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Reginold of Eichstätt. Historia of St. Nicbolas. (View Images)

Reginold of Eichstätt. Historia of St. Nicbolas with the lections, in Latin. l2th-century manuscript fragment on vellum, probably written in Italy, Part of one f. in double columns. 18 x 14 cm. Acquired by Lehigh in 1931, the gift of Mr. Robert B. Honeyman, Jr.

The fragment was originally bound into the binding of another volume. Although little is known about St. Nicholas of Myra, the 4th-century bishop of Myra in Lycia which lies in modern Turkey, his cult was one of the most popular in medieval Europe, and the legends about his life are legion. Sometime shortly before 966 a clerk named Reginold who had travelled in the East, and who was known for his knowledge of Greek literature and music, composed a historia in honor of St. Nicholas, that is, a series of antiphons and responsories designed to be sung in the Canonical Office during a single day, excluding the psalms and the lections.

The historia proved popular, and it was probably because of its popularity that Reginold was ordained bishop of Eichstätt in 966. Shortly thereafter a number of lections were adopted, including ones from the 11th-century Vita of Nicholas by Otloh. The historia exists both by itself and, as in the case of the Lehigh fragment, with the lections of the proper added. Originally part of a larger double column choral manuscript, the Lehigh fragment contains responsories 15, 17, and 29 from the edition published by Charles W. Jones, The Saint Nicholas Liturgy and its Literary Rehtionships (Ninth to Twelfth Centuries), University of California English Studies 27, (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1963). All three have musical notation.

***Description taken from: Hirsh, John C. Western Manuscripts of the Twelfth through the Sixteenth Centuries in Lehigh University Libraries: A Guide to the Exhibition. Bethlehem, Pa.: Rare Book Room, Linderman Library, Lehigh University, 1970. p.7, manuscript no. 1.

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