Augustine > Manuscript & Print
This neat manuscript copy of De civitate dei lays out the text in two columns. It was produced in the third quarter of the fifteenth century in northern Italy. Throughout the text, alternating red and blue paragraph marks indicate transitions between thoughts or sentences in the text. Plimpton MS 47 is an acephalous or headless manuscript with regard to an opening alphabetical list of subjects and with regard to the text. For more information about this manuscript and other manuscript holdings at Columbia consult the Digital Scriptorium.
This 1475 Jensen edition of De civitate dei has been rubricated throughout and where the printer left room for larger initials an illuminator has added swirly initials in blue and red. The initials attest to Augustine’s international appeal because whereas the book was printed in northern Italy, we know from their style that the initials were done in Germany during the sixteenth century. An ownership mark shows that the book remained in Germany into the seventeenth century. This volume opens with a table of contents but otherwise contains very few navigation devices.