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Obj. ID: 18120
Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts
  Munich Ashkenazi Siddur, Franconia, Early 14th c.

© Center for Jewish Art, Photographer: Unknown,
Summary and Remarks

Because of the missing text (see Condition) it is difficult to reconstruct the original contents of the Siddur. It begins with Ethics of the Fathers 1:5, followed by Psalm 104 and 14 Psalms of Degrees (Ps. 121-134) for the conclusion of the afternoon service on Shabbat.

The evening services (מעריבים) for Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot include different piyyutim, among which is the piyyut for the second Passover evening ליל שימ(ורים) אדיר ונאה (fol. 24v; Davidson 1924–1933, ל 723) by R. Meir bar Itzhak Shatz (Worms, 11th century), whose acrostic name Meir is marked by dots on fol. 25v. The piyyutim are of the western Ashkenazi rite (see Fraenkel 1993:24-25). In the piyyut for the evening service of the second day of Shavuotוירד אלהים  (fol. 33; Davidson 1924–1933,ו 263), which was composed by Itzhak ben Moshe (11th century; Fraenkel 2000:טו and note 63), the name Itzhak is marked.

The name Eliezer berabi Natan is marked in acrostic by dots within a piyyut of his, also for the evening service of the second day of Shavuot) אשריך ישראל fol. 33v; Davidson 1924–1933, א 8454).

The two piyyutim (fol. 41-41v) ביום טובה היה טוב by Shem-Tov Falaquera (Spain c.1225-1295) andשפרם רם ברוחו (Davidson 1924–1933, ש 2114), for the evening service of the second day of Shavuot when it falls on the Sabbath, were added by Hand 1 during the 14th century. The second piyyut opens with a note אחר בניגונו מרי הרבי שמואל הנהרג (another melody of the murdered R. Shmuel), i.e. Shmuel ben Kalman (ben Kalonimus) called Dovlin (or Dewlin) Hahazan (the cantor) ofErfurtwho was the poet of this piyyut and was martyred before 1280 (Fraenkel 2000:17 and 69, used our manuscript for this piyyut).        

The last part of the manuscript is the Passover Haggadah, which follows the Ashkenazi rite. A later hand added the letter כ (kaf) before the word Ha which opens the Haggadah (fol. 45). The reciting of Keha instead of Ha is also characteristic of Ashkenazi Haggadot. The Haggadah ends with three liturgical poems: אז רוב נסים, אומץ גבורתך and כי לו נאה.

The three scribes who copied the Siddur divided the work between them by quires corresponding to different parts of the text, which probably allowed them to work simultaneously.

The decoration of the manuscript was executed only by Scribes B and C. Scribe B used very simple decorative motifs, like dots surrounding the letters of some initial words; on the other hand, Scribe C executed an elaborate panel opening the Haggadah with a depiction of the raising of the second Passover cup of wine (fig. 1).



Fig. 1: Initial word panel

MunichAshkenazi Siddur

Franconia, early 14th century

BSB, Cod.hebr. 90, fol. 45



Fig. 3: Initial word panel



New York, JTS mic. 4843, fol. 150v

(Jerusalem, CJA Documentation)


Fig. 2: Initial word panel

Reggio Mahzor

Franconia, first half of the 14th century

Oxford, Bodl. lib. MS Reggio 1, fol. 159v

(Jerusalem, CJA Documentation)




A similar stylistic approach is found in the Reggio Mahzor produced inFranconiain the first half of the 14th century. In both manuscripts (figs. 1-2) the panels are formed by hatching in ink; in the Reggio Mahzor it is red and brownish ink, while the figures are in spared-ground technique. The panels are surrounded by a frame and the corners are decorated with rosettes. The stems of the letters within the panels are decorated with roundles and surrounded by a contour. Human figures and grotesques, which are much more detailed in the Reggio Mahzor, occupy the space between the letters and the frame and between the components of the letters. Another stylistic resemblance to our panel appears in a Mahzor seemingly produced inBambergin 1279.  The opening panels in both manuscripts (figs. 1 and 3) have similar frames in spared-ground technique.


All these similarities suggest that our manuscript was produced in the region of Franconia, perhaps not far fromBamberg, in the early 14th century.

