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Speculum historiale, Book IV, chapters 45-47, 53-54 and 69-71 / Vincent of Beauvais : manuscript fragment.


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Uniform Title:
Speculum historiale
Vincent, of Beauvais, -1264
Earliest possible date:
Latest possible date:
France : circa 1350.
  • Book
  • 3 leaves, (a bifolium and a single leaf), a complete leaf measures 265 x 190 mm (195 x 135 mm)
Double columns of 34 lines, gothic script, brown ink, ruled lightly witih ink. Rubrics and textual authorities in red, blue and red initials with contrasting penwork. Some loss of text from use as archival wrappers (the dates 1596, 1597, 1599 written in the margins). An early metal pin is inserted in a blank margin; also a bit of string.
The Speculum historiale or "Historical Mirror" is a history of the world down to the 1240s in thirty-one books comprising 3,793 chapters. It forms the third part of the Speculum maius, "The great mirror, " a monumental encyclopedia which was an attempt to encompass all forms of knowledge, and was overseen by Vincent de Beauvais. The subjects here include Appius Claudius citing Orosius, certain classical Greek writers citing Eusebius, Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem citing Petrus Comestor, Speusippus the Platonist and the first Carthaginian War, and Hippocrates and Gorgias the Rhetorician.
Purchased from Bernard Quaritch (catalog 1396, number 68), 2010. Accession 2010-175.
Vincent of Beauvais (c. 1190-1264) was a friar attached to the Dominican houses in Paris, Beauvais, and later Royaumont on the Oise.
From the Rosenthal collection.

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