This index volume is a valiant effort to make Bernhard Bischoff’s posthumously published three volume »Katalog« more accessible1. The individual volumes each had an index of writing centres and »Schriftprovinzen«. This volume combines those lists, and supplements them with an index of authors and works, an index of topics, an index of people, combining Carolingian names found in the manuscripts with the names of former owners, and an index of letterforms, ligatures and abbreviations. It concludes with a listing of all of the manuscripts mentioned in entries for other manuscripts.

In every case the index records the number given to each entry in Bischoff’s Katalog, rather than supplying the actual shelfmark. As a result, this volume can only be used when the other three volumes are at hand. Equally frustrating is the decision to rely on Bischoff’s often incomplete accounts of contents, so that the entries, Ambrosius, Ambrosiaster, Augustinus, Beda, Cassiodorus, Caesarius, Fulgentius Hieronymus, Hrabanus, Isidorus, Origenes, Orosius Priscian, Prosper and Venantus Fortunatus begin with a series of entry numbers followed by lists of entries for manuscripts of individual works by the author which were identified in the Catalogue. So the entry for Cato starts with four numbers with no text identified and then seven manuscripts of the Disticha, but all of the manuscripts contain the Disticha.

Two examples show the problem: Isidore’s »De Ecclesiasticis Officiis« was superbly edited by Lawson for the Corpus Christianorum, with a full list of manuscripts. Of these Paris BN Lat 6400 G, and BN Lat NAL 448, Lucca 490, Cambrai 937, Munich Clm 16128, Orleans 185, Rouen 524, St Gall 240, St Paul in Carinthia 5, and Vat Reg Lat 191 are just recorded in the Katalog as »Isidorus«. The catalogue entries for Arras 1068 and Paris BN Lat 2341 do not even mention Isidore. There are only two entries for »Einhardus Vita Karoli Magni 4659« (Paris BN Lat 10758) and 6504 (Vat Pal Lat 243). Vat Reg Lat 339 is not included because the Katalog entry for the manuscript, supplied by Ebersperger, only lists the first text. The section of the Vita Karoli in Vienna ONB 473 is not listed, because the Katalog listed the manuscript as »Liber Pontificalis; al.«. So the author and work index can only be a starting point: its evidence must always be tested and augmented. It would have been helpful to have indicated which manuscripts were fragments.

Where the texts have been identified, they are not always indexed where one might expect to find them. The Valenciennes copy of the »Rule of Isidore« is listed under »Regula« but not under »Isidore«, the monastic rules in Lambach cml XXI, Munich clm 28118, Orleans 233 and Paris BN Lat 4333 B are not identified anywhere. The »Rule of Benedict« is listed under »Benedictus de Nursia«, not under »Regula«. Computus is found both in the index of authors and works and in the Sachregister. The entry Biblia Recensio Theodulfi does not include BL Add 24142, Stuttgart HB II 16 or Le Puy Tresor, all of which are copies of Theodulf’s Bible. The index includes an entry for the »Waltharius«, though the text is a 10th century entry on the verso of a 9th century Lorsch fragment, and three entries for the post Carolingian Ordo Stellae (under Spiel). Ebersperger does alert her readers about the inclusion of later texts entered in these manuscripts in her introduction.

Useful starting points are the entry Vitae et Passiones Sanctorum, a very full list of hagiographical texts listed under individual saints’ names. Equally helpful is the heading Commentarius in Bibliam with commentaries on individual books listed. The work entry Liturgica has 16 items and must be supplemented by the entry Liturgica in the Sachregister which has a subheading for manuscripts with evidence of their liturgical use, liturgical entries, liturgical pen trials, and liturgical directions. In addition there are separate entries in the Sachregister for Alleluia, Antiphons, Blessings, Creeds, Lectio, Litanies, Responsories, Sequences and Tropes. But here again the reader must also consult the Werkregister entries for Antiphonarium, Credo, for Lections as a subheading under Lectionarium, for Litanies and for Sequences. The Werkregister has an entry for Carmina; the Sachregister has entries for Gedichte, Verse, Rhythmus and Reime.

The Sachregister contains much important information, but the reader must work out how to use it. (There are helpful lists of related index headings at the end of many entries.) The entry for Bilder must be supplemented by Federzeichnungen, Illustrationen, Skizzen and Zeichnungen. Sternfiguren are listed under Figuren. The entry for Prachthandschrift has subheadings Gold, Silber and Purpur, which may refer to manuscripts written in gold or silver ink, but also manuscripts with gold, silver or purple for one or two initials, and even manuscripts with traces of gold leaf once kept in the manuscript. Goldtinte is also an entry following Tinte under the heading Schreibstoffe und Schreibwerkzeuge.

