This medieval book of hour takes its modern name from its unusual circular form. It originated in Flanders and is written in Latin as well as French. Its dimensions are as spectacular as its form: 266 almost perfectly circular pages of parchment have been bound together to build a block of 3cm height with a diameter of only 9cm. The prayers are luxuriously illustrated, including three full-page miniatures and 30 initials depicting scenes from the Old Testament, the life of Jesus and the saints.
Most likely the Codex was made in connection to the court of Burgundy at the end of the 15th century, which was the centre of contemporary art and culture. The initials of the metal clasps point us to Adolph of Cleves, Lord of Ravenstein (1425 - 1492) as the owner.
The Codex' unique outside is covered with red leather and gold details.
A short film about the Codex Rotundus, produced for our series Wissen und Staunen, shows a lot of its details: