Liber iuratus Honorii

The Sworne Book of Honorius

by Honorius of Thebes, 15th C English & Latin Manuscript

Royal MS 17 A XLII

  • Materials: Parchment.
  • Dimensions: 185 x 140 mm (text space: 165/70 x 115/20 mm).
  • Script: Gothic.

Origin: England. Provenance: An added charm, in a cursive script, on the word, ‘Calendant’ against ague (f. 82r).’R.T.’ inscribed in a modern hand between drawings of a thistle, rose and oak (f. 1r).The Old Royal Library (the English Royal Library): a modern shelfmark on a parchment flyleaf f. [iv]; presented to the British Museum by George II in 1757 as part of the Old Royal Library. Bound together with Royal MS 17 A XLIII and Royal MS 17 A XLIV in 1966.

Contents: ff. 2r-15r: Sworne Book of Honorius (Liber iuratus Honorii), or Liber Sacer,chapters 1-5 (chapter 4 in Latin, the remainder in English);ff. 15r-23r: A treatise on Suffumigations (mostly in English, final paragraphs in Latin);ff. 23r-27r: Lists of classes of angels and spirits (opening paragraphs in Latin);f. 27r: Sworne Book of Honorius, chapter 137:20-22 (in English)ff. 27r-v: A rite of exorcism of the blood to be use in drawing the Seal of God (in Latin);ff. 27v-28v: Honorius, chapter 137:1-19 (in English);ff. 29r-59v: Honorius, chapters 6 -11, 13-96 (6-11, 13-15 in Latin, 16-96 in English, with some prayers in Latin);ff. 59v-72r: Honorius, chapters 98-115:4 (in English);ff. 72r-77r: A treatise on different classes of angels (in English, except for a passage from Agrippa, De occulta Philosophia, in Latin on ff. 76r-v);ff. 77v-79r: Drawings of angelsff. 80r-81r: Lists of names of angels.This manuscript is bound together with Royal MS 17 A xliv, (12 folios) and Royal MS 17 A xliii (23 folios).Decoration: Miniatures of rows of angels in gold, green and red, blue and red, green and gold, white and red or green and yellow (ff. 67v-70r). Pen drawings of angels (ff. 72v-79v). Initials at the beginning of lines with marginal pen-flourishing consisting of leaves and flowers (perhaps pheasant berry and fuschia) in red, green and yellow (ff. 14v-19r, 29r-31r), some forming partial borders (ff. 17v-18v, 31v-32r, 33r-35v), some without colour (ff. 20r-23r). A table of symbols (ff. 76v-77r). Rubrics, names, numbers and line-fillers in red or gold. Rubrics and line-fillers in blue or green (ff. 62v-72r). Rubrics in large brown script (ff. 33r-59v).

Pope Honorius III

Pope Honorius III, born Cencio Savelli, was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 18 July 1216 to his death. A canon at the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, he came to hold a number of important administrative positions, including that of Camerlengo. He has had a number of grimoires falsely attributed to him namely the grimoire of Honorius and possibly the Sworn Book of Honorius.

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