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    Sale 7548

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    12 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 22

    PETER OF TARENTAISE O.P. (Pope Innocent V, c.1225-1276), Commentary on Book IV of the Sentences of Peter Lombard, in Latin, MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

    Price Realised  


    PETER OF TARENTAISE O.P. (Pope Innocent V, c.1225-1276), Commentary on Book IV of the Sentences of Peter Lombard, in Latin, MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
    [Italy, ?Gaeta, ?13th to 15th century]
    335 x 225mm. ii paper + 90 + ii paper leaves, including two former endleaves and five very narrow stubs foliated as ff.76-80: 114, 211(of 11, vi a singleton), 3-412, 5-78, 89(of 9?, it is not readily apparent that any text is missing), 92, one or more quires probably lacking at the beginning, catchwords, 65 lines in two columns, written in dark brown ink primarily in semi-cursive gothic bookhand (most of a column written in a much larger and more formal gothic bookhand at f.15, several different scripts appear at ff.42-44 and elsewhere), between four verticals, horizontals not visible, justification: 270 x 75-13-75mm, ff.89-90v typically with 60-65 lines in two columns written in brown ink in a round gothic bookhand, justification: 295 x 85-12-85mm, no colour is used, but some large initials have ornament in the ink of the main text. 18th-century Italian half sheep and patterned paper over pasteboards, the spine lettered in gilt 'XXVII PET. DE TARAN SENTE MS.' (scuffed).


    1. From the Dominican convent of San Domenico at Gaeta, on the Mediterranean coast about 80 km north of Naples: inscribed in the 15th century 'Iste liber est conventus sancti dominici de gayeta ordinis predicatorum Et est petrus de tarentasia super quartum sententiarum'; (f.1, lower margin). The author was Dominican, and it may be for this reason that Gaeta wanted a copy of this text. The convent was suppressed in 1806.
    Inscribed, similarly to the identically bound manuscripts: 'E.5. Petrus de Tarantasia O(rdo) Pred(icatorum) in 4o sentiarum(?) [...]' (f.1; cf. ff.89v, 90v, both upside-down) and 'Foglie # 84 Segnato N AP' (end pastedown); similar brief 19th-century description in French loosely inserted.
    This is the only one of the thirteen manuscripts in matching bindings (see lot 16, also lots 17-21, 23-26, 30-31) with evidence for an early provenance, making it possible that the whole group was at San Domenico, Gaeta, in the Middle Ages, to be re-bound at the same time in the 18th century.

    2. HSA B2566; Faulhaber, pp.43-4, 187.


    Peter of Tarentaise (Pope Innocent V), Commentary on Book IV of the Sentences of Peter Lombard (ff.1-87v), starting at Distinctio 8, followed by a list of chapters (including Distinctiones 1-7) (ff. 87v-88v); and two flyleaves with part of an unidentified alphabetical index to a legal text, perhaps Martinus Polonus (Martin of Troppau), Margarita martiniana, parts of the index for words beginning with D and E, from 'Dedicata' to 'Dilapidator', and from 'Episcopus' to '[illegible]' (ff.89-90v).

    Peter Lombard wrote the Sentences in the mid twelfth century: it is a theological compilation of different sententia (opinions, or judgements) of the Church Fathers concerning difficult biblical passages. He arranged the work into four books according to subject matter, and then divided the books into individual quaestiones; in the late thirteenth century they were further divided into chapters, or distictiones. Book IV concerns the sacraments and the Four Last Things (Death, Judgement, Hell, and Heaven). Often the authorities on a given question did not agree, and Lombard tried to resolve the matter. The Sentences became a standard textbook for the study of theology, and this led other authors to write commentaries on it.

    Pierre de Tarentaise was born in the Tarentaise region of south-eastern France c.1225; he became a Dominican aged about 16; graduated from the university in Paris in 1259; became bishop of Lyons in 1272, Cardinal-Bishop of Ostia in 1273, and pope (as Innocent V) in January 1276, but died just five months later. He was famous as a preacher, and as a scholar was sometimes known as the 'famosissimus doctor'; he was author of several works of philosophy, theology, and canon law, of which the present commentary was his most successful. The Martin of Troppau(?) leaves at the end of the manuscript were apparently a pastedown and flyleaf at the front of the volume until the date of the present binding. It may be more than coincidence that, like Peter of Tarentaise, he was a Dominican.

    The manuscript is a palimpsest. The parchment seems to be from three other manuscripts: the first appears to be a glossed legal text, especially legible at ff.21-22v, that had red initials (ff.1-50v), the second is more completely over-written, and therefore more difficult to read (ff.51-74v), the third is only sporadically visible at ff.83-87v. Careful study with a UV lamp may allow the three texts to be read. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Antonio García y García, 'Manoscritos jurídicos medievales de la Hispanic Society of America', Revista Española de Derecho Canónico, 18 (1963), p.548.

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