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Walters Ms. W.65, Collection of Sermons

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Shelf mark



Collection of Sermons

Text title
Collection of Sermons


Authority name: Gilbert, of Hoyland


Authority name: Bernard, of Clairvaux, Saint, 1090 or 1091-1153


Authority name: Walter, of Châtillon, active 1170-80

Supplied name: Attributed to Walter of Châtillon


This collection of sermons was completed during the first quarter of the thirteenth century for Cistercian use in northeastern France. The book features selected sermons of Gilbert of Hoyland, Bernard of Clairvaux, and sermons attributed to Walter of Châtillon; it is this compilation of texts that is most indicative of its Cistercian ownership. This is confirmed by the ex libris inscription of Royaumont Abbey in the diocese of Beauvais, established in 1228 by Louis IX of France. While the book does not boast more than flourished initials in the text, there are nine marginal illustrations, mostly appearing in the text of Gilbert of Hoyland.


Ca. 1200-1215 CE


Northeastern France






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Medium-weight to thick parchment; flaws and early mends visible


Foliation: 110

Modern pencil foliation upper right corners rectos


Formula: Quires 1-13: 8 (fols. 1-104); Quire 14: 6 (fols. 105-110)

Signatures: Centered on last versos in Roman numerals



25.0 cm wide by 33.8 cm high

Written surface

16.5 cm wide by 23.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 2
  2. Ruled lines: 39
  3. Ruled in brown crayon

fols. 1r - 110v:
  1. Title: Collection of Sermons
  2. Hand note: Written in upright textura of Cistercian type; composed of three different hands of a homogeneous style
  3. Decoration note: Nine marginal illustrations, some in roundels, centered in lower margins, drawn in brown ink and detailed in red, green, and blue on orange-red or unpainted grounds; flourished initials present at major and secondary text divisions (4-15 lines); rubrics in red; text in brown and brown-black ink
fols. 1r - 88r:
  1. Title: Sermones in Canticum Salomonis
  2. Author: Gilbert, of Hoyland
  3. Rubric: Gillebertus super Canticum Canticorum. In lectulo meo per noctes quesuri quem diligit anima mea. Sermo primus.
  4. Incipit: Varii sunt amantium affectus
  5. Text note: Fol. 1r-v: blank; sermons 11 and 12 are written as one, accounting for the presence of forty-seven rather than forty-eight as per usual
  6. Hand note: Occasional contemporary corrections, mostly appearing in margins, in black ink
  7. Decoration note: Eight marginal illustrations; fol. 47r: winged lion passant, fol. 50r: man walking to right, mouth open, turning back and pointing with right hand, fol. 51r: two men carrying full basket on pole across shoulders, walking toward upright quadruped at right, fol. 57v: knight in armor striking upright quadruped at right across shoulder with sword, tree at center, fol. 58r: two quadrupeds fighting, fol. 67r: lion passant, fol. 74r: copy of preceding image, fol. 81v: amphisbaena
fols. 88r - 97r:
  1. Title: De gracia et libero arbitrio
  2. Author: Bernard, of Clairvaux, Saint, 1090 or 1091-1153
  3. Rubric: Incipit prologus beati bernardi abbatis. Super tractatum de gracia et libero arbitrio.
  4. Incipit: Domino Wilhelmo abbati sancti
  5. Text note: Several contemporary corrections in margins, in lead
  6. Hand note: Written in different hand
  7. Decoration note: Fol. 3r: marginal illustration, man striking lion on nose with stone attached to flail (lion modeled after the one found on fol. 67r)
fols. 97v - 110v:
  1. Title: Moralium dogma philosophorum
  2. Author: Walter, of Châtillon, active 1170-80
  3. Incipit: Sententie phylosophorum
  4. Text note: Authors' names cited in margins in brown ink (fol. 108v in blue ink) in same hand as text hand; W.65 linked to Rouen A 411 (669), twelfth century; fols. 109v-110v: blank
  5. Hand note: Written in a different hand than other text parts


Upper board outside:

  1. W.65, Upper board outside
  2. Title: Original Romanesque binding
  3. Form: Binding


The binding is original.

Contemporary binding; tawed skin, perhaps sheepskin, over thick oak boards with beveled outer edges; naturally rounded spine with abrasions and tears; pattern of holes at center and corners of upper and lower boards is evidence of metal furnishings; original fastenings for two straps and side-pins missing; book box: second half of the twentieth century


Northeastern France, first quarter of the thirteenth century; completed for a Cistercian foundation

Northeastern France, ca. 1300, Cistercian abbey of Royaumont (diocese of Beauvais); labeled in black ink as ex-libris of this abbey on fol. 109r, lines 10 and 12: "Liber S[an]c[t]e Marie de regali Monte"

Ecouen, Royaumont(?), thirteenth or fourteenth century; written in dark brown ink on a torn fragment of paper added to upper right-hand corner of front pastedown: "Ecouen / Roya[umont]" (Ecouen was the post-Revolutionary collecting point of manuscripts from Royaumont)

Charles Chardin, Paris, Feb. 8, 1824, bookseller and collector, Cat. (1810), no. 6; his sale to J. P. Aillard, Paris, agent of Priestley and Weale, London booksellers

Sir Thomas Phillipps, Ms. 786, "786" written in black ink on front pastedown and over erased number in lower margin of fol. 1r below Phillipps's stamped design of lion rampant lettered "Sir T P Middle Hill"

Bernard Quaritch Ltd., London bookseller, Jun. 10, 1896, lot 75; purchased from Sotheby's (on behalf of Sir Thomas Phillipps); Cats. 164 (1896), no. 75; 193 (1899), no. 36; 211 (1902), no. 33; 290 (1910), no 356

Unidentified penciled notation "F 930" on front pastedown

Henry Walters, Baltimore, purchased from Wilfred M. Voynich, London, between 1910 and 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour, and W. J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935; p. 822, cat. no. 304.

Stegmüller, Friedrich. Repertorium Biblicum Medii Aevi. Vol. 3. Madrid: Instituto Francisco Suárez, 1950; cat. no. 2493.

Munby, Alan Noel Latimer. Phillipps Studies. 5 vols. Cambridge: Cambirdge University Press, 1951-1960; vol. 3, p. 147.

Munby, Alan Noel Latimer. The Phillipps Manuscripts: Catalogues librorum manuscriptorum in bibliotheca D. Thomae Phillipps, Bt. Vol. 3. London: Cambridge University Press, 1968; p. 147.

Lillich, Meredith P. Studies in Cistercian Art and Architecture, Vol. 3. Collegeville, MN: Cistercian Publications, 1982; p. 129, Appendix B.

Randall, Lilian M. C. "From Cîteaux Onwards: Cistercian-Related Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery." In Studies in Cistercian Art and Architecture 3 (1987): 111-36; p. 129, cat. no. 3, fig. 9.

Randall, Lilian M. C. Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Walters Art Gallery. Vol. 1, France, 875-1420. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press in association with the Walters Art Gallery, 1989; pp. 30-32, cat. no. 13.

Sharpe, Richard. A Handlist of the Latin writers of Great Britain: and Ireland before 1540. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 1997; pp. xxvi, 145.

Volpera, Federica. "Medicina e miniatura. Codici genovesi di età gotica." Studi di storia dell'arte 17 (2006): 9-22; p. 20.


Principal cataloger: Randall, Lilian M.C.

Cataloger: Herbold, Rebekah

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Wallace, Susan

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bucca, Lauren; Emery, Doug; Noel, William; Schuele, Allyson; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.; Wiegand, Kimber


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.