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A Fragment of the Lorsch Annals
Vienna, Austrian National Library, Cod. Vindob. 515, 9th century


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The keeper of the mss in the National Library at Vienna presents in this small, handsome book a full facsimile edition of the remarkable little ms in Vienna, Nationalbibliothek, 515. Although nowadays it contains no more than 8 leaves of maximum 235 mm heighth and
168 mm width, it is still of uncommon value because of its early date and of the texts contained in it. Interest in this ms has been very large, as is proved by the impressive bibliography on p. 26-29.

The most important text in it is the large fragment of the Annales Laureshamenses, beginning with the year 794 and ending in 803: it is the original ms of this capital source of the history of Charlemagne; the important facts of the reign are filled in year by year. Its author probably was Richbod, bishop of Trêves, who was abbot in Lorsch from 784 till 791/2; he died in 804, which fits in with the annals ending in 803; however the bad latinity makes it impossible the ms being written or dictated directly by him.

It was not written in Lorsch, but in a scriptorium of south-west Germany, perhaps Trêves. Later the ms went to Reichenau, where the Old High German poem was written on a blank space and where the first apograph of the annals was made. The last text in the ms has recently been recognized as an important fragment of the Instructio ad competentes of Niceta Remesiana, a contemporary of Ambrosius, whose works are nearly completely lost.

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