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Various writings

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Various writings by St. Augustine, in 216 folios (ff.) and 1 leaf: f. i verso: 14th-century table of contents ff. 1 - 39: Liber retractionum. "Incipiunt capitula liber retractionum…/Iam diu est quod facere cogito…/…alios a me dictos retractare coepissem." ff. 39 - 65v: De Achademicis...

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ex libris on f. 216, "Liber sanctae mariae regalis montes."


By end of the 13th century, belonged to the royal Cistercian abbey, Royaumont, France [see note 1]. By 1679, with the Maurists, France [see note 2]. By 1824, in the C. Chardin Collection, no. 52, Paris; 1824, sold at Chardin sale, no. 202 and bought by J.-P. Aillaud [see note 3]. By 1896, with Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), no. 763 [see note 4]; 1896, sold at Sir Thomas Phillipps sale, London, no. 46, and bought by Quaritch [see note 5]; by 1909, sold by Quaritch through Edward Waldo Forbes (1873 - 1969) and purchased by Dr. Denman Waldo Ross (1853 - 1935), Cambridge, MA [see note 6]; 1909, gift of Denman W. Ross. (Accession Date: August 26, 1909) NOTES: [1] Written in Northern France in the mid-thirteenth century, possibly at the royal Cistercian abbey of Royaumont (founded 1227); at the very least, the manuscript belonged to the Abbey by the end of the thirteenth century, according to the ex libris on f. 216, "Liber sanctae mariae regalis montes." [2] The Maurists were a congregration of Benedictine monks. The manuscript was used by the Maurists in their seminal 1679 edition of Augustine's works: see Phillips Library, 32-47, where it is called simply "Regiomontensis." The Maurist editors' characteristic markings and notations are found throughout the manuscript, e.g. f. 141v. C. [3] See pencil notation inside front cover. [4] Phillipps lion rampant stamp on front flyleaf and notation "Phillipps Ms 763" on flyleaf verso. [5] Most probably, Bernard Quaritch (1819-1899), a bookseller and collector in London, England. He founded his company, Bernard Quaritch, Ltd., in 1847. Following his death in 1899, the company was inherited by his son. [6] Forbes was the Director of the Fogg Museum at Harvard University. In addition to MFA leaves 15.300 and 15.301, he also owned two other leaves from the same manuscript.

Credit Line

Denman Waldo Ross Collection

Retractationes of Saint Augustine

French, Medieval (Gothic), mid-13th century

Place of Manufacture


Overall (page dimensions): 26.9 x 19 cm (10 9/16 x 7 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Tempera, ink and pencil (modern) on parchment; bindings of deerskin over boards, parchment pastedowns and flyleaves




Books and manuscripts, Manuscripts