153 results in English
Collection of Sermons, Treatises, Liturgical Formulae and Canons. Slavic Liturgical Formulae (Freising Monuments)
This manuscript, assembled in Freising, Bavaria, at the behest of Bishop Abraham (died 994), is famous for three texts, the so-called Freising manuscripts (also Freising folia, fragments, or monuments). These are the first continuous texts in a Slavic language written in Latin script and the oldest documents in Slovene. They contain a confessional formula (folio 78 recto), a sermon on sin and repentance (folios 158 verso−161 recto), formulae for abjuration and confession, and a penitential prayer (folios 160 verso−161 recto). The second and most important literary text is ...
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Exegetical Works
This manuscript of works by Honorius Augustodunensis (also seen as Honorius of Autun) is one of the rare examples of an illustrated commentary on the Old Testament Song of Songs, preserved mainly in manuscripts from southeastern Germany and Austria. The manuscript, written in the monastery of Benediktbeuern, Bavaria, around 1170, features a title piece and three miniatures on books two to four, that is, the full cycle of illuminations. Honorius follows the allegorical interpretation of the marriage of Christ and his Church, depicted in the title piece. In books two ...
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Dialogue in Praise of the Holy Cross
Dialogus de laudibus sanctae crucis (Dialogue in praise of the Holy Cross), written between 1170 and 1180, and once owned by the Benedictine monastery of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg), Bavaria, contains a text in praise of the Cross, which has come down only in this manuscript. The text, written by an unidentified author, is in the form of a didactic dialogue between “Magister” and “Discipulus,” the teacher and a pupil. It relates the history of salvation to the Holy Cross in the so-called typological exegetical tradition. The text ...
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Prayer of Wessobrunn
This manuscript, dating from the early ninth century, contains the Wessobrunner Gebet (Prayer of Wessobrunn) and many other short works. The prayer itself, in prose, which gives the text as a whole its name, is preceded by a short creation poem, which, in nine lines of alliterative verse, seeks to explain the creation of the world out of chaos. This small literary monument is among the earliest written examples of poetry in Old High German. It has come down to us in a composite (mainly Latin) manuscript written before 814 ...
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Third Series of Maxims, Number 16 / Bernard of Clairvaux. The External and Internal Composition of Man (Fragment) / David von Augsburg. Sermon against Jews, Pagans and Aryans / Quodvultdeus of Carthage (Pseudo-Augustin). Muspilli
The fragmentary Old High German poem “Muspilli,” on the fate of the soul after death, the Day of Judgment, and Armageddon, is written on blank leaves and in the margins of a manuscript of the pseudo-Augustinian sermon Sermo contra Judaeos, Paganos et Arianos (Sermon against Jews, Pagans and Aryans). The sermon itself was written in Salzburg in a fine Carolingian minuscule and bears a dedication in rustic capitals (folio 120 recto) from Adalram, archbishop of Salzburg from 821 to 836, to Ludwig, Duke of Bavaria (later King Louis the German ...
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Gospel Lectionary
This gospel lectionary was created around 1130. A lectionary is a liturgical book, which—in contrast to usual gospel books containing the full texts of the gospels—comprises only those parts of the gospels that are used for the liturgical readings during the ecclesiastical year, presented in chronological order. The book features two pen-and-ink-drawn initials, several decorated initials in gold and silver ink, and four full-page miniatures, each showing one of the four Evangelists. The style and coloring of the miniatures follow a Bavarian tradition of book illumination, the so-called ...
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Gospels for the Year
This lavishly illuminated manuscript represents a fine example of a gospel lectionary, a liturgical book that—in contrast to the usual gospel books containing the full texts of the gospels—comprises only those parts of the gospels that are used for the liturgical readings during the ecclesiastical year, presented in chronological order. The manuscript’s miniatures display the main events in the life of Jesus Christ, which correspond to the main religious feasts: from Nativity to Ascension to the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. All the miniatures are ...
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Hrotsvitha's Poems
This 11th century manuscript is the only to survive to transmit the complete text of the epic and dramatic works of the first German poetess, Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim. Corrections and marginal notes are entered in the hand of the humanist Konrad Celtis, who used the manuscript as a printer's copy for his edition of Hrotsvitha's works published in Nuremberg in 1501. The manuscript once belonged to the Benedictine monastery of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg) and reached Munich in 1811. Born around 935, Hrotsvitha was a canoness ...
