Psalterium der seligen Gertrud von Altenberg - Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg Ms. 5

Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg


Psalteries were of great importance in the Middle Ages as a collection of biblical psalms, i.e. prayers and songs, since devotional practice with daily recitation of psalms outside of the service was common, both among the clergy and the lay. The Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg (Aschaffenburg Court Library) psalter from the second half of the 13th century is not so much distinguished by its magnificent illumination as by its prominent owner, mistress Gertrud von Altenberg. Gertrud was the youngest daughter of Landgrave Ludwig of Thuringia and Elisabeth of Thuringia. She was born in 1227 shortly after the death of her father. When she was one and a half years old, she was taken to the Premonstratensian convent in Altenberg (near Wetzlar) in Hesse to be raised, where she later became a nun. At the age of eight she was able to celebrate her mother's canonisation in Marburg in 1235. In 1248 she was elected superior of the convent, which she then presided over until her death at the age of 70. She used her inheritance to build the monastery church, constructed the three-winged monastery complex, a poorhouse and hospital and also introduced the Corpus Christi festival. In 1311, Pope Clement V permitted the Altenberg convent to solemnly celebrate Gertrude's anniversary by deed but there is no evidence of a beatification. The psalter with calendar, prayers, Our Father etc. could have been her constant companion, aid and guide in her daily practice of faith. The calendar is filled with the dates of family members' deaths and saints' feasts and had therefore been expanded into a necrology. These necrological entries probably even originate from Gertrud von Altenberg's own hand. Datum: 2020 Quelle: Ökumenisches Heiligenlexikon (, 10.3.2020) Wolf, Jürgen: Psalter und Gebetbuch am Hof. In: Orality and literacy in the middle ages. Chinca, Mark. Turnhout, 2005.


Karin L. Kuhn

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