Codex Epistolaris Carolinus

Codex Epistolaris Carolinus Facsimile Edition

Cologne (Germany) — 9th century

Commissioned by Emperor Charlemagne: the most important documents on the relationship between the Frankish Empire and the Papacy

  1. A collection of letters and an invaluable source on imperial politics and church history commissioned by Charlemagne (742–814)

  2. The text, completed by four scribes, is written in an incredibly consistent Carolingian miniscule

  3. A later and sole surviving copy discovered in the course of inventorying the library's books

Codex Epistolaris Carolinus

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Codex Epistolaris Carolinus

The relationship between church and state is one of the defining features of medieval Europe and touched every aspect of life from peasants and priests to kings and popes. Charlemagne commissioned a collection of letters concerning the subject and had them bound into a codex. The resulting manuscript is an invaluable source for researchers of political and church history, and just another cultural legacy of the Emperor Charlemagne (742–814).

Codex Epistolaris Carolinus

Habent sua data libelli – this saying from Terentianus Maurus copy can only be cited in a few proud manuscripts, such the Codex Epistolaris Carolinus. The collection of these letters was arranged by order of Charlemagne and accordingly, a statement of introduction followed in 791. This existing copy is no longer the original codex, but rather a later and singular remaining specimen found after a book inventory submission, however without chronological order of the various sections. It contains the most important state and church political documents for the history of the relationship between the Frankish Empire and the Papacy, and this relationship plays a central role during the second half of the 8th century due to the ever-changing circumstances surrounding the Pope and King. This alone shows the enormous historical worth of this manuscript, which comes from Cologne under the possession of Archbishop Willibert (870–889) and was written by four scribes in a more or less continuous Carolingian miniscule.


9th century

Available facsimile editions:
Codex Epistolaris Carolinus – Cod. Vindob. 449, Jur. Can 83 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria) Facsimile Edition
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1962
Facsimile Editions

#1 Codex Epistolaris Carolinus

Binding: Half leather
Commentary: 1 volume (22 pages) by Josef Stummvoll and Franz Unterkircher
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. Black and white facsimile presented on larger pages with a white background. Complete study-edition for “continens Romanorum pontificum Gregorii III, Zachariae, Stephani III, Pauli I, Stephani IV, Hadriani I et pseudo-Papae Constantini epistolas nonaginta et novem ad principes et reges Francorum Carolum Martellum, Pippinum et Carolum Magnum”.
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