Summary and Remarks
This small-size Mahzor, though no longer intact, originally comprised only piyyutim for the Special Sabbaths and festivals for the whole year. It was copied by Scribe A, vocalised by Menahem bar Yehiel and was not originally decorated. The only pen-drawn hybrid and animals are on the added leaves by the later Hand 4 (fols. 129v 130v, 136v). The careful proof-reading throughout the manuscript, the reference to well known vocalisers, the marginal annotations, and especially the additional piyyutim by four later hands suggest that the Mahzor was written for a cantor for liturgical use in the synagogue rather than for private use.
According to Goldschmidt, mahzorim which contained only piyyutim are not exceptional. Furthermore, some mahzorim remained in the cantor's pulpit for decades and the communities used to write in changes and even erase some texts to conform to the norm of the community (see Goldschmidt 1970, I: נ=40, though usually in cantor's mahzorim of large format). The manuscripts usually reflect the custom of the particular place of writing. However, in the Middle Ages the eastern rite, today called the "Polish rite", in contrast to the "Western Ashkenazi rite" is known to us from manuscripts of the 14th century in eastern parts of Germany but also in south German communities of Nuremberg, Rotenberg and Regensburg (for the distribution areas of the "Ashkenazi rite" from the 10th century to west and east of the German countries, see op. cit. I:יד=14,
and note 8).
The piyyutim according to western Ashkenazi rite added by Hand 1 to the original text (see Contents) suggest that the Mahzor was adapted to the needs of a community where the population changed over time due to immigration. For instance, the western Hand 1 has erased the liturgy (silluk) for musaf for the Day of Atonement ונתנה תוקף קדושת היום (fols. 116v-117) which was customary in eastern Ashkenaz (Y. and A. Fraenkel 2008:7).
The Mahzor was not censored and all the sections usually erased by censors are intact (e.g. fols. 109, 109v; Róth 1965, II:233). הקשב
קרא באופן פונטי
- שם עצם
- liturgical hymn
The decoration by Hand 4 was popular as scribal art in thirteenth-and fourteenth-century Ashkenazi manuscripts in Franconia and neighbouring regions of south Germany. Although the motifs are often similar, the individual style of the scribes differs according to their dexterity. Nevertheless it is possible to compare the animals in our Munich Mahzor (fig. 1) to those in the initial word וידבר in the Vienna Rashi Commentary on the Bible of the 14th century from Franconia (fig. 2); and our goat and unicorn (fig. 3) to the deer and unicorn in the Franconian Siddur and Haggadah of the early 14th century (figs. 4- 5). Both unicorns are shown with the horn turned downwards and also resemble the pen-drawn unicorn adorning the colophon page of the Franconian Pentateuch of Gershom bar Eliezer of 1304 (fig. 6).
Fig. 1: The Piyyutim Mahzor Fig. 2:ViennaRashi Commentary on the Bible
Munich, BSB Cod.hebr. 422, fol. 129v Franconia, 14th century
Vienna, ÖNB Cod. Hebr. 12b, fol. 63
(Jerusalem, CJA documentation)
Fig. 3: The Piyyutim Mahzor Fig. 4:FranconiaSiddur and Haggadah
Munich, BSB Cod.hebr. 422, fol. 130v Franconia, early 14th century
Oxford, Bodl. Lib. Opp. 645, fol. 30
(Jerusalem, CJA Narkiss Archive)
Fig. 5: Franconia Siddur and Haggadah Fig. 6: Pentateuch of Gershom bar Eliezer
Franconia, early 14th century Franconia, 1304
Oxford, Bodl. Lib. Opp. 645, fol. 97v Oxford, Bodl. Lib.Can.Or. 91
(Jerusalem, CJA Narkiss Archive) (Narkiss 1984:45, fig. 41, top right)
Considering the codicology in our manuscript, viz. the pricking in all margins and the plummet ruling, it was apparently produced in the last quarter of the 13th century (Beit-Arié 1981, pp. 70-71, 77-78), whereas the motifs and style of drawings executed by the later Hand 4 suggest a date at the beginning of the 14th century.
In contrast to the sparse decoration of the manuscript, the later binding is richly decorated. The cover was made in Heidelbergin 1553 for Ottheinrich Count Palatine (b. 1502, Elector 1556-1559), most probably by his bookbinder, Jörg Bernhardt of Görlitz (Mittler 1986 I:513-516; Schlechtez 2005:142-145), and carries the typical features of his bindings: a gilt portrait, the initials O.H.P. (Ott Heinrich Princeps), date of execution (1553), and his abbreviated motto M.D.Z. (Mit der Zeit). Ottheinrich had a personal library of several hundred books in Neuburg an der Donau and several thousands in HeidelbergCastlewhich he inherited from Friedrich II. Both libraries were united by Ottheinrich to form the Heidelberg University Library Bibliotheca Palatina in the Protestant Holy Ghost Church (Mittler 1986, I:1-13). Our Munich Mahzor, among other Hebrew manuscripts from the Ottheinrich Neuburg collection, entered the BSB in 1909 (Cod.hebr. 421-428; Walde 1916:229, Wagner 2003:30, 33).
Parchment, I + 155 + I leaves.
Both sides of the parchment are similar.
Watermarks on front and back fly-leaves: coat-of-arms with hatching (height 26 mm).
