University of Massachusetts, Amherst Leaf 11

This leaf is from an Italian bible of the 13th century. It measures 19.5 x 13cm and the vellum is thin and supple, with minimal yellowing. It is lined with plummet, and includes blue, red, and black ink. The text is rotunda gothic. Though not illuminated, the leaf includes decorative initials with flourishes, as well as red and blue book numbers and chapter names. The first letter of most verses is pricked out in red. See Denison University Leaf 11 for more information about this manuscript.

Text: Wisdom 14:25-16:6 (verso). A scan of the recto is not currently available.

Amherst 11.jpg
Amherst Leaf 11 Verso

University of Massachusetts, Amherst Leaf 11 Verso

+ Amherst Leaf 10 Verso Transcription

[column A]

homicídium, furtum et fíctio, corrúptio et infidélitas, turbátio et perjúrium, tumúltus bonórum, Dei immemorátio, animárum inquinátio, nativitátis immutátio, nuptiárum inconstántia, inordinátio móechiæ et impudicítiæ. Infandórum enim idolórum cultúra omnis mali causa est, et inítium et finis. Aut enim dum lætántur insániunt, aut certe vaticinántur falsa, aut vivunt injúste, aut péjerant cito. Dum enim confídunt in idólis quæ sine ánima sunt, male jurántes nocéri se non sperant. Utráque ergo illis evénient digne, quóniam male sensérunt de Deo, attendéntes idólis, et juravérunt injúste, in dolo contemnéntes justítiam. Non enim juratórum virtus, sed peccántium pœna, perámbulat semper injustórum prævaricatiónem. XV. Tu autem, Deus noster, suávis et verus es, pátiens, et in misericórdia dispónens ómnia. Étenim si peccavérimus, tui sumus, sciéntes magnitúdinem tuam; et si non peccavérimus, scimus quóniam apud te sumus computáti. Nosse enim te, consummáta justítia est; et scire justítiam et virtútem tuam, radix est immortalitátis. Non enim in errórem indúxit nos hóminum malæ artis excogitátio, nec umbra pictúræ labor sine fructu, effígies sculpta per vários colóres: cujus aspéctus insensáto dat concupiscéntiam, et díligit mórtuæ imáginis effígiem sine ánima. Malórum amatóres digni sunt qui spem hábeant in tálibus, et qui fáciunt illos, et qui díligunt, et qui colunt. Sed et fígulus mollem terram premens, laborióse fingit ad usus nostros unumquódque vas; et de eódem luto fingit quæ munda sunt in usum vasa, et simíliter quæ his sunt contrária: horum autem vasórum quis sit usus, judex est fígulus. Et cum labóre vano deum fingit de eódem luto ille qui paulo ante de terra factus fúerat, et post pusíllum redúcit se unde accéptus est, repétitus ánimæ débitum quam habébat. Sed cura est illi non quia laboratúrus est, nec quóniam brevis illi vita est: sed concertátur aurifícibus et argentáriis; sed et ærários

[column B]

imitátur, et glóriam præfert, quóniam res supervácuas fingit. Cinis est enim cor ejus, et terra supervácua spes illíus, et luto vílior vita ejus: quóniam ignorávit qui se finxit, et qui inspirávit illi ánimam quæ operátur, et qui insufflávit ei spíritum vitálem. Sed et æstimavérunt ludum esse vitam nostram, et conversatiónem vitæ compósitam ad lucrum, et opórtere undecúmque étiam ex malo acquírere. Hic enim scit se super omnes delínquere, qui ex terræ matéria fragília vasa et sculptília fingit. Omnes enim insipiéntes, et infélices supra modum ánimæ supérbi, sunt inimíci pópuli tui, et imperántes illi: quóniam ómnia idóla natiónum deos æstimavérunt, quibus neque oculórum usus est ad vidéndum, neque nares ad percipiéndum spíritum, neque aures ad audiéndum, neque dígiti mánuum ad tractándum, sed et pedes eórum pigri ad ambulándum. Homo enim fecit illos; et qui spíritum mutuátus est, is finxit illos. Nemo enim sibi símilem homo póterit deum fíngere. Cum enim sit mortális, mórtuum fingit mánibus iníquis. Mélior enim est ipse his quos colit, quia ipse quidem vixit, cum esset mortális, illi autem numquam. Sed et animália misérrima colunt; insensáta enim comparáta his, illis sunt deterióra. Sed nec aspéctu áliquis ex his animálibus bona potest conspícere: effugérunt autem Dei laudem et benedictiónem ejus. XVI. Propter hæc et per his simília passi sunt digne torménta, et per multitúdinem bestiárum extermináti sunt. Pro quibus torméntis bene disposuísti pópulum tuum, quibus dedísti concupiscéntiam delectaménti sui novum sapórem, escam parans eis ortygómetram: ut illi quidem, concupiscéntes escam propter ea quæ illis osténsa et missa sunt, étiam a necessária concupiscéntia averteréntur. Hi autem in brevi ínopes facti, novam gustavérunt escam. Oportébat enim illis sine excusatióne quidem superveníre intéritum exercéntibus tyránnidem; his autem tantum osténdere quemádmodum inimíci eórum exterminabántur. Étenim cum illis supervénit sæva bestiárum ira, mórsibus perversórum colubrórum exterminabántur. Sed non in perpétuum ira tua permánsit, sed ad correptiónem in brevi turbáti sunt, signum habéntes salútis ad com-

