State Library of the National Monument of Badia di Cava

Via Michele Morcaldi, 6 (Cava de' Tirreni)


Oggi: 8:30 AM-1:00 PM


The library of the Abbey of Cava had to rise since the beginning of the monastery (sec. XI) to the need to provide books to monks, as is the rule of St. Benedict. In addition to the library as a place of conservation, there was also a Quarry Scriptorium, which wrote the books required for the formation of the monks of Cava and many monasteries employees: proof of this are the codes No 9 (sec. Expositio in XII) the Regum Librum until a few years ago thought of s. Gregorio Magno and now attributed to the monk Pietro di Cava, n. 18 (sec. XIII) De septem sigillis, no. 19 (sec. Xiii) Kalendarium, Evangelia, Apocalypsis, The Epistle Ioannis, Regula S. Benedicti.
The increase in library in sec. XIV is from news about a Bible and the Speculum historiale of Vincent de Beauvais, and purchases for material and desk for book bindings, which unfortunately there are received. Remains valid the hypothesis put forth by Leo Mattei that Cerasoli the dispersion of books collected in the early centuries was in the age of the commenda (1431-1497) or for the love of some commendatory or Cardinal the precarious situation he did believe many unnecessary books at the small number of surviving monks.
Library merits, in contrast, were the monks of s. Giustina (on many incunabula is noted the purchase made in Venice just for slot), the Abbot d. Vittorino Manso (first thought to separate the printed books and manuscripts from, to safeguard the integrity of the library, in 1595 he obtained from Pope Clement VIII a bull forbidding to remove books from the library with the threat of excommunication) the Abbot, d. Philip De Pace (his name is found in thousands of volumes). Serious damage was caused to the library on Christmas eve of 1796, when the above Body of Cava poured a pile of Earth and rocks, which "totally ruined" library, as a news report: in the disaster were certainly lost many books and also some manuscripts.
In the 19th century library of the Benedictine monks do not set off the natural elements, but the storms of Governments: the Suppression of the religious orders affected the Abbey in 1807 by the King of Naples, Joseph Bonaparte and in 1866 by King Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy. In one case and in the other the Abbot was left in charge, in 1807 as plant manager and in 1867 (under a new law) as the conservative national monument, while some monks remained as guardians, making the State-owned library. This pattern has remained legal unchanged until today. The monks, for their part, have continued to assist in managing with the same care taken in the preservation and increase of book heritage.
As in the past, the increase has privileged and favors the most appropriate disciplines for a monastic library: the patristics, theology, law and history.


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