The Fulda Sacramentary, Fulda, last third of the 10th century

Berlin, Staatsbibliothek Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Ms. Theol. lat. fol. 192 (Fragment)

This leaf, painted on one side, was, together with a second leaf, glued into the cover of a manuscript of the letters of St. Paul. The two single leaves must have originally belonged to a sacramentary which was written in the scriptorium of Fulda during the Ottonian period.

The figure of the god “Annus” (the year) dominates the centre and everything else is grouped around him: as an old, blind man he is enthroned inside a wheel which symbolises the eternal flight of time. Within the rim of the wheel is the inscription Bissena mensuum verticine volvitur annus ebdom (in a cycle of twelve months the year turns round in 52 weeks). In his right hand Annus holds the circle of the year and in his left hand a vine which connects the wheel to the seasons and personifications of the twelve months. Spring (ver) and summer (aestas), autumn (autumnus) and winter (hiemps), all with Phrygian caps, stand at the four corners around Annus. Spring and summer hold the breastplate of the day (dies) in their hands and autumn and winter are bound with a cloth while over and around her shines the starry sky. Spring is marked as floridus (with flowers), summer as frugifer (bringing fuits), autumn as fertilitis (fruitful), and winter as horribilis (horrible). The text over the centre reads Tercentenis bisque triceni quinque diebus (the year has 365 days).