The volume is a catalogue of codices richly illuminated with splendid miniatures that aims at reconstructing the medieval centuries in Friuli through the most significant handwritten books circulating in this region from the Lombard age to the ripe Humanism. The title ‘The Books of the Patriarchs’ intentionally points out the importance the patriarchs of Aquileia had as patrons and owners of some of the most known librarian products of this period, as well as it reminds of the central role the patriarchs and patriarchate played in the formation of the political-cultural identity of Friuli in the Middle Ages. The subject consists of thirteen sections entrusted to a group of scholars under Cesare Scalon’s coordination, namely Giacomo Baroffio, Massimiliano Bassetti, Roberto Benedetti, Fabrizio Crivello, Mario D’Angelo, Giovanni Frau, Marco Grusovin, Andrea Improta, Antonio Manfredi, Marta Minazzato, Laura Pani, Federica Toniolo, Norberto Valli, Matteo Venier, Fabio Vendruscolo, Federico Vicario. Responsible for publishing coordination is Egidio Screm. After an overall-frame description of the project written by Cesare Scalon in the introductory pages, the individual sections describe in the following order: the ‘Foroiuliense’ Evangeliarium, the ‘Codex Rehdigeranus’, Books of Charlemagne’s Age, Ottonian Books, St. Elizabeth’s Psalter, the Book of Books: from Giant Bibles to Pocket Bibles, Liturgical Music Books, Choir Books, School and Scholastic Texts, Books of Vernacular Literature, Guarnerio and the Books of the Humanists, Books on Sciences and Techniques, Books of the Princes. The codices depicted in the Catalogue come from some old librarian funds kept in this area (Cividale del Friuli, Gorizia, San Daniele del Friuli, Udine) and in a large number of European and American libraries: Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library of the New Haven Yale University, the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, the Bibliothèque Mazarine and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris, the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana of Venice, the Bodleian Library of Oxford, the ‘J. Paul Getty’ Museum of Los Angeles, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek of Vienna, the Staatsbibliothek of Berlin, the Universitätsbibliothek Albertina of Lipsia and the Universitätsbibliothek of Graz.
The Books of the Patriarchs” is a catalogue of codices largely illuminated with splendid miniatures that reconstructs the medieval centuries in Friuli through the most significant handwritten books circulating in this region from the Lombard age to the ripe Humanism.