Manuscript compilation from the monastery of St. Gall containing a number of assorted brief texts from the 9th through 15th centuries. Among other items from the 9th century, this manuscript contains the sole exemplar of a document explaining the reasons for the meeting between King Charlemagne and Pope Leo III, the "Aachener Karlsepos " (Carolingean Epic of Aachen or Paderborn Epic) in 799 as well as another sole exemplar, the so called "Carmina Sangallensia", verses on the wall paintings in the former Gallusmünster (Church of St. Gallus) in the monastery of St. Gall. Further components of this manuscript include theological-canonical treatises as well as sermons from the 14th and 15th centuries.
Online Since: 12/20/2007
This elegant illuminated copy of the Sefer Moreh Nevukhim (Guide to the Perplexed) by Moses Maimonides was produced in Christian Spain in 1292. It is a copy of the Hebrew translation of the work made in 1204 by Samuel ben Judah Ibn Tibbon (1150-1230). The manuscript arrived in Italy either after the Jewish persecutions of 1391 or the ensuing expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian peninsula in 1492. It was in the possession of the renowned Bolognese Sforno family before reappearing in the early 17th century in the hands of the Italian Jewish apostate and inquisitor Renato da Modena. After more than a century, the manuscript reappeared in the possession of Johann Caspar Ulrich (1705-1768) a Protestant theologian, who donated it in 1762 to the Bibliotheca Ecclesia Carolina, the chapter library of the reformed Grossmünster church of Zurich. In 1835, when the chapter was dissolved, the books and manuscripts of the chapter library became part of the new Cantonal Library in Zurich. Finally in 1917, the holdings of this library, among others, formed the new Zentralbibliothek, where the manuscript still remains today.
Online Since: 03/19/2020
Beautifully illuminated Maḥzor for Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kippur according to the Ashkenazi rite. It is however possible to surmise that this manuscript was produced in Poland during the 14th century, as its script resembles that of contemporary Hebrew manuscript fragments of maḥzorim produced in Poland. This manuscript of middle-sized format, enclosing several ornate initial words and illuminated frames, contains the liturgy for the High Holidays of Rosh ha-Shana and Yom Kippur, including many liturgical poems (piyyutim) displayed in several columns, and was destined for public use by the precentor (ḥazan) at the synagogue. However, the particularity of this maḥzor lies in the presence of a woman's name, גננא כהנת (Jeanne Kohenet), inserted within the painted letters of a decorated monumental initial word. She was probably the patron of this manuscript and either the daughter or wife of a cohen. The manuscript is incomplete at the beginning and at the end.
Online Since: 12/10/2020
Illuminated biblical and ethical miscellany produced in Italy in 1322. This small format manuscript, with an exquisite 16th-century white leather binding blindstamped with the coat of arms of the city of Zurich, is divided into two groups of texts. The first section is made up of the biblical texts of the Five Megillot, accompanied by three commentaries on them, composed by the great medieval scholars, Solomon ben Isaac (Rashi), Avraham ibn Ezra and Joseph Qara. The second section is of ethical nature and consists in the Mishna tractate of the Pirqei Avot or Ethics of the Fathers and its commentaries. The first is an anonymous one ; the second is entitled Shemonah Peraqim by Maimonides, as translated by Samuel ibn Tibbon, and the third is a commentary by Rashi placed in the margins of the latter. In addition, this handbook is interspersed with aggadic, midrashic, mystical and philosophical material.
Online Since: 12/10/2020
This richly illustrated manuscript of Rudolf von Ems' Chronicle of the world was written in the 1340s, probably in Zurich (in the same writing workshop as the 1346 book of statutes of the Zurich Grossmünster). Its iconographic program is closely related to that of the Chronicle of the World currently held in St. Gall (Vadian Collection Ms. 302). Ms. Rh. 15 came to Zurich in 1863 from the library of the dissolved Rheinau Abbey.
Online Since: 03/29/2019
The Rheinau Psalter, Ms. Rh. 167, is among the preeminent treasures of the Zurich Central Library. Its miniatures are a product of the highest level of artistry of the High Gothic painting of this period around 1260, which is also true for the sophisticated color and painting techniques that were used. In contrast, the script, while of quite good quality, cannot be counted among the highest examples of the art of writing. The commissioner of the manuscript must be sought in the area of Lake Constance, probably in the city of Constance, which was very important in the politics and church politics at the time of the interregnum. In 1817, Father Blasius Hauntinger purchased the manuscript from Melchior Kirchhofer in Schaffhausen for the Benedictine Rheinau Abbey; in 1863, the manuscript, along with the Rheinau Abbey Library, became part of the Cantonal Library (today Central Library) in Zurich.
Online Since: 12/20/2012
A total of 23 leaves of a Fulda Legendary that originally consisted of six volumes, commissioned in 1156 by Rugger, monk at Frauenberg Abbey in Fulda (1176-1177 abbot of Fulda as Rugger II). The main parts probably were written by Eberhard of Fulda; the book decoration as well is very reminiscent of the Codex Eberhardi (Marburg, Hessisches Staatsarchiv K 425 and K 426). Based on the numbering in the surviving indexes and at the beginning of the texts, the size of the collection can be projected to have been about 500 vitae and passions. Thus this work bears testimony to the efforts for not only the economic, but also the spiritual and cultural reform undertaken under Abbot Markward of Fulda (1150-1165); at the same time this work is the northernmost and probably the earliest of the surviving five- and six-volume 12th century legendaries from Southern Germany. Later it served as (indirect) model for the base stock of texts of the great Legendary of Böddeken, through which it remained influential for the Bollandists' Acta Sanctorum and on into the modern times. The monumental Fulda Legendary was still used in Fulda in the middle of the 16th century by Georg Witzel (1501-1573) for his Hagiologium seu de sanctis ecclesiae (Mainz 1541) as well as for his Chorus sanctorum omnium. Zwelff Bücher Historien Aller Heiligen Gottes (Köln 1554). Fragments from the 3rd, 4th and 6th volumes are preserved in Basel, Solothurn, Nuremberg and Stuttgart. This indicates that at least the 3rd (May-June) and 6th (November-December) volumes of the legendary reached Basel, where both evidently were used as manuscript waste around 1580.
Online Since: 06/13/2019
The Eidgenössische Chronik by Werner Schodoler (1490-1541) is in chronological order the last of the illustrated Swiss Chronicles of the late Middle Ages. It was written by private initiative between 1510 and 1535 and took as its model primarily the Official Bernese Chronicle - Amtliche Berner Chronik - by Diebold Schilling and the Chronicle - Kronica - by Petermann Etterlin. This volume, the first of the three volumes of the chronicle, covers the history from the legendary origin of Zurich and Lucerne up to Antipope John XXIII's flight from Constance (1415). Although space was left for illustrations, they were not realized (except those of 12v). Today the three volumes are held in different libraries: the first volume is in the Leopold-Sophien-Bibliothek in Überlingen, the second in the City Archives in Bremgarten, and the third in the Cantonal Library of Aargau.
Online Since: 12/20/2012