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Summa Confessionalis by Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence, 1 September 1472

Identifier: MS 77


This book is usually known as Summa Confessionalis, Summula de Confessionis or simply Confessionale. It is a guidebook for confessors in the Catholic doctrine written by Antoninus of Florence (1389–1459), a Dominican friar, archbishop of Florence, and considered Saint in the Catholic Church. There are different versions of the book. It was a compilation of several treatises by Antoninus but it seems the core of it was composed by three books: De intructione confessoris, Interrogatorium, and De Restitutionibus. In this manuscript we find the following after the first three books: De Ornatu Mulierum, an excerpt of De Mercatoribus, Campsoribus, et Proxenetis, a Dominican Litany, De Excommunicatione, and a list of abominations.


Prohemium/Part I: starts on f. 1r with the words Deffecerunt scrutantes scrutinio ait and ends on f. 27r with de quibusdam statibus hominum. Explicit prohemium.

Part II: starts on f. 27v with the words Incipit secunda pars et primo de interrogationibus faciendis super decem preceptis and ends on f. 117v with alia signa exprimentia consensum.

De Restitutionibus: starts on f. 117v with the words Incipit de restitutione seu satisfactione. Circa materiam restitutionis and ends on f. 140v with conscientia dictum est supra. Amen.

De Ornatu Mulierum: starts on f. 142r with the words Queritur primo utrum ornatus mulierum and ends on f. 152r with superfluitates et vanitates faciant et vendant. Explicit de ornatu mulierum.

Excerpt of De Mercatoribus, campsoribus, et Proxenetis: f. 152r-153r.

Dominican Litany: f. 153v-158r.

De Excommunicatione: starts on f. 160r with the words Incipit tractatus excommunicationum. Cum apostolica doctrina cunctos fideles admoneat dicens and ends on f. 188r.

Colophon: on f. 188v says: Per me fratrem Nicolaum de Neridono completum est hoc opus Reverendissimi patris fratris Antonini Archiepiscopi Florentini Ordinis Sacri Predicatorum. De confexione et aliis multiplicibus insertis in eo ad animarum salutem pertinentibus. Deo gracias. 1472 primo Septembris 5o Ind. (This work of the most revered father brother Antoninus Archbishop of Florence of the sacred Order of Preachers [Dominican Order] was completed by me, brother Nicolas of Neridono. On confession and many other additions to it that are pertinent for the salvation of the souls. Thanks to God)

List of abominations: f.190r-205r.


The hand is fairly good.


The illumination is rather below the average. There are plain red and blue capitals, floriated initials with conventional foliage and gold balls, a few initials with figures and partial borders, and one complete border of a more elaborate kind. Enclosed within plain bands of blue and gold is an oak-leaf spiral combined with feathery branch work. In the lower margin three winged amorini are pointing to a rabbit which sits in the centre eating lettuce.

Historiated Initials:

  1. Fol. 1r. S. Antoninus with mitre and Dominican habit, blessing.
  2. Fol. 27v. A Dominican and a penitent, figure of S. Michael and dragon in margin.
  3. Fol. 66r. Dominican marrying man and woman (the couple are in margin).
  4. Fol. 142r. Dominican preaching.
  5. Fol. 160r. Dominican pronouncing doom of excommunication.


  • Creation: 1 September 1472


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all. The manuscripts can be consulted in the Centre for Research Collections, Edinburgh University Main Library.


1 bound MS volume

Custodial History

The colophon on f. 188v gives the exact details of provenance. The book was written by Brother Nicolas of Neridono [Nardo] in the kingdom of Naples in 1472. It contains a Dominican Litany, with collects following. Its subsequent history is not indicated prior to its acquisition by Laing.

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland’s catalogue: Antonini Archiepiscopi Florentini de Confessione, etc.

Previous reference

Laing 45.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum.

Binding: Modern. The title 'Tractatus de Disciplina Ecclesiastica MS. Saec. XIV' is stamped on the outer cover spine upright. And 'DL Laing Bequest' is stamped on the front and back covers.

Collation: a10-o10, p11, q8, r10-v10, x2=201.


14.60 cm x 10.48 cm


Secundo folio: lumina [?] habita

Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 201, 24 lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
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