Two flyleaves at the beginning and end of the manuscript are today housed in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung in Munich(Inv. Nos. 171528 and 171530). These are woodcuts which originally appeared in the Schatzbehalter der wahren Reichtümer des Heils (Treasure Chest of the True Riches of Salvation) written by the Franciscan preacher Stephan Fridolin (1430-98) and published by Anton Korberger in Nuremberg in 1491 (see BSB Cod.hebr. 14, Remarks and Illuminated Documents). 




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Munich Ashkenazi Siddur | Unknown
Object Detail
Monument Setting
Early 14th century
Synagogue active dates
Reconstruction dates
Artist/ Maker
Historical Origin
Community type
Period Detail
Germany | Munich | Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (BSB)
| Cod.hebr. 90 (Steinschneider 1895, No. 90)
Documentation / Research project
Iconographical Subject
Unknown |
Textual Content
Unknown |
Languages of inscription
Shape / Form
Material / Technique
Vellum, III + 59 (58 foliated) + III leaves (no pastedowns; the first front and last back flyleaves were probably intended as pastedowns). One leaf between fols. 31 and 32 is unnumbered (31a).
Both sides of the vellum are similarly treated. The quires are arranged according to Gregory's rule.
Watermarks of the flyleaves: Head of a bull with a cross and a snake (183 mm; second front cover and first back cover flyleaves: similar to Piccard, No. 70968 (Magdeburg, 1490).
Material Stucture
Material Decoration
Material Bonding
Material Inscription
Material Additions
Material Cloth
Material Lining
Tesserae Arrangement
Construction material
Full page: (270-300) x (205-206) mm.
Text space: Scribe A: (205-211) x (130-132) mm.
Scribe B: (202-207) x (124-130) mm.
Scribe C: (188-192) x (148-157) mm.

Panel Measurements
Many folios, probably whole quires, at the beginning of the Siddur are missing. In addition stains and the dark brown colour of fols. 1-2 suggest that the manuscript was damaged by water. Fols. 30-33 are damaged in the lower margin.
Documented by CJA
Surveyed by CJA
Present Usage
Present Usage Details
Condition of Building Fabric
Architectural Significance type
Historical significance: Event/Period
Historical significance: Collective Memory/Folklore
Historical significance: Person
Architectural Significance: Style
Architectural Significance: Artistic Decoration
Urban significance
Significance Rating
Ashkenazi Siddur. Include three parts written by three main scribes: Part 1: Prayer book and Ethics of the Fathers, the beginning missing; opens with chapter 1:5 (fols. 1-15); 14 Psalms of Degrees (Ps. 121 קכ"א-134(קל"ד preceded by Ps. 104 for the conclusion of Shabbat service (Minha) fols. 15v-20); Havdalah for Passover Eve occurring in Shabbat and Holidays (fols. 20v-21). Part 2: Piyyutim (liturgical poems) for evening services: for Passover (22v-30v); Shavuot (fols.30v-38v); Sukkot (fols. 38v-39v); and Shmini Azeret (fols.39v-41); two additional piyyutim for the service of the second Shavuot evening (fol. 41-41v). Part 3: Passover Haggadah (fols. 43v-58v).
The text is written by three main scribes, although one leaf was completed by a fourth hand (Hand 1): Scribe A: fols. 1-21 (Ethics of the fathers and Psalms); Scribe B: fols. 22v-41 (Evening services); Scribe C: fols. 43v-58v (Haggadah). Hand 1: fol. 41-41v (two piyyutim).
Ashkenazi square script in dark brown ink by Scribe A and Scribe B, and in brown ink by Scribes C and additional Hand 1.
Number of Lines
The text is written in 20-21 lines per page, except for Scribe C who wrote 19-24 lines per page.
Ruling in plummet: Scribe A: 22 horizontal (last line blank) and 1+1 vertical lines; the 2 top and 2 bottom horizontal lines are ruled across the page (e.g. fols. 10, 12, 17). Scribe B and Hand 1: 22 horizontal and 1+1 vertical lines (last line blank); the 3 top, 3 bottom and 2 middle horizontal lines are ruled across the entire page (e.g. fols. 24, 27). Scribe C: mainly 20 horizontal and 1+1 or 2+1 vertical lines corresponding to the text layout (e.g. fols. 44, 50).
In the outer margins (Scribe A); outer and inner margins (Scribe B), sometimes with double pricking for the lines, ruled across the page; outer and inner margins (Scribe C). All leaves are also pricked in the upper and lower margins for verticals.
8 quires of 8 leaves each except for I8-1, III6, V6+1+1, VI8-2. Quire structure: I8-1 (1-7: first leaf is missing, with text); II8 (8-15); III6 (16-21: end Scribe A); IV8 (22-29); V6+1+1 (30-36: 3rd and 6th leaves are single folios, 31a and 34 respectively); VI8-2 (37-42: 6th and 7th blank leaves were cut off, thus fols. 38 and 39 are single; end Scribe B); VII8 (43-50); VIII8 (51-58).
Catchwords for quires appear in the lower left corner of the last leaf, except for quire III (end of Psalms) and VI (end of the evening services); they are mostly decorated with dots, sometimes forming a triangle. Scribe A wrote semi-cursive catchwords horizontally. Scribe B and Scribe C wrote square catchwords but those of Scribe C are written vertically.
Hebrew Numeration
Blank Leaves
Fols. 21v-22r, 42-43.
Façade (main)
Location of Torah Ark
Location of Apse
Location of Niche
Location of Reader's Desk
Location of Platform
Temp: Architecture Axis
Arrangement of Seats
Location of Women's Section
Direction Prayer
Direction Toward Jerusalem
Coin Series
Coin Ruler
Coin Year
Scribal Notes
Trade Mark

