Title: Collections Tirees de l'Histoire Sacree & Profane & Disposee Selon l'Ordre de l'Alphabet, Late 17th to Early 18th Century
Author: Benedictines of the Congregation of Saint-Maur; Abbey of Saint-Etienne de Fontenay
A late 17th to early 18th century manuscript dictionary, being a Biblical Sacred and Profane History, with a comprehensive and impressive quantity of alphabetical entries. From the Prophet Aaron (interestingly referred to as the First Pontiff), to Zelotipy, and with entries for Avarice, Charlamagne, Exorcism, Jerusalem, all kinds of Saints, and everything else in between, this manuscript is a marvelous production. Many of the entries are multiple pages in length.
On top of the impressive quantity of entries, this manuscript dictionary is profusely annotated as well, with marginalia to nearly every page, some annotations encompassing the entire page. There can be no doubt that this dictionary was a labor of love.
This manuscript bears an ex-libris inscription of the Benedictines of the Congregation of Saint-Maur, at the former Abbey of Saint-Etienne (Saint Stephen) de Fontenay.
The Congregation of St. Maur, also known as Maurists, were a congregation of French Benedictines established in 1621, and known for a high level of scholarship, which could explain such an impressive and in-depth dictionary. The primary idea of the Maurists was the undertaking of literary and historical work, and a return to strict monastic and Benedictine life.
By the end of the 18th century, the houses of the Maurists had undertaken a more freethinking nature, and the congregation was suppressed in 1790 during the French revolution, with the monks being scattered, and the last superior general of the congregation dying in 1792 during the September Massacres, along with 40 other monks.
One vellum bound manuscript in quarto, 576 pages
On note of condition, this manuscript is in good shape, with rubbing, wear, and staining to the binding, with some peeling to the bottom of the vellum, and the foot of the spine, with some vellum loss as well. There’s staining to the first two and last leaf. Part of the top of the first leaf lacking, with some letter loss. There is light ink staining and very light foxing throughout the rest of the manuscript.