(ST19399b-02) CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS. MEDIEVAL MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER AND VELLUM, PETER THE VENERABLE.
CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.
CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.
CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.
CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.
CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.
CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.
CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.

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An Excessively Rare Text about Outrageous 12th Century Heretics, Beautifully Written Out, Codicologically Unusual, and in Fine Condition

CONTRA PETROBRUSIANOS HERETICOS.

(Southern Netherlands (Louvain?) or perhaps Northeast France: first half of the 15th century, likely before 1440). 284 x 217 mm. (11 1/8 x 8 1/2"). [69] leaves. Each quire with a vellum bifolium in the center, for a total of 12 vellum leaves. Single column, approximately 38-42 lines, in a handsome late gothic hand with Italian Humanist influence.

Recently bound in a 16th century choir book leaf with much rubrication and several decorative initials, new endleaves. Housed in a custom linen clamshell box with red morocco label and gilt lettering. Rubrics in red, capitals struck in yellow, many two-line initials in blue or red, one six-line and even-line puzzle initial in red and blue with purple penwork extending into the margins. With a half-leaf inserted between folios 7-8, written in a cursive hand; several roughly contemporary marginal notations elsewhere. Watermarks on the paper are very close to Briquet 10015 & 10016 (with dated specimens of ca. 1440-50). See: James Fearns, "Contra Petrobrusianos Hereticos" (Corpus Christianorum: Continuatio Mediaevalis X); Christian Coppens, "The Incunabula of Parc Abbey (Heverlee, Leuven)." ◆Vellum leaves a little wrinkled and with natural yellowing, but IN VERY FINE CONDITION THROUGHOUT, the paper extremely clean and crisp, and with ample margins.

In extraordinarily fine condition, this manuscript contains an excessively rare text, has notable provenance, and features an unusual codicological structure combining both paper and vellum writing supports. A prominent and respected member of the Cluniac Congregation of Benedictine monks, Peter the Venerable (ca. 1092-1156) was elected general of his order at the age of 30. In addition to his many theological writings, letters, and missions on behalf of the papacy, Peter was the first to have the Koran translated into Latin. Though never formally canonized by the church, he was venerated as a saint by many of his contemporary followers. In the present work, written sometime between 1139-41, Peter attacks a heretical sect known as the Petrobrusians. Formed in 12th century and based on the teachings of Peter of Bruys, Petrobrusians rejected some of the most basic tenets of the Catholic faith, including infant baptism, the Mass, and the Eucharist, as well as prayers for the dead, external worship, and church buildings. Peter of Bruys even went so far as to preach violence against members of the clergy and to desecrate crosses. In fact, as the Catholic Encyclopedia tells us, one community in southern France became so "exasperated by his burning of crosses, [that they] cast him into the flames." According to James Fearns, just three other manuscripts contain the complete text of "Contra Petrobrusianos Hereticos": Douai, Bibliothèque municipale 381; Berne, Burgerbibliothek 251; and Le Mans, Bibliothèque municipale 8. Apart from the great rarity of its text, this manuscript is of considerable interest from a codicological perspective, as it contains a regular alternating mix of paper and vellum leaves, with a vellum bifolium appearing at the center of each otherwise paper quire. Medieval manuscripts not infrequently have a combination of the two materials, but usually this has resulted from necessity, rather than from a conspicuous plan. Though it has been recently rebound, this manuscript was previously housed with another in an 18th century binding bearing the arms of Le Parc Abbey. Exactly when the codex came to be at Le Parc, located about half a mile from Louvain, is uncertain, but it could have been there from its beginning. Le Parc Abbey was founded in 1129 and occupied by the Premonstratensian Canons, an order known for their pastoral work and teaching. We know that the Abbey's library, founded in the 13th century, would have been impressive. Although the library had its own scriptorium, Coppens says that "it was clearly not able to produce enough manuscripts for its own needs. An abbot at the beginning of the 15th century, Gerard van Goetsenhoven (or de Gossoncourt) ordered manuscripts from another convent in the vicinity of Leuven, as did his successor, Walter van Beringen." The library continued to grow and become grander in appearance until the suppression of the abbey in 1797; in 1829 the library was sold by Henri Baumans in Louvain. Now in a new binding made from a genuine Medieval leaf, this manuscript has a great deal going for it: it is remarkably well preserved; its wide margins, fresh and clean writing supports, and especially beautiful scribal hand make it an aesthetically pleasing book; and it is an item that is very deserving of additional scholarly attention.
(ST19399b-02)

Price: $25,000.00