IDLE SPECULATIONS: Speculum Humanae Salvationis

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Speculum Humanae Salvationis

The Tree of Virtues and the Tree of Vices.
Speculum humanæ salvationis , Chapter XVI.
Hessische Landes- und Hochschulbibliothek Darmstadt, Hs 720, fol. 1 verso

Opening page with decorated initial M.
Minute for Le Miroir de la Salvation humaine .
Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels, Ms. 9249–50, fol. 1 recto
.

Second page with decorated initial S.
Minute for Le Miroir de la Salvation humaine .
Bibliothèque Royale, Brussels, Ms. 9249–50, fol. 1 verso.

Opening page miniature of the translator's presentation.
Le Miroir de l'humaine Salvation .
The Hunterian Museum Library, Glasgow, Ms. 60, fol. 1 recto
.

a. Mary Conquers the Devil.
b. Judith Decapitates Holofernes.
Le Miroir de l'humaine Salvation , Chapter XXX.
Musée Condé, Chantilly, Ms. fr. 139.




Compiled at the beginning of the fourteenth century for the use of preaching monks and clerics, the Speculum humanæ salvationis was a widely used volume in the late Middle Ages. There exist today more than 350 manuscripts in Latin and translations into Dutch, French, German, English, and Czech

The Speculum was a compilation made primarily from commentaries on and adaptations of the Bible.

The text and pictures of the Speculum are devoted to the interpretation of the New Testament through prefigurations in the Old, the so-called typological system, which was the medieval way of relating the Old Testament to the life of Jesus Christ. Originating in Asia Minor with the Greek Fathers, it passed into Western thought and was greatly spread by the influence of St. Augustine

The Speculum is entirely concerned with the Fall and Redemption and with their prefiguration in the Old Testament.

For more see the digital book: A Medieval Mirror: Speculum Humanae Salvationis 1324–1500 By Adrian Wilson & Joyce Lancaster Wilson [UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS] (1985)

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