Homilies of Saint Gregory on the Book of Ezekiel

Homiliae in Ezechielem

Medieval (Gothic)
mid-13th century

Place of Manufacture: Royaumont Abbey, possibly Royaumont Abbey, Northern France


Overall (page dimensions): 33.7 x 23 cm (13 1/4 x 9 1/16 in.) Other (writing space): 8.6 x 6.3 cm (3 3/8 x 2 1/2 in.) Other (intercolumnar space): 1 cm (3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera and ink on parchment; bindings of calfskin over boards, with leather bands

Not On View





A manuscript transcribing Pope Gregory I’s commentaries on the Old Testament book of Ezekiel, in 117 folios:

ff. 1 - 117: Homiliae in Ezechielem, I:1-12, II:1-10 (Patrologia Latina 76:785 - 795B)
Pars prima ezechielis prophetae./Et factum est in tricesimo anno…/…per dolores innumeros hereditatem perpetuam erudit. Sit itaque gloria omnipotenti domino nostro ihesu christo qui vivat et regnat cum patre in unitate spiritus sancti deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen. [ex libris, mid-13th century: Liber sancte marie regalis montes/ Iste liber de fuit de armaris domini regis]
f. 117v: [blank]

117 folios and 1 leaf with 2 columns of 44 lines of text per page. Bounding lines in black plummet, full-length to top and bottom, writings lines in black plummet, crossing intercolumnar space, prickings for bounding lines preserved in lower margin. 10 quires.

Some catchwords preserved in lower right corner of last verso of each quire. “Cor”, for “correctus”, written in lower left margin of last verso of each quire, indicating that the quire had been collated and corrected. No pagination or foliation.

Written in an early Gothic script in black ink, red rubrics. Seven-line opening initial in blue and red with red spiral infill and blue berries with blue and red filigree into margin. 2- to 3-line initials for each homily incipit in same color scheme. Single-line initials in-text alternating red and blue, sentence initials stroked red. Marginal corrections and comments by scribal hand in decorative blue and red frame.


f. 117: Liber sancte marie regalis montes/ Iste liber de fuit de armaris domini regis


Mid-thirteenth century, probably written at the royal Cistercian abbey of Royaumont for King Louis IX [see note 1]; 1791, documented at the Abbey of Royaumont [see note 2]; 1806, acquired by Charles Chardin (bookseller; b. 1742 - d. 1826), Paris [see note 3]; February 9 - March 22, 1824, Chardin sale, Debure Frères, Hôtel de Bullion, Paris, lot 223, sold to J.-P. Aillaud, probably for Sir Thomas Phillipps (b. 1792 - d. 1872), Cheltenham, England [see note 4]; June 10-17, 1896, posthumous Phillipps sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 117, to Quaritch, Ltd., London [see note 5]; probably sold by Quaritsch through Edward Waldo Forbes to Denman Waldo Ross (b. 1853 - d. 1935), Cambridge, MA; 1906, gift of Denman Waldo Ross to the MFA. (Accession Date: March 8, 1906)

[1] Two thirteenth-century inscriptions on f. 117 read: "Liber s[an]c[ta]e Mariae Regalis Montis," which can be found in other manuscripts originating at Royaumont; and "Iste liber de fuit de armario domini regis" ("This book is from the cabinet of the lord King").

[2] The abbey at Royaumont was dissolved in 1791. An inventory drawn up at that time lists the present manuscript under no. 44. See M. Huglo, "La dispersion des manuscrits de Royaumont," Revue Benedictine 113 (2003): pp. 379-380.

[3] Huglo 2003 (as above, n. 2), pp. 370 and 390. In Chardin's catalogue of 1811, this was cat. no. 47. There is also a pencil notation inside front cover.

[4] Huglo, p. 390. Phillipps lion rampant stamp on front flyleaf and notation "Phillipps Ms 766" on flyleaf verso.

[5] Ross acquired other manuscript leaves from Quaritsch through Forbes.

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection