9th & 10th Centuries

Passio Kiliani, Theotimus, Margaretae, orations

Passio Kiliani, Ps. Theotimus, Passio Margaretae, orations. Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt Graz 1988 Title from data inside the back cover. Incipits read respectively: Passio s[an]c[to]ru[m] Kyliani et sociorum ei[us]; Vita uel passio s[an]c[t]issimae virgin[is]Chr[ist]i Margaretae.; In case.; Full-color facsimile of Ms. I 189 Hannover, Niedersächsische Landesbibliothek, between 965-1000.; Commentary by Cynthia J. Hahn, introduction, transcription and translation by Hans Immel.; Commentary volume contains bibliography and indexes.; Library's facsim. volume is no. 22.; Codices selecti phototypice impressi; v. 83. BR1720.K54 P37 1988 Special Collections. 

This is one of the earliest examples of the book type ”libellus”, a ”small book” usually dedicated to the life of a Saint. In this case the book is about two saints. It presents the most important episodes in the lives of both Saint Kilian, an Irish Bishop who spread the Christian faith in Franconia, and Saint Margaret of Antioch who died a martyr under the Roman emperor Diocletian (early 4th century). The Hanover hagiographic manuscript is illustrated in sumptuous golden miniatures likely produced at Fulda during the era of the Ottonian kings. The commentary volume that accompanies the facsimile dates the manuscript to circa 975. Throughout the Middle Ages there is evidence that “saints' lives” were used as edifying texts in women's establishments. And it is conjectured that this book may have been commissioned by or for a wealthy empress or abbess. Illustrations in “libellus” texts differ somewhat from those in biblical texts as their images were more frequently altered to conform to cultural and historical contexts during the time the texts were being copied. Biblical text illustration has a tradition of precise repetition. 

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