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les Enluminures

CONRAD OF HAIMBURG, Matutinale or Ad laudem Virginis

In Latin, manuscript on paper
Austria, after 1356 (c. 1356-1425)

TM 311

i (unnumbered paper) + 131 + i (unnumbered paper) folios, paginated, top outer corner in pencil, 1-262 [cited] on paper, two watermarks, heart and arrow, not in Briquet, (collation, i11 [-1, cancelled, with no loss of text] ii-xi12), quires reinforced in the middle with blank parchment strips, quires are numbered in roman numerals, middle bottom margin, last leaf of each quire, horizontal catchwords, written below the top line by at least five scribes in cursive gothic bookhands of varying degrees of formality in two columns of thirty-five to forty-seven lines, ruled in ink, with single full-length vertical bounding lines, and with the top two and bottom two lines usually full across, prickings in outer margins, (justification 225-217 x 166-152 mm.), three- to one-line red initials, a few with rather messy pen decoration in brown and red, red rubrics and running titles, guide letters for initials, first folio darkened, throughout, folios are crumbling and dirty at edges, but the text block is intact and legible, last three folios damaged by damp. Bound in early (18th century?), brown leather, spine with three raised bands, sewn on split bands, undecorated head and tail bands, front and back covers are pasteboard replacements roughly covered with blue paper, loosely tacketed to spine, front cover almost detached. Dimensions 295 x 212 mm.

This is a fascinating text consisting of a collection of daily readings in honor of the Virgin Mary assembled by Conrad of Haimburg, a distinguished Carthusian author, and prior of Seitz and Gaming. Surviving in over thirty manuscripts from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it was a popular text in Austria and Germany. There are no known copies in the United States, and it remains unedited.


1. The prologue tells us this text was compiled by Conrad, a Carthusian monk, at the behest of Meinhard, “dominum Meinhardi de Nova domo electi tridentini” for the year of 1356: “Ad laudem matris virginis eiusque sacratissima yhesus ad satisfaccione que desiderio venerabilis in christo p[?] pacis dominum Meinhardi de Nova domo electi tridentini, hoc devotius requirentis, Ego frater chunradus vita peccator, habitu religiosus, minimus ordinis Charthusiensis solicitudinem super hoc sequens volumine … sub anno incarnationis domini mccclvi.”

2. Conrad of the prologue is Conrad of Haimburg, a distinguished Carthusian author who was Prior of Seitz from 1342-1345, was probably in Prague at the Carthusian House of Smichov c. 1350, and who was Prior of Gaming from 1350-54 and 1358-60. Conrad is well-known as the author of hymns (Gruys, Cartusiana. Bibliographie générale. Auteurs cartusiens [Paris, 1976], 65; Wolfgang Stammler, Karl Langosch and Kurt Ruh, Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters Verfasserlexikon, 2nd revised edition [Berlin and New York, 1984], 5:182-189; Marijan Zadnikar and Adam Wienand, Die Kartäuser [Cologne, 1983], 360). Gaming was one of the most important Carthusian Houses in Austria (Lower Austria, founded in 1330; see Gruys, Cartusiana. Maisons [1977], 281; Meinhard is Meinhard von Neuhaus, elected Bishop of Trent in 1349. The manuscript must date after 1356, when the text was written; based on the script, it was likely copied in the last quarter of the fourteenth century or the early fifteenth century.

