Access, holdings & availability
- Hilton, Walter, d. 1396.
- Standardized title:
- Scale of perfection
- [Italy], 1510.
150 leaves : paper ; 207 x 152 (138 x 110) mm. bound to 218 x 163 mm.
- Jesus Christ -- Passion -- Early works to 1800.
Mysticism -- Early works to 1800.
Spiritual life -- Christianity -- Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Latin -- 16th century.
- Manuscript dated 1510 of the Latin translation by Carmelite friar Thomas Fishlake (circa 1400) of Walter Hilton's Scale of perfection, a mystical work in two books concerning the reformation of the soul and contemplative union with God, written in Middle English in the second half of the 14th century and first translated into Latin ca. 1400. The opening rubric of Book I notes that many additions from the writing of Saint Bonaventure are included (examples of specific references to Saint Bonaventure, f. 26r, 56r). Although the rubric for Book I has the customary description of the work as written for an anchoress, the opening of the prologue addresses a son rather than a sister. Preceding this work is a brief work on the Passion of Christ presented as a dialogue between the Virgin Mary and Saint Anselm, attributed to Saint Anselm in its rubric but not considered his work. Frequent contemporary and later corrections in margins. Irregular section numbers added by later hands in top margins.
- 1. f.1r-7v: Passio domini nostri Iesu Christi qua dulcissima Virgo Maria beato Anselmo Cantuariensi archiepiscopo revelavit.
2. f.8r-70r: [Book I, Scale of perfection]
3. f.70r-150v: Secundus liber Magistri Vualteri.
- Ms. codex.
Title from rubric of predominant work (f. 8r).
Incipit, Work 1 (f.1r-7v): [rubric] Incipit passio domini nostri Iesu Christi quam dulcissima Virgo Maria beato Anselmo Cantuariensis archiepiscopo revelavit. Ut inferius continetur. [prologue] Ascendam in palmam, ut apprehendam fructus eius ... [text] Beatus Anselmus. Dic mihi carissima domina qualiter fuit passio filii tui ...
Incipit, Scale of Perfection Book I (f.8r-70r): [rubric] Incipiunt duo libri contemplationis magistri Vualteri Hyltonis canonici regularis viri valde contemplativi quos scripsit sorori sue incluse, cum additionibus multis ex libris seraphici Bonaventure ad maiorem roborationem. [prologue] Dilecte fili mi in Christo Iesu per illum rogo te ut contentus sis ...
Incipit, Scale of Perfection Book II (f.70r-150v): [rubric] Incipit secundus liber magistri Vualteri et primo quod homo dicitur ymago Dei secundam animam et non secundus corpus et dividitur in quatuor partes principales. [text] Quoniam multum desideras ac etiam petis intuitu caritatis ... Explicit (f. 150v): ... et occultas perceptiones celestium gaudiorum. Ad haec gaudia nos perducat Iesus Christus dominus noster Amen.
Collation: Paper, i (19th-century paper) + 150 + i (19th-century paper); 1⁷ 2-3¹⁶ 4-5¹⁴ 6¹² 7¹⁶ 8²⁰ 9-10¹² 11¹¹; [1-150], modern foliation in pencil, center right margin recto. Vertical catchwords on the last verso of each gathering (f. 23v, 53v, 79v, 95v, 115v, 127v, 139v), except for a horizontal catchword at the end of gathering 3 (f. 39v) and no catchwords at the end of gatherings 1 and 5 (f. 7v, 67v).
Layout: Written in 27 long lines; frame-ruled with lead bounding lines; horizontals ruled in ink with a 13-nib ruling instrument (see f. 64, 149v).
Script: Written in a semi-cursive humanistic bookhand (Les Enluminures).
Decoration: 1 3-line initial in pink, 1 3-line initial in red (both f. 1r); spaces left for 2-line initials at the beginning of chapters; rubrics and paragraph marks in pink, capitals touched in pink; some chapter rubrics accompanied by crosses in pink in margin (for example, f. 41r-42v). 3 manicules added by later (17th-century?) hands (f. 72v, 137v)
Binding: 19th-century Italian half vellum (Les Enluminures); some marginal notes slightly affected by trimming.
Origin: Written in Italy (Les Enluminures) in 1510 (note at end of main text, f. 150v).
- Local notes:
- Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the James Howard Weiss Memorial Fund.
Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Rosengarten Family Fund.
Acquired for the Penn Libraries with assistance from the Friends of the Library Endowment Fund.
- Inscription, 1609: Hoc vere est de bonis christianis: haec F. C. P. O. M. d. S. O. / MDCIX (f. 72v).
Perhaps formerly in the library of the convent of Santissima Annunziata, Cesena, Italy (possible 17th-century ownership inscription effaced, f. 8r, Les Enluminures).
19th-century inscription: Amigos no tiene ni fin / ni principio -- Sino solamente / lo que no es principio ni / es fin / [?]ui attento B. S. M. / Su Servidor (f. 150v).
Formerly in the collection of the Hispanic Society of America (New York), manuscript no. B1326; sold at auction at Christie's, 12 Nov. 2008 (lot 37A).
Sold by Les Enluminures (Paris & Chicago), 2009.
- Cited in:
- Described in Faulhaber, Charles H. Medieval Manuscripts in the Library of the Hispanic Society of America: Religious, Legal, Scientific, Historical, and Literary Manuscripts (New York: Hispanic Society of America, 1983), p. 3-4, 27-28 (no. 1, 27).
- Cite as:
- UPenn Ms. Codex 1559
- Fishlake, Thomas, translator.
Anselm, Saint, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1033-1109, attributed name.
Bonaventure, Saint, Cardinal, ca. 1217-1274.
- Web link:
- The James Howard Weiss Memorial Fund Home Page
The Rosengarten Family Fund Home Page
The Friends of the Library Endowment Fund Home Page