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Liber de laudibus Sancti Johannis Evangeliste

LJE_Brugge2_small.jpg

Book on the praise of Saint John the Evangelist

In connection with the Liber de laudibus Beate Marie Virginis (LBV), Vincent of Beauvais wrote a panegyric to the apostle and evangelist John, to promote devotion to the man to whom Christ entrusted the Virgin (“sacre Virginis paranimphus”). This work, entitled De laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste (LJE), may thus be considered a companion text to the LBV.

 

The LJE has 26 chapters and is preceded by a prologue and a table of contents. The incipit of the prologue is “Completo diligenter ex dictis sanctorum patrum pro modulo uirium nostrarum…” Incipit and explicit of the text read “Beatus Iohannes Euangelista uirgo est a Domino electus … nos exaltet ad paterne gloria claritatem. Amen.”

 

The LJE includes John's origin from Galilee; his purity of body and spirit and his election by Christ. It also discusses why John excels Peter and the other apostles; why Christ entrusted his mother to him; John's preaching and exile; his authorship of the Apocalypse, the Gospel and letters; the miracles he performed; and his death. The LJE concludes with an exhortation to the faithful to imitate John.

 

The LJE is a compilation of longer and shorter quotations from authentic Christian authors. The most frequent references are to Bede the Venerable, Peter Damian and Augustine (in that order), followed by Jerome and John Chrysostom. Further analysis of the source references should show from which works the quotations are derived.

 

Source: Voorbij, J.B. The Praises of the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist by Vincent of Beauvais. New evidence on manuscripts and incunable editions of De laudibus beate Virginis Marie and De laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste, in Vincent of Beauvais Newsletter 44, pp. 4-6).

List of surviving manuscripts

Key

 

I - Additional information on the speculum text as present in the manuscript, or on other texts present in the manuscript, or on material damage; D - Date of the manuscript; P - Country, region or place of production; if available, information on the scribe(s) of the manuscript; O - Medieval and pre-modern owners of the manuscript; L - Hyperlink to digital facsimiles of the manuscript; R - Reference to manuscripts listed in other parts of the inventory, with which this manuscript at the time of its production constituted a set of volumes. Manuscripts that have been collected into a set by a single medieval collector (library) within several decades, are indicated with cf.

30 surviving manuscripts of the Liber de laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste are known today; one further manuscript is lost.

  • Amiens, Bibliothèque municipale, Fonds Lescalopier, 7, ff. 53v-61r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: last third of 13th century.

    • P:

    • O:

    • L: Digital images as well as a monochrome facsimile (microfilm) are available for consultation in the Bibliothèque virtuelle des manuscrits médiévaux of the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes at Paris.

  • Augsburg, Staats- und Stadtbibliothek, fol. Cod 203, ff. 60r-77v

    • I: The ms. is composed of six distinct parts. The third part, ff. 60-79, contains only the Liber de laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste, which lacks its prologue and table of chapters.

    • D: Middle of the 15th century (1454) (f. 77v: In vigilia Epiphanie F. 1454).

    • P: Augsburg.

    • O: cl. Sts. Ulrich und Afra O.S.B. at Augsburg.

  • Augsburg, Universitätsbibliothek, II.1.4°.9, ff. 251vb-259va

    • I: The text belongs to the second part of a composite manuscript consisting of 3 parts, dating to the 13th and 14th centuries. It also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 2nd half of 13th century.

    • P: France.

    • O: Iste liber est ... fratris Iohannis de Lyra (fol. 203r); Füssen, cl. St. Mang O.S.B.

  • Basel, Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität, A.XI.1, ff. 309r-317v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent’s Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis and his theological treatise Liber gratie. The ms. was used as a source to the Basel 1481 incunabulum edition by Amerbach, possibly in combination with ms. Basel, Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität, B.VIII.31.

    • D: Ca. 1450.

    • P:

    • O: A monastery at Basel.

  • Basel, Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität, B.VIII.31, ff. 65r-74r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent’s Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis and two of his political works, the De eruditione filiorum nobilium and the Epistola consolatoria ad Ludovicum regem de morte filii. The ms. was possibly used as a source to the Basel 1481 incunabulum edition by Amerbach, in combination with ms. Basel, Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität, A.XI.1.

    • D: Early 14th century.

    • P:

    • O: Dominicans at Basel.

  • Bruges, Stadsbibliotheek, 86, ff. 64v-74r

    • I: The text belongs to the first section of a composite manuscript consisting of 4 parts, dating to the 14th and 15th centuries. It also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 14th-15th century.

    • P:

    • O: cl. Ten Duinen O.Cist.

    • L: Digital facsimile.

  • Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 240, ff. 230v-266r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 13th century.

    • P:

    • O:

  • Freiburg im Breisgau, Universitätsbibliothek, 58, ff. 102v-117v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 15th century (ca. 1475).

    • P: Southern Germany

    • O: cl. Tennenbach O.Cist. near Freiburg.

    • L: Digital facsimile.

  • Fribourg (Freiburg im Üchtland), Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire/Kantons- und Universitätsbibliothek, Ms. L 730, ff. 151r-164r

    • I: The text belongs to the third unit of a composite manuscript consisting of 4 units, dating to the 14th and early 15th centuries. This unit also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 14th/15th century.

    • P:

    • O: Gruyère, Archives du Clergé de Gruyères (before 1898); since 1900 in the Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire.

