Köln (Cologne), Erzbischöfliche Diözesan- und Dombibliothek, 215 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Köln (Cologne), Erzbischöfliche Diözesan- und Dombibliothek, 215

D-KNd 215
Twelfth-century Franconian breviary from a Benedictine monastery in the diocese of Würzburg. 279 folios. 295 x 205 mm. Adiastematic neumes (ff. 10v-209r) and diastematic nemes (ff. 209v-212r) on a two-line staff with a red F-line. Monastic cursus.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 10v-209r: Temporale and Sanctorale. 10v, Advent; 14r, Lucy; 19r, Thomas; 19r, Great ‘O’ Antiphons; 19v, Nativity; 31v, Epiphany; 35v, Ferial Office; 48r, Fabian and Sebastian; 49v, Agnes; 51r, Conversion of Paul; 51r, Purification of Mary; 52v, Agatha; 54r, Peter’s Chair; 54r, Gregory the Great; 56v, Benedict; 57r, Annunciation of Mary; 58r, Septuagesima; 62v, Lent; 89r, Resurrection Sunday; 95v, Philip and James; 98v, Common of one Martyr; 99r, Finding of the Cross; 100r, Alexander and Eventius; 100v, Ascension Sunday; 103r, Pentecost; 106r, Trinity Sunday; 110r, John the Baptist; 112v, John and Paul; 113v, Peter and Paul; 155v, Peter in Chains; 116r, Paul; 118r, Kilian; 120v, Finding of Stephen’s relics; 123r, Laurence; 125r, Hippolytus; 125v, Assumption of Mary; 127v, Symphorian; 128r, Julian of Brioude; 128r, Beheading of John the Baptist; 130r, Nativity of Mary; 132r, Maurice and Companions; 132v, Michael the Archangel; 134v, Dionysius; 135v, Burchard; 136r, Gall; 137v, Januarius of Benevento; 138r, All Saints’ Day; 139v, Martin; 141v, Brice; 142r, Othmar (Audemar); 142r, Cecilia; 143v, Clement I; 144r, Andrew; 146v, Nicholas of Bari; 148r, Summer Histories; 165r, Common of the Saints; 194r, Blaise; 197r, Mary Magdalene; 199v, Afra; 202v, Office for the Dead.
Ff. 212v-216v, 277v-279v, Hymnary
Ff. 225r-275r, Psalter


The manuscript likely originated in a Benedictine male monastery in the diocese of Würzburg before coming to the Cologne Cathedral by the fourteenth century. The inclusion of chants for St. Burchard, the first bishop of Würzburg (ff. 135v-136r), and St. Kilian (ff. 118r-120v) suggest that the manuscript was used and/or created in the diocese of Würzburg.

The predominantly red and green miniatures (ff. 82v, 83r, and 88v) were not completed at the same time or place as the text and neumation. The miniatures depict the betrayal of Christ by Judas; the teachings of Christ; and scenes from the resurrection of Christ, respectively. They were completed earlier in Liège(?) at the end of the eleventh century and inserted into the manuscript. They are thought to be from Liège owing to the similar ornamentation style in Ms. 9369-9370 in the Royal Library of Belgium, a late-eleventh century MS from the Abbey of Saint Laurent in Liège.

In the late-thirteenth century, a tonary (ff. 209v-212r) in diastematic neumes was added to the manuscript, organized by mode.
By the fourteenth century, the manuscript had moved to the Cologne Cathedral, as indicated by an annotation on f. 206r that refers to the Archbishop Wilhelm of Gennep (1349-1362): “Wilhelmus Dei gratia sancta Coloniensis ecclesiae.”

Physical Description: Parchment leaves. Rebound in the mid-eighteenth century with paper over cardboard. The manuscript includes eighteen ornamented text initials (e.g. 11r) and three full-page colour miniatures (ff. 82v, 83r, and 88v). In addition to the antiphoner (ff. 10v-209r), the manuscript also contains a liturgical kalendar (ff. 1r-6r) for every month except January; a tonary (209v-212r) that was added in the late-thirteenth century); a hymnary (ff. 212-216v); and a psalter, cantica, and orations (ff. 217r-279r). The leaves are numbered in a later hand in pencil in the upper right-hand corner of each recto side. The miniatures (ff. 82v, 83r, and 88v) were likely completed in the Maas region, near Liège, at the end of the eleventh century; the text and neumes date from the beginning of the twelfth century; and the tonary (ff. 209v-212r) was added in the late-thirteenth century.

Differentiae in this manuscript are indicated by letters in the margins which may correspond with the differentiae in the tonary, but there are no clear indications of how the two systems correlate with each other. Those provided in the tonary are transcribed in the differentia table.

Selected Bibliography

  • Bloch, Peter. “Bronzekruzifixe in der Nachfolge des Reiner von Huy.” In Rhein und Maas. Kunst und Kultur 800-1400, Vol. 2, pp. 251–262. Köln: Königlichen Museen für Kunst und Geschichte in Brüssel, 1972. [exhibit catalogue]

  • Jaffé, Phillip, and Wattenbach, Wilhelm. Ecclesiae Metropolitanae Coloniensis codices manuscripti descripserunt. Berlin: 1874. Jaffe-Wattenbach

  • Plotzek, Joachim M. “Breviarum Franconicum.” In Glaube und Wissen im Mittelalter, pp. 414–415. München: 1998. GlaubeUndWissen. [catalogue exhibit book].

  • Schulten, Walter. Der Koelner Domschatz. Köln: 1980. Schulten

  • Thaller, Prof. Dr. Manfred, et al. ”Cod. 215: Liturgische Sammelhandschrift;Breviarium Franconicum.” In Codices Electronici Ecclesiae Coloniensis (CEEC). CEEC, D-KNd 215

Notes on the Inventory
The inventory for D-KNd 215 was prepared by Anita Hardeman (The University of Western Ontario), with editorial assistance from Andrew Mitchell and Debra Lacoste. Manuscript description written by Rebecca Shaw (Dalhousie University), with editorial assistance from Debra Lacoste (University of Waterloo).
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