Kremsmünster, Stift Kremsmünster, Cim. 1

Codex Millenarius Facsimile Edition

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A treasured possession of Kremsmünster Abbey, the Codex Millenarius is a collection of all four Gospels in Latin. Just like the famous Tassilo chalice and chandeliers, this manuscript is still used in liturgical rites nowadays. Its age, its outstanding script and superlative illustrations make it an invaluable item. Moreover, the text is the only surviving example of a now lost Bavarian-Austrian Vulgate.

The Codex Millenarius: a Carolingian Masterpiece

Copied around 800 AD, the Codex Millenarius is named after the millenium anniversary of the foundation of Kremsmünster Abbey celebrated in 1777. When former prefect of the Vatican Archives, Msgr. Garampi saw it, it is thought that he said: "Vere hicce millenarius codex est" ("This is truly a millenary book"). The manuscript was either crafted in the scriptorium at Mondsee, Kremsmünster's mother house, or possibly in Kremsmünster itself, where it was held ever since. Its illustration cycle is typically Carolingian: its 8 full-page miniatures of the four Evangelists and 4 lavish initials at the beginning of each Gospel are coupled with decorated Canon Tables.

The Illuminations

Very few other books pair the portraits of the Evangelists with their respective symbols in large full-page illuminations. Thir depictions stun the beholder due to their briskness and the details they display. Another peculiar feature of the Codex Millenarius is that all the characters are always enclosed in greatly decorated round arches. Framed in silver and gold, they also display an intricate interlaced pattern

Calligraphy in its Most Noble Form

The Codex Millenarius is also priceless due to the beauty and harmony of its script. Though the open books in Evangelists's hands display an extremely fine minuscule script, the text of the manuscript is written in a beautiful uncial. Each single page is thus a downright masterpiece of graphic skill and know-how, which was possibly executed in full by one single artist.

A Unique Textual Composition

The Codex Millenarius plenarium or evangelistary, that is it contains the complete text of all four Gospels. The version is that of the Vulgate, though some extracts are taken from the Vetus Latina, something that has made scholars believe the book's archetipe was a Vetus Latina that was subsequently modified into a Vulgate. There are only three manuscripts of this type to have reached the present day, and the Codex Millenarius is undoubtedly the best preserved and most exceptional of them.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Codex Millenarius": Codex Millenarius facsimile edition, published by Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1974

Codex Millenarius

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1974

  • Commentary (German) by Neumüller, W.; Holter, K.
  • This facsimile is complete (full-size color reproduction of the whole original document).

Complete facsimile edition of the 700 pp. (350 fol.) in original size (340 x 230 mm). 21 pp. in full colour, the rest in black-and-white. The manuscript contains 8 full-page miniatures, the head pages of the gospels with splendid initials. The text is written in solemn uncial letters. Scholary commentary: W. Neumüller OSB, Kremsmünster, and K. Holter, Wels. 40 pp. text, 6 plates with 17 ill. and 1 colour plate.


Half leather

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€ 578

approx US$ 628

New from

€ 1,180

approx US$ 1,281

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