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Medieval Hungary: Medieval Manuscripts in Esztergom

Medieval Hungary: Medieval Manuscripts in Esztergom

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From the 11th to the 31st of March, an exhibition offers the medieval manuscripts of the Cathedral Libray of Esztergom. Titled “For They Observe for Your Souls…” – Codices in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, the exhibition is on look at in the freshly restored exhibition rooms of the Bibliotheca.

The Cathedral Library of Esztergom preserves forty-five medieval manuscript books, which are displayed together for the very first time now, in March 2022. The exhibition honors the archbishops and canons of Esztergom as properly as the donators and prior house owners of the manuscripts, by whose generosity the library became the most significant selection of codices among ecclesiastical libraries of Hungary. The published tradition of medieval Hungary is represented by fourteen codices copied in many Hungarian scriptoria. Two aged Hungarian manuscripts – early linguistic information – stand out from among the the Latin guides on account of their special price. The Nagyszombat Codex was ready in the monastery of the Weak Clares in Óbuda. It includes meditations and guides for penance and confession. The Jordánszky Codex is the most full medieval Bible translation into Hungarian, and is named immediately after is previous operator, Elek Jordánszky, a canon of Esztergom. Out of the codices preserved in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, without a doubt 3 have been applied in Esztergom ahead of 1543. These are the 12th-century Expositiones super Cantica Canticorum, László Szalkai’s (1475-1526) schoolbook written by the upcoming archbishop in between 1489 and 1490, and the codex of vicar-typical Albert Pesthy. The manuscript selection owned by the Archbishop and the Chapter of Esztergom was even further enriched throughout the sojourn of the Archbishopric in Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia). Liturgical books and astronomical performs have been obtained, as effectively as a manuscript that contains letters by Saint Gregory the Good, copied in the Benedictine Abbey of Moissac in the 11th century. In 1555, Nicholaus Olah )1493-1568), archbishop of Esztergom, donated the two-quantity Bakócs Gradual to the church of Esztergom The high-class Wladislav Gradual originates from Prague from the to start with 10 years of the 16th century. It retains Bohemian musical substance, richly illuminated with historiated initials as nicely as border decorations with floral motifs, animal figures, and scenes from day-to-day lifestyle.

Soon after the library moved back to Esztergom in 1853, János Scitovszky (1785-1866), archbishop of Esztergom, József Dankó and Nándor Knauz, canons of Esztergom each and every bequeathed four codices to the assortment. Among the these, there was a 12th-century cathedral schoolbook that contains a commentary of the Music of Tunes among other texts, and several manuscripts of Bohemian origin.

Most codices in the library originated and were employed in Central Europe, in Bohemia, Vienna, and Southern Germany. Yet, some of the manuscripts came from the English, Italian, and French territories. The decoration of Peter Lombard’s commentary on the Psalms is a high-high-quality item of English miniature painting. The exhibited manuscripts current a wide vary of medieval ecclesiastical literature encompassing books on liturgy, theology, church law, astronomy, lexicography, as nicely as sermon collections, prayer publications, and schoolbooks. 

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a catalog describing with wonderful erudition the medieval manuscripts preserved in the Esztergom guide collections (The Codices of the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, the Archiepiscopal Simor Library, and the Esztergom Metropolis Library). The guide was edited by Edit Madas and penned by Kinga Körmendy, Judit Lauf, Edit Madas, and Gábor Sarbak. Kinga Körmendy’s complete introduction presents the record of the collections and the in-depth descriptions are accompanied by various indices, appendices, a bibliography, and color plates. The book is the most current volume of the Fragmenta et codices in bibliothecis Hungariae series. The book can be ordered right here: [email protected]. A German-language version of the catalog is forthcoming.

(Textual content and pictures by the Cathedral Library of Esztergom) 

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