Many readers will want to find examples of particular scripts. There is a heading for Schrift, and it includes the ab, az and b scripts, Beneventan, Visigothic, Maurdramnus, Diplomschrift, Kanzeleischrift and Urkundenschrift (did Bischoff make a distinction here?) and for kursiv. But there are also individual entries for Alemannisch, Englisch, (which includes the subheading deutsch-angelsächsisch), Insular (with one entry for deutsch-insular), Irisch, Rätisch. But these headings in the Sachregister do not only relate to scripts: The heading Italienisch covers both language and the localization of script. Keltisch entries comprise a sketch of a saint in celtic style in Avranches 108, Celtic exegesis entered into a Gospel Book, a manuscript in »Celtic Breton« script , Celtic formulae Celtic abbreviations, a Breton manuscript where Bischoff says there are no Celtic abbreviations and another with no insular (celtic) elements. This is a haphazard assembly.

Bischoff often noted the features of a particular script which revealed something about the status of the scribe. The heading Schrift has subheadings for autodidaktische Hand, Gelehrtenhand and Schüler. Schreibung has subheadings for different kinds of word division, and for orthography. Imitative script will be found under the subheading Nachahmung in the entry for Einfluss. Franko-sächsisch will be found under Französisch. There are no entries for either Unzial or Halbunzial though individual uncial letterforms are sometimes listed under the letter in the Register der Buchstabenformen, as is the use of half uncial a and g. But many catalogue entries such as those for the Tours Gospel Books BN Lat 260 and 263 or the St Amand sacramentary fragment BN Lat 2296 have detailed accounts of when those scripts were used. Several Carolingian scriptoria used capitalis, uncial and half uncial, as part of a hierarchy of scripts and Bischoff’s full entries recorded where he found those scripts being used. The Register does not offer a way to find them.

Bischoff’s descriptions recorded content lists, neumes, accents, pen trials, alphabets, marginal notation, textual corrections and evidence of textual collation, the use of Greek, Tironian notes and vernacular glosses, and all of these topics are found in the Sachregister. Many of the manuscripts have not been studied. Readers will want to explore entries such as Erklärungen,Gelesen (under Leser) and Notizen, He recorded entries of prayers, hymns and formulae of various kinds. There are long index entries for Marginalien, (with a subheading for the marginal note DM Digna Memoriae) Anweisungen, Bemerkungen and Hinweise and for individual marginal annotation symbols under Zeichen, Marginalia and Notamen. The heading Schreiberäußerungen includes prayers, subscriptions, signatures and laments relating to scribes. There are even index entries for deletions (Rasur and Tilgung). He recorded Carolingian bindings and stamped bindings, and sometimes the format of the manuscript Elfenbeinformat, Taschenformat (BN Lat 2996 is described as Taschenformat Enchiridion, but only indexed as Enchiridionformat, which seems to be Bischoff’s own coinage).

The heading Bibliothekskataloge includes reference to books listed in Carolingian catalogues. It is supplemented by Bücherverzeichnis (under the heading Bücher) Katalog, and Listen. The entry Catalogus librorum in the Autoren- und Werkregister is a completely different list including Berlin Hamilton 132 described in Bischoffs text as a Bücherverzeichnis, a list in Naples IV A 34 and the manuscripts of the St Gall and Lorsch catalogues. The short 9th century list in Geneva Lat 84 is classed as a Bücherliste. Readers will be disappointed by the entries Kaufpreis, Kaufnotiz which all refer to late medieval entries. Supra libros refers to a note dated to 1723.

The Index of places has good cross references to entries in the Personenregister associated with those places. The Personenregister includes scribes listed by name but identified as scribes, commissioners, donors and owners, so that there are entries for Queen Christina of Sweden, and in the Sachregister there is an entry for Religious orders which includes Jesuits and Cistercians.

The index of scriptoria and Schriftprovinzen is ordered by country in the order Belgium, Germany, England, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. Readers will have to work out into which region of France or Germany Bischoff assigned specific scriptoria, for countries are divided into regions. Hartmut Hoffmann, in his outstanding review of the Katalog in Deutsches Archiv 71 (2015) has discussed problems in Bischoff and Ebersperger’s use of terms. The attribution to a region, West Germany, Western France, Southern France and Central France is often followed by a question mark. The major scriptoria are Auxerre (though Bischoff hesitated about many of these attributions), Corbie, Fleury, Freising, Fulda, Lorsch, Lyon, Mainz, Murbach, Paris Umkreis, Regensburg, Reichenau, Reims, St Amand, St Denis, St Gallen, St Germain, Salzburg, Tours, Verona, Weißenburg, and Würzburg. (Manuscripts assigned to St Germain des Prés and St Denis are listed under Paris.) Hoffmann’s review discusses how this evidence should be evaluated, noting that several scriptoria wrote books for export, and that in many cases Bischoff’s verdicts will need further investigation.

