This volume was once part of the medieval library of the Cistercian Monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça, Portugal. Founded by the first Portuguese king in 1153, the Alcobaça Monastery was one of the richest and most prestigious monasteries in medieval Europe. The Monastery library was one of the largest Portuguese medieval libraries, but was pillaged by the invading French in 1810, and many items were stolen in an anti-clerical riot in 1834, when the religious orders in Portugal were dissolved. The remnants of the monastery library, comprising 461 codices, are held today in the National Library of Portugal, Lisbon. In 1989 the Monastery was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Manuscript reference no.: MS 4346.
Script: Textualis rotunda with some French secretary features and an Iberian airy spacing reminiscent of Dutch/gernan hybrida, an influence probably transmitted via Spanish Netherlands.
Binding: Outer boards, end papers and possibly some pages of text from the back are missing. Remains of leather spine with partial lettering remaining of the title and two crests in gilt. Two rows of laced dowls are exposed at the base of the spine.
The dates mentioned in 16th-17th-century marginal notes on f.7r and f.87r refer to translations of saints relics in 1360 and to the establishment of the regulations in 1400, and do not mean the volume was copied then. Palaeographically it could date to anytime in the first half of 15th century.
The digitisation of this volume was made possible by the generous financial support of donors to the Medieval Manuscripts Appeal (2014). The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges this support.
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