Manus 33: [Book Label ; Himmerod Abbey, Germany). (Germany) Edit


Component Unique Identifier
Item 33
Level of Description


  • 1540 (Creation)


  • Scope and Contents

    Language: Latin. Date: c. 1540. Title: [Book Label : Himmerod Abbey, Germany] Creator: Unknown. Place of creation: Himmerod Abbey, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Physical description: Paper, 1 leaf ; 6 x 16 cm. Summary: A label once affixed to a book belonging to the monks of Himmerod Abbey in Germany. The text reads: Iste liber pertinet [c]o[n]ventui cruciferor[um] in valle S. Mathie al[ia] nigrepaludis dicto sito in territorio meroden[sis] prope dueren. Et [c]o[n]tinent in eo – [1] Sap[ientis] platine omnia opera ; [2] Iustin[us] de omnib[us] regnib[us] terraru[m] ; [3] [Text lost] de rebus romanibus. [This book belongs to the convent of the cross-bearers in the valley of Saint Matthias, also called the black swamp, situated in the territory of [Him]merod, near Düren. And it contains in it (the three following titles)]. Himmerod Abbey, founded in 1134, was the fourteenth monastery founded by Bernard of Clairvaux, and the first he established in Germany. Beginning in the twelfth century, it was a “convent of the Holy,” here rendered in the Latin as [c]o[n]ventui cruciferorum. As described in the history of the convent, the founding monks decided to build their monastery in the valley of the Salm river, relatively close (c. 100 km. [62 mi.]) to the important city of Düren (L. Dueren), because they wished for the seclusion and penitential hardship of living in the untamed swamp that covered this region. In this manuscript, the scribe writes of the abbey being “in the valley of Saint Matthias,” a quite pleasant name for the place, but called by others, it seems, nigrepaludib[us], or “the black swamp.” In the Renaissance, the abbey was an important center of learning in the region, and a library was dedicated at Himmerod in 1506, from which this label most likely comes. The label was almost certainly initially fixed to the Bap. Platinae Cremonensis, de Vitis ac Gestis Summorum of Bartolomeo de Sacchi di Piadena (Coloniae, 1540) [Temporary Call #: Spertus 51], which is the first work listed on the label. The names of the other texts mentioned do not appear in this volume and have not yet been matched to any standard texts, but it may well be that they are casual references to works that would be familiar to a scholar of the period. The second is likely the Historiarum Philippicarum of Marcus Junianus Justinus or Justin, the famous Roman historian. There are three additional lines of script on the manuscript, written in a later hand, which appear to refer to a subsequent owner, but this portion of the text has not been fully deciphered. For more information see Abtei Himmerod at Note: Small paper fragment, initially likely pasted to the inside cover of a book, and damaged from its removal ; almost certainly from Bartolomeo de Sacchi di Piadena’s Bap. Platinae Cremonensis, de Vitis ac Gestis Summorum (Coloniae, 1540) [Temporary Call #: Spertus 51]. Written in black with some red embellishment in two gothic hands. Verso also includes remnants of text in two very small hands, heavily damaged and thus nearly unreadable. The Maurice and Badona Spertus Collection of Judaica, Hebraica, and Early Printing. Gift of Maurice and Badona Spertus. Call #: Manus 33