Assisi, Biblioteca Comunale, 694 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Assisi, Biblioteca Comunale, 694

I-Ac 694
Franciscan breviary from central Italy. First half of the thirteenth century. Leaves approximately 270 x 190 mm. Small square notation and central-Italian staff notation. Cathedral Cursus. 392 folios and 3 flyleaves; various scribal hands.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 1-248: Temporale. 1r, First Sunday of Advent; 26r, Christmas; 30r, Stephen; 46r, Epiphany; 55r, Dominical and Ferial Offices; 74v, Septuagesima; 86r, Ash Wednesday; 129r, Triduum; 139v, Easter; 173r, Pentecost; 178v, Histories; lacunae (in the provisions for Judith and at the end of the provisions for the Prophets). Ff. 249-250: Blank. Ff. 251r-257v: Lessons. Ff. 258: Miscellaneous, identified by van Dijk (1954).
Ff. 259-353: Sanctorale. 259r, Andrew; 264v, Lucy; 269r, Agnes; 275v, Purification; 279r, Agatha; lacuna (during provisions for saints in Eastertide); 293r, John the Baptist; 298r, Peter and Paul; 313r, Laurence; 318r, Assumption; 326v, Nativity of Mary; 335r, Michael; 341v, All Saints; 345v, Martin; 349v, Cecilia; 352v, Clement.
Ff. 354-381: Common of Saints (lacunae after Common of Apostles and before and after Common of Virgins). Ff. 382-385: Blank folios. Ff. 386-387: Votive Offices for Mary. Ff. 387-388: Office of the Dead (incomplete); lacuna.


This manuscript was reconstituted in the 1950s by Guiseppe Abate from parts of the former Assisi, Biblioteca comunale, 693 and Assisi, Biblioteca comunale, 694 (see Abate, 1960). A very similar gathering structure suggests that these two manuscripts were copied in the same scriptorium around the same time. An inventory of 1381 indicates that Assisi 693 (before reconsitution) was kept at the Sacro Convento in Assisi, but its location before this date is not known for certain.

The differentiae of each mode have been numbered with a two-digit system: an upper-case letter indicating the final pitch of the differentia and a sequentially ordered numeral. Differentiae that vary in terms only of immediately repeated notes, presence/absence of liquesence or neumation are give the same differentia code, but are distinguished with a lowercase letter in the first column of the “Extra” field.

Chants not found in CAO have been assigned arbitrary numbers beginning with "fra". The codes for differentiae and chants not found in CAO in this index are consistent with those used for the other Franciscan manuscripts in the database:

Assisi, Biblioteca comunale, 693
Assisi, Cattedrale San Rufino - Archivio e Biblioteca, 5
Budapest, Egyetemi Könyvtár (University Library), lat. 118, 119, 122, 121
Chicago, Newberry Library, 24
Città del Vaticano (Roma), Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, lat. 8737
Fribourg (Switzerland), Bibliothèèque des Cordeliers, 2
München, Franziskanerkloster St. Anna, Bibliothek, 12o Cmm 1
Napoli, Biblioteca nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, vi. E. 20

Selected Bibliography

  • Abate, Guiseppe. “Il primitivo breviario francescano (1224-1227).” Miscellanea francescana 60 (1960): 47-240.
  • Mitchell, Andrew W. “The Chant of the Earliest Franciscan Liturgy.” Ph.D. diss., The Unversity of Western Ontario, 2003.
  • van Dijk, S.J.P. and Joan Hazelden Walker. The Origins of the Modern Roman Liturgy: The Liturgy of the Papal Court and the Franciscan Order in the Thirteenth Century. London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 1960.
  • van Dijk, S.J.P. “Some Manuscripts of the Earliest Franciscan Liturgy.” Franciscan Studies 14 (1954): 225-64.

Notes on the Inventory
The index for I-Ac 694 was prepared by Andrew Mitchell at the University of Western Ontario.
Complete/Partial Inventory
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Full Source/Fragment
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