Book Series Cultural Encounters in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, vol. 21

The Prague Sacramentary

Culture, Religion, and Politics in Late Eighth-Century Bavaria

Maximilian Diesenberger, Rob Meens, H.G.E. Rose (eds)

  • Pages: 261 p.
  • Size:156 x 234 mm
  • Illustrations:18 b/w, 2 col.
  • Language(s):English, German, French
  • Publication Year:2016

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54920-0
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-54999-6
  • E-book
  • Available

A multi-angled investigation of this enigmatic manuscript provides a unique window into the world of early medieval Bavaria at a time of cultural flowering and political upheaval.


“Der Sammelband ist in seiner nützlichen und sinnvollen Zusammenstellung ein höchst gelungenes Beispiel für den Erkenntnisgewinn, den eine interdisziplinäre Herangehensweise und die Fokusverschiebung vom Einzeltext auf den Manuskriptzusammenhang mit sich bringen können. (...) Es ist ein Buch, das Lust auf ein Buch macht.“ (Thomas Kohl, in Historische Zeitschrift, 307, 2018, p. 486)



The Prague Sacramentary is a unique liturgical manuscript which can be very precisely located in a specific social and historical context. It was written in the turbulent period when Charlemagne crossed Bavaria to fight the Avars and when his son Pippin rebelled against him, seeking support among the Bavarian nobility. The manuscript can be linked to specific groups of Bavarian elites that had to come to terms with this explosive political situation. It also elucidates the ways in which Christian culture was expressed and experienced in Bavaria at the end of the eighth century. Although Bavaria may be regarded as a periphery from a Frankish perspective, it was certainly no cultural backwater. Because of its geographical position at the crossroads of Italian, Bavarian, and Frankish culture, Bavaria produced unique and intriguing texts and artefacts.

One such object is analysed here by a team of experts, shedding renewed light on the earthly and heavenly concerns of an early medieval community in a specific region. It includes a discussion of the topics of the formal invocation of saints, vernacular understandings of Latin texts, marriage, politics, and concerns for ritual purity as well as the well-being of the conflict-ridden Carolingian family.


Introduction – ROB MEENS and ELS ROSE

Part 1 A Book and its Users

The Work of the Scribes in the Prague Sacramentary, Prague Archivio O 83 – ROSAMOND MCKITTERICK

Die althochdeutsche Glossierung des Prager Sakramentars – ELVIRA GLASER

Framing the Sacramentary of Prague: Munich, University Library, Ms. 4° 3 and its context – MAXIMILIAN DIESENBERGER

Part II A Mirror of Religious Culture

The Liturgy of the Prague Sacramentary – YITZHAK HEN

The Sanctoral Cycle of the Prague Sacramentary – ELS ROSE

De creatione mundi in the Prague Sacramentary – RICHARD CORRADINI

Edition of De creatione mundi – RICHARD CORRADINI

Part III Breaking and Building Identities

The Authority of Gregory the Great: Marriage and Politics in Bavaria in the Eighth Century as Exemplified in the ‘Gregorian part’ of the Prague Sacramentary – ROB MEENS

La prière pour les rois et le status regni dans le sacramentaire de Prague et l’attention portée par Charlemagne au salut de la communauté politique – PHILIPPE DEPREUX

Earthly and Heavenly Networks in a World in Flux: Carolingian Family Identities and the Prague Sacramentary – STUART AIRLIE