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Walters Ms. W.796, Peter of Poitiers' Historical genealogy of Christ
Peter of Poitiers' Historical genealogy of Christ
Authority name: Peter, of Poitiers, ca. 1130-1205
This English manuscript was created in the early thirteenth century soon after the death of its author, Peter of Poitiers, theologian and Chancellor of the University of Paris from 1193 to 1205. It is an early copy of his text, the Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi. Intended as a teaching aid, the work provides a visual genealogy of Christ comprised of portraits in roundels, accompanied by a text discussing the historical background of Christ's lineage. It also includes episodes from biblical history, including Adam and Eve, Noah's Ark, the Nativity, the Virgin and Child, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection. Early manuscripts like this tend to be in the form of a book, and other examples can be found in London, British Library Cotton MS Faustina B VII, and Cambridge, Corpus Christi College MS 83. Later manuscripts of this text are often presented in roll form.
Early 13th century CE
The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.
Heavy, cream-colored parchment with edges darkened from use
Modern paper flyleaves; modern pencil foliation in upper right corners of rectos
Formula: i, 1(4), i
24.5 cm wide by 34.4 cm high
18.5 cm wide by 26.9 cm high
- Columns: 2-3
- Ruled lines: 58-61
- Written surface size varies by page, some text extends outside of ruled area
- Title: Compendium historiae in genealogia Christi
- Incipit: Considerans historie sacre prolixitatem
- Text note: Complete text of Peter of Poitiers' teaching manual on the genealogy of Christ
- Hand note: Written in Gothic bookhand
- Decoration note: Genealogical trees laid out over seven pages, with six small scenes (4-8 lines) and 289 portrait roundels (3-5 lines); blue, red, and green plain lines or decorative bands delineating branches of genealogy; enlarged initials throughout (1-5 lines) in red and blue, some with penwork accents; rubrics in red; text in black ink
- Title: Genealogy of Christ from Adam to Thare, with Adam and Eve as well as Noah's Ark
- Form: Small miniatures, 7-8 lines; roundels, 3 lines
The binding is not original.
Nineteenth-century; cream-colored parchment binding by Robert Rivière; spine inscribed in gold with "STEMMA JESU CHRISTI"
Made in England, early thirteenth century
William Salloch, Ossining, New York; purchased by the Walters Art Museum from his sale in 1981, catalog 375, no. 43
Museum purchase, 1981
Principal catalogers: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Smith, Kathryn
Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William
Copy editor: Joyal, Stephanie
Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail
Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Dutschke, Consuelo; Emery, Doug; 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.