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The Coimbra Book of Saint Cyprian

The Coimbra Book of Saint Cyprian

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The Coimbra Book of Saint Cyprian
Trans. José Leitão
Hadean Press

The Coimbra Book of Saint Cyprian is an isolated publication of Ms. 2559, with an introduction tailored for this content. This is the Ms. 2559 from José Leitão’s Opuscula Cypriani: Variations on the Book of Saint Cyprian and Related Literature released by Hadean Press in 2019. In the Opuscula Cypriani one can find the facsimile of the manuscript as well as an extended introduction and additional material related to it; in the The Coimbra Book of Saint Cyprian we offer the English translation and Portuguese transcript of this very important text.

This little manuscript was, until José found it in the Coimbra University Library, little more than a folktale. No one believed it existed, until that fateful day when José called up Ms. 2559 from the archives, and there it was. José says it best in his introduction:

For at least one hundred and twenty years, a small manuscript has rested in the Reserved and Special Collections of the General Library of the University of Coimbra. This, while technically referred to as Ms. 2559, was at some point in time given the title Various Prayers to Drive Away the Devil. Neither the library staff nor any Coimbra University historian knows exactly where it came from, what it is doing there, or how it came into the possession of the Library. It is just one among the many other anonymous manuscripts that an eight hundred year old institution tends to accumulate…

This is a consistent, coherent and concise book. It is a long lost orphan of a lineage of books which have become the stuff of legends and minor references by cynical positivist ethnographers.

This is a Cyprian Book of treasure-hunting, presenting all details, steps and technicalities to re-create what had, by the time I found it in Coimbra, become a lost ritual.

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