Partial Leaf from a Breviary

Southern German or Austrian
Medieval (Gothic)
late 12th century

Place of Manufacture: Europe, Southern Germany or Austria


Overall (page dimensions): 20.9 x 27.5 cm (8 1/4 x 10 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera and ink on parchment

Not On View





Upper half of one leaf from a breviary, or a service book containing the text for the celebration of the Divine Office (originally measuring approximately 40 x 28 cm).

Recto: Common of one martyred Pope: …eum pater meis qui est in celis./ Sermo sancti Augustini episcopi de eadem./ Amen amen dico vobis nisi granum…/R. Desiderium animae eijus…/R. Gloria et honore coronasti…/R. Posuisti domine…/…a te tribu…
Verso: Common of one martyr: …ad dominum qui fecit…/A. Qui me confessus…/Cap. Beatus vir qui…/R. Posuisti…/H. Deus tuorum…/Lec. Matt. Dixit dominus…/…et filiam adversus matrem suam et nu…

Two columns of 21 (of approximately 40 originally) lines of Latin text. Bounding lines in plummet, full-length to upper edge, writing lines, in plummet, cross intercolumnar space, prickings in upper margin for bounding lines of both columns.

Written in a late romanesque script in black ink with red rubrics. Two- to three-line initials in red.


18th century, possibly owned by Professor Johann Friedrich Christ, Leipzig (1700-1756) [see note 1]. By 1913, Dr. Denman Waldo Ross (1853-1935), Cambridge, MA [see note 2]; 1917, gift of Dr. Denman Waldo Ross. (Accession date: February 15, 1917)

[1] In the 18th century, the partial leaf was folded and used as a pastedown and conjoint flyleaf for a copy of John of Salisbury's Policraticus de nugis curialium (Lyons, 1513). According to a label laid-down on the verso (on what would have been the flyleaf in the binding) that refers to a copy listed in the library catalogue of one "I. F. Christ, Leipzig 1757, part 1, p. 334" (i.e. Johann Friedrich Christ). A copy of the catalogue in the Universitätsbibliothek Leipzig confirms this reference. It is very likely that it was the very copy bound by this leaf that was owned by Prof. Christ, since the dimensions of the volume are 209 x 150, and the leaf, when folded, would have fit into a book of just that size.

[2] 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