Treatise in Defense of Christianity

Medieval (Gothic)
mid-15th century
Author of text Rodericus [Fernandez] Narvaez, Bishop of Jaen (Castille) (1383–1422)

Place of Manufacture: Europe, Spain


Overall (page dimensions): 29.5 x 21.2 cm (11 5/8 x 8 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera, ink, and pencil (modern) with gold leaf on paper

Not On View





Treatise in defense of Christianity with 63 folios (ff.).

ff. 1 - 2: Table of chapter headings
IN NOMINE DOMINI NOSTRI IESU XPISTI ET GLORIOSE VIRGINIS M[ARIAE] CQ [?] in comenca la tavola del libro ordinato per lo Reverendo signor Ep[iscop]o per la gratia de dio de la Cita de Iahen del Regno de Castiglya…
ff. 2 - 58v: Treatise in defense of Chistianity
ff. 59 - 63: Record of a disputate between the muslim Abrahym Magaluf and the Christian John, in Fez in 1394
f. 63v: [blank]

Each page has 1 column of 24 text lines in Italian. Bounding lines black plummet, full-length to top and bottom edges, writing lines in brown ink, bottom line unwritten, some prickings preserved in lower margin for bounding lines.

First leaf cancelled. Catchwords vertical in lower right corner of final verso of each quire. Contemporary Arabic pagination on upper right rectos, modern pencil foliation on lower right rectos.

Written in Spain by an Italian scribe. Written in a current Gothic Spanish bookhand in black ink with red rubrics. f. 2v: 10-line initial in gold leaf with white-vine infill on colored background (Italianesque style); f. 59: 9-line initial in purple and red, with purple and red bubbles and harping; 2- to 10-line initials throughout, purple with red bubbles and harping alternating red with purple or vice versa (Spanish style); paragraph marks alternating red and purple; in-text sentence initials stroked yellow. Filigree initials possibly later additions.


Effaced 17th-century inscription in upper margin of f. 1 recto; 17th-century additions and marginalia throughout.


Unidentified snake watermark on paper.


By 1871, Conte Eugenio Minutoli Tegrini, Lucca, Italy [see note 1]. About 1912, possibly T. De Marinis, Florence, Italy [see note 2]. By 1913, Dr. Denman Waldo Ross (1853-1935), Cambridge, MA [see note 3]; 1917, gift of Dr. Denman Waldo Ross. (Accession date: February 15, 1917)

[1] See Catalogue, Conte Eugenio Minutoli Tegrini Collection, 1871, p. 32, n. 169.
[2] Ricci, Seymour de. "Census of medieval and renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada," vol. I (New York, 1935-40), p. 945.
[3] From 1913 until it was accessioned, this manuscript was on loan to the MFA from Dr. Denman Waldo Ross.

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection