Denison University Leaf 42

Otto Ege provided the following description for leaves from this manuscript:

Psalter (Psalterium). Germany (Würzburg); Late 15th Century. Latin Text; Angular Gothic Script, Gothic Notation.

This leaf from the Book of Psalms was written in the Benedictine monastery of St. Stephan in Würzburg and dated 1499 A.D. The book hand closely resembles the fine early gothic types called lettre de forme and used by Fust and Schoeffer in their superb Psalter issued in 1457. It is known that these printers also used this type to print the Canon of the mass which was frequently sold as a replacement for the soiled and worn out manuscript pages of that text.

A close examination indicates that the scribe apparently tried to imitate printing type characters in many instances. In just the same way, the first printers had copied in their designs the current local book hand. The line of music giving the "free" melody of the psalm here retains the early XIIth century staff, with the C-line colored yellow and the F-line red. These note forms are frequently called Hufnagelschrift or horse-shoe nail notation because of their resemblance to hobnails.

Size: 44 x 30 cm

Observations: This is the largest leaf in the Ege portfolios, and many of the specimens in the portfolios contain hymn texts. The vellum is thick, but supple through use; the margins are very modest when compared to those of the other leaves in the collection. The ink is black, but faded through exposure in many places. At least one leaf has been repaired and rewritten in a different hand. Most of the red and blue initials, however, have retained their color strongly.

Text: This leaf contains text for Passion Sunday, including the famous hymn "Vexilla regis" (Abroad the Regal Banners Fly), written by Venantius Fortunatus in the late 6th century (recto); it also contains the "Hymnus ad matutinam" and the hymn "Rex Christe factor omnium" (Christ, King, You who Made All) (verso). Visit for more information about the hymns.

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Denison Leaf 42 Recto
Denison Leaf 42 Recto

Denison University Leaf 42 Recto

+ Denison Leaf 42 Recto Transcription

[ ] Dominica in passione [ ]

Vexilla Regis prodeunt;
fulget Crucis mysterium,
quo carne carnis conditor
suspensus est patibulo.
Arbor decora et fulgida.

Quo vulneratus insuper
mucrone diro lanceae,
ut nos lavaret crimine,
manavit unda et sanguine.

Impleta sunt quae concinit
David fideli carmine,
dicendo nationibus:
regnavit a ligno Deus.

Arbor decora et fulgida,
ornata Regis purpura,
electa digno stipite
tam sancta membra tangere.

Beata, cuius brachiis
pretium pependit saeculi:
statera facta corporis,
praedam tulitque tartari.

O Crux ave, spes unica,
hoc Passionis tempore!
piis adauge gratiam,
reisque dona veniam.

Te, [ ] Deus Trinitas,
collaudet omnis spiritus:
quos per Crucis mysterium
salvas, rege per saecula. Amen. Ad nocturnum.

[2 lines untranscribed.]

+ Denison Leaf 42 Recto Translation

[ ] Sunday of the Passion [ ]

Abroad the regal banners fly,
now shines the Cross's mystery:
upon it Life did death endure,
and yet by death did life procure.
O lovely and refulgent Tree.

Who, wounded with a direful spear,
did purposely to wash us clear
from stain of sin, pour out a flood
of precious water mixed with blood.

That which the prophet-king of old
hath in mysterious verse foretold,
is now accomplished, whilst we see
God ruling the nations from a Tree.

O lovely and refulgent Tree,
adorned with purpled majesty;
culled from a worthy stock, to bear
those limbs which sanctified were.

Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore
the wealth that did the world restore;
the beam that did that Body weigh
which raised up Hell's expected prey.

Hail Cross, of hopes the most sublime!
Now, in the mournful Passion time;
grant to the just increase of grace,
[ ].

[ ],
may every soul Thy praises sing;
to those Thou grantest conquest by
the Holy Cross, rewards supply. Amen. At nocturne.

[2 lines untranscribed.]

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Denison Leaf 42 Verso
Denison Leaf 42 Verso

Denison University Leaf 42 Verso

+ Denison Leaf 42 Verso Transcription

Tu sputa colapnos vincula
et dira passus verbera
crucem volens ascenderas
nostrae salutis gratia

Hinc morte mortem diruens
Vitamque vita largiens
Mortis ministrum subdolum

Nunc in Parentis dextera
Sacrata fulgens victima
Audi precamur vivido
Tuo redemptos sanguine

Te sum de. Ad laudes.

Rex christe factor omnium.
redemptor et credentium.
placare votis supplicum.
re laudibus colentium.
Cuius benigna gratia.
crucis per alma vulnera.
virtute soluit ardua.
primi parentis vincula.
Qui es creator siderum.
tegmen subisti carneum.
dignatus hanc vilissimam.
pati doloris formulam.
Ligatus es ut solveres.
mundi ruentis complices.
per probra tergens crimina.
quae mundus auxit plurima.
Cruci redemptor figeris.
terram sed omnem concutis.
tradis potentem spiritum.
nigrescit atque saeculum.
Mox in paternae gloriae.
victor resplendens culmine.
cum spiritus munimine.
defende nos rex optime. Amen. In feste pasche [ ].

+ Denison Leaf 42 Verso Translation

Thou only Creator of Salvation
Celebrated Redeemer of the World
Thou O Christ enrich for us
The yearly glory of the Cross
Thou who suffered the spitting, the blows, the chains
And the dreadful scourges
Thou hadst ascended the Cross willingly
For the sake of our salvation
Driving away hence death by death
And bestowing life by life
That cunning assistant of death,
That devil, thou overcamest
Now at the right hand of the Father
Thou shining, holy victim
Hear, we pray, those redeemed
By your living blood.

We give praise to you. At lauds.

Christ, king, you who made all and are the redeemer of the believers, be appeased by the prayers of the supplicants who adore you by praising you
You, who are the creator of the stars, undertook to be clothed in flesh, deigning to endure this most worthless form with its pain.
You were bound so as to set free those who were entangled in the decaying world by iniquities, purifying them of the sins of which the world had dared to commit many indeed,
You, whose benevolent kindness by your hold gifts undid the burdensome chains of the first father by miraculous power.
As the redeemer you are nailed to the cross, but make all the earth shake. You yield up your powerful spirit and all the world grows dark.
Now resplendent as victor on high in the glory of the Father, defend us by the protection of the Spirit, best of kings. Amen. In the feast of Easter [ ]

For more information, contact Dr. Fred Porcheddu.