2. The ‘Codex Rehdigeranus’

A Lombard-age evangeliarium, once kept at Aquileia, that allows to reconstruct the most relevant part of the Aquileian liturgical year.

The Codex Rehdigeranus, which according to the uncial script used for its writing can be dated to the mid-eighth-century northern Italian area, is an evangeliarium containing the nearly full transcription of the four canonical gospels in the ordinary sequence: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The evangeliarium, which contains prefatory notes and summaries, was published in 1913 by Heinrich Joseph Vogels. The text of the gospels, for long considered pre-Jeromian, is more likely an evidence of a Vulgate edition that had kept terms peculiar to preceding Latin translations. The Capitulare Evangeliorum, added in a pre-Caroline cursive either contemporary or little later than the gospel text script, allows to reconstruct the most relevant part of the liturgical year celebrated at Aquileia in the early Middle Ages. The uncial script used to write the text of the gospels and the pre-Caroline cursive of the capitulare, as well as the typology of the initials and ornaments, with a certain degree of reliability allow to assign the origins of this codex to a well organized scriptorium of northern Italy, outside Milan, in the first half of the eighth century. In these same decades, under patriarch Callixtus [Callisto] (737), Cividale, see of the Lombard duchy, had become the real see of the patriarchy, as well, and it was meeting with a period of particular splendour in the arts and culture. Notwithstanding the lack of direct evidences of an active scriptorium in the city, the possible manufacturing of the codex in the Friulian centre is a hypothesis not to be discarded. The codex presence at Aquileia is however certain towards the end of the Middle Ages. That can be inferred by a fifteenth-century note in humanistic cursive added by friar Ludovico di Strassoldo in the margin of f. 2r: «Questo libro si vene d’Aquilegia, 1451, dato per frar Aluixo, f(rate) minor, maestro in teologia» (This book comes from Aquileia, 1451, given by friar Aluixo, a Minorite, master in theology). Ludovico’s belonging to a family of the Friulian nobility, the role he had as an inquisitor in the Patriarchate of Aquileia, his relations with the local clerical milieus and the Roman curia enormously helped him in purchasing and borrowing books (never given back, in some cases), among which the evangeliarium, the book the humanist Thomas Rehdiger came by in Verona a century later. The Rehdigeranus 169, together with other codices of the same fund, was kept in Breslau (Wroclaw) at the end of the II World War. The escaping German army put it safely away in Berlin, where it is nowadays kept.

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