JACOBUS DE VORAGINE (d.1298). Sermones quadragesimales; ANONYMOUS. Medicina pauperum and other theological treatises, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[northern Germany], 1396
290 x 210mm. 280 leaves, last as pastedown, pencilled foliation begins at 2: 111(of 12 lacking i), 214, 3-512, 6-814, 99(of 10 lacking vi), 1014, 1112(with small parchment leaf between vi-vii, ff.133-134), 12-1412, 1510, 16-1812, 1914, 208(?of 10, lacking at least i/x), 218(?of 10, lacking at least i/x), 22-2310, 2410(uncertain, detached as singletons), parchment sewing guards, between 35 and 65 lines written in brown ink in cursive hands in two columns between four verticals and two horizontals ruled in brown ink, justification: 230 x 56-19-61mm. rubrics in red or underlined in red, some marginal headings in red, text capitals touched red, paragraph marks in red, NUMEROUS LARGE INITIALS in red with staves often extending into the margins, numerous jaunty maniculae detailed in red, red never added ff.227-235 (lacking several leaves, final 38 leaves mouse-nibbled -- eight into text, final 10 leaves loose, bottom of f.244 cut into text, incisions to ff.247-248, small hole to text f.134, water damage to ff.2-70). Contemporary red leather over wooden boards, front pastedown part of a choirbook leaf, five metal attachments to each cover, two clasps, holes for chain fitment on lower cover, stitched to four bands (spine split, lower cover worn to boards and one metal attachment lacking, clasps restored).
1. Written by Jacob Schiltrim in 1396: colophon on f.134v ...dompni Jacobi Schiltrimi. Anno dni mo ccc0 xcvj. In vigilia purificacionis marie (2 February). A second colophon on f.226 refers to the first mass of Johannes Heuhase: Et sic est finis anno dni m0 ccc0 xcvj. In vigilia festum trinitatis qua[ando] dno Johannes Heuhase cantabat prima[m] missa[m] sua[m] (23 May). The title dominus given to Schiltrim and Heuhase shows that they were members of a monastic community; the book was presumably written as a functional compilation, chiefly of sermons, which was then chained in the library. A few annotations are in Low German.
2. H. Legel: bookplate inside upper cover.
Moral exemplars, miracle stories, especially of the Virgin, lacking opening ff.2-14v; legend of St Catherine ff.14v-16v; legend of St Lawrence ff.16v-17v; instructions for priests on administering the Mass etc ff.17v-18; list of readings ff.18-18v; story of the hermit and the prostitute ff.18v-19; story of the Three Kings f.19;
List of Sundays, outside Lent, each assigned one of the following Lenten sermons so that the Lenten sequence can serve throughout the year ff.19v-20; Jacobus de Voragine, Sermones quadragesimales, opening Filia populi mei..Quamvis solemnitas quadragesimales..., lacking one leaf between ff.109-110, ending ...et regnat per infinita seculorum secula. Amen ff.20-131v; sermons on the Passion, the compassion of the Virgin, with omitted text on added parchment leaf, and on the judgement ff.131v-134v; colophon Explicit sermones per xl. scdm fratrem Jaco. de Voragine, Arciepiscopus januensus, et frater ordinis predicatorum... f.134v.
Indulgence of John XXII ff.134v-135; sermon for the dedication of a church with exemplars ff.135-139, section of omitted text f.139v;
Iste liber dicitur medicina pauperum, opening Maria magdalena et maria jacobi et maria salome... f.140, the summer part, with an interpolated sermon on the Conception and Nativity of the Virgin ff.181-183, ending ...cum patre et filio et spiritu sancto vivit et regnat f.198; on the punishments of hell, ending with a list of the great events that happened on Sundays ff.198-199; Medicina pauperum, winter part from Advent to Quinquagesima Sunday, opening Hora est nos iam de sompno surgere... f.199v, with an interpolated sermon for Christmas ff.207v-210, ending with colophon quoted above f.226 (see J.B. Schneyer, Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters, Bd 8, 1978, nos 1-35 and 78-159 for the winter and summer parts);
de sancto spiritu f.226v; Incipit salubris medicina animae vulnerate peccatis ff.227-233v (see M.W. Bloomfield and B.G. Guyot, Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices 1100-1500, no 2652); texts on poverty f.234, resurrection f.234v, life and death of saints f.235, on the glory of the Lord f.235v; discussions of, or sermons on texts, lacking opening, ff.236-243; treatises, starting with one on feasts of the Virgin, lacking opening and leaf between ff.251-252, ff.244-255v; on simony ff.256-257; Bonavenure Tractatus de decem praeceptis (see Bloomfield and Guyot no 5668) ff.257-260v; further treatises, including one on martyrs f.269, noting defective exemplum and leaving a gap f.270v, leaves lacking, ff.261-270 + pastedown.
This is a working volume for preachers, combining the popular Lenten sermons of Jacobus de Voragine with the much rarer anonymous sermons of the Medicina pauperum, together with subsidiary sermons, didactic texts and information for priests. The Dominican Jacobus de Voragine was an enormously influential writer, through his sermons and his Golden Legend which explained the church's feasts throughout the year. A complete cycle of sermons for the liturgical year by Jacobus was widely circulated and it is interesting that the unusual Medicina was preferred in this collection, although the Lenten sermons of the Medicina were omitted to avoid duplication with those of Jacobus. The Medicina is recorded in only two other manuscripts, in Copenhagen (Kongelige Bibliothek S 40 1385) and Wolfenbüttel (Herzog August Bibliothek, MS 19.26.10.Aug.4o, see J.B. Schneyer, Wegweiser zu lateinischen Predigtreihen des Mittelalters, 1965, p.309).
The Wolfenbüttel manuscript was written in Hildesheim in the fifteenth century; the Copenhagen manuscript, also fifteenth-century, comes from the Benedictine monastery of St John at Cismar in Schleswig-Holstein. The title Dominus of Schiltrim and Hausher was used by Benedictines, among other clerics; the Low German notes show that this copy was also in Northern Germany. It is possible that the Medicina was largely restricted to Benedictine houses in northern Germany, most obviously because this was its author's milieu. It was clearly valued in Schiltrim's house: although written on paper as a working copy, this compilation was given a handsome binding and securely chained in the monastic library.