Medieval Hungary: Medieval Manuscripts in Esztergom

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

The Cathedral Library of Esztergom preserves forty-five medieval manuscript textbooks, which are shown together for the 1st time now, in March 2022. The exhibition honors the archbishops and canons of Esztergom as effectively as the donators and previous house owners of the manuscripts, by whose generosity the library became the greatest collection of codices amongst ecclesiastical libraries of Hungary. The written society of medieval Hungary is represented by fourteen codices copied in various Hungarian scriptoria. Two outdated Hungarian manuscripts – early linguistic data – stand out from among the Latin books on account of their particular worth. The Nagyszombat Codex was well prepared in the monastery of the Very poor Clares in Óbuda. It consists of meditations and guides for penance and confession. The Jordánszky Codex is the most finish medieval Bible translation into Hungarian, and is named following is former proprietor, Elek Jordánszky, a canon of Esztergom. Out of the codices preserved in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, devoid of a question a few ended up utilized in Esztergom in advance of 1543. These are the 12th-century Expositiones super Cantica Canticorum, László Szalkai’s (1475-1526) schoolbook written by the potential archbishop in between 1489 and 1490, and the codex of vicar-general Albert Pesthy. The manuscript collection owned by the Archbishop and the Chapter of Esztergom was more enriched through the sojourn of the Archbishopric in Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia). Liturgical guides and astronomical is effective ended up acquired, as effectively as a manuscript made up of letters by Saint Gregory the Wonderful, 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 deluxe Wladislav Gradual originates from Prague from the very first 10 years of the 16th century. It holds Bohemian musical materials, richly illuminated with historiated initials as effectively as border decorations with floral motifs, animal figures, and scenes from each day everyday living.

Immediately after the library moved again to Esztergom in 1853, János Scitovszky (1785-1866), archbishop of Esztergom, József Dankó and Nándor Knauz, canons of Esztergom each individual bequeathed four codices to the selection. Between these, there was a 12th-century cathedral schoolbook made up of a commentary of the Music of Tunes amid other texts, and many manuscripts of Bohemian origin.

Most codices in the library originated and were being made use of in Central Europe, in Bohemia, Vienna, and Southern Germany. Nonetheless, some of the manuscripts arrived from the English, Italian, and French territories. The decoration of Peter Lombard’s commentary on the Psalms is a significant-quality product of English miniature painting. The exhibited manuscripts present a extensive range of medieval ecclesiastical literature encompassing textbooks on liturgy, theology, church legislation, astronomy, lexicography, as very well as sermon collections, prayer guides, and schoolbooks. 

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a catalog describing with excellent 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 e book was edited by Edit Madas and prepared by Kinga Körmendy, Judit Lauf, Edit Madas, and Gábor Sarbak. Kinga Körmendy’s complete introduction presents the background of the collections and the in depth descriptions are accompanied by various indices, appendices, a bibliography, and color plates. The ebook is the most latest quantity of the Fragmenta et codices in bibliothecis Hungariae collection. The guide can be purchased below: [email protected]. A German-language edition of the catalog is forthcoming.

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

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