Hannover, Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek, Ms. I 189

Vita Kiliani Facsimile Edition

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The Vita Kiliani, containing the Passio Kiliani et Margaretae is a unique example in the field of early medieval illuminated manuscripts from 975. It is one of the very first "libelli", a "small book" generally containing episodes from the life of a Saint, in a book form that was particularly popular during the Ottonian period.

The Vita Kiliani: Saints and Martyrs

This beautiful illuminated book recounts the biography of two holy characters, whose deeds are illustrated in the manuscript by means of extremely detailed depictions. The first text, the Vita Kiliani proper, describes the life of Saint Kilian, the Irish missionary bishop who converted the populace of Franconia to Christianity. Around 680, in the city of Würzburg, he suffered martyrdom as the ruling class refused conversion to the Catholic faith. Another texts tells the story of St. Margaret. Another martyr, her cult was very popular during the high middle ages. Born at Antioch, she was tortured and eventually beheaded during the time of persecution under Diocletian (4th century).  

A Book for the Court

The scenes from the lives of the two saints are flanked by opulent golden illuminations. The text, however, also displays lavishly decorated initials and an intricate interlace: thus the decorative apparatus of the Vita Kiliani has made many scholars think that this beautiful manuscript was probably commissioned by someone in the Ottonian Court, likely in the city of Fulda.

We have 1 facsimile edition of the manuscript "Vita Kiliani": Die Kilians- und Margaretenvita facsimile edition, published by Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1987

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Manuscript book description compiled by Facsimile Finder Staff.

Die Kilians- und Margaretenvita

Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA), 1987

  • Commentary (English, German) by Hahn, Cynthia; Himmel; Totok, W.
  • Limited Edition: 700 copies
  • Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document, Vita Kiliani: the facsimile attempts to replicate the look-and-feel and physical features of the original document; pages are trimmed according to the original format; the binding might not be consistent with the current document binding.

The commentary volume (382 pp.) includes a preface by W. Totok and a codicological, iconographical and art historical introduction (in English) by C. Hahn. It also features a transcription, a translation into German, and a liturgical introduction by H. Himmel.

Facsimile and commentary volume in a solid slip case.



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€ 980

approx US$ 1,074

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