On the Medieval Latin Wikipedia page, this image is present under Influences: Christian Latin. I can make out some of the words, but I'm not particularly good with interpreting scribes' handwriting. I decided to ask this question on the Latin StackExchange, because I believe better word-recognition would certainly help here. File:MilanBTCod470BookOfHours2FoliosAnnuncShepherdsDecortatedInit2.jpg I can recognize some of these words, so this is what I have so far:

meum in
Sicut erat
... quod
... corporis
... mater

That's seriously it. Please, help — I'm totally lost. I don't need a translation, but if any of you have the time, I'd be glad to see it. If there are shortenings or uncertain words, tell me.

  • I took the liberty to reformat your question a bit. Feel free to re-edit or roll back. You can change row without changing paragraph by adding two spaces at the end of a line. It's quite useful for lyrics, poetry, and such.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 19:24

2 Answers 2


This comes from the Book of Hours, and is the first part of the prayers at terce.


Ad tertiam
Deus in adiutorium meum intende.
Domine ad adiuvandum me festina.
Gloria P[atri, et Filio: et Spiritui sancto.]
Sicut erat [in principio, et nunc, et semper: et in saecula saeculorum, Amen. Alleluia.]

Memento salutis auctor.
Quod n[ost]ri quondam corporis,
Ex illibata virgine
Nasce[n]do, formam su[m]pseris.
Maria mater grati[a]e,
Mater misericordi[a]e, tu...


At the third hour
Incline unto my aid O God.
O Lord make haste to help me.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost.
Even as it was in the beginning, and now, and ever: and world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Be mindful, author of our health,
That thou sometime didst take on thee
Of a pure virgin being born,
The form of our humanity.
Mary that mother art of grace,
Of mercy mother also art,

You can see the full prayer here.


This is undoubtedly from a book of prayers, possibly from a form of Breviary.

The first half reads:

(ad tertiam)
Deus in adiutorium meum intende
Domine ad adiuvandum me festina

Gloria p.
sicut erat

The Gloria Patri is a very common prayer, so only the first words of each sentence are written. The full prayer is:

Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancto
Sicut erat in principio et nunc et semper et in saecula saeculorum. Amen

Both Deus in adiutorium and Gloria Patri are common building blocks of longer prayers, as in the Roman breviary.

What is written in red are rubrics: liturgical instructions to the readers rather than part of the prayers. The first rubric reads ad tertiam which is one of the hours in which the praying of the breviary is usually divided.

The second half is part of a hymn, Memento salutis Auctor (English translation in the linked page):

MEMENTO, salutis Auctor,
quod nostri quondam corporis,
ex illibata Virgine
nascendo, formam sumpseris.

Maria, mater gratiae,
mater misericordiae,

Update: pulling the thread in Wikipedia I got to another article using the image giving a deeper description.

The book is indeed a Book of the Hours (breviary) known for its inventory name Milan, Biblioteca Trivulziana, Codex 470. The picture on the left is represents the annunciation to the shepherds (right after Jesus was born, cf. the Gospel of Luke, ch. 2.)

  • 1
    Nice job getting there so quickly! You're correct at that the first rubric reads ad tertiam.
    – cmw
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 15:37
  • I'm puzzled by the ʒ-like character in what seems to be ad tertiãʒ
    – Rafael
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 16:22
  • 3
    @Rafael Take a look at pg. 22 (§4.281) of this book on Latin paleography: "When the 3-mark occurs at the end of a word and is preceded by the vowel a, e, or u, it generally does not stand for -us or -et, but rather for m." Perhaps it is considered a flourish, since the rest of the work either uses a typical m or a bar over the preceding vowel.
    – brianpck
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 16:27
  • 1
    @brianpck So the second rubric reads hymnus? Does the symbol that resembles a v stand for h or y?
    – Rafael
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 16:36
  • 2
    @Rafael I think in context it's evident that it means hymnus. (In Terce, the hymn follows immediately after the introduction.) I'm not sure about the "v" character, though: perhaps it's based off the Greek upsilon and the h, being unaspirated, is skipped. That's just speculation, though
    – brianpck
    Commented May 5, 2017 at 16:42

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