Full page: (245-250) x (162-166) mm.
Text space: varies, mostly (194-196) x (105-110) mm.
The text is written by Scribe A, except for leaves of different parchment, size and ruling. These were inserted into the original quires and written mainly by several later hands:
Hand 1: fols. 15, 118-119, 134. He also added piyyutim and a prayer in the margins (fols. 27v, 64v-65, 137), erased the piyyut 'ונתנה תוקף' (fols. 116v-117); erased 2 last lines on fol. 148v and 15 on fol. 149, and supplied another text instead (half of fol. 149, 153v line 6-155v).
Hand 2: fols. 80-81, inserted leaves.
Hand 3: fols. 122-128, inserted a quire.
Hand 4: fols. 129-131, 136, inserted leaves. He is the only decorator.
Vocaliser: Menahem ben Yehiel: added corrections in the margins in the same colour ink as the vowels (e.g. fols. 49, 140-148v).
The text is written in square Ashkenazi script in dark brown ink. Some piyyutim are arranged according to verses and refrains in 3-4 columns (e.g. 96v, 122-123v); the majority are written continuously, with apostrophes marking pauses between the verses.
The text is mostly written in one column.
Number of lines
The text is written in 31-32 lines per page, except for the inserted leaves with varying numbers of lines and a quire within quire XVI (fols. 122-128) with 25 lines per page.
Ruling in plummet, mostly 31 horizontal lines and 1+1 vertical lines. The ruling reflects the various arrangements of the text (e.g. fols. 2v, 30-31, 96v). Some horizontal lines are ruled across almost the entire page (e.g. fols. 6v, 23, 90v). The ruling of a quire within quire XVI is different (fols. 122-128): 26 horizontal and 2+1 vertical lines.
Noticeable in all margins. Top and bottom lines are double pricked. Fols. 114-133 (quire XVI): the inner margins are not pricked, except for the quire inserted within quire XVI (fols. 122-128), which has two rows of pricks in the inner margins. For the ruling of this inner quire the inner row was used while the outer row includes 23 pricks only, of which the 1st, 21st and the last are double pricked.
20 quires of 8 leaves each except for: I4; II4-2, fol. 15, XII2+8, XVI20; XVII8+2, XIX2; XX2.
I4 (1-4); II4-2 (5-6: single leaves); III8 (7-14); 15 (half a leaf by Hand 1 its stub sewn to fol. 7); IV8 (16-23); V8 (24-31); VI8 (32-39); VII8 (40-47); VIII8 (48-55); IX8 (56-63); X8 (64-71); XI8 (72-79); XII2+8 (80-89: fols. 80, 81 are two single leaves written by Hand 2); XIII8 (90-97); XIV8 (98-105); XV8 (106-113); XVI20 (114-133: 3 quires a6 (fols. 116-121), b8-1 (fols. 122-128), by Hand 3, and c2+1 (fols. 129-131) are placed side by side in the centre of two bifolia (114/133 and 115/132). The first leaf of b8-1 and last of c2+1 (fols. 122 and 131) are single. Fols. 118-119, 129-131 are inserts of a different thin parchment written by Hands 1 and 4 respectively; XVII8+2 (134-143: fol. 134 is a single half leaf by Hand 1); fol. 136 is a single leaf by Hand 4); XVIII8 (144-151); XIX2 (152-153: 2 single leaves by Hand 1); XX2 (154-155: 2 single leaves by Hand 1).
Catchwords for quires are written in the lower left margin in square script by the scribe, mostly emphasised by double dots at the top.
Additional fols. 119v, 131v.
16th-century brown calf binding on wooden boards. Front and back are similarly blind-tooled with biblical figures, David playing the harp, the risen, blessing Christ, and St. Paulwith a book and sword, repeated within the outer frame. Floral scrolls within the inner frame. In the centre of the front cover is a rectangular gold-leaf portrait of Ottheinrich holding an open book and appearing in a window flanked by columns. Below is an inscription: "Ott Hainrich von G.G. (Gottes Gnaden) Pfaltzgrave Bey Rhein Hertzog in Nidern und Obern Bairn 1553". On the back cover is a central rectangle with Ottheinrich's coat-of-arms in gold leaf, with the letters M.D.Z. (Mit der Zeit) above and O.H.P. (Ott Heinrich Pfalzgraf) below.
The front and back covers have four metal corner bosses. Traces of two clasps on the outer edges of the front and back covers. The spine has three double cords and no head or tail bands.
This binding is typical of Ottheinrich's books and it was executed inHeidelbergin 1553 most probably by his bookbinder, Jörg Bernhardt of Görlitz (Mittler 1986, I:513-516; Wagner 2003:28-36, esp. 33; Schlechtez 2005:142-145).
For a similar binding see BSB, Cod.hebr. 421 (binding: 1553); only the scenes or figures in the outer frame are different (cf. Mittler 1986 II:151, 156, 160, and Heidelberg University Library, Cod. Pal. germ. 67 and 435; see also Remarks).
Restored in 2007.
By the later Hand 4, drawn on additional leaves (fols. 129, 130, 136):
- Pen-drawn scene of a hare chasing two dogs, one hiding (fol. 129v).
- A pen-drawn unicorn, a goat and a lamb running randomly (fol. 130v); a hybrid with two human heads, one on its back, and a dog biting its own hind leg (fol. 136v).