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Walters Ms. W.12, On Christian rulers
On Christian rulers
Authority name: Sedulius, Scotus, fl. 848-860
Known as: Sedulius Scottus
Created in the mid twelfth century in Germany, this manuscript contains the much earlier writings of the Irish scholar Sedulius Scotus. Writing in the mid ninth century at St. Lambert in Liège, Scotus famously penned this treatise on the duties and ideals of the Christian king or prince. It is the earliest version of a genre that would become popular in the later medieval and Renaissance periods, often known as "mirrors for princes." This manuscript is the second oldest copy of Scotus' treatise known, the earliest being from the ninth century (Bremen, Stadtbibliothek Ms. C. 36). The text is virtually complete, missing only its first and last folios, and is written in a clear Romanesque Caroline minuscule script. The nine inhabited initials, which include dragons and cranes, as well as the seven decorated initials, have been left unfinished. In its script and decoration the manuscript is similar to a benedictional made in Constance (Folter, et al. Cimelia, p. 144, no. 33).
Mid 12th century CE
The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.
Cream-colored, velvety parchment
Modern pencil foliation in upper right corners; fol. 117 originally a pastedown; missing text leaves before fols. 1, 47, 95, and 117
Formula: ii, 1(8,-1), 2-5(8), 6(8,-8), 7-12(8), 13(8,-1), 14-15(6), 16(6,-2,5), ii
Signatures: Small letters in bottom margins on versos
Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 8(2), 16(3), 24(4), 32(5), 40(6), 47(7), 55(8), 63(9), 71(10), 79(11), 87(12), 95(13), 102(14), 108(15), 114(16); fifth leaf of the final quire (now missing) formerly a singleton; text complete from fols. 114-115
10.8 cm wide by 17.1 cm high
6.4 cm wide by 10.1 cm high
- Columns: 1
- Ruled lines: 14
- Ruling in lead; prickings visible on fore-edge
- Title: Liber de rectoribus Christianis
- Text note: Incomplete; missing first folio
- Hand note: Written in a late Caroline minuscule script
- Decoration note: Inhabited and decorated initials throughout in various states of finish, from fully colored at the beginning, to underdrawing, to only blank space by the end; some crude, later pen decoration around the initials in an attempt to finish them; large initials ranging in size (3-8 lines high); first line of each chapter in red rustic capitals; occasional small initials in red (1-2 lines high); crudely etched faces and eagle in margins by a later owner; text in black ink
- Title: Prologue
- Incipit: ... indiget artis opis sic et res publica felix
- Text note: Begins imperfectly
- Decoration note: Red initials beginning each sentence
- Title: Chapter list
- Rubric: Incipiunt capitula
- Incipit: De eo quod pium rectorem
- Text note: Complete; list of twenty chapters (unnumbered)
- Decoration note: Red initials beginning each sentence
- Title: De rectoribus Christianis
- Rubric: Incipit liber de rectoribus Christianis et regulis quibus est res publica rite gubernanda
- Incipit: Postquam regale sceptrum regnique gubernacula
- Text note: Incomplete; missing last folio
- Title: Hymn
- Incipit: [O] quam felices per te sanctissima
- Text note: Fragment; thirteenth-century hymn reused as a pastedown, with neumes on a five-line staff; text on recto from the Office of Matins for St. Catherine; text on verso unknown
- Hand note: Written in a pre-Gothic script with neumes
- Title: Decorated initial "D"
- Form: Decorated initial "D," 3 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter list
- Title: Inhabited initial "P" with dragon
- Form: Inhabited initial "P," 9 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Incipit
- Title: Inhabited initial "Q" with dragon
- Form: Inhabited initial "Q," 3 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 2
- Title: Inhabited initial "R" with dragon
- Form: Inhabited initial "R," 4 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 3
- Title: Unfinished decorated initial "O"
- Form: Decorated initial "O," 4 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 4
- Title: Unfinished inhabited initial "R" with dragon
- Form: Inhabited initial "R," 5 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 5
- Title: Unfinished inhabited initial "I" with dragon
- Form: Inhabited initial "I," 6 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 6
- Title: Unfinished decorated initial "N"
- Form: Decorated initial "N," 4 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 7
- Title: Unfinished inhabited initial "M" formed from two dragons
- Form: Inhabited initial "M," 3 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 8
- Title: Unfinished inhabited initial "S" with beast head
- Form: Inhabited initial "S," 5 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 9
- Title: Unfinished decorated initial "C"
- Form: Decorated initial "C," 4 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 11
- Title: Unfinished inhabited initial "O" with birds and fish
- Form: Inhabited initial "O," 4 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 12
- Title: Unfinished inhabited initial "N" with dragon
- Form: Inhabited initial "N," 4 lines
- Text: Liber de rectoribus Christianis: Chapter 13
The binding is not original.
Modern white leather over boards, Walters Art Museum, 1998; earlier binding preserved and housed separately (images included here) in red and yellow brocade by Gruel after 1906, to replace a leather binding with clasp and a pastedown from a thirteenth-century Gospel (binding no longer extant)
Created in Germany, possibly Westphalia, in the mid twelfth century
Gustav Ritter von Emmich sale, Vienna, March 15, 1906, no. I, pl. VIII
Gruel and Engelmann collection no. 609, Paris
Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel before 1931
Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters bequest
Olschki, L. S. "Vendite Pubbliche: Vendita della biblioteca Gustavo R. v. Emich." La Bibliofilia 8 (1906-1907): 229 (fol. 54r).
De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 820, no. 384.
Austin, Gerard. "Bibliographie: Liturgical Manuscripts in the United States and Canada." Scriptorium 28 (1974): 99.
Doyle, Edward. The De Rectoribus Christianis and Poems of Sedulius Scottus. Binghamton, N.Y.: Center for Medieval and Early Renaissance Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton, 1982.
Folter, Roland, et al. Cimelia: A Catalogue of Important Illuminated and Textual Manuscripts Published in Commemoration of the Sale of the Ludwig Collection. New York: H. P. Kraus, 1983, p. 144, no. 33.
Principal cataloger: Herbert, Lynley
Cataloger: Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934
Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William
Copy editor: Bockrath, Diane
Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail
Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Dutschke, Consuelo; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.
The Walters Art Museum
Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.