Bestiarium Zircense

Bestiarium Zircense

Bestiarium Zircense
Facsimile of the Cod. Lat. 506 manuscript of National Széchényi Library
Preface written by Anna Boreczky

NSZL–Zirc Cistercian Abbey, Budapest–Zirc, 2016., 75 pages
ISBN 978 963 200 658 1

2 900,- Ft

Due to the turmoil of the 20th century in the Hungarian history, there are only 4-5 library-museums left to reflect the glory of our old Cistercian libraries. One of these rare exceptions is the Library-Museum of Zirc that with its unique and invaluable historical, cultural and locally relevant stock, and under the academic patronage of National Széchényi Library, plays an important role both as a museum and a research centre. Only on rare occasions we have the opportunity to present precious items of its collection of 70 incunabula that also include 10 volumes unique in Hungary.

The facsimile now published is a Bestiarium in a fragment of codex originally owned by the Zirc Abbey. Apart from being a colligatum and in terms of content rooted in antiquity, it has been hidden for centuries, so it is a real delicacy for book lovers and a document of history. And also a document of language history, as apart from Latin, there are old Hungarian words in it. The full Hungarian translation has not been published yet, so this is the first time for our readers to get an insight into the medieval genre of the moralizing description of animals. The publication was preceded by thorough research on book and culture history. The bilingual preface was written by our colleague, historian of art Anna Boreczky, who also took care of the editing.

As a result of the cooperation between National Széchényi Library and Zirc Abbey,

Bestiarium Zircense, a treasure only known for librarians so far, now is available for all the researchers and the wide public.