A leaf from the summer portion of a Breviary, with liturgical directions in German.
recto: ‘desolationis que dicta est a Daniele propheta […] O(melia) Ieronymi. Quando ad intelligentiam […] lectio ii. […] lectio iii […] Ad matutinas. Antiphona. Amen dico uobis […] ⟨…⟩sol das wissen. ob die kalenda. an dem ⟨…⟩|alder an dem after mœntag […] alle wege nach sex⟨.⟩ kalendo d⟨…⟩’
verso: ‘haizzer decemb’. an der næhesten do⟨…⟩|sol man began. ¶ An den samstag ⟨…⟩|heste der kalende der Ogeste. Ad matutinas. […] ¶ An der dominic der næhsten ⟨…⟩|⟨ka⟩lenden. Ogestenso vahet man an div⟨…⟩ […] Septembris. lectio prima. Parabole salamonis filii Dauid regis Israhel […] lectio ii. […] lectio iii. […] lectio iiii. Pedes enim eorum in malum currunt […] in capite turbarum’
The verso has the beginning of the summer ‘historie’, with readings from the biblical book of Wisdom (Sapientia).
Language(s): Latin and Middle High German (Eastern Alemannic, diocese of Augsburg, ex inf. Nigel Palmer and Christoph Mackert, ‘aftermontag’ = Tuesday)
a nearly complete leaf, the right (recto) or left (verso) side of one column cropped.
Dimensions (fragment): c. 375 × 230 mm.
Ruled in plummet and written in two columns of 36 lines, column space 290 × 95 mm. ; space between lines 7mm.
Gothic bookhand, the main Latin text written in two sizes according to liturgical function, with Latin rubrics in red; the other liturgical directions, in German, are underlined in red. The script is fully Gothic with fusing of adjacent round letters such as ‘be’, ‘bo’, ‘de’, ‘dd’, ‘oc’, ‘pe’, ‘po’, and ‘pp’, ‘d’ is always sloping, not upright, round ‘s’ is 8- shaped, but tall ‘s’ is also present, even at the beginning of words.
One cropped ‘puzzle’ initial in blue and red, with penwork ornament in both colours.
Two-line initials and paraphs are alternately blue or red.
Origin: 14th century, first half (perhaps c. 1320)
Provenance and Acquisition
Almost certainly made for a community of female religious; a rare survival of a large-format liturgical book for communal use with a significant quantity of vernacular text.
From a binding. All four corners are cut away, so that when folded over they do not overlap and can instead be mitred; the four outer folds are clear; the folded-over parts, that would have acted as turn-ins, are less dirty than the parts that remained on the outside of the volume; there are pairs of slits near what would have been the fore-edges, through which ties would have been threaded; the pair of central horizontal creased demarcate an area that is especially darkened because this was the outward-facing spine of the volume; if turned 90 degrees it can be seen that the spine was initially volume “100” is a series, but this number was later crossed-through and replaced with “627”; the other side, which would have been the inner face, has an all-over brown colour caused by the glue used to attach the leaf to the pasteboards of the binding, of which a few very small traces survive.
Sotheby's, 8 July 2014, lot 4, part of item (d).
Stephen Butler Rare Books and Manuscripts, Catalogue Spring 2021, lot 20.
Purchased by the Bodleian.