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 to four, the allegorical marriage is followed through four epochs: ante legem (before the law), represented by the daughter of Pharaoh; sub lege (under the law), represented by the daughter of Babylon; sub gratia (under grace), represented by Sunamitis (i.e., the unnamed Shulamite woman to whom Solomon professes his love in the Song of Songs); and sub antichristo (under the anti-Christ), represented by Mandragora. In accordance with Honorius's text, the bride appears in dual form: as Ecclesia (the Church) in the New Jerusalem, and as a personification of the Church remaining in this world, which embodies all mankind. Honorius was a theologian and philosopher who was active in southern Germany in the first third of the 12th century.

Last updated: August 28, 2015