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e-codices newsletter

The e-codices newsletter provides information about the latest updates, highlights, and activities of our project and appears about 4-5 times per year.
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The e-codices team

In this issue
  1. 2000 Manuscripts Online
  2. Praise for our Editorial Board
  3. 53 New Manuscripts
  4. Four New Collections
  5. Exceptional Manuscript: Liber ad honorem Augusti by Petrus of Ebulo
March 2018

Issue N° 32

Romont, Abbaye de la Fille-Dieu Romont, Ms. liturg. FiD 2 – Early Cistercian antiphonary fragments: FiD 1 and FiD 2 constitute relics of antiphonaries that contained the primitive Cistercian liturgy.

2000 Manuscripts Online
The “Virtual Manuscript Library of Switzerland” has been publishing medieval and modern manuscripts since 2005. The latest update brings the number of documents online to 2,000. Of these documents, 1,598 are codices from before 1500, and the remainder are modern manuscripts, scrolls, rolls, and fragments. In total, Swiss public and ecclesiastical institutions house some 7,000 medieval manuscripts, and thus, over the last twelve years, 23% of Switzerland’s medieval manuscripts have been digitally published on e-codices. The unceasing inquiries that we receive makes it clear that only a part of the needs of research have been served.
Praise for our Editorial Board

As an e-resource, e-codices is a platform that now makes 2,000 manuscripts accessible online. But it is more than that. E-codices is a manuscript center that dedicates the large part of its work to cataloguing and to publishing manuscript descriptions, both new descriptions and those already printed. A large number of these descriptions (1,017) were made in the twenty-first century, and many of these (427) were first published on e-codices, and most of these were prepared expressly for e-codices. We would like to thank our editorial team, which at the moment consists of three persons: Dr. Marina Bernasconi Reusser, Dr. Brigitte Roux, and Laura Glöckler, our student assistant. Marina Bernasconi has been working for e-codices since November 2009, when e-codices had online only some 481 manuscripts from 19 libraries, and most of those manuscripts (309) were from the Abbey Library of St. Gallen. We asked Dr. Bernasconi what she thought the most satisfying moment of her work was: "When, after thorough controls, particularly that all links lead to the right place and that the texts have been correctly translated, we press the 'publish' button. Then, finally, the manuscript goes online, and we can breathe easy."

Laura Glöckler, Dr. Brigitte Roux, Dr. Marina Bernasconi Reusser

53 New Manuscripts
The recent update included the online publication of 53 manuscripts from 11 collections. These manuscripts come from large collections, with particularly strong representation from the Universitätsbibliothek Basel (with 12 manuscripts, six of which come from the Basel Charterhouse), the Abbey Library of Saint Gall (8), the Fondation Martin Bodmer (6, including four Indian manuscripts), the Burgerbibliothek Bern (3, including the famous Liber ad honorem Augusti sive de rebus Siculis by Petrus de Ebulo, see below), and the Bibliothèque de Genève (2, including an illuminated manuscript containing 27 of Cicero’s speeches, which manuscript probably was produced during the Council of Basel. The Mediathèque Valais is aiming for a total digitization and has published eleven more manuscripts. Further manuscripts come from small collections (see below).

Genève, Bibliothèque de Genève, Ms. lat. 101, f. 1r – Cicero, Orationes


Romont, Abbaye de la Fille-Dieu Romont, Ms. liturg. FiD 1, f. 1v – Office of the Holy Trinity and of Saint Bernard: The first liturgical library of the nuns of Fille-Dieu, which today is dispersed across all of Europe, has great significance for the history of the Cistercian Order.

Four New Collections
Four collections have published for the first time precious documents. The Convent of Fille-Dieu in Romont has published four liturgical manuscripts, which will be investigated as part of the Swiss National Science Foundation research project “The Primitive Cistercian Antiphonary. Studies and Edition” (SNSF 169795). In addition, three new Grisons collections have been added, and they all make accessible important Romansh sources (see also Newsletter 29): the Romanische Bibliothek des Klosters Disentis, the Staatsarchiv Graubünden, and the Dorfarchiv Sils i.E. / Segl.
Exceptional Manuscript: Liber ad honorem Augusti sive de rebus Siculis by Petrus of Ebulo

This unusually richly illuminated manuscript comes from a workshop related to the imperial court in Southern Italy and was produced between 1195 and 1197. Undoubtedly, the author himself corrected the text, a 1,700 – distich, three-book epic poem, which is only transmitted by this manuscript. The first two books describe the early history and conquest of Sicily by the Staufer; the third book contains an encomium to Emperor Henry IV and his wife Constance, the daughter and heiress of King Roger II of Sicily, themselves the parents of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II, who was born on December 26, 1194, in Jesi near Ancona.

Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 96.II, f. 101r – Petrus de Ebulo: Liber ad honorem Augusti, lat.

Bern, Burgerbibliothek, Cod. 120.II, f. 96r – Petrus de Ebulo: Liber ad honorem Augusti, lat.

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