Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

So-named due to a mix-up: perhaps the world's most famous pilgrimage guide and one of the most important sources for the veneration of Saint James

  1. This authoritative manuscript on the veneration of St. James ranges from liturgical texts to a pilgrim's guide

  2. Originally falsely attributed to Pope Calixtus II (ca. 1065–1124), it was actually made by a group of learned clerics ca. 1160

  3. The Spanish manuscript is gorgeously designed and exhibits influences from Insular illumination

Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

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  4. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

The Codex Calixtinus from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is considered to be the “Bible” of the Way of St. James. No other manuscript offers such a wealth of information around the veneration of St. James, from the liturgical texts for holidays to the famous Pseudo-Turpin to the primary section, the detailed pilgrim’s guide. Additionally, the art-historical worth of the famous codex cannot be overestimated: it presents an impressive treasure of Spanish illumination during the Middle Ages!

Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

The famous Liber Sancti Iacobi from the library of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela was considered for a long time to be a work by Pope Calixtus II (1119–1124). As a result, it gained its designation as the Codex Calixtinus, which it retained even after this false attribution was clarified. The Codex Calixtinus is the most important work for the history of the veneration of Saint James. The manuscript presumably originated ca. 1160 as a work from the circles of educated clerics. Thus, for example, the name Aymeric Picaud is closely associated with the manuscript.

The Story of the Way of St. James in Many Aspects

Divided into five books, the “Bible” of the Camino de Santiago encompasses a large wealth of information. After a chapter with liturgical texts and hymns for the celebration of the feasts dedicated to Saint James there is a section with 22 miracle stories associated with the saint. The story of the transfer of the saint’s corpse to Santiago presents further background information on the veneration of the saint. The subsequent text of the so-called Pseudo-Turpin gives an account of Charlemagne and his campaign against the Moors of Spain in the year 778. Finally, the last and most important part of the manuscript contains the famous pilgrimage guide.

A Practical Pilgrim’s Guide

For a long time, this historical pilgrim’s guide from the *Liber Sancti Iacobi made up the foundation for a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The chapter is further divided into 11 subchapters with detailed itineraries for the various routes with the most important stops at shrines and churches, practical references for the pilgrimage and its course, warnings of dangers, descriptions of the regions through which the pilgrim travelled, and much more fascinating information.

One of the Most Significant Book Treasures of Spain

This diverse text is gorgeously, artfully designed on 450 pages. Exuberant ornamentation, in which insular influences are clearly recognizable, alternate with delightfully figural depictions. The text itself is also extremely tasteful and is elaborately designed and adorned with lavish initials. With such splendor, the Codex Calixtinus is a true treasure of 12th century Spanish illumination, which stands ready with a new surprise for the reader on every page!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

Available facsimile editions:
Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela – Archivo de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela (Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Kaydeda Ediciones – Madrid, 1993
Limited Edition: 995 copies
Detail Picture

Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

Charlemagne on the Route to Campostela

This codex is appended by a subsequent text, the so-called Pseudo-Turpin, which is so-named because it was falsely attributed to Archbishop Turpin of Reims. It is a quasi-historical narrative of Charlemagne’s Spanish campaign that tells of how St. James appeared to the Frankish King in a dream, urging Charlemagne to liberate his tomb from the Moors and directing him to follow the route of the Milky Way. Charlemagne, Roland, and other knights are shown here departing on this divine mission.

Codex Calixtinus de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela
Single Page

Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela

Portrait of St. James

The man at the center of the famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela Cathedral in northwestern Spain was Saint James, one of the Twelve Apostles who was also the brother of John the Apostle. Known as the “Way of St. James”, this pilgrimage root has been popular since the Early Middle Ages and continues to draws hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Saint James is shown giving the sign of benediction and holding a codex to the left of the incipit at the beginning of the main text. It is a fine miniature blending the Romanesque style with the native Iberian style characteristic of Beatus manuscripts. Introduced by a large “Q” initial, the text is neatly written in a miniscule script by an experienced hand.

Codex Calixtinus de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela
Facsimile Editions

#1 Codex Calixtinus de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela

Kaydeda Ediciones – Madrid, 1993
Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela – Archivo de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela (Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Codex Calixtinus of Santiago de Compostela – Archivo de la Catedral de Santiago de Compostela (Santiago de Compostela, Spain) Copyright Photos: Ziereis Facsimiles

Publisher: Kaydeda Ediciones – Madrid, 1993
Limited Edition: 995 copies
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.
Price Category: €€€ (3,000€ - 7,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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