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Medieval European Manuscripts

There are some two hundred and twenty-five medieval European manuscript books, including complete texts, fragments of texts, single leaves and initials. These date from the late eighth or early ninth centuries to the eighteenth century. Although Italian material of the fifteenth century predominates, there is also French and German material and some English and Spanish. Most of the manuscripts are liturgical and devotional: the collection holds seven books of hours and three offices of the Blessed Virgin Mary, two breviaries, an altar missal, a book of Franciscan office collects, an epistlebook, an antiphonal and fragments of many others. But, as well, there are some philosophical, homiletic, theological, scientific and literary texts. Among these, mention should be made of two redactions of Peter Riga's "Aurora", commentaries on Aristotle, Bernard Silvestris' "Megacosmus et microcosmus", and late copies of Cicero and Ovid. Finally, in addition to the manuscript codices there is a considerable number of charters, papal letters and legal documents primarily from the fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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