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Ms. Codex 1128 - [Mystical miscellany]
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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts Collection: Ms. Codex 1128 - [Mystical miscellany]
[Mystical miscellany] [manuscript].
[Germany], ca. 1440.
Physical description:
264 leaves : paper ; 153 x 107-108 (103 x 69) mm. bound to 160 x 115 mm.
Collection of 4 devotional works with mystical and didactic tendencies. Work 1 is a version of the work on the six names of the Eucharist, or body of Christ (Buch von den sechs Namen des Fronleichnams; also known under the Latin title Liber de corde et sanguine domini) composed by the author known as the Monk of Heilsbronn, who was resident at the Cistercian abbey at Heilsbronn, in Bavaria, Germany, in the 14th century. Scholarship is inconclusive about the possible identification of the Monk of Heilsbronn with Konrad von Brundelsheim (Conradus de Brundelsheim), who was the abbot at Heilsbronn in 1303-1306 and 1317-1321. This manuscript, which contains contemporary corrections throughout, differs from the one published by J.F.L.T. Merzdorf in Der Mönch von Heilsbronn (pp. 1-68), showing a later spelling, and variations in the text, including the omission of the rhymed epilogue in which the writer identifies himself as a monk of Heilsbronn. The work begins with a rhymed prologue (f. 1r-3r) in which the author declares his intentions to cull and explicate wisdom from holy scripture, as well as the writings of Augustine, Ambrose, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Gregory I, on the subject of the body of Christ (unsers herren leichnamen; f. 1r); and justifies his choice to proceed in prose rather than in rhyme. In the main body of the text he explicates the six names: 1. Eucharist (eucharistia, gute genad; f. 3r, 3v), 2. gift (donum, gab; f. 7r), 3. food (cibus, speis; f. 26r), 4. communion (communio, gemainsam; f. 34r), 5. sacrifice (sacrificium, opfer; f. 44r), and 6. sacrament (sacramentum, heilikait; f. 61v). He develops the motif known as fons pietatis, i.e. Christ's wounds as a fountain of piety for the faithful (f. 42r, 63v). Work 2 is a prose tract on the question of how to love God (got mynnen; f. 97r); it begins by calling to mind John 21: 15-17, in which Jesus asks his disciple Peter whether he loves Jesus (Petre amas me ... Peter mynnestu mich; f. 97r). Work 3, also in prose, focuses on the Passion of Christ. In the first half, it mainly retells, with interspersed commentary, episodes from the New Testament, beginning with the story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet (John 13), through his arrest, presentation before Pilate, flogging and crucifixion; the fons pietatis motif is invoked (f. 180r-180v). The sources cited include Ambrose (f. 123v), Augustine (f. 126v), Gregory I (f. 125v), and Bernard of Clairvaux (f. 139r, 252r). The second half of the work is organized under didactic headings that refer to such topics as thanking God (f. 212v), obedience (f. 214r), prayer (f. 218v), and faith (f. 228v). Work 4 is a 12-line prose piece that names obedience, poverty, and chastity as the three virtues essential to a cleric (geistleichen menschen), and elevates obedience as the noblest one.
Ms. codex.
Title for codex and for work 1 supplied by cataloger; title for works 2-4 from incipits.
Foliation: Paper, i (parchment) + 262 (f. 120, 258-262 blank) + i (parchment); [1-262]; modern foliation in pencil, upper right recto.
Layout: Written in 17-19 long lines.
Script: Written in a German cursive hand. Pen trials on flyleaves.
Decoration: 5-line red initial with black ink drawing of a face (f. 1r); 2-line decorated red initials (f. 2v, 3r, 3v, 22v, 26r, 34r, and 44r). Throughout work 3, many 2-line initials in red, sometimes preceded by a rubric in red; and red pen strokes highlighting beginnings of verses and proper names; 4-line initial in red (f. 227r). Sporadic pen strokes of red highlighting initial of sentences or proper names in work 1.
Binding: Contemporary pigskin over wooden boards (Zacour-Hirsch).
Origin: Written in southern Germany, ca. 1440 (Zacour-Hirsch).
Cite as:
UPenn Ms. Codex 1128
Manuscript location:
Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts University of Pennsylvania Ms. Codex 1128
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