HAYMO OF AUXERRE (d.853), Super Cantica Canticorum, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Germany, c. 1180]175 x 125mm. 76 leaves: 1-98, 104, 20 lines written in a protogothic bookhand in black ink, between two verticals and on 20 horizontals ruled in plummet, justification: 120 x 75mm, rubrics and lemmata in red or, rarely, in blue, TWO LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS WITH STAVES OF GOLD AND RED ON GROUNDS OF BLUE, one with foliate infills of gold and silver, one three-line initial of gold and red (first leaf lacking outer corners, second leaf with punched ownership inscription in upper margin, final leaf with a few wormholes and paste around edges). CONTEMPORARY WHITE LEATHER OVER THICK UNBEVELLED WOODEN BOARDS ruled with double-fillet borders and diagonals, bosses at corners and centre of both boards, later pastedowns from a 15th-century ?service book on paper (lacking one boss from upper cover, lower cover with holes and rustmarks from chain hasp, lacking clasps and catches, text block broken).
1. The manuscript was very likely produced in a monastic scriptorium and was undoubtedly housed in a chained library: rust and holes from securing pins fixing the hasp to the board are evident on the lower cover.
2. Geheimrat Friedrich Gottlob Julius von Bülow (d.1836), from the noble family who lived in and around Mecklenburg: the abbreviated name of his library, Bibl. Bülov, Beyernaumberg, and the reference fol. 76 d and the date 11 April 1835 are written on the pastedown inside the upper cover. The manuscript was no 275 on p.26 in the third volume of the three-volume catalogue of the library compiled by Georg Heinrich Schäffer, Sangerhausen 1834-36. The library was auctioned after von Bülow's death, Eisleben, 1836.
3. Mrs William Rice: her gift to the City Library of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1900 is recorded on a pasted-in label and is stamped on the lower margin of the first leaf. The Library marked its ownership with perforations in the upper margin of the second leaf. De Ricci, I, 1066.
Introduction opening 'Salemon filius david regis israel iuxa numerum vocabulorum suorum tria volumina edidet' ff.1v-9; Haymo Super Cantica Canticorum, PL 117 295-309 ff.9v-76v.
On folio 1, originally blank but for a rubric, instructions on the number of candles appropriate for various feasts were added in the 13th century.
Haymo, Bishop of Halberstadt, who died in 853, is generally credited with the authorship of biblical commentaries on the books of Isaiah, the Apocalypse and the Pauline Epistles, as well as the Song of Songs, which appear in the Patrologia Latina under his name. Their author is now known to be the noted and prolific scholar Haymon of Auxerre, who was active from the 830s until his death around 860, as abbot of Cessy-les-Bois, a dependence of St Germain, about 60km south-west of Auxerre. The popularity of his works in the schools meant that they were subject to revision and emendation so that their textual tradition is complex.
The two initials are on folios 1v and 9v.