+ Amherst Leaf 10 Verso Translation

[Wisdom 14:25-16:6]

...murder, theft and dissimulation, corruption and unfaithfulness, tumults and perjury, disquieting of the good, 26 Forgetfulness of God, defiling of souls, changing of nature, disorder in marriage, and the irregularity of adultery and uncleaness. 27 For the worship of abominable idols is the cause, and the beginning and end of all evil. 28 For either they are mad when they are merry: or they prophesy lies, or they live unjustly, or easily forswear themselves. 29 For whilst they trust in idols, which are without life, though they swear amiss, they look not to be hurt. 30 But for two things they shall be justly punished, because they have thought not well of God, giving heed to idols, and have sworn unjustly, in guile despising justice. 31 For it is not the power of them, by whom they swear, but the just vengeance of sinners always punisheth the transgression of the unjust.

1 But thou, our God, art gracious and true, patient, and ordering all things in mercy. 2 For if we sin, we are thine, knowing thy greatness: and if we sin not, we know that we are counted with thee. 3 For to know thee is perfect justice: and to know thy justice, and thy power, is the root of immortality. 4 For the invention of mischievous men hath not deceived us, nor the shadow of a picture, a fruitless labour, a graven figure with divers colours, 5 The sight whereof enticeth the fool to lust after it, and he loveth the lifeless figure of a dead image. 6 The lovers of evil things deserve to have no better things to trust in, both they that make them, and they that love them, and they that worship them. 7 The potter also tempering soft earth, with labour fashioneth every vessel for our service, and of the same clay he maketh both vessels that are for clean uses, and likewise such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of these vessels, the potter is the judge. 8 And of the same clay by a vain labour he maketh a god: he who a little before was made of earth himself, and a little after returneth to the same out of which he was taken, when his life which was lent him shall be called for again. 9 But his care is, not that he shall labour, nor that his life is short, but he striveth with the goldsmiths and silversmiths: and he endeavoureth to do like the workers in brass, and counteth it a glory to make vain things. 10 For his heart is ashes, and his hope vain earth, and his life more base than clay: 11 Forasmuch as he knew not his maker and him that inspired into him the soul that worketh, and that breathed into him a living spirit. 12 Yea and they have counted our life a pastime, and the business of life to be gain, and that we must be getting every way, even out of evil. 13 For that man knoweth that he offendeth above all others, who of earthly matter maketh brittle vessels, and graven gods. 14 But all the enemies of thy people that hold them in subjection, are foolish, and unhappy, and proud beyond measure: 15 For they have esteemed all the idols of the heathens for gods, which neither have the use of eyes to see, nor noses to draw breath, nor ears to hear, nor fingers of hands to handle, and as for their feet, they are slow to walk. 16 For man made them: and he that borroweth his own breath, fashioned them. For no man can make a god like to himself. 17 For being mortal himself, he formeth a dead thing with his wicked hands. For he is better than they whom he worshippeth, because he indeed hath lived, though he were mortal, but they never. 18 Moreover they worship also the vilest creatures: but things without sense compared to these, are worse than they. 19 Yea, neither by sight can any man see good of these beasts. But they have fled from the praise of God, and from his blessing.

1 For these things, and by the like things to these, they were worthily punished, and were destroyed by a multitude of beasts. 2 Instead of which punishment, dealing well with thy people, thou gavest them their desire of delicious food, of a new taste, preparing for them quails for their meat: 3 To the end that they indeed desiring food, by means of those things that were shewn and sent among them, might loathe even that which was necessary to satisfy their desire. But these, after suffering want for a short time, tasted a new meat. 4 For it was requisite that inevitable destruction should come upon them that exercised tyranny: but to these it should only be shewn how their enemies were destroyed. 5 For when the fierce rage of beasts came upon these, they were destroyed with the bitings of crooked serpents. 6 But thy wrath endured not for ever, but they were troubled for a short time for their correction, having a sign of salvation to put them in remembrance of the commandment...

For more information, contact Dr. Fred Porcheddu.