15th-century binding. The spine and30 mm. of the wooden boards (306 x209 mm) are covered with a strip of white pigskin decorated with a stamped row of floral stems. The spine has three double cords, head and tail bands are missing. Holes and nails are situated along the upper and lower edge of the front cover, denoting the place of two clasps. They correspond to the carved squares on the back cover where two straps were attached.

From the original stitch holes, it is apparent that all parts of the codex were originally bound together. The binding was probably done in the Augustinian Friars monastery of St. Vitus inNuremberg(Munich, EBDB p001297; Hernad 1990:66; Kyriss 1951/58, No. 19).

This binding is similar to those of other Hebrew manuscripts from Schedel's collection (see History, and CJA Documentation of BSB Cod.hebr. 14 (figs. 1-2), Cod.hebr. 21 and 69). Two woodcut flyleaves at the beginning and end of the manuscript are housed today in the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung inMunich(Inv. Nos. 171528 and 171530). According to a note by librarian Wilhelm Meyer (first back flyleaf) they were removed in 1883.

Decoration Program

The decoration was done by Scribe B and Scribe C in brown ink:

  1. Illustrated panel enclosing the initial word הא (This) opening the Haggadah (fol. 45).
  2. Decorated initial word שפוך (Pour) opening the second part of the Haggadah (fol. 52v).
  3. Letters of some initial words surrounded by dots (e.g. fol. 26).
  4. Two printed flyleaves (back and front cover flyleaves), were removed in 1883 and are currently preserved in Munich, SGS Inv. Nos. 171528 and 171530 (see History).
Suggested Reconsdivuction
Annotations and corrections Some corrections over erasures in the Haggadah text by a later Ashkenazi semi-cursive hand in greenish ink (e.g. fol. 50v). The letter כ (kaf) was added in the opening panel of the Haggadah in grey ink (fol. 45; see Remarks). Other marginal additions in the Haggadah were written by another Ashkenazi hand in semi-cursive script in dark brown ink (e.g. fols. 56v-58). Owners' inscriptions Fol. 41v, The names of אברם (Avram) and אשר (Asher) are written at random below the text. Fol. 41v, dem erben nig'(ri?) written by a 15th-century hand in the bottom margin, upside-down. Apparently the previous owner of the manuscript was Petrus Nigri, Christian Hebraist and preacher (Walde 1916, pp. 70 on, and the documentation of BSB Cod.hebr. 200, Remarks). Inscriptions by librarians and researchers On the verso of the first flyleaf of the front cover, an inscription by Librarian 1a is written in brown ink: מעט תפילות היהודים (Some prayers of the Jews). Under it by Librarian 2: Meath tephilos haiehudim. Precatiunculae quaedam/ ex patribus. etc. On the first flyleaf of the back cover there is a note by the German classical scholar W. M. (Wilhelm Meyer 1845-1917) mentioning that here was a woodcut from the Schatzbehalter which was removed in 1883: Der hier eingesetzte Holzschnitt aus/ dem Schatzbehalter wurde 1883 ausgelöst. W.M. On the exlibris on the inner