First a soldier, then abbot of Burgos: the life of St. Adelelmus and a wonderful treasure of medieval music and poetry

Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos

Burgos (Spain) — 14th–16th century

Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos

Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos

Burgos (Spain) — 14th–16th century

  1. Adelelmus (d. ca. 1100) was a French soldier who became a Benedictine monk and abbot in Burgos, Spain

  2. Famous for his miracles, he attracted the attention of the Castilian monarchs who built a monastery for him

  3. This manuscript is also a treasure trove of medieval music with hymns written in gorgeous Gothic script

Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos

Alternative Titles:
  • Vita Adelelmi
  • Vida de San Lesmes
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The significance of Saint Adelelmus (or Adelmus or Elesmes) for Spain and for the significant diocese of Borgos in particular is wonderfully documented with this compendium of records from his life and hymns in his praise. Arising in two parts in the 14th and the middle of the 16th centuries, the so-called Vita Adelelmi contains numerous liturgical components of the mass for Saint Adelelmus with music and hymn alongside the legends and miracle stories about the saint. The manuscript offers therewith an unmediated glimpse of both the paleographic development of the writing as well as the developments of this time in music history. As an attestation of the centuries-long veneration of the patron saint of Burgos, the Vita Adelelmi represents a unique and indescribably valuable artifact.

Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos

The significance of Saint Adelelmus (or Adelmus or Elesmes) for Spain and for the significant diocese of Borgos in particular is wonderfully documented with this compendium of records from his life and hymns in his praise. Arising in two parts in the 14th and the middle of the 16th centuries, the so-called Vita Adelelmi contains numerous liturgical components of the mass for Saint Adelelmus with music and hymns alongside the legends and miracle stories about the saint. The manuscript offers therewith an unmediated glimpse of both the paleographic development of the writing as well as the developments of this time in music history. As an attestation of the centuries-long veneration of the patron saint of Burgos, the Vita Adelelmi represents a unique and indescribably valuable artifact.

The Exciting Life of Adelelmus

Adelelmus was a French Benedictine monk with great meaning for Spain. Born near Poitiers in France, he was originally a soldier. However, he was proselytized on a pilgrimage to Rome and eventually entered the Benedictine Abbey of Chaise-Dieu, where he would become abbot in 1079. Soon, Adelelmus was already known for miles around because of his miracles, which even reached the ear of the Castilian Queen Constance of Burgundy. It was her who eventually brought him to Burgos. Together with her consort, King Alfonso VI of Castile, she had a monastery built, whose abbot was to be Adelelmus. The abbot – and former soldier – contributed in the wars against the Moors and was responsible for numerous expansions of the monastery, including with a church and a hospital. He died in 1097 and is venerated there to this day.

Extolment and Miracle Stories

The records of his life were known under the name Vita Adelelmi. On 158 pages, the precious compendium contains attestations of his veneration across several centuries. That the manuscript saw regular use is attested to by the historical signs of wear on the vellum pages of the book. The compendium consists of two parts. The first came together from a 14th century prayer book and the actual saint’s legends. Anecdotes to the life and miracles of the saint were combined with hymns in praise of the saint. The second part originated from the middle of the 16th century and contains a collection of liturgical components of the mass for Saint Adelelmus, again with a variety of hymns.

An Impressive Attestation to the Medieval Veneration of Saints

The Vita Adelelmi is both of exceptional value historically as well as a treasure trove of medieval music. The songs of the first part of the manuscript, following a Castilian pattern, is recorded in single line staves, the latter part of the collected hymns in 5-line staves. Also the gorgeous Gothic script, sometimes furnished with artful initials, lends the compendium a unique aura. On the front page of the manuscript is a found a heart-shaped piece of parchment with the inscription: Vita preclara virtutes perillustres miracula et mors preciossa sanctissimi patris nostri adelelmi. As a manuscript that was regularly in use over centuries, this compendium offers the grandiose opportunity to set oneself in the time of the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period in Spain. The Vita Adelelmi is of inestimable historical value as an attestation to the veneration of Saint Adelelmus in Burgos and Spain as a whole.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Vita Adelelmi
Vida de San Lesmes
Size / Format
158 pages / 36.0 x 26.0 cm
Date
14th–16th century
Style
Gothic
Language

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos“

Vita Adelelmi
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
Life of Saint Adelelmus of Burgos – Monasterio de Cistercienses Calatravas de San Felices (Burgos, Spain)
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Vita Adelelmi

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Siloé, arte y bibliofilia – Burgos, 2004
Limited Edition
230 copies
Binding
Leather with generous tooling and linen covered slipcase
Commentary
1 volume (236 pages) by Ángeles García de la Borbolla García de Paredes, Víctor Márquez Paillo, Rafael, Sánchez Domingo, Clemente Serna González and Miguel C. Vivancos Gómez
Language: Spanish
More Information
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: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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