Königsberg Fragment and Ribbons, Gyulafehérvár Lines

Königsberg fragment and its ribbons
Gyulafehérvár lines
Gyulafehérvár - Cathedral
The Königsberg Fragment and Ribbons

This group of textual relics originates from around 1200. This is the second earliest textual relics from the age of the Árpád dynasty, and it could have been the longest as well. The text itself survived in a 14th century copy, in a codex, which contained mixed Latin and Hungarian texts. In the 14th century, in Boroslo (Wroclav), probably because the texts were incomprehensible for the environment, it was cut into pieces and the pieces were used for binding another manuscript. The bigger fragment was discovered by Franz Hipler in 1863 in the library of the Königsberg University as a front page of a codex. The other four stripes, called the "Ribbons", were found in the same codex in the binding sheet in 1894, when it was restored. The Ribbons were lost, the Fragment is kept in the university library of Torun (Poland). The genre of the texts praising the God-motherhood and virginity of the Virgin Mary cannot be identified correctly. The earliest Hungarian fragment of the Ave Maria can be read here.


The Gyulafehérvár Lines

It is the third earliest unbroken textual relic, and at the same time it is the most significant early document of Hungarian sermons, besides the Funeral Oration and Prayer. The Latin codex of the Gyulafehérvár Batthyány Library, which was compiled around 1320, contains the sermons of 13th century Benedictine monks and samples of Hungarian charters. The one-time users wrote the rhyming elements of the drafts of the preachings, the so-called rhyming divisions, onto the margin next to the sermons in Hungarian - so as to help the native preaching. These 5,4, and 6-line texts were discovered by Elemér Varjú in 1898. The first such text-unit was a rhyming achrostichon (a text hidden in the title of the poem) written to Jesus's name. Its individual Latin equivalent of this is also known.