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Walters Ms. W.5, Gospels of Abbot Duden

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Shelf mark



Gospels of Abbot Duden

Text title
Gospel Book


This small Gospel Book was made in Werden, Germany, in the eleventh century. Its size indicates that it was intended for daily, personal use, and a series of ownership inscriptions on the first folio, which trace the ownership of the manuscript among several members of the clergy, provides insight into its use. Although the book contains little decoration, with no canon tables or ornamental initials, the Gospels are introduced by three brown- and red-ink pen drawings of the Evangelists, two of which were embedded into the end of the previous Gospel by the artist. The manuscript is, however, incomplete and lacks the end of Matthew as well as the portrait of Mark, which was likely incorporated into Matthew's explicit page, as was done with the other portraits.


11th century CE


Werden, Germany






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Cream-colored parchment of medium thickness; three flyleaves on either end of manuscript are made of laid paper


Foliation: v+133+v

Two sets of foliation present: one in pencil in upper right corners, which is not accurate and may reflect additional materials at the beginning of the book that are no longer present; second set of foliation in pencil lower right corners (used here); foliation includes a sixth front flyleaf as fol. 1


Formula: 1(2,-2), 2-5(8), 6(8,-5), 7-9(8), 10-11(6), 12-18(8), 19(2,-2)

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Quires begin on fols. 1(1), 2(2), 10(3), 18(4), 26(5), 34(6), 41(7), 49(8), 57(9), 65(10), 71(11), 77(12), 85(13), 93(14), 101(15), 109(16), 117(17), 125(18), and 133(19)


9.2 cm wide by 12.6 cm high

Written surface

7.5 cm wide by 10.4 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 24
  3. Hard point ruling

fols. 1r - 133v:
  1. Title: Gospel Book
  2. Contents: Incomplete; Matthew's Gospel lacks 28:12 to end; no canon tables or prefatory matter
  3. Hand note: Late Caroline minuscule; two scribes evident, second responsible for fols. 150r-166v
  4. Decoration note: Three pen-drawn Evangelist portraits in brown and red ink; enlarged red initials throughout (2-6 lines); incipits in red or brown with red-filled letters; brown-and-red combined pen trails descending vertically from bottom line of text on a number of folios; headings above Gospel texts in red; Gospel text in brown ink
fols. 1r - 1v:
  1. Title: Ownership inscriptions
  2. Incipit: Hunc mihi donavit Stephano venerabilis
  3. Text note: Ownership notes added, starting in 1597, to front flyleaf; for further details, see Provenance
fols. 2r - 122r:
  1. Title: Gospels
  2. Rubric: Inicium sancti Evangelii secundum Matheus
  3. Incipit: Liber generationis
  4. Contents: Incomplete; fols. 2v-37v: Gospel of Matthew (lacks 28:12-end); fol. 38r: verse preface to Mark (Marcus divini petro narrante repletus); fols 38r-59v: Mark; fol. 60r: verse preface to Luke (Lucas ore dei medicina fultus at inde); fols. 60r-95r: Luke; fol. 95v: verse preface to John (Virgo supra pectus christi accubitare johannes); fols. 95v-122r: John
  5. Decoration note: Full-page Evangelist portrait before Matthew (fol. 2r), 3/4-page portraits of Luke, embedded in end of Mark (fol. 59v), and John, embedded in end of Luke (fol. 95r); portrait for Mark is lacking, and likely was lost along with end of Matthew; Luke's portrait has Mark's lion symbol instead of the bull
fols. 122v - 133v:
  1. Title: List of readings for the liturgical year
  2. Incipit: Cum esset desponsata
fols. 38r - 38r; 60r - 60r; 95v - 95v:
  1. Title: Verse preface to Gospels
  2. Contents: Verses from Alcuin's Carmen LXXI are written on fols. 38r, 60r, and 95v, at the beginning of the Gospels of Mark, Luke, and John; the verses for Matthew are missing; on fol. 38r the text for Mark reads, "Marcus divini Petro narrante repletus | Faminis effremuit vox ut deserta ferarum | (Q)uo pingi torva decuit sub fronte leonis | Dogmata post fidei tuta est Aegyptus eb ipso | (N)orman et apostolicae complevit legi utrimque;" on fol. 60r the carmen for Luke reads, "Lucas ore dei medicina fultus at inde | Scribens gesta dei novit moderamina legi | Quodque sacerdotum meminit praesumere iura | Aligeri faciem novit gestare iuvenci;" on fol. 95v the verses for John read, "Virgo supra pectus Christi accubitare Iohannes | In caena meruit viva exanclaudo fluenta | Scilicet hinc aquile petiit trans aethera rationi | Qualiter et populous habitans verbum caro factum est."
  3. Text note: The carmen refers to the character of the Gospels. A Gospel Book in the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel with the shelf mark Cod. Guelf. 16 Aug. 2° (Heinemann-Nr. 2186), contains verses taken from the same carmen on fols. 4v, 47v, 78v, and 130v. The digitized manuscript can be seen at this address:http://dbs.hab.de/mss/?list=ms&id=16-aug-2f


