GKS 181 2°: Vita Bernardi. Miracula. Radbertus





GKS 181 2°: Vita Bernardi. Miracula. Radbertus

Parchment, 72 ff.; 32,5 x 22,7 cm, France, c. 1200

The manuscript contains (f. 1r-71v) the so-called Vita Prima sancti Bernardi in five books, a life of St Bernhard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), who was canonised in 1171

The first book was written by Guillelmus de Sancto Theodorico (Guillaume de Saint-Thierry / William of St-Thierry, c. 1085-1148); it is followed by a subscriptio, written after the death of Guilelmus by Burchardus abbas Balernensis (Burchard of Beauval, d. 1163). The second book was written by Ernaldus Bonaevallis (Arnald / Arnold of Bonnevalle, d. after 1156), and the last three by Gaufridus Clarevallensis (Geoffrey of Clairvaux, d. after 1188). – The text of the Vita is published in Migne, PL, 185, col. 225-366

On f. 71v-72r there is an account of miracles that took place in the monastery of Savigny while Serlo was abbot, i.e. between 1140 and 1153 when he retired and settled in Clairvaux, where he died in 1158. – The last text, on f. 72r-72v, is an extract from the De Corpore et Sanguine Domini liber (caput XIV, 1-5) written by Paschasius Radbertus (c. 790-865), monk and for a period abbot in Corbie

A note on f. 71r makes clear that the manuscript was acquired in 1474 for the convent of the Celestines in Paris by G. Romanus, i.e. Guillaume Romain. The note has been partly erased; during the 19th century it was tried to regain the text by chemical means

The format, script and ornamentation of the manuscript resembles that of another Royal Library manuscript, GKS 182 2°, so much, that one must conclude that they were made in the same scriptorium. Both manuscripts belonged to the library of Gottorp (near Schleswig), and were transferred to the Royal Library in Copenhagen in 1735

Bibl.: Léopold Delisle, Le Cabinet des Manuscrits de la Bibliothèque Nationale, III, Paris 1881, p. 393. - Chr. Bruun, De illuminerede Haandskrifter i Det store kongelige Bibliothek (Aarsberetninger og Meddelelser fra Det store kongelige Bibliothek III), Copenhagen 1890, 53f. - Greek and Latin Illuminated Manuscripts X–XIII Centuries in Danish Collections, Copenhagen 1921, p. 49 og pl. LXI. - Ellen Jørgensen, Catalogus codicum Latinorum medii ævi Bibliothecæ Regiæ Hafniensis, Copenhagen 1926, p. 187. - Gyllene Böcker. Illuminerade medeltida handskrifter i dansk och svensk ägo, Stockholm 1952, p. 30 no. 23a. - A. H. Bredero, Études sur la "Vita prima" de Saint Bernard, Roma 1960, p. 20 ("recension B") (cf. same Études in Analecta Sacri Ordinis Cisterciensis 17, 1961, p. 24)

Erik Petersen