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Walters Ms. W.2, Collection of works by Augustine, Didymus the Blind, and Quodvultdeus

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Collection of works by Augustine, Didymus the Blind, and Quodvultdeus

Text title
Liber de opere sancti Augustini


Authority name: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo

Known as: St. Augustine


Authority name: Didymus, the Blind, ca. 313-ca. 398.

Known as: Didymos, Alexandreus

Known as: Didymos, der Blinde, ca. 313-ca. 398


Authority name: Quodvultdeus, Bishop of Carthage, d. 454?


This Carolingian manuscript, probably written in northeastern France in the late ninth century, may have important royal affiliations. A distych, or a two-line verse, found on fol. 60v refers to "REX SAPIENS," and has been seen as evidence that this manuscript is a copy of one made for Charles the Bald. In addition to this remarkable pedigree, the manuscript is also noteworthy for its inclusion of several rare texts, including works by St. Augustine of Hippo, the Coptic theologian Didymus the Blind, and Quodvultdeus, a fifth-century bishop of Carthage. The single illumination in the manuscript, an elaborate title page, is a modern addition.


Second half of the 9th century CE


Northeastern France (possibly Reims or Champagne?)






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Medium- to heavy-weight parchment, hairsides sometimes poorly finished, many flaws and repairs


Foliation: ii+104

First two folios have been foliated but are not original and are not integral to the structure of the first quire, so they are counted as flyleaves here


Formula: 1(2), 2-4(8), 5(8, -1), 6-10(8), 11(8, -8), 12-14(8), 15(4, -4)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: Roman numerals added in seventeenth century to bottom middle of versos at end of each quire

Comments: First quire composed of an added bifolio, which has been foliated "1" and "1 bis," so first original quire of manuscript begins on fol. 2; quires begin on fols. 1(1), 2(2), 10(3), 18(4), 26(5), 33(6), 41(7), 49(8), 57(9), 65(10), 73(11), 80(12), 88 (13), 96(14), 104(15)


16.0 cm wide by 19.8 cm high

Written surface

13.0 cm wide by 16.0 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 24-27
  3. Stylus ruled

