62 results in English
Claricia Psalter
The Claricia Psalter was made for, and most likely by, a group of Benedictine nuns at the abbey of Saints Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg, Germany. Although the psalter itself, along with its calendar, dates to the late-12th or early 13th century, a number of texts and prayers were added in the mid-13th century. Most striking about the manuscript are its illuminations, which include a prefatory cycle, full-page miniatures, and historiated initials. While all are Romanesque in style, they vary greatly in quality and technique, and three or four different ...
Contributed by Walters Art Museum
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
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 ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Philipp Apian’s Drawings, Watercolors, and Woodcuts
Between 1554 and 1561 Philipp Apian (1531−89) carried out a topographical survey of Bavaria at the behest of Duke Albrecht V. Made without the use of triangulation, Apian's map is considered the first mathematically measured map of a large region. In 1563, Apian completed a large-scale version on vellum to a scale of 1:40,000. This map was destroyed, however, in the 18th century. At the request of the duke, Apian reduced the map scale to 1:145,000 and prepared it for woodblock printing. Jost Amman ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Life and Martyrdom of the Apostles, Including those of Saint Christopher, Saint Luke, and Saint Mark
This manuscript is illustrated with a complex cycle of paintings of the life and martyrdom of the Apostles and of Saint Christopher. Each text is typically accompanied by two full-page illustrations of between two and four scenes. The first picture shows the Apostle Thomas (folio 100 verso) on the way to his ship to India, standing above the wedding of a princess. This narrative cycle with illustrations of the Apostles is one of the earliest such cycles in book illumination. No comparable 12th-century collection of text and pictures of all ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Gospel Book
This richly decorated Gospel book, dating from the second half of the 11th century, contains portraits of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (the portrait of John is missing), four decorated initial pages, and 84 mostly ornamental initials. Nine canon tables with the symbols of the Evangelists precede the texts of the Gospels. These concordance tables, lavishly decorated with arcades and tympana, go back to Eusebius of Caesarea (circa 260−339) and are often found in Gospel books. The place of origin of the manuscript is disputed among scholars. Most ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Saint Jerome’s "Against Jovinianus" and "Apologetical Work to Pammachius"
This codex contains two works by Saint Jerome, Adversus Jovinianus (Against Jovinianus) and Apologeticum ad Pammachium (Apologetical work for Pammachius). The latter consists of two letters that refer to Adversus Jovinianus. Written in 393, the main work is a polemical diatribe against the monk Jovinianus, who had asserted the equality of virginity and marriage. Following a treatise on marriage by the Roman author Seneca that is now lost, Jerome defends the Christian ideal of virginity while at the same time excoriating earlier pagan morals and ideas. Pammachius was a Roman ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Boethius’s “Commentaries on Cicero's ‘Topics’” and Other Astronomical Treatises
This miscellany contains the following works: Commentarii in Ciceronis Topica (Commentaries on Cicero's “Topics”), by Boethius; the famous Somnium Scipionis (ex libris VI De re publica) (The dream of Scipio, book six from “The Republic”), by Cicero; Commentarii in Ciceronis Somnium Scipionis (Commentaries on Cicero’s “The Dream of Scipio”), by Macrobius; Naturalis historia, ex libris II (excerpta Eboracensia) (Natural history, Book two with York excerpts), by Pliny the Elder; and Epistola de ratione horologii (Letter on time reckoning). In the Middle Ages, the commentary by Macrobius, a late-Roman ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Canons of the Gospels. The Chapters of the Four Gospels. Saint Jerome's Preface to the Four Gospels. Letters by Saint Jerome and Eusebius of Caesarea
This 11th-century Gospel book, written and created in Freising, Bavaria, was presented to the collegiate church of Saint Andreas in Freising by Bishop Ellenhard (1052 or 1053−78). Originally the manuscript was lavishly decorated with 11 initials, 14 canon tables, four portraits of the Evangelists, and a full-page dedication miniature, which was later transferred to a different codex, a Gospel lectionary (also held in the Bavarian State Library, shelf mark Clm 6831). The miniature depicts Bishop Ellenhard in front of the patron saint, Saint Andreas, who is holding the book ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Dialogue on Dialectics
This codex, which was created at Tegernsee Abbey under the direction of Froumund (circa 960−1008), is the work of several scribes. Besides Froumund, who copied a part of the text and entered several glosses, at least six other scribes were involved. The textbook Dialogus de dialectica (Dialogue on dialectics) deals with dialectics, one of the three artes liberales (liberal arts) of the medieval Trivium, which consisted of grammar, rhetoric, and dialectics, or logic. It was written by Alcuin (735−804), the great English scholar, theologian, and head of the ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Various Writings by Othlo
This manuscript was written by the monk Otloh, or Othlo, of Saint Emmeram, a remarkable figure in 11th-century literature, and is comprised almost exclusively of his own works. Born around 1010 in the diocese of Freising, Bavaria, Otloh studied at Tegernsee Abbey. He took a great interest in the art of writing, in which he was self-taught. He became a well-known scribe of his time. In 1032, after a serious disagreement with the local provost, he left Tegernsee for the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Emmeram in Ratisbon (present-day Regensburg). Some ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Passover Haggadah
This manuscript is a Haggadah. This Hebrew term is derived from a Hebraic root meaning a tale, particularly an edifying tale or story. Jewish law commands its followers to retell each year, from generation to generation, how the Jews fled Egypt as well as the miracles performed by God at the time. The Haggadah is a collection of chosen texts from the Bible and the Talmud that facilitates the celebration of the family liturgy on the first two nights of Passover during holiday meals. This manuscript is embellished with 76 ...
