TextmanuscriptTextmanuscripts - Les Enluminures

les Enluminures

Anthology of Classical and Post-Classical School Texts

in Latin and German, manuscript on paper
[Germany, perhaps Neuburg in Bavaria], signed and dated 1436

TM 39

246 (+1) leaves (fol. 246 blank), flyleaves from a thirteenth-century philosophical manuscript, complete apart from two torn-off parts on leaves 239 and 240 with minor loss of text, lower third of fol. 120 cut away without loss of text, old foliation in ink on the upper right corner, written in a single column on 12 lines (justification varies), marginal and interlinear glosses in a smaller script, by one scribe (or perhaps two, if the Freidank does not show the slightly modified hand of the first scribe), at the beginning of each book a blue initial with red penwork opens the main text, smaller initials of the same type, alternating in red and blue, structure the text, signed and dated in the colophon, a few pages loose at the beginning, otherwise in fine condition. CONTEMPORARY BINDING of pigskin over wooden boards, the spine in three compartments, the bosses on both covers missing, bumped. Dimensions 304 x 212 mm.

Carefully composed, unusual anthology of school texts, mostly in Latin, some secular and some Christian, the majority of them by classical authors and a few post-classical authors, signed and dated by the scribe, and in an impressive contemporary binding. Conceived as a unit and put together at the moment of origin, instead of later as is the case with many school texts, the present volume includes a large number of rare texts, not all of which are edited and most of which are entirely unknown in North American public collections. The marginal notes merit further study, as does the largely unpublished anthology itself.


1. Perhaps written in Neuburg in Bavaria in 1436, as the colophon on fol. 244 suggests: Explicit freidangus per me johannem Neuburg conscriptus Anno domini m.c.c.c.xxxvi. Nothing is known about this scribe, who does not appear in Bouveret (Colophons). For the year 1458 only a scribe named Georg Newburg is identified (Philadelphia, Free Library, John Frederick Lewis Collection, MS 159, Repertorium iuris).

2. Friedrich Wilhelm Roloff, Berlin, his hand-written entry of ownership on the front pastedown: Frider. Guilel. Roloffus / Berol. / Poss. M. L. Cleinovii Consist. Regiom. / Adessoris et V.D. i n templo Ca-/thedrali ministri dono / in tand. Frideric. A. d. x. cal. Iun./ mdccxxxvi (=1736). On Roloff see Christian Gottlieb Jocher, Allgemeines Gelehrtenlexikon 3, 1751). In his professional life, Roloff was, among other things, university librarian in Frankfurt on the Oder, classical philologist and author of some studies conducted from the viewpoint of textual criticism, among which his analysis of the Pseudo-Cicero edition of Henricus Stephanus is probably the most important (Halle, Waisenhausdruckerei, 1737). He gathered a collection of classical texts that could claim some importance in his time. The present codex is not included in the sales catalogue of Roloff's library.

3. Library of the Marienstiftgymnasium in Stettin, Szeczecin today, Pomerania (see, in general, M. Wehrmann, "Geschichte der Bibliothek des Marienstifts-Gymnasium in Stettin," Baltische Studien 44, 1894, pp. 195-226). The library has suffered several serious losses, like for example 1688 during conflicts with the Swedes, but was always rebuilt as the school library. Our codex was presumably acquired by the library of the Gymnasium after 1736. Since there is no catalogue of the library's manuscripts (Lemcke's catalogue only contains the codices from Cammin, different from what the title suggests; the part with the manuscripts of different origin was not published) the precise date of acquisition cannot be determined. Nothing is recorded in the manuscript. The library was dissolved by Poland after the Second World War.

4. Private Collection.


The Stettin codex contains ten different texts of which nine are recorded with the relevant page reference in an index– in hoc continentur codicis –on the pastedown of the front cover (see below). The anthology was apparently conceived as a unit and its genesis is not based on an accidental, later compilation of various writings, as opposed to the majority of anthologies with school texts. This is evidenced by catchwords on leaves, otherwise blank, that refer to the quondam, the beginning of the text on fol. 157, after another blank leaf; or on fol. 191v, where a catchword cites the beginning of the Freidank (De fidangi versus milleni), as it starts on fol. 193, after another blank leaf.

The table of contents records the following texts (quotations in italics, abbreviations resolved, the use of capital initial letters and small initial letters carefully adjusted to contemporary spelling):

f. 1, primo Ovid, De Remedii amoris, explicit, fol. 34v, fol. 35r blank.
Eight recorded in the Census of De Ricci/ Wilson and Bond/ Faye, of which only one originates in Germany (S. 1906, formerly in the Wagstaff Collection; all the remaining manuscripts are of Italian origin).

