Speculum humanae salvationis
- Judith K. Golden
Anonymous collection of in-depth typologies, based on the idea that every event in the New Testament was presaged by an event in the Old Testament ( see Typological cycles ). The Speculum humanae salvationis appeared first in manuscript form, then as Block-book s and later as incunabula. Chief among possible sources for the text is Ludolphus of Saxony (c. 1300–77), with Conradus of Altzheim, Vincent of Beauvais, Henricus Suso and Nicholas of Lyra among others also suggested authors. Like copies of the earlier Biblia pauperum, tituli and captions identify events and figures, however the Speculum humanae salvationis augments these pictures with a text that explains the illustrations. Between the early 14th century and the end of the 15th, several hundred copies, nearly all illustrated, were produced and translated from the original Latin into German, French, English, Dutch and Czech.
Typically the manuscripts include a Prologue and Prohemium, of text only; followed by forty-two chapters with four miniatures atop four text columns each of twenty-five lines; closing with three chapters with eight miniatures devoted to the Seven Stations of the Passion, the Seven Sorrows and the Seven Joys of Mary, these last three chapters not being typological. Some manuscripts omit opening texts or the final three chapters. Each opening provides a meditative, typological diptych of four images and clarifying text, for example Christ and the Last Supper as the first image, followed by Moses and the Miracle of Manna; Moses and Passover; Abraham blessed by Melchisedek. The first image contains gospel citations; the last three have captions indicating their relationship to the first....