Commentarius in Canticum canticorum - Universitätsbibliothek Augsburg, Cod.I.2.2.13

Universitätsbibliothek Augsburg


Only little is known about the life and person of Honorius Augustodunensis, despite his influential work as a writer. Apparently, he was a student of Anselm of Canterbury for some time. At the beginning of the twelfth century, he lived in the Rhineland, during the last decade of his life in Ratisbon. The origins of his nickname, which might refer to Autun, to Augsburg or to Augst, remain unknown to this day. The commentary to the Song of Songs is the most original of his numerous works. As did older authors before him, Honorius interpreted the text of the Bible in a four way sense of the scripture, i.e. historically, allegorically, tropologically (= morally) and anagogically (= referring to the caelestial). In doing so, he promotes the symbolism of numbers so far as to divide the commentary into four treatises and instead of accepting one bride of the Song of Songs, he assumes that there were four. According to Honorius King Solomon married four women in succession, who refer to four groups of humanity that convert to Christ (the "Bridegroom") from the four points of the compass and at four different times. This commentary is preserved in a small group of very similarly illustrated manuscripts, to which the one presented here also belongs. The majority of these manuscripts originated in the twelfth century, namely in the Bavarian-Austrian region. The illustrations adhere so closely to the original text that one is tempted to assume that the author himself gave instructions regarding the pictures. The manuscript contains a reference of ownership by the St Mang (St Magnus) Monastery in Füssen datable to the fifteenth century. In the course of secularisation, the entire library of the Füssen monastery was transferred to the Oettingen-Wallerstein Collection. // Datum: 2017

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