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MONASTIC RULES: Regula sancti Benedicti and Regula sancti Augustini episcopi
MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPT IN LATIN ON VELLUM WITH MODERN ILLUMINATION, Italy (Venice?), late fourteenth century with added modern miniatures. 145 x 115 mm. 79 folios, back pastedown made from a fourteenth(?)-century Italian Choir Book with music on four-line red staves, complete (collation: i4+1, ii6, iii-vi8, vii10, viii8, ix4, x8, xi6; f. 1 is inserted, ff. 2-5 belong between ff. 8 and 9), catchwords, written in cursive gothic bookhands, Rule of Benedict frame-ruled in pencil with up to 23 long lines (justification c. 115 x 65 mm.), and the Rule of Augustine written with 18 lines per page, without rubrics, on leaves ruled in hard-point; TWO MODERN FULL-PAGE MINIATURES: St. Benedict (f. 1v) and St. Augustine (f. 65v), likely added in the nineteenth or twentieth century, small red initials, some with pen decoration. BINDING: Bound in nineteenth-century burgundy velvet over pasteboard, some signs of wear, the velvet and joints worn, some cords broken, but in sound condition. TEXT: This attractively written pocket-sized manuscript contains an extremely rare pairing of texts: the two greatest foundation documents of early Western monasticism. The addition of the two modern miniatures, executed in a style based on fifteenth-century Italian miniatures adds greatly to the charm of the volume. St. Benedict of Nursia (c. 480-c. 550) is considered the founder of Western monasticism; his Rule, written c. 540, had a profound effect on the lives of religious men and women in the Middle Ages, and has remained the leading guide for communal monastic life down to the present day. The Rule of St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), although written in the fifth century, did not have a wide influence until the late eleventh century, when it became the standard rule by which Canons Regular (secular, or non-monastic clerics) ordered their lives. Its sanity, adaptability, and the repute of its author led to its adoption by a number of monastic bodies, both active and contemplative, including the Dominicans. PROVENANCE: Combining these two monastic rules in one manuscript is unusual; normally one would not expect a Benedictine monk to have wanted a copy of the Rule of Augustine, and vice versa. Manuscripts containing both Rules appear to be exceptionally rare: the Schoenberg Database records only the present manuscript and one other (sold in 1719). The original owner of the manuscript may have been a layman, or a monk or canon with a scholarly interest in religious rules. In the fifteenth century the manuscript had a Benedictine owner, as shown by the wording of the title he added on f. 2. Sold at L’Art ancien, Zurich, Catalogue 38: Manuskripte und Inkunabeln, B├╝cher des XVI. und XVIII. Jahrhunderts, 17 June 1964, no. 261. Belonged to the Harry and Virginia Walton Collection, Covington, Virginia; bought c. 1964 (not recorded in Faye and Bond). CONDITION: lower margins of ff. 8 and 65 cut away and repaired using medieval parchment, with minor signs of use and age, but generally in very good condition throughout. Full description and photographs available. 388
      [Bookseller: Les Enluminures ]
Last Found On: 2013-07-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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