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Detailed record for Additional 30337

Title Monte Cassino Exultet Roll
Origin Italy, S. (Monte Cassino)
Date c.1075
Language Latin
Script Beneventan minuscule
Decoration 13 unframed miniatures in colours and gold illustrating the text of the Exultet. 2 initials in colours and gold. The miniatures are reversed in order to be seen when the roll was displayed over the front of the ambo (or pulpit) during the service.
Dimensions in mm 790 x 290
Official foliation The roll is made of 12 membranes sewn together.
Form Parchment roll
Binding Unbound
Provenance Made at the Benedictine abbey, Monte Cassino under Abbot Desiderius (r. 1058-1087).
Alessandro Castellani (b. 1823, d. 1883), antiquary and jeweller: acquired from him by the British Museum in 1877 for £160.
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
The roll includes the Exultet, a hymn sung by a deacon during the consecration of the Paschal candle, during the Easter Vigil, incipit: 'Exultet iam angelica turba coelorum'. The subjects of the miniatures are: Membrane 1: Christ enthroned between two angels. Membrane 2: Large initial ‘E’(xultet); Four angels (‘Angelica turba celorum’). Membrane 3: The personification of Ecclesia with a group of clerics on her right and a group of lay people on her left ('Letetur et mater Ecclesia'); Tellus, the personification of ‘Mother Earth’ with a cow and a serpent suckling her breast ('Gaudeat et tellus'). Membrane 4: A deacon reading and unrolling the Exultet roll from the ambo and the Paschal candle being lighted (‘Fratres karissimi’). Membrane 5: Initial ‘V’ of ‘Vere dignum’. Membrane 6: The Crucifixion. Membrane 7: The Crossing of the Red Sea; the Harrowing of Hell. Membrane 8: Adam and Eve ('O certe necessarium Ade peccatum'); the Noli me tangere. Membrane 9: The Paschal candle being censed inside the church (‘Sacrificium vespertinum’). Membrane 10: Bees gathering nectar; a bee-keeper gathering wax for the candle. Membrane 11: Virgin enthroned, with two assisting figures excised on either side; the Consecration of the candle (‘Cereus iste’).
Select bibliography Catalogue of Additions to The Manuscripts in the British Museum in the years MDCCCLXXVI-MDCCCLXXXI (London: Longmans, 1882), p. 70.

E. A. Loew, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1914), p. 340.

J. P. Gilson, An Exultet roll illuminated in the XIth century at the abbey of Monte Cassino; reproduced from Add. ms. 30337 (London: British Museum, 1929).

E. B. Garrison, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Italian Painting, 3 vols (Florence: L’impronta, 1953-58), I (1954), p. 2116; II (1955-1956), pp. 33-34, 36, 92, 128, 139.

Peter von Baldass, 'Die Miniaturen zweier Exultet-Rollen: London, Add. 30337; Vat. barb. lat. 592', Scriptorium: revue internationale des etudes relatives aux manuscrits, 8 (1954), 205-19.

E. A. Loew, The Beneventan Script: A History of the South Italian Minuscule, 2nd ed. by Virginia Brown, 2 vols (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e Letteratura, 1980), II: Hand List of Beneventan MSS., Sussidi Eruditi, 34, p. 52 [with additional bibligraphy].

D. H. Turner, Romanesque Illuminated Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1966), pl. 13.

Francis Klingender, Animals in Art and Thought to the end of the Middle Ages, ed. by Evelyn Antal and John Harthan (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971), pp. 247-50, pl. 154.

Gerhart B. Ladner, ‘The Commemoration Pictures of the Exultet Roll Barberinus Latinus 592’, in Images and Ideas in the Middle Ages: Selected Studies in History and Art, 2 vols (Rome, Storia e Letteratura, 1983), I, pp. 337-46 (p. 338).

John Lowden, The Octateuchs: A Study in Byzantine Manuscript Illustration (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992) , p. 98.

Bibliografia dei manoscritti in scrittura beneventana, ed. by Francesco Bianchi and Antonio Magi Spinetti (Rome: Viella, 1993- ), I, p. 44.

Lucina Speciale, 'London, British Library Add. 30337, Exultet', in Exultet: Rotoli liturgici del medioevo meridionale, ed. by Guglielmo Cavallo, Giulia Orofino, and Oronzo Pecere (Rome: Stato, 1994), pp. 249-52.

Thomas Forrest Kelly, The Exultet in Southern Italy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 8, 72, 92, 96, 99, 103, 106, 107, 108, 121-25, 153-54, 174, 246.

Francis Newton, The Scriptorium and Library at Monte Cassino: 1058-1105 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. xii, 56, 68, 120, 152, 176, 195, 207, 210, 264, 337-38.

John Lowden, ‘Illuminated Books and the Liturgy: Some Observations’, in Objects, Images, and the Word: Art in the Service of the Liturgy, ed. by Colum Hourihane, Index of Christian Art Occasional Paper, 6 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003), pp. 17-53 (pls 3-4).


Images
* * *
 
Christ and two angels

1
Christ and two angels
Four angels

2
Four angels
Ecclesia and Tellus

3
Ecclesia and Tellus
 
Deacon and Exultet roll

4
Deacon and Exultet roll
Zoomorphic Initial

5
Zoomorphic Initial
The Crucifixion

6
The Crucifixion
 
Crossing of the Red Sea and the Harrowing of Hell

7
Crossing of the Red Sea and the Harrowing of Hell
Adam and Eve and the Noli me tangere

8
Adam and Eve and the Noli me tangere
Paschal candle

9
Paschal candle
 
Bees

10
Bees
The Virgin and the Consecration of the candle

11
The Virgin and the Consecration of the candle
Foliate initials

12
Foliate initials
 

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