As our Voices From the Cloister exhibition continues to draw visitors to Downside Abbey, we thought we would share detail on one of the important items in the display and indeed in the heritage department.

Major and minor prophets of the Old Testament (‘Lambach Prophetar[i]um’) (CmL XXII)

This codex was almost certainly made at the Benedictine Abbey of Lambach, Austria during the final quarter of the 12th century (c.1175–1200). It contains the books (plus prologues) of the Old Testament’s four major (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel) and 12 minor prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi).

A section of the book most interesting is where one finds the beginning of a section of the Lamentations of Jeremiah, marked up with musical notation. This demonstrates that this particular Bible was used liturgically and not just necessarily as a book of study. Lamentations made up part of the Matins during Holy Week.

For a detailed description of both manuscripts See B. Pohl, ‘Two Downside Manuscripts and the Liturgical Culture of Lambach in the 12th Century’, in Downside Review 136.1 (2018), pp. 41–79. You can find out more about the Downside Review here