Legends of Saint Margaret and Saint Agnes


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Illuminated Facsimiles

Legends of Saint Margaret and Saint Agnes

ALTERNATIVE TITLES – Passio Sanctae Margaritae – Passio Sanctae Agnetis – Leggende di Santa Margherita e Sant’Agnese – Légendes de Sainte Marguerite et Sainte Agnès – Leyendas de Santa Margarita y Santa Inés – Legenden der Heiligen Margareta und Agnes.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION – Codex on parchment, dimensions 103 x 145 mm, 61 folios (122 pages).
BINDING – Covered in white leather.
ORIGIN – Italy (Bologna).
DATING – Late 13th century.
PROVENANCE – This precious manuscript may have belonged to Saint Margaret of Hungary (b. 1242, d. 1271), daughter of King Béla IV of Hungary (b. 1206, d. 1270) and niece of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary or Elisabeth of Thuringia (b. 1207, d. 1231). Margaret entered the monastery at a very young age, among the Dominican nuns of Veszprém. She was not canonised until the 20th century, but her cult was already active in the years immediately following her death.
PRESENT REPOSITORY – The manuscript is currently housed in the Biblioteca Riccardiana in Florence, with the shelfmark Ms. Ricc. 453.
GENRE – Christianity, Hagiographies.
CONTENT – The codex contains two different sections, probably joined together in the 14th century. The first contains a version – attributed to Saint Theothymus – of the passion of Saint Margaret of Antioch (b. 275, d. 290), tortured and beheaded at the age of fifteen during the persecutions of Christians under the Emperor Diocletian (b. 244, d. 313). The second section recounts the martyrdom of Saint Agnes of Rome (b. ca. 291, d. 305), also a victim – at only 12 years of age – of the Diocletianic Persecution. The reason why the two sections have been joined is probably to be found in the common fate of the two young saints.
SCRIPT – Littera rotunda.
SCRIBE – At the end of the first section, the scribe signs himself «Iacobus scriptor», without providing any further information to help us identify him.
DECORATION – The section of the Passion of Saint Margaret is the only one accompanied by a set of miniatures – 33 illuminated scenes, 2 figured initials, 1 clipeus. The two initials depict Saint Theothymus (f. 1r) and Saint Margaret with her hands clasped and looking up to heaven (f. 9r). The clipeus (f. 1r) depicts Saint Margaret blessing. Watermarked borders and initials in red and blue further enrich the decoration of the codex.
STYLE – Gothic.
EXTERNAL LINKS – Biblioteca Riccardiana (descriptive sheet), Teca Riccardiana Firenze (digitised manuscript).

Data sheet: Illuminated Facsimiles

St., Holy Margareta


Full-size color reproduction of the entire original document – The facsimile reproduces as close as possible the physical characteristics of the original document, with the aim to substitute it in the scientific research and in the libraries of the bibliophile collectors. Trimming and composition of the leaves reproduce the profile and structure of the original document. The binding might not correspond to that of the original document as it appears at the present moment.
PublisherArtCodex (Castelvetro di Modena, 2009).
Limited edition – 999 copies.
Certificate of authenticity – Certificate of authenticity attached to the colophon, authenticated by Luciano Malagoli (ArtCodex) and Giovanna Lazzi (Biblioteca Riccardiana).
Writing support material – Special aged like-parchment paper.
Commentary – Commentary volume in Italian, size 28 x 18 cm, 199 pages, 46 colour and black-and-white images. Texts by Giovanna Lazzi, Angelo Tartuferi, Massimo Medica, Rossana Miriello.
Slipcase – The facsimile and the commentary volume are housed in a blue double-bottomed trunk-shaped slipcase.
ISBN – 978-88-6180-005-2.

Copyright photos: ArtCodex

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