CHD Speculum humanæ salvationis
Ein Spegel der mynsliken Salicheit
Copenhagen - The Royal Library - Ms. GkS 80 2°

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Guide to the KB Online Facsimile
by Erik Drigsdahl
A detailed Table of Contents

GKS 80 2° Speculum humanæ salvationis
Eyn Spegel der mynsliken Salicheit (All in German, 29 Chapters) (Lower Germany c.1440/50)
54ff. 260x192 mm, 26 lines (156/158x128), German bastarda script.
108 miniatures (8 miniatures missing between f.52 and f.53), picture and rubric area ca.56x130 mm.
Rebound by the library in the late 19th century in a cheap cardboard cover with vellum spine, stamped with the monogram of King Christian IX. Title: /Spegel/der/menschlichen/Salicheit//
| Binding Front || Binding Back |
Collation: Regular German quinate: I10 f.1-10, II10 f.11-20, III10 f.21-30, IV10 f.31-40, V10 f.41-50, VI8-4 f.51-54 (-f.52I-IV); Catchwords partly preserved at the bottom right of f.20v, 40v, 50v;
Provenance: The book was in Denmark at an early stage, when explanations to the pictures were written in the margin by a Danish hand dating from the second half of the 16th cent. As many other Speculum manuscripts was this obviously made as a wedding present to the bride, and a qualified guess is that it was brought to Denmark with one of the many Queens of German birth. Every trace of an original owner has unfortunately been removed. It has apparently been in the Royal Library since its foundation in the 17th century.
Bibl.: Erichsen 1786 p.18; Rasmus Nyerup & P.F.Suhm: Symbolæ ad Literaturam Teutonicam antiquorum, Havniæ 1787, pp.XXXIII-XXXV, 453-460; Chr. Bruun 1890, p.203; Borchling, 1900, p.18-19; E.Breitenbach, 1930, pp.29-30,77,; Exhibition GB 1952;
A short General Introduction (with select bibliography) will follow at the end of this document.

Disposition of the Table of Contents:
The notes are strictly following the foliation in the manuscript, and the links will bring you directly to the Web Site at the Royal Library and show the page you click on. The pictures are often of a surprisingly fine quality [after 1997 standards] where it is possible to read the text with a little patience. [This will probably soon reveal some errors in my notes, as they were made in 1991 after a black & white microfilm. The notes were not made for publication, but the Online Facsimile has forced me to make them quickly available here, with no time left for revision. The main focus is, after all, on the other much more sophisticated and unique version of the Speculum in the Royal Library, Ms. GkS 79 2°, written and designed in Northern France in 1430 (with coloration and additions mainly made in Germany)].

The German versified translation of the Speculum humanae salvationis had normally only 38 chapters against 42 chapters in the Latin original. In this book were the last nine chapters omitted for unknown reasons ending after chapter 29. The half empty last page with an "Amen" proves that nothing is missing at the ending.
Each chapter has a scene from the life of Christ as the theme, following the "Biblia pauperum" tradition, but the two parallel scenes from the Old Testament (the so-called 'typologies') in the Biblia pauperum is extended to three scenes from the Old Testament for each theme from the New Testament.
For Bible references to each of the subjects see the description of Ms. GkS 79 2°
As the text and pictures not are synchronized on the page, can it look somewhat confusing (with chapters beginning in the middle of a page, or pictures painted in reverse order as on fol.19).
I have tried to visualize the disposition in chapters as clearly as possible in the layout.
The chapter headings follow here the pictures, and not the text (the number of the chapters are not indicated in the German text anyway, they are here taken from the original version in Latin). Pictures are marked with an asterix, the rubricated text beneath the illustrations is in red, and the incipits of the chapters are marked with a paragraph (which means a large decorated initial) and a quotation of the first four "verses".
To facilitate translation problems have I borrowed most of the picture-titles in English from one of our most distinguished colleagues: Montague Rhodes James (Oxford 1926).
