Assisi, Biblioteca comunale, 693 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Assisi, Biblioteca comunale, 693

I-Ac 693
Franciscan breviary from central Italy. First half of the thirteenth century. Leaves approximately 260 x 185 mm. Small square notation and central-Italian staff notation. Cathedral Cursus. 249 folios, various scribal hands.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 1-197: Temporale (begins and ends incompletely). 1r, Wednesday, second week of Advent; 16r, Christmas; 20r, Stephen; lacuna; 32r, first Sunday after Epiphany; 35r, Dominical Office; lacuna (in the middle of Feria 2 per annum); 54v, Septuagesima; 66r, Ash Wednesday; 109r, Triduum; 119v, Easter; 158r, Pentecost; 163v, Histories (to the middle of Job); lacuna. F. 198: addition of some of the missing Office items in very small writing (not notated); miscellaneous material (not chant).
Ff. 200-244: Sanctorale (begins and ends incompletely). 200r, Peter and Paul (incomplete); 208r, Mary Magdalene; lacuna; 210r, Assumption (incomplete); 215v, Beheading of John the Baptist; 217v, Nativity of Mary; 221v, Exaltation of the Cross; 226r, Michael; 232v, All Saints; 236r, Martin; 240v, Cecilia; 243v, Clement.
Ff. 245-249: Common of Saints. 245r, Common of Apostles (complete); 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 the two manuscripts were copied in the same scriptorium around the same time. An inventory of 1381 indicates that this manuscript (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.

The codes for differentiae in this index are consistent with those used for the other Franciscan manuscripts in the database:

Assisi, Biblioteca comunale, 694
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 inventory for I-Ac 693 was prepared by Andrew Mitchell at The University of Western Ontario.
Other Editors
Alessandra Ignesti
Full Texts Entered by
Marta Borowska
Melodies Entered by
Neven Prostran
Complete/Partial Inventory
Complete Inventory
Full Source/Fragment
Full Source