Liber revelationum ‘Book of revelations’

Peter of Cornwall
  • Latin
  • Anglo-Latin texts
A collection of stories about visions of the afterlife and supernatural events, many them culled from a variety of sources
Peter of CornwallPeter of Cornwall
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  • Latin
c. 1200


Anglo-Latin textsAnglo-Latin texts


Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

[ed.] [tr.] Easting, Robert, and Richard Sharpe, Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Studies and Texts, 184, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, Bodleian Library, 2013. xvi + 615 pp.  
This is the first book-length study of Peter of Cornwall, prior of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, London, whose Liber Reuelationum (Lambeth Palace Library, MS 51), dated to the year 1200, is a compilation of over 1,100 chapters, excerpted from some 275 Latin texts, dealing with visions of the otherworld and revelatory appearances of God, Christ, Mary, angels, saints, devils, and revenants. Peter’s purpose in collecting such material from saints’ Lives, chronicles, and free-standing vision texts from the first century AD through to his own day was to provide evidence to convince unbelievers of the existence of God, the soul, and life after death. Accounts of new visionary experiences circulating in England in the 1190s doubtless prompted his collection. Like his other large-scale work, Pantheologus, Peter of Cornwall’s Book of Revelations was intended to assist preachers with propagating the fundamentals of the faith. This volume introduces Peter’s life and writings and presents editions with parallel English translations of those parts of the Lambeth manuscript that Peter composed himself. A detailed description of the manuscript is included, and a Calendar identifies the source for each of Peter’s chapters. A bibliography and indices complete this volume, which provides a marvellous resource for scholars interested in the Latin literature of medieval dreams, visionary experience, and the eschatological concerns of sin, penance, death, the afterlife, and the judgement of the soul.
Dennis Groenewegen
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May 2014, last updated: January 2024