(active 1010s in Regensburg)

Sacramentary of Henry II

Manuscript (Clm. 4456), 298 x 241 mm
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich

The Codex Aureus of St. Emmeram in the Ottonian period belonged to the Abbey of St. Emmeram in Regensburg. The emperor Henry II had the famous volume copied for his own use. Henry II was a remote cousin of Otto III but, since Otto died without a heir, Henry was able to secure the throne in 1002. He was crowned emperor in 1014, and died in 1024. His imitation of the Codex Aurous of St. Hemmer was painted not long before 1021 and it still survives in Munich.

Many of codex's illuminations are almost exact reproductions, and the dedication miniature on folio 11v shows Henry on the throne of Charles the Bald. The text, however, has become a Sacramentary rather than a Gospel Book. This is a book for use at Mass, and perhaps represents a shift of royal taste from biblical narrative to involvement in the most solemn and impressive Christian display.