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 is accompanied by an extensive pictorial cycle with 47 small outline drawings, executed in the Ratisbon school, which is difficult to locate and was probably situated in the monastery of Saint Emmeram or the convent at Prüfening. It is one of the earliest typological cycles to survive and a forerunner of the Biblia pauperum (Pauper’s Bible).

Date Created

Subject Date


Title in Original Language

Dialogus de laudibus sanctae crucis

Type of Item

Physical Description

188 leaves : parchment, illuminations ; 31 x 21.5 centimeters


  • BSB shelfmark: Clm 14159
  • This description of the work was written by Béatrice Hernad of the Bavarian State Library.

Last updated: October 17, 2017