Sometimes it is very hard to work out what is going on: there is an entry for Breton influence immediately below the entries for France, another below the entry for Northern France then the major entry for Brittany under the header North West France, followed by manuscripts assigned to Dol, Landévennec, Léon and Redon, Bretonisches Randgebiet, Nähe zur Bretagne, Bretonischer Einfluss(bereich). Three more manuscripts, all with question marks, will be found as Bretonischer Einfluss under the header Westfrankreich.

Most detailed, and most difficult, is the index of letterforms, ligatures and abbreviations. The differences in the description of the shapes of g, the shoulder of r, or the shape of z will only make sense with a photo of the manuscript. There is a long list of entries for features of ascenders, and descenders, (long, long and strengthened, short, short and thick, clubbed, triangular, almost straight,) j seems tob e used for I longa. The index of letters includes a double c ligature Paris BN Lat 2123 but this is the cc form of a. The detailed index of ligatures and abbreviations may prove useful, but I am not sure who will be able to work with the hundreds of entries for overlined e, overlined e between two dots and overlined e preceded or followed by a dot. The same fine distinctions are indexed for ee as an abbreviation for esse.

In two cases I have tried to use the index of letterforms to locate manuscripts from the same centre. Scribes at Fleury around 800 used a flat topped g. In the Fleury manuscript Orleans BM 17 it is described as insulares g which has three entries but the index also includes g flach gedeckt, sehr flach, g mit flachem Deckstrich, mit flachem Strich gedeckt, zum Teil etwas größer oder flach gedeckt, 4600 g oft wie flach gedeckt. These entries will not readily lead to other Fleury examples, and I am not certain that Bischoff was making distinctions. And the index can be imprecise G mit Tendenz zu geradem Deckstrich and oft mit geradem Deckstrich are indexed as G mit geradem Deckstrich.

If we look for parallels to the rg ligature in Berlin Lat Fol 381which the catalogue entry calls ungewöhnlich, we find it in manuscripts from Reichenau, Verona, Oberrheingebiet, Salzburg, and Burgundy, in the Lotharingian Gospel Book BN Lat 268, and in manuscripts from Southern France. The Berlin manuscript is assigned to Westdeutschland. So the rg ligature on its own does not indicate where a manuscript was written.

Too often the index entries seem to depend on word searches which were not sufficiently checked. So the entry for Theodulf includes a manuscript which Bischoff said was written at Orléans after Theodulf, and the general entry Epistulae includes a copy of the letters of Jerome, even though there is a separate entry for manuscripts which contain letters of Jerome. The index of abbreviations has an entry for e followed by the insular enim symbol, followed by an entry for e followed by the insular enim symbol with enim written in brackets. There is an entry Supralibros because the owner of a Vienna manuscript bore that title, an entry for Reihenfolge for manuscripts which have been incorrectly bound. The entry Bleistift refers to pencil foliation in a manuscript which Bischoff rejected. One entry for Rotulus 3877 refers to the shelfmark assigned to the manuscript, not to a roll. If Bischoff used different terms for the same thing that is faithfully preserved: the entry for Schenkung includes the subheadings Schenkungseintrag, Schenkungsinschrift, Schenkungsnotiz and Schenkungsvermerk.

This Gesamtregister can lead the patient reader to new texts, and to palaeographical features of ninth century manuscripts, many of which were only recorded by Bischoff. But the reader will have to master Bischoff’s terminology, which is often far from clear, and to search under several headings for what (s)he hopes to find. And the Gesamtregister, like the Katalog, must never be considered comprehensive.

Zitationsempfehlung/Pour citer cet article:

David Ganz, Rezension von/compte rendu de: Bernhard Bischoff, Katalog der festländischen Handschriften des neunten Jahrhunderts (mit Ausnahme der wisigotischen). Gesamtregister. Bearbeitet von Birgit Ebersperger, Wiesbaden (Harrassowitz Verlag) 2017, XVI–321 S. (Europa: Europäische Handschriften, 4), ISBN 978-3-447-10912-3, EUR 98,00., in: Francia-Recensio 2019/1, Mittelalter – Moyen Âge (500–1500), DOI: