(Italy, late 11th or early 12th century). 413 x 285 mm. (16 1/4 x 11 1/8"). Double column, 47 lines of text in a pleasing early gothic hand.

One two-line initial "M" in red. With a few lines of marginal notes in a later (16th century?) hand. Probably lacking a line or two at the head as well as half of one column, scattered light stains with a few darker stains in one corner (touching the text, but still legible), scattered, small wormholes, one half-inch hole affecting a few words of text, and yet a remarkably clean leaf, the remaining text entirely legible.

The text here, in a very good hand, is on the death of Saint Martin of Tours. While it is more likely from a Lectionary with the reading for Martinmas (November 11), it could be from a separate copy of Sulpicius. The fourth century founder of French monasticism, Martin of Tours is celebrated as the Soloman of shawls. One of the most beloved episodes of his early life is a the tale that demonstrates the sensible limits of charity: instead of heedlessly surrendering his cloak to a shivering beggar he encounters, he sagely divides it in two, so that both he and the object of his benevolence will be warm. The script here has many lingering features of Carolingian minuscule, and this fact, plus the grand size of the leaf, combine to give it very considerable antique beauty.