fols. 1r - 106r:
  1. Title: Liber de opere sancti Augustini
  2. Contents: An assortment of works primarily by St. Augustine, with additional works by Didymus the Blind, Quodvultdeus, and several anonymous authors
  3. Hand note: Caroline minuscule, with titles, incipits, and explicits in rustic capitals
  4. Decoration note: Undecorated; illuminated title page is a nineteenth-century invention; a few titles lightly washed with yellow; text entirely in brown ink of varying shades
fols. 1r - 1r:
  1. Title: Title page and table of contents
  2. Incipit: Liber de opere monachorum
  3. Contents: Added leaf with title and table of contents written in a thirteenth- or fourteenth-century hand; additional note below others added in the fifteenth or sixteenth century: "Item Acta sancti Augustini contra Fortunatum in modu dialogi"
fols. 1rbis - 1rbis:
  1. Title: Illuminated title page
  2. Contents: Decorative title page added in late nineteenth or early twentieth century at time of rebinding
  3. Decoration note: Foliate initial in gold and silver, created in the style of eleventh-century German illumination
fols. 2r - 24r:
  1. Title: De opere monachorum
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: Incipit de opere monachorum.
  4. Incipit: Iussioni tuae sancte pater aureli
fols. 24v - 24v:
  1. Title: In Iohannis epistulam ad Parthos 1.12 (excerpt)
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: LXVIII Quaestiones Augustini.
  4. Incipit: Qui diligit fratrem suum in lumine manet
  5. Contents: Excerpt of text, on lines 1-13, ending with "...in unitate caritatis est fraterna dilectio."
fols. 24v - 24v:
  1. Title: De genesi ad litteram, X, v, 8 (excerpt)
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: Augustinus liber X [de] genesi.
  4. Incipit: Neque enim etiam flatus ille
  5. Contents: Excerpt of text, on lines 14-16, ending with "...flatus ipse processit."
fols. 24v - 24v:
  1. Title: Contra adversarium legis et prophetarum libri duo, I, xiv, 18 (excerpt)
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: Item Augustinus.
  4. Incipit: Dictum est cum laude de domino
  5. Contents: Excerpt of text, on lines 16-20, ending with "...non nouerat per experientiam."
fols. 24v - 25r:
  1. Title: Sermo CLVI (excerpts)
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: Item Augustinus.
  4. Incipit: Iam nunc cum audistis
  5. Contents: Two different excerpts from same text; Sermo CLVI, xii, 13: lines 20 (fol. 24v)-1 (fol. 25r), ending with "...sed miserentis dei est"; Sermo CLVI, xiv, 15 through xv, 16: lines 1-5 (fol. 25r), beginning with "Sed accepistis spiritum..." and ending with "...spiritui nostro quia sumus filii dei."
fols. 25r - 25v:
  1. Title: Liber de spiritu sancto interprete Hieronymo (excerpts)
  2. Author: Didymus, the Blind, ca. 313-ca. 398.
  3. Rubric: Ex didimo.
  4. Incipit: Nam eundem evangelii locum Matheus Lucas describens
  5. Contents: Many small excerpts beginning on fol. 25r, line 5, and ending on fol. 25v, line 27; excerpts are, as found in Migne, Patrologia Græca 39: 1035 D 3 - 1036 A 8; 1037 A 1-4, B 7-13, C 2-7, 10-12; 1040 A 6-15; 1060 B 7-13; 1060 B 15 - 1061 B 2; 1062 A 15 - B 5; 1063 A 7-8; 1066 A 9-10; 1082 C 10-15; 1083 A 1-D 1
fols. 26r - 53v:
  1. Title: De Genesi contra Manichaeos
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: Primus liber exameron sancti augustini in genesi incipit.
  4. Incipit: Si legerent manichei quos deciperent
  5. Contents: Full text of De Genesi; fols. 26r-39r: Book I; fols. 39r-53v: Book II
  6. Text note: Explicit on fol. 53v appears to be scrambled, and small letters above each word seem to indicate correct word order
fols. 54r - 54r:
  1. Title: Anonymous text I
  2. Rubric: Responsiones contra hereticorum inpugnationes quas contra libros augustini de praedestinatis opposverunt incipiunt.
  3. Incipit: Ecce corporea exempla
fols. 54v - 60v:
  1. Title: Anonymous text II
  2. Rubric: Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram.
  3. Incipit: Imago dei est in homine
  4. Contents: Text is divided into thirty-three smaller parts, each with a title
fols. 60v - 60v:
  1. Title: Distych referring to Charles the Bald
  2. Contents: The distych is found on lines 23-24, and reads: PERLEGE REX SAPIENS. SOPHIAE PIA DOGMATA SANCTAE/SICQUE FIDEM FIRMA PECTORE ET ORE TUO.
  3. Text note: A note in the Walters file by Bernard Bischoff suggests this is a reference to Charles the Bald (see also Jeauneau, 1982, in bibliography)
fols. 61r - 79v:
  1. Title: Adversus quinque haereses
  2. Author: Quodvultdeus, Bishop of Carthage, d. 454?
  3. Rubric: Augustini contra quinque hereses.
  4. Incipit: Debitor sum fratres fateor non necessitate
fols. 80r - 93v:
  1. Title: De duabus animabus
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: Incipit liber aurelii augustini de duabus animabus.
  4. Incipit: Opitulante dei misericordia
fols. 93v - 106r:
  1. Title: Contra Fortunatum
  2. Author: Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint, Bishop of Hippo
  3. Rubric: Incipit Augustini presbyteri catholici [contra Fortunatum (an early addition)]
  4. Incipit: Quintas kalendas septembris, Archadio Augusto
fols. 106v - 106v:
  1. Title: Psalm 18.2
  2. Contents: The same text was added in the tenth or eleventh century, three times by three hands: "celi enarrant gloriam dei"; two versions include musical notation


Upper board outside:

  1. W.2, Upper board outside
  2. Title: Binding with eighteenth-century Serbian plaque of Christ
  3. Form: Binding
  4. Comment:

    Inscription in Slavonic.

    Velvet binding is nineteenth-century, but plaque is earlier, and came from a Serbian flabellum.

fol. 1bisr:

  1. W.2, fol. 1bisr
  2. Title: Modern illuminated title page
  3. Form: Decorated initial
  4. Comment:

    Title page added in nineteenth century by artist attempting to recreate a medieval illuminated initial, likely to make the book more desirable for collectors.


The binding is not original.

Late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century red velvet binding by León Gruel, Paris; cover was embellished by Gruel with an eighteenth-century silver and gilt plaque of Christ, originally from a Serbian flabellum, and which contains a Slavonic inscription; front and back pastedowns taken from an early eleventh-century Central Italian Sacramentary; a description of an earlier cover was recorded in the library catalog of the monastery of Saint-André Villeneuve-lès-Avignon in 1640 by Dom Odon de la Mothe, who described it as "postibus copertum et basana alba a parte putrida"


Created in northeastern France, probably in the region of Reims or Champagne (later French Flanders), ca. 875; a distych on fol. 60v, which speaks of "REX SAPIENS," is believed to refer to Charles the Bald, and it is likely this manuscript is a copy of one made for that Carolingian emperor

Owned by the monastery of Saint-André Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, France, by the seventeenth century; early ownership inscription, fol. 2r, reads "Iste liber est monasterii sancti Andree dyocesis auinionensis .aab."; slightly later inscription (after 1635) reads "Monasterii Sancti Andreae congregationis S. Mauri"; in the bottom margin a slightly later (after 1640) inscription reads "Catalogus inscriptus," a reference to the library's catalog (Bibliotheque nationale de France, lat. 13070, fol. 109r) which contained a description of the manuscript (see binding information from this source below)

Bénigne-Charles Févret de Saint-Mémin of Dijon, eighteenth century; his bookplate (or possibly facsimile of it) on upper board pastedown, probably reinserted (?) by Gruel after rebinding

León Gruel, Paris, late nineteenth or early twentieth century

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Gruel before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Miner, Dorothy. Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages and Renaissance: An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Exhibition Catalogue. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1949; cat. no.7, pl. 4.

