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MS 108: Composite manuscript including five texts, 15th century

Identifier: MS 108


Contains five texts written by three different hands.
ff. 1r-48r: 'Confessionale: Omnis mortalium cura' or 'Specchio di coscienza' ('Confessional: all the concerns of humans' or 'Mirror of Conscience') by Saint Antoninus, Archbishop of Florence
ff. 48v-70v: 'Trattato della mondizia del cuore' ('Treatise on the Purity of the Heart') by Domenico Cavalca
ff. 71r-80r: 'Conflictus vitiorum atque virtutum' ('The Contest between Vices and Virtues') by Ambrosius Autpertus.
ff. 81r-100r: 'Sermones' ('Sermons') by Caesarius of Arles, Eusebius Gallicanus, Eucherius of Lyon, Faustus of Riez.
ff. 101r-113v: 'De praecepto et de dispensatione' ('On Precept and Dispensation') by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.
The texts are described separately, under MS 108/ff.1r-48r; MS 108/ff.48v-70v; MS 108/ff.71r-80r; MS 108/ff.81r-100r; and MS 108/ff.101r-113v.
Writing The first three treatises are written in good Italian minuscule, the titles, where they occur, being in rustic capitals. The initials are blue and red filigree.
Writing Ff. 81-100 are written by a different hand in a more angular style with rather peculiar initials to the chapters: red and blue filigree, with penwork scroll filling one margin completely. The catchwords are ornamented, and the small capitals touched with yellow.
Writing A third hand is responsible for the last treatise, and here the initials are simply red penwork.
Illumination There is one illuminated initial of plain burnished gold on blue and lake ground, a scroll with gold-rayed discs in the margin (f. 1r).


  • 15th century


Language of Materials

Latin; Italian.

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 book belonged originally to the Olivetan Monastery of Saint George at Ferrara. It bears the inscription Iste liber est monasterii Sancti Georgii de Ferrara ordinis Montis Oliveti on f. 113v.
It seems to have been in Italian hands until Laing bought it. There is a list of contents on the first fly-leaf made evidently by an Italian scholar: G. Nigrini scriveva lì 15 [...] 1826 ('G. Negrini wrote, on 15th [...] 1826'). Girolamo Negrini was the librarian of the 'Biblioteca Costabiliana' in Ferrara, the private library of the Costabili family. Girolamo Negrini rightly suggests that the first treatise is the Confessionale of Saint Antoninus, and also states that in the last chapter of the Saint Bernard there are some variations from the Paris edition of 1572. This he discovered on comparing it with a copy of that edition in the possession of Count Gian Batista Costabili, whom he calls mio ottimo padrone ('my excellent master').
In pencil on the inner board is written Antonino de l'Ordine de Frati 5/15/6 No. 6. Lot 38.

Previous reference

Laing 58

Previous title

Title given to the manuscript in Catherine Borland's catalogue: Tractatus Varii, Antonini, Ambrosii, Cesarei, Bernardi.

Physical Facet

Material: Vellum.

Binding: Modern, vellum, lettered De Peccati et Sermoni di S. Cesar..

Collation: a10-k10, l1, m12 = 113.


24.46 cm x 16.84 cm


Secundo folio: ci sapossene così dure.
Foliation and number of lines to a page: ff. 113, double columns, irregular number of lines to a page.

Repository Details

Part of the Edinburgh University Library Special Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
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