Codex Hirsaugensis - H


The first edition (1521) of the works of Tertullian was edited by Beatus Rhenanus.  In the preface, he states that he had access to two manuscripts: the the codex Paterniacensis and a lost codex Hirsaugensis, belonging to the beta (Hirsau) branch of the Corpus Cluniacense.  This was lent to him by the Abbot of Hirsau, who took great care that Rhenanus should restore the manuscript: a needful precaution in those times.  However the abbey and its books were destroyed in the Thirty Years War.

The manuscript is considered the oldest of all the Cluny-Hirsau manuscripts, and the other manuscripts of this family, including almost all the Italici, are descended from it.

A fragment of a manuscript has been found at Stuttgart, which may or may not be from this Ms.


Petitmengin says that the Florence F manuscript is a copy of the Hirsau manuscript, and that the works in the latter must have been in the same order.

The Hirsau manuscript and its children do not seem to have included the Apologeticum; Rhenanus reprinted the 1515 Aldine edition of this since it was in neither of his manuscripts.

If we compare the list of works in Rhenanus with the list given by Trithemius, we find that the works Rhenanus copied from the Hirsaugensis are reproduced in the same order in Trithemius.  But the works listed in Trithemius' exemplar (without the Apologeticum so clearly a Hirsau-branch manuscript) are in a different order to the majority of the manuscripts in this family.


Becker1 gives us a catalogue for the library at Hirsau.  For each catalogue he quotes some references (in Latin) which I have reproduced (not much use without them, is it?).

§100. Bibliotheca Hirsaugiensis (= Hirsau).   Post 1165 AD

Entry: The catalogue begins as follows:

Libri probatissimorum ecclesiae authorum Hirsaugiensis bibliothecae qui ferme omnes sub praedicto patre Wilhelmo tribusque illius successoribus Brunone, Volmaro et Manegoldo abbatibus summo labore maximisque impensis manu scripti et congregati fuerunt.  Thesaurus procul dubio incomparibilis. 1. libri veteris et novi testamenti in varias formas et partes scripti. - 2. libri Iosephi historiographi Iudaici. - 3. libri Origenis. - 4. libri Tertulliani. - 5. libri Cypriani episcopi et martyris. ..


Knittel in Lessingii Zur Geschichte u. Litteratur.  Beytrag I 356-58 (Braunschweig 1773) e Parsimonii libro manuscripto, qui in bibliotheca Wolfenbuttelana asservatur.

The catalogue is thus extant in a library in Wolfenbuttel.   (I wonder what 'Parsimonii' means...) 


Mangold died in 1165 which means the codex must be 12th century or earlier in date.


1.  The Hirsaugensis was in more than 1 part.   Rhenanus uses these words -  Libri, Volumina - to describe it

" ...rogavi  homine ut Hirsaugiense coenebiu quod illinc non multum abest, adiret, & Tertulliani volumina quae illic extare acceperam, ad nos commodato deferret." (p.2 of preface)


"Itaque Tertulliani libros secu attulit..." (p.3 of preface)

(I owe the reference to  Tränkle p.xciii n.3)

2.  (Tränkle p.xciii-xciv + n.1) : See Manitius, M.,Handschriften antiker Autoren in mittelalterlichen Bibliothekskcatalogen, 67. Beiheft z. Zentralbf. f. Bibliothekswesen, Leipzig 1935, 151ff. for a catalogue (the same one?) showing the MS to be 12th century at the latest.


1. G.Becker, Catalogi bibliothecarum antiqui, Bonnae 1885, Section 100 (pp.219).   Checked.  All in Latin.  Becker tells us that his work is derived entirely from other printed sources, and not from the original catalogues.  So use at your own risk!

2. Petitmengin, Pierre, A propos du "Tertullien" de Beatus Rhenanus (1521) - Comment on imprimait a Bale au debut du seizieme siecleChecked.  Details of how Rhenanus wheedled the codex out of the Abbot who was dubious about lending it (and when you see what Rhenanus did to the Paterniancensis you can see why).

This page has been online since 11th December 1999.

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