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Petrus Riga, Aurora, a summary of the Bible in Latin verse, decorated manuscript on vellum [Italy or southern France, first half of thirteenth century (probably pre-1230)]
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 91,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
18
Petrus Riga, Aurora, a summary of the Bible in Latin verse, decorated manuscript on vellum [Italy or southern France, first half of thirteenth century (probably pre-1230)]
Estimate
20,00030,000
LOT SOLD. 91,250 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

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Petrus Riga, Aurora, a summary of the Bible in Latin verse, decorated manuscript on vellum [Italy or southern France, first half of thirteenth century (probably pre-1230)]

131 leaves (plus three medieval endleaves), 233mm. by 142mm., complete, collation: i-vi8, vii6, viii8, ix3 (iv cancelled and most probably blank), x10, xi-xvii8, single column, 48-51 lines in two early gothic hands (change of scribe on fol.66r), rubrics and significant sections in red, 3- and 4-line initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork, elaborate penwork dragon in blue and red and a tongue terminating in sprays of foliage (fol.1r), occasional medieval dry-point glossing, some original repairs to a number of leaves and some areas of discolouration, area of erasure on last leaf causing small hole with loss of a few letters from text, else in good condition with wide and clean margins, nineteenth-century armorial brown leather over pasteboards (see below) by T. Gough


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Provenance

1. Written in Italy or neighbouring southern France in the thirteenth century (most probably in one of the university towns of Bologna, Modena or Montpellier), and within a few decades owned by Johannes de Capua who wrote the ownership inscriptions at the beginning and end of the text (now heavily erased).

2. The church of Sancta Maria delle Grazie, Mantua (founded 1399): their fifteenth-century ex libris on flyleaf, 'Biblia in metro loci Sancte Marie graciarum extra Mantum', apparently acquired for 6 florins: inscription of price in fifteenth-century hand on fol.131v.

3. Edmund Macrory, K.C. of London (d.1904), Treasurer of the Middle Temple and owner of a private press in Belfast 1850-59 (Duncairn Press, see Ulster Journal of Archaeology 11, 1905, pp.76-77, and E. Dix in Irish Book Lover 1, 1910 and 3, 1911): his armorial binding; acquired from bookseller Thomas Rodd in 1840: Macrory's notes on paper flyleaf and cutting of sale catalogue pasted to first vellum flyleaf.

Literature

Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, 1977, II, p.27

Catalogue Note

text

This text, alongside the Bible and the works of Peter Lombard, was one of the fundamental textbooks used in the thirteenth-century universities of France and Italy. The author was a student in Paris in 1165, in the early days of the schools there, and became an Augustinian in Rheims and a canon of Rheims cathedral, and most probably died in 1209. The Aurora is a distillation of the historical passages of the Bible in verse, with a commentary and allegorical discussion, and was both a base for devotional reading and moral instruction as well as more popular theology and entertainment.

The text here is the so-called second edition, as identified by P.E. Beichner (Aurora, Petri Rigae Biblia Versificata, 1965, p.xviii), with the exception that the Recapitulationes follow Maccabees. It opens with Petrus Riga's preface "Frequens sodalium meorum ..." and Genesis (both fol.1r); followed by Exodus (17v); Leviticus (32v); Numbers (40v); Deuteronomy (47r); Joshua (50r); Judges (52v); Ruth (56r); I Kings (56v); II Kings (62r); III Kings (66r); IV Kings (70v); Tobit (71v); Daniel (76v); Judith (85r); Esther (87r); Maccabees (90r); the 'sine a' verses (94v); 'Incipiunt nomina antiquorum patrum' (99v); and the Gospels (100r).

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