The style of the paintings point to the Lower Rheine / Niedersachsen, around 1440. The rich pictorial material, now offered by the Royal Library, will hopefully soon reveal a more specific location of the artist and many new references to iconographical parallels. It seems that the German artist was an illiterate, he has in many cases completely ignored the text, and faithfully rendered the traditional 14th century iconography from the Latin version in his studio. This can cause considerable confusion, and seem contradictionary, but it would take too long here to comment on each of the pictures.
The marginal notes in Danish from the 16th century are even worse. The commentator was a born Lutheran, and completely ignorant about medieval iconographical traditions. A translation is not worthwhile. The chivalrous love-story illustrated on f.2-2v is not related in any way to the Speculum Prologue, but is, in my opinion, a humorous allusion to the legend of the terrible Rogier le Danois and his disastruous marriage (more about this later).

Abbreviations: L, M, R: Left, middle, right (position of the miniature).

f.1L: *The Author by his Writing Desk (44x30)
R: *Young Man and Woman in Love by a Tree (44x87)
/Hir beginnet desses bukes prologus. Dat hetet ene vor rede unde ludet aldus. Qui ad iusticiam erudiunt multos Confulgebunt quasi stelle in perpetuas eternitates. Welk lerer wil leren de rechticheyt ->
f.1v°*Felling of the Tree and Distribution of its Parts (45x118)
Extra pictorial sequence (Not related to Speculum and its Prologue)
f.2L: *Man offering a Ring to a Lady (Proposal) (45x51)
R: *The Man chasing the Woman with a Club (45x69)
f.2v°L: *Chivalrous Warrior defeats the Man
M: *The New Man visit the Woman in her House
R: *The New Man hands the Woman a Crown and a Scepter
f.3*The Fall of The Angels
(No rubric)
[Ch.1] /¶ Dit buk is den vnghelerden bii reyt unde het
eyn spegel der mynsliken salicheit. color="#000000">(¶5 penwork red/blue)
f.3v°L: *God Creating Adam (46x55)
R: *God Creating Eve (46x59)
Hir maket god Euan van deme ribbe Adames.
[Ch.2] ¶ Hir hebbe wy gehoret wo god dem mynschen hogede
Nu hore wi wo he sik suluen vorsnode.
f.4L: *Adam and Eve united in Matrimony (45x64)
R: *The Lord leading Adam and Eve into Paradise (45x52)
Hir truwet he se tho hope de here Ihesus Cristus.
f.4v°*The Temptation of Eve
Hir bedrucht de duuel Euan alse gi mogen seen unde horen.
f.5*The Fall of Man
Hir eten se van der vrucht des paradises also gi mogen seen.
f.5v°*The Expulsion from Paradise
Hir sleyt see de engel uth deme paradyse alse gi mogen seen.
[Ch.3] ¶ Wil wi unse losinghe beschouwen
Dat mote wy beghinnen van unser vrouwen
Wente do god mynsche wolde werden
Do muste he erst senden syne moder vp de erden.
f.6*Adam and Eve Toiling on Earth
Hir radet Adam unde Eua spint also gi mogen sen.
f.6v°*Noah's Ark
Dit is archa Noe de hir ghemalet steyt.
f.7*The Birth of Mary Announced to Joachim
De bodeschop Joachim van deme engele.
f.7v°*The Dream of King Astyages
Astrages slept unde dromet van syner dochter wo eer eyn winstam wasset uter deme buke.
f.8*The Closed Garden and the Sealed Fountain
De boslatene garde den mach men hir beschouwen.
Balam wy vor maledie en [sant] nu [but] em de engel wedder.
[Ch.4] ¶ Unser vrouwen bodeschop hebbe wy ghehort
Nu hore wi vort erer ghebort.
f.9*The Birth of The Virgin Mary
Hyr licht Anna in deme kindelbedde unde Iosep (!) nicht verne van er.
[Margin: "Sancta Anna ligger y barsell seng"]
f.9v°*The Three of Jesse
Her Yessen stam unde sine rode de sut men hir.
f.10*The Closed Door
De porte her zechielis de mach nie hir beschouwen.
f.10v°*The Temple of Solomon
Hir mach men beschouwen Salamonis tempel.
