The James Catalogue of Western Manuscripts

Shelfmark O.5.5
Manuscript Title

Vigilius Thapsensis etc

Alternative Title

Vigilius Thapsensis etc

James Number 1286
Century 14th
Physical Description

Double columns of 35 lines. Written in North East France(?), with magnificent ornaments.


Part of the Gale collection, given to T.C.C. by Roger Gale in 1738. Marked A. 5. On the last flyleaf in hands of cent. xv: Liber M. Thome Rayner. Emptus a venerabili viro prec. xis. Liber M. Johannis Gat .. felde (partly erased). Emptus de do. Ricardo Welston ye executor

Second Folio maiestati
Donor Gale, Roger (1672-1744), Antiquary
Size (cm) 40.5 x 30.5
Folio 96 + 4 ff.
Material Parchment
Language Latin

1 flyleaf. 18 (wants 1)-118 1210 (5 canc.) 3 flyleaves The two outer sheets (4 leaves) of quire 11 are misbound. Old notes indicate the true order of the leaves.

Manuscript Summary This 14th-century volume of patristic texts is lavishly illuminated.
IIIF Manifest URL
Online Since 12/08/2016


1. Vigilius Thapsensis de Trinitate
f.1 is gone, the text begins
maiestati uidear aliquid derogare (P.L. LXII.238C).
f.5 Liber ii
f.8b Liber iii
f.16b Liber iv
f.19b Liber v
f.24b Liber vi
f.28b Liber vii
f.30b Liber viii
Ending f.31b: uirtus et unitas trinitatis.
Expl. lib. viii. dei patris et fil. et spir. sancti, Athanasii Ep. hos libellos octo transcripsi qui multa addita et mutata continent.

2. f.31b Inc. libellus fidei patris et fil. et spir. S. Athanasii Ep. Cum legeris per hanc fidem moneo ut mei memor sis in orationibus tuis ne forsitan negligenter quisquam hic tractator contingat. quoniam scriptum est. ne proiciatis margaritas uestras ante porcos.
Credo in deum patrem (lxii.287?)
-pro peccatis eternam. Hoc placuit. Amen.
Expl. exposicio fidei catholice.

3. f.32 Inc. eiusdem de trinitate et de spiritu sancto
His qui filium dei creatum esse profitentur
(LXII.307: it is the twelfth book of Vigilius).
Ends f.47b: heredes regni celorum esse poterimus. Amen.
A slight change of hand here.

4. f.48 Inc. altercatio S. Athanasii ep. et conf. contra arium sabellium hereticos (lxii.179)
Cum in manu strenuissimi lectoris o beatissime papa materne
-deo auxiliante ualeant custodie.
f.48b Inc. qualiter res a principio gesta est
Cum apud niceam urbem.
A painting the breadth of the page. Chess-board ground of gold, pink and blue. On a green and black pavement stand seven figures. On L. a Bishop in mitre and blue cope semée with gold tridents, holding an open book, attended by clerk in alb bearing his crozier. On R. facing him, are five Bishops in mitres and copes with croziers.
On f.50b another painting of similar dimensions.
On L. Athanasius nimbed, in mitre and blue cope semée with A's, holds closed book. In C. on gold chair the Judge Probus, or Constantius(?), in Imperial crown and bright vermilion robe, floriated, with sceptre. On R. the three heretics (Arius, Photinus and Sabellius) grey-bearded men in brown and grey robes, with hoods over their heads.
On f.51b a similar painting. Vermilion ground with gold pattern.
On L. Athanasius face R. speaking. His cope is semée with IIIX in gold. In C. Probus on a wooden chair: his cap is blue lined with ermine, and his upper garment pink with red hood, lined with ermine: under robe of blue.
On R. are the three heretics: one holds a rosary and looks much like a Franciscan.
On f.83b Incipit sentencia probi iudicis.
A rather larger painting. Ground a brilliant blue with beautiful foliage patterns. On L. Athanasius, with crozier. In C. Probus (upper robe vermilion) pronouncing judgment. A little angel flies down from a cloud above towards his ear.
On R. the heretics, one with crutch-stick, in consternation.
Ends f.88b: indubitata sorte capessent.
Expl. sentencia iudicis probi inter athanasium ep. catholicum et arrium fotinum sabellium hereticos.

5. f.88b Inc. epistola Potamii ad Athanasium (VIII.1416)
Domino fratri gloriosissimo
-pater et filius et spiritus sanctus.
Exp. ep. Potamii ad Athan.

6. f.89b Item Ep. S. Athanasii ad S. Luciferum (XIII.1039: p.3241 ed. Hartel)
Domino beatissimo
-et in omnibus desiderantissime.

7. f.91 Inc. soluciones obiectionum arrianorum (LXII.469)
Primo obiectio eorum est
-quem nusquam poterint creatum ostendere.

8. f.96 Fides b. Iheronimi ad Augustinum
Credo in unum deum patrem
-resurrectionem ad uitam eternam. Amen.
followed by
Credimus in unum deum patrem
-et a xpristo domino uitam consequeris et premium (f.96b).

The ornament of the book apart from the pictures is remarkably fine. There is a great deal of most careful ivy-leaf ornament in the border, and the initials are excellent. Occasionally there are grotesques, monkeys, and dragons. It is unusual to find so sumptuous a copy of comparatively uncommon patristic tracts.

This work is copyright the Master and Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License