fol. 2r:

  1. W.5, fol. 2r
  2. Title: Portrait of Evangelist Matthew
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Opening of Matthew's Gospel

fol. 59v:

  1. W.5, fol. 59v
  2. Title: Portrait of Evangelist Luke
  3. Form: Three-quarter-page miniature
  4. Text: Opening of Luke's Gospel

fol. 95r:

  1. W.5, fol. 95r
  2. Title: Portrait of Evangelist John
  3. Form: Full-page miniature
  4. Text: Opening of John's Gospel


The binding is not original.

Red velvet over cardboard, gilded edges; bound by Léon Gruel, Paris, late nineteenth century


Werden, Germany, early eleventh century (?)

Abbot Duden, St. Liudger, Helmstadt, ca. 1573, inscription fol. 1r

Stephanus Campmann, Benedictine Abbey, Werden, 1597; a German inscription on fol. 1r identifies Stephanus Campmann of Büderich (d. 1644), a monk of Werden, as the recipient of the book given to him by Abbot Duden (1593-1601) of St. Luidger in Helmstadt

Prior Heinrich Meibom, St. Liudger, Helmstadt, before 1625; a second German inscription on fol. 1r states that Stephanus Campmann gave the manuscript to Heinrich Meibom through Prior Heinrich of St. Liudger

Gruel and Engelmann collection no. 64, Paris, late nineteenth century

Henry Walters, Baltimore, acquired from Léon Gruel before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


De Ricci, Seymour. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. Vol. 1. New York: H. W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 767, no. 63.

Baltimore Museum of Art. The Greek Tradition in Painting and the Minor Arts: An Exhibition Sponsored Jointly by the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Walters Art Gallery from May 15 through June 25, 1939. Baltimore Museum of Art, 1939, p. 75, no. 87.

"Bulletin Codicologique." Scriptorium 22 (1968): pp. 118-119, no. 152.

Elbern, Victor. "Eine frühmittelalterliche Handschrift aus Werden in Baltimore." Aachener Kunstblätter 39 (1969): pp. 92-110.

"Bulletin Codicologique." Scriptorium 26 (1972): pp. 130-246, no. 177.

Kahsnitz, Rainer. Der Werdener Psalter in Berlin: Ms. theol. lat. fol. 358: Eine Untersuchung zu Problemen mittelalterlicher Psalterillustration. Düsseldorf: Schwann, 1979, pp. 36-37, 252, figs. 375, 376.

Hoffmann, Hartmut. "Buchkunst und Königstum im Ottonischen und Frühsalischen Reich." Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 30, no. 1. Stuttgart: A. Hiersemann, 1986, p. 101, n. 20.

Gerchow, Jan. Das Jahrtausend der Mönche: Kloster Welt Werden, 799-1803. Cologne: Wienand, 1999, p. 362, no. 60 (fol. 2v).


Catalogers: Dutschke, Consuelo; Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William; Sciacca, Christine; Valle, Chiara

Editor: Herbert, Lynley

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Davis, Lisa Fagin; Emery, Doug; Klemm, Elizabeth; Noel, William; Tabritha, Ariel; Toth, Michael B.


The Walters Art Museum


Licensed for use under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported Access Rights, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/legalcode. It is requested that copies of any published articles based on the information in this data set be sent to the curator of manuscripts, The Walters Art Museum, 600 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21201.