London. British Library, Harley MS 4984

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The British Library, Polonsky Pre-1200 Project
London. British Library
  • British Library, Harley MS 4984
Biblissima authority file
  • Latin
  • Collection of texts about St Martin of Tours: Sulpicius Severus, Vita Sancti Martini , Epistolae , Dialogi (books 1-3); Gregory of Tours, extracts from the Historia Francorum (with books 1-4 complete) and Libri Octo Miraculorum
  • This 12th-century manuscript contains a collection of texts on the life, miracles and translation of St Martin of Tours (d. 397) by Sulpicius Severus (b. c. 363, d. c. 425) and Gregory of Tours (b. c. 538, d. 594). The manuscript was written for a monastic audience, as is indicated by a contemporary marginal inscription on f. 64r that describes reading the life of St Martin of Tours in 'our monastery' ('usque ad hoc capitulum legitur hec vita in nostro conventij'). The linguistic region in which this manuscript was produced is unknown. Since its first known owner Johannes Vlimmerius (d. 1597) was prior of the Augustinian priory of Sint-Maartensdal (1559-1562) in Leuven, the manuscript may originate from the Southern Netherlands or Northern France. However, Ker points out that several of Vlimmerius's manuscripts originate at English monasteries and seem to have been sent to him directly from there (Ker, 'English Manuscripts' (1942), p. 206).Contents: ff. 1r-1v: Sulpicius Severus, Letter to Desiderius (Preface to the Vita Sancti Martini ), beginning: 'Incipit epistola Severi Sulpicii ad Desiderium de vita sancti ac beatissimi Martini Turonensis archiepiscopi'. ff. 1v-2v: Sulpicius Severus, Prologue to the Vita Sancti Martini (Life of St Martin of Tours), beginning: 'Plerique mortales studio et glorie seculari inaniter dediti'. ff. 2v-3v: A list of chapters. ff. 3v-18v: Sulpicius Severus, Vita Sancti Martini, beginning: 'Incipit vita sancti ac beatissimi Martini Turonensis Archiepiscopi'. ff. 18v-20v: Sulpicius Severus, Letter to Eusebius, beginning: 'Incipit epistula Severi sulpicii ad eusebium presbiterum postea episcopum'. ff. 20v-23r: Sulpicius Severus, Letter to Aurelius, beginning: 'Epistula ad Aurelium diaconum'. ff. 23r-25v: Sulpicius Severus, Letter to Basula, beginning: 'Incipit epistula Severi Sulpicii ad socrum suam Basulam qualiter sanctus Martinus de hoc mundo migraverit'. ff. 25v-63r: Sulpicius Severus, Dialogi (Dialogues), Books I-III, each preceded by a list of chapters, beginning: 'Incipiunt capitula libri primi Dialogi Severi Sulpitij'. ff. 63r-64r: Gregory of Tours, extract (on the death of St Martin of Tours) from the Historia Francorum (History of the Franks), also known as the Decem Libri Historiarum (Ten Books of Histories), beginning: 'Item de transitu sancti Martini'. ff. 64r-64v: Gregory of Tours, extract (concerning a posthumous miracle shown to Severus Sulpicius) from the Libri Octo Miraculorum (Eight Books of Miracles), beginning 'Beatus autem Severinus coloniensis civitatis episcopus'. ff. 64v-65r: Gregory of Tours, extract (concerning a posthumous miracle shown to St Ambrose of Milan) from the Libri Octo Miraculorum , beginning: 'Eo tempore beatus Ambrosius'. ff. 65r-66v: Gregory of Tours, extract (concerning a posthumous miracle shown to St Brice of Tours) from the Historia Francorum , beginning: 'De sancto Bricio'. ff. 66v-67v: Gregory of Tours, extract (on the translation of St Martin of Tours) from the Libri Octo Miraculorum, beginning: 'De translatione sancti Martini'. ff. 67v-68r: An erased text about St Martin of Tours (his name partially legible in the erased rubric) with 5 leaves excised. ff. 68r-68v: A hymn on St Martin of Tours, beginning: 'Dei virtus et sapientia cuius nutu'. ff. 68v-105r: Gregory of Tours, Historia Francorum , Books I-IV, beginning: 'Incipit liber primus miraculorum beati Martini editus a beato Gregorio Turonorum episcopo'. [f. 105v is empty]. Decoration:1 large puzzle initial with penwork decoration (f. 3v). Initials in red or blue with penwork decoration in the other colour. Simple initials in green, red, blue or light brown. Display script in blue, red or green. Rubrics in red. Paragraph marks in green, red, light brown or black.
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