Sex humanae vitae aetates.

Accession number: 
MS M.1168
Sex humanae vitae aetates.
France, 1432.
Modern binding of green brocade over boards. A vellum wrapper, perhaps the original binding, is bound in at the beginning of the book.
Purchased on the Bühler Fund, 2008.
26 leaves (1 column), bound : vellum and paper, ill. ; 220 x 148 mm
Martinus Franti; Ferdinando Strozzi (1774-1836), his initials and stamp preserved on the leather backstrip of the previous binding, and his stamp and motto EXPECTO, on fol. 1; sale (New York, Swann Auction Galleries, 11 November 2008, lot 153); purchased on the Bühler Fund, 2008.

Ms. commentary on the six ages of man; written and illuminated in France, in 1432.
Decoration: 4 calligraphic initials with heads, 1 border with pennant and roundels indicating the four elements.
Texts: Commentary on the six ages of man. The first age begins with Adam and Eve; the second with Noah; the third with Abraham; the fourth with David; the fifth with Cambyses (Babylonian captivity); and the sixth with the birth of Christ, the last written in red letters. Among the recent names are Pope Boniface IX (d. 1404) and Tamerlane, the Mongol conqueror (d. 1405).
Biblical commentators developed various systems linking the ages of man with biblical and world history from the creation onwards. Augustine was one of the most influential of these commentators, relating the six days of creation to the six ages of man, followed by death, the seventh. This manuscript is unusual because it also includes mythological figures with the biblical divisions. Listed under the third age, for example, which began with Abraham, are Hercules, Helena, Paris, and Aeneas.
The Morgan Library has several comparable depictions of the ages of man; they include: the series of eight depicted in the fourteenth-century De Lisle Hours (MS G.50) and the cycle of twelve found in the fifteenth-century Concordantiae caritatis (MS M.1045).
Signed and dated by the scribe, Martinus Franti.
M.1168 is comprised of 26 leaves consisting of 4 conjoint vellum leaves forming the outer leaves of two gatherings containing 6 and 5 conjoint paper leaves. 1 column, number of lines vary, but usually with nine names written in capitals.

Variant Title: 

Six ages of the life of man