Ivrea, Biblioteca Capitolare di Ivrea, ms. LXXXVI/31

Sacramentarium Episcopi Warmundi Facsimile Edition

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The Capitulary Library of Ivrea keeps a codex that dates from before the year 1000, the Sacramentarium Episcopi Warmundi, created for the Bishop of Ivrea, Warmondo, who engaged in diatribes with King Arduino that stirred the imagination of the people in that period around the year 1000.

This codex is a parchment of 222 folios (444 pages) with various illuminations and coloured or gilded initial decorative letters. The illuminations were executed by different artists but have some basic features in common: they are vivaciously drawn with a pen and then coloured with watercolours (green, red, dark blue, yellow).

The illuminations and the decorated initial letters are surrounded by frames in which there are illustrative inscriptions. The historical importance of the figures is also considerable. The young emperor Otto III, defender of Warmondo, envisaged the restoration of Constantine's Holy Roman Empire, and it is no accident that the pope whom he selected (who was also the emperor's tutor) to replace Gregory V was named Sylvester II to underscore the continuity with Pope Sylvester I, who had baptised Constantine. And it was this pope who, during the Roman Synod of 999, confirmed the condemnation of King Arduino, Warmondo's rival.

If this king is famous in history books and is sometimes considered the first king of Italy, Warmondo is a figure of equal stature who not only proved to be more than a worthy rival, but also turned the city of the bellicose Arduino into one of the most illustrious cultural centres in North Italy during that period. And one of the very rare surviving examples of this culture and art is the Sacramentarium Episcopi Warmundi.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Sacramentarium Episcopi Warmundi": Sacramentarium Episcopi Warmundi facsimile edition, published by Priuli & Verlucca, editori, 1990

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Sacramentarium Episcopi Warmundi

Scarmagno: Priuli & Verlucca, editori, 1990

  • Commentary (English, French, Italian) by Bettazzi, Luigi; Dell'Oro Ferdinando; Magnani, Luigi
  • Limited Edition: 1000 copies
  • This is a partial facsimile of the original document, Sacramentarium Episcopi Warmundi: the facsimile might represent only a part, or doesn't attempt to replicate the format, or doesn't imitate the look-and-feel of the original document.

The facsimile (fully colored) is the complete reproduction of the whole original document in its original size. The edition features both facsimile and commentary in one volume. The commentary includes the printed transcription of the Latin manuscript, plus a historical introduction edited by the former bishop of Ivrea Monsignor Luigi Bettazzi, and an accurate study of the codex that Luigi Magnani wrote in 1934 for the Vatican Apostolic Library. The pages are represented on a larger white background.

This facsimile edition was presented for the first time on March 19th, 1990 on occasion of the pastoral visit of the Holy Father John Paul II to the Diocese of Ivrea. 


Hand-bound in natural leather, with blind toolings on the boards and spine. Slipcase with wooden headboards and leather sides with blind toolings. 

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