The Cologne (Köln) MSS (Lost)


There are three items known to us from Cologne:


According to Lieftinck, Jacques Pamelius borrowed an MS of the Apologeticus from the library of the "Frères Mineurs" of Cologne3.   He says that from the 13th century the Friars borrowed regularly the MSS of the Cathedral4.


A catalogue of the Dombibliothek - the Cathedral library - has been preserved, usually dated to 833AD.  Unfortunately the MS is lost - apparently burnt during this century - but was edited by A.Dekker in 1895 1.

The catalogue contains the following entry:

96.  De resurrectione mortuorum. lib. I
& de fide. libri II.
De praescriptionibus hereticorum lib. I
de jejuniis adversum phisicos lib. I
de monogamia lib. I
de pudicitia lib. I
in uno corpore sed auctorem ignoramus.

De fide is often a placeholder title indicating the writer has no idea what the title is.  Dom Dekkers2 makes two suggestions - that they correspond to De trinitate and De Spectaculis, or that they correspond to De Spectaculis alone, which is listed in the Corbie book in two halves - De Spectaculis and De munere.  He also suggests that the subtitle of De Spectaculis chapter 1 may have been De fide in the Cologne MS, as fidei is the third word of the text and would be picked up by a copyist.

So what we have here is a codex containing the works of the Corpus Corbeiense.  It is again interesting that all of these works are listed by Trithemius in 1492, who had good relations with the Cologne abbey, which was also part of the Bursfeld Reform, and (once one subtracts the works he had in the Hirsaugensis) in the same order.


The Keppel fragment - Fragmentum Gueldriana - is a portion of either this MS or one written in the Cologne area.


More details in the bibliography.

1. A. DECKER, Die Hildboldische Manuskriptensammlung des Kölner Domes, Festschrift der drei und vierzigsten  Versammlung deutscher Philologen und Schülmanner dargeboten von den höheren Lehranstalten Kölns, Bonn 1895, pp.215-253.  (Checked).  Online with 2 plates.

This reference is from Leiftinck, Un fragment...(1951), who says it is very rare.  Apparently it contains/contained a complete and annotated edition of the cathedral library catalogue of 833.  Decker found this document which had been lost bound up in an 8-9th century codex of Liber Fulgentii Ferrandi diaconi ad Reginum comitem which was in the Vicariat-General of the Archbishop.  It lists 175 MSS of which 46 still exist.  However Leiftinck adds the melancholy note that it had once again been lost, and that B. Bischoff was unable to locate it despite trying since 1934.  (Did he ever succeed, one wonders?)

R.McKitterick, The Carolingians and the written word, Cambridge 1989, has further details on this.  p.191ff: The catalogue was written in 833 in a slightly ragged Caroline minuscule.  It was written on the four flyleaves of the Liber Fulgentii Ferrandi diaconi ad Reginum comitem, a volume itself identifiable as item 93 in the list is contains, although perhaps the catalogue was bound into the volume later.  She also gives as references L.W.Jones, The script of Cologne from Hildebald to Hermann, Cambridge Mass., 1983, and Paul Lehmann, Erzbischof Hildebald und die Dombibliothek von Köln, Erforschung des Mittelalters II, pp.139-44.  On p.262 is added the further note that the Ms was in private possession at the end of the 19th century, although known to be Cologne 93, and that the owner made it available to Dekker.  "It is most unfortunate that this manuscript has since been burnt".  The volume was bound in soft covers.  The Liber Fulgentii Ferrandi diaconi ad Reginum comitem was in a late-seventh- or early-eighth century script.  The volume contained 44 folios.  The first 4 were the catalogue.   "At the end of the list" were the records of borrowers (details given by McKitterick).  The whole book is thought to have been part of Archbishop Hildebold's library (no doubt the list added after his death - he was Charlemagne's archchaplain and lived from 785-819).(Checked.  Further refs not checked)

2. Dekkers, E, Note sur les fragments..., 1952.

3. Leiftinck, Un fragment de De Spectaculis..., 1951, p.201, quoting Lehmann, P, Franciscus Modius also Handschriftenforscher, Quellen und Untersuchungen zur lat. philol. des Mittelalters III, 1 (1908), pp.99-100.(Not Checked)

4. Ph. Jaffé and G. Wattenbach, Eccl. metropol. Coloniensis codd. mss., Berol (1874), p. viii.    (Not Checked)

This page has been online since 11th December 1999.

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