3. Belonged, s. XVIII (?) to a monastic house in Krems, Austria; ex-libris note, f. 1: “Conventii Crembsensii Ore<..?>de.” There are two Krems in Austria, Krems an der Donau, in Lower Austria, an important medieval town (near Gaming), or Krems in Kärnten in Carinthia, certainly a less important town, but one closer to the Tyrol.


p. 1 [prologue] “Ad laudem matris virginis eiusque sacratissima yhesus ad satisfaccione que desiderio venerabilis in christo p[?] pacis dominum Meinhardi de Nova domo electi tridentini, hoc devotius requirentis, Ego frater chunradus vita peccator, habitu religiosus, minimus ordinis Charthusiensis solicitudinem super hoc sequens volumine, et curam recepi, elegacionibus dictis originalibus sanctorum orthodoxe fidei doctorum, revolutis et perspectis, ad laudem marie virginis, lecciones matutinales, pro singlulis anni diebus partes. In virginis vero festivitatibus et octavis eiusdem per sex <..?> alias distinguens pro ingenii mei maduso sub anno incarnationis domini mccclvi in unum studiose collegi ad noticiam communes quantum admodum legendi considera quod cuiusdem diei per circulum anni. Hic est propria terminacio deputata …”

pp. 1-258, Dominica prima in adventum Ieronimus presbiter de assumptione. Leccio i. Ave maria gracia plena dominus tecum. Benedicam cum in mulieribus … desiderata veniam adepturi. Per dominum notstrum Ihesum Christum. Amen.

Text includes daily readings beginning with the first Sunday in Advent, and including: p. 9, Conception of Mary, 8 December, nine lessons; p. 22, Christmas, three lessons; p. 27, January; p. 49, February; p. 50, Purification of Mary, 2 February, nine lessons; p. 55, 8 February, note about Lent, “require infra post mensem marcii”; p. 72, March; p. 80, Annunciation, 25 March, 9 lessons; pp. 82-104, Sundays in Lent; pp. 104-111, Passione domini; p. 111-142, Easter Season; p. 142, Pentecost; p. 154, June (continuing the numbering within Pentecost); p. 158, July; p. 176, August; p. 187, Assumption of Mary, 9 lessons; p. 203, September; p. 207, 8 September, Nativity of Mary, 9 lessons; p. 226, October; p. 241, November.

In contrast to liturgical books that are arranged according to the liturgical year, this text provides readings for each day of the month. Inserting a section for Lent, Easter and Pentecost after March, the author, Conrad of Haimburg, made the necessary adjustment for the weeks that depend on the moveable date of Easter. Most of the texts included focus on the Virgin Mary, regardless of the time of year, and nine readings are included for Marian Feasts. The majority of the works are Patristic, including texts by Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose, and Bede, as well as some by less common authors including Fulgentius and Maximus. More recent authors include Bernard, Hugh of St. Victor and Albert.

Composed in 1356 by Conrad of Haimburg, the Matutinale, or Ad laudem Virginis, was a popular text which survives in over thirty manuscripts dating from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, most preserved today in Austria and Germany; it cannot be identified with certainty in the Schoenberg data base or in De Ricci (surviving manuscripts listed in In principio. Online Incipit Index of Latin Texts [Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols] and Joseph Klapper, Schriften Johanns von Neumarkt. Vom Mittelalter zur Reformation, ed. Konrad Burdach 6.4 [Berlin, 1935], xxxix, note 4).

pp. 258-262, Offices (added later in a Gothic bookhand, including St. Corbinian, abbot and bishop of Freising in the seventh century; Corbinian founded a monastery at Meran in the southern Tyrol).


Degand, A. “Chartreux, Liturgie des,” Dictionaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, Paris, 1948, vol. 3:1045-71.

Gruys, Albert. Cartusiana, Paris, 1976-1977.

Harper, John. The Forms and Orders of Western Liturgy, Oxford, 1991.

Plummer, John. Liturgical Manuscripts for the Mass and Divine Office, New York: Pierpont Morgan Library, 1964.

Stammler, Wolfgang, Karl Langosch and Kurt Ruh. Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters Verfasserlexikon, 2nd revised edition, Berlin and New York, 1984, vol. 5:182-189.

Zadnikar, Marijan and Adam Wienand, Die Kartäuser, Cologne, 1983.

Online resources

Introduction to liturgical manuscripts: “Celebrating the Liturgy’s Books”

Analecta cartusiana