Fragment of "Moralia" in Job, Part Six


This eighth century manuscript is a prominent example of the Anglo-Saxon heritage of Bavaria and, more specifically, of Munich. It is an incomplete copy of Pope Gregory the Great’s allegorical exegesis of the Book of Job, part six. The manuscript of nearly 300 pages was written almost entirely by the Anglo-Saxon scribe Peregrinus (“Foreigner”), who tells us in an explanatory colophon (folio 146 verso) both his name and the fact that he worked in the scriptorium at Freising (Bavaria) under Bishop Arbeo, the founder of the cathedral library and bishop of Freising from 764 to 783. Other scribes from Freising contributed passages in early Carolingian minuscule only on a few pages. The front page (folio 1 verso) is decorated with an architectural border, constructed of four arcades that are supported by colored pillars with terraced capitals and bases, as they are commonly used in canon tables. In each of the spaces below the two left arcades an animal looking backwards can be seen. The text begins on leaf 2 recto with a large insular initial "S" (for sancti), decorated with interlace and terminating in animal heads. The Freising ex-libris in the upper margin, “Iste liber est sanctae Marie et sancti Corbiniani Frisinge” (This is the book of the holy Mary and of Saint Corbinian, Freising) dates from the 12th century. The book remained in the cathedral library in Freising for more than a millennium before it was transferred to the court library in Munich, the predecessor of the Bavarian State Library, in 1803.

Last updated: October 17, 2017