MS. Lat. th. e. 50
Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)
Hugo de Prato Florio, Sermons; Italian (Parma), 1439
J. B. Schneyer, Repertorium der leiteinsichen Sermones des Mittelalters, E-H (1970), nos.127–185. He did not know this manuscript and records only two other manuscripts containing this collection. Sermon 2 (Schneyer no.129) is also in MS. Holkham misc.14, fol.216v. Schneyer's no.153 is apparently written here as three sermons (nos.26–28) and the endings of sermons 34, 46 and 57 differ from their equivalents in Schneyer (nos.159, 171, 182). Our manuscript appears sometimes to have better readings than those cited by Schneyer. Fol.220v was originally blank
Alphabetical index to the preceding, written by the scribe, citing the sermons by number and section, rather than folio number. Ends fol.225v.
For Septuagesima, Sexagesima, Quinquagesima (two sermons) and the fourth Sunday after the Octave of the Epiphany, ending on fol.256. Schneyer, nos.37, 39, 41(?), 42, 35. Fol.256v is blank. These sermons are copied by the original scribe and have illuminated initials in the same style as those in the earlier part of the MS.
Additional alphabetical index, written in a shaky fifteenth-century gothic cursive hand, for which see below. It includes the sermons in section 2 and cites folio numbers.
The scribe corrected the manuscript, and added a marginal index in red, including some words in Greek (he also headed fol.1: ‘ιεϲούϲ χρϲ’), and made some other annotations. Further marginal indexing was done, for his added index, by the scribe of fol.226–227, who appears to have foliated the manuscript at the same time.
37–42 written lines (the number diminishing as the MS. progresses, from 42 lines in the first four quires to mostly 38 in the later quires), ruled in ink, with single bounding lines apparently ruled with a hard point. Writing sometimes above, but usually below top ruled line.
Early humanistic hand, rather heavily abbreviated
There is an illuminated initial for every sermon or separate item in the text, including the poem on fol.228. Fol.1, first sermon, 12-line historiated initial showing a Dominican (Hugo ?) seated at a desk, writing in an open book (see B.L.R. cit., plate ). The initial is in pink and orange-red, highlighted in white, on a gold ground, and extends into the borders with tails of gothic acanthus in orange-red, pink, green and blue, surrounded by gold rayed discs. Fol.191 (sermon 53 for Good Friday), 9-line initial in pink highlighted in white on a square gold ground, decorated with tendrils of foliage in red, green, pink and blue, and accompanied by a short marginal spray of flowers and leaves in the same colours (on blue stalks), ending in gold rayed discs. Lesser initials are usually 4- or 5-line, but 6-line on fols. 170 (Palm Sunday), 176 (Feria secunda), 206 and 211 (sermons for Easter Day) and on fol. 229; alternately gold or silver on square grounds of pink, red and blue (letters P and Q sometimes extending beyond the square, with acanthus tails: fols.105, 116, 124v, 140v), decorated with contrasting sprays of foliage mainly in pink and green, highlighted in white, accompanied in the border by gold rayed discs, usually three in a vertical row. The initials to the index are similar, but 3-line only, and with no foliage decoration.
Late 18th-cent. Italian binding in pasteboard and half leather, the boards covered in light brown paper decorated with a feathery pattern in darker brown.
Provenance and Acquisition
Written by Johannes Bellus of Ferrara at Parma in 1439 for fra Vangelista of Vicenza, prior of the Dominicans at Parma (fol. 228r-v)
‘Istud quadragesimale Hugonis de Prato est mei fratris Bartholomei de Pizegottis de Padua ordinis predicatorum quem emi a fratre Ewangelista de Vincentia eiusdem ordinis pro sex ducatis aureis et hoc fuit Veneciis MCCCCXLIIIIo et hoc manu propria scripsi’ (fol.220, partly erased)
‘Ego frater B⟨artho⟩lom⟨eus⟩ ......monia prestavi super hunc librum fratri Bartholomeo de Pic⟨ e(?) ⟩got⟨is⟩ … [rest of line completely erased] imo ver...... fratri Iaco......nia(?) p…[rest of line completely erased] ottobris ⟨et⟩ hoc propria manu scripsi’ (fol.220v, mostly erased)
Christie's 17 Nov. 1976, lot 376
Maggs, Catalogue 990 (Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, No. 18), Jan. 1979, item 173 and pl. II. Purchased.
Digital Bodleian (4 images from 35mm slides)