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The Six Books of the Hexaemeron (The Six Days) by Ambrose
In his Hexaemeron, Saint Ambrose treats the six days of creation. In this manuscript, written in the Benedictine monastery of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg), Bavaria, the six days are illustrated with full-page pen drawings; another representation of the creator resting on the seventh day concludes the cycle. Representations of the Hexaemeron appear from the late 11th century onwards as a new subject of Romanesque illumination, above all in Bibles or in liturgical works, such as choir books and missals. The Ratisbon school of illumination, responsible for this work ...
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Victorius of Aquitaine. Martianus Capella. Remigius of Auxerre. Gregory the Great
This manuscript opens with a one-page text by Victorius of Aquitaine (fifth century). The rest of the work consists of two distinct parts. The first part, written in the second half of the 11th century, presents a work of Martianus Capella (fifth century) on the Seven Liberal Arts, followed by an important commentary on this text by Remigius of Auxerre (circa 841−908). A full-page pen drawing, which depicts numerous gods and demons of the ancient world, is situated between the text and the commentary. Because of its stylistic features ...
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Collection of Texts on Mathematical Astronomy and the Natural Sciences
This manuscript is a collection of texts on mathematical astronomy and the natural sciences dating from early in the ninth century. The illuminations are mainly of astronomical content and are based on models from late antiquity. They include the occupations of the 12 months, the earliest surviving medieval illuminations of this type (folio 91 verso); an astronomical map (folio 113 verso); the constellations (folios 115 verso−121 recto); and the 12 winds (folio 139 recto). The manuscript was copied in Salzburg, apparently from a northern French exemplar, and was presumably ...
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Gospels of Luke and John
This manuscript containing the gospels of Luke and John originally formed a whole with another gospel book fragment now preserved in Weimar. The Weimar manuscript contains prologues, canon tables, the gospels of Matthew and Mark, and, at the end, the argumentum (introduction) and breviarium (summary) to Luke. Each gospel begins with a portrait of the evangelist and a full-page initial. The manuscript, of high quality, is clearly the work of an important scriptorium influenced by that at Saint Gallen; it may have been written at Mainz.
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Sacramentary of Henry II
This sacramentary was written for Henry II (973–1024) before he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1014. It was executed by a workshop in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg). There the influence of the Carolingian model of the Codex aureus, a ninth-century gospel written for Emperor Charles the Bald and preserved in the monastery of Saint Emmeram, was a crucial stimulus for the Ottonian school of illumination 100 years later. The picture of the emperor closely resembles that of the earlier exemplar, but was adapted to the current political situation by ...
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Gospels
This Gospel book from the Carolingian period is a product of the Mainz school of calligraphy and illumination, which was a successor to the palace (or court) school of Charlemagne. In its canon tables and portraits of the evangelists, it blends the Ottonian style from the tenth century with the traditions of the earlier Carolingian Ada group (late eighth century). The manuscript received its fine binding in the Ottonian period. Its most valuable parts are the two outstanding ivories. The baptism of Christ is represented on the front cover; on ...
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Purple Gospel
This sumptuous manuscript, known as the Purple Gospel, is written almost entirely in gold and silver on purple-stained parchment. It dates from the first quarter of the ninth century. It contains architectural canon tables and decorated initials in gold and silver at the beginning of the texts of the four gospels and of the prologue to Mark. Four whole-page miniatures of scenes from the New Testament, on folios 24 and 197, were formerly thought to be Ottonian copies (early tenth to early 11th centuries) made from models from late antiquity ...
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Sacramentary of Bishop Abraham
Many monasteries in Bavaria were destroyed during the devastating Hungarian invasions of Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In the period after the Hungarian wars, Bishop Abraham of Freising (957−94) nevertheless succeeded, despite temporary banishment, in enlarging his see, pushing ahead the mission to the Slavs, and promoting completion of the cathedral library and school in Freising. This sacramentary is the only high-quality liturgical manuscript surviving from this time, albeit in poor condition. The prominence given to Saint Corbinian identifies it as a Freising work. Obituary entries in ...
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Rule of Saint Benedict
Ora et labora (pray and work) is the well-known phrase that reflects the basic idea underlying the rule of monastic life, which was originally formulated by Saint Benedict of Nursia (around 480−547) and initially intended as an internal rule for the monks of Benedict’s own monastery of Montecassino in Italy. The Rule of Saint Benedict spread widely beginning in the seventh century, but in France it became the sole authoritative rule of the order only in the late eighth and early ninth centuries. Adoption of the rule was ...
