Step 3: Attala, Arbogast, Aurelia, Florentius (The Manuscript Comes to Strasbourg)

Four saints found in the margins of Western MS 97--Attala, Arbogast, Aurelia, and Florentius--are local to the city of Strasbourg in Eastern France. Given that all of these saints were added by Hand 1, it is possible that the manuscript came to Strasbourg much later than it was produced (that is, if it was produced somewhere other than Strasbourg). Some of the other saints added by Hand 1, such as Saint Anne, were not incorporated into the Dominican liturgy until the 15th century.

Below is a small gallery showing details of the folios containing the local Strasbourg saints. Click through the image twice to view a full-size version. Saint Attala the Virgin, who died in 741, was a daughter of the Duke of Alsace and became the first abbess of Saint Stephen's convent. Saint Arbogast lived in the seventh century and served as Bishop of Strasbourg from 670 onward. Little is known of the life Saint Aurelia of Strasbourg: one theory has her living in the fourth century, another as a French princess who died in 1027. Finally, Saint Florentius, like his successor Arbogast, served as the Bishop of Strasbourg in the seventh century.

Though we are still unsure how and why Western MS 97 came to Strasbourg, and where exactly it ended up, it is statistically likely that the manuscript belonged to a Dominican convent there. At the beginning of the 14th century there were more convents than men's religious houses in Germany; by the 15th century in Strasbourg there was only one male house to seven female ones. Thus, although no evidence from the contents of Western MS 97 suggest that the book was owned by a convent rather than a men's religious house, it is nonetheless likely.  


Principal secondary sources consulted: Amy Leonard, Nails in the Wall: Catholic Nuns in Reformation Germany (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005); and William R. Bonniwell, A History of the Dominican Liturgy (New York City: Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., 1944).


Step 3: Attala, Arbogast, Aurelia, Florentius (The Manuscript Comes to Strasbourg)