side of the front cover, inscribed in plummet by a 19th-century librarian's hand in the upper left corner "Cod. hebr. 90", and on its right a German description of the contents. Exlibris and stamps Inner side, front cover: an exlibris of the Bavarian Court and State Library (225 x 155 mm) with arms of Elector Maximilian I from 1638 (Dressler 1972: B3ab). It is stuck over his earlier exlibris of 1618 (Dressler 1972:A3a-f), dating from before he became Elector in 1623 (see BSB Cod.hebr. 14, 21). On fols. 1 and 58 is a 19th-century oval stamp of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: BIBLIOTHECA/ REGIA/ MONACENSIS. Signatures and stickers Front cover, upper part, in black ink: •F• (signature of Schedel's library). Back cover, upper right corner, in black ink: St. 8. n (signature of Fugger's library). Front cover, lower part of leather strip, in black ink: J. n0.44 (Duke's library, Prommer's signature). First verso of front flyleaf (former pastedown), in red ink: J. 43 (Prommer's revision of the Duke's library in 1582-3). Spine, in brown ink: 164; on stickers: 164, 824, Cod. hebr. 90. In 1552 Hartmann Schedel's collection of Hebrew manuscripts together with other manuscripts and printed books from his library, was sold by his grandson Melchior to Johann Jacob Fugger of Augsburg. Later, in 1571 Fugger's library was acquired by Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria and incorporated into his Hofbibliothek in Munich (Hartig 1917:261; Stauber 1908:146).
Main Surveys & Excavations
Davidson 1924-1933 I. Davidson, Thesaurus of Medieval Hebrew Poetry, New York 1924–1933. Dressler 1972 F. Dressler and B. Schröder, Die Exlibris der Bayerischen Hof- und Staatsbibliothek 17. bis 20. Jahrhundert, Wiesbaden 1972. Fraenkel 1993 י' פרנקל, מחזור לרגלים - פסח, ירושלים תשנ"ג (Y. Fraenkel, Mahzor for Passover, Jerusalem 1993). Fraenkel 2000 י' פרנקל, מחזור לרגלים -שבועות, ירושלים תש"ס (Y. Fraenkel, Mahzor for Shavuot, Jerusalem 2000). Hartig 1917 O. Hartig, Die Gründung der Münchener Hofbibliothek durch Albrecht V. und Johann Jakob Fugger, Munich 1917. Hernad 1990 B. Hernad (ed.), Die Graphiksammlung des Humanisten Hartmann Schedel, Munich 1990. Kyriss 1951/58 E. Kyriss, Verzierte gotische Einbände im alten deutschen Sprachgebiet, Stuttgart 1951- 1958. Stauber 1908 R. Stauber, Die Schedelsche Bibliothek, Freiburg 1908. Steinschneider 1895 M. Steinschneider. Die Hebräischen Handschriften der K. Hof- und Staatsbibliothek in München. Munich 1895. Walde 1916 B. Walde, Christiche Hebräisten Denutschlands am Ausgang des Mittelalters, Münster 1916.
Ilona Steimann Prof. Aliza Cohen-Mushlin | 2008, 2009
Author of description
Ilona Steimann, Prof. Aliza Cohen-Mushlin, Yaffa Levy | 2008 2009; 2013, 2014; 2014
Architectural Drawings
Computer Reconstruction
Section Head
Michal Sternthal; Project head: Aliza Cohen-Mushlin | 02.2016
Language Editor
Christine Evans | 2014
Supported by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation |
Negative/Photo. No.
The following information on this monument will be completed:
Unknown |