A Remarkable and Beautiful Survival, with Vast Margins and Two Fine Romanesque Initials

TEXT FROM AUGUSTINE'S HOMILY ON JOHN 13:21-31.

(Northern Italy, probably Tuscany: ca. 1150). 434 x 306 mm. (17 1/8 x 12"). Double column, 44 lines, in a beautiful Caroline minuscule.

Running titles and rubrics in fine red uncials, WITH TWO VERY HANDSOME VINE-STEM INITIALS PAINTED IN FIVE COLORS, each measuring six lines long. With the usual slight darkening because of the grain of the skin, light soiling and a few small chips to edges, but IN FINE CONDITION, very clean and without any fading or erosion to the text or paint.

The size, decoration, and state of preservation make this an almost irresistible leaf. The text here is from the 61st and 62nd tractate (homily or sermon) of Augustine interpreting the Gospel of John. The complete collection of tractates numbers 124 in all, but our leaf apparently comes from an abbreviated collection and so lists the present homilies as "VII" and "VIII." In these tractates, Augustine interprets the verses from John 13:21-31, in which Christ, after washing the feet of his disciples, gives a piece of dipped bread to Judas Iscariot, thus revealing the man who would betray him. The text on our leaf contains the entirety of tractate 61, in which Augustine seeks to clarify the events of this passage from the Gospel of John and especially the meaning of Christ's words to his disciples, as well as a brief portion of tractate 62, which primarily sets the stage for his interpretation of how and when Satan entered into Judas. Born in the ancient Roman province of Numidia in North Africa, Augustine (354-430) was steeped in the works of Plato and Cicero, and converted by the influence of his mother Monica and St. Ambrose to a life of Christian piety. The writings of this great Church Father, author of the "City of God" and the famous "Confessions," come second only to the Bible as the foundation of Catholic and Protestant belief. The strength and endurance of his inspiration can hardly be overstated: his sermons were widely read during the Middle Ages, and he later exerted great influence over the reformers Luther, Calvin, and Jansen. He wrote a very substantial number of philosophical, polemical, moral, homiletic, dogmatic, and apologetic works. The present leaf is lovely in every important way--from its remarkable condition, to the stately arrangement of the text on the page, to the large and richly painted initials, to the beautifully regular hand.
(CDO2205)

Add to Cart Price: $11,000.00

PJP Catalog: 81.006

(CDO2205) TEXT FROM AUGUSTINE'S HOMILY ON JOHN 13:21-31. FROM A. VAST MANUSCRIPT OF AUGUSTINE IN LATIN A VERY FINE EARLY ILLUMINATED VELLUM LEAF WITH LOVELY VINE STEM INITIALS.
TEXT FROM AUGUSTINE'S HOMILY ON JOHN 13:21-31.