March 1, 2024


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Medieval Hungary: Medieval Manuscripts in Esztergom

3 min read
Medieval Hungary: Medieval Manuscripts in Esztergom

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

The Cathedral Library of Esztergom preserves forty-5 medieval manuscript guides, which are exhibited alongside one another for the initial time now, in March 2022. The exhibition honors the archbishops and canons of Esztergom as properly as the donators and past entrepreneurs of the manuscripts, by whose generosity the library turned the premier collection of codices amid ecclesiastical libraries of Hungary. The published tradition of medieval Hungary is represented by fourteen codices copied in numerous Hungarian scriptoria. Two old Hungarian manuscripts – early linguistic records – stand out from between the Latin publications on account of their special price. The Nagyszombat Codex was ready in the monastery of the Bad Clares in Óbuda. It is made up of meditations and guides for penance and confession. The Jordánszky Codex is the most finish medieval Bible translation into Hungarian, and is named soon after is previous operator, Elek Jordánszky, a canon of Esztergom. Out of the codices preserved in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, with out a doubt three were utilised in Esztergom just before 1543. These are the 12th-century Expositiones tremendous Cantica Canticorum, László Szalkai’s (1475-1526) schoolbook penned by the future archbishop among 1489 and 1490, and the codex of vicar-general Albert Pesthy. The manuscript selection owned by the Archbishop and the Chapter of Esztergom was further more enriched throughout the sojourn of the Archbishopric in Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia). Liturgical publications and astronomical will work ended up acquired, as well as a manuscript containing letters by Saint Gregory the Fantastic, copied in the Benedictine Abbey of Moissac in the 11th century. In 1555, Nicholaus Olah )1493-1568), archbishop of Esztergom, donated the two-volume Bakócs Gradual to the church of Esztergom The lavish Wladislav Gradual originates from Prague from the very first 10 years of the 16th century. It holds Bohemian musical material, richly illuminated with historiated initials as nicely as border decorations with floral motifs, animal figures, and scenes from daily lifestyle.

Right 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 bequeathed 4 codices to the collection. Amongst these, there was a 12th-century cathedral schoolbook that contains a commentary of the Track of Tunes among the other texts, and various manuscripts of Bohemian origin.

Most codices in the library originated and ended up employed in Central Europe, in Bohemia, Vienna, and Southern Germany. Nonetheless, 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-good quality product or service of English miniature portray. The exhibited manuscripts present a wide array of medieval ecclesiastical literature encompassing textbooks on liturgy, theology, church regulation, astronomy, lexicography, as nicely as sermon collections, prayer textbooks, and schoolbooks. 

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a catalog describing with terrific erudition the medieval manuscripts preserved in the Esztergom e-book collections (The Codices of the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, the Archiepiscopal Simor Library, and the Esztergom City Library). The book was edited by Edit Madas and published by Kinga Körmendy, Judit Lauf, Edit Madas, and Gábor Sarbak. Kinga Körmendy’s complete introduction provides the history of the collections and the in-depth descriptions are accompanied by many indices, appendices, a bibliography, and colour plates. The e book is the most the latest quantity of the Fragmenta et codices in bibliothecis Hungariae collection. The e book can be ordered here: [email protected]. A German-language edition of the catalog is forthcoming.

(Text and pics by the Cathedral Library of Esztergom) 

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