E0046 Leaf from a Book of Hours (Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis)

ACC Ege46 recto.jpg
ACC Ege46 verso.jpg


E0046 Leaf from a Book of Hours (Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis)


Book of Hours


Northern France; Late 15th Century. Latin Text; Gothic Script.

The Book of Hours, the prayer book of laity, usually contains 16 sections. The section on prayers to the Virgin is the most important and most used, and its manuscripts exceed in number all other 15th century religious texts. The laymen who ordered and purchased these books would at times stipulate the style of ornament and the amount of burnished gold to be used, and could even, to a certain extent, select the saints they esteemed most and wished to glorify. In this example, the border reveals by its wayside flowers entangled with the heavy acanthus motif of the North and by the use of "wash" gold that it was executed in Northern France about 1475 A.D.

Blooming on these leaves is a truly impressive variety of what Ege calls "wayside flowers," including thistles, gallic roses, strawberries, grapes, and others which are so stylized as to be nearly geometric. There are many well-executed illuminated initials; lesser first letters are filled with yellow. Occasionally a lone "cut flower" has been used to fill empty space in the text block.

Text: The leaves we have seen indicate that this Book of Hours accords to the Uses of Rouen and Coutances. This leaf contains text from the Office for the Dead at Lauds, including the "Song of Ezechias" from Isaiah 38.


Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts


Late 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_46.php


300 dpi JPEG; 16 x 12 cm




Medieval manuscript leaf


Denison University Leaf 46, Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts


Recto Translation:

Ant: Hear O Lord my prayer all flesh shall come unto thee. Ant: The right hand. Psalm: God, my God. Ant: Thy right hand O Lord hath received me. Ant: Deliver them O Lord. Psalm.

[Isaiah 38] I have said in the midst of my days, shall I go to the gates of hell. I have sought the residue of my years: I have said, I shall not see our Lord God in the land of the living. I shall behold man no more: and the inhabiter of rest. My generation is taken away: and is wrapped up from me as the tents of shepherds. My life is cut off as by a weaver, while I yet began, he cut me off: from morning unto night thou wilt make an end...

Verso Translation: [continues Isaiah 38] ... of me. I hope even until the morning: as a lion so hath he broken all my bones. From morning, until evening thou wilt make an end of me: as a young swallow, so will I cry, I will meditate as a dove. Mine eyes are weakened: looking up on high. Lord I suffer violence, answer for me: what shall I say or what shall he answer me, whereas myself have done it? I will recount all my years: in the bitterness of my soul. Lord if man's life be such, and the life of my spirit in such things, thou shalt chasten me, and shalt quicken me: behold in peace is my bitterness most bitter.


Recto Transcription:

Ant: Exaudi Domine orationem meam, ad te omnis caro veniet. Ant: Me suscepit. Psalmus.

Deus deus meus. Ant: Me suscepit dextera tua Domine. Ant: Eruisti Domine. Psalmus.

Ego dixi in dimidio dierum meorum: vadam ad portas inferi.
Quaesivi residuum annorum meorum: dixi, non videbo Dominum Deum in terra viventium.
Non aspiciam hominem ultra: et habitatorem quietis.
Generatio mea ablata est: et convoluta est a me, quasi tabernaculum pastorum.
Praecisa est velut a texente vita mea, dum adhuc ordirer, succidit me:
De mane usque ad vesperam finies

Verso Transcription: me. Sperabam usque ad mane: quasi leo sic contrivit omnia ossa mea.
De mane usque ad vesperam finies me: sicut pullus hirundinis, sic clamabo, meditabor ut columba.
Attenuati sunt oculi mei: suspicientes in excelsum.
Domine vim patior, responde pro me: quid dicam, aut quid respondebit mihi, cum ipse fecerim?
Recogitabo tibi omnes annos meos: in amaritudine animae meae.
Domine si sic vivitur, et in talibus vita spiritus mei, corripies me, et vivificabis me: ecce in pace amaritudo mea amarissima.



“E0046 Leaf from a Book of Hours (Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis),” Digital Exhibits | Denison University Archives & Special Collections, accessed April 24, 2024, https://exhibits.denisonarchives.org/items/show/66.