Bern Physiologus

Bern Physiologus

Reims (France) — Ca. 830

Bern Physiologus

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Bern Physiologus

The Bern Physiologus is a 9th century illuminated manuscript that appears to be a copy of a 5th century codex from Late Antiquity. It contains a Latin translation of the Physiologus, a didactic Christian text written or compiled in Greek by an unknown author in Alexandria sometime in the 2nd century. Originating in Hautvillers Abbey near Reim between 825 and 850, this Carolingian copy is the work of a scribe identified as Haecpertus and is very neatly written in Carolingian minuscule with uncial script in black and red for the headings. It covers topics ranging from saints’ lives to descriptions of various animals, plants, and stones with corresponding passages concerning their moral significance. 35 miniatures adorn the manuscript, 25 with frames and 10 without, which are integrated into the text in the manner of an ancient manuscript and are probably copies. The Bern Physiologus is the oldest known surviving copy of the work in any language, making it a precious specimen for modern researchers in numerous fields.


Alternative Titles
Berner Physiologus
Physiologus Bernensis
Codex Bongarsianus 318
Size / Format
262 pages / 25.5 × 18.0 cm
Ca. 830
Carolingian Minuscule
35 miniatures
Facsimile Editions

#1 Physiologus Bernensis : voll-Faksimile-Ausg. des Codex Bongarsianus 318 der Burgerbibliothek Bern

Commentary: 1 volume by Christoph Steiger and Otto Homburger
Language: German
1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size) Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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