E0036 Leaf from a Book of Hours (Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis)

ACC Ege36 recto.jpg
ACC Ege36 verso.jpg


E0036 Leaf from a Book of Hours (Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis)


Book of Hours


France; Middle 15th Century. Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script.

Books of Hours, beautifully written, enriched with burnished gold initials, and adorned with miniature paintings, were frequently the most treasured possessions of the devout and wealthy layman. They were not only carried to chapel but were often kept at the bedside at night. Oaths were sworn on them. Books of this small size, two and one-half by three and one-half inches, are comparatively rare. The craftsmanship in this example imitates and equals that in a volume of ordinary size, about five by seven inches. Recently these small "pocket" editions have been given the nickname "baby manuscripts." In general, the miniature Books of Hours contain only that section of the complete volume which deals with the prayers to be read or recited at the canonical hours; namely, matins, vespers, nocturns, and those for the prime, tierce, sext, nones, and complin. Indulgences were often granted for the faithful reading or recitation of these prayers.

This is the smallest of the 50 leaves in the Ege portfolios; each side contains just thirteen lines of text. These leaves were not separated easily: their inner margins are ragged, and scraps of the other half of a split bifolium are often visible. The rubrication and decoration/illumination remain vivid, sometimes overwhelming the fading text ink.

Text: Based on the leaves we have seen, this Book of Hours accords with the Use of Rome (see Leaf 36 in the Cleveland Public Library portfolio, which contains the "Dum Esset" antiphon). This leaf is one of six containing text from the Hours of the Virgin at Vespers; specifically, it contains the beginning of the Magnificat.


Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts


Middle 15th century


Item in public domain. Description provided by Dr. Fred Porcheddu-Engel via the Otto F. Ege digital collection. http://ege.denison.edu/denison_leaf_36.php


Reconstruction Note: In Ege's original manuscript this leaf was followed by what is now Leaf 36 in the Lima Public Library portfolio.


300 dpi JPEG; 10.5 x 7 cm




Medieval manuscript leaf


Denison University Leaf 36, Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts


Recto Translation: O rarest virgin pure, Of all that meekest waste, Discharged of our sin, Make thou us meek, and chaste.
Grant that our life be pure, Make safe for us the way, That while we Jesus see, Our joy may last for ay.
To God the father praise, To Christ high worship be, And to the holy Ghost, One honour unto three. Amen. V: Grace is poured out in thy lips. R: Therefore God hath blessed...

Verso Translation:

...thee forever. Ant: O blessed mother. Psalm.

[Luke 1] My soul: doth magnify our Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced: in God my saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me: and holy is his name.


Recto Transcription: Virgo singularis inter omnes mitis, nos culpis solutos, mites fac, et castos.
Vitam praesta puram, iter para tutum, ut videntes Iesum, semper collaetemur.
Sit laus Deo patri, summo Christo decus, spiritui sancto, tribus honor unus. Amen. V: Diffusa est gratia in labiis tuis. R: Propterea benedixit

Verso Transcription:

te Deus in aeternum. Ant: Beata mater. Psalmus.
Magnificat: anima mea Dominum.
Et exultavit spiritus meus: in Deo salutari meo.
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae: ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generationes.
Quia fecit mihi magna, qui potens est: et sanctum nomen eius.



“E0036 Leaf from a Book of Hours (Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis),” Digital Exhibits | Denison University Archives & Special Collections, accessed April 23, 2019, http://exhibits.denisonarchives.org/items/show/56.