    • L: Digital facsimile.

  • Lambach, Stiftsbibliothek, CCL 74, ff. 56v-65v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 15th century.

    • P:

    • O:

  • London, British Library, Add. 29984, ff. 147r-161r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 15th century.

    • P: Germany.

    • O: Merijen Schuryngh (16th century owner's mark at fol. 32r).

  • London, British Library, Arundel 290, ff. 97v-111r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 2nd half of 13th century.

    • P: Northern France.

    • O:

    • L: A few digital images are available in the online Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts.

  • London, British Library, Royal 7.D.XXVI, ff. 138r-155r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D:

    • P:

    • O:

  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 6948, ff. 351r-360v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 1450-1451

    • P:

    • O: cl. Fürstenfeld O.Cist.

  • Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Clm 7696, ff. 91r-105v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 13th century.

    • P:

    • O: cl. Indersdorf Can.S.Aug.

  • New Haven, Yale University, Beinecke Library, Marston 285, ff. 38r-44r

    • I: The manuscript is composed of five distinct parts; it is unclear when the parts were joined together. The first part, ff. 1-44, contains the Liber de laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste. It also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 2nd half of 14th century.

    • P: Italy.

    • O: Venice, cl. SS. Giovanni e Paolo O.P.; Baron C. A. de Cosson; Thomas E. Marston.

    • L: Digital facsimile.

  • Nürnberg, Stadtbibliothek, Cent. I.29, ff. 102r-107r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 1st half of 15th century.

    • P: Southern Germany (Nürnberg, Dominicans).

    • O: Dominicans at Nürnberg.

  • Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, 755, ff. 75r-79r

    • I: The manuscript is composed of three parts. The first part, ff. 1-132, contains the Liber de laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste; it was written in the 13th century but suffered loss of leaves afterwards; in the 15th this damage was mended by inserting leaves and filling the textual lacunas. The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 13th and 15th centuries.

    • P: France.

    • O: Paris, cl. St. Victor Can.S.Aug.

  • Paris, Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal, 946, ff. 71r-78r

    • I: The manuscript is composed of two parts. The first part contains the Liber de laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste. It also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 13th century.

    • P: France.

    • O: Paris, cl. St. Victor Can.S.Aug.

  • Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, lat. 3698, ff. 94r-109r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 14th century.

    • P: France.

    • O: Narbonne ("oste de Saint F."); Card. Mazarin.

  • Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, lat. 7605, ff. 177r-181v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis and his De eruditione filiorum nobilium.

    • D: 14th century.

    • P: France.

    • O: Colbert.

  • Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, lat. 16056, ff. 111r-117v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: Ca. 1300.

    • P: France.

    • O: Paris, Sorbonne.

    • L: A monochrome facsimile (microfilm) is available for consultation in the Gallica database.

  • Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, lat. 18134, ff. 91r-106r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 13th century (1250-1275).

    • P:

    • O:

    • L: A monochrome facsimile (microfilm) is available for consultation in the Gallica database.

  • Prague, Knihovna Metropolitní Kapituli, A.CLVIII, ff. 153v-164r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 14th century.

    • P:

    • O:

  • San Daniele del Friuli, Biblioteca civica Guarneriana, 83, ff. 115r-131v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 15th century.

    • P:

    • O:

  • Trier, Stadtbibliothek Weberbach, 597, ff. 102v-117v

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 15th century.

    • P:

    • O: Trier, cl. S. Alban, O. Carth.; incorporated into the Stadtbibliothek in 1803.

  • Trier, Stadtbibliothek Weberbach, 725, ff. 53r-62r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: Early 16th century (after 1514).

    • P: Western Germany (Eberhardsklausen).

    • O: Trier region, cl. Eberhardsklausen, Can.Reg.S.Aug. (Windesheim Congregation).

  • Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Ottob. lat. 723, ff. 297v-306r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 16th century.

    • P:

    • O:

  • Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 675, ff. 140r-146r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: 14th century.

    • P:

    • O:

    • L: Digital facsimile.

  • Worcester, Cathedral and Chapter Library, Q. 72, ff. 208r-214r

    • I: The ms. also contains Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis.

    • D: middle of 14th century.

    • P: England (Oxford?).

    • O: Worcester, cathedral priory St. Mary O.S.B.

Lost manuscript

  • Königsberg, Universitätsbibliothek, 1194, ff. 83r-88v (early 14th century; donated after 1360 to the Franciscan convent at Wehlau, from where the ms. entered the library of the Teutonic order at Tapiau and hence the Königsberg University library; lost during the Second World War); the ms. also contained Vincent's Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis and De penitentia. Several photographs of the ms. have been recovered; see A. Kovács's contribution to the Vincent of Beauvais Newsletter 42 (2018), pp. 17-26.

Editions before 1700

  • Basel, Johannes Amerbach, 1481
    Vincentius Bellovacensis Opuscula. Scilicet: libri de gratia: libri laudum Virginis gloriose: liber de sancto Johanne evangelista: liber de eruditione puerorum regalium: Liber consolatorius de morte amici.
    Digital facsimile of a copy kept by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek at Munich: 2 Inc.c.a. 1122.

Modern editions and translations

Latin text

Image: Brugge, Stadsbibliotheek, 86, f° 65ro.

For studies on the Liber de laudibus Sancti Johannis Evangeliste

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