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The 'Murbach hymnal', Written in the 8th and 9th century, probably at Murbach

MS. Junius 25

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The 'Murbach hymnal', a composite MS. important for its old German hymns and for the glossaries known to Junius as A, B, and C, comprising:

A. Fol. 1. a Latin hymn with neums (11th cent.)

B. Fol. 2. the Cosmography of Aethicus, in two late 8th-cent. hands, edited by Wuttke (Leipzig, 1853) from a Leipzig manuscript, and of which a 12th-cent. copy is in MS. Bodl 303. beg. 'Incipit liber Ethici... Philosophorum scidolas sagaci [altered from sagace] indagatione'

C. Fol. 60v:

  1. Alcuin's Rhetoric, beg. 'Quia te venerande magister Albine', as in Migne, Patr. Lat., tom. ci, col. 919, but concluding with the diagrams
  2. Followed by the letter of Isidore to Masso (Patr. Lat., tom. lxxxiii, col. 899), beg. 'Domino sancto... . Veniente ad nos' (fol. 76)
  3. Alcuin's Dialectic (Patr. Lat., tom. ci, col. 951), beg. 'Quia mentionem philosophiae in priore disputationis' (fol. 77)
  4. The letter 'de generibus musicorum' sometimes attributed to Jerome (Patr. Lat., tom. xxx, col. 213), beg. 'Cogor a te, ut tibi, Dardane' (fol. 86)
  5. Fol. 60 has some rather later Greek and Latin glosses

This section is on thinner vellum than B and is of the 9th century.

D. Fol. 87. A 10th-cent. Latin hymn, beg. 'O rex auguste clarissime dignus honore', followed by (fol. 87v) the glossary known as 'Junius B', in double columns, by two 8th-9th-cent. hands, arranged alphabetically under Latin words with old German equivalents, and hence printed in E. Nyerup's Symbolae (Hafniae, 1787), col. 194 ff., as B.

E. Fol. 108:

  1. An exposition of the Athanasian creed, beg. 'Quicunque vult... . Fides dicitur credulitas'
  2. Followed by (fol. 112) the 'fides catholica Hieronimi' in another hand, and an exposition of the Lord's prayer, 'Expositio super oratione domini', beg. 'Pater noster ... haec vox libertatis est. Patrem invocamus' (fol. 114v)
  3. A second one, beg. 'Pater noster ... Patrem dicendo filios confitemur' (fol. 115)

This and the remaining sections are of the 9th century.

F. Fol. 116. Latin hymns with interlinear Old German gloss, beg. 'Aeterni Christi munera', copied by Junius into MS. Junius 74 and printed by Sievers (see below) as nos. 22-6, and (fol. 122) nos. 1-21. Between these sections are the 'Junius glossary C', a Latin vocabulary with old German gloss, lacking 2 (?) leaves which contained the letters e-1 (fol. 118), and a gloss on the Rule of st. Benedict printed by Nyerup, Op. cit., in appendix to gloss C (fol. 121).

G. Fol. 130. Grammatical forms, beg. 'Videntur verba et forma gerendi perfecto in passivum versa per qualitatem'.

H. Fol. 134. Isidore's Etymologies, breaking off at ii. 2 (Patr. Lat., tom. lxxxii, col. 73), beg. 'Domino meo et dei servo Braulioni episcopo'.

I. Fol. 152. Extracts from Donatus, beg. 'De octo partibus. Donatus dicit partes orationis sunt octo'. On fol. 157v are 20 hexameter verses 'Incipiunt versus de Christo' and some half-legible lines 'de podagrico'.

J. Fol. 158. The glossary known to Junius as 'A' (see MS. Junius 116*), on Genesis, in Latin and Old High German, in double columns, beg. 'Perizomata, femoralia. Umbisueift', printed in Nyerup, op. cit., col. 173. This is followed by short Latin pieces:

  1. 'De nominibus qui quodam presagio nomina acceperunt' (fol. 183v)
  2. 'De patriarchis', 'De prophetis', 'De apostolis' (fol. 184)
  3. 'De martyribus' (fol. 184v)
  4. 'De clericis' (fol. 185)
  5. 'De monachis' (fol. 187v)
  6. Three expositions of the Lord's prayer, headed 'De oratione dominica' and beg. 'Dominus et salvator noster discipulis suis petentibus quemadmodum orare deberent' (fol. 189), 'Pater noster ... Ut filius esse merearis ecclesiae' (fol. 190), 'Pater noster ... Patrem invocamus deum in coelis' (fol. 191)
  7. 'Expositio de fide catholica', beg. 'Auscultate expositionem de fide catholica' (fol. 192)

This manuscript is thought by W. M. Lindsay to have been all written at Murbach (except fols. 60v-86v) about the same time. This conclusion, based upon a study of the abbreviations, is more probable than the suggestion of a Reichenau origin (cf. E. Sievers, Die Murbacher Hymnen, Halle, 1874, pp. 1-10, containing an analysis of the manuscript to which this description is indebted), and is accepted by Lowe (Codices Latini Antiquiores, pt. ii, no. 242).


  • Creation: Written in the 8th and 9th century, probably at Murbach


197 Leaves

Language of Materials

  • Multiple languages
  • German, Old High (ca.750-1050)
  • Latin


MS. Junius 25

Other Finding Aids

Falconer Madan, et al., A summary catalogue of western manuscripts in the Bodleian Library at Oxford which have not hitherto been catalogued in the Quarto series (7 vols. in 8 [vol. II in 2 parts], Oxford, 1895-1953; reprinted, with corrections in vols. I and VII, Munich, 1980), vol. II, no. 5137

Custodial History

The inscription on fol. 103v is proof that it was at Murbach in the mid-15th cent.: 'Legentes in hoc libro orent pro reverendo domino Bartholomeo de Andolo cuius industria penes dilaps' renovat' est anno MCCCCLXI.' From Murbach it passed into the possession of Marcus Zuerius Boxhorn (signature on fol. 2), who published in his Historia Vniversalis (1652), pp. 451 ff., the glossary Junius A and part of B. It was afterwards owned by Isaac Vossius, at which time Junius made the excerpts cited in his Glossarium Gothicum (1665) and in his observations on Willeram (1655).


  • For a list of identified Murbach MSS. see Paul Lehmann, Johannes Sichardus und die von ihm benutzten Bibliotheken und Hss . (München, 1911), pp. 164-75, and for a discussion of the place of origin the same author's Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz , i. 224 note, cf. p. 232.

Physical Facet

On parchment, binding, blind-tooled brown leather, 17th-cent. English work. Leaves i-iii, 195-7 are 17th-cent. paper.


11 2/5 × 7 4/5 in.

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom