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Autographs of Jean-Jacques Rousseau2
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Sub-project: Frowin's Library

May 2011 - June 2012
Status: completed
Financed by: Stavros Niarchos Foundation (
Description: The continued support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation has made possible the digitalization and the presentation on e-codices of 40 manuscripts produced under Abbot Frowin in the early years of the monastery of Engelberg (Canton of Obwalden). In terms of its nature and completeness, this collection is unique in Switzerland; indeed, it shows how, in the High Middle Ages, a conventual library collection was planned and built up. The roughly 40 codices preserved that are "Frowinian", that is, manuscripts produced at the time of his abbacy and plainly under his direction, include numerous works of the Church Fathers Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome, Gregory, rounded out with works by Orosius, Isidore of Seville, Paschasius Radbert and the Venerable Bede, as well as Biblical manuscripts of exceptional artistic quality. In addition to these works, there are also a large number of contemporary writings, including those by authors such as Hugh of Saint Victor and Bernard of Clairvaux, as well as a collection of texts pertaining to the eleventh-century controversy over the Eucharist. Frowin evidently studied all these works carefully and used them in his own writings.

Number of manuscripts: 40, displayed: 21 – 40

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 48

Parchment · 128 ff. · 28.5 x 19.5 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Expositio S. Hieronymi Matheum et Marcum

This Codex contains Jerome's exposition of the Gospels of Matthew (1v-103r) and Mark (103v-128v). It has little decoration, but it has two elaborate, polychromatic initials (5r, 103v). The text, copied in black and dark-brown ink, contains multiple changes of hand. Text divisions such as incipit and explicit, pargraphs and chapter indications are executed in red ink, and one time figuratively decorated (51v). The two-line verse inscription on 1r attests that the codex was produced under Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 49

Parchment · 119 ff. · 27.8 x 20.8 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Sancti Hieronymi Hebraicarum Quaestiones

According to the two-line poem on 1r, this manuscript was produced under Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178). It contains simple red initials, and rarely small, polychromatic initials decorated with bulb motifs (2r, 25v, 41r, 54r, 62v). As is typical for the volumes from Frowin's library, the text is rendered throughout in black-brown ink by a regular hand and the incipits to each book are rubricated. At times the capitals are slightly bigger or accentuated with red ink. The last two-thirds of 119 has been excised. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 56

Parchment · 194 ff. · 26.0 x 18.0 cm · Engelberg · 12th century

Ivonis Carnotensis episcopi Panormia

This manuscript contains the Panormia of Ivo of Chartres, a collection of texts on canon law in 8 books with 1038 chapters. Ivo, bishop of Chartres and reformer, first wrote this work after 1095, but it spread extremely fast thanks to its user-friendly nature. The text, in light- and dark-brown ink, was produced by at least two hands. According to the tradition of the Engelberg scriptorium in the twelfth century, the chapter beginnings and summaries are accentuated in red ink, which in the case of Ivo's work provides exceptionally rich rubrication. Numerous marginal notes appear outside the blocks of text. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 64

Parchment · 145 ff. · 25.0 x 17.2 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Ambrosii episcopi Hexaemeron

This codex contains Saint Ambrose's Hexaemeron. A two-line poem on 1r by Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178) dedicates this volume (with its title) to the monastery's patron saint Mary, mother of God. Beneath the dedication, the same hand has written a six-line poem, which likewise makes reference to the contents. A small decorative initial in blue, green, and red ink, as is typical of the library of Frowin, introduces the first book. The remaining books are divided with more simple, red initials. The text and marginal notes, in a dark-brown (and in a few places light brown) ink come from the same hand, a hand with a strikingly clean and balanced appearance. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 65

Parchment · 136 ff. · 23.6 x 16.4 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Tractatus sancti Ambrosii episcopi de officiis

The manuscript contains Ambrose's treatise De officiis. A list of chapters (1r-3r, 65v-67r, 103v-104v) precedes each of the three books. The first two books are introduced by an artistic tendrilated initial on a dark-brown (3v) or red (67r) background. Rubricated lines and initials divide the rest of the text. The dedicatory poem on 1r, in capitals filling two lines attests that the text is an offering of Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178) to the monastery's patron saint Mary. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 68

Parchment · 95 ff. · 24.0 x 17.0 cm · Engelberg · 1178-1197

Claudianus Mamertus, De statu animae libri tres

This codex contains on 6r-95v the three books "On the status of the soul" by the French theologian Claudianus Mamertus (ca. 425-ca. 475), an apologetic treatise on the incorporeity of the soul, written to oppose a writing by bishop Faustus von Reji (3r-6r). Initials by the so-called Engelberg Master appear at the beginning of the prologue and of each of the three books (3r, 6r, 7v, 48v, 77v). The marginal notes are often framed in red, and some of the capitals are in red. An ownership note on the back of the flyleaf ascribes the volume to Abbot Berchtold of Engelberg (1178-1197). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 76

Parchment · 124 ff. · 27.4 x 18.8 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Expositio S. Hieronymi duodecim prophetarum

This manuscript contains Jerome’s exposition of the twelve prophetic books. Each prophet is colorfully depicted in a historiated initial at the beginning of his book. The name of the prophet under discussion appears in red ink in the top margin of every other two-page spread. Small, colourful decorated initials sometimes introduce new paragraphs in the prologues. Except for the prologues, the pages are laid out in three columns: the middle column contains the biblical text, the left and right columns provide, in a smaller script, the exposition. A two-line verse dedication on 1r ascribes the codex to the library of Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 87

Parchment · 95 ff. · 22.6 x 15.4 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Aurelii Augustini de doctrina christiana libri quatuor

The manuscript contains the four books of Augustine's On Christian Doctrine. An artistically decorated initial in red, black and green ink, followed by a line in decorative capitals, appears at the beginning of the proemium (2r), as well as of the first (5r) and fourth books (64v). The second and third book are divided by a simpler red decorative initial and a first line that has been accentuated in red ink. The appearance of the script, in a black-brown ink, is clean and balanced; the first change in hand appears in a collection of opinions of the Church fathers that has been added (probably later) on 94r-95r. On 1r a two-line dedicatory verse names Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178) as having commissioned the work. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 88

Parchment · 106 ff. · 28.8 x 15.8 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Aurelii Augustini de sermone domini in monte secundum Matthaeum libri duo

This volume is a copy of Augustine's commentary on the Sermon on the Mount. After the list of chapters (1r-1v) follows the Retractatio sancti Augustini de sermone domini in monte (1v-5r). Both books of the main text are introduced by a colorful decorated initial (5r, 55r). The black-brown ink script appears uniform and balanced. On the recto of the front flyleaf a two-line poem names Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178) as having commissioned the volume. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 89

Parchment · 111 ff. · 20.5 x 14.0 cm · Engelberg · 9th century and 12th century

De gratia et libero arbitrio Aurelii Augustini et Bernardi Claraevallensis

This codex begins with works of Augustine: 1r-27v Liber de gratia et libero arbitrio, 28r-63r letters from and to Augustine De praedestinatione and 63r-93r Liber secundus de dono perseverentiae. Then follows the Tractatus de gratia et libero arbitrio first produced by the Cistercian Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux in 1127. Folios 1-80 are palimpsests. The book's decoration limits itself to rather awkward red decorated initials and first lines at the beginning of each book, red-accentuated capitals and a pen drawing on 93r. On 111r there appears, as in Cod. 138 a later note of ownership, in a hand that resembles that of Cod. 90. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 90

Parchment · 166 ff. · 20.5 x 14.2 cm · Engelberg · 12th century

Hugo de S. Victoris, De sacramentis fidei christianae

The bulk of this codex contains Hugh of Saint Victor's De sacramentis fidei christianae (10r-147r). Preceding it are two short treatises on the Antichrist (Ps.-Augustine 1r-6v and Peter Damian 6v-10r), and after it comes a collection of opinions of and excerpts from Hrabanus Maurus' De universo. With very few exceptions, 1-44 are palimpsests. The pages towards the end have many large holes and tears or are partially excised; one folio, between 10 and 11r, is missing entirely. The writing is characterized by several changes of ink and hand, and the page ruling is not uniform. Except for simple red and black initials and rubricated lines, there is no book decoration whatsoever. A pair of marginal notes appear on 112v. Although the codex contains no univocal indication that it was produced in Engelberg, a few similarities with the volumes produced under Abbot Frowin (1143-1178) suggest it. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 117

Parchment · 254 ff. · 19.6 x 9.1 cm · Engelberg · 1203

Petrus Riga, Aurora et Warnerius Basileensis, Synodus

This codex contains on 2r-241r the Aurora, a versification of the Bible by Petrus Riga, canon of Reims (ca. 1140-1209), with notes by Aegidius Parisiensis, and on 244r-254v the dialogue Synodus by the cleric Warnerius of Basel, which probably was written ca. 1100. The compact script of the text in black-to-light-brown ink is decorated with small red initials and passages underlined in red. In places the page margins have been broadly cut out, and occasionally entire passages have been left blank. A three-line poem by the copyist on 4v attests that the manuscript was produced under Abbot Ulrich (1197-1223) in 1203. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 135

Parchment · 43 ff. · 16.5 x 11.8 cm · Engelberg · 12th century

Monita beati Effrem

This codex contains on V3-7r the Sermo acephalus de iudicio and on 7r-43r the Monita of the Church Doctor Ephraim the Syrian (ca. 306-373). The first two pages have been torn out, but the inner margin can still be seen, including a small red initial on V5. The main text on 7r begins with a red decorated initial and runner motifs. The numerous, frequently changing hands differ greatly from each other in line ruling and appearance. The design and construction of the manuscript correspond to the Engelberg scriptorium under Abbots Frowin (1143-1178) and Berchtold (1178-1197). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 138

