Study in 1951 of a Peter Roll

Heinrich Brauer, a German art historian, undertook a transcription in 1951 of a roll version of Peter of Poitiers' Compendium. As far as I know this typewritten text (the first modern edition since that by Ulrich Zwingli?)* has never been published. The only known copy is deposited at the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB) in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. I interloaned it last week for a look.

Brauer seems to have included both rolls, Blankenburg 305 and Blank.305a, in an exhibition he organized at Celle Palace, where he was art curator and the transcription and correspondence were apparently part of his work as a public official. The letters may be of some wider interest and I am therefore providing an English translation. Both were addressed to Erhart Kästner, director of the HAB.

The first of the letters from the Kunstgutlager in Schloss Celle was dated 1951 June 18:

Dear Dr Kästner,
I ought to have reported back much sooner on my work on the Stemma of Christ manuscript rolls kindly loaned to me by the Wolfenbüttel Library. I would ask you to let me keep the two rolls for a little longer. I completed the transcription of the text some time ago and I am sending it to you to give you some idea, although it is obviously in need of improvement.
We are preparing to hold an exhibition on "Applied Arts and Manuscripts of the 15th century (Kunsthandwerk und Handschriften des 15. Jahrhunderts)". I had been thinking of asking you to permit the Wolfenbüttel rolls to be exhibited in this show, but did not know if a suitable placement would emerge for them. 

I now realize that both can be very well displayed as part of the overall context, which is why I have waited until today to ask for an extension of the loan. We will also be obtaining a pictorial tapestry from Wienhausen for the exhibition, and the rest will come from the stock of the Kunstgutlager, enabling us to assemble quite an impressive show. The inauguration is to take place on July 8 and I hope I will see you then here in Celle.
With best wishes, also to Dr Butzmann,
Greetings and thanks,
H. Brauer

The second is dated 1951 October 8:

Dear Dr Kästner,
When the manuscripts loaned from you were returned I was delighted to hear that my transcription of Blanc 305 ended up with Dr Butzmann. I have now been able to improve the text in many places with the help of the printed edition of 1592.
Blanc 305 and the unnumbered roll contain the same text, which begins with the word "Considerans ..." (....) and is attributed to Petrus Pictaviensis (chancellor of the University of Paris from 1192, died 1205). His works are printed in Migne PL 221 but there is no mention of the Considerans text. 

The Royal Library in Brussels has nine copies of this text, with a person called Gallus listed as the author. The British Museum catalogue names the author as Petrus Pictaviensis or Petrus Comestor without deciding the point. A manuscript (number 128) of the same text from the middle of the 13th century can be found at Admont and is entitled "Ottonis de S. Blasio Chronika prima", cf. Verzeichnis IV,1, editor Buberl (Leipzig, 1911), with two images of it. Buberl: "probably done in Salzburg".
Its script along with the characteristic initials is very similar to Blanc 305. I would therefore propose that Wolfenbüttel parchment roll Blanc 305 of the Stemma of Christ is also a product of Salzburg from the middle of the 13th century.
The paper roll without any Wolfenbüttel number is signed at the end by the scribe: "Pater Gallus presbyter ordinis Sancti Benedicti, Conventualis monasterii Sancti Galli." When I inquired to (the monastery of) Maria Laach, Rev. Dr. Volk replied:

The P. Gallus whose name is in the photo was Father Gallus Kemly of St Gall, born 1417 Nov 18, died soon after 1477. From 1465 he copied P. Comestor, Historia scholastica (i.e. Ms 605 of the St. Gall Library) as well as Excerpta ex historia scholastica et vitis patrum (i.e. Ms 607 of the St. Gall Library); cf. R. Henggeler, Professbuch der fürstl. Benediktinerabtei der Heiligen Gallus und Otmar zu St. Gallen, Zug, 1929, pages 234-236.
I understand the Considerans text circulated widely: it was translated into French, English and German (perhaps into Spanish and Czech too) and was often extended and revised. It is conceived for the education of students and is not just theological in purpose but is at the same time a tabulation of history as well, rather like our Plötz**. It employs Scripture as an historical source and its author sees no dilemma between faith and scholarship.
The text always accompanies the genealogical tables and is often employed as an introduction to the Historia scholastica of Petrus Comestor Trecensis although it contrasts strangely with that wholly theological work. A manuscript in Munich from Metten combines the Considerans text with the Biblia pauperum. Its scribe recognizes its historiographic character since he includes with it the Chronicle of Popes and Emperors of Martinus Polonus of Troppau. This may have been done in the 14th century. The Stemma of Christ precedes the Diadocheen of the Popes, with the emperors laid out in parallel, leading back via Caesar, Alexander, Darius, Cyrus, Nebuchadnezzar by a circuitous route to the archaic parents. It provides an historical vision of monumental simplicity.
We find it in the printed Universal Chronicles such as the Rudimentum of Lübeck of 1475, the Fasciculum temporum of Cologne by Rolevink of 1474 and the Chronicle of Schedel of 1493, which all derive from the Considerans text and even give it as their source. The Lübeck one names the author as Petrus Trecensis. Rolevink names Isidore, not for the entirety, but, as the context shows, as author of a short work dealing with the period of the Old Testament, which is namely our text.
Dr. H. Brauer

Schloss Celle, a former royal palace in Celle, north of Hanover, seems to have hosted a large store of displaced art. Brauer's entry in the Katalog der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek indicates a date of birth of 1900 (data 1, data 2), while the German Archaeology Society indicates he died in 1983 (notice). He was an associate of Rudolf Wittkower (subject of a previous post), but I do not know anything else about him.

* [In fact the third: see my listing. Note added 2015]
** Der Große Ploetz, a standard reference book for German secondary schools by Karl Ploetz (1819-1881) which was in print from 1855 to 2008.

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