The Block Book of Saint Meinrad and His Murderers and of the Origin of Einsiedeln

The Block Book of Saint Meinrad and His Murderers and of the Origin of Einsiedeln Facsimile Edition

Southern Germany or Switzerland — 1460-1465

St. Meinrad von Einsiedeln (ca. 797-861) was a hermit who was murdered by two robbers

  1. The ravens who pursued them leading to their being burned at the stake are still part of Einsiedeln’s coat of arms

  2. This blockbook created ca. 1460–65 has 49 colored woodcuts illustrating the life of St. Meinrad

  3. St. Meinrad von Einsiedeln (ca. 797-861) lived as a hermit on the island of Reichenau and later in the Etzel Mountains for many years before he was murdered by two robbers. Two ravens are said to have pursued the murderers and brought them to court, where

The Block Book of Saint Meinrad and His Murderers and of the Origin of Einsiedeln

  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (1)
Description
The Block Book of Saint Meinrad and His Murderers and of the Origin of Einsiedeln

St. Meinrad von Einsiedeln (ca. 797-861) lived as a hermit on the island of Reichenau and later in the Etzel Mountains for many years before he was murdered by two robbers. Two ravens are said to have pursued the murderers and brought them to court, where they were condemned to be burned at the stake. Today, the coat of arms of the monastery and town of Einsiedeln still features two ravens as a reminder. Meinrad was initially buried on the island of Reichenau but in 1039 the abbot had the remains of the man, who had meanwhile been honored as a martyr, transferred to Einsiedeln. In the 14th century, a considerably expanded version of his life story, the Vita sancti Meinradi martyris, was written, translated into German, and subsequently became widely known. Both the German-language blockbook, which only survives in two copies and was presumably printed in Basel ca. 1460–65 on behalf of the Einsiedeln Abbey, and the later typographical editions are based on this later version of the legend. The life of St. Meinrad is illustrated in a fascinating manner by 49 colored woodcuts that take up most of the page in this image-focused blockbook.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Legende von Sankt Meinrad und von dem Anfange der Hofstatt zu den Einsiedeln vor 400 Jahren
Size / Format
64 pages / 16.9 x 11.3 cm
Origin
Germany
Date
1460-1465
Language
Illustrations
49 large colored woodcuts
Facsimile Editions

#1 Das Blockbuch von Sankt Meinrad und seinen Mördern und vom Ursprung von Einsiedeln

Commentary: Introduction by P. Leo Helbling
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