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Gospel of Lorsch (Evangeliary of Udalrich)
This lavishly decorated Gospel lectionary belongs to a group of manuscripts in which is mentioned an Oudalricus peccator (Udalrich the sinner), who has been connected to Udalrich, abbot of the monastery of Lorsch, who died in 1075. It is decorated with golden display script in capitals, and initials in gold and silver. The main feasts (Christmas, Easter, Whitsun, and the feast of Saint Michael) are emphasized by full-size miniatures. The manuscript also displays four full-page framed miniatures depicting the apostles in the unusual order of Matthew, Luke, John, and Mark ...
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Evangeliary of Michaelbeuern, Four Gospels with Illuminations of the Evangelists
The Gospel book from the Benedictine monastery at Michaelbeuern is considered a work of the Salzburg school because of its similarity to other Salzburg manuscripts. Whether it was brought to Michaelbeuern in the first half of the 11th century (when that monastery was being reestablished from Saint Peter’s in Salzburg) or later cannot be determined with certainty. Besides canon tables and lesser initials, it shows, on double leaves, which are interpolated but which always have formed part of the manuscript, four illustrations of the evangelists facing ornamental initial pages ...
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Pericope (Sections) from Saint Erentrud. Gospels for the Mass According to the Usual Rite, Preceding the Capitular Gospels
This book, which contains the “lessons,” or portions of scripture appointed to be read at divine service, was written around the year 1150, probably in Salzburg, a diocesan town situated near what is today the border between Bavaria and Austria. The manuscript was owned by the Benedictine convent of Saint Erentrud auf dem Nonnberg, which was founded by Saint Rupert in Salzburg in 711−12, and where Rupert’s niece Erentrud was the first abbess. With its 56 miniatures depicting scenes from the New Testament and the life of saints ...
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Sacramentary of Augsburg
This Ottonian manuscript dates from the early 11th century and was executed for the cathedral of Augsburg. It bears all the hallmarks of an ambitious project, but it was left incomplete for some reason. The text alone, interspersed with gold letters on every page, creates an impression of luxury. The prayers for special ecclesiastical fields feature decorated initials with gold tendrils, which stand out against a colored ground. For the principal festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Whitsun, full-page ornamental initials were planned but not finished. Similarly, the pictorial decoration of ...
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Gospel
This Gospel book contains decorated canon tables, extending over 16 pages, and portraits of the evangelists, positioned at the beginning of the respective Gospels. It is decorated with five full-page framed miniatures on gilt ground, the first of which depicts Christ enthroned, with a book in his left hand and blessing with his right. Eight pen-drawn initials mark the beginnings of the argumenta (short versions of the evangelist’s life) in the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John as well as the passages in all four Gospels concerning the Passion ...
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Gospel
This Gospel book from Weihenstephan in Bavaria, created circa 1170−80, represents a late example of the art of book illumination as it was practiced in the scriptorium of Tegernsee Abbey in the 11th and early 12th century. The scriptorium of Tegernsee Abbey was held in high esteem during that time, as a surviving letter from Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (circa 1123−90) proves. Praising the reputation of the scriptorium, he commissioned two manuscripts, which unfortunately have not been preserved. With its decoration and style of the initials and ...
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Gospel
This Gospel book from Benediktbeuern, decorated lavishly with gold, silver, and purple, was created in the scriptorium of Tegernsee Abbey in Bavaria. For stylistic reasons, e.g., the rather flat architectural frames and the linear style of the figural drawings, scholars date this manuscript to around 1100. Tegernsee Abbey, first founded in the eighth century, was one of the more important imperial abbeys as early as 817. Having been refounded in 978 during the reign of Otto II, the abbey saw the reconstruction of its library and subsequently a peak ...
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Bible: New Testament (without Gospels)
This illuminated manuscript, most probably written in the third quarter of the 11th century in the scriptorium of the Benedictine monastery of Tegernsee, comprises the New Testament, but lacks the four Gospels. It includes the prologues and arguments concerning the Pauline epistles, the Pauline epistles themselves, the Acts of the Apostles, the canonical epistles, and the Apocalypse. The text is preceded by a miniature (originally bound between folios seven and eight) depicting the Apostle Paul sitting on a throne in an aedicula (chapel). The two figures standing next to him ...
