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Walters Ms. W.9, Lectionary

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This Lectionary was created ca. 1000 in Trier. Written in a clear Caroline minuscule, it contains decorated initials at the openings of important readings. A set of illuminated letters marks the beginning of the Epistle and Gospel lessons for Easter; they display the hierarchy of scripts with capital letters decorated with gold leaf or drawn in red ink, followed by uncial and Caroline minuscule. Initials in orange, sometimes filled with gold, mark the divisions of the text. The book has been stylistically compared with Ottonian manuscripts, especially with a Psalter preserved in Trier (Stadtbibliothek, Ms. 7) illuminated by the so-called Master of the Registrum Gregorii.


Ca. 1000 CE


Trier, Germany






The primary language in this manuscript is Latin.

Support material


Thin to medium-weight parchment; hair still visible on skin, especially toward the end of the manuscript


Foliation: iii+361+iii

First front and back flyleaves are modern paper, glued to black silk also used as pastedown; the other front and back flyleaves are modern parchment


Formula: Undetermined

Catchwords: None

Signatures: None

Comments: Binding too tight to see stitching


10.9 cm wide by 13.8 cm high

Written surface

7.8 cm wide by 10.5 cm high

  1. Columns: 1
  2. Ruled lines: 16

fols. 1r - 361v:
  1. Title: Lectionary
  2. Hand note: Capital letters for rubrics; Caroline minuscule for text
  3. Decoration note: Large gold, or gold on blue, initials for major feasts (6 lines); red initials (2 to 4 lines) filled with gold for relevant lections; red initials (2 lines) mark the lections throughout; gold rubric at the beginning of the manuscript; rubrics in alternating red and brown lines for Easter; text in brown ink
fols. 1r - 332r:
  1. Title: Gospel and Epistle readings
  2. Rubric: Lectio epistolae beati Pauli apostoli ad Romanos
  3. Incipit: Paulus servus Christi Iesu vocatus apostolus
  4. Contents: Temporal (feasts of Christ) and Sanctoral (feasts of the saints) are combined; full text of the Epistle readings; incipits are provided only for Gospel readings
  5. Decoration note: Large illuminated initials fols. 217v, 244v, 310r, and 315v
fols. 332r - 338v:
  1. Title: Common of the saints
  2. Rubric: In vigilia omnium apostolorum. Lectio libri sapientiae
  3. Incipit: Beatus vir qui inventus est sine macula
  4. Decoration note: Rubrics in red ink; red capital initials (2 or 3 lines) at the beginning of each text
fols. 338v - 360r:
  1. Title: Lections for votive masses
  2. Decoration note: Red initials (2 lines) mark the lections; empty space has been left for rubrics
fols. 360r - 361v:
  1. Title: Added lections for masses
  2. Rubric: Lectio libri Apocalipsis. Iohannis apostoli
  3. Incipit: In diebus illis vidit civitatem sanctam
  4. Contents: Texts added in the eleventh century: fol. 360r: Apoc. 21:2-5, dedication of a church; fol. 360v: Mal. 3:1-4, purification of the Virgin; fols. 361r-v: 2 Cor. 3:4-9, week 13 after Pentecost


fol. 1r:

  1. W.9, fol. 1r
  2. Title: Initial "P"
  3. Form: Decorated initial "P," 9 lines
  4. Text: Gospel and Epistle Lections: Epistle to the Romans

fol. 152v:

  1. W.9, fol. 152v
  2. Title: Fratres
  3. Form: Decorated letters "F," 6 lines; "R" and "A," 3 lines
  4. Text: Gospel and Epistle Lections: Easter

fol. 153v:

  1. W.9, fol. 153v
  2. Title: Initial "I"
  3. Form: Decorated initial "I," 7 lines
  4. Text: Gospel and Epistle Lections: Mark 1:1

fol. 186v:

  1. W.9, fol. 186v
  2. Title: Initial "D"
  3. Form: Initial "D," 4 lines
  4. Text: Gospel and Epistle Lections: Pentecost


The binding is not original.

Early twentieth-century dark blue morocco, made in Paris by Léon Gruel; upper cover decorated with the word "Lectionarium" with edges in gold and letters in crimson; the initial "L" has vine decoration and stems in crimson, green, and blue; gold tooling around the edge of binding


Made in Trier in the early eleventh century

Léon Gruel, Paris, early twentieth century

Henry Walters, Baltimore, by purchase from Gruel before 1931


Walters Art Museum, 1931, by Henry Walters' bequest


Hoffman, Hartmut. "Buchkunst und Koeningtum im ottonischen unde fruesalischen Reich." Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica 30, no. 1 (1986): p. 454.

De Ricci, Seymour, and William J. Wilson. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. 2 vols. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1935, p. 768, no. 69.

Clarkson, Christopher. "Rediscovering Parchment: The Nature of the Beast." The Paper Conservator 16 (1992): pp. 5-26.

Nordenfalk, Carl. "Der Meister des Registrum Gregorii." Munchener Jahrbuch der Bildenden Kunst 3, no. 1 (1950): p. 64, fig. 7.

Austin, Gerard. "Bibliographie: Liturgical Manuscripts in the United States and Canada." Scriptorium 28 (1974): p. 99.

Nitschke, Brigitte. Die Handschriftengruppe um den Meister des Registrum Gregorii. Recklinghausen: Verlag Aurel Bongers, 1966.


Catalogers: Valle, Chiara; Walters Art Museum curatorial staff and researchers since 1934

Editors: Herbert, Lynley; Noel, William

Copy editor: Dibble, Charles

Conservators: Owen, Linda; Quandt, Abigail

Contributors: Bockrath, Diane; Emery, Doug; Hamburger, Jeffrey; 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.