New Acquisitions 2018-2019

MS 8: Tractatus de Superstitionibus by Polish scholar Nicholas Magni of Jawor (d. 1435) and Tractatus de Indulgentiis by  Franciscus de Mayronis  (Francois de Meyronnes,  d. 1327)

Treatises on superstition and indulgences. 83 folios on paper, complete (penultimate leaf cancelled). Germany, ca. 1460-1480: 308 mm x 215 mm (justification, ca. 230 mm x 140 mm). Double column, 46 lines. Vertical rulings only. Watermark close to Briquet 11799. Foliated 1-83 in modern pencil in upper right corner (both rectos and versos are foliated). Red tabs indicating the first and third texts (fols. 1r, 76r resp.). Corrections and emendations entered in the margins throughout. Decoration: multi-line rubricated initials; initials highlighted in red; red underlining.

A unique and unpublished treatise on superstitions. [Briefly described by Ker, Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries, vol. 2, p. 24.]


Fols. 1r-53r. Anon., Tractatus de supersticionibus; incipit, “Utrum ydolatrie peccatum sit peccatorum gravissimum arguitur”; explicit; “et sic est finis deo gratias.” The text is anonymous, unidentified, and apparently unpublished. It cites a number of authorities, including Thomas Aquinas, William of Paris (perhaps the Inquisitor), and certain Church Fathers (Bede, Jerome, Augustine, Gregory, etc.). Of particular interest is a long section on music and demonology.

Fols. 53r-75v. Nicholas Magni of Jawor, Tractatus de superstitionibus, part II; incipit, “Questio est hec utrum quis licite possit uti ministerio demonum utpote ad prenunciandum futura”; explicit, “et presupposicione divine voluntatis vestre. Amen.”

Fol. 76r-83r. Franciscus de Meyronis, Tractatus de indulgenciis editus a fratre Francisco de Maronis fratrum minorum sacre theologie doctore; incipit, “Quodcumque ligaverit super terram erit ligatum et in celis”; explicit, “Restat ergo ibi locum sorciatur ubi nullus ordo sed sempiternus horror inhabitat a quo nos defendat qui in secula seculorum vivit et regnat.” This text has been written in a different hand.


Formerly Ampleforth Abbey (not before 1803), with their purple ink-stamp and shelf mark label “MSS. 8” on front pastedown.

Binding: Nineteenth-century (ca. 1870) three-quarter black goat over pasteboards with red, blue, and orange marbled paper. Ampleforth Abbey shelf mark on a paper label pasted to the spine reading “MSS. 8.” The binding remains in excellent condition, slightly faded at top.

Condition: Water-stains affect approximately the upper third of each leaf, but the text remains entirely legible; fol. 19 has a tear in the outer margin; fols. 82-83 somewhat degraded at top.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s