Parchment · 110 ff. · 16.0 x 11.8 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Sancti Augustini liber retractationum et de poenitentia

This codex contains Augustine's Retractationes (1r-73r), introduced by a richly decorated initial that extends for the whole length of the page. At the beginning of the Liber de poenitentia, on 73r, there is a smaller, but just as artistic initial with an eagle motif. The text of both works probably comes from the same hand, and is accompanied throughout by numerous rubricated lines and simpler dedicated initials. The only owner's inscription on 110v comes from a later time, but the overall design is characteristic of the volumes of the Engelberg library produced under Abbot Frowin (1143-1178). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 139

Parchment · 72 ff. · 16.6 x 12.0 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Bernardi Claraevallensis abbatis de consideratione

This codex contains the letter, known as De consideratione of the Cistercian Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux (ca. 1090-1153) to Pope Eugenius III. The writing was first completed in 1152; the two-lined dedicatory verse on 1r names Abbot Frowin (1143-1178) as having commissioned the Engelberg copy, and attests to the rapid spread of the work. The beginnings and endings of the five books are marked out with red ink. The clean and balanced, slightly cursive script in brown ink comes from a single hand. (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 147

Parchment · 51 ff. · 14.0 x 11.0 cm · Engelberg · second half of the 12th century

Paschasius Radbertus, Liber de sacramentis

This manuscript contains the De sacramentis (also known as the De corpore et sanguine Domini) written by the Frankish Benedictine Paschasius Radbertus. The text has been copied by multiple hands, each of which has its own line-ruling. The decoration of the book is limited to red accentuated capitals and simple red decorated initials that are occasionally rather awkwardly decorated (6v, 12r). The codex’s layout and the appearance of its script match those of the volumes prepared under the Engelberg Abbots Frowin (1143-1178) and Berchtold (1178-1197). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 154

Parchment · 125 ff. · 12.1 x 9.6 cm · Engelberg · 12th century

Cicero, Liber rhetoricum de inventione

This small-format codex contains Cicero's rhetorical work De inventione. The text, mostly in dark-, sometimes light-brown ink comes from multiple hands, which all have their own careful and consistent appearance. Except for some simple decorated initials, slightly larger at the beginning of the prologue and of both books, and the occasional red-ink accentuated capitals and text-beginnings, there is no book decoration whatsoever. A later inscription on 1r indicates that this is probably a volume from the milieu of Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 1005

Parchment · 178 ff. · 24.0 x 18/18.5 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Paschasius Radbertus, In lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae

During construction work in 1963, this commentary by Paschasius Radbertus on the Lamentations of Jeremiah was discovered along with 9 other manuscripts in a false floor over the Engelberg library. On the basis of the verse inscription on 1r, the manuscript can be attributed to the library of Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178). The hand and the decoration correspond to those characteristic of the Frowin volumes: the text is in black-brown ink with occasional capitals that are accentuated in red, the incipits and explicits are rubricated, simple initials are in red ink, and decorative initials have tendril and bulb motifs in colorful inks (2r, 40v, 73v, 126r, 163r). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 1007

Parchment · 116 ff. · 28.5 x 20.0 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Gregorii Papae Homilia

This codex with the homilies on the Gospels by Saint Gregory was discovered in 1963 along with 9 other volumes during construction work in the monastery of Engelberg. 1v-2r and 46v each list the titles of 20 homilies. The volume has on 113r-116v various collections and lists, including on 114r, after an excised page, the so-called school-book list. The individual Homilies are each indicated with a red initial and red incipit and explicit. The only change of hands in the well-proportioned script can be observed on 40r-44r. Tears in the parchment have been artfully stitched up. A contract text on 1r and a dedicatory poem on 1v attest that the manuscript was produced under Abbot Frowin of Engelberg (1143-1178). (grd)

Online since: 10/04/2011

Engelberg, Stiftsbibliothek, Cod. 1008

Parchment · 160 ff. · 28.5 x 20 cm · Engelberg · 1143-1178

Augustinus, De civitate dei

For centuries this manuscript was unknown, until in 1963 it was discovered along with several other codices (including 1003, 1005, 1007, 1009) in a false floor over the library of Engelberg Abbey. The circumstances surrounding this stash – perhaps protection from theft or some other threat – are unknown. On the basis of how it was produced and the verse on 1r, the codex can be placed among the series of volumes with text by Augustine (Cod. 12-18, 87-88 and 138) in the library of Abbot Frowin (1143-1178). (grd)

Online since: 06/09/2011
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