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Gregory the Great, Homilies on Ezekiel illuminated manuscript

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 164

Scope and Contents

Illuminated manuscript on vellum, Gregory the Great, Homilies on Ezekiel, in Latin, North-Eastern Germany, Huysburg Abbey, near Halberstadt, 1466. This is one of the key texts of Western monasticism. Manuscript is in a later (19th century) leather binding by W. Pratt, tooled with floral panels and chevrons. The manuscript includes a range of codicological features such as glossing, parchment repair, a scribal colophon, decorated initials, an organized rubrication system, and clear pricking. Provenance: 1. at the end of the main text (fol.98r) and in a fuller colophon at the end of its index (fol.106r) the manuscript records that it was written in 1466 for the monks of Huysburg Abbey under the abbacy of Theodoric. Huysburg was a Benedictine monastery situated on the Huy, near Halberstadt, Germany. The abbey was suppressed in 1804 during the secularisation, when its buildings and estates passed to the Prussian State and its library dispersed. 2. Joseph Lilly (1804-70), bookseller of Covent Garden, his sale of 1863. 3. William Bragge (1823-84), of Birmingham, his sale in our rooms, 7 June 1876, lot 178. 4. A.S.R. of Philadelphia, his inscription dated 25 December 1905, perhaps recording a Christmas present, on front flyleaf. Source: Sotheby's auction catalogue, Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts, Lot 47, London, July 8, 2014


  • 1466


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Material in this collection is in the public domain. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Pope Gregory I, also referred to as Saint Gregory I, or Gregory the Great (born circa 540, Rome; died March 12, 604), pope from 590 to 604, reformer and “founder” of the medieval papacy. His epithet, “the Great,” reflects his status as a writer as well as a ruler. The fourth and final of the traditional Latin “Fathers of the Church.”


0.233 Cubic Feet (One flat box)

Physical Description

1 bound manuscript dated 1466. 106 leaves (plus two modern vellum flyleaves at each end), 370mm by 260mm, complete, occasional catchwords, collation: i-x10, xi6, 43 lines, written space 285mm by 190mm, written in a gothic bookhand, capitals stroked in red, rubrics and paragraph marks in red, small initials in plain red, one small initial in gold on a light pink ground in a blue illusionistic profile frame (fol.1r), 20 large puzzle initials in red and blue with red pen-flourishing (fols. 4r, 8r, 11r, 13v, 16r, 20r, 24v, 30r, 35v, 42r, 46v, 56v, 59v, 64v, 68v, 73r, 78r, 83r, 87v, 93r), one similar but smaller initial at beginning of index (fol.98v), two large historiated initials on burnished gold grounds in illusionistic profile frames enclosing St. Gregory writing (fol.1r) and an angel holding a measuring rod (Ezekiel 40:3; fol.51v), a few annotations in the margins and some original faults in the vellum with original repairs often encircled in red, silver and lead white of illuminated initials oxidised, else in outstanding condition, nineteenth-century brown leather binding by W. Pratt (stamped in upper corner on recto of first flyleaf; and presumably William Pitt Pratt, who worked in London from 1823 to 1838), tooled with floral panels and chevrons. Source: Sotheby's auction catalogue, Medieval and Illuminated Manuscripts, Lot 47, London, July 8, 2014
Gregory the Great, Homilies on Ezekiel illuminated manuscript
In Progress
Keertana Marella
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Edition statement
Second Edition.

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-28: Collection description updated by Keertana Marella

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 W. State Street
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States