(France: second half of the 13th century). Each leaf measures 330 x 240 mm. (13 x 9 3/8"). Double column, 38 lines of text in a proto-gothic hand.
Running title and numerous paragraph marks in red and blue, one two-line initial in blue with red pen flourishes. Margins with several text corrections. A touch of marginal soiling and staining, a few negligible stains touching text (not affecting legibility), but overall A VERY CLEAN AND HANDSOME SPECIMEN.
This is an extremely well-preserved bifolium containing part of a treatise on the vices, from a manuscript that was roughly contemporary to the life of the author, William Perault (ca. 1190-1270). Although the so-called "seven deadly sins" that we still recognize today remained a popular moral paradigm throughout the Middle Ages, it was by no means canonical. Authors were free to bend, borrow, and elaborate on the topic at will, resulting in a profusion of treatises and competing systems of morality during this period. The present work was a particularly popular treatise that not only survived the Middle Ages, but later went into print in several editions. Peraldus' "Summa" expounds upon the seven sins with which most of us are familiar -- Superbia, Invidia, Ira, Acedia, Avaritia, Gula, and Luxuria [Pride, Envy, Anger, Sloth, Greed, Gluttony, and Lust] -- but it also includes an eighth sin, which Perault called "peccatum linguae," or "the sin of the tongue." The present bifolium discusses Sloth, and the numerous kinds of sins belonging to that vice, including idleness, procrastination, too much sleep, and boredom of life. (ST13657b)
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PJP Catalog: RBMS17.003