Medieval Hungary: Medieval Manuscripts in Esztergom

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 Check out for Your Souls…” – Codices in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, the exhibition is on watch 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 initial time now, in March 2022. The exhibition honors the archbishops and canons of Esztergom as very well as the donators and preceding entrepreneurs of the manuscripts, by whose generosity the library turned the premier assortment of codices among the ecclesiastical libraries of Hungary. The composed lifestyle of medieval Hungary is represented by fourteen codices copied in various Hungarian scriptoria. Two outdated Hungarian manuscripts – early linguistic records – stand out from amongst the Latin guides on account of their special worth. The Nagyszombat Codex was organized 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 following is former proprietor, Elek Jordánszky, a canon of Esztergom. Out of the codices preserved in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, with no a doubt a few have been utilised in Esztergom prior to 1543. These are the 12th-century Expositiones tremendous Cantica Canticorum, László Szalkai’s (1475-1526) schoolbook written by the future archbishop involving 1489 and 1490, and the codex of vicar-typical Albert Pesthy. The manuscript collection owned by the Archbishop and the Chapter of Esztergom was further enriched through the sojourn of the Archbishopric in Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia). Liturgical publications and astronomical performs had been acquired, as nicely as a manuscript that contains letters by Saint Gregory the Great, 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 high-class Wladislav Gradual originates from Prague from the initial ten years of the 16th century. It holds Bohemian musical materials, richly illuminated with historiated initials as well as border decorations with floral motifs, animal figures, and scenes from each day lifestyle.

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 every single bequeathed four codices to the assortment. Between these, there was a 12th-century cathedral schoolbook containing a commentary of the Track of Songs amid other texts, and numerous manuscripts of Bohemian origin.

Most codices in the library originated and have been made use of in Central Europe, in Bohemia, Vienna, and Southern Germany. Nevertheless, some of the manuscripts came from the English, Italian, and French territories. The decoration of Peter Lombard’s commentary on the Psalms is a significant-high-quality products of English miniature portray. The exhibited manuscripts current a wide assortment of medieval ecclesiastical literature encompassing guides on liturgy, theology, church law, astronomy, lexicography, as properly 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 reserve 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 penned by Kinga Körmendy, Judit Lauf, Edit Madas, and Gábor Sarbak. Kinga Körmendy’s complete introduction provides the historical past of the collections and the in depth descriptions are accompanied by a variety of indices, appendices, a bibliography, and coloration plates. The e book is the most current volume of the Fragmenta et codices in bibliothecis Hungariae collection. The guide can be purchased right here: [email protected]. A German-language version of the catalog is forthcoming.

(Text and photographs by the Cathedral Library of Esztergom)