[Ch.5] ¶ Hir hebbe we ghehort Marien ghebort
Nu horet wo se to tempel wart gevoret.
f.11*The Presentation of Mary in the Temple
Hir offert Anna ere kint in den Tempel also men hir sict.
f.11v°*The Golden Table
Hir teen de vischer ut deme mere enen gulden disch.
f.12*Jephtah sacrificing his Dauther
Yepte offert syne dochter in den berch figu[r]a[m].
f.12v°*The Queen of Persia in the Hanging Garden
Der konynginnen garden van Persia geplantet hoch up eynen torn.
[Ch.6] ¶ Nu wete wy wo Maria to tempel quam
Nu hore wy wo se echteschop ghewan.
f.13*Marriage of Mary and Joseph
Hir truwet men Yoseph unde Marien to samende.
f.13v°*Marriage of Sara Daughter of Raguel
Hir gift me to hope Asmodeus unde Sara in dat echte.
f.14*The Tower called Baris
De stat myt den tornen tho Par˙s de moge gi sen al hyr.
f.14v°*The Tower of David
Davites torne den moge gi beschouwen al hyr.
[Ch.7] ¶ Marien echte hebbe we ghehort
wo se bo swert wart hore vort.
f.15*The Annunciation
Hir moge gi seen de bodeschop unser leuen vrouwen.
f.15v°*Moses and the Burning Bush
Hir sach Moyses den busch vul vures unde de here dar inne.
f.16*Gideon's Fleece
Her Gedeon biddet Gode umme en teken dat sut men hir.
f.16v°*Rebekah gives Drink to Eliezar
Hir sent her Abraham vt sinen knecht umme ene iuncvrouwen.
[Ch.8] ¶ De bodeschop godes hebbe wy ghehort
Dan moge wy horen van syner bort.
f.17*The Nativity
Hir licht Maria in deme kindelbedde unde nicht verne van er Ioseph.
f.17v°*The Dream of Pharaoh's Butler
Hir breckt men den wyn in den beker unde up deme stole.
f.18*Aaron's Rod
Hir se gi her Aaronis roden wo se gestalt synt.
f.18v°*Octavian and the Sibyl
Sibilla wiset Octavianus eyn teken by der sunne.
[Ch.9] ¶ Christus ghebort hebbe wy vornomen
Nu hore wy wo eme dat offer is ghekomen.
f.19*The Magi see the Star [Should bee on f.19v!]
Hir bringet se dat offer gode also men seen mach.
f.19v°*The Adoration of the Magi [Should bee on f.19, the scenes are drawn in reverse order!]
Hir segen de hilgen dre konynge de sterne.
f.20*David is brought Water from the Well of Bethlehem
Hir let David water halen ut der crysterne.
[Ch.10] ¶ Hir hebbe wy gehoret wo Ihesu Crist
Van den konyngen an gebedet yst
Hir na schole wy horn unde schouwen
Den kerkgank vnser leuen vrouwen.
f.20v°*The Queen of Sheba with King Solomon (?)
Hir brinkt de konynginne deme konynge Davite den nap. (!)
f.21*The Presentation in the Temple
Hir bringet Maria den heren in den tempel.
f.21v°*The Ark of the Covenant
Dat vor guldene scrin dar ynne lack manna dat hemmelsche brot.
f.22*The Golden Candlestick
Dit is de guldene lucht de dar brande in dem tempel Iherusalems.
[Ch.11] ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghehort wo Ihesu Crist
Syneme hemmelschen vader geoffert ist
Nu schole wy hir na schouwen
Wo he vloth in Egypten myt vnser vrouwen.
f.22v°*[The Child Samuel presented in the Tabernacle]
Hir offert Maria den heren in den tempel to Iherusalem.
f.23*The Flight into Egypt and the Fall of Idols
Hir vlut Joseph mit Marien in Egypten lant.
f.23v°*Mary and Child with two Angels
Dit was en bilde in Egypten lant dat was also ghestalt.
f.24*Moses casts down Pharaoh's Crown
Moyses to brak konyng Pharaom syne krone dar umme let he ene stan.
