Jena Martyrology

Jena Martyrology Facsimile Edition

Thuringia (Germany) — 1275

The oldest martyrology written in the German language: a magnificent manuscript illustrated by 366 delicate pen drawings inserted directly into the text with rich primary colors and illuminated with gold and silver

  1. Created ca. 1275, the work is based on other martyrologies by Ado of Vienne, Notker and Usuard

  2. It contains two rare vernacular translations and the only complete text of Unterweisung zur Vollkommenheit

  3. The images interwoven into the text have an evocative and animating narrative effect on the reader

Jena Martyrology

Ms. Bos. q. 3 Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Jena (Jena, Germany)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
Jena Martyrology

Named after its modern repository, the Jena Martyrology is the oldest work of its kind written in the German language. Created ca. 1275, it is based on other martyrologies by Ado of Vienne, Notker and Usuard. This gem of book art was bound by Nikolaus von Havelberg and is a fine example of the bookbinding work that was done in Erfurt at the time. 366 delicate pen drawings with rich primary colors and illuminated with gold and silver are inserted directly into the text and are five lines tall on average. These images interwoven into the text have an evocative and animating narrative effect on the reader. The magnificent manuscript preserves two extremely rare vernacular prose translations, as well as the spiritual doctrinal poem Unterweisung zur Vollkommenheit or “Instruction for Perfection” in Middle German – the Jena Codex is the oldest, only completely, and also excellently illustrated specimen to survive.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Jenaer Martyrologium
Size / Format
226 pages / 24.3 x 18.5 cm
Origin
Germany
Date
1275
Style
Language
Script
Gothic minuscule
Illustrations
366 mostly five-line colored pen and ink drawings
Content
Jenaer Martyrologium (ff. 1r-109v); Unterweisung zur Vollkommenheit (ff. 110r-112v)
Previous Owners
Bibliotheca Electoralis of Frederick III in Wittenberg (Thuringia)

Available facsimile editions:
Jena Martyrology – Ms. Bos. q. 3 – Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Jena (Jena, Germany) Facsimile Edition
Belser Verlag – Stuttgart, 2021
Limited Edition: 999 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Jenaer Martyrologium

Belser Verlag – Stuttgart, 2021

Publisher: Belser Verlag – Stuttgart, 2021
Limited Edition: 999 copies
Binding: 2 volumes in cassette
Commentary: 1 volume by Tobias Ertel
Language: German
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