E0007 Leaf from an Aurora

ACC Ege07 recto.jpg
ACC Ege07 verso.jpg

Title

E0007 Leaf from an Aurora

Subject

Poetry

Description

The Aurora is unfamiliar to most of us today. As Ege suggests, it is essentially a series of long Latin poems which re-narrate (and often clarify) the content of several books of the Bible. Its author, Petrus Riga, was probably born in about 1140, became a priest at Notre Dame de Reims in France and a Canon Regular of the Order of St. Augustine at St. Denis (also in Reims), and probably wrote the poem between 1170 and 1200. He died in 1209.

Aurora was apparently very well known in the high and later Middle Ages: more than 250 manuscript copies of the 15,000-line work survive. But the text was not edited for academic study until the remarkably recent date of 1965, when scholar Paul Beichner published the definitive edition of the work, Aurora: Petri Rigae Biblia Versificata (University of Notre Dame Press, 1965, 2 vols.). Beichner gives us as much information about Petrus as was known at the time, as well as the details of the poem's purpose and its complex manuscript history. He says, for example, that Petrus "...called his book Aurora, for just as aurora dissipates the darkness of night, so too his book, dissipating the darkness and obscurities of the Old Testament, glows with lightning flashes of truth and shining sparks of allegories" (xvi). More practically, he observes that in addition to the ~250 known copies of the poem, "...some additional manuscripts are still privately owned, and the Aurora seems to be second only to the omnipresent Book of Hours in the frequency of offers of manuscripts for sale by rare book and manuscript dealers" (L).

The poem versifies the following books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Kings (1-4), Tobit, Daniel, Judith, Esther, Maccabees, "Evangelium" (a synthesis of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), "Recapitulationes" (a series of 23 verse summaries of the lives of Biblical figures, each headed by a letter of the alphabet which, in imitation of Isidore's Allegoriae, is then avoided in the writing of that section), Acts, Job, and the Song of Songs. Text from several of these books can be found in the leaves from Ege's Aurora manuscript.

England; Early 13th Century. Latin Text; Early Gothic Script.

This famous paraphrase of the Bible in Latin verse was one of the most popular Latin books of poetry of the late 12th and 13th century. Petrus de Riga, who died in 1209, began it. Aegidius of Paris finished it. This version did not appear in printed form until a very late date, despite its popularity. The format of this page, twice as long as it is wide, demonstrates the English custom of folding the skins lengthwise. The practice of setting off by a space the initial letter of each line also helps to give the page an unusual appearance. It is written in a very small script, six lines to an inch, in a hand characteristic of Northern France and England at this period.

"Evangelium" 1138-85 (recto) and 1186-1227 (verso).

Source

Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts

Date

Early 13th century

Rights

Item in public domain. Description provided by Dr. Fred Porcheddu-Engel via the Otto F. Ege digital collection. http://ege.denison.edu/denison_leaf_07.php

Relation

Reconstruction Note: In Ege's original manuscript this leaf preceded what is now Leaf 07 in the Cleveland Public Library portfolio. Together, they contain the text of "Evangelium," lines 1138-1312.

Format

300 dpi JPEG; 24 x 11 cm.

Language

Latin

Type

Medieval manuscript leaf

Identifier

Denison University Leaf 07, Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts

Transcription

Recto Transcription:

["Evangelium," lines 1138-85. See Beichner, vol. II, pp. 470-72.]

Actio terrestris, commoda fratris agens.
Scandala si generes quia spernis commoda fratrum,
Parce tibi soli; pluribus esto bonus.

