Sacramentary and Antiphonal

  • Salzburg, second quarter of the eleventh century; parchment; ff. 229; mm. 240 × 180
  • Venice, ‘Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana’, lat. III, 124 (2235)

The Benedictine Nuns of St. Mary of Aquileia soon came by this book manufactured in Salzburg in the eleventh century.

The manuscript, drawn out by several hands in the second quarter of the eleventh century in Salzburg for a monastery of nuns, came later to Aquileia, in the monastery of the Benedictine Nuns of St. Mary. In 1748 Domenico Guerra, canon and provost of that monastery, gave it as a present to Bernardo Maria de Rubeis (1687-1775), Dominican, who was the editor of its first published description. Upon his death the manuscript was left to the Dominicans of the Zattere at Murano, called Jesuates and, afterwards, upon this monastery cessation in 1811 the handwritten book passed to the ‘Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana’. This Sacramentary has a prominent place from the liturgical viewpoint: indeed it is a Gregorian Sacramentary of a pre-Adrian type.

The codex of the St. Mark’s Library exhibits a restrained decoration: red-ink drawn initials, with racemes or zoomorphic elements, among which those of the Canon are conspicuous (ff. 77r, 78r, 79r). On f. 76r, the folium preceding the Praefatio, a Crucifix was drawn with brown ink, which was later, perhaps in the fourteenth century, added with some particulars (as the rays of the halo and the nails piercing hands and feet). Albeit with some changes and simplifications the drawing of the figure is taken from the illuminated Crucifixes decorating the Canon of Ottonian sacramentaries made in southern Germany towards the end of the eleventh century.


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