Category: Catalogue Data

Content and Linguistic Features (Jack and Susannah)


171v (seq. 350): St. Michael: miniature, antiphon (whose full rubrication begins on f. 171r), versicle, response, and oratio

172r (seq. 351): St Michael, cont.: oratio; St. John the Baptist: miniature, antiphon, versicle, and response

172v (seq 352): St. John the Baptist, cont.: response and oratio; St. Peter and St. Paul, antiphon, versicle, response, and oratio

173r: (seq. 353): St. Peter and St. Paul, cont.: miniature and oratio

173v (seq. 354):. St. Andreas/Andrew: antiphon, versicle, response, and oratio

174r (seq. 355): St. James: miniature, antiphon (whose full rubrication begins on f. 173v), versicle, response

174v: (seq. 356): St James, cont.: oratio; St. Sebastian: antiphon, versicle

175r (seq. 357): St. Sebastian, cont.: miniature, response, and oratio

175v (seq. 358): St. Sebastian, cont.: St. Dionysius: antiphon, versicle, response, and oratio;

176r (seq. 359): St. Dionysius, cont.: oratio; St. Anthony: antiphon, versicle, response

176v (seq. 360): St. Anthony, cont.: miniature, oratio

177r: (seq. 361): St. Nicholas: antiphon, versicle, response, and oratio; St. Mary Magdalene: antiphon; versicle

177v: (seq. 362): St. Mary Magdalene, cont.: miniature, versicle, response, and oratio

178r: (seq. 363): St. Mary Magdalene, cont.: oratio; St. Katherine: antiphon, versicule, and oratio.

178v: (seq. 364): St. Genoveva: antiphon, versicule, and oratio, all indicated with rubrication.


Linguistic Features:

Collapse of the ae diphthong is consistent throughout. Aspiration is occasionally added (as at h[er]emo, 172r), and ci is used somewhat frequently in place of ti (as at propicius, 172r, and tercio, 173r). Especially in proper names, y is often used where i might be expected (as is the case with hyspanie at 174r and moysi and synai at 178r). The ablative plural hiis appears with ii representing the long vowel, and there is some variation in use of u and v (e.g., viam at 172r and uiam at 172v). Syncopation of the second person perfect active indicative is frequent (confirmasti at 175r, roborasti at 176r). Nomina sacra are used with some regularity.

Script and Hand

Script and Hand (Lydia and Gayle):

This section of the manuscript appears to be written and rubricated by a single scribe. The script is a fine and regular formal gothic. Most majuscules contain extra flourishes/pen strokes; most (but not all) of these majuscules are lightly touched or highlighted with a diluted yellow ink. Highlighted majuscules tend to appear following punctuation. The script features two variants of and two variants of sRs sometimes have a unique descending flourish.

Decoration and overview of damage (Krisztina and Miriam)

The manuscript is decorated with seven larger scale figural and twenty-four smaller non-figural initials. The borders and in the case of the pages with figural initials also the bas-de-page are decorated with vines and vegetal motifs. The illuminations are attributed to the so-called Maître François, active between 1462 and 1480. The materials are tempera and gold on parchment. Some damage on the upper corners can be observed, which is most visible on pages with decorated upper borders. Touch marks can be noted especially on ff. 171v, 172r, 176v. 

The figural illuminations are: St Michael (171v), John the Baptist (172r), Peter and Paul (173r), St James (not specified, but it is the Greater given his iconography) (174r), Martyrdom of St Sebastian (175v), St Anthony (176v), Mary Magdalene (177v).

General Layout and Bibliography (Group D: James and Emily)

General layout: The central text is 15 lines tall, with 3/4 decorated borders when there are miniatures on the page (each 8 lines tall), otherwise 1/4 border along the vertical outer margin spanning the height of the central text. Decorated initials are 2 lines tall.  Thicker bottom margins, thinner top margins. Text starts below the top line, and bounded on all sides and interlinearly by rubricated lines.

  •  Bibliography:
    • Bond and Faye, 237; Roger S. Wieck, “French Illuminated Manuscripts in the Houghton Library: Recent Discoveries and Attributions,” Harvard Library Bulletin 31 (1983) 192 and fig. 6) reproducing f. 75); Wieck, pp. 30-31, no. 14 (reproducing f. 79).
    • Laura Light, “Catalogue of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Houghton Library, Harvard University. Volume 1: MSS Lat 3-179, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies. Tempe, Arizona, 1997. pp. 224-229.

Catalogue: Origin and Provenance (Kathryn and Simona)


<origPlace> France, likely Paris </origPlace>

<origDate> during <origDate notBefore=“1450″ notAfter=“1475″> the mid-fourteenth century</origDate>

<illuminator> <name type=“person”> Maitre Francois </name> </illuminator>


<provenance> ex libris mark from <name type=“person”> Ysabel de bellrisseau </name>  <date notBefore=“1450” notAfter=“1700”> </date>

Owned by <name type=“person”> Arthur H. Lea </name> until <date> 1983 </date>


<acquisition> donated to Houghton Library by <name type=“person”> Caroline T. Lea </name> on <date> June 20, 1983 </date> </acquisition>

Cataloging-Group C

Measurements: 164 x 120 (85-83 x 60-65) mm.  Pages with miniatures include horizontal illuminated borders in addition to the one vertical illuminated border on pages without miniatures.

Pricking and Ruling: Ruled in light red ink. Lines and illuminations contained within their own horizontal and vertical boundary lines.  Outermost boundaries are thicker. Horizontal, and occasionally vertical, boundaries extend to the edge of the folio.  Text often extends beyond right vertical boundary; boundary respected on the left.  Rulings run visibly beneath miniatures.  No visible pricking.

Writing Support: Parchment, neatly trimmed; miniatures on thicker parchment.

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