f. 35r, beginning of the commentary on the second text, Fa(g)ifacentus. Incipit Res rerum nata parens (VL II, 700-703).
No copies known in the USA;

f. 55r, Vita Pylati, Incipiens Si veluti quondam scriptor vel scripta placerent. (Incipit of the prologue; beginning of the text: Urbs erat insignis veteres quod constituere; deviations to Walther, Initia 18958 and 19710; see VL VII, 674; D. Werner, Pylatus. Untersuchungen zur metrischen lateinischen Pilatuslegende und kritische Textausgage (Beihefte zum mittellateinischen Jahrbuch 8), Munich 1972.
No record in the Census;

f. 71r, Vita Jude quod inchoatus Auctorum veterum placuere poemata multum. The legend of Jude, see Walther, Initia 1685; and VL IV, 882-887; P. Chr. Jacobsen in the Lexikon des Mittelalters V, 780).
One of the seven extant manuscripts of this early poetic adaptation of the legend of Jude; only the manuscript in Darmstadt LUUB Cod. 2780 I of 1380 is older (ibid. Fol. 150v-155v). No record in the Census.

f. 82, Liber quinque clauium. Incipit Utilis est rudibus presentis cura libelli expl. Text: Quinque claves sapientiae. Incertis auctoris Rudium doctrinae. Bonvicini de Ripa, Vita scholastica. Ed. Anezka Vidmanov-Schmidtov, Leipzig 1969, 1-36 (without citing the present manuscript).
Lit.: Henkel, s. index. The text is predominantly handed down in the German-speaking area, as a rule in the context of other school texts and with corresponding editing in the form of glosses and commentary (German glosses, for instance Basel, Universitatsbibliothek, Cod. F IV.49).

f. 98r Gesta incipiens Grecorum studia nimius quod diu quod sectus. The so-called "elegiac comedy" of Vitalis of Blois, produced 1125-1130.
More than 100 manuscripts preserved, a couple of times also together with the following Pamphilus text. See Lexikon des Mittelalters VIII, 1763ff. J. Suchomski/ M. Willumat, Lateinische Comediae des 12. Jahrunderts. Munich 1979, 63-135. 246-257, with German translation and commentary.
Only one manuscript in the USA: Chicago University Library; see Census, p. 587.

f. 121r, Amor Pamphili in Galatheam Paraclitus. Pamphilus de amore, an elegiac comedy, strongly influenced by Ovid and of lewd content, described by Hugo von Trimberg as Pamphilus lascivus (see Henkel, 248).
Pamphilus de Amore: An Introduction and Translation." Trans. Jay Garbaty. Chaucer Review 2 (1967): 108-134.
No record in the Census.

f. 157r, Paraclitus. Vir celebris quondam quod me sub rupe recondata;

f. 191-191v, Poem;

f. 193, Fridangus duplici lingua latina verborum et theutona. Freidank: Proverbia Fridanci. Ed.: Hugo Lemcke: Fridangi discredcio. Freidanks bescheidenheit lateinisch und deutsch aus der Stettiner handschrift veroffentlich. Beilage zum Programm des Gymnasiums zu Stettin, fur 1868. Bernd Jager, "Durch reinem gute lere geben". Untersuchungen zu Uberlieferund und Rezeption Freidanks im Spatmittelalter. (GAG 238=. Goppingen 1978. Henkel, passim.).
No record in the Census.

Soon after the genesis of the sayings of Freidank, written in German in the first third of the thirteenth century, about a thousand verses were selected from the complete corpus of the sayings and translated into Latin.

As Nicolaus Henkel stresses, "the Latin text ... must have already been known and introduced as a school text in the first third of the fourteenth century," because Hugo Spechtshart refers to these in his Forma dicendi (253). In verses that preface the actual text the Stettin manuscript explicitly testifies to the use of German verses in schooling:

Fridangi versus milleni consociati
Istic pro pueris milleni consociati
Istic pro pueris debent ipsis fore grati,
Ricmi theutonici cum sint hys associati,
Vt bina lingua fiant bene consolidati.

The present volume is an important anthology of texts by classical and post-classical authors which were needed for Latin classes. In terms of the genre of the texts, they are to be assigned to the so-called school texts. Consequently they belong to a group of texts that were in frequent use at the medieval schools which taught the Latin language and culture. As one can imagine the literature of the Latin-German Middle Ages suitable for teaching purposes is nearly boundless; an introduction or manual to this text genre is therefore all the more important, as it was already submitted in the Registrum Multorum Auctorum of Hugo von Trimberg (c. 1230/40–after 1313). On this subject, see Nikolaus Henkel, Deutsche Ubersetzungen lateinischer Schultexte. Ihre Verbreitung und Funktion im Mittelalter und in der fruhen Neuzeit. Mit Verzeichnis der Texte. MTU 90. Munich 1988.

Compared to other anthologies of school texts (see Henkel) the Stettin volume was conceived and written in a very careful and thoughtful way by the hand of one scribe. Therefore the manuscript does not represent an accidental compilation of texts used in Latin classes as is so often the case with other schoolbooks that contain texts which were finally, after they had been used for a long time, bound together in one volume for the purpose of a better protection of such working utensils.



Lemcke, Hugo. Fridangi discrecio. Freidanks Bescheidenheit lateinisch und deutsch aus der Stettiner Handschrift veroffentlich. Stettin 1868.

Henkel, Nikolaus. Deutsche Ubersetzungen lateinischer Schultexte. Ihre Verbreitung und Funktion im Mittelalter und in der fruhen Neuzeit. Mit Verzeichnis der Texte. MTU 90. Munich 1988, no. 253.