Codex Boernerianus

Codex Boernerianus – Karl W. Hiersemann – Mscr. Dresd. A.145.b – SĂ€chsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und UniversitĂ€tsbibliothek (Dresden, Germany)

Boerner Scriptorium, Abbey of St. Gall (Switzerland) — Second half of the 9th century

A small codex with the Epistles of Paul dating back to as early as the 9th century: appended with an Old Irish poem by a pilgrim disappointed in the pilgrimage to Rome

  1. The codex originated from an Irish monk in the Abbey of St. Gall, Switzerland ca. 850–900

  2. It contains the Epistles of Paul (except for the Epistle to the Hebrews) in Greek and Latin

  3. A facsimile was made in 1909 before the original suffered severe water damage during World War II

Codex Boernerianus

Mscr. Dresd. A.145.b SÀchsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und UniversitÀtsbibliothek (Dresden, Germany)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Codex Boernerianus

This small New Testament codex originated in the 9th century and is named after its former owner, theology professor Christian Frederick Börner (1683–1753). Its text, written 20 lines per page in a single column, consists of the Epistles of Paul except for the Epistle to the Hebrews. The primary text is written in Greek using the Western text-type with a Latin translation using the Anglo-Saxon alphabet appearing above the lines of Greek text. Relevant quotations from the Old Testament are written in the left-hand margin. Lastly, a poem written in Old Irish appears in the manuscript, which appears to have been written by a disappointed pilgrim after making the hazardous journey to Rome. This poem in combination with stylistic evidence from the script indicates that the codex was written by an Irish monk in the Abbey of St. Gall, Switzerland between 850 and 900. The codex suffered severe water damage during World War II, but thankfully a facsimile was published in 1909.

Codex Boernerianus

This famous Carolingian manuscript from the Saxon State Library in Dresden contains most of the Pauline epistles with the exception of Hebrews in Greek with a Latin translation inserted above the original text. Fol. 23v features a short poem written in Old Irish written by a disappointed pilgrim that translates as: “To go to Rome, much labor, little profit: the King whom thou seekest here, unless thou bring him with thee, thou findest him not. Much folly, much frenzy, much loss of sense, much madness (is it), since going to death is certain, to be under the displeasure of Mary's Son.”

An 1,100-Year-Old Work

Most of the ownership history of this manuscript, which is made of fine vellum, remains unknown, but it likely remained at St. Gall or another monastic institution for centuries. The codex was in the possession of Paul Junius when he died in Leiden in 1670, at which point it came into the hands of Peter Franz (1645-1704) in Amsterdam. It was purchased there in 1705 by its namesake owner, Christian Friedrich Börner (1685–1753), who brought it with him back to Leipzig, where he was a professor at the university. The manuscript remained in Dresden, the place of his birth, after his death and is housed today in the Saxon State Library there.
In 1791, its text was published for the first time in the Meissen printing house of Christian Frederick Matthaei (1744 – 1811), who thought the manuscript was written sometime between the 8th and 12th centuries. However, Ludolph KĂŒster (1670–1716), a Westphalian scholar, philologist, textual critic, paleographer, and editor of Ancient Greek texts, had already correctly dated the manuscript to the 9th century decades earlier. Some like the German classical philologist, medievalist and paleographer Ludwig Traube (1861–1907) have theorized that the author of this work is no less than the famous Irish teacher, grammarian, scriptural commentator, and author Sedulius Scotus (fl. 840–860), However, there is no evidence for this and the assertion remains contested.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Codex Boernerianus epistolarum Paulinarum graeco-latin
Codex Boernerianus der Briefe des Apostles Paulus
Size / Format
220 pages / 24.7 × 19.0 cm
Date
Second half of the 9th century
Script
Uncial

Available facsimile editions:
Codex Boernerianus – Karl W. Hiersemann – Mscr. Dresd. A.145.b – SĂ€chsische Landesbibliothek - Staats- und UniversitĂ€tsbibliothek (Dresden, Germany)
Karl W. Hiersemann – Leipzig, 1909
Facsimile Editions

#1 Der codex Boernerianus der Briefe des Apostles Paulus

Karl W. Hiersemann – Leipzig, 1909

Publisher: Karl W. Hiersemann – Leipzig, 1909
Commentary: 1 volume by Alexander Reichardt
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.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €
(under 1,000€)
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