Breviarium Nidrosiense

Preface and Acknowledgements

This is the first edition of the Breviarium Nidrosiense since the book first appeared in print in 1519 in Paris. It appears at the same time as a modern edition of the Missale Nidrosiense (Copenhagen 1519). Its letters are easier to read than the Gothic type of the Nidaros missal. However, the abbreviations and ligatures that are typical of late medieval manuscripts, are frequent also in this book. These are expanded in this new edition, and syntactic punctuation is introduced according to principles explained further below in the introduction. A digitized version of a complete copy in the National Library at Oslo (NB D Pal 7) is used as basis for the edition. We hope that this edition (as well as the edition of the printed Nidaros missal) will facilitate studies in the development of the Nidaros liturgy from the Nidaros ordinary of the early thirteenth century to the printed breviary.

The work on this edition has been carried out as a part of the project Digital corpus and dictionary of medieval Latin (2016–), based at the National Library of Norway (Oslo) with the support of the Research Council of Norway. The project is a cooperation between the National Library of Norway (Nasjonalbiblioteket), the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi, Oslo), and the publishing house Kunnskapsforlaget (Oslo). The purpose was to include the edition in a digital corpus of Latin texts from medieval Norway up until the Reformation in 1537 that could be used to create a concordance on the basis of which a dictionary could be compiled. A group of philologists were engaged in 2016, among them Dr. Ingrid Sperber (Babelom, Belgium). Their work is recorded in the list following this preface. From 1 January 2017, Sperber took up a position as lexicographer in Oslo in the above-mentioned project and continued working on this edition, which was finally submitted in April 2019. Sperber has proof-read and corrected the entire text against the original, standardized the text and done the actual editing. I am very grateful to Prof. Bertil Nilsson for his assistance in identifying abbreviated references to canon law.

As for the introduction, Sigurd Hareide, assistant professor at the University of South-Eastern Norway, has co-authored with me the part called ‘The Nidaros breviary and its content’. His insights about the liturgy have proven to be most useful.

Oslo, 10 May 2019
Espen Karlsen
Project leader

Halfdan Baadsvik: pp. 1–250
Mikael Males: pp. 491–499:
Ingrid Sperber: pp. 251–489, 508–552, 661–769, 877–901
Johanna Svensson: pp. 500–507, 553–660
Eva Taranova: pp. 770–877
P. 490 has illustration only

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Om Breviarium Nidrosiense

Breviarium Nidrosiense and Missale Nidrosiense appeared in print in 1519 and were the first books to be printed for Norwegian use. The books were printed on the initiative of Archbishop Erik Valkendorf in Nidaros, and were meant to provide a standardised liturgy for the Catholic province of Nidaros – which at that time comprised Norway, Iceland, and the Faroes – and to replace the old, handwritten books which were difficult to read and whose content had become obsolete. The content of the two books reflects 500 years of liturgical development in Norway.

The missal was meant to be used in all churches of the province, whereas the breviary was intended for the clergy and their daily celebration of the divine office on the eight canonical hours. The two books supplemented each other and covered the central parts of the liturgy.

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