1st Edition

John of Rupescissa´s VADE MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE (1356) A Late Medieval Eschatological Manual for the Forthcoming Thirteen Years of Horror and Hardship

By Matthias Kaup Copyright 2017
    362 Pages
    by Routledge

    362 Pages
    by Routledge

    The VADE MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE was meant as an eschatological manual for the thirteen catastrophic years between its composition in December 1356 and the Thousand-Year Reign of Christ expected to begin in 1370. This manual, permeated by passion for clerical reform, was intended to give righteous Christians practical and spiritual advice on how to survive this period of tribulation. Likewise, it aimed to inform them about what to expect from the envoys of Satan, the Western and the Eastern Antichrists, but also from Christ’s warriors, the papal restorer and his secular assistant, the French-Roman Emperor. Moreover, it offered a brief outline of Christ’s Thousand-Year Reign and of Armageddon.

    The VADE MECUM was written by John of Rupescissa OFM (c. 1310-1366), the most prolific apocalyptic author of the Middle Ages, as the central work of in all three manuals designed to prepare Christendom for the impending crises. As a completely new text type and summary of the late Rupescissa’s doctrines, this eschatological manual fascinated numerous readers in the Late Middle Ages, who copied, reworked and translated it and made it thus a pivotal text of medieval apocalypticism: ten versions of the Latin VADE MECUM in more than forty manuscripts have come down to us.

    Rupescissa’s eschatological manual is his last known and most widely distributed work; the present study provides an annotated critical edition equipped with an English translation. It inducts in the manual’s contents, places them in the context of Rupescissa’s work and medieval prophetic literature, investigates important aspects of its reception and clarifies the relationships between its different versions. Furthermore, it ends with a critical edition of the VENI MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE, the most influential compendious version of the VADE MECUM. Thus this book offers an indispensable fundamental contribution to the flourishing studies of Rupescissa and medieval apocalypticism.



    A Introduction

    1 Purpose, Intended Recipients, and Date of the VADE MECUM

    2 Organization and Content of the VADE MECUM

    a The Epistola Prefacialis

    b The End Time Setting of the Twenty Intenciones

    c The Epilogue

    3 Diffusion, Dating and Context of the Manuscripts of the Plenary Versions

    4 The Four Reworked Plenary Versions

    5 Marginal Notes and Intention Headings in the Plenary Versions

    6 Relationship between the VENI MECUM and the VADE MECUM

    7 Authorship of the Compendious Versions

    B Ratio Editionis

    I Editorial History of the VADE MECUM

    II Textual Witnesses of the VADE MECUM: Latin Manuscripts

    1 Versiones plenariae

    1.1.1 Versio plena

    1.1.2 Versio plena expolita

    1.2.1 Versio plenior

    1.2.2 Versio plenior inversa

    1.3 Versio brevior

    2 Versiones compendiosae

    2.1.1 Versio intellegibilis (VENI MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE)

    2.1.2 Versio intellegibilis excerpta

    2.2 Versio capitularis

    2.3 Versio violens

    2.4 Versio morbida

    3 Excerpt Transmissions

    3.1 Diverse Excerpts from the VADE MECUM

    3.2 Mainly Consistent Excerpts from the VADE MECUM and the LIBER OSTENSOR

    4 Lost Manuscripts

    5 Origin and Independent Transmission of the Italian Cities Prophecy (Vade Mecum § 83)

    III The Basis of the Editions

    1 The Edition of the Versio plena

    a Tradition of the Plenary Versions in Context

    a.1 Versio plena

    a.2 Versio plena expolita

    a.3 Versio plenior

    a.4 Versio plenior inversa

    a.5 Versio brevior

    b Relationship of the Textual Witnesses

    b.1 Manuscripts with Twenty Intentions in Sequence

    b.2 Manuscripts Placing Intention XVI at the End

    b.3 Manuscripts Omitting Intentions XVII, XVIII and XX

    c Ex medullis evangelice caritatis – A Pathos Formula in its Context

    d Stemma of the Textual Witnesses

    e Constituting the Text

    2 The Edition of the New XVIIIth Intention of the Versio brevior

    3 The Edition of the Versio intellegibilis (VENI MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE)

    a Textual Witnesses

    b Relationship of the Textual Witnesses

    c Stemma of the Textual Witnesses

    d Constituting the Text

    4 Language in the VADE MECUM: Aspects of Orthography and Grammar

    5 Orthography of the Edition and System of the Variant Apparatus

    a Orthography and Incorporation Principles of the Variants

    b Structure of the Variant Apparatus

    c Special Phenomena in the Variant Apparatus

    C Editions


    a Sigla of the Textual Witnesses

    b Latin Edition

    c English Translation

    2 VADE MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE (Versio Brevior: Intencio XVIII)

    a Sigla of the Textual Witnesses

    b Latin Edition

    c English Translation

    3 VENI MECUM IN TRIBULACIONE (VADE MECUM: Versio Intellegibilis)


    Matthias Kaup has worked as a research assistant for the Chair of medieval history at the University of Constance (Germany). His PhD thesis (1997) dealt with extra-biblical prophecy in the High Middle Ages, Joachim of Fiore’s conception of this prophecy type and contemporary commentaries on it. At present, he teaches history and Latin at the Marienschule (Potsdam) of the Archdiocese of Berlin and in his spare time is preparing an edition of the Anonymus Bambergensis.