DE AMORE DEI, in Latin, MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Italy, 14th century]
310 x 220mm. 33 leaves: 1-38, 49(of 10, i a cancelled blank), contemporary foliation in roman numerals, 38 lines written in a small Italian gothic bookhand between two verticals and 39 horizontals ruled in plummet, the ruling extending into the margins, justification: 232 x 145mm, chapter titles in red, spaces for two-line initials with small guide-letters in the margins (a few minute wormholes to first and last leaves, early repair to blank margin of f.18). 19th-century quarter sheep, paper sides marbled to a tree pattern (some wear).
1. R. Coats...Cologne, 19.iv.19: inscription on front pastedown, partly covered by Beeleigh Abbey bookplate
2. John Burns, Jan 1 1920: signature on front pastedown
De amore dei, incipit: Ut bonis moribus informeris et dei proximique dilectionem virtutibus et vite honeste instruaris... ff.1-29v; treatise on the seven deadly sins, incipit: Septem enim dicuntur capitalia vitia seu principalia ut ait Gregorius (M.W. Bloomfield, Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices, 1100-1500 A.D., Cambridge Mass. 1979, 5433) ff.30-32; treatise on the four cardinal virtues, incipit: Post tractatum principalium vitiorum (Bloomfield 3973) ff.32-33.
The principal work begins with a discussion of the love of God and one's neighbour, including references to the faults that arise from misdirected love. A third book (identified in the rubric on f.14; the previous division for book 2 was not noted) concerns the love of corporeal objects and treats labour, the acquisition of wealth, laziness and poverty, and justifications for going to war. The fourth book (f.22v), on the love of incorporeal goods, concerns the acquisition of virtue, the avoidance of vice, and the active and contemplative life. The text makes frequent reference to Biblical and Christian figures including Solomon, Job, Isaiah, Chrysostom, Cassiodorus, Gregory and Bernard, and to classical authorities including Socrates, Plato, Virgil, Seneca, Cato and Cicero.