The Martyrologium of Wandalbert of Prum was crafted by the Benedictine monk Wandalbert of Prum between the 9th and 10th century. Written in Latin, the book was probably commissioned for Louis II the German (804 ca.-876) and features a martyrology in verse dedicated to the author's friend Otrich.
For each day, Wandalbert reports events related to the lives of one or more saints, inserting a summary couplet at the end of each month. Alongside sacred subjects, the codex also features compositions of various contents, including a poem dedicated to Emperor Lothair I (795-855). The books ends with an appendix about the celestial signs of the 12 months and the human activities.
The Wonderful Work of a Benedictine Monk
Wandalbert (813-d. after 850) was a Benedectine monk and theological writer. Although little is known about his life and personal history, we do know that around 839 he was a monk in the Abbey of Prum, where he also died. This codex was his second work, and it was finished in 848 at the request of Otrich, a priest of Cologne.
The martyrology is based on earlier ones, particularly that of the Venerable Bede. The arrangement follows the calendar, and a brief account is given for each day of the life and death of one or more saints. Together with the martyrology are poems on the months and their signs, on the various kinds of agricultural labour, the seasons for hunting, fishing, cultivation of fruit, of the fields, and of vineyards, and the church Hours. The poetry is, in general, uniform, the most graceful passages are various descriptions of nature.
Beautiful Miniatures Illustrating Medieval Rural Life
The codex features a total of 13 miniatures richly ornamented in gold and depicted in an engaging naïve Carolingian style. The scenes illustrate typical monthly scenes (e.g. June showing a farmer with a scythe). The Martyrologium contains, along with a directory of the saints’ feast days, a calendar poem representing medieval rural life according to the progress of the year. For this reason, the codex is not only a precious example of early medieval art, but also, and most importantly, a reliable historical source.
We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Martyrologium of Wandalbert of Prum": Reichenauer Martyrologium für Kaiser Lothar I facsimile edition, published by Belser Verlag, 1997Request Info / Price