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Aurora, containing part of the evangelium by Petrus Riga : manuscript leaf


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  • Special Collections - Manuscript Collection
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    1. MISC 1850 must be paged/requested for in-library use only
Peter Riga, approximately 1140-1209.
Earliest possible date:
Latest possible date:
England : [s.n.], [1st half of 13th century]
  • Manuscript/Archive
  • 1 complete leaf, 237 x 116 mm (196 x approximately 65 mm)
Written in a single long column of 47 lines, gothic script, brown ink, ruled lightly with plummet. The first letter of each line written calligraphically and set out into the margin, four two-line initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork.
It is written in a tall thin ‘agenda’ format, suitable for carrying in the pocket. The parent manuscript seems to have been the work of more than one scribe.
Open for research; material must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.
From an early manuscript of the verse Bible traditionally known as the Aurora for the light it shed on obscure passages of scripture. The present text appears to be the second of the three original versions (see the note to Sotheby’s, 26 November, 1985, lot 48), and the parent manuscript is among the earliest known (see Stegmüller, Repertorium, IV, 1954, pp. 380 – 82, and P. E. Beichner, Aurora Petri Rigae Biblia Versificata, University of Notre Dame, 1965). [dealer description]
Purchased, 2013. Accession 2013-068.
Petrus Riga (canon of Rheims, d. 1209) composed the vast poem of some 15,050 lines late in the 12th century and saw the text through three revisions. It was further revised and enlarged by Aegidius of Paris between 1200 and 1208. It became a popular compendium of Bible texts and gained a reputation through use as a university textbook.
From the collection of Otto F. Ege; leaves were no. 7 in his portfolio. Other leaves from the manuscript were Quaritch Catalogues 1036 (1984), no. 125, and 1270 (2000), no. 113; a fragment of 12 leaves is MS. 1643 in the Schøyen Collection, London and Oslo.

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