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 Enjoy for Your Souls…” – Codices in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, the exhibition is on see in the freshly restored exhibition rooms of the Bibliotheca.

The Cathedral Library of Esztergom preserves forty-5 medieval manuscript textbooks, which are displayed collectively for the first time now, in March 2022. The exhibition honors the archbishops and canons of Esztergom as effectively as the donators and former homeowners of the manuscripts, by whose generosity the library grew to become the largest collection of codices between ecclesiastical libraries of Hungary. The written culture of medieval Hungary is represented by fourteen codices copied in different Hungarian scriptoria. Two aged Hungarian manuscripts – early linguistic records – stand out from amongst the Latin publications on account of their specific price. The Nagyszombat Codex was organized in the monastery of the Poor Clares in Óbuda. It has meditations and guides for penance and confession. The Jordánszky Codex is the most entire medieval Bible translation into Hungarian, and is named following is previous operator, Elek Jordánszky, a canon of Esztergom. Out of the codices preserved in the Cathedral Library of Esztergom, with out a question 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 created by the upcoming archbishop amongst 1489 and 1490, and the codex of vicar-normal Albert Pesthy. The manuscript selection owned by the Archbishop and the Chapter of Esztergom was even further enriched during the sojourn of the Archbishopric in Nagyszombat (Trnava, Slovakia). Liturgical publications and astronomical works ended up obtained, as well as a manuscript containing 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 first ten years of the 16th century. It holds Bohemian musical substance, richly illuminated with historiated initials as nicely as border decorations with floral motifs, animal figures, and scenes from daily everyday living.

Soon 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 bequeathed four codices to the assortment. Amongst these, there was a 12th-century cathedral schoolbook containing a commentary of the Music of Tracks among the other texts, and various manuscripts of Bohemian origin.

Most codices in the library originated and had been made use of in Central Europe, in Bohemia, Vienna, and Southern Germany. Nevertheless, some of the manuscripts arrived from the English, Italian, and French territories. The decoration of Peter Lombard’s commentary on the Psalms is a superior-good quality products of English miniature portray. The exhibited manuscripts current a extensive vary of medieval ecclesiastical literature encompassing books on liturgy, theology, church legislation, astronomy, lexicography, as properly as sermon collections, prayer guides, and schoolbooks. 

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a catalog describing with great 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 Town Library). The ebook was edited by Edit Madas and written by Kinga Körmendy, Judit Lauf, Edit Madas, and Gábor Sarbak. Kinga Körmendy’s comprehensive introduction offers the background of the collections and the thorough descriptions are accompanied by a variety of indices, appendices, a bibliography, and shade plates. The e book is the most latest quantity of the Fragmenta et codices in bibliothecis Hungariae series. The e book can be ordered listed here: [email protected]. A German-language variation of the catalog is forthcoming.

(Text and shots by the Cathedral Library of Esztergom)