Prague, Strahovská knihovna (Library of the Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians at Strahov), DE I 7 | Cantus Manuscript Database

Prague, Strahovská knihovna (Library of the Royal Canonry of Premonstratensians at Strahov), DE I 7

CZ-Pst DE I 7
"Breviarium Strigoniense." Thirteenth-century breviary (including unnotated prayers, lessons, and other material between the chants). 328 folios. Two folios labelled f. 155. Two columns per folio side with a possible 20 staves or 38 lines of letters per page. An unknown number of leaves are missing at the beginning and end. The neumes were written by two main scribes with additions by several different hands. All scribes use Esztergom (Hungarian) neumes on a red, four-line staff. Short chants of a small range have one clef, c or f, while longer chants have two clefs, F-c, c-g, or B-F.
Liturgical Occasions

Ff. 1r–328v, Temporale: f. 1r, Advent; f. 10r, Nativity; 21v, Stephen; 25v, John the Evangelist; f. 29v, Holy Innocents; f. 32v, Thomas Becket, Bishop of Canterbury; f. 47v, Votive Office for Mary, Christmas; f. 48r, Epiphany; f. 65r, Ferial Office; f. 89r, Septuagesima; f. 94v, Sexagesima; f. 100r, Quinquagesima; f. 104r, Lent; f. 152v, Holy Week; f. 163r, Easter; f. 197v, Pentecost; f. 208r, Trinity Sunday; 213v, Corpus Christi; f. 221r, Summer Histories.


Due to the secular cursus and the inclusion of liturgical aspects particular to Hungary (e.g., the responsorium prolixum Quam magnificata at second Vespers on Sundays per annum; the antiphon Ave spes introducing second Vespers at Christmas; and the antiphona sola at Matins on the first three days of the Holy Week), the manuscript is of Hungarian diocesan provenance. More specifically, it is the earliest notated document of the Esztergom diocesan tradition. The writing technique in the manuscript also indicates that it was completed at the scriptorium of Esztergom.

It is unknown when and how the breviary arrived at the Strahovská knihovna of the Klášter premonstrátů na Strahovĕ, the library of the famous Premonstratensian monastery of Prague, but Janka Szendrei suggests that it was likely acquired sometime in the eighteenth century.

The Sanctorale volume that would have accompanied this breviary is lost.

The manuscript is written on parchment. The manuscript was rebound in the nineteenth century at which point some of the margins were cut and ff. 10 and 15 were exchanged and turned upside down. Modern foliation in pencil in upper right-hand corner of the recto side of each folios was completed after rebinding with several errors. Several leaves have been bound upside down: for example, 10 and 15 have been switched in binding so that the folio numbered as “10” in the manuscript = 15 with respect to content in the index (and “10v” in the manuscript = 15r with respect to content in the index). “15r” in the manuscript = 10v, and “15v” = 10r. The items on these folia have been inventoried according to their current locations in order that users will be able to locate them in the online images (available in

The chant incipits have not been indexed from the long rubric on f. 3v.

Differentiae are indexed by their last note and an arbitrarily-assigned number within each mode.

The majority of text is written in one hand with the exception of ff. 206r-222v, which was completed by another scribe and one or more notators at approximately the same time as the rest of the manuscript. It is Gothic textualis formata for the majority of the manuscript and rotunda-like script for ff. 206r-222v.

Selected Bibliography

  • Brevarium notatum Strigoniense: saeculi XIII. Facsimile, edited and introduced by Janka Szendrei. Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Zenetudományi Intézet, 1998.
  • Moberg, Carl-Allan. “Bibliothek des Prämonstratenserklosters Strahov in Prag: Cod. DE. I. 7. Brev. Ms. Bohem. (monaster. Strahov?) saec. 13.” In Die liturgischen Hymnen in Schweden, vol. 1, p. XX. Kopenhagen, 1947.

Notes on the Inventory
The inventory for CZ-Pst DE I 7 was completed by Anna Sanda (Hungarian Academy of Sciences) and edited by Gábor Kiss and Zsuzsa Czagány. The manuscript description was augmented by Rebecca Shaw (Dalhousie University) with editorial assistance from Debra Lacoste (University of Waterloo).
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