[Ch.12] ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghehort wo Ihesu Crist
In Egypten gevlogen ist
Nu scole wy gehoren wo sunte Iohan
Ene dofte in der Iordanen.
f.24v°*Nebuchadnezzar's Dream of a Golden Image
Nabugodonosor dromet van der gulden sulen.
f.25*The Baptism of Christ
Hir doft sunte Iohannes Cristum in der Iordanen.
f.25v°*The Brazen Laver
Dat hantuat was van ere ghegoten unde xij ossen drogen dat.
f.26*Naaman cleaning himself in the Jordan
Hir wasche sik Naaman in der Iordanen.
[Ch.13] ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghehort wo Ihesu Crist
In der Iordane ghedoft ist.
Nu schole wy hir na horen
Wo he sik Sathanas let bokoren.
f.26v°*Passage of the Ark through the Jordan
Hir dregen se de archen edder dat scrin ouer de Iordanen.
f.27L: *The Temptation of Christ (46x44)
R: *Christ with the Devil on a Roof and a Mountain (46x72)
Hir bekoret Sathanas unsen heren up den tempel.
f.27v°L: *Destruction of The Idol of Bel (46x67)
R: *Daniel Feeding the Dragon (46x54)
Daniel vorstoret den draken tho Babilonia.
f.28*David slays Goliath
David werpet den groten Golyam dot myt der slenghen.
[Ch.14] ¶ Hir hebbe we ghe hort wo unse here bokoret wart
Nu schole wy horen wo Magdalena is bokart.
f.28v°*David kills a Bear and a Lion
David vellede enen baren unde enen louwen.
f.29*Christ Dining in the House of Simon
Hir wert Maria Magdalena bekert.
f.29v°*The Penitence of King Manasseh in Captivity
Hir settet konyngh Manasses ghe vangen.
[Ch.15] ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghehort wo Crist Magdalen= [missing]
Nu scole wy horen wat he an den palmdage begink.
f.30*The Prodigal Son and his Return
De vorlorne sone et myt den swinen.
f.30v°*David and Nathan
De prophete Natan straffet Davite umme sine sunde.
f.31*Christ Weeping at the Sight of Jerusalem
God bewenet den schaden der stat tho Iherusalem.
f.31v°L: *Jeremiah Watching the Destruction of his Town (47x54)
R: *The Entry of Christ into Jerusalem (50x72)
De prophete Ieremias bewenet der ioden ungemak.
[Ch.16] ¶ Hir hebbe wy gehoret wo unse here Ihesu Crist
In deme palmdage untfangen ist.
Nu schole wy horen dar na ene[m]
Wo he vns dat sacrament heft gegeuen.
f.32*The Triumph of David
Hyr teen de schare ut [t]egen Davite unde entfangen ene.
f.32v°*Heliodorus repulsed from the Tempel
Hyr geyslet men Heliodor den ridder in deme tempel to Iherusalem.
f.33*The Last Supper
Hir eet god dat auent etent myt synen iungeren.
f.33v°*The Manna in the Desert
Hir regent hemmels brot in der wostenye.
[Ch.17] ¶ Hir hebbe wy gehort wo Crist gaf synen licham
Nu scolen wy horen wo he sinen vienden ere macht benam.
f.34*The Jews preparing the Easter Lamb
Hyr eten de ioden dat pasche lam mit up gescorten clederen.
f.34v°*Abraham offers Bread and Wine to Melchizedek
Melchisedech biit Abraham wyn unde brot.
f.35*Jesus' Words strikes the Warriors with Fear
Hir benemet God synen vienden ere macht.
f.35v°*Samson kills 1000 Men with a Jaw-Bone of an Ass
Sampson sleyt .M. man dot myt eyner eseles kennebacken.
