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 the day) on folio 2 verso, showing a cock with a bunch of leaves, is positioned at the beginning of the first hymn, Ad Galli cantum (At cockcrow). Glosses inserted between the lines and in the margins in later hands bear testimony to efforts to properly understand this sophisticated text. This tradition goes back to Iso of Saint Gall (died circa 871), the distinguished head of the monastic school of the Abbey of Saint Gall, who commented on the works of Prudentius. The manuscript came to Munich in 1811 and is today part of the collection of the Bavarian State Library. Aurelius Clemens Prudentius was a Christian poet who was born in 348 in northern Spain. He wrote lyrical, didactic, and polemical poems on Christian themes.

Last updated: April 23, 2015