Manus 31:  Breviarium(?) [fragment].  (France) Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Item 31
Level of Description


  • early 14th c. (Creation)


  • Scope and Contents

    Language: Latin.

    Date: 13th c.

    Title: Breviarium(?) [fragment].

    Creator: Unknown.

    Place of creation: England.

    Physical description: Vellum, 1 leaf [fragment] ; 8 x 5 cm.

    Summary: Text reads: Et factum est. This phrase occurs many times in the scriptures, and thus it is quite difficult to try to identify the passage in question, though given the subject of the illumination, Luke 9:18 ff. is a likely candidate:


    Et factum est cum solus esset orans erant cum illo et discipuli et interrogavit illos dicens quem me dicunt esse turbae at illi responderunt et dixerunt Iohannem Baptistam alii autem Heliam alii quia propheta unus de prioribus surrexit dixit autem illis vos autem quem me esse dicitis respondens Simon Petrus dixit Christum Dei


    [And it came to pass, as he was alone praying, his disciples were with him: and he asked them, saying, Whom say the people that I am? They answering said, John the Baptist; but some say, Elias; and others say, that one of the old prophets is risen again. He said unto them, But whom say ye that I am? Peter answering said, The Christ of God.] (Luke 9:18-20, Latin Vulgate ; King James translation)


    This passage, sometimes called “Peter’s Declaration,” is an important moment in the Christian scriptures in which Peter recognizes Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. This text would explain the depiction of Peter, kneeling before Jesus in the upper half of the image, as well as Jesus teaching the disciples below, and its importance may well have prompted the illuminator to choose this scene to embellish with an historiated initial. As seen above, the King James translators render Et factum est as “And it came to pass,” one of the most distinctive phrases of this well-known translation.

    Note: One large very fine historiated initial “E” of Et factum est, cut from a breviary(?) leaf. Two scenes depicted in the initial : in the upper loop, St. Peter kneeling before Christ ; in the lower loop, Christ preaching to the disciples. Background of initial done in gold leaf, as is the remainder of the phrase, -t factum est, beneath the initial ; colors of pink, blue, white, brown, and gold. Leaf is mounted on a red background and framed in a dark wooden frame ; frame is housed in a protective slipcase. Gift of Eugene L. Gabarty, 10/3/1962.

    Call #: Manus 31