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Gospel
The Benedictine monastery of Tergernsee, located in southern Bavaria, was founded in 746 and is considered one of the most important imperial abbeys of the Holy Roman Empire. This manuscript was formerly attributed to Tegernsee's famous abbot, Ellinger (1017−26 and 1031−41), who was twice removed from office and spent his last years in exile in Niederaltaich. This is no longer the scholarly consensus, but the codex still maintains a key position in the series of magnificent Gospel books produced in Tegernsee up until the 12th century, a ...
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Gospel of Passau
This Gospel lectionary contains the text of the liturgical Gospel readings for the main feast days. Written and illuminated in the 12th century in the Bavarian diocesan town of Passau, it remained in use at least until the 15th century, as it is shown by the exquisite metal binding with a deep relief, displaying the figure of Christ carved in rock crystal, which was executed at that time. The manuscript itself is one of the finest examples of Romanesque illumination from southeast Bavaria; it displays magnificent gold initials with near-naturalistic ...
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Fulda Sacramentary
The Fulda Sacramentary typifies the structural changes that sacramentaries underwent in Carolingian times, when artistic embellishment was increasingly concentrated on the canon. The opening letter T (of Te igitur; “Thee, therefore,” the first prayer of the mass) of the sacramentary has been transformed on folio 12 recto into a picture of the crucified Christ, surrounded by four medallions depicting, respectively, the hand of God, Saint Mary, Saint John, and a priest in adoration. Executed at the Benedictine monastery at Corvey in the last third of the tenth century, the sacramentary ...
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Four Gospels: The Evangeliary of Uta (Codex of Uta)
Illuminated for Abbess Uta of Niedermünster (1002−25), this Bavarian Gospel manuscript has been described by Georg Swarzenski as "perhaps the most important Western illuminated manuscript of its period." Its unique quality resides especially in the subtly articulated argument between the text and the accompanying miniatures. The text is drawn from such diverse sources as the Bible; the fields of theology, mathematics, and music; and the works of Pseudo-Dionysius, the Areopagite, in the translation by Johannes Scotus Eriugena (circa 800−circa 877). The scholar Bernhard Bischoff attributed the work to ...
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Prayerbook of Otto III
This small prayer book was once owned by the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III (980−1002). Although it hardly stands out when compared with other luxuriously illuminated manuscripts, it was intended for the sovereign’s private devotion and is one of only two royal prayer books from the early Middle Ages to survive. It was probably commissioned after the year 984, presumably by Archbishop Willigis of Mainz, when the four-year-old Otto was committed to the care of his mother and grandmother, the empresses Theophanu and Adelaide, after his father’s ...
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The Younger Titurel (Fernberger-Dietrichstein Manuscript)
This codex, called the Fernberger-Dietrichstein Manuscript after its later owners, contains the second part of the very lengthy chivalric legend of Arthur and the Holy Grail. It is based on the Titurel fragments by Wolfram von Eschenbach (circa 1170−circa 1220), who was considered the author of the Jüngerer Titurel (Younger Titurel), which was widely read in the Middle Ages. Recent scholarship holds that Albrecht von Scharfenberg (active 13th century) wrote this work in the style of Wolfram von Eschenbach. This manuscript is particularly important for its unusually rich illumination ...
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Hyginus’s “De Astronomia” and Other Astronomical and Computational Manuscripts
Although this manuscript dating from the early 12th century is incomplete, its overall structure can be deduced from the remaining parts. At one time it contained the De Astronomia of Hyginus, a calendar, and several texts on chronometry. An astronomical textbook under the name of Hyginus was widely disseminated throughout the Middle Ages. The topics of the work concern central conceptions relating to stars and celestial myths. In its present form, the manuscript contains the second book of Hyginus’s De Astronomia, together with pen drawings, including of the constellations ...
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The Consolation of Philosophy
Consolatio Philosophiae (The consolation of philosophy) is a philosophical work written by Boethius, the scion of an influential Roman family, around the year 524. It is regarded as one of the most important and influential works in the Western world. The book was composed during a yearlong period of imprisonment that Boethius served while he was awaiting trial for the crime of treason under the Ostrogothic king Theodoric the Great; he was found guilty and executed in 524. Written in the form of a dialogue between Boethius and Lady Philosophy ...
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Saint Jerome’s “Instruments of Hieronymus” and other Music Manuscripts
A particular set of colored drawings—the so-called “instruments of Hieronymus”—is often found in portrayals of medieval musical instruments. These drawings go back to this miscellany from the Benedictine abbey of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg), Bavaria, which comprises several writings on music from the ninth century to the 13th. Executed in Freising in the third quarter of the ninth century, the drawings illustrate a letter, said to have been written by the Church Father and translator of the Bible Saint Jerome (died 420) to the Gallic Christian ...
