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Rare Books and Manuscripts - Manuscripts

Codices Alcobacences

This collection comprises 461 codices from the library of the Cistercian monastery of Santa Maria de Alcobaça, which passed to the National Library after the abolition of the religious orders in 1834. Dating from between the 12th and the 18th centuries, the majority of the codices are medieval, and many of them are illuminated and possess their original bindings.

Pride of place among the medieval Latin codices goes to a 13th century copy of Etimologias by Saint Isidore, the Bishop of Seville (600-636), which is one of the first encyclopaedic works on medieval knowledge. Outstanding examples of Portuguese codices include Vidas e Paixões dos Apóstolos – a copy that was made in 1442-1443 and contains the Portuguese version of a lost work that was produced in the scriptorium of King Afonso X of Castile; and, from the sub-collection of codices from the 16th to the 18th centuries, the originals of Monarquia Lusitana, which is the opus magnus of the historiography of Alcobaça.


♦  Inventário dos Códices Alcobacenses. Lisboa: BN, 1930-78.
♦  FERREIRA, Teresa A. S. Duarte - "Guia das Colecções de Manuscritos da Divisão dos Reservados".
Revista da Biblioteca Nacional, Lisboa, S. 2, 3 (1) 1988, p. 95-129.
♦  The Fundo Alcobaça of the Biblioteca Nacional. Collegville (MN): Hill Monastic Manuscripts Library, 1988-90.
♦  Inventário dos Códices Iluminados Até 1500. Lisboa: Secretaria de Estado da Cultura, 1994.