A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Lat. th. e. 50

Summary Catalogue no.: Not in SC (late accession)

Hugo de Prato Florio, Sermons; Italian (Parma), 1439


Hugo de Prato Florido, Sermones quadragesimales
Rubric: Predicatoris eximii Ugonis pratensis quadragesimales sermones incipiunt ordinis praedicatorum. Foeliciter incipit
Incipit: (preface) A multis rogatus et postulatus pluries, ut sermones aliquos darem compillando et edendo
Incipit: (text) Poenitentiam agite appropinquabit enim regnum celorum. Math.3o. In quibus verbis duo principaliter continentur
Explicit: (fol. 220, Sermon 60) sicut in principali mente [sic]. Ad quam gloriam ipse nos perducat qui vivit per secula infinita. Amen.
Final rubric: Expliciunt sermones quadragesimales secundum ut in principio est notatus (red capitals)

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

Language(s): Latin

Alphabetical index to the preceding, written by the scribe, citing the sermons by number and section, rather than folio number. Ends fol.225v.

Rubric: Incipit tabula supradictos sermones
Colophon: ιω πέλούϲ επήγραψὰ έρροϲοϲ. αμηγ αμηγ (‘I, Johannes Bellus have signed this. Farewell(?). Amen. Amen.’)
Language(s): Latin (colophon in Greek)
Rubric: Iohannes bellus ferrariensis
Incipit: Era nel tempo che'l sole in quella parte
Explicit: Indigno a questo grado esser scriptore

Italian poem in thirteen four-line stanzas, pr. Bodleian Library Record, vol.X, 2 (1979), 130–1. The scribe records how he came to stay in the Dominican convent of St. Peter Martyr at Parma, and copied the present MS. for the prior, fra Vangelista of Vicenza, between September and December 1439. The exemplar was lent by fra Joachim, professor of theology, the parchment was ruled by fra Lodovico Ferrarino, the manuscript was illuminated by ‘un Parmesano’ and it was bound by fra Zohan Pecenino.

Language(s): Italian
Hugo de Prato Florido, Sermons

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.

Incipit: (third sermon, fol. 240) Assumpsit Iesus duodecim discipulos suos secreto etc. Luc. 18 caº Evangelium quod in hac dominica cantatur
Explicit: (third sermon, fol. 245v) Omnia opera nostra operatus es in nobis. Et sic patet totum
Language(s): Latin
(fol.226–227v, inserted bifolium on paper)

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.

Language(s): Latin

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.

Physical Description

Secundo Folio: Et si aliquando
Form: codex
Support: parchment (with inserted paper bifolium, fol. 226–7)
Extent: i + 258 leaves (fols.i, 257–8 are later paper flyleaves).
Dimensions (leaf): 218 × 154 mm.
Edges cropped
Dimensions (written): c. 147–168 × 95–100 mm.
Foliation: Curious contemporary foliation in combined roman and arabic numerals, using ‘c’ for 100 (e.g. cc9=209), in the upper outer corner of alternate versos, generally using the even numbers, but occasionally changing to the odd numbers, apparently added by the compiler of the index on fols.226–7


one later flyleaf, 1(10)–22(10), 23(10) (+ paper bifolium, fol.226–7, inserted between 5 and 6), 24(8), 25(10), 26(8) (7–8 canc.), two later flyleaves.


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.


Origin: 1439 ; Italian, Parma

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 Pice(?)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)

‘Ego frater Christoforus de Luino emi istum librum a fratre Philipo de Mediolano pro sex ducatis quem deputo conventui Cumano quia inde habui predictos denarios’ (fol.220v)

Giovio library, Como (?)

Christie's 17 Nov. 1976, lot 376

Maggs, Catalogue 990 (Ancient, Medieval, and Modern, No. 18), Jan. 1979, item 173 and pl. II. Purchased.

Record Sources

Typescript description by Bodleian Library staff

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (4 images from 35mm slides)


    Printed descriptions:

    A. Watson, Catalogue of Dated and Datable Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries (1984), no. 580

Last Substantive Revision

2017-07-01: First online publication.