Book Series Trecento Forum, vol. 3

The Meditationes Vitae Christi Reconsidered

New Perspectives on Text and Image

Holly Flora, Peter Toth (eds)

  • Pages: 252 p.
  • Size:216 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:150 col.
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2021

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-59505-4
  • Hardback
  • Available

The essays in this interdisciplinary volume examine multiple aspects of the Meditationes history, from its possible authorship to its manuscript traditions to its reflections in art.


“I recommend the book to those new to MVC studies and to scholars working with specific materials discussed in the essays here. Libraries and institutes supporting medieval studies, art history, theology and religious studies would do well to secure a copy for patrons’ use.” (William F. Hodapp, in The Medieval Review, 14/05/2023)

“Der bei Brepols erschienene Band in der Reihe „Trecento Forum“ ist insgesamt gut gestaltet, die Abbildungen sind qualitätvoll, (...) Der von zwei ausgewiesenen Experten der Meditationes Vitae Christi, Holly Flora und Peter Tóth, herausgegebene Band vereint die Ergebnisse der philologischen und kunsthistorischen Forschung der letzten Jahre, in denen das Interesse an dem Andachtstext vor allem von Seiten der Kunstgeschichte stark zugenommen hat. Die Autorinnen und Autoren haben fast alle auch an anderer Stelle, meist monografisch und sehr umfassend, ihre Ergebnisse dargelegt – der vorliegende Sammelband bietet Interessierten die Möglichkeit, sich einen sehr guten Überblick über die aktuellen Forschungen zu verschaffen.” (Verena Gebhard,dans Histara, 11/11/2023)


Holly Flora is Professor of Art History and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at Tulane University
Peter Toth is Curator of Ancient and Medieval Manuscripts, British Library


Drawing on diverse literary traditions, the author of the fourteenth-century Meditationes Vitae Christi transformed the Gospel accounts into an emotionally charged and vivid narrative that became one of the most popular texts of the late Middle Ages. Over the past few years, new theories about the authorship, date, and original language of the text have emerged, raising new questions about this text and its impact on late medieval art and spirituality. The essays in this interdisciplinary volume examine multiple aspects of the Meditationes history, from its possible authorship to its manuscript traditions to its reflections in art.


Introduction — Holly Flora, Tulane University, and Peter Tóth, British Library

Fra Jacopo in the Archives: San Gimignano as a Context for the Meditations on the Life of Christ — Donal Cooper, University of Cambridge

 The Earliest Reference to the Meditationes Vitae Christi: New Evidence for its Date, Authorship, and Language” — Peter Tóth, British Library

Contemplation in the French and Occitan Versions of the Meditationes Vitae Christi — Maureen Boulton, University of Notre Dame

The Italian Text of the Paris Manuscript of the Meditationes: Historigraphic Remarks and Further Perspectives — David Falvay, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

Reading the Meditationes on the Mount of Light, Perugia — Renana Bartal, Tel Aviv University

Feast, Fast, and the Feminine: Women at the Table in the Illustrated Meditationes — Holly Flora, Tulane University

Meditations for a Married Man: The Snite MVC and the Elite Urban Male Reader — Dianne Phillips, Independent Scholar

A Newly Discovered Illuminated Manuscript of the Meditationes vitae Christi Produced in Fifteenth-Century Veneto (Vatican City, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, MS Reg. Lat. 478) — Lisandra Costiner, University of Oxford

 The Writer as Viewer: Recollecting Art in the Text of the Meditationes vitae Christi — Joanna Cannon, Courtauld Institute of Art

Mixed Media: Questioning Format in Late Medieval Pictorial Vita Christi Cycles — Lynn Ransom, Schoenberg Institute for Manuscript Studies, University of Pennsylvania