Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France - Département des Manuscrits, Latin 15181 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France - Département des Manuscrits, Latin 15181

F-Pn Lat. 15181
Noted breviary in two volumes, with F-Pn Lat. 15182. Early 14th century (ca. 1300). From Notre Dame Cathedral (Paris, France). Cathedral cursus. 552 folios.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 1-6: Kalendar. Ff. 7-10: various liturgical texts. Ff. 11r- 96v: Ferial Office. Ff. 97-105: Canticles and other liturgical texts.
Ff. 106-355: Winter Temporale. 106r, First Sunday of Advent; 133v, Great "O" Antiphons; 139r, Christmas; 198r, Septuagesima; 215r, Ash Wednesday; 294v, Easter; 331v, Ascension; 342r, Pentecost.
Ff. 356-498: Winter Sanctorale (Offices with a substantial number of chants not found in CAO are indicated with an *). 356r, Andrew; 362v, Reception of the Relics; 375r, *Immaculate Conception; 388r, Stephen; 407v, Genevieve; 426r, Vincent; 444r, Purification; 466v, Annunciation; 472v, Mary the Egyptian; 479r, Finding of Denis; 488r, Finding of the Holy Cross; 491v, *Judas Quiriacus; 496v, Translation of Nicholas; 498r, Germain of Paris (incomplete; rubric refers users to seek the rest of the Office in the Summer volume).
Ff. 499r-538r: Common of Saints. Ff. 538r-549r: Invitatory Tones. Ff. 549r-551r: Hymns for day hours.


The manuscripts F-Pn Lat. 15181 and 15182, the Winter and Summer halves of a noted breviary designed for use at Notre Dame Cathedral, were probably copied in Paris around the year 1300. The feast of Corpus Christi as well as a few rubrics and marginal chants (e.g. the Responsory "Fluenta evangelii"/Verse "Beatus vir," and Antiphon "Exiit sermo" for John the Evangelist) seem to be later additions. The index of F-Pn Lat. 15181 follows the modern set of folio numbers in Arabic numerals, in the upper right hand corner of each recto. This numbering includes 10 folios (a kalendar and some liturgical texts) added to the front of the codex, excluded from the foliation system of Roman numerals in the main body of the codex. The number 401 has been used twice in the Arabic numbers, a mistake not represented in the Roman numerals.

The manuscripts contain a substantial number of chants and Offices not found in CAO (indicated with an asterisk in the contents of each book, see above). The breviary also includes a number of Offices in full or partial modal order: in F-Pn Lat. 15181, Nicholas, Immaculate Conception, John the Evangelist, Vincent, and Annunciation; in F-Pn Lat. 15182, Trinity, Corpus Christi, Finding of Stephen, Crown of Thorns, Augustine, Giles, Nativity of Mary, Matthew, Genulf, and Catherine. Along with chants for the Daily Office, F-Pn Lat. 15181 and 15182 prescribe numerous chants for processions and memorials. The processional items, typically a responsory to be sung whenever the feast fell on a Sunday (and would then be celebrated with a procession) but occasionally a responsory and antiphon, are assigned the letter "X" in the Genre field. Rubrics may contain additional information about processions, such as indications about performance practice (e.g. a direction to sing in organum the verse in the processional responsory for the Assumption and the Nativity of the Virgin Mary) and/or routes and destinations of the procession itself. Memorial items, typically an antiphon and versicle, are indicated by the letter "R" in the Position field when the memorial is sung at the end of Lauds or Vespers; when the precise liturgical context is uncertain, or when the memorial is intended to be sung at various times during the season or year, the items are indicated by the letter "R" in the Office field.

There are a total of thirty-two differentiae: seven each for modes I and IV (two of the mode IV differentiae appear only in transposed versions); four each for modes III, VII, and VIII, two for mode II (the second of these is employed only with the "O" antiphons of Advent), and a single differentia for modes V and VI. There are twelve different invitatory tones used in F-Pn Lat. 15181 and 15182. These have been identified using the Cantus system of numbers and two-letter sigla. Although these tones are associated with antiphons in modes II through VII, they are most frequently used in conjunction with antiphons in modes IV and VI.

Selected Bibliography

Notes on the Inventory
This inventory for F-Pn Lat. 15181 was prepared by Susan Kidwell (University of Texas at Austin) with editorial assistance from Charles Downey (Catholic University). The source description was updated by Debra Lacoste in June 2024. (olim F-Pnm Lat. 15181)
Complete/Partial Inventory
Complete Inventory
Full Source/Fragment
Full Source