Ottheinrich Bible
The Ottheinrich Bible is the earliest surviving illustrated manuscript of the New Testament in the German language. The work was commissioned around 1430 by Ludwig VII, the Bearded, Duke of Bavaria-Ingolstadt. The text was written, presumably in Ingolstadt, in a monumental script consistent with the highest calligraphic standards. The text was then sent to Regensburg for illumination. Only about one-fifth of the miniatures were completed, however, before work was stopped. Sometime before 1530, the Count Palatine Ottheinrich acquired the Bible and commissioned the artist Mathis Gerung to complete the sequence ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Instruments for the Restoration of Astronomy
Tycho Brahe (1546–1601) was a Danish astronomer who built the best observatory in Europe and set a new standard for accurate celestial observations in the era before the invention of the telescope. His noble birth enabled him to pursue his true interests in the humanities and the sciences, particularly astronomy. He became adept at designing scientific instruments and making observations during his early travels in Europe. Upon his return to Denmark he won favor with King Frederick II, who provided him with monetary support to continue his astronomical researches ...
Contributed by Smithsonian Institution
Bible (Old Testament) of the Ratisbon Dominican Order
This manuscript forms the first volume of a Latin Bible formerly in the possession of the Dominican Order at Ratisbon (now Regensburg). It comprises several books of the Old Testament as well as interpretations of biblical terms. The manuscript contains unusual miniatures by the noted German Renaissance painter Berthold Furtmeyr (active 1460–1501). Furtmeyr and his followers were important contributors to the ancient Ratisbon School of Illumination. An artist of great renown, Furtmeyr illuminated many impressive works, including this manuscript, the Furtmeyr Bible, the Salzburg feast missal in five volumes ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Portraits of the Fugger Family
In 1593, members of the famous Fugger family commissioned the Augsburg engraver Dominicus Custos (circa 1550–1612) to create this ambitious collection of family portraits. Using existing portraits as his models, Custos finished a first edition of the portraits in 1593. After his death, his sons-in-law, Lukas Kilian (1579–1637) and Wolfgang Kilian (1581–1662), expanded and updated the collection, replacing the portraits of some members of the family with new engravings depicting them in older age. This new edition was published in 1618. This copy was purchased by the ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
German Old Testament
This two-volume manuscript of a Southern German translation of the Old Testament was written by the professional scribe Georg Rorer from Ratisbon (Regensburg) around 1463, perhaps for the monastery of Rottenbuch in Bavaria. The first volume contains all the books of the Old Testament from the Book of Genesis (with the first part of the Book of Genesis up to 24:19 missing) to the Second Book of Kings, as well as the psalter. The first chapters of the Gospel of Matthew (1:1–5:44) were accidentally bound into ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
The Secret Book of Honors of the Fugger Family
The history of the Fugger family can be seen as an unparalleled success story of the German Renaissance. Starting as weavers in the second half of the 14th century, the family quickly evolved into successful merchants, bankers, and noblemen, culminating in Jakob Fugger the Wealthy (1459–1525) and Anton Fugger (1493–1560). They are considered to have been the wealthiest persons of their time, even though the family business was almost bankrupted by its loans to the Hapsburgs in the 1560s. The Fugger dynasty still exists today as a noble ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library
Freising Gospel Book
This Carolingian gospel exemplifies the position of Bavaria as a meeting point of different artistic traditions. The text and the choice of prologues correspond with those in older Salzburg manuscripts and can be traced back to an Italian prototype. The marvelous manuscript, written during the episcopate of Anno of Freising (854–75), has in the margins of its leaves numerous critical notes on the text, including a series of Greek variants. Other influences can be observed in the decoration, which consists of interlace initials, an 18-page canon sequence, and four ...
Contributed by Bavarian State Library