Manuscripts of Speculum Maius

Sigla of components

Na Speculum Naturale, Tournai version
Nb Speculum Naturale, Bruges version
Nc Speculum Naturale, Douai version
LA Libellus Apologeticus
Pnat Prologue to the Speculum Naturale
Nat text of the Speculum Naturale
Rhist Résumé of the Speculum Historiale in the Speculum Naturale

In order to distinguish different versions of the components of a speculum, a number is added to the component's siglum, preceded by a hyphen. To indicate a specific redaction, a letter is added to the number. Thus LA-4B is the second redaction of the fourth version of Libellus Apologeticus.

Manuscripts of the Speculum Naturale : Introduction

manuscript Vellereille-lez-Brayeux, Collège de Bonne Espérance, Speculum Naturale (Bruges version) vol. 2, fol. 10v

Speculum Naturale (Bruges version), beginning of book XVII, from manuscript Vellereille-lez-Brayeux, Collège de Bonne Espérance, Speculum Naturale vol. 2, fol. 10v — © Séminaire épiscopal, Tournai / © KIK-IRPA, Brussels

This section on the surviving manuscripts of the Speculum Naturale is related to the introduction into the genesis of the Speculum Naturale (see Overview of genesis) and its components (see Components). It extends the general introduction into the manuscript inventory of the Speculum Maius (see Manuscripts of the Speculum Maius).

Due to new discoveries about the genesis of the Speculum Naturale, different schemas of sigla have been assigned to its surviving manuscripts. The sigla Hans Voorbij used in his Ph.D. (Het "Speculum Historiale" van Vincent van Beauvais, Groningen 1991, pp. 330-335) and those Monique Paulmier-Foucart used in various books and publications, have been revised by Eva Albrecht in her Ph.D. (De ontstaansgeschiedenis en de compilatie van het "Speculum Naturale" van Vincent van Beauvais († 1264), 2007, vol. 2, pp. 2-6). Mary Franklin-Brown (Reading the World. Encyclopedic Writing in the Scholastic Age, 2012, pp. xvii-xviii) slightly altered Albrecht's scheme. This revised scheme of sigla is used here.

Three versions and their components

Three versions of the Speculum Naturale are known today. They are listed below, with an indication of the specific components that make up this speculum. The combinations of letters and numbers point to different versions of these components. The table in the right-hand margin of this page explains the meaning of these sigla.

Na: Speculum Naturale, Tournai version

Nb: Speculum Naturale , Bruges version

Nc: Speculum Naturale, Douai version

The manuscripts of the three versions are listed in the sections Tournai version, Bruges version, Douai version, as indicated in the left-hand margin of this page. A few manuscripts could not be assigned to a specific version as yet, see the section Unclassified manuscripts. The manuscripts of the Memoriale Temporum, a part of the Tournai version that was diffused separately, are listed in the section Tournai version.