Hebrew and Judaica Manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University

MS. Michael 619

Oriental Manuscripts Michael Collection


Tripartite Mahzor, volume 3

ff. 1v-293r
Mahzor according to the Western Ashkenazi rite for the High Holidays (Rosh ha-Shanah and Yom Kipur) מחזור מנהג אשכנז המערבי לימים נוראים

The codex is the third volume of a three-volume prayer book; the first volume is kept in Budapest (Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Kaufmann Collection MS A384, and the second volume is in kept in London (British Library MS Add. 22413). Originally the prayer book constituted a two-volume codex.

False colophon on fol. 293r: אני מרדכי גימפיל מקראקא כתבתי המחזור הזה שנת מʹחʹזʹוʹר לפʺק (I Mordekhai Gimpil of Cracow wrote this mahzor [in the] year 5261) (=1501)

Deletions by censor? (e.g. fols. 37r, 85r)

Piyyutim accompanied by piyyut commentaries in the margins.

Colophon: None.
Language(s): Hebrew

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper
Extent: ff. 293
Dimensions (leaf): 345 × 247 mm.
Foliation: Foliation in Arabic numerals.


37 quires: i 1+8, ii-xv 8, xvi 6, xvii-xxi 8, xxii 6, xxiii-xxx 8, xxxi 6-1, xxxii-xxxv 8, xxxvi 8+1, xxxvii 8+2. The last quire is a contemporary addition, fol. 1 is a later addition. no signatures, catchwords partially cut off by a later binder (visible e.g. on fol. 9v, 17v, 25v).


Good condition.


Ashkenazi square script in light and dark brown ink


Nine initial word panels.

The illustrations are related stylistically to the Duke of Sussex Pentateuch (London, British Library, MS Add 15282) and the Gradual of Saint Katharinental (Zürich, Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, Frauenfeld, LM 26117).

Carmina figurata (e.g. fols. 31v, 113v, 154r)


Light brown eightteenth-century morocco binding of the Michael Collection, blind-tooled.


Origin: [Ashkenaz]; ca. 1322

Provenance and Acquisition

False colophon on fol. 293r: אני מרדכי גימפיל מקראקא כתבתי המחזור הזה שנת מʹחʹזʹוʹר לפʺק ("I Mordekhai Gimpil of Cracow wrote this mahzor [in the] year 5261" [=1501]). Ownership inscription on fols. 1r and 293v: אני קלמן בר יוסף גרשון ("I Kalman ban Yosef Gershon").

It belonged to the library of Heimann Joseph Michael (1792-1846), which was purchased en bloc (altogether 862 volumes) by the Bodleian Library in 1848 through Messrs. Asher and Co. for £1030.

Record Sources

Manuscript description based on Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, vol. I, by Adolf Neubauer, Oxford 1886, No. 2374, Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library; Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda to Vol. I, No. 2374, and on the data of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts, National Library of Israel with additional enhancements by the cataloguer.


Entry to read in the Library is permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card (for admissions procedures contact Bodleian Admissions). Contact specialcollections.enquiries@bodleian.ox.ac.uk for further information on the availability of this manuscript.

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)


MSS R.R. Film No. F 21437


    Neubauer, Adolf, Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library (Oxford, 1886), no. 2374.
    Narkiss, Bezalel, ‘A Tripartite Illuminated Mahzor from a South German School of Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts around 1300’, in Fourth World Congress of Jewish Studies Papers, [2 volumes] (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies, 1968), II, pp. 129-33.
    Narkiss, Bezalel, Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts (New York: Macmillan, 1969), p. 108.
    Gutmann, Joseph, Hebrew Manuscript Painting (New York: Braziller, 1978), pp. 92-95.
    Metzger, Thérèse and Mendel Metzger, Jewish Life in the Middle Ages: Illuminated Hebrew Manuscripts of the Thirteenth to the Sixteenth Centuries (New York: Alpine Fine Arts Collection, 1982), p. 304.
    Narkiss, Bezalel, ‘On the Zoocephalic Phenomenon in Medieval Ashkenazi Manuscripts’, in Norms and Variations in Art. Essays in Honour of Moshe Barasch (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1983), pp. 49-62.
    Narkiss, Bezalel, 'Pharaoh is Dead and living at the Gates of Hell', Journal of Jewish Art 10 (1984), 6-13 (p. 10).
    Sed-Rajna, Gabrielle, La Bible hébraïque (Fribourg: Office du Livre, 1987), pp. 147 and 150.
    Beit-Arié, Malachi and R.A. May (eds), Catalogue of the Hebrew manuscripts in the Bodleian Library; Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda to Vol. I (A. Neubauer’s Catalogue) (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), no. 2374.
    Ruth Mellinkoff, Antisemitic Hate Signs in Hebrew Illuminated Manuscripts from Medieval Germany (Jerusalem: Center of Jewish Art–The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1999).
    Sarit Shalev-Eyni, ‘Ha-Mahzor ha-Meshullash’, unpublished doctoral thesis, (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 2001).
    Sarit Shalev-Eyni, 'In the Days of the Barley Harvest: The Iconography of Ruth', Artibus et Historiae, 26 (2005), 37-57.
    Zsofia Buda, ‘Animals and the Gaze at Women. Zoocephalic Figures in the Tripartite Mahzor’, in Animal Diversities, ed. by Gerhard Jaritz and Alice Choyke (Krems: Medium Aevum Quotidianum, 2005), pp. 136-66.
    Buda, Zsofia ‘Zoocephalic Figures in the Tripartite Mahzor’, unpublished M.A. Thesis (Budapest: Central European University, 2005). Summary published in Annual of Medieval Studies at CEU, 12 (2006), 33-47.
    Shalev-Eyni, Sarit. Jews Among Christians: Hebrew Book Illumination from Lake Constance (London: Harvey Miller Publishers, 2010), espec. pp. 191-196.