Isolated leaf, extracted from a manuscript (unbound) or isolated leaf used for posting (the spine is white), manuscript copied in red and brown ink on parchment
France (?), late 13th century or early 14th century (?)
Good general condition, parchment soiled in places, four holes in the corners (sign that this leaf was once posted or plastered), traces of leather and glue from a dismembered binding.
Dimensions : 342 x 228 mm
Incipit : " Luxuria. Servio sic Veneri quod honestis nolo teneri..."; Explicit: "Superbia. Cetera cum superbo meniet transcendere...Contumacia. Nec male concepta mutabo nec male cepta".
For Christians, the deadly sins are the seven sins or "vices" that lead to all the others. This nomenclature appeared in the 4th century and was systematized in the 13th century by Thomas Aquinas in his Summa theologica.
Copied in the form of a tree, this text probably had a counterpart devoted to the seven virtues. It is also found alone, without the counterpart "virtues", under the title "Arbor vitiorum (Tree of vices). In the present diagram, the capital sins (lust (luxuria); gluttony (gula); avarice (avaritia); accidia (acedia or sloth); anger (ira); invidia (envy) and pride (superbia)), followed by the "sub-vices" that depend on each capital sin, and then mnemonic verses in Latin, have been copied in red ink. A tree of virtues (arbor virtutum) is a diagram used in the medieval Christian tradition to display the relationships between the virtues, usually juxtaposed with a tree of vices (arbor vitiorum) where the vices are treated in parallel. Along with family trees, these diagrams are considered among the earliest tree-diagrams.
This text and the associated mnemonic verses are found in other manuscripts, often florilegia and theological compilations, e.g. Paris, BnF, Latin 3630 (ff. 29-29v), "De peccatis mortalibus cum aliis ab eisdem dependentibus", incipit, "Luxuria. Servio sic Veneri quod honestis nolo teneri..." (text recorded by Walther, Proverbia, no. 28163; Walther Initia carminum, no. 17764 (De vitiis et virtutibus, 3 witnesses, all from the 15th century) and 17586 (Arbor vitiorum, 2 witnesses from the 15th century: Breslau, UB, I. F. 137, fol. 139v; Wien, 4120, ff. 90v-92).
Bloomfield, M. 'A Preliminary List of Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices, mainly of the Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries', in Traditio, vol. 11 (1955), pp. 259-379. - Evans, M. "The Geometry of the Mind", in Architectural Association Quarterly 12.4 (1980), pp. 32-55. Schmitt, Jean-Claude. "Les images classificatrices," in Bibliothèque de l'Ecole des chartes, vol. 147 (1989), pp. 311-341. - Walther, H. Proverbia sententiaeque latinitatis medii ac recentioris aevi, Göttingen, 1963-1969. - Walther, H. Initia carminum ac versuum medii aevi posterioris latinorum..., Göttingen, 1959.
Work of the Months and the Zodiac