Est oculus dexter contemplans ardua uirtus;
Que releuat miseros, actio dextra manus.
Scandala contemplans uirtus generat quia pure
Non contemplaris, otia sepe gerens.
Scandala sic etiam parit actio namque frequentans
Turbis sepe Deo se facit esse reum.
"Lege uir uxorem dimittat, dando libellum
Discidii, si sit femina feda uiro."
Lex noua dimitti uetat uxorem nisi solo
Mechie uitio luxurieque nota.
Latius his uerbis omnes intellige causas
Per quas coniugium soluere iure potes.
Lex dicit: "Non periures." "Nullum," Iesus inquit,
"Iurandum uerbum stillet ab ore tuo.
Per celum iurare caue; thronus est Deitatis."
Celum cor iusti lectio sancta uocat.
"Nec per Ierusalem, quia magnus rex regit illam;
Nec per humum, pedibus subditur illa Dei."
Hosque pedes appello Dei qui sacra per orbem
Verba serunt, in se terrea nulla ferunt.
"Perque caput proprium noli iurare, capillum
Non tingens albo siue colore nigro."
Saluator nostrum caput est, albusque capillus
Qui bonus est; niger est prauus agendo malum.
Non iures nisi pro causa uerum soldandi
Si dubitet frater ad tua uerba tuus.
"Sit sermo uester, 'Est, est; non, non;'" homo fines
Istos transiliens non erit absque malo.
Lex iussit dentem pro dente dari; Iesus inquit:
"Non obsiste malo, nec mala redde malis."
"Dextram maxillam si quis tangat tibi, perbe
Huic aliam;" non sit silla sinistra tamen.
Maxillam mentis patiendo dabit, quia iustus
Est totus dexter corpore, corde simul,
Sicut Aoth totus dexter manibus fuit, illos
Signans qui iusti nulla sinistra gerunt.
"Si quisquam tunicam querat tibi tollere, tollat
Et clamidem, ualeas seruus ut esse Dei."
Si quisquam querat animam tibi tollere, tollat
Et corpus, ualeas martyr ut esse Dei.
"Et si quis cogat ut passus mille terendo
Te socies illi, milia bina tere."
Et si non pedibus, animo comiteris euntem;
Si non corporeo, tu pede mentis eas.
Qui petit, huic tua det manus aut rem commodet illi;

Verso Transcription:

["Evangelium," lines 1186-1227. See Beichner, vol. II, pp. 472-73.]

Hec duo te faciunt fratris amore frui.
"Lex antiqua iubet odio teneas inimicum:
Qui te lesit, eum dilige," nostra iubet.
"Pro prauis ora, qui te cruce, uerbere torquent,
Vt possis summi filius esse Patris,
Qui super iniustos iustosque suum dat oriri
Solem, qui pluuiam fundit utrisque suam."
Christus iustitie sol, qui de Virgine carnis
Ortum suscepit, Patre iubente Deo.
Per pluuiam possunt doctrine uerba notari,
Que pluit in mundum uera Sophia Patris.
"Diligis hunc, te diligit hic, et que tua merces?
Qui nunc istud agunt publica lucra gerunt.
Si fratres tantum blando sermone salutes,
Vltra quid facies? Ethnicus istud agit.
Esto perfectus sicut Pater ille celestis."
Proficias illis qui nocuere tibi
Sicut demonstrat, Patris ut fias imitator
Corde pio, quia par non potes esse Patri;
Iustitie nec opus facias pro laude uidentis;
Celestis reddet premia nulla tibi.

Noli tuba canere etc.

"Coram te tuba nulla canat cum munus egeno
Porrigis; istud agit qui simulare studet."
Coram se canit ille tuba qui laude fauoris
Humani socios uult superare suos.
Redditur hec merces illis, leuis aura fauoris;
Hoc meriti donum laudis amator habet.

Cum facis elemosinam, nesciat sinistra tua, etc.

"Te faciente bonum, tua nesciat inde sinistra
Quid tua dextra gerat;" discute uerba Dei.
Dextera uirtutem, uitiumque sinistra figurat;
Non sit uirtuti mixta cupido mali,
Vt sit in absconso donum quod egentibus offers,
Et meritum reddat qui pia corda uidet.

Cum orantes nolite multum loqui.

"Orantes multum nolite loqui quia pure,
Non multe, penetrant celica regna preces.
Quid sit opus uobis scit celestis Pater; ergo
Sic orando Patri, supplicet omnis homo."

[Heading untranscribed]

"O Pater alme, tuum nomen sit sanctificatum,
Adveniatque tuum regum per secla beatum;
Velle tuum fiat in terra sicut in altis.
Tu panem nostrum da nobis cotidanum;
Debita dimitte nobis ut nos inimicis.

Citation

“E0007 Leaf from an Aurora,” Digital Exhibits | Denison University Archives & Special Collections, accessed November 15, 2018, http://exhibits.denisonarchives.org/items/show/31.