[Ch.18] ¶ Nu hebbe wy gehort wo god syne viende vor wan
Nu horet wo he sik gaf in der viende hant.
f.36*Samgar kills 600 Men
Sanger sloch vi.C. manne myt eyme pluchschar.
f.36v°*David kills 600 Men
David sloch soshundert lude dot myt ener kennebacken.
f.37*The Betrayal of Christ
Hir kusset Judas unsen heren Ihesum Cristum
f.37v°*Joab kills Amasa
Joab de kusset Amasam valchlik unde stikt ene ruggelink dor.
[Ch.19] ¶ Vor hebbe wy ghehort wo unse here Ihesu Crist
Vor raden unde ok gevangen ist
Nu scole wy horen wo em in der suluen nacht
Also vele smaheyt wart to ghebracht.
f.38*Saul Seeks to Kill David
Saul wil Hur dochter man Davite dot slan
f.38v°*Cain kills Abel
Kayn sleyt synen broder Abel dot myt der herken.
f.39L: * Christ before Pilate (50x64)
R: *Mocking of Christ (50x62)
De ioden bespeu unde bespotten unsen here Ihesum.
f.39v°*Jesus is spat upon by the Jews
De ioden vor drenkeden unsen heren myt spekelen.
[Ch.20] ¶ Hir hebbe wy vornomen wo unse here Crist
Bespiet ende bespottet ist.
Nu schole wy horen unde vorstan
wo he to der stupe wart geslagen.
f.40*Ham Mocking his Father Noah
Cam bolachet synen vader Noe umme de nakecheyt.
f.40v°*Samson is blinded and his Hair cut by the Philistines
Hir breckt me Samson syne ogen ut unde vor snit em syn har.
f.41*The Flagellation
De geyselinghe unses heren de moge gi seen al hir.
[Ch.21] ¶ Hir hebbe wy gehort wo unse here Crist
An der stupe geyselet is
Nu scole wy dar na vorstan
Wo en de ioden cronet han.
f.41v°*Achior is bound to a Tree
Achior bindet men an den bom also gi mogen seen.
f.42*Lamech beaten by his two Wives
Hir slan Lamech beyde wif dat me an eme iam sut.
f.42v°*Job beaten by the Words from his Wife
Satan geyslet Iob unde syn wyf bespottet en also.
f.43*The Crowning with Thorns
Hir kronen de ioden unsen heren god in groten pinen.
[Ch.22] ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghehort wo unse here Ihesu Crist
Ghe kronet unde bespottet ist
Nu wille wy nv der van sagen
wo he syn cruce muste dragen.
f.43v°*The Concubine smites the King and takes his Crown
Appememen de amme sleyt dem konyng an sine bakken unde nympt em syne kronen.
f.44*Shimei casts Stones at David
Symeon de vor malediet Davite de ander figura.
f.44v°*The King of Ammon insults David's Ambassadors
Konyng Amon schendet Davites boden unde scheret em half den bart aff.
f.45*The Carrying of the Cross
Hir drecht god syn cruce unde Symon cyrenensis helpet ene.
[Ch.23] ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghehort wo Crist gedroth vt der stat
Nu schole gi horen wo he vor syne viende bat
Do he dat cruce hadde ghedragen
Dar en de mordere wolden plagen.
f.45v°*Isaac carries Wood for his own Sacrifice
Isaac drecht syn holt, dar en syn vader mede offeren wolde.
f.46*The Heir of the Vineyard is killed
De wyn knechte slan den erfuamem des wingarden dot.
f.46v°*Two Spies carry the Grapes from the Land of Promise
Twe manne dregen windruf vt deme lande des loues in de wostenige.
f.47*The Nailing to the Cross
Hir negelt men Xpristum an dat cruce.
[Ch.24] ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghe hort wo Crist vor sine viende bat
Nu schole wy horen wo he synen dot vor ge wiset hat.
f.47v°*Tubalcain and Iubal invents the Anvil and the Music
Tobalkaym dichtet smedewerk unde Zubal dichtet nademe ludesank.
f.48*Isaiah sawn in Parts
Hir saget men Ieremyam en twey myt der saghen.
f.48v°*The King of Moab sacrifices his Son
Konyng Moab offert synem sone up der muren.
f.49*The Crucifixion
Unse here Ihesus Cristus an deme cruce henget.
