Scope and Contents
Book of Hours in Latin from the 16th century, of Italian provenance. The Use is that of Rome. It was probably copied in Bologna and the Kalendar also seems to support this origin (see local saints reported).
The scribe has written the Greek word telos ('end') at the end of the Hours of the Virgin (f. 119v), Penitential Psalms (f. 122v) and Office of the Dead (f. 201v).
Kalendar: starts on f. 1r. Contains commemorations of Saints and Martyr, and other festivities (the most important are written in golden letters).
20 May: Saint Bernardinus Confessor (Saint Bernardine of Siena, Franciscan friar and itinerant preacher; in gold); 4 October: Saint Petronius (Bishop of Bologna; in gold); 10 October: Saint Cerbonus Bishop and Confessor (Saint Cerbonius, Bishop of Verona); 28 November: Saint Prosper (Bishop of Reggio Emilia).
Hours of the Virgin: start on f. 13r. They are divided in: Matins (ff. 13r-36v), Laudes (ff. 36r-50r recited upon rising together with 'Matins'), Prime (ff. 50v-56r; the first hour, around 6 A.M.), Terce (ff. 56v-61v; the third hour, around 9 A.M.), Sext (ff. 62r-67r; the sixth hour, around noon), None (ff. 67r-72v; the ninth hour, around 3 P.M.), Vespers (ff. 72v-81v; evening), Compline (ff. 81v-88v; recited before retiring to bed).
Hours of the Virgin in Advent: start on f. 89r. It is introduced by the golden words Incipit officium beate marie verginis de adventu usque ad nativitatem domini. It is divided in: Matins (ff. 89r-97r), Laudes (97r-102v), Prime (ff. 102v-103v), Terce (ff. 103v-104r), Sext (ff. 104r-105r), None (ff. 105r-105v), Vespers (ff. 105v-108r), Compline (ff. 108v-109v).
Hours of the Virgin from Christmas to Purification:: start on f. 110r. It is introduced by the golden words Officium beate marie virginis a vespris vigilie nativitati domini usque ad purificationem dicitur sicut ante adventum. It contains a few difference from the service of the normal time and is divided in: Matins (f. 110r), Laudes (ff. 110r-112v), Prime (ff. 112v-114r), Sext (ff. 114v-115r), None (ff. 115r-115v), Vespers (ff. 116r-118r), Compline (ff. 118r-119v).
Mass of the Virgin:: starts on f. 120r.It contains prayers and texts that would be recited or sung during the Mass. It is introduced by the golden words Incipit missa beate marie virginis.
Penitential Psalms: start on f. 123r. The seven Psalms (6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142) are particularly connected to King David, who allegedly composed them as an atonement for his sins (David therefore is normally represented at the beginning, as in this case). They are introduced by the golden words Incipiunt septem psalmi penitentiales cum letanijs et orationibus.
Litany: starts on f. 136v. It consists in the hypnotic invocation of a list of saints; each invocation is followed by the answer Ora pro nobis (with the plural variation Orate when more than one saint is invoked). The list begins with Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison, Kyrie eleison ('Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy'). It is followed by prayers and psalms.
It contains invocations to Saint Petronius and Saint Prosper, thus confirming the provenance already suggested by the Kalendar.
Office of the Dead: starts on f. 149r. This office was intended as an intercession on behalf of the dead, in order to help them to reduce their term in Purgatory. A series of readings for this office are taken from the Book of Job and the sufferings of Job became an allegory for the trials endured by the penitent souls in Purgatory. It is introduced by the golden words Incipit officium mortuorum.
Hours of the Cross: start on f. 202r. They are introduced by the golden words Incipit officum sanctissime crucis. They are divided in: Matins (ff. 202r-203v), Prime (ff. 203v-204r), Terce (f. 204r) Sext (f. 204r-204v), None (ff. 204v-205r), Vespers (f. 205r-205v), Compline (ff. 205v-206r recited before retiring to bed).
Hours of the Holy Spirit: start on f. 207r. They are divided in: Matins (ff. 207r-208r), Prime (f. 208r-208v), Terce (f. 208v-209r), Sext (f. 209r), None (f. 209r-209v), Vespers (ff. 209v-210r), Compline (f. 210r-210v).
A very finely written manuscript in a distinctive round hand with certain characteristic letters, the rubrics being in dull gold.
The verse initials, plain Roman capitals in dull gold on square grounds of blue, red, or green, arc exceedingly effective. Psalm initials are similar but larger, and on alternate red and blue grounds with white tracery. Sectional initials occupy from five to seven lines ; are of dull gold enclosed within a double square frame of red, green, or blue, outlined in gold, and are either floriated in the centre with conventional or natural flowers, or historiated. All the initials are enclosed within regular arabesque borders in Renaissance
- Hours of the Virgin (f. 13r) – Within initial D, which is of lake on gold ground, Virgin and Child, landscape background. Manzoli arms in border.
- Penitential Psalms (f. 123r) – Similar initial, and within it David seated, playing on his harp. Landscape background.
- Office of the Dead (f. 149r) – Within a gold initial on a red and gold scroll ground, a skull lying on grass, blue sky behind. Border with skulls, arabesques, etc., on black ground.
- Hours of the Cross (f. 202r) – Initial, gold, on a red and gold scroll ground within a green frame. Within it a gold cross on a green hill stands out against the sky.
- Hours of the Holy Spirit (f. 207r) – Initial, gold, on a red and gold scroll ground within a blue frame. Within it a dove, against the sky, nimbed and rayed, flames rising towards it from below.