The Barberini Exultet RollMonte Cassino (Italy), circa 1087
Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana
Date of Publication of the Facsimile: 1988
The Barberini Exultet Roll, of which five sections survive, was created in the great Benedictine abbey of Monte Casino, in central Italy, in the context of a deliberate program for producing liturgical texts which conformed to the liturgy of Rome, in the wake of the Gregorian liturgical reforms of the mid-eleventh century. The text is written in the characteristic Beneventan script, surmounted by neumes, that is, an early form of musical notation. Toward the end of the thirteenth century, because of water damage, parts of the miniatures were repainted -- the monks of Monte Cassino were prone to this sort of restoration work, not always for the best. The various captions were added at that time: some Latin titles in gothic script, as well as early Italian commentaries within the pictures.