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Walters Ms. W.421, Alphonsus de Benavento, Treatise

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Alphonsus de Benavento, Treatise

Text title
Tractatus "De Illis Etiam"


Supplied name: Alphonsus de Benavento


Alphonsus de Benavento wrote the treatise on penitential canons and acts of confession contained in this manuscript. The colophon informs us that Alphonsus was a professor of canon law at the university of Salmanca, Spain, and wrote this manuscript in 1456 in the nearby city of Tejares. At that time there was a pestilence in the city, for which Alphonsus asks for prayers. A historiated initial in which Alphonsus presents the treatise to a bishop begins the text, and the manuscript still retains its original stamped red leather binding.


1456 CE


Tejares (Spain)






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

fols. 76r to 76r:
  1. Transliteration: Hanc repetitionem de potestate et arbitrio confessorum et de canonibus penitentialibus et de actibus confessoris fecit Iohannes Alfonsi de Benavento decretorum doctor, unam de cathedris canonum prime in Salamantino studio actu regens, die Iovis xxiii. die Octobris Anno Domini millesimoquadringentesimoquinquigesimoquinto. Et copilavit (sic) et complevit canones penitentiales et actus confessoris anno seguenti quinquigesimosexto in loco de Tejares prope Salamanticam, cum Salamantice vigeret mortalitas a festo sante Marie de augusto usque ad medietatem octobris statim sequentis. Et omnes scribentes et legentes exoro ut pro me Pater et Ave Maria devote dicant. Laudetur Deus et benedicta virgo Maria amen.

Support material


Thin to medium-weight parchment, well prepared


Foliation: 78

Modern pencil foliation, upper right corners, rectos


Formula: 1(2,-1), 2(8), 3-7(12), 8(10,-6,-7)

Catchwords: Catchwords written vertically, lower right corners

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 2(2), 10(3), 24(4), 36(5), 48(6), 60(7), 72(8)


14.2 cm wide by 20.8 cm high

Written surface

8.4 cm wide by 13.3 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 27-29

fols. 1r - 76v:
  1. Title: Tractatus "De Illis Etiam"
  2. Incipit: Colentissimi patres et sagacissimi domini
  3. Contents: Penitential canons and acts of confessions
  4. Hand note: Spanish bookhand
  5. Decoration note: One historiated initial at the beginning of the manuscript (6 lines); one initial in gold (2 lines); rubrics in red; text in brown ink


fol. 2r:

  1. W.421, fol. 2r
  2. Title: Initial "C" with Alphonsus offering the book to a bishop
  3. Form: Historiated initial "C," 8 lines
  4. Text: Tractatus "De Illis Etiam," incipit


The binding is original.

Second half of the fifteenth century; orange-red leather over wooden boards, tooled with Hispano-Moresque design with rectangular borders


Written by Alphonsus de Benavento in Tejares, Spain in 1456

Marques de Morante, Madrid; cat. VI, 1859, pp. 533-34, no. 11107

Bachelin, Paris, 21 February 1872, I, no.47, acquired the book from Marques de Morante

Henry Walters, Baltimore, before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1935, vol. 1, p. 824, cat. no. 400

The History of Bookbinding 525-1950 A.D. An Exhibition Held at the Baltimore Museum of Art, November 12, 1957 to January 12, 1958. Baltimore: John Lucas Printing Company, 1957, p. 60, cat. no. 139


Catalogers: Valle, Chiara; Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; 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.