Dicta Pirmini

Stiftsbibliothek Einsiedeln, Ms. 199 (638), S. 461.

In this exercise you will transcribe parts of a manuscript from around 800 which likely originates in Raetia. It contains an extensive sermon from Holy Pirmin († around 755) – the Dicta Pirmini or the so-called Scarapsus («extract»). 

Pirmin, the «Apostle of the Alemanni», may have come from Meaux in France and in the first half of the 8th century, he worked as a monastery bishop to found the monasteries of Reichenau, Murbach (in Alsace), and Hornbach (near Zweibrücken, Rhineland-Palatinate), his later burial place.

Below the heading in red capital letters ("INCIPIT DICTA ABBATES PRIMINII ...": the words of Abbot Pirmin begin...) you see the beginning of the sermon, additionally emphasized by the initial F, with Pirmin's address to his beloved brothers. Orientation in the text is facilitated by the red-colored letters at the headline and at the beginning of sentences, an ornamental letter with braided ornaments typical of pre-Carolingian manuscripts and a few punctuation marks.

Characteristic is the form of the a, which looks as if it is composed of two c (therefore called cc-a). It can easily be confused with c or t, whose top bar is bent to the left almost to the baseline. 

Give the e caudata with ae. Transcribe the colored letters in capital letters.

Suggested citation

Peter Orth, Georg Vogeler: Ad fontes, Transcription Exercise: Dicta Pirmini, translated by Rachel Mandell, CC-BY, URL: www.adfontes.uzh.ch/3140/training/lateinische-transkriptionsuebungen/dicta-pirmini/.