Troyes, Médiathèque de l'Agglomération Troyenne, MS 504

Pastoral Rule of Gregory the Great Facsimile Edition

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Known by various titles, including Regula Pastoralis, Liber Pastoralis, and Cura Pastoralis, Gregory I began his Pastoral Rule in 590, the year he was elected pope. The work was immediately successful, was widely disseminated within Gregory's lifetime, and became one of the most copied and translated works of the European Middle Ages.

Presented in four parts, the Pastoral Rule is a handbook divided into sixty-five chapters that outline the duties and responsibilities of the clergy. The Troyes manuscript was made before Gregory's death in 604 and is the oldest and most authoritative copy of the text. The Troyes Pastoral Rule of Gregory the Great is generally agreed to bear edits written by the author himself.

Seventh-Century Uncial

Lacking word divisions, the script in the Troyes Pastoral Rule is a significant representative of late antique writing. The fine Uncial script covers about twenty-five lines per page and suggests that the book was written in Italy, probably in Rome. The text also features some of the earliest decorated initials in the Western manuscript tradition. These penwork initials feature scrolling decoration in red, green, and yellow.

Written under the Author's Supervision

Most pages of the Troyes Pastoral Rule include the erasures, additions, and corrections thought to be the work of Gregory himself. These revisions contain several layers of interventions and imply an author's edits. It appears thus to be here within the Troyes manuscript that the popular treatise begun in 590 received its final revision. It soon became the staple of every European monastic library.

Signs of wear in the manuscript witness centuries of use and reference. Traces of consultation abound between the leaves of the Troyes Pastoral Rule, including inscriptions added in tenth-century Caroline Minuscule (fol. 77v). The original codex was used so much that it was disbound, which is likely to blame for the loss of a gathering of the text. The book was among those in the large library of François Pithou bequeathed upon his death in 1621 to the Collège de l'Oratoire, whence it entered the Bibliothèque municipale of Troyes (later the Médiathèque de l’Agglomération Troyenne).

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Pastoral Rule of Gregory the Great": Codex Trecensis: la "Regola Pastorale" di Gregorio Magno facsimile edition, published by SISMEL - Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2005

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Manuscript book description compiled by Erene Rafik Morcos.
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Codex Trecensis: la "Regola Pastorale" di Gregorio Magno

Florence: SISMEL - Edizioni del Galluzzo, 2005

  • Commentary (French, Italian, Latin) by Judic, Bruno; Petrucci, Armando; Nardelli, Franca; Chiesa, Paolo; Orlandi, Giovanni
  • This is a partial facsimile of the original document, Pastoral Rule of Gregory the Great: the facsimile might represent only a part, or doesn't attempt to replicate the format, or doesn't imitate the look-and-feel of the original document.

Pages are surrounded by an additional white margin.

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