London. British Library, Add MS 11849

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The British Library, Polonsky Pre-1200 Project
London. British Library
British Library, Add MS 11849
  • Latin
  • The Four Gospels
  • This manuscript consists of a 9th-century Gospel book produced perhaps in Tours in the Franco-Saxon style. It was copied by the same scribe who wrote Paris, BnF, MS lat. 267 from the school of Tours (see Rand, 'Franco-Saxon Ornamentation in a Book of Tours' (1929), 214-215). The manuscript includes the Four Gospels preceded by the prologues to the Gospels: St Jerome's Epistle to Pope Damasus; Pseudo-Jerome's epistle to Pope Damasus; and St Jerome's prologue on the Four Gospels from his commentary on St Matthew's, followed by the Eusebian Canon tables. Originally, the manuscript ended with a Capitula Evangelii per Circulum Anni (The Chapters of the Gospel for the Entire Year) , which summarized contents of the Four Gospels according to the liturgical year: 'Incipiunt capitula evangelii per circulum anni' (f. 183v). Only the title-page of this work survives due to quires lacking after f. 183. This part was probably already lacking in the 15th century, because short summaries of the Four Gospels have been written and interpolated in ff. 14v-16v in a late hand. ff. 1r-3r: Epistula Hieronymi ad Damasum papam (St Jerome's Epistle to Pope Damasus), beginning: 'Beatissimo papae Damaso Hieronimus. Novum opus me facere cogis ex vetere'. ff. 3v-4v: Pseudo - Epistula Hieronymi ad Damasum papam Pseudo-Jerome's epistle to Pope Damasus, beginning: 'Sciendum etiam que ignarum ex similitudine numerorum error involvat'. ff. 5r-7v: Hieronymus, Prologus Quattuor Evangeliorum ex Commentario Hieronymi in Matthei Evangelium ( St Jerome's Prologue on the Four Gospels from his Commentary on St Matthew's Gospel), beginning (ff. 5r-v): 'Incipit prologus secundum Mattheum quattuor evangeliorum. Plures fuisse qui evangelia scripserunt'. ff. 8r-9r: Eusebius, Epistula ad Carpianum (Eusebius's Epistle to Carpianus), beginning: 'Eusebius Carpiano fratri in domino salute. Ammonius quidem Alexandrinus magno studio atque industria unum nobis pro quattuor evangeliis dereliquit'. ff. 9v-16v: Prologus et Capitula in Evangelium Secundum Mattheum ( The Gospel of St Matthew), preceded by the prologue (ff. 10r-v), and capitula (ff. 11r-14r). Short summaries of the Four Gospels have been added in a 15th-century hand on ff. 14v-16v. ff. 18r-25v: The Eusebian Canon tables. ff. 26v-68v-: Evangelium Secundum Mattheum (The Gospel of St Matthew), including lections written in a contemporary hand, beginning: 'Incipit evangelium secundum Mattheum. Liber generationis Ihesu Christi filii David, filii Abraham. Abraham genuit Isaac'. ff. 69r-71v: Prologus et Capitula in Evangelium Secundum Marcum ( The Gospel of St Mark), preceded by a prologue (ff. 69v-70r) and capitula (ff. 70v-71v). ff. 72r-98v: Evangelium Secundum Marcum (The Gospel of St Mark), including lections, beginning: 'Incipit evangelium secundum Marcum. Initium evangelii Ihesu Christi filii Dei sicut scriptum est in Isaia propheta'. ff. 99v-102r: Prologus et Capitula in Evangelium Secundum Lucam (The Gospel of St Luke), preceded by a prologue (ff. 99v-100r) and capitula (ff. 100v-102r). ff. 102v-148v: Evangelium Secundum Lucam (The Gospel of St Luke), including lections, beginning: 'Incipit Evangelium secundum Lucam. Quoniam quidem multi conati sunt ordinare narrationem quae in nobis conpletae sunt rerum'. ff. 149r-150r: Prologus et Capitula in Evangelium Secundum Iohannem (The Gospel of St John), preceded by a prologue (ff. 149r-150r) and capitula (ff. 150v-151r). ff. 150v-183r: Evangelium Secundum Iohannem (The Gospel of St John), including lections, beginning: 'In principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat verbum, hoc erat in principio apud Deum'. Decoration:6 full page borders with foliate and geometrical decoration in colours and gold, with display capitals in gold, some on purple grounds, at the beginnings of the prologues and Gospels (ff. 3v, 26v, 72r, 102v, 149r, 151v). Large initials in colours and gold with foliate, interlace and geometric decoration (ff. 1r, 4r, 5v, 27r, 72v, 103r, 149v, 152r). Decorated canon tables in red, blue and white with gold and silver arches and columns, including lamps, animals and birds (ff. 18r-27v). Small initials and rubrics in red. Added decoration red and blue foliate initials (14v-16v). The decoration of this manuscript is similar to that of contemporary manuscripts designed in Tours or in its surroundings. In the second half of the 9th century some manuscripts produced in Tours, or by scribes trained in Tours, included Franco-Saxon ornamentation. On the resurgence of the Franco-Saxon style at Tours in the 9th century (see: Charlotte Denoël, 'De Saint-Martin de Tours à Fleury', in Trésors carolingiens: Livres Manuscrits de Charlemagne à Charles le Chauve, ed. by Charlotte Denoël and Marie-Pierre Laffitte (Paris: Bibliothèque nationale de France, 2007), pp. 151-53).
Public domain in most countries other than the UK
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