Faye, Christopher Urdhal, and William Henry Bond. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1962, p. 195, cat. no. 60.

De Ricci, S., and W.J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 818, cat no. 374.

Miner, Dorothy. "The Development of Medieval Illumination as Related to the Evolution of Book Design." Catholic Life Annual 1 (1958): 7-23, 95; p. 11 (fig. 3).

Swarzenski. "The Anhalt Morgan Gospels." Art Bulletin 31 (1949): 77-83; p. 79 (n. 25).

Baltimore Museum of Art. The Greek Tradition in Painting and the Minor Arts: An exhibition sponsored jointly by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery from May 15 through June 25, 1939. Baltimore Museum of Art, 1939; p. 75, cat. no. 89.

Miner Dorothy, V.I. Carlson, and P. W. Filby. 2,000 Years of Calligraphy: A Three-Part Exhibition Organized by the Baltimore Museum of Art, Peabody Institute Library, and the Walters Art Gallery, 6 June-18 July 1965. Exhibition Catalogue. Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1965; cat. no. 14, fig. 14.

Diringer, David. The Illuminated Book: Its History and Production. London: Faber and Faber, 1967; p. 166 (pl. III-22a).

Berkowitz, D.S., editor and organizer. In Remembrance of Creation: Evolution of Art and Scholarship in the Medieval and Renaissance Bible. Waltham, Massachusetts: Brandeis University, 1968; cat. no. 6, illus. of ff. 15, 62, 123.

Nordenfalk Carl. "A Tenth-Century Gospel Book in the Walters Art Gallery." In Gatherings in Honor of Dorothy E. Miner. Edited by Ursula E. McCracken, Lilian M. C. Randall, and Richard H. Randall Jr. Baltimore: Walters Art Gallery, 1973; pp. 139-170, figs. 1-12, 14-19.

Nordenfalk, Carl. Review of An Early Breton Gospel Book from the Collection of H.L. Bradfer-Lawrence (1887-1965) by F. Wormald and Jonathan J. G. Alexander. Burlington Magazine 120 (1978): 243-244; p. 244.

Cahn, W. "Three Eleventh-Century Manuscripts from Nevers." In Etudes d'art médievale offertes à Louis Grodecki. Paris, 1981; p. 71 (n. 51).

McKitterick, Rosamond. “Charles the Bald (823-877) and His Library: The Patronage of Learning.” English Historical Review 95, no. 374 (January 1980): 28-47.

Mütherich, F. "Ausstattung und Schmuck der Handschrift." In Das Evangeliar Otto III: Clm 4453 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek München, vol. 1. Edited by Fridolin Dressler et al. Frankfurt a. M., 1978; pp. 70, 124.

Jeauneau, Edouard. “Un ‘dossier’ carolingien sur la création de l’homme: Genèse I, 26-III, 24.” Revue des Études Augustiniennes 28 (1982): 112-132.

Randall, Lilian M.C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 1. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1989, pp. 3-4, cat. no. 1, fig. 1 (fol. 60v).

Staubach, Nikolaus. Rex Christianus, vol. 1. Weimar and Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 1993; p. 22.

Machielsen, John J. Clavis patristica pseudepigraphorum Medii Aevi: (Praefatio) Theologica exegetica, Vol II. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1994; pp. 11, 19.

McKitterick, Rosamond. The Frankish Kings and Culture in the Early Middle Ages. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Variorum, 1995; p. 104.

Bischoff, Bernhard. Katalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts: Aachen-Lambach. Weisbaden: Otto Harrasowitz, 1998; p. 43, cat. no. 185.

Dutton, Paul Edward, and Herbert Kessler. The Poetry and Paintings of the First Bible of Charles the Bald. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1997; p. 127.

Steinhauser, Kenneth B. "Manuscripts: Florilegia and Epitomes." In Augustine through the Ages: An Encyclopedia. Edited by Allan Fitzgerald. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1999; p. 526, cat. no. 3.

Gorman, Michael M. "Bernhard Bischoff's Handlist of Carolingian Manuscripts." Scrittura e Civiltà 25 (2001): 89-112; p. 98.

Gorman, Michael M. "The Manuscript Tradition of Augustine's De Genesi contra Manichaeos." Revue des études augustiniennes 47/2 (2001): 303-311; p. 306.

Diem, Albrecht. "Augustine, De opere monachorum." Monastic Manuscript Project. Lasted update January 1, 2013.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbert, Lynley

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Emery, Doug; Herbert, Lynley; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-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.