Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae

Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae – Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Cod. Vindob. 751 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)

Mainz (Germany) — 1st half of the 9th century

The personal correspondence of Saint Boniface and his successor, Saint Lullus: an impressive collection of letters with unique insights into the time of the Christianization of the Frankish Empire

  1. This codex collects the correspondence of St. Boniface and St. Lillus, as well as their contemporaries

  2. Many of the letters were directly copied from the originals in the episcopal archives in Mainz

  3. The immediacy of these sources makes them a gem of the Austrian National Library

Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae

Many external facts are known about Boniface: his far-reaching missionary activities in the Frankish Empire, which earned him the title "Apostle of the Germans", the fearless felling of the Danube oak near Geismar, and his violent death among the Frisians. But who was this man himself, what did he think and how did he experience these turbulent times? Answers to such questions can be found in this jewel from the Austrian National Library, which is distinguished by its immediacy to Boniface. It contains 35 letters from him and 12 addressed to him in addition to important testimonies from his immediate environment: 16 letters written by Lullus, Boniface's disciple and successor as Bishop of Mainz, and 24 letters addressed to Lullus. These treasures were kept in the bishop's archives in Mainz. This compilation from the mid-9th century must be considered some of the oldest of Boniface's correspondence.

Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae

Manuscript 751 of the Austrian National Library in Vienna, also known as the Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae, is a composite volume consisting of four unrelated parts. Scholars will rejoice at now having at their disposal the facsimile edition of the first part (ff. 1–77) dating from the mid-ninth century and containing a large section of the correspondence of St. Boniface and St. Lullus** (35 letters of Boniface and 12 addressed to him; 16 letters of Lullus and 24 addressed to him) together with other letters by several of their contemporaries. Many of these copies can be shown to have been made directly from the originals which were preserved in the episcopal archives in Mainz. The facsimile edition is of a high quality and almost gives the illusion of having the actual manuscript in hand.

An Important Research Tool

In his short introduction Dr. Franz Unterkircher, the editor, deals successively with the latter history of the manuscript (pp. 9–12), description and physical composition (pp. 13–15), script (pp. 17–21), contents (pp. 23–26), cryptography (pp. 27–29). He ends (pp. 31–35) with a concordance which lists all the letters in the order in which they appear in the manuscript with cross references to the editions of Serarius and of the M.G.H. (the italics used in the section show that the manuscript is our unique source for over 60 of the texts it contains). The present edition is sure to be of great use both to the historian and paleographer and it provides an ideal tool for introducing students to the delights and problems of medieval text studies.


Alternative Titles
Vienna Boniface Codex
Wiener Bonifazius-Codex
Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae
Size / Format
154 pages / 30.0 × 19.5 cm
1st half of the 9th century
Previous Owners
Library of the Cologne cathedral
Kasper von Niedbruck
George Cassander
Vienna Imperial Library
Nicolaus Serarius

Available facsimile editions:
Sancti Bonifacii Epistolae – Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Cod. Vindob. 751 – Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Vienna, Austria)
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt (ADEVA) – Graz, 1971
Facsimile Editions

#1 Sancti Bonifacii epistolae

Binding: Half leather
Commentary: 1 volume (38 pages) by 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.
Facsimile Copy Available!
Price Category: €
(under 1,000€)
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