The Colophon

collectarium 58 recto.jpg

collectarium 58 recto


The scribal colophon is usually found at the end of the text of the book or at the end of a particular text within the manuscript. When present, it is often the best evidence for the origin of the manuscript in terms of when, where and for whom it was produced. The amount of information provided varies greatly. In some cases, the scribe has indicated the very day and time at which he finished his work, how long he worked on the manuscript, or attached a request to the reader for a prayer on his behalf.

Found on fol. 58r, lines 1 to 9, the colophon in this manuscript is particularly informative, as it names the scribe, the abbot who requested the book made, as well as the monastery, its location, and the monastic order.

The text of the colophon


Iste liber est monasterii sancte Marie uallis serene. Alias sancti Martini de Botiis vulgariter nuncupati, cisterciensis ordinis, Parmensis diocesis. scriptus per me, M. Genesium de Pecannis. ad petitionem et instantiam Reuerendi domini Sigismundi de Fulchinis, suprascripti Monasterij Abbatis decimi.

“This book belongs to the monastery of Santa Maria in Vallis Serena, also popularly known as Saint Martin in the Woods, of the Cistercian order, in the diocese of Parma. Written by me, Adam Genesium from Pecanius, at the request of the reverend Sigismund de Fulchinis, the 10th abbot of the aforementioned monastery.”

We know from the history of the Monastery that Sigismund Fulchini(s) was named its abbot in 1457, and that he was still there in 1496. This places the manuscript in the 2nd half of the 15th century for which we can see further confirmation in a colophon from a choir book which belonged to the same monastery and was created by another scribe from Parma, Ludovicum de Raymundia, at the request of Sigismund(i) Fulchini(s) and finished on the last day of July, 1493.