Miniature at the beginning of the Libellus Apologeticus to the Speculum Historiale (Douai version) book I, showing Vincent of Beauvais in his atelier, from manuscript Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale 180, fol. 3r
These pages offer the inventory of surviving medieval manuscripts of the works by Vincent of Beauvais.
The inventory of the surviving manuscripts of the Speculum Maius is limited to manuscripts that contain at least one integral book of the text of one of the specula (Naturale, Doctrinale, Historiale and apocryphal Morale).
Excluded from this inventory are:
- Fragments of manuscripts (single leaves or quires) that offer less than one book.
A preliminary list of these fragments is presented separately.
- Manuscripts containing anonymous abbreviations and adaptations. Some of them abstract longer stretches of text of a specific speculum, concentrating on major topics. Others contain a compendium treating a certain theme, for instance ethics, or the dicts and sayings of philosophers and poets, being derived from a particular section of a speculum. This indirect textual tradition of the Speculum Maius needs further analysis.
A preliminary list of these abbreviations is presented separately.
In contravention to the manuscript listings in the article "Vincentius Belvacensis (Beauvais)" in: Kaeppeli, T., [Panella, E.], Scriptores Ordinis Praedicatorum Medii Aevi, vol. 4, Roma 1993, pp. 435-458, here 437-447, we excluded from the inventory the small(er) excerpts and literal quotations from the specula that occur in many manuscripts, incorporated into thematic anthologies or used as assets to other texts. Examples of these are excerpts dealing with the miracles of the Virgin Mary, the story of Joseph and Barlaam, the vision of Tnugdalus (Tundalus), or biographical information on classical authors used as "illustrations" to the texts of those authors. This indirect textual tradition of the Speculum Maius deserves further analysis.
The inventory surveys the surviving manuscripts of the De morali principis institutione, the De eruditione filiorum nobilium and the Liber consolatorius ad Ludovicum regem de morte filii. Its introductory section points to the need of further analysis of the manuscript tradition of these works.
The inventory lists the surviving manuscripts of seven theological works: Liber de sancta Trinitate, Liber gratie, Expositio in orationem Dominicam, Tractatus in salutatione beate Virginis Marie ab angelo facta, Liber de laudibus beate Marie Virginis, Liber de laudibus sancti Johannis Evangeliste and Liber de penitentia. In spite of the medieval popularity of at least two of these works, the manuscript tradition of Vincent's theological works is a terra incognita, as is signaled in the introductory section.
The inventory of the surviving manuscripts of the Disputed Works is under reconstruction (June 2016).