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CODEX LEGUM LANGOBARDORUM et Capitularia regum Francorum

Background

The Codice 4 of the Abbey of the Santissima Trinità of Cava dei Tirreni of the eleventh century is perhaps the most famous manuscript containing Lombard laws. This is a parchment codex, written in Benevento script, with ornate initials and beautiful miniatures, the work of a miniaturist active in a scriptorium of Benevento around 1005. Originating from a small church in the area, it was donated to the monastery of the Santissima Trinità in 1263.
What makes the manuscript so famous is the twelve miniatures: they represent Lombard and Frankish kings and accompany the text of Lombard laws and the Frankish capitularies that follow (italic capitularies issued by Frankish rulers for Italy after conquest of the Lombard kingdom in 774). Alongside other minor historic tests, the Codice 4 of Cava dei Tirreni contains the Origo Gentis Langobardorum, or rather the tale of the “Origin of the Lombard population”, which is included as a prologue, alongside the real prologue containing the list of kings, and the older laws that form the Edictum Rothari of 643.
One of the most famous miniatures of the manuscript represents the key episode of the Origo, the one in which the god Wotan - in the ancient pagan times of the prehistory of the race - chose the Lombards as his followers, who appeared before him showing their loose hair as if it was a long beard: the god assigned their name (Lombards, “long beards”) and a future of victory.

The Cava manuscript is one of the three unique manuscripts (along with one manuscript in Modena and one in Madrid) that have handed down the text of the Origo, whose importance derives from the fact that it is the oldest version of the Lombard saga, probably written by impetus of the royal court at the start of the 7th century and then completed in the era of Grimoald (662-671).
The version of the text of Lombard laws (643-755) contained in the Codice is also considered by scholars to be one of the most reliable of the entire manuscript tradition. If to all of this we add the high artistic value of the illuminations, it can be concluded that the Codice 4 of Cava dei Tirreni is one of the most important “monuments” of Lombard civilisation, which in southern Italy - so called “Langobardia minor” - conserved its vitality and identity until at least the Norman conquest that occurred during the eleventh century.

An exceptional historical document in fine edition

The Codice 4 of the Badia of Cava dei Tirreni is one of the most important monuments of Lombard civilisation.

codex legum langobardorum

High quality faithful facsimile reproduction of the original, printed on high grade paper with reproduction of the hair and flesh side, just like the parchment of the original Codice.
Limited and numbered edition of 999 unique copies of which 799 in Arabic numbers, 200 in Roman numerals, the first 15 destined for Institutions.
Numbered notarial certificate for each specimen.
Facsimile of 249 sheets in 240 x 160 format.
Hand bound with leather cover.
A volume containing the transcription of the Codice and contributions from the professors Stefano Gasparri, Claudio Azzara and Flavia de Rubeis with many photographs of archaeological finds originating from museums in Italy and abroad.
A volume with the latin text and the Italian translation side by side as well as numerous photos of archaeological finds.
12 miniatures of Lombard and Frankish kings, with a multitude of beautiful and coloured initials that embellish the Codice.
Handmade slipcase made from solid Italian walnut, containing three volumes.

 

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