library," More Books III (1928), 57; on Cockerell's acquisition of this manuscript for the Library, see Stoneman, W. "'Variously Employed': the Pre-Fitzwilliam Career of Sydney Carlyle Cockerell" in Art, Academia and the Trade: Sir Sydney Cockerell (1867-1962) (Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, XIII:4 (2007)), 354-5.
Notes (object):
Collation: Parchment, fol. iii (modern paper) + 451 ; 1-15⁸, 16⁶, 17-34⁸, 35-36⁶, 37-43⁸, 44⁸+¹ (fol. “346” tipped in singleton, currently loose and laid in, final canon table leaf), 45-54⁸, 55⁶, 56-58⁸ ; catchwords preserved, lower center margin of the final verso of each quire ; original foliation of roman numerals in lower margin of each recto, skips 330-339 and thus reaches 426 instead of 416 at the end of the Biblical text. The index has no original foliation.
Layout: Two columns, 56 lines, bounding and writing lines in light plummet.
Script: Written in a gothic bookhand, with some cursive features in brown ink with red rubrics. Chapter numbers alternate red and blue epigraphic capitals.
Decoration 1: f. 1r: 25-line historiated initial (the [F] of "Frater"), Jerome (nimbed) seated at a writing desk, in gold and colors with diapered blue background and a dragon in the stem of the letter; f. 4v: 22-line historiated [I] of "In principio," with the days of creation in round medallions arranged in two parallel registers (days 1-4 at left, 5-6 at right), with three rectangular panels extending from the fourth day to the right along the lower margin (Christ in Majesty; Bishop kneeling in prayer; two monks kneeling in prayer), in gold and colors, hunting scene above of a man shooting an arrow at a stork holding a gold ball in its mouth and standing on a long stem from which hangs an unidentified coat of arms (or three roses argent); 5-to-12 line evangelist portraits with attributes in gold and colors on f. "349" (Matthew), "359v" (Mark), "366" (Luke), "376" (John); Canon tables on ff. 329v-"346v:", two to four columns, lines alternating blue and red, in decorative interlaced red, green and blue frame.
Decoration 2: two-line historiated initials throughout alternating red with blue or blue with red filigree; psalm verse initials mid-line alternate red and blue; 10- to 20-line initials throughout in red and blue with elaborate red and blue filigree infill also extending into margins.
Binding: Ca. 19th-century brown morocco, with "Biblia Sacra/Latine/Manuscriptum/Saeculi XIII" stamped on the spine. Conservation rebinding performed in 2015.
Table of Contents:
1. ff. 1-329: Old Testament, begins with Jerome's Epistola 53 (Stegmuller 284): "Frater ambrosius tua. . ."
2. ff. 329v-"346v" (see pagination note below): Canon tables, that on f. 336v left blank.
3. ff. "347"-"348": chapter headings for Evangelists.
4. ff. "348"-"349": Evangelist prologue (Steg. 4779, Johannes Marchesinus, attributed to Jerome in manuscript).
5. ff. "349"-"359": Matthew.
6. ff. "359"-"365v": Mark (Steg. 607 and 611).
7. ff. "365v"-"376": Luke (Steg. 618 and 624).
8. ff. "376"-"383v": John (Steg. 624).
9. ff. "383v"-"388v": Romans (Steg. 651, 670, 674, 675).
10. ff. "388v"-"392": I Corinthians (Steg. 683).
11. ff. "392"-"394v": II Corinthians (Steg. 699).
12. ff. "394v"-"396": Galatians (Steg. 707).
13. ff. "396"-"397": Ephesians (Steg. 721).
14. ff. "397"-"398": Philippians (Steg. 728).
15. ff. "398"-"399": Colossians (Steg. 736).
16. ff. "399"-"400": I Thessalonians (Steg. 747).
17. ff. "400"-"400v": II Thessalonians (Steg. 753).
18. ff. "400v"-"401v": I Timothy (Steg. 765).
19. ff. "401v"-"402": II Timothy (Steg. 772).
20. ff. "402"-"402v": Titus (Steg. 780).
21. ff. "402v"-"403": Philemon (Steg. 783).
22. ff. "403"-"406": Hebrews (Steg. 793).
23. ff. "406"-"416v": Acts (Steg. 640).
24. ff. "416v"-"417v": Letter from Jacob to the Twelve Tribes (Steg. 809).
25. ff. "417v"-"419v": Epistle of Peter (no prologue).
26. ff. "419v"-"420v": Epistle of John (no prologue).
27. ff. "420v"-"421v": II Epistle of John (no prologue).
28. ff. "421"-"426": Apocalypse (Steg. 835).
29. ff. "426"-"453": Jerome's Index of the Bible.
Call #:
MS f Med 1
BPL G.401.11 (no longer used)