[Ch.25] ¶ Hir hebben wy ghehort wo Ihesu Crist
Van den ioden ghe dodet ist
Dar ghe nogede den morderen nicht an
Se wolden ok ene na deme dode to spotte han.
f.49v°*The Dream of King Nebuchadnezzar
Konyng Nabugodonosor licht an eme drome al hyr.
f.50*The Voluntary Death of King Codrus of Athens
Konyng Codrus let sik dot slan dorch sines volkes willen.
f.50v°*Eleazar kills the Elephant and dies himself
Eleasar stickt dat starke elephant alse gi mogen seen.
f.51*Death of Christ on the Cross
Hir steruet god an deme cruce also gi mogen hir seen.
[Ch.26] ¶ Uor hebbe wy ghe hort van unseme heren syn pyne
Nu schole wy horen van der bedroueden moder syne.
Allent dat unse here leyt an deme licham ->
f.51v°*David is derided by his Wife Michal
David wert belachet van synem wive.
f.52*The Death of Absolom
Absolon stervet an deme eken bome also gi sen mogen.
f.52v°*Evilmerodach cuts his Father's Body in 300 Parts
De hertoge Enumedach to houwet synem vader in iijC stucken.
[Ch.27] ->> ¶ Hir hebbe wy ghe hort van Marien bedrouicheyt
de se by deme cruce leyt
Nu scole wi horen ok dar af
wo se wenede ouer eres kindes graf.
Do men Crist to deme graue droch
Maria was dar mede unde wenede ghe nuch
Ere wenent unde ere ha[n]tslagent
Dat kan neyn munt to vullen sagen vt// [End of chapter 27 missing]
CHAPTER 26-27-28
f.52'*[Four leaves missing, with 8 miniatures to illustrate Chapters 26-27. Text missing to most of Ch.27 from line 7 (Nulla lingua sufficit ->), all of Chapter 28, and the first 4 lines of Ch.29 until: Cum fortis armatus ->]
f.53L: *Christ Relieving Adam and Eve from Purgatory (50x87)
R: *Souls in Purgatory (50x30)
Dit is de veerleye helle dar men af list ut den boken.
/De benympt eme alle syne macht [Ch.29 line 5 ->]
Also is deme bosen viende gheschen
Dat moge wy an desser liknisse geseen ->
->Dit was ok in der olden ee bewiset
An Bananyas dar van men so lest
Dar he was so vrom eyn starker man
Dat he enem louwen dorste bestan ->
f.53v°*Three Children delivered from the Furnace
De dre kindere in den ouene benedigeden unde loueden den heren.
f.54L: *Daniel in the Lions Den (50x40)
R: *Christ defeats the Devil
Daniel sitter in der leuwen kulen myt den leuwen.
f.54v°*The Ostrich delivers its Young from the Glass
De strus vorloset syn kint ut deme glase.
explicit ->> Wy scholen wedder eme vechten vromelik
so wert uns to loue dat ewige rijk
Auer we myt em in deme lesten ende wert ouerwonnen
De mot met eme Jn de helle werden ghebunden.
O leue here lat uns eme so wedder stan up erden,
Dat wy van dy nummer ghescheden werden. Amen. (15 lines blank)//

Selected General Bibliography:
J. Lutz & Paul Perdrizet: Speculum humanæ salvationis, I-II, Mülhause 1907-1909.
M.R. James: Speculum humanæ salvationis, Oxford 1926.
Edgar Breitenbach: Speculum humanæ salvationis, Strassburg 1930 (Studien zur deutsche Kunstgeschichte Heft 272).
A. & J.L.Wilson: A Medieval Mirror: Speculum humanae salvationis, 1324-1500, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1984.
Avril Henry: The Mirour of Mans Saluacioune, Scolar Press 1986 (Edition of the middle English translation of the Speculum, with valuable comments).

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