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Poem on the Acts of the Apostles
Arator's De Actibus Apostolorum (Acts of the Apostles), written in the sixth century, is the last example of Roman Biblical verse epic in the classical tradition. This 10th-century manuscript is decorated with a pen-and-ink drawing depicting Arator as he hands his work over for correction to Florianus, abbot of a convent near Milan; it is the earliest portrait of Arator to be preserved. The manuscript, which was apparently much used in the Middle Ages, seems to have been written and decorated in southwest Germany towards the end of the ...
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Choral Collection with Masses from the Josquin des Prez Period
This choir book with masses from the Low Countries and Burgundy—including a mass by Josquin des Prez (circa 1440−1521)—was made for the Count Palatine, later Elector Palatine, Ottheinrich. The contents are a selection from the repertoire of the Munich court music under its first great music director and reorganizer, Ludwig Senfl (circa 1486−1542 or 43), a pupil of Heinrich Isaak. On folio 1 are the arms of Ottheinrich; on folios 2 verso and 124 verso are initials with portraits of the count and his wife Susanna ...
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Ingolstadt Gospel Book (Fragment)
The so-called Ingolstadt Gospel Book shares the fate of many other liturgical manuscripts, which over time gradually lost their status as religious objects and came to be reused for profane purposes. Only a fraction of the formerly 260−80 folios of this sumptuous manuscript from the middle of the ninth century have survived. Most of its pages were used in bindings of account books in the 17th and 19th centuries. One double leaf was in the possession of the German painter Carl Spitzweg in the 19th century. When and why ...
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Homiliary on the Gospels (Numbers 1 to 20)
This manuscript of the homilies on the Gospels by Pope Gregory I (also known as Saint Gregory the Great, circa 540−604) was written in about 800 in the Alsatian monastery of Murbach, one of the most important cultural centers of the Carolingian Empire at that time. The monastery maintained a close relationship with the monasteries of Reichenau and Saint Gallen, located on Lake Constance, and their highly innovative scriptoria. The Carolingian minuscule in this manuscript bears some distinctive traits of the Alemannic script that was typically used in these ...
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The Armorial of Conrad von Grünenberg
The Armorial of Conrad von Grünenberg is a splendid manuscript containing several hundred colored coats of arms. It was written on parchment and seems to be a contemporary copy from the original version on paper written in 1483, preserved today in Berlin. It formed part of the library of the dukes of Bavaria and was probably in the possession of Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria (1493−1550). Depicted are the coats of arms of barons, dukes, margraves, archbishops, free cities and towns, and orders of knights from throughout Germany, as ...
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Liudprand’s “Antapodosis,” “Chronicle of Otto’s Reign,” and Regino of Prüm’s “The Chronicle”
This is a historical miscellany written in Freising, Bavaria, under Bishop Abraham (died 994). It contains two works by Liutprand of Cremona (died approximately 972)‏, Liber de rebus gestis Ottonis (A chronicle of Otto's reign) and Antapodosis (Tit-for-tat); and Chronica quam Regino quondam abbas Pruniensis composuit (Chronicle of Regino of Prüm) by Regino,‏ ‎abbot of Prüm (840−915) and its continuation by Adalbert of Magdeburg (died 981). Liutprand's historical works narrate mainly the history of Italy in the ninth century and first half of the tenth century, but ...
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Poems by Prudentius
According to inventory records, this manuscript must have been part of the library of the Abbey of Saint Emmeram before 993. It contains the complete works of Prudentius (born 348), which enjoyed great popularity in the Middle Ages but which today are preserved in their entirety in only 30 manuscripts. The manuscript is written in a Carolingian minuscule in several hands and features 11 pen-drawn initials executed by two illustrators in brick-red color, two of them showing zoomorphic elements. The initial A in “Ales diei nuntius” (The winged herald of ...
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Bobbio Psalter
Together with two manuscripts in the Vatican Library, this psalter preserves the so-called diacritical Milan recension of the Psalms, which was carried out between the end of the eighth century and the middle of the ninth century. The Psalms, the core of the work, are preceded by a critical foreword on the text and by other introductory matter; biblical canticles and hymns in a typical Milan arrangement are annexed. According to recent research, the present copy was produced as early as the last decades of the ninth century in Milan ...
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