Liber viventium Fabariensis

Liber viventium Fabariensis Facsimile Edition

Raetia Curiensis (Switzerland) — 830-1350

A Gospel Book with special relevance to the present: the names of the monks inscribed over the centuries next to the abbey's treasure list and full-page miniatures of the Evangelists' symbols in what is probably the most important surviving work of Raetian book art

  1. This historic manuscript was created during the first quarter of the 9th century in Raetia Curiensis, modern Switzerland

  2. The Book of Gospels has been appended by various records concerning the community of Pfäfers Abbey

  3. It is still stored in the Abbey’s archives today due to the important legal documents that it contains

Liber viventium Fabariensis

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Liber viventium Fabariensis

The Liber viventium Fabariensis is probably the most important surviving work of Raetian book art. This manuscript was originally designed as a Book of Gospels and is richly adorned with initials, frames for canonical tables, and full-page miniatures of the symbols the Four Evangelists. Beginning ca. 830, the names of monks who joined the monastic community along with the names of Pfäfers Abbey’s living and deceased benefactors were listed in the empty frames of the canon tables. In addition to its function as evangeliary, commemorative book, and register of the monastic brotherhood, the Liber viventium also served as a cartulary and treasure catalog of Pfäfers Abbey. Due to the legal significance that the Liber viventium retained until modern times, the volume is housed in the archival holdings of Pfäfers Abbey.

Liber viventium Fabariensis

This commemorative book records the names of 4,615 people associated with Pfäffer’s Abbey, most of whom lived between the 9th and 11th century. It is arguably the most valuable book from the library of Pfäffer’s Abbey, which was an episcopal see as well as an important religious and cultural center. The codex, created ca. 820–830 is thus considered to be a wealth of material concerning the Romance-Germanic cultural exchange in Raetia Curiensis, an early medieval province in the Alps that maintained its Romansh culture after the fall of the Roman Empire. The 231-page-work is illustrated by 154 illustrations of 48 figures including full-page miniatures of the symbols the Four Evangelists and five brightly colored canon tables.


Size / Format
178 pages / 31.0 x 20.5 cm
Rhaetian minuscule
Red or black initial majuscules, partly decorated with heads of humans, dogs and birds. Column shafts and arches with wickerwork or palmette leaves.

Available facsimile editions:
Liber viventium Fabariensis – Fonds Pfäfers Codex 1 – Stiftsarchiv St. Gallen (St. Gallen, Switzerland) Facsimile Edition
Alkuin Verlag – Balse, 1973
Limited Edition: 400 copies
Facsimile Editions

#1 Liber viventium Fabariensis

Alkuin Verlag – Balse, 1973

Publisher: Alkuin Verlag – Balse, 1973
Limited Edition: 